2 Great Ways To Reduce Your Water Heater Bill

A significant portion of your energy bill each month is actually connected to the use of your hot water heater. In most homes, your hot water heater makes up around 18% of your energy bill. These tips will help you reduce how often you use your water heater and thus will help reduce your overall energy costs.

# 1 Turn Down The Temperature Of Your Water Heater

One of the easiest ways to reduce the energy that your water heater uses is by turning down the temperature of your water heater. Try turning your water heater down by 5 degrees and see if you even notice a difference when you shower or wash your hands. If you can’t really even tell, turn it down another 5 degrees for a total of 10 degrees. 

By turning down the temperature of your water heater, you reduce how much energy your heater has to expel to heat up water, which should help reduce your overall energy costs in relation to your water heater.

#2 Insulate The Pipes Connected To Your Water Heater

Next, you need to insulate the pipes that come out of your water heater for the hot and cold water in your home. Insulating these pipes will help ensure that the water stays hot as it travels through your pipes and will help reduce the energy that your hot water heater has to make to meet your demand for hot water as you keep turning up your faucet. If the water stays hot along its journey through your pipes, you won’t have to turn the hot water up so high.

To insulate the pipes, you can purchase pipe insulation at your local home improvement store. Basically this insulation is rounded with a slit in it so that you can slide it over the pipe. Cut the insulation down to the right side, slide it into place, and then use insulated electrical tape to wrap up the insulation to keep it in place and increase its effectiveness. 

To start with, insulate the first few feet of both the hot and cold water pipes. If you are able to, try to insulate these pipes along their entire length. This will help keep your water temperatures more consistent and should also protect your pipes against freezing. 

Reduce the energy that your hot water heater uses by dropping the maximum temperature for your water down and also insulating the water pipes running into and out of your hot water heater. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Brother’s Plumbing.

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An Overview Of Uncogging The Sink In Your RV

If you drive your home on wheels wherever the wind takes you, it is a good idea to know what to do when despite your best efforts, a stubborn clog appears. For instance, it may seem it is a good idea to use an over-the-counter item for your clogged sink, but doing so can literally backfire on you. In addition, a snake could easily damage or even rupture a pipe. Therefore, you should be aware of the following advice so that you can more safely and efficiently regain the normal use of your sink.

Do Not Use Chemicals On Your Clog Without The Approval Of A Plumber

The option of pouring chemicals down the sink in order to dissolve or push along an annoying clog seems like it should be ideal. However, there is the possibility of the chemicals splashing back and causing a serious chemical burn to anyone in the immediate area. That potential for splash-back is there almost any time that it is used in any setting. However, it may be of special concern for you due to the smaller area of your RV.

Those chemicals can also have a negative impact on septic tanks and have been associated with damage to the rubber seals in your draining tank, so it is often best to avoid them entirely.

Be Very Careful With Or Even Avoid The Use Of A Snake

Unfortunately, you may find that using a snake to unclog a pipe can damage the pipe. That is because there is a compacted space in which to move and you will probably have little visibility. Assuming that you are sure the water tank where the water should be going is not the problem, you can attempt to locate and remove the clog personally, as the following information mentions.

Understand How To Find And Remove The Clog

You will first need to locate the p-trap drain. It is located immediately under the sink and closely resembles an oddly shaped U or J. Prior to removing it, you will need to place a large, clean basin underneath to catch water.

Once you have done so, quickly look to see if the water is moving into the basin. If so, the problem is occurring somewhere after the p-trap and you may be able to pull out an obvious clog with tweezers from the lower pipe. You can pour a bit of water into the pipe to see if you fixed the issue. If the problem continues, you should consider contacting a plumber to further address the non-moving water.

In conclusion, a clogged sink in your RV can be a major problem. Therefore, you should be aware of the information above so that you can safely address the issue. Visit http://www.garrettplumbinginc.com for more information.   

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How To Know When Your Water Heater Needs To Be Replaced

Water heaters are fairly low-tech devices on which you rely every day. But you likely don’t think much about them until they start to have a problem. You can have a plumber inspect it every year; otherwise, it’s hard to tell when they might go bad. There are a few sights, sounds and smells to be aware of that indicate a problem in the unit. Here are a few ways to tell when your water heater is ready to bite the dust.

Foul Smelling Water

If the water you get out of the faucet has a sulfur smell to it, your water heater is filling up with sediment. Minerals in the water settle out in the water heater tank and stay there. The chemical reaction of the minerals causes the smell. It’s safe to drink and bathe with the water, even though it smells bad. You may have a few months or a couple of years left in your water heater if the water smells bad. But it is definitely on its way out.

Rusty Water

If you get brown water out of the tap for a few seconds when you turn it on, you have rust in the holding tank. Minerals building up in the tank are reacting with the steel and creating rust. It starts superficially in the tank, but rust eats away at the metal. Eventually, the rust will make a hole all of the way through the water tank. Again, you could have a few months left in that water heater. But if the tank starts leaking, you’ll know that rust made its way through.

Noise in the Water Tank

If you frequently hear clanking and knocking in the water tank, you’re hearing large pieces of mineral deposits that have been churned up and are hitting the sides of the water tank. This water heater hasn’t long to live. The tank likely is rusted inside and the mineral deposits are taking up some of the tank volume. You’ll have less hot water to work with and you may have lower water pressure.

Water on the Floor Under the Water Heater

If the floor is wet under the tank, check that the drain outlet is closed and not leaking. Make sure the water supply line at the top of the tank isn’t leaking. If these are sealed, then water under the tank indicates a leak. This is a warning to contact a plumber right away to inspect it. Water heaters build up pressure inside as the water heats up. If there are small pinhole leaks caused by rust in the wall of the tank, the pressure inside may cause the tank to rupture. That will fill your area with hot, dirty water. Not only will you need a new water heater to be installed quickly, you’ll have a mess to clean up.

For more information, contact professionals like Valley Plumbing Company.

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Three Tips For Preventing Issues With Your Home’s Plumbing

Protecting your home against routine problems is an essential task. Sadly, there are some individuals that are poorly informed about the steps that they can take to help combat these issues. If you are fairly uninformed about plumbing systems, you may want to utilize the following few tips to help keep your home’s plumbing safe against these routine issues.

Insulate Any Exterior Pipes

Your home’s exterior pipes can be subjected to extremely cold temperatures during the long winter months. Unfortunately, it is possible for this exposure to cause the pipes to freeze. A frozen pipe will be far more likely to rupture as a result of the water inside it expanding in size. Luckily, you can help to minimize this risk by adding several inches of insulation to any exterior pipes. If you are unable to make this upgrade yourself, it is possible to hire a plumber to determine which pipes are at risk of freezing and add the appropriate amount of insulation.

Consider Installing A Leak Monitoring System

Leaks can be among the more frequent issues that homeowners might experience. Unfortunately, these issues can be rather difficult to detect, and this can allow them to cause extensive damage to the house before you are able to notice and repair the damage. To help protect your home against this risk, you should consider installing a leak detection system as these systems will monitor your home’s plumbing for leaks. When a leak is discovered, these systems will activate a warning that will alert you of the issue so that you can schedule a plumber, such as from South West Plumbing, to repair the issue. If you have concerns about the costs of installing these systems, you should be aware that the damage that they can save may more than offset this investment, and your insurance may offer discounts on your monthly premium as a way to recover some of the costs of this investment.

Add A Water Softener If Your Home Has Hard Water

Hard water can be unpleasant when you are bathing, and it can also be extremely bad for your pipes and fixtures. This stems from the fact that hard water will allow mineral deposits to start to form. Eventually, mineral deposits will be able to restrict the flow of water. Water softeners are able to neutralize and filter out these excess minerals, which will prevent this type of damage from occurring. Some homeowners may be concerned about the added maintenance requirements these systems will need, but typically, they will only need to be serviced every couple of years to ensure that they continue to function.

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Two Tips To Troubleshoot A Thermostat

Your home’s thermostat is an essential piece of hardware that helps control your furnace. If the device stops working, it can leave your furnace without any way to know when it needs to turn on and off. Thankfully, thermostats are easy to troubleshoot and are an inexpensive fix if you determine they are the problem. Here are two problems that you can troubleshoot on your own.

Furnace Not Cycling

Is the temperature in your home colder than your threshold for heat, but no heat is being produced by the furnace? It could be a problem with the unit failing to turn on. The first thing to try is bumping up the thermostat to an even higher temperature. See if that triggers your thermostat to turn on. If you have an older thermostat that is mechanical instead of digital, that might be enough to trigger the heat on temporarily. This shouldn’t be considered a permanent fix to the problem.

When that does not do the trick, check your fuse box for a flipped fuse that could affect the circuit that the thermostat is connected to. If everything looks good, it could mean that your thermostat is old and needs replacement.

Inaccurate Temperature Readings

Your thermostat may read 70 °F, but the rooms are actually much colder than that. Uneven heating is a problem that the thermostat could be responsible for.

A common problem that can cause inaccurate temperatures is dust inside the unit. If you have never cleaned off your thermostat, there could be dust that is interfering with the sensors. You can avoid taking apart the thermostat by spraying some canned air into the unit. That should be enough to clear off the sensor and give accurate readings.

This logic also applies when the thermostat is reading a low temperature inside your home, causing the heat to stay on and the actual temperature in your home keeps increasing.

The placement of the thermostat can also play a role with inaccuracy. Is the thermostat in a spot where it gets direct sunlight at any point during the day? If so, that could be causing the temperature to read hotter than it actually is, turning off the heat prematurely.  Move the thermostat to a new location that doesn’t get direct sunlight to fix it.

If you tried both of these things and the furnace still is not working properly, you will need professional help. For more information, contact Washam Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning or a similar company.

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3 Reasons To Contact A Plumber To Deal With Drain Issues

While cleaning your drains may sound like a straightforward and simple task that you can simply use store-bought chemicals to handle, there are a few situations where you will most likely need a plumber’s assistance to deal with. Listed below are just a few of the reasons to contact a plumber to help you with drain issues.

Deep Issues

Perhaps one of the hardest drain issues to deal with is one where the source of the clog is actually deep within your pipe system. This can often occur when a clog is ignored long enough that the flowing water will actually cause it to dislodge and travel farther down into your pipes. When this happens, a plumber will be able to remove the clog by either disassembling your pipes until he or she gets to the clog or utilize a long and flexible drain cleaning tool to reach the clog.

Invasive Roots

One of the strangest drain issues that you may encounter is one where plant roots are actually causing your sewage pipes to become completely blocked off. This happens when a plant’s roots break into the pipes in order to reach the nutrients in the wastewater. Once the roots reach that water, they will begin to expand very quickly and end up filling the entire pipe. 

This is most definitely a job that you will want to leave to a plumber as it will require a lot of work to resolve. In most cases, your plumber will need to dig up the sewer pipe, utilize tools and chemicals to kill and clear the roots away from the interior of the pipe, and then either patch the holes or replace the pipe entirely.

Non-Organic Clogs

Finally, you will want to contact a plumber to deal with any clogs that your store-bought drain cleaner simply cannot clear away. This is actually a fairly common issue as many clogs are not actually caused by food, hair, or wasted products. Instead, quite a few clogs are actually going to consist of mineral deposits that most drain cleaners will not be able to dissolve.

These minerals can usually build up quite easily within metal pipes due to the fact that many metal pipes will often have a rough interior surface. This surface will provide an ideal location for minerals to get caught on and build up over time. In order to resolve this issue, a plumber will have to remove each section of metal pipe and clean it out before replacing it. 

Contact your local plumber today in order to discuss how they can assist you with your particular drain issues. In addition to helping your deal with clogs that have occurred deep within your pipes, a plumber can also help you eliminate non-organic clogs and invasive roots systems that you really cannot resolve on your own. For more information, contact a company like AA Plumbing

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Hydronic Baseboard Heater Information

If your home has hydronic baseboard heaters, then you want to learn all about them so you can heat your home efficiently and keep the system working correctly. Hydronic baseboard heaters warm your home by pushing hot water through pipes and into the baseboard heater that looks like a long box on the bottom portion of some of the walls in a room. Learn maintenance tips and other information for these heaters in this article.

Managing the hydronic baseboard heaters

Since these heaters use hot water produced from your home’s water heater, you may find you have issues with having enough hot water for the household during cold times of the year. If you have a lot of people in your home using the hot water and you are using your heaters a lot, some in your home may complain about cold showers. A second water heater can be installed in the home and used for the specific purpose of running the heaters, so this situation can be avoided.

These heaters are controlled by thermostats on the walls in each room. Some models don’t have an on and off switch. You will simply move the knob down to the lowest setting when you don’t want the heater to go on. However, if you live in a cold region, then this temperature may still be warmer than the room is and the heater will automatically be working to a small degree. This can lead to phantom charges on your energy bill. If you are sure you don’t want the heater to go on at all, then you should shut it off by flipping the fuse in the fuse box to the off position.

Preventing heat loss from windows

Another issue to look for with hydronic baseboard heaters is they are usually installed on walls where they are positioned under windows. The thermostat on the heater will read the temperature in this area, which is often colder than the rest of the room. Plus, the heat from the heater will rise right up near the window, where much of it can escape before heating the room. For this reason, it is important for you to make sure your windows aren’t drafty. If possible, consider having double paned windows installed for added insulation.

Now that you understand more about your hydronic baseboard heaters, you can make sure they are running efficiently and not costing you surprise charges on your energy bills. If this doesn’t work, find a heating repair service near you that can check it out.

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Top Signs That Your Hot Water Tank Needs to Be Repaired or Replaced

As a homeowner, it is important to make sure that you are well aware of the signs that your hot water tank is experiencing some trouble. This way, you and your family will never have to worry about being without hot water. To help you with this, you might want to take a few moments to review the following signs of hot water tank issues.

Hot Water is Not Lasting as Long

If you have started to notice that your hot water is not lasting as long, you will want to quickly call a plumber. The longer you wait to make the call, the more likely it is that you are going to eventually find yourself without any hot water at all. Usually, this type of problem is the result of a heating element that is starting to go bad. The good thing is that this is a part that can usually be replaced instead of having to worry about replacing the entire hot water tank.

The Breaker for the Hot Water Tank Keeps Flipping Off

Sometimes, this is a problem that has to do with the breaker itself. However, the problem could be within the electric hot water tank, and that is where you want to look first. If your heating element is getting too hot and not regulating everything properly, then it could be overloading the electrical breaker. Since breakers are designed to flip into the off position when they are overloaded, this is a problem that may continue to happen until the hot water tank is repaired or replaced.

You Are Noticing a Small Puddle Of Water

Even if it is the smallest puddle of water, it is not something that should be ignored. It is also not something that you want to assume naturally happens as hot water tanks get older. This is a sign that there is a leak somewhere and there is a good chance that it is only going to get a lot worse. Therefore, you will want a plumber to quickly find the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs or replacements. Otherwise, you might find that an entire tank full of scalding hot water is all over your floor.

With those few things in mind, you should have little trouble spotting a potential problem with your hot water tank. All you have to do then is to find the best plumber for the job. You may want to consider looking through websites of local plumbers, such as www.myrapidrooterplumbing.com, for more information about each professional.

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Why You Should Install A Bidet

The average person may still look at the bidet as a fixture only found in upper-end hotels, rich people’s houses, and Europe. To many, the bidet seems like an unnecessary and slightly silly addition to the bathroom. If you feel this way, you should reconsider your position. Adding a bidet to your home not only adds comfort; it offers other important advantages as well.


Although people do not like to discuss it, using toilet paper can be an uncomfortable and quite messy endeavor. Your skin is sensitive in that area, and dragging dry paper across it can be painful and can even inflame delicate tissues. For people who suffer from hemorrhoids, using toilet tissue can be most unpleasant. Using a bidet to wash actually soothes the area in addition to providing superior cleaning.


For women in particular, using a bidet offers some serious health benefits. Urinary tract infections plague many of them, and a bidet removes both internal and external bacteria, lessening the chance of infection. Also, a bidet allows you to retain the natural oils in the anal area that helps keep the area healthy. If you suffer from certain digestive issues, this benefit is particularly important.

Many diseases can be spread by fecal matter, so eliminating the need to be “hands on” can spare you and your family bouts of debilitating illness. You are at risk of contracting giardiasis, which leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and gas. You can also fall victim to cryptosporidium, which causes fever, weight loss, and a number of digestive ills.


Environmental experts say that switching to bidets will save 15 million trees in the US every year. Currently, we use over 36 billion rolls of toilet paper. Producing the toilet paper also requires a huge amount of water, chlorine, and electricity in addition to the fuel used to transport the final product. The amount of water used in bidets is minimal in comparison to the energy manufacturing toilet paper requires.

For some reason, Americans have been resistant to adding bidets to their homes, although the practice is common throughout most of the world. Once people try a bidet, however, they are often convinced that the practice is superior to using toilet paper for personal hygiene. The comfort and cleanliness they offer make them an excellent choice for any home. Consult with your plumbing contractor about adding a bidet to your bathroom.

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5 Plumbing Myths You Should Know About

If you are a homeowner, you probably already know how important it is to maintain your plumbing system. If you do not, you could have a lot of expensive repair costs down the road. However, if you believe the many myths in plumbing, you could make things a lot worse. Here are five plumbing myths you should know about:

Tiny Drips from Your Faucet Aren’t a Big Deal

You might not think tiny drips of water coming out of your faucet are not anything to worry about. After all, how much water can really be wasted? The truth is, however, that even the smallest leak can increase your water bill and damage the faucet. If you have a leaky faucet, contact a plumber as soon as possible.

Chemical Drain Cleaners Can Clear Clogs

When you have a clog in your bathtub or toilet, you may think that a chemical drain cleaner is the best solution. However, chemical drain cleaners can actually corrode the pipes. Instead, have a plumber fix the issue.

Lemons Will Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Unlike popular belief, lemons will not actually make your garbage disposal any cleaner. They might make the disposal smell pleasant for a few minutes, but they will not clean any of the gunk off. In fact, the citric acid from lemons can corrode the disposal. If your garbage disposal is dirty, you should just clean it with soap and water.

Toilets Make Great Trash Cans

If anyone ever told you that your toilet can double as a garbage can, they gave you very bad advice. A toilet is actually not meant to handle anything other than toilet paper and human waste. If you try to throw other items, such as paper towel, tampons or cigarette butts, down the toilet, expect a big clog.

Ice Cubes Will Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

If your garbage disposal’s blades are getting a little dull, do not think about using ice cubes. They are very corrosive and can damage the blades. It may be time to replace your garbage disposal if the blades do not work well anymore.

As you can see, there are quite a few plumbing myths out there. You definitely should not believe everything you hear. If you are ever unsure about something with your plumbing system, you should not hesitate to call an experienced plumber. He or she will lead you in the right direction.


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What measures do you take to keep your plumbing running perfectly? Although you might feel like you carefully attend to your pipes, the fact of the matter is that most people make mistakes that can seriously compromise the health of those buried lines. In addition to using baby wipes and letting hair run down the drains, you might also ignore warning signs like incoming sewer gases and lined corroded by hard water. I want to teach you how to recognize the signs of ill plumbing, so that you can take matters into your own hands before real problems emerge. You never know—you might be able to save a boatload.

October 2016
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