How to Prevent Your Kitchen Sink from Clogging

After a long day at work and coming home to cook dinner, there is nothing worse than discovering your garbage disposal is clogged. None of the food you put down it is passing through the drain, and you’re left with tepid water in both sides of your sink. This problem is entirely preventable should you maintain your sink drain regularly.

Cleaning Your Sink

To keep your kitchen sink plumbing functioning optimally, you need to make a habit of cleaning your sink regularly. Cleaning your sink and disposal is fairly easy and can be done without using harmful cleaners or chemicals.

What You Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon (or lime)
  • Ice
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft sponge

What to do:

For daily cleaning, use soap and a nylon sponge or rag to wipe down your sink. Be sure to avoid ammonia, bleach, or other abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. These can tarnish your sink’s finish.

For a deep cleaning:

  1. Wash out your sink and sprinkle baking soda on it.
  2. Scrub it until it becomes a paste.
  3. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes until it settles in and then rise with warm water.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal is imperative to break up food that has accumulated down there, especially grease and pasta. This will prevent what everyone dreads—a clogged kitchen sink.

What to do:

  1. Put a half cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the sink and let sit until it fizzes.
  2. Boil water on your stove and then pour it down while the baking soda and vinegar fizz together.
  3. Add ice to the sink and run your garbage disposal until it fully grinds the ice. (You can add salt to help break up the ice.)
  4. Some people like to add chopped lemon or lime halves to the sink while the disposal runs. This helps your sink smell fresh and clean!

Prevent Your Sink from Clogging

There are several steps you can also take to prevent future sink clogging after each use.

Be careful what you put down there!

No-No’s: cooking grease, coffee grounds, anything stringy (banana peels, raw meat, etc.), potatoes, and pasta (which expands in water).

Use cold water!

Also, run cold water while you are grinding food waste, and keep it running a few seconds after you use the disposal. The cold water helps the grease in the sink solidify and break into smaller pieces. A tip for grease: put it in an old coffee container and then throw it in the trash. Whatever you do, keep grease out of your sink!

Clean every night!

Even if you’re exhausted, try to clean your sink habitually. Don’t let junk sit in your disposal overnight—it’s smelly and can cause a buildup.

These tips should help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and keep it running optimally. If you take care of your sink and garbage disposal, you’re less likely to need a kitchen plumbing repair. And, you can extend its lifespan. In the unfortunate case that you have a clogged sink, it is best to call a plumbing company to take care of it. We know the hassle and inconvenience having a clogged sink is and can help you with this plumbing repair in no time.

Reverse Osmosis Versus Other Water Filtration Methods

If you are considering various types of water filtration methods and systems for your home, it is important to understand how each one of these works. Some people make the mistake of not consulting with a professional plumbing repair company with knowledge of water filtration systems ahead of time. This has led to purchasing the wrong type of filtration system for their homes.

Water Filtration Methods

The first thing you need to determine is what type of water you have. The vast majority of water throughout the United States, and even here in Texas, is considered hard water. Hard water is full of calcium and mineral deposits that can cause scaling on pipes and faucets. In some cases, there can be excess iron in the water, along with certain unpleasant smells and tastes, depending on where you live.

Hard water is commonly found in homes that have “well water.” The other type of water you could have is soft water. This is water that has been treated using a water softener to remove the calcium and some of the minerals from hard water. If you have “city water,” then, in most cases, the water has been softened, but not always. In addition, not all “city water” has been properly filtered. Rather, it could have added chlorine and fluoride in it.

Now that you know about the different water types, the next thing you need to do is decide exactly what is it you want to remove from the water. Do you want to remove visible particles, sediment, and other such items from the water? Does the water have an odor to it you want to eliminate? Does the water have a funny taste to it you want to correct?

It is also beneficial to ask your plumber to do a water test. The water test will show exactly what is in your water, so you can use this information to further refine your filtration system for your home.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis filtration systems filter out just about everything from the water by forcing the water through a semi-pervious membrane. This membrane has very minute openings only small enough for a water molecule to pass through, removing between 90 and 99 percent of sediment, minerals, fluoride, chlorine, and more from the water. This method of water filtration can also help address concerns over odors and taste.

Plumbing Repair

Selective/Substrate Filtration Systems

This type of water filtration uses different substrates/filters to target specific containments in the water. For instance, a layer of carbon is used to remove chlorine, heavy metals, and other organic chemicals from the water. Selective/substrate filtration systems can be customized to fit your specific needs while improving the overall quality of your water. This method will leave a certain amount of minerals in the water, but they tend to cost less compared to reverse osmosis systems.

In the end, it really comes down to your needs and what it is you want to be removed from your water. To learn more about the different filtration methods, or for assistance in selecting and installing a system for your home, contact MET Plumbing at 281-599-3336 today!

When to Tell Your Water Heater to Kick the Bucket!

You probably don’t think of your water heater on a daily basis, but it labors faithfully in the background, creating the steaming water that pours out of your tap for showers, laundry, dishes and more. It’s only when something goes wrong that the water heater intrudes into daily life, and at that point, you start wondering what the heck to do pretty quickly.

The main question is this: Can your water heater be repaired, or has it given up the ghost? Is it time to tell it to kick the bucket, or can you still salvage some meaningful years from this important investment?

These are good questions all. Before you set aside time and money to call in a plumber, therefore, it’s helpful to understand the issues at stake. What are the signs of trouble? What parts can be repaired, and what signals the end of the road? And lastly, what should you call in a plumber for?

Trouble in the Air

When your plumbing breaks down, it’s usually pretty obvious. A pool in the basement, a rumble or tick when there shouldn’t be one, or an icy shower at six a.m. are unpleasant wake-up calls that indicate something is wrong.

One of the main signs? If you notice the water heater leaking, which never happens when the appliance is shipshape. Another is when you simply can’t get hot water, when there isn’t nearly as much as there used to be, or when the water pressure drops significantly. If you notice any of these plumbing-related problems, it could be due to a number of factors. These include:

  • A burner or heating element fails
  • A loose drain valve, which is one of the most common causes of water heater leaking
  • A pipe or valve gets blocked by buildup or debris
  • The thermostat breaks
  • The pilot light on a gas heater goes out
  • A circuit trips
  • The thermocouple comes loose
  • The water heater simply outlives its useful life

This last occurrence cannot be overcome, and we will discuss that in later sections. First, though, which of these issues can be repaired so that you can hang on to your appliance for a bit longer?

Can It Be Repaired?

Luckily, it’s easy to replace or repair many of these parts. Valves, circuits, thermostats, thermocouples and other parts are typically quite inexpensive, ranging from $10 to $40 or so, or possibly a bit higher depending on the exact type of part you need. The water heater repair service cost to install parts, examine thermostats or relight pilots is also relatively inexpensive, usually ranging from $100 to $200 or so, depending on your individual water heater’s requirements.

If you want to avoid the occasional water leak or loss of hot water, one of the best ways to ensure this is by flushing the tank once a year to get accumulated sediment out of the system. When you do this, it’s less likely that a piece of sediment will break off and block a valve or pipe, which is one of the main reasons for a water leak. Plus, your water heater will work better, saving you money. You can do this during your water heater repair appointment, or during an annually scheduled maintenance call.

Water Heater Repair

Feel free to get in touch or request a quote for water heater service so you can get back to the life you’re used to living, hot showers and all. Of course, sometimes it’s not as easy as a repair. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s just time to tell your water heater to take a hike.

Sorry … That Water Heater’s Done!

Conventional water heaters have a lifespan ranging between 10 and 13 years or so. If you experience a problem after or around that time, you can try to repair it, but it’s more than likely you’re going to need to call a plumber and get a replacement.

Even if your heater could theoretically be repaired, it’s sometimes necessary to replace it anyway to ensure it matches building codes specifying everything from the size of the vent system to the types of drain pipes to the water heater mount. Your plumber can walk you through these issues to help you make the best decision. You will also need to settle on many other choices as well, such as:

  • Will you get a conventional, tankless, heat pump or solar water heater?
  • What brand will you choose?
  • Do you want it to meet Energy Star efficiency standards, which can qualify for a federal tax credit?
  • How much are you able to pay?

Again, plumbing companies such as MET Plumbing can help walk you through these and other questions, so you can make the best possible decision about your new water heater. Feel free to give us a call today to learn more about your options and how we can help. Just pick up the phone and dial 281.599.3336 and we’ll set up an appointment for you right away so you can get back to the life you want to lead … hot showers and all.

The Many Benefits of Recycling and Refiltering Your Water

Most everyone today is familiar with the concept of recycling. Cans, bottles, plastic and other items are commonly recycled to preserve resources, cut manufacturing costs and protect the environment. But there is one resource that is not being recycled nearly as much as it could be, and that resource is water.

Water is wasted at an alarming rate each day in the U.S. and across the world. According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, we only use 10% of our water for drinking and cooking, pouring the rest down the drain. Considering that one-fifth of the world does not have water that is safe to drink, and the fact that there are ongoing water shortages across the U.S., there has never been a more important time to save water.

Water recycling and refiltering are important steps on the road to sustainability, cost savings and environmental responsibility.

A Much Needed Solution – Water Recycling & Refiltering

The majority of the water discarded in homes – shower water, bath water, toilet water – is considered wastewater. For decades’ wastewater has been treated as the name implies, as waste to be thrown away as quickly as possible. But modern filtration and treatment technologies provide new ways of using wastewater to transform it into something useful. Instead of throwing out the majority of the water that comes through your home or business, you can turn wastewater into a usable resource.

While some industries use wastewater for things like irrigation and manufacturing, most households and smaller businesses do not recycle their wastewater, and thus miss out on both cost savings and a major opportunity for helping the environment.

The Benefits of Water Recycling & Refiltering

Recycling and refiltering water offers serious benefits for individuals, families, businesses and the environment. Some of the benefits include:

Cost Savings

While there are initial costs up front for installing water recycling systems and minor electric power requirements to operate these systems, the overall costs are less than the savings from using so much less water. Recycling your water means that a much greater percentage of the water you purchase goes to good use. You buy a lot less water when you recycle.

Beginning to recycle your water is also an investment for the future. Should a drought occur in your area, or water become more scarce for other reasons, it will become more expensive. The less water you use over the long term, the more money you will save.

Quality Control

The water that comes through your tap must meet minimum standards to ensure purity and quality, but you can usually make your water even better using high-quality filtration systems. When you install the right filtration systems, you can make sure that every bit of water you use meets your standards for health and safety.

Save Energy

A lot of energy is required to produce clean water and get it to your home. When you recycle your water, you cut down on your water use and therefore the energy necessary to produce more water for your needs. Some water recycling systems go even further to save energy, capturing the heat from your shower and sink water to be used in your home heating system.

Eco-Friendly

Humans are not the only creatures that need water to live. Every plant and animal, every ecosystem requires water to function in some capacity. As human populations have grown and our demand for water has increased, we have been using more and more of this life-giving resource. Not only do we use a large portion of the available freshwater, we discharge our wastewater back into the environment where it can cause considerable damage.

By recycling your water, you lessen your impact on the environment. You produce far less wastewater, and require much less fresh water because you use virtually every drop that comes through your home.

Water recycling helps the environment by:

  • Decreasing diversion of water from sensitive ecosystems
  • Decreasing discharge of contaminated wastewater to sensitive water bodies
  • Reducing the amount of pollution that is sent into the environment through contaminated wastewater
  • Reduce the need for excessive fertilizer use in agriculture

How is Water Recycled?

There are several ways to recycle water, ranging from extremely simple options to complex, multi-stage processes. For example, a basic way to recycle gray water would be to use a bucket to capture water from your shower to use later for watering the garden. A more advanced version would be installing a gray water collection system in your home that would capture the water, filter it and connect to your irrigation system to supply water to your landscape.

Some examples of water recycling include:

Gray Water for Irrigation

Gray water comes from showers and kitchen sinks. If you use soaps and cleaners that are designed for minimal environmental impact, you can use captured gray water directly as irrigation for lawns and gardens. It can be difficult to limit your soaps, detergents and cleaning products to those that can go directly on your plants, though. You can also install systems that will filter gray water before you use it for more control over what goes into your irrigation system.

Gray Water for Household Use

Gray water can also be used for things like flushing the toilet, cleaning the car or other cleaning tasks. The gray water just needs to be filtered sufficiently for whatever purpose it is to be used for.

Recycling Wastewater for Agricultural Use

Wastewater is recycled on a large scale for agricultural use, which involves filtering it to remove contaminants. As with other water recycling, the water is filtered based on how it will be used. Solids can be separated from wastewater for use as fertilizer as well.

Recycling Wastewater for Industrial Use

Some industries actively seek wastewater for industrial use and/or recycle the water they use. Typically, they will filter the water to a level of purity required for the specific application.

Advanced Treatment to Produce Drinking Water

While it is natural to have doubts about turning toilet water into drinking water, modern treatment systems are capable of producing water pure enough to exceed all water purity and safety standards. There are several different processes used on a large scale in San Diego, Singapore, Namibia and other parts of the world. In areas where water is scarce, it is increasingly common to see systems that take every drop of water used by people in the area and filter/treat that water for drinking and other uses.

Using wastewater as drinking water requires multi-step, complex filtration and treatment processes. There are several different systems in use that use different steps to produce water clean enough to drink. In general, the systems filter wastewater for contaminants, disinfect the water and use other methods to purify it to the point where it is of equal quality – or of higher quality – to regular drinking water in the area.

How Is Water Refiltered?

Water filtration involves pushing water through various filtration mediums to remove impurities. The tap water that comes through your faucet has already been filtered and treated before it gets to you, and you may put the tap water through another filter before you use it. When you are recycling your gray water, you must refilter it before you use it. Fortunately, modern filtration technology simplifies the recycling and refiltering process greatly.

Refiltering involves catching water as it is used, passing it through a filter and storing the filtered water or using it directly. The type of filter used will vary depending on what you want to do with the water you are recycling. Filtering water for use on the lawn requires simpler filtration systems than filtering water to be used for drinking, for instance.

Types of Water Recycling Systems for the Home

Gray water recycling has been popular in certain businesses for some time now, but it has only recently begun to catch on in the average home. New recycling systems are available that fit seamlessly into the modern home and are rarely noticed by the homeowner. They are easy to maintain, efficient and as time goes on they become more and more cost effective for most homeowners.

There are several different systems available, including:

  • Whole house systems – You can install a system that captures and filters all the gray water produced in your home, from every sink, shower and bathtub, then return the filtered water to your taps. Larger systems require more of an investment and a place to store the water, such as in an underground tank. However, once you have a whole house system installed, you may be able to reduce your water usage by around 50%.
  • Bathroom system– Smaller systems are available that capture the water from the bathroom sink and bath and return it the toilet for flushing. These systems are much less expensive than a whole house system, but they are still able to cut water consumption by up to 30%.
  • Bathroom system with heat capture– An upgraded bathroom system can also capture the heat from the water and return it to your home heating system.

Lessening Your Environmental Impact Through Conscientious Plumbing Services

Installing even a simple gray water recycling and filtration system means you will be reducing your water usage substantially. But there are more fixes you can make around your home that will help reduce your water usage that are often easy, but may be overlooked. Many times, homeowners do not realize that their plumbing systems are in need of maintenance and repair. You may have a water leak – or more than one – that over time leads to a great deal of wasted water.

Everything from a leaking faucet to a water heater leaking can cause waste that is unnecessary. Fortunately, many of these problems are easy to fix. Kitchen faucet repair, water heater replacement (with a more energy efficient model), sink plumbing and other services are relatively affordable and can be done in a short period of time.

At MET Plumbing, we can help you understand your water recycling and refiltration options, install a recycling system for you, and conduct a maintenance check on your plumbing system to ensure that no water is being wasted. We can make your home more efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable to live in.

Contact MET Plumbing for All Your Water Recycling Needs

As the best plumbing company in the Houston area, we are your resource for water recycling and refiltration. Please contact us today for a free consultation. We are happy to talk over the phone or meet with you to discuss water recycling for your home or your business. Our knowledgeable team can design a custom plan for your home and your specific water-saving goals.

We look forward to speaking with you!

 

Source

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/04/04/from-wastewater-to-drinking-water/

https://www3.epa.gov/region9/water/recycling/brochure.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jul/21/greywater-systems-can-they-really-reduce-your-bills

House Repiping? Benefits of Repiping Your Home

Benefits of Re-piping Your Home

Pipes, just like all other things, have a service lifespan. They are designed to serve for a given period of time, and overusing them only hurts you and the house. Regardless of the quality of your house or the strength of the materials that were used to build it, your plumbing system pipes will at one point need to be replaced. If you bought an old house, such as one that was built in the early 1900s, replacing its pipes is not an option but a compulsory task. Plumbing services are unique and diverse depending on what part of the house needs repair and the material that will be used to replace old pipes.

Due to the complexity and value that your house gets after re-piping is done, it is important to hire a very experienced plumbing repair company that will first conduct a thorough plumbing inspection before establishing which pipes need to be replaced– if not all.

The numerous benefits of re-piping include:

Good water pressure in all rooms in the house

Old and leaky pipes make the water pressure fall drastically, and so do clogged pipes. For people living in areas with salty water, clogging is a rampant occurrence. Very old, corroded pipes start leaking water if not replaced early enough. To avoid this, it is important to consult an affordable plumbing consultant to give you an estimate of how much it will cost you so you can continue to enjoy that wonderful shower every morning.

Constant supply of clean water

One of the dangers of old pipes is rust because, when rust is consumed, it causes health complications. Some lead pipes used in the early 1990s release small particles of the metal in water. Lead is known as one of the most dangerous elements if consumed by human beings. Replacing such old lead and rusty pipes gives you an assurance that the water you drink or cook with is safe for your health.

Re-piping improves the value of your home

Consulting residential plumbing experts to fix all your water and gas pipes gives you a comfortable home for as long as you live there. It also adds great value to your house. You will never have some mildew growing out of your basement just because the water leaked. And, if you ever decide to sell the house, the good water pressure will be a good selling point.

Re-piping saves money that would have been used in maintenance

Leaky pipes force you to keep contacting the best plumbing companies for repairs. If this is a repeated pattern, a lot of money goes to maintenance of these pipes every year or month. Replacing all those pipes with new ones is the best course of action in this case. It reduces the insurance rates since the claims will go down as well.

Improves the general quality of life for the occupants

Living in a house that has leaking pipes, low water pressure, and even colored water from the taps that tastes awful is not a pleasant thing. In most cases, you will be forced to wake up very early so that you can shower before the rest of the house occupants start their showers lest you be late for work. You will end up buying water to drink or treating the water at your house. The leaks can also cause mold growth, which can lead to allergic reactions. With re-piping, all these problems are solved and your home becomes the resort it should always be.

Among the plumbing services that allow you to enjoy the said benefits include:

  1. Bathroom plumbingThe problem of low pressure could be due to a localized problem in the bathroom. With proper inspection, the problem can be identified and rectified individually.
  2. Toilet, shower and tub repairs: If the pipes in your house are not very old and the problem is narrowed down to either some toilet or shower pipe malfunction, then only those specific pipes should be replaced. This is efficiently done with the help of a residential plumbing
  3. Gas pipe repairs: A gas leak is one of the most dangerous forms of leaks. Your water pipes could all be intact, but the gas pipes would need to be replaced. For gas leaks, it is important to have the contacts of a 24 hour plumbing service expert in your home to tackle the leakages as soon as they are identified.

24 hours plumbing services

  1. Kitchen re-piping:The problems with poor water pressure or water having a bad taste can be the result of the kitchen plumbing system being clogged by kitchen waste as well as by pipes being too old and rusty. Some people replace these pipes in bits. It is, therefore, important to find out if your problems originate from the kitchen and solve them from there.

Remember to contact MET Plumbing at (218) 599-3336 to help re-pipe your home and to come help you clean the drains and inspect your dishwasher hookups so that you can fully enjoy the benefits that come with re-piping.

Source

  1. http://www.americashloans.com/blog/six-renovation-hacks-will-boost-your-home%E2%80%99s-value
  2. http://www.ineed2know.org/repiping.htm
  3. http://met-plumbing.com/houston-plumber/whole-house-repiping/
  4. https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/do-you-need-replace-your-plumbing/

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.