Temperature Tenacity: The Health Benefits of Hot & Cold Water

A broken water heater is nothing to take lightly! Though it may seem like a minor inconvenience, being unable to choose between warm and cold water can have a serious impact on your health. If you cannot heat your water, it will not only be harder to bathe, cook or perform other daily functions; you also won’t be able to access many of the medical benefits of warm water. Likewise, water heater problems that render your water too warm prevent you from using cold water, which has its own set of physiological advantages. By purchasing water heater maintenance and other plumbing services as soon as you notice a problem, you can continue to benefit from:

Hot Water Highlights

Deft Digestion

Hot water makes it easier for your body to digest food. By breaking up the contents of your stomach, it reduces the amount of energy you need to fully absorb all the nutrients and wash down the food. In contrast, cold water increases the time and energy it takes for digestion. It is for this reason that many restaurants offer hot drinks when you finish eating.

Clearing Constipation

Drinking water in general helps to deal with constipation, but warm water is especially effective because of its stimulated properties. Warmer substances spark bowel movements while simultaneously breaking up foods that are in your intestines, helping your excretory system function more effectively. Drinking warm water thus makes you less likely to be constipated, and if you do experience constipation, it will be less painful and will end more quickly.

Savvy Sweating

Sweating has a variety of benefits for your body. In addition to relieving excess moisture and regulating internal temperatures, it also flushes toxins out of your system, which would otherwise build up and cause health issues. Drinking hot water is one of the most reliable ways to get yourself to sweat, especially on cold days when your sweat glands are less likely to be triggered. Regular water heater replacement and repair are thus necessary to keep your body free of toxins throughout the year.

Motivated Metabolism

Detoxification isn’t the only benefit of raising your body temperature and generating more sweat. Hot water also boosts your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories throughout the day. This makes it easier to lose weight or to maintain the same level of weight while eating more. Combining your water with lemon will enhance the effect, as the pectin fiber in lemon helps you feel less hungry. Drinking a glass of hot water with lemon in the morning sets the stage for a healthy, active day.

Protection From Pain

When you ingest hot water, the warmth soothes your abdominal muscles, calming the effects of muscle spasms. It also helps more blood reach the skin, relaxing any muscles that have become cramped. Thus, whether you are suffering from headaches, menstrual cramps, abdominal pain or any number of other ailments, hot water will quickly relieve your suffering.

Arresting Aging

Between relaxing the body, flushing out toxins and increasing blood circulation, consuming warm water can help keep your skin young and elastic as you age. These effects are most potent if you drink water that is comfortably warm; excessively hot water can damage tissue and make aging worse. Thus, after boiling water, you should leave it for a few minutes to cool before drinking it. This will leave you looking young and healthy for years to come.

Cold Water Considerations

Maintaining Moisture

While drinking hot water keeps your skin healthy, when it comes to taking a shower, cold water is more beneficial. Unlike a hot shower, cold water does not dry out your skin, allowing it to maintain more elasticity and hold more nutrients. This makes cold showering an effective treatment for dry skin. Cold showers also help moisturize your hair, reducing the risk of split ends.

Maintaining Moisture

Mental Health Marvels

Recent research into hydrotherapy suggests that cold water may aid in the treatment of mental health disorders. According to Peter Bongiorno, taking a two- or three-minute shower in water that is 68 degrees Fahrenheit can relieve many of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The occasional cold shower may thus be a powerful supplement to counseling and pharmaceuticals. Just make sure to consult your doctor before you begin, as taking such a cold shower does carry some risks.

Astute Awakening

Besides promoting skin, hair and mental health, cold water also makes it easier to get up in the morning and start your day. Taking a cold shower for five minutes will raise your heart rate and direct fresh blood throughout the body. This reduces fatigue and improves concentration, helping you to complete your daily tasks more effectively.

Hot and cold water each do wonders for your health, but they are only available if you have effective, affordable plumbing. MET Plumbing provides water heater installation, water heater leaking solutions, bathtub drain and shower faucet repair, and other plumbing services throughout the Houston area. For more information or to request a service call, visit our website today.

 

Source

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/12-unexpected-benefits-drinking-hot-water.html; http://www.medicaldaily.com/health-benefits-warm-water-6-ways-drinking-warm-water-can-heal-your-body-282218; http://met-plumbing.com/houston-plumber-contact/; http://met-plumbing.com/about-us/; http://met-plumbing.com/houston-plumber/; http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/the-health-benefits-of-drinking-hot-water/ss-BBxiid1?srcref=rss; http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/these-11-surprising-health-benefits-of-warm-water-will-shock-you/; https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Cold-Showers-vs-Hot-Showers-Health-Benefits-Both-15021710; https://healthfree.com/incurables_program_hydrotherapy.html; http://met-plumbing.com/houston-water-heater-repair/; https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inner-source/201407/cold-splash-hydrotherapy-depression-and-anxiety; http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-cold-showers-7-reasons-why-taking-cool-showers-good-your-health-289524;

Top 5 Ways to Conserve Water!

As warmer months arrive, our water usage usually goes up. There’s outdoor play, garden watering, and car washing. Now is a great time to find ways to conserve water. Conserving water saves you dollars and saves the environment for future generations.

Water comes into your house through your water supply, flows through your fixtures and appliances, and flows out of your house through your drainage system. To conserve water, try to make every drop that comes into your home count. Here are five fabulous ideas to help you make your home water system an efficient water conservation system.

 

  1. Find and Fix the Leaks

The first step is to make sure there aren’t any leaks in your system. Leaks in the average American home can total up to 10,000 gallons a year. Nationwide, private leaks lose 1 Top 5 Ways to Conserve Water!trillion gallons a year—that’s enough water to serve 11 million homes for an entire year. Luckily, catching most leaks is easy to do and if you can find it, water leak repair is usually easy. You can easily change drippy faucets and showerheads. You can easily repair or replace leaky toilets. The challenge is finding a leak if you don’t know you have one.

Fortunately, a couple of handy tools can help you find out whether you have leaks. Just grab your water bill, your water meter, your ears, and some bright food coloring.

Look back over your water bill history. If you see a sudden or steady increase in water usage, it might be a sign of a leak somewhere in your home. A high water bill won’t tell you where the leak is, but it can tell you there’s a leak somewhere. Then you can go on a scavenger hunt and keep looking until you find it.

To use your water meter to find if you have a leak, first turn off all the water in your house. Then go outside and check your water meter. Write down the number on the meter. Leave the water off for a while (2-3 hours is good), then check the meter again. If the number has changed, you probably have a leak somewhere.

You can also use your ears to find leaks. Turn of all the faucets in the house and everything else that makes noise, like radios, televisions, or computers. Then, listen. Move through the house. Visit the kitchen and every bathroom. Stop by the utility room and your water pump if you have a well. Find the place where water drains out of your home. Listen carefully. If you hear water moving through the supply pipes or the drains, you may have a leak. If you do hear water, you can usually locate the source. Don’t forget to check your outside faucets because they are often a leak source.

Unfortunately, some leaks are slow and silent. Toilet leaking is often like this. To check your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of bright food coloring into the tank itself (not the bowl). Wait a while. If the food coloring enters the bowl, or the water in the tank goes from colored to clear, you know you have a leak somewhere in the toilet.

Finally, if you have a high water bill, or your meter shows you’re losing water even when the water isn’t running, you may have a leak in the plumbing or pipes, perhaps even the underground pipes servicing your home. Plumbing companies can help you find this type of leak.

 

  1. Replace Legacy Fixtures

Another excellent way to conserve water, and save dollars, is too make sure all your water fixtures and appliances are water efficient. If you live in a home with older toilets, faucets, showerheads, and dishwashers, changing to low flow fixtures will make an enormous difference in your bill. This is because these older legacy fixtures and appliances were not designed with water efficiency in mind.

Today’s more water-efficient fixtures and appliances look great and cut your water usage dramatically. The new green showerheads provide a refreshing invigorating spray while limiting flow to 1.5 gallons per minute. This means you get clean without sending water recklessly down the drain.

The new efficient toilets use less water per flush. In fact, some manufacturers offer dual-flush toilets, which let you choose how much water to use per flush so you can use just a little water for “number one,” but a little more water for “number two.” Even if you’re not quite ready to replace your toilet, you can still save water by filling an empty milk jug with water and pouring the water into the toilet tank. Every gallon jug you put in your tank reduces the water you use per flush by a gallon.

When you are ready to replace your fixtures and appliances, you’ll find plenty of water-efficient affordable plumbing fixtures on the market. But if you aren’t sure how to choose the best plumbing fixtures and appliances, look for the WaterSense® label as you shop. WaterSense® is a partnership with the EPA, and products that have the WaterSense® label must be at least 20% more efficient than the average product in the same category. The WaterSense® label makes it easy to select a water-efficient product that will help you conserve water.

 

  1. Look Outdoors

So far, we’ve been focusing on the inside of your home, but you can take steps to conserve water outside, too.

Be thoughtful about how and when you water your lawn and garden. Watering works best when you do it in the early morning. When you water at high noon, the sun evaporates a lot of your water before it gets to the roots. Watering less frequently, but making sure plants get a full drink is best. This means letting water penetrate the soil deeply, ideally by watering in repeated intervals of short bursts. The deeper, less frequent, watering encourages plants to send roots deeper into the soil, where there’s more moisture. Plants with deeper roots are healthier and can go longer between watering.

Set up a barrel (or two!) to collect rainwater. Store the rainwater in the barrel and use it later, when it’s hot and dry, to water your garden and lawn. Watering this way prevents you from having to draw water from your city water or well.

Another way you can conserve water outside is to xeriscape your yard. Xeriscaping principles were originally developed for drought conditions, so the bedrock principle of xeriscaping is water conservation. Xeriscaping involves planting native plants and ground covers, avoiding open expanses of grass, mulching extensively, and thoughtfully irrigating your landscape with soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems. Native plants and ground covers are naturally adapted to the local climate and mulch keeps the soil moist, reducing the amount of water you need to provide. This makes it easier for your yard to thrive on natural rainfall. The xeriscaping approach works in any yard, not just dry ones.

 

  1. Make Waste Water Work

Once you’ve fixed your leaks, made sure your fixtures and appliances are water-efficient, and reduced your water needs outdoors, you can conserve even more water by finding ways to make sure you capture and use water that would otherwise go to waste. If you wash dishes at your sink, don’t let the water run as you wash. Put a plastic basin in the sink, fill it with water, and use that water to wash your dishes. Even better, add a second basin of clean water for rinsing.

Have you ever turned the hot water on, and waited for it to turn from cold to hot before you started using it? Instead of letting that water go down the drain, capture it in a pitcher or jar and use it to water your houseplants. You can do the same thing with water used to boil pasta—let it cool to room temperature and use it to water your plants. Once you start looking for them, opportunities to reuse water will present themselves everywhere.

Consider rerouting your greywater to irrigate your lawn. Greywater is water from sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines—it doesn’t include water from toilets. With some reworking of your plumbing system, you can recapture greywater before it leaves your house and reroute it to irrigate your lawn. There are many ways to design a greywater system, but you may want to ask a drain service professional to help you set up the system. Once your greywater system is in place, you can put greywater to use watering your yard instead of sending it into the sewer. Texas law specifically allows residential use of greywater, without authorization, as long as you don’t use more than 400 gallons of greywater per day.

 

  1. Change Your Hygiene Habits

We take actions every day to take care of ourselves. We brush our teeth, take a shower, go to the bathroom, wash our dishes, and clean our clothes. We can take care of the earth Change Your Hygiene Habitsand reduce out water usage by making sure we perform those daily habits as water-efficiently as possible.

It’s easy to acquire the habit of letting the water run as we brush our teeth, but if we turn the water off while we’re brushing, and turn it back on only to rinse, we can each save tons of water—literally—over the course of the year.

Here’s how it works. Assume you’ve got a low flow faucet that restricts flow to 1.5 gallons per minute, and you let the water run for one minute each time you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth twice a day every day, over the year, you’ll let 1,095 gallons of water run down the drain. Each gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, so 1,095 gallons of water weighs 9,132 pounds—that’s four and a half tons! Your tooth-brushing habits can lead to some heavy water savings.

Another way to conserve water is to shorten your showers. Set a timer for five minutes, and step out when the timer goes off. The same rules apply here as with tooth brushing. Every daily minute you eliminate from your showering habit can save more than two tons of water over the course of a year.

Sources

  1. https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html
  2. https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/about_us/watersense_label.html
  3. http://eartheasy.com/grow_xeriscape.htm
  4. https://greywateraction.org/contentabout-greywater-reuse/
  5. http://txrules.elaws.us/rule/title30_chapter210_sec.210.83
  6. https://www.reference.com/science/much-5-gallons-water-weigh-63e621962c79397e

How the Amount of Water You Use Effects Your Water Bill

Opening your monthly water bill is about as enjoyable as discovering your car battery is dead on a frigid winter morning. Finding out your water bill is $20 or $30 more than the previous month’s water bill could mean you have hot water heater problems, a hidden water leak or a leaking faucet you don’t realize is costing you so much money. Compounding the fact that plumbing companies are called by frantic homeowners for a water leak repair that could have been prevented with regular maintenance is the astounding other fact that a household of four uses and pays for over 400 gallons of water a year.

That same household could reduce their water usage by half. Really!

What You May Not Know About Water Usage and Leaks

  • Defective toilets that keep running after refilling can waste 200+ gallons of water each day it remains broken
  • Standard shower heads use nearly three gallons of water every minute
  • When you brush your teeth and let your bathroom faucet run for one minute, you could be wasting two gallons of water
  • An estimated 10 percent of all homes suffer unknown water leaks due to plumbing fixture defects
  • Water heater leaks are one of the most common leaks repaired by plumbing companiesand a primary reason for hefty water bills

You can actually find out how much a leaking faucet is costing you in water usage by using a drip calculator found on the U.S. Department of the Interior website.

Understanding Water Bills

Measuring water use differs among state utility companies. Commonly used units of usage include the gallon and the CCF, or centum cubic feet, which is exactly 100 cubic feet of water. Always look at your previous month’s water usage and compare it to your current month’s water usage. Just a slight increase in your bill could indicate the beginning of a water leak somewhere in your plumbing system. And water leaks never stop growing. In fact, a pinhole leak caused by corrosion may weaken material surrounding the pinhole and create a dangerously compromised area in the pipe. This could result in increasingly high water bills that you could prevent by repairing the leak or being the only one on your block to have Old Faithful erupting in the middle of your kitchen.

How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

  • Don’t rinse dishes before putting them into your dishwasher. Scrape dishes to save 10+ gallons of water every meal

hot water heater problems

  • Install water heaterequipment that is energy efficient and capable of maintaining warm water temperature.
  • Filling a tub to take a bath uses less water (as much as 20 gallons) than showering
  • Addingfaucet aerators can save nearly 30 gallons of water per day
  • Replace water heaterequipment that is seven to 10 years old.
  • Installheat traps and insulate hot water tanks

Sediment tends to accumulate in hot water heaters, especially in colder months when hot water is used frequently. To avoid forcing your water heater to work harder and stressing internal parts, plumbing companies can clean your water heater by draining the sediment and performing a maintenance check for a water leak or compromised components.

Start saving hundreds of dollars annually on your water bill by contacting MET Plumbing today. We offer gas water heater repair/maintenance, all kinds of water leak repair services and troubleshooting hot water heater problems. Call for a quote (or consultation): 281-599-3336.

To Flush or Not to Flush? That Is the Question…

Our toilets can sometimes seem like magic. You turn the flush handle, the bowl fills up and whatever is inside disappears down into the sewer. But being careless about what you send down can have serious ramifications. A clogged toilet, a call to the plumber, and not to mention damage to the city’s water treatment system and the environment, are all possible outcomes.

flushing-medicationThe answer to the question of what can be flushed is very simple: human waste and toilet paper. Anything other than that should be disposed of in a trash receptacle. Here’s a list of some common and uncommonly flushed items that should NEVER be sent down the toilet.

  1. Wipes: Pre-moistened baby wipes and adult wipes may seem like good candidates for flushing, but they don’t break apart like toilet paper. This can lead to clogging and damage to sewer systems.
  2. Medication: Flushing medication may seem like a good way to get rid of it, but filtration and water treatment systems don’t always remove them, leaving them to affect water supplies and harm wildlife.
  3. Feminine Products: Tampons and pads are designed to absorb moisture, meaning they can expand and cause massive blockages in your plumbing. Make sure to throw them away.
  4. Cat Litter: This one might make sense, because it’s waste, but the particles in kitty litter are designed to suck in moisture and clump together, a perfect recipe for a clog.
  5. A Snake: Hard as it may be to believe, an Australian man was surprised one day to find a python nearly ten feet in length in his toilet! This should go without saying, but snakes or other live animals should never be flushed!

 Of course, should any clogs arise, don’t hesitate to call MET Plumbing! You’ll be glad we met!

Plumbing Problems and Cold Weather Woes

When your home’s plumbing system is functioning properly, you don’t notice it. Ideally, we’d never have to spare a thought for the pipes and valves which live behind the walls Plumbing Problems and Cold Weather Woesand under the floors of our houses, but it’s important to be aware of how they work and potential causes of malfunction that could end up costing thousands of dollars.

An ounce of prevention in the form of an occasional once-over by a licensed plumber should be all it takes to keep everything running smoothly all year, but unusually cold weather can wreak havoc on your home’s pipes.

In colder climates like the Midwest and the Northeast, homes and buildings are typically erected with pipes fully within the insulation of the home itself. It makes sense, as these places average three or four below-freezing and snowy months every year. In our part of Texas, that’s not usually an issue, so it’s extra important to be aware of unusually cold weather fronts which can wreak havoc on uninsulated piping.

Cold Weather and Burst Pipes

It’s a nightmare scenario; you go out of town for the holidays to visit family or friends, only to come home to a burst pipe and the litany of headaches that this inevitably entails. The average insurance claim for homeowners whose pipes have ruptured due to cold weather is well over ten thousand dollars because it isn’t just the broken pipe that needs to be serviced.

A tiny crack in a water supply line can flood your home with up to two-hundred-fifty gallons of water per day, every day. If you’re out of town when it happens, and it goes unchecked, this can be an absolute disaster, resulting in damaged flooring, walls, and furniture, not to mention ruining irreplaceable heirlooms or emotionally valuable items.

In addition, water soaking into the walls and floors of your home can create a fertile breeding ground for toxic mold and other fungal infestations if not properly dried out during the repair process, which in itself is a costly and time-consuming endeavor.

Cold weather causes pipes to freeze when the heat from the water within the pipe is dissipated through the metal into the below-freezing air around it. This means that, usually, Your Pipes Could Freezethe municipal water supply lines and the main line which supplies water to your house are not going to freeze; latent heat energy in the ground itself, as well as the pipes being below the frost line, generally protect against this eventuality. It’s the connection to your house, where the line comes closer to ground level and enters your home, where heat can dissipate and begin the freezing process.

While water will freeze at thirty-two degrees in a controlled environment, it usually needs to be colder than that for a prolonged period of time in order to cause freezing within pipes. Water within the pipes typically retains enough heat from the municipal source to stave off freezing problems at this temperature. That said, a drop of a few degrees can cause all the difference, and it’s better to be prepared for cold weather than to foot the bill for, essentially, rebuilding an entire portion of your home.

When pipes burst due to freezing, it’s not actually the ice which does the damage; it’s the water within your residential plumbing system being pressurized by an ice plug and having nowhere to go. Without an outlet like a faucet or the main water line, pressure will build and build until the pipe bursts laterally and begins costing you lots of money. There are a few easy ways to help prevent this during exceptionally cold forecasts and avoid that emergency plumber call:

  • Install insulation sleeves on any exposed piping in the attic, garage, or crawl space during the fall, well before potential cold fronts move in. These pipes are most susceptible to bursting, as they aren’t kept warm by your home’s regular insulation.
  • Close vents and seal cracks or gaps in exterior walls and your house’s foundation. This will help guarantee that your pipes aren’t unnecessarily exposed to any cold outdoor air, and it’s generally good advice for optimizing energy efficiency in your home.
  • Maintain a household temperature of at least fifty degrees around the clock, and make sure the warm air inside is circulating as much as possible to areas with exposed piping.
  • If you turn on a faucet and nothing comes out, call a plumber Attempting to treat frozen pipes on your own can be dangerous, and it can be difficult for an untrained lay person to pinpoint where exactly the freeze has occurred in the first place.

Water Heaters Working Overtime

There are few things more frustrating than waking up on a freezing cold morning, only to realize that your hot water is out. It can derail your entire day; in the summer it may be feasible to simply rinse off in cold water, but, when weather hovers around freezing, cold showers are absolutely off the table.

Having a water heater in good working order is an absolutely essential comfort during the colder part of the year, and having to repair or replace one on short notice is not going to be cheap. As such, it’s important to keep abreast of your water heater’s functionality, during autumn, and to be aware of any potential issues before they arise.

During the cold months, there are a lot of factors which can negatively impact your water heater’s normal functionality. For one, we tend to use a lot more water when it’s cold Water Heaters Working Overtimeoutside; families will opt to stay in and hunker down rather than leaving the house to be social, leading to a general increase in usage during winter months. We also opt to enjoy hotter, longer showers than we do during other times of the year since nothing feels better than warm steam on a cold morning.

If you have a family and everyone is using hot water around the same time, you’re probably going to see a marked decrease in the amount of hot water available at any given time. This doesn’t necessarily mean your water heater is malfunctioning—it just has to work a lot harder to heat the water to your specified level when the incoming water is colder due to the weather.

When your heater is set to one hundred degrees, it’s going to do its best to get the water to that temperature as quickly as possible for your enjoyment. During warm parts of the year, this isn’t a very difficult task, and hot water may replenish so quickly as to seem unlimited.

However, when the weather is closer to freezing, your hot water heater is going to have to do a lot more work to raise the temperature of the water coming in from outside. Let your hot water tap run for a bit and look for steam before you despair; sometimes, your water heater just needs a little time to work.

Hot water heaters generally last ten to thirteen years before their heating elements begin to weaken and performance starts to dip. If you live in an area with unusually hard water, where mineral precipitate makes a harder job for the machinery, you may need to consider a replacement on an earlier timeframe. Ditto if you have a big family and the water heater is in near constant use; in this case, consider buying a heater with a larger tank.

When in Doubt, Always Call a Professional

While performing your own jury-rigged plumbing repair job based off of YouTube tutorials or online checklists might seem like a great way to save money, your pipes are one area you want to leave to professionals. Shoddy workmanship can come back to bite you to the tune of tens of thousands, so, ultimately, it’s always better to consult with someone who does this for a living.

A semi-annual plumbing inspection is a good idea just to make sure that no surprises rear their heads at inopportune times of year. Even if everything seems to be in good working order, a seasoned plumber’s eyes on your property will alert you to any weak points in your home’s plumbing system and help you keep ahead of repairs.

It’s always a worthwhile investment to make sure your house’s plumbing system and hot water heater are in tip-top shape; better to have peace of mind than to be surprised by bursts and leaks in the winter time and have to spring for emergency repair work.

How to Tell You’re Ready for a New Toilet

Your toilet is one of the most critical installments in your home, and having one in disrepair can be very distressing. Knowing when it’s time to call a plumber and replace it doesn’t have to be a mystery, though. There are a few things to look out for to clue you in on when it’s time to upgrade your throne.

toilet-replacement

The most obvious sign is damage to the toilet itself. Are there any cracks in the bowl or tank? Even a tiny crack will eventually get larger, leading to serious water leaks and potential damage to your floors. An investment in a toilet replacement today will pay dividends when it saves you from more expensive repairs down the line.

Another easy tell is age. An older toilet, even an older low flow toilet, will use much more water than a modern toilet. Your bathroom uses the most water of any room in the house, and your toilet is responsible for much of that. Switching to a newer, more efficient toilet will pay for itself in the long run.

More subtle signs can let you know when it’s time to make a change. Do you spend a lot of time on maintaining your toilet? Do you find yourself unclogging it every week, or needing to make multiple flushes after each use? Is it always running, making hissing and trickling noises, or leaking from the bottom? These are signs of worn out components. This might be as simple a fix as replacing the specific parts, but costs can quickly add up, and upgrading to a newer toilet might be your best option.

Creepy Crawling Creatures That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet!

For most of us, the thought of skittering creatures being anywhere near our bums is pure nightmare fuel. If you’ve spent time browsing the internet, chances are you’ve seen some terrifying pictures of toilets containing uncomfortably large spiders and other unwelcome hangers-on.

Plumbing

Unfortunately, it’s not all urban legends and internet memes. The following are a few examples of real pests that can actually show up in your toilet.

Drain Flies

One of the most common bathroom drain pests is the aptly-named “drain fly,” which reproduces in stagnant water. To get rid of them, clean the toilet thoroughly, snake out any grime, and swat any remaining adults.

Rats

There have been numerous examples of rats getting into sewer pipes and escaping through a toilet. Unbeknownst to many people, rats are excellent swimmers, capable of making their way up full drains rather quickly.

Frogs

As amphibians, frogs are naturally adept at swimming. Of course, toilet drains aren’t their ideal environment. According to the Tampa Bay Times, toilet frog sightings can be prevented by putting a mesh screen over the toilet vent and leaving nearby house lights off at night.

Snakes

Just as a plumber can snake a drain, a real snake can do it, too. So long as the snake is able to get into an open sewer and swim comfortably through the system, it’s entirely plausible (though rare) to find one sitting in the bowl.

Want to know more about how to prevent and deal with unexpected toilet critters? The experts at Met Plumbing can help! Call us at (281) 599-3336 to ask questions or make an appointment.

8 Ways to Recycle: Bathroom Products and More

In today’s environmentally-conscious society, nearly every family and company is striving to do their part to protect the planet. From LEED-certified buildings and green roof projects to all-natural cleaning agents and water conservation programs, the response to ecological concern has been huge across homes and industries.

Today, we take a look at 8 ways you can make an impact through recycling both at home and at work.

8 Ways to Recycle - Bathroom Products and More

1. Recycle Empty Toiletry Bottles and Toilet Roll Cores

One of the most common solutions in practice, it’s a good idea to recycle any appropriate bottles, bags, or containers when they are empty. To take your efforts up a notch, try to Recycle Empty Toiletry Bottles and Toilet Roll Coresrinse as much product residue as you can before recycling. Although the containers will be washed during the recycling process, pre-rinsing could help make the process more efficient by reducing the amount of washing required. Don’t forget your metal shaving cream can! If it’s marked as recyclable, it can go in the bin, too.1

Another simple bathroom-related solution is to recycle the cardboard cores when the toilet paper rolls are empty. This is an oft-forgotten opportunity, as it’s usually convenient to toss the empty core into a bathroom trash can. Go the extra step by walking the cores to your recycling bin. To make things even more convenient, set up a core-specific recycling bin right next to the bathroom garbage.

 

2. Recycle the Plastic Shrink Wrap and Cardboard Boxes from New Products

Similar to our first point, removing a new product from its packaging can be a somewhat mindless task that can lead to hastily tossing plastic and cardboard packing materials into the trash. Encourage your family (and/or coworkers) to be mindful and set aside these materials for recycling when unpacking. If you run a business, set up a dedicated recycling bin in the receiving area and/or any other location that sees a lot of unpacking.

 

3. Go Beyond Just Recycling: Reduce and Reuse!

We’ve all been taught the three Rs of Earth-friendly action (reduce, reuse, recycle), but with recycling at the forefront, the other two are easily forgotten. In addition to using all Go Beyond Just Recycling - Reduce and Reuseof the recycling tips listed here, make an effort to reuse items as much as possible and reduce the amount of disposable material you use.

Switching to reusable canvas grocery bags is one of the most popular ways to reduce one’s use of disposable products. Another method of re-use that’s gained significant ground in the age of Pinterest is the act of “upcycling”—taking a used product and converting it for another use rather than disposing of it.

For example, an old house shutter can be upcycled into a shabby-chic indoor mail sorter with a fresh coat of paint (just place the envelopes into the slats). Or, stick with an old re-use standby: turn junk mail, old homework, and failed printer pages into scrap paper for notes, drawings, and more.

 

4. Turn Recyclables into Art Materials

Another method of reusing or upcycling materials is to use recyclable materials as part of art projects. Allow your kids to use plastic bottle caps, empty milk jugs, junk mail, Turn Recyclables into Art Materialscardboard boxes, and more as supplies for experimenting with mixed-media artwork. If you’re an artist yourself, put your junk to work in the form of glass mosaics, woven plastic bag totes, soda can jewelry, and more.

If you aren’t artistic and don’t know anyone personally who might use your recyclables for such crafts, check with local schools and other organizations to see if they might appreciate the materials. You’d be surprised how much treasure an art teacher can find in a box of trash!

 

5. Consider Recycling Your Water

No, this doesn’t mean you have to bathe in dirty water or stop flushing the toilet (eew). Water recycling can be achieved by allowing rain or shower wastewater to be used for Consider Recycling Your Waterflushing the toilet. If you’re a gardener, consider investing in a couple of rain barrels to capture rain for watering purposes.

If you use only biodegradable soaps and shampoos, collect your used bath or shower water to water your plants—but pay close attention to the products you use and their potential effects on the environment before taking this route. Additionally, be sure to consult with a plumber before making any major changes to your bathroom drain systems.

Though most offices don’t have shower facilities in their building, reuse of rain and other types of wastewater is still possible. Consider discussing with an eco-focused plumbing company whether there are feasible wastewater collection options for your commercial plumbing system.

 

6. Start a Compost Heap

Nature’s own recycling system lies in breaking down organic material (like food) and turning it back into its constituent nutrients and minerals. Start a simple compost heap in your backyard, or add a compost bin to your kitchen. If you’ve got a green thumb, compost also serves as a great DIY fertilizer!

 

7. Audit Your Own Waste Stream

No, not that waste stream. With regard to refuse, a “waste stream” is essentially the garbage that is produced by a group or company. Whether you plan to improve your family’s habits at home or kick-start eco-consciousness in the office, start by noting the kinds of materials that get disposed of (in a work environment, see if you can get people to voluntarily log their trash for a few days).

Once you have a good idea of what’s currently going on, try to identify opportunities to eliminate disposable material from your waste stream, re-use certain types of items, or improve overall recycling habits. Not only will you be reducing, reusing, and recycling, but you’ll be able to measure the change with another audit later on. In any environment, it can be especially powerful to see your impact in the data!

 

8. Know How to Properly Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Unfortunately, recycling a laptop, game console, or phone isn’t as simple as just dropping it into the bin. For this reason, it can be tempting to just toss non-functioning electronics into the trash and move on. Don’t give in to the convenience! Identify local electronics drop-off points to make sure that your devices are processed properly and that any hazardous materials in their components are handled safely.3

The Numerous Benefits of Recycling

Aside from the sense of personal responsibility and satisfaction that you can achieve from doing what’s right for the planet, recycling has a variety of benefits in both the homeStart a Compost Heap and business arenas. From a big-picture perspective, the primary environmental benefits of recycling are that it reduces the overall size and growth rate of landfills, and it helps to conserve natural resources like timber, water, coal, oil, and gas.2

From an industry standpoint, recycling (as well as the other two “R”s) can also be quite profitable. Installing a water-conserving plumbing system, for example, can directly save the company money on monthly water usage. Plus, most governments have policies that offer cash benefits for recycled materials.

When high-profile companies take part in eco-friendly behaviors, it encourages others to do the same. When companies and individuals participate in the process on a larger scale, recycling can help to boost the overall economy, reduce energy usage, and give companies a greener, more responsible public image.

By improving the ways in which their company interacts with the environment, business owners could see an increase in community engagement as a result of their alignment with customers’ eco-friendly values. Ultimately, more engagement means greater success and profit in the long run.

Sources

  1. https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/packaging-symbols-explained
  2. http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/benefits-of-recycling.php
  3. http://www.ecyclingcentral.com/

How to Prepare for Plumbing Emergencies

We’ve all been there. One day the plumbing works just fine and the next day it doesn’t. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent unnecessary maintenance on your plumbing. Keep this handy checklist around the house as a friendly reminder of what to avoid so you can save some money in your pocket.

Plumbing emergencies

  • Keep the garbage disposal free from large chunks of food and other debris. Run the disposal daily to keep the drain clear from food and water backups.
  • Do not pour grease down the drain; dispose of it in the trash bin instead.
  • Stay away from or minimize usage of “flushable” wet wipes. Contrary to popular belief, they are not very friendly to septic tanks.
  • Check the hose behind the washing machine for any kinks in the line and straighten if necessary. It’s also best to opt for the durable stainless braided hoses over cheaper rubber types if it’s time for a replacement hose.
  • Avoid drain cleaners with heavy toxic chemicals. They are bad for the environment and there are better ways to unclog a drain.
  • Unclog drains with a snake or plunger. Wire hangers can also be used for small or shallow clogs. Finish up with some good old fashioned salt and vinegar to cleanse the drainage pipe.
  • In colder climates during the winter, turn faucets on occasionally or let them drip a little while away for longer periods of time. This will help prevent frozen pipes and bursts.

 

When all else fails, give MET Plumbing a call for your plumbing emergencies at (281) 599-3336.

Five Tips for Maintaining a Kitchen Disposal

Kitchen disposals are indispensable in the modern kitchen, but few homeowners take the time to properly care for them. Take a look at the following tips for maintaining a functional, odor-free disposal.

Maintaining a Kitchen Disposal

  1. Clean it regularly.

While the disposal is off, wipe the underside of the rubber flaps to remove any grime or residue. On occasion, drop ice cubes and citrus rinds into the disposal to clear debris and provide a fresh scent.

  1. Always check to make sure it’s clear before running the disposal.

Many homeowners have accidentally mangled a spoon by not checking that the disposal is clear of objects. Always check for any stray items before turning on your garbage disposal.

  1. Know what you can and can’t put down your disposal.

Don’t put hard, fibrous or spongy items down your garbage disposal, as these can damage the blades or wrap around the mechanism.

  1. Run cold water while the disposal is in use.

Running water will help wash the debris down, preventing it from sticking to the blades. Use cold water to prevent overheating and keep the water and disposal running for 30-60 seconds after grinding to ensure that all debris is clear.

  1. Avoid disposing of onion in the sink.

Although the blades will have no problem grinding up pieces of onion, the thin tissue and skin of an onion can stick to the sides of the plumbing, eventually rotting and creating a nasty odor.

If you’re having problems with your kitchen disposal or sink plumbing, contact Met Plumbing today at (281) 599-3336.