Sometimes the simple things really work. Energy.gov has some good, simple and relatively inexpensive suggestions to help lower your water heating costs by using and wasting less hot water in your home. To conserve hot water, you can fix leaks, install low-flow fixtures, and purchase an energy-efficient dishwasher and clothes washer. You can significantly reduce hot water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures — faucets and showerheads — or pipes. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month. New Federal faucet flow rates can’t exceed 2.5 gpm at 80 psi or 2.2 gpm at 60 psi. You can purchase some quality, low-flow fixtures for around $10 to $20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25%–60%. Find more ideas here: hot water savings
About.com writes, “Plumbing repairs never wait until it’s a convenient time. It’s just a fact. Sinks clog, faucets leak and toilets back up mostly when it’s inconvenient or when hiring a professional plumber requires paying double time, like during the weekend. So it pays for you … to become familiar with the tools of the trade, like … a sink auger.
In their tutorial Top 10 Plumbing Tools, they review what specialized tools you need to have around the house and when to use them. Better to know now and have these tools ready than try to clear your drain with a hanger. Please don’t do that…
Share and Enjoyplumbing, plumbing repair, plumbing tools
A water heater can be one of the most dangerous devices in your house. Water heaters are equipped with a temperature pressure-relief valve (usually abbreviated TPV or TPR) that releases both hot water and built-up pressure if either gets too high (usually 150 degrees or 300 pounds per square inch). If the valve malfunctions, the water heater can explode. Carefully test your valve periodically by quickly tripping its test lever. If water pours out of the discharge tube, the valve is clear of deposits and capable of performing its job. If it has been a while since you’ve performed this test, or if the valve is old, be aware that it might become stuck in the open position during testing which can result in flooding and associated water damage. Before you begin, know the location of your main water shutoff in case this happens. If you have any doubts or fears, if the valve is older, or has never been tested let a licensed qualified plumber test for you.
Share and EnjoyTPR, water heater explode, water heater maintenance
If your toilet rocks or moves it generally means that the mounting bolts have loosened, the base needs shimmed and/or the seal beneath the toilet has dried and broken. If the toilet is new, likely it’s just the bolts. This is an easy DIY. Simply remove the little porcelain caps over the bolts and tighten them (be careful not to over-tighten them and crack the porcelain). eHow.com has a good video to show you how. The seal under the toilet is designed to prevent water and sewer gas leaks, so cracked seals have to be replaced. This means removing the toilet – so unless you are especially handy, hire a licensed qualified plumber to do it. If you uncover any water damaged building components they should also be replaced. We recommend that a licensed qualified carpenter complete this task.
Share and Enjoytoilet rocks. toilet repair
Vegetation maintenance is important to the health of the exterior of your home as all of those carefully cultivated bushes, flowers and landscaping you work so hard on may have unintended consequences. Not only do plants contain moisture, they also transmit it to the surfaces they touch. If they are too close to the house they can block sunlight and air circulation and dampen the exterior with water vapor, which can lead to mildew, mold, moss and stains. Trim the plants and shrubs to allow at least a foot of clear space from the walls so sunlight and air can dry out the moisture. Don’t forget limbs, leaves and other plant materials and debris at the base of the foundation walls.
Trees should also be kept trimmed away from the home and roof. We recommend using a licensed qualified landscaper or arborist to complete this maintenance task.
While you are at it observe the grading and drainage near the home. Grading should be pitched away from the home and drainage should move water away from the home. Typically accepted slope is one inch per foot for the first five feet. When adding soil take care to leave at least six inches between the soil and any building materials.
Share and Enjoylandscaping maintenance, tree trimming, vegetation maintenance
10 Things You Can Recycle Through the Mail
What should you do when a material isn’t accepted by your curbside recycling or a drop-off program in your area? Don’t be quick to throw that item in your trash, because there may just be a mail-back program that accepts it, even if the material is a little unusual. A mail-back program offers collection and recycling or disposal of products by sending them via mail. There may be fees associated with mail-in program recycling, but some programs do pay for shipping costs, so it’s best that you call or visit the website before sending in products. They may also have special packaging requirements or instructions for you to follow. Earth911 has an interactive list of 10 things you can recycle from home by mail. If you are looking for a specific item or program, take a look at the article.
Share and Enjoymail in recycling programs, recycling
Matt T says in an article on MyPros.com “I’ve discovered when you’re a homeowner that you also have to be Sherlock Holmes sometimes. There are always strange noises and creaking sounds happening in a house. Some of them can be a bit creepy, like when you’re lying in bed and you suddenly hear water running. When it’s the ice maker working properly, you hear the water running and then a loud noise when it shuts off. It makes you feel as if the ghosts are getting themselves a glass of water in the middle of the night.” Click here to read more about his ice maker problem detecting and his 12 maintenance tips to avoid ice maker repair.
Share and Enjoyhome maintenance, ice maker, refrigerator ice maker
Many of us in the summer hot zones seek to augment or reduce the load on our air conditioners with ceiling fans. Gil Schauer asks, “When is the last time you cleaned your ceiling fan? Like any other home appliance, regularly cleaning a ceiling fan is important to ensure optimal performance. Light maintenance such as replacing blades and keeping the ceiling fan from shaking, wobbling, or squeaking is necessary to keep the fan running smoothly. Cleaning fans properly also helps with longevity.” Follow his ceiling fan cleaning and maintenance tips to help ensure the durability and performance of your ceiling fans. Click here to read more.
Share and Enjoy
You can save up to 5% in heating costs for each degree that you lower in the 60°F to 70°F range. Wear warm clothing and set the thermostat to 68° (20°C) or lower during the day and evening, health permitting. Set the thermostat to 55° (13°C) or off when leaving home for a long time or at night to save 5% to 20%. (Heat pumps should only be set back 2° [1°C] to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating.) Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use; replace or clean furnace filters monthly. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use up to 5%. To save 7% to 11% in water-heating costs, reduce the hot water temperature. Set it to 120° (49°C) unless your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Insulate the first five feet of pipe coming out of the top of your water heater.
Share and EnjoyEnergy savings, heating savings
Connect With Us
Please complete the form below to ask a question, leave a comment, or subscribe to our newsletter. You can also call us at 860-526-3355.