By taking a few easy steps, you can conserve water and save money without sacrificing comfort.
Turn off your taps (faucets or spigots)
- Let’s face it, we all habitually refocus on “the next thing” after turning off the facet. Well, we thought we turned it off. But alas, the faucet continues to drip. And drip away it does. Upwards of (15) gallons a day. Run the math, (15) gallons of daily unused water can add up to $100 annually in cost to your water bill. Develop the good habit of verifying that the faucet you just used is completely turned off.
- But even after you have done your due diligence and turned the handle to a firm “off”, the faucet continues to drip, realize it’s time to fix what is not working properly. Understanding that there is no job too small, an All Star Plumbing tech can come out and repair what appears to be tiny drip but can lead over time to something more costly.
Check your toilet for leaks
- Potentially one of the home’s biggest water wasters, toilet flushing can account for (30%) home water usage. Testing your toilet for leaks is as easy as dropping some food coloring into the tank. Wait 10 to 15 minutes, if the color seeps into the toilet bowl, that toilet has a leak. You’ll probably hear it refill at times throughout the day or night when the leak causes the valve to add more tank water.
Comply with the garbage disposal guidelines.
Read the owner’s manual and pay close attention to the “do not” section.
- While these machines have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer to provide the best long-life performance, even modern disposals can choke on items like bananas, celery, fruit pits and chicken skin. Forcing these leftovers into a disposal will result in blockages and embarrassing offensive odors. Common sense will tell you that harder materials such as “silverware” (metal or plastic) or bones can cause serious damage to the disposal. If you can’t chew it, don’t make the disposal do it.
Take care of your drains
- Keep your drains in clear by periodically pouring in a cup of baking soda, followed with a cup of vinegar. (No, your kid cannot take the sink to school for a science project)
- Over time, drains become clogged. They will not become “unclogged” by themselves. If and when the blockage becomes more than you can handle, call All Star Plumbing (336.462.1080) One of our techs will visit and correct the flow. We have the experience, the techniques and the tooling to make it right. We have an emergency phone number because you are not the only one to experience this problem.
- In the shower and bathtub drains, use strainers to keep soap and hair out of your pipes. Regular maintenance minimizes the use of chemical drain cleaners. Some cleaners are harsh leading to damage of your pipes, septic tank and ultimately harmful to our environment.
- Easy preventive techniques not only catch simple problems before they become costly, but provide you peace of mind.
Don’t forget the outside drains and gutters
- Autumn is not the only time that yard debris can build up and block your outside drains and/or gutters. Spring gardening, summer lawn mowing, and then autumn leaves can cover what needs to be clear. Once the debris has been raked, swept and moved away, check those drains. Is any residual debris causing a flow back up? Best time to remedy this is when you clear the yard, patio or deck.
- Understand that persistent moisture will rust gutters which in turn will lead to expensive repairs.
- Blocked or clogged drains can and will lead to serious internal and external flooding.
- Side note: insects enjoy making their homes in drains or gutters filled with moist sentiment.
Check for hidden leaks
- Signs of leaks in the main living quarters of your house are generally noticed rather quickly. But many parts to your plumbing system are out of sight. They are hidden, inaccessible and require some detective work to be discovered. To identify any hidden leaks, pick a time when no water has been used and check your water meter before and after a specific period of time. Any changes in the meter may indicate a hidden leak lurking somewhere in your home. These hidden leaks are sometimes very costly, as their damage builds for over a period of time, damaging interior wood within your walls or flooring.
Keep fats and oil out of your drains.
- In any discussion of drains, this subject has to be discussed. Fats and oils may be liquid when you pour them in your drain, but they quickly congeal causing a blockage. So, do not pour them down your drain, period.
- It may be convenient to pour hot cooking grease down the sink as opposed to dumping in a garbage bag. Neither way is good. When grease cools, it solidifies sticking to the insides of your pipes; building up over time resulting in costly blockages. Instead, pour the hot grease into a can or some other heat resistant container. When the grease cools and solidifies, simply throw it into the garbage. I speed this up by putting the container in the refrigerator.
- Dental floss down any drain, residential or a larger municipal drain system, can band together with other debris to cause a blockage. It just doesn’t break down in the environment quickly. Its chemical make-up probably won’t harm your drains but it will tether other things together. Consider the long path.
- Human hair is pretty much indestructible. Also, the fibers have a tendency to become intertwined forming an ever-growing clump of an indestructible blockage. Anti-clog products are not cheap; nor are visits from a plumber. Seriously, if you don’t want to incur the cost of a backed-up toilet, don’t flush hair.
Go for “low flow”
- Studies show that even a short ten-minute shower with a conventional shower head will use approximately (42) gallons of water. Installing a low-flow showerhead is easy to do and can significantly reduce water consumption.