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/