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Posts Tagged ‘energy saving tips’

Positive effects of a high-efficiency toilet

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Installing water-efficient fixtures, especially a high-efficiency toilet, saves money, supports the environment and adds dollar value to your home. With a variety of styles to choose from, upgrading from traditional flush toilets to high-efficiency models is easy.


According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, there are three types of high-efficiency toilets (HETS): dual flush, pressure-assisted and gravity flush. Each style has advantages and drawbacks. The size of the household will determine which system conserves the most water and saves the most money on a monthly basis.

Dual-flush toilets incorporate the best of both worlds in terms of water conservation. With this model, users have the option of choosing between a pressurized system to remove liquid and a gravity-assisted system to dispose of liquid or solid waste. Some dual-flush models offer two push buttons on top of the tank or dual-flushing handles on the side of the tank.

The liquid-only flush uses significantly less water than the solid waste option. For example, an estimate of water usage per flush runs around 0.8 gallons for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons for solid waste.

Ultra low-flow toilets use approximately 0.8 gallons per flush regardless of liquid or solid removal. The low water flow works in conjunction with a pressurized vacuum process. Once the toilet is flushed, the force of the water on the trap creates additional suction to help pull liquid and solid waste from the bowl.

Urinals, rebates and more

Waterless urinals may seem like an odd choice for a residential bathroom at first look. But waterless urinals offer the ultimate in water conservation, putting these fixtures high on the eco-friendly list and making them very popular among green-living enthusiasts. These low-flow, high-efficiency toilets come in a variety of styles and colors, so they fit nicely into traditional bathroom decor. Estimates on water conservation run as high as 40,000 gallons per year, depending on the frequency of use.

Homeowners who install high-efficiency toilets may also qualify for state or county rebates, which only add to the savings on water bills and the property value increase.

Whichever style you choose, the advantages far outweigh any additional costs. For more high-efficiency toilet information, check out these facts from the Environmental Protection Agency.


Got Plumbing Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

In most cases, if you have plumbing questions, it’s best to call a professional plumber, who may be able to answer your question over the phone— with no service fee. During the call, the plumber will ask key questions and confirm that you’ve covered a few simple checks to be sure that your problem is a minor one.

Before calling in the cavalry, however, run through this FAQ. You may find the answers you seek. If you have a full-fledged plumbing emergency like a burst pipe or a drain that repeatedly clogs, however, it’s best to call a professional plumber right away.

How can I prevent frozen pipes?

Plummeting winter temperatures cause many homeowners to fear for their pipes, and rightly so: Exposed pipes in uninsulated areas like the basement are more susceptible to freezing. When ice forms within the pipe, the pressure of the blockage causes the pipe to burst, sending water all through your basement.

Here’s how to prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulating foam to maintain water temperature.
  • Insulate and seal the basement to keep cold air out.
  • If you’re going away for an extended period, give a family member or neighbor a key to your home so that someone can turn a faucet on to a drip when temperatures threaten to drop.

My water bill has jumped significantly. Could this mean I have a plumbing problem?

Unless your water utility has raised prices significantly, you may have a plumbing emergency on your hands. Check your home for evidence of a slow drip or a pool of water on the floor or under cabinets. Deal with leaks swiftly, and get a plumber on the scene.

How can I control water usage?

Toilets consume the most water of any home appliance. If a toilet in your home runs, try to fix it right away.

What plumbing emergencies must be dealt with immediately?

If you discover a leaky pipe, you can attempt to tighten the connections with a pipe wrench and then schedule an appointment with a plumber. Your need for a plumber’s services will be more urgent if you notice:

  • A gas leak.
  • A significant water leak.
  • A backed-up sewer.

A gas leak poses a very high risk to your family’s health. If you notice the smell of rotten eggs, get everyone out of your house immediately and call your local gas company or the fire department.

What are the most common problems that require a plumber?

Don’t hesitate to make the call if:

  • There is water under a sink or on the floor in the basement. This indicates a leaky pipe.
  • There is a decrease in water pressure.
  • You notice rust around your water heater or on the pipes connecting to it.
  • You find evidence of mold, which may indicate a water leak.
  • Noisy pipes.
  • Faucets that drip.

If you’re still not sure, or if you have plumbing questions or a plumbing emergency, contact a reputable plumber right away.


The Benefits of Whole-House Water Filtration

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Every day, we are exposed to a wide range of pollutants. Manufacturing, transportation and agriculture are major contributors to the pollution of air and water. Installing a whole-house water-filtration system can help reduce the amount of contaminants you and your family are exposed to. A water filtration system can improve the quality of your water as well as the air you breathe, reducing the amount of chloroform released in your home from municipally treated tap water.

A whole-house water filtration system provides clean water for everyday household uses, such as bathing, cooking, drinking and laundry. Higher-end water-filtration systems are capable of removing over 30 contaminates and carcinogens from drinking water. When combined with a water filter mounted on the faucet or under the sink, they are even more effective.

It is important to evaluate the many kinds of whole-house filtration systems — from inexpensive, do-it-yourself set-ups to more costly versions that require professional installation. Filter-replacement schedules and maintenance procedures will vary significantly among models. Home-improvement centers sell a variety of inexpensive, simple water filtration systems for removing sand, sediment and iron. You can install many of these yourself. Larger, more expensive systems that remove significantly more contaminants are available through plumbing contractors and water equipment wholesalers. Consulting a professional before purchasing a whole-house system ensures that you get the quality of water you desire.

The savings you can expect from purchasing a whole-house system compared to purchasing bottled water is substantial. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person should drink about 64 ounces (half a gallon) of water a day. A whole-house filtration system produces clean drinking water for just pennies per gallon.

A home water-filtration system also can benefit the environment by reducing the amount of plastic water bottles discarded. Every year, consumers in the U.S. alone purchase roughly 30 billion bottles of drinking water, which require 32 million barrels of oil to produce and transport to stores. Only about 25 percent of these bottles is recycled; the rest wind up in our rivers, lakes, oceans and landfills. This statistic becomes even more alarming when you take into account that it may take 100 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.


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