Many plumbing services now recommend environmentally-friendly drain care such as BioChoiceES® or other natural alternatives. There are many reasons to use these biodegradable, "green" cleaners in your drains, but the most important is safety. While you may have a sink maintenance situation that you feel justifies a chemical drain cleaner, these chemicals may leave residue that can wash back into your sink, tub, or toilet.
Ever notice a slight burning sensation when using a tub or sink after a chemical treatment? Chemicals also may create fumes that can be harmful unless you work in a well-ventilated area. Environmentally-friendly drain care can also be caustic to exposed skin or your eyes, but these cleaners do not affect the composition of your drains themselves. Some chemical cleaners may damage your pipes. A good part of plumbing preventive maintenance is regular use of a drain cleaner; knowing those cleaners won't hurt the pipes is just as important.
When buying plumbing products for do-it-yourself plumbing projects, you can save time and money buying materials in a plumbing kit for a specific job instead of hunting for individual components. Do you need to fix a leaking or constantly running toilet? Look for a toilet repair kit that contains low cost plumbing replacement parts such as a toilet flapper, chain, rubber mounting hardware, and float. Any parts you don't need can be saved for the day you need them for another DIY plumbing project. The same goes for other plumbing products such as discount faucets, shower heads and other items. If you store spare parts, don't forget to keep a supply of plumber's putty, grease, tape or other accessories you'll need to finish other jobs.
Toilets can develop leaks or other problems that you don't notice until your utility bills come in. For example, if your toilet float sits too high, you can see an increase in your water bill from the extra water used over time. Improperly-sealed flappers can cause water to leak out of the tank and drive up your water use. Water damage on the walls or floor around any plumbing projects could be indicative of your need to take a closer look at the caulking, fittings, and seals.
A storm or flood may overwhelm the sewer system in your area, bringing flood waters into the home through your unprotected plumbing system, forcing you to seek emergency plumbing services. Did you know you can install a backflow valve inside or outside your home to prevent this type of damage? Backflow valves are made to temporarily block drains to prevent waters from going the wrong way through your system. Some valves are simple, but others are more complex, such as the gate valve, which requires you to operate the valve by hand when you think you might face a water emergency. These valves cost between $300 and $600 if you have them installed by a plumbing service, but the cost is well worth the protection.
Water-efficient design, tankless water heaters, and other technology have provided a variety of customizable options for your home. A tankless water heater configuration can add value to a home placed on the market, and the presence of low-flow technology can be very tempting to an environmentally-aware buyer. One of the goals of the plumbing industry is discovering new plumbing technology aimed at energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable living.
Today's plumbing technology has created a number of opportunities for environmentally-minded plumbers. If you are a residential plumber concerned with water efficiency and sustainable living, you have the option of specializing in water-efficient renovations and improvements. Plumbing industry trends include pipe replacement plumbing technology with leak-proof and root-proof pipes, low flow toilets, efficient shower heads, and the use of tankless water heaters. Energy-efficient plumbing is often encouraged by tax breaks and other government incentives. Plumbers who take advantage of the increased awareness of environmental concerns within the industry itself may find themselves in bigger demand in communities with heightened needs for water efficiency. With more and more sections of the country experiencing droughts and water shortages, conservation is a definite buzzword, and plumbers should become familiar with local issues that can increase their business.
Did you know the average person uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day? It's no wonder that environmentally aware people seek plumbing advice about water conservation in the home. The answers sound surprisingly simple in some cases. Leaks are among the biggest sources of high water bills in the home.
Have you inspected your plumbing system for slow leaks, constantly running toilets or related problems? The first step to altering a residential plumbing plan for better home water conservation is proper maintenance of your existing system. Don't let those gallons leak away. If you suspect you have serious leaks or issues you can't fix on your own, get some plumbing advice from the experts.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports a 90 percent increase in the U.S. population over the last 50 years, but a 209 percent increase in demand for water. With statistics like these, it's not surprising that the importance of water conservation is being re-emphasised, especially in the design of residential plumbing plans.
Did you know that ultra-efficient faucets, shower heads and low flow toilets are available that exceed EPA standards for water efficiency? Adding these to your plumbing system may require a few plumbing tips for the uninitiated; in the case of low flow toilets you may need to call in a professional to do the installation. The initial cost of installing these home water conservation improvements is offset over time by savings on your water bill, especially where the toilet is concerned. An inefficient or leaking toilet can bring higher water bills that can really add up over a ten year period. A low flow toilet alone uses 20 percent less water per flush. Combine that with an efficient shower head that also uses 20 percent less water, and the utility bill savings are obvious.
Are you looking for some plumbing tips that can involve the kids in home water conservation? You can teach kids the importance of water conservation by sharing Web site data with them from EPA.gov, and have them help you inspect your home for leaky faucets, constantly running toilets or other easily observable issues. You can also have them do their part to conserve water:
- Take shorter showers - a two minute reduction in shower time can save 700 gallons per month.
- Turn off the water when brushing
- Put a bottle of water in the fridge for drinking instead of running the tap to let the water grow cold.
- Use a broom to clean driveways instead of a garden hose.
- Use lawn sprinklers sparingly and never on the pavement.
- Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
These are common water conservation areas people tend to overlook when trying to improve residential plumbing plans or home water conservation practices. Getting the whole family involved in freshwater conservation will save money on your utility bills and increase awareness of water issues.
Some sources say a leaking faucet that loses two drops a minute will waste more than 100 gallons of water a year.
The laundry room is said to use about 20 percent of all water in the home, but there are washing machines that can act as the laundry room equivalent of a low flow toilet, consuming less water per load to increase your home water conservation.
Front-loading models use up to 40 percent less water and in some cases 60 percent less energy than top loading machines. When using front load washing machines or top loaders, you can follow water conservation practices to save even more by using the machine only for full loads, and by selecting the proper water level when you do have to use less than a full load.
There are plenty of sources of information on water conservation in the home, conservation practices and information on low flow technology. You can start getting your water conservation education at the water section at EPA.gov.
Another excellent site to help you learn more on the importance of water conservation is the Water Environment Federation (http://www.wef.org). Did you know some city and state government offices offer free equipment to help you incorporate water conservation into your residential plumbing plans? Check with your local department of public works or city water department to see if free shower heads and efficient faucets are offered in your area. You can also ask for plumbing advice from your plumbing service about making specific improvements to your system.
A low flow toilet is designed to use less water per flush, while still meeting EPA requirements. You may find dual-flush gravity toilet or a single flush gravity toilet available for sale in your area; these toilets use about 20 percent less water. Other types of low flow toilets that can be added to residential plumbing plans include models with pressure-assist and flushometer valves.
Installing these toilets may be challenging for a DIY plumber inexperienced with the job. With this specialized equipment it's best to get some plumbing advice on the job before you start. Even if you have to consult a plumbing professional for an installation, the low flow toilet is an excellent water-saving addition to your home.
A low flow toilet alone uses 20 percent less water per flush. Combine that with an efficient shower head that also uses 20 percent less water, and the utility bill savings are obvious.
BioChoiceES® drain cleaning is a system of grease control that converts grease to carbon dioxide or other harmless gas. BioChoiceES is a stand-alone product, but there is also an auto-injection system designed for food service and related industries to help control grease. If you are experiencing residential problems with slow or clogged drains, you may be able to pour a small amount directly into the system on a regular basis. Some homeowners who entertain frequently or who have cooking-based home businesses should consider a drain service if they experience frequent problems with slow drains connected to grease or clogged grease traps. This type of drain cleaning eliminates odors, clogs, and grease without creating environmentally-damaging by-products, and is perfect for use in "green homes."