3 Signs Your Older House Needs a Plumbing Overhaul

Your old house is filled with all those little nostalgic touches that make it unique in the modern world. However, a few things in the house probably should be updated for functionality, and plumbing is one of them. While a lot of the old plumbing processes have remained the same, plumbing components have drastically evolved from what they once were.  Read more

5 Ways to Save Water on Toilet Flushing

Whether you’re an eco-conscious homeowner trying to cut back on water waste or whether you’re looking for water-stretching tips to use in a drought, the toilet is a great place to start. If you have an older model toilet, it could be using as much as 5-7 gallons with every flush. Here are five ways to reduce that number. Read more

3 Benefits of Sewer Line Camera Inspections

Your home relies on its sewer lines on a daily basis. They supply your home with fresh water while also ensuring that waste water flows safely back to municipal processing plants. Yet sewer lines can also be the cause of much stress should they stop functioning properly. This can completely interrupt the flow of your daily life, both literally and figuratively.

Fortunately, modern technology offers plumbing companies new and improved ways to repair sewer line issues. One of the most commonly used techniques for diagnosing a sewer line problem involves the use of hose-mounted cameras threaded down into your pipes. This article will outline three key benefits of sewer line camera inspections. Read more

3 Tech-Savvy Additions for Your Plumbing System

Are you a lover of all things fresh and new? If you are someone who has the latest gadgets lining your desk, your wrist, and your car, invite your love of technology into your home — more specifically, into your plumbing system.

From fixtures that reduce your water footprint to automation systems, you can make several innovative home updates. Keep reading to learn about some of them.

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Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

If you browse your local home improvement store you’ll find various water heater models, including the tankless type. While tankless water heaters have enjoyed popularity outside of the United States for quite a while, they’ve only started to gain traction in the US in the last few decades. If you’re trying to decide whether a tankless water heater is right for you, consider these pros and cons. Read more

Rust and Your Water Heater: What You Need to Know About This Plumbing Problem

If you notice rusty water flowing through your pipes, you need to figure out what is causing the problem and repair it quickly. In some cases, rust may be coming from the pipes. In others, it may be coming from the hot water heater. Here is everything you need to know about rust and your hot water heater.  Read more

What You Should Know About Plumbing Waste Pipe Ventilation

Your home’s plumbing network consists of more than drain pipes and fixtures such as sinks and toilets. It also includes an extensive network of ventilation pipes hidden behind your walls. Vent pipes are necessary for the proper functioning of your drain-waste-vent (DWV) system.

Without vent pipes, your waste pipes would drain poorly or not at all, and they would allow noxious gases to enter your home. Below is more information on this critical component of your home’s plumbing and what you should know about its maintenance. Read more

Caring for Faucets and Shower heads in Hard-Water Areas

The West Palm Beach region has moderately hard water, which means that homeowners and renters alike have to be vigilant about scale buildup inside and outside faucets and showerheads. The good news is that scale is easy to control as long as you take time to work on it regularly.

If you’re new to hard water and don’t know what to do to care for showerheads and faucets, you’ll need only a few supplies, most of which you have at home already. Past that, there are some whole-house actions you can take as well.

White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar – the same stuff you have in your kitchen – is very good at loosening and dissolving scale. You can use this to clean both the outsides of faucets and the interior of showerheads.

Showerheads

For showerheads, fill a plastic bag with vinegar. If you have a handheld showerhead, remove it from the wall bracket and submerge it in the vinegar in the bag; you can rest the bag on the tub or stall floor. Tie a string or place a rubber band around the top of the bag.

For non-handheld showerheads, tie the top of the bag around the showerhead pipe, ensuring that the showerhead is completely covered by the vinegar. You may have to check on the bag periodically and pull the tops up to account for any sagging that pulls the bag and vinegar away from the showerhead.

Remove the bag after about an hour and turn on the shower. This will clear out bits of scale; if you were having problems with scale making the water spray out funny, you’ll see the spray looking a lot better.

Tubs

Tub faucets are a little harder. You can try the vinegar-bag trick, but you’ll have to be more vigilant about ensuring the bag doesn’t slip down. Depending on how the tub faucet is configured, you may have to repeat the process due to vinegar draining out of the bag if the opening of the bag has to rest sideways.

Sinks

Sink faucets are a little different. Most of these have removable screens at the end that you can clear out manually. To do this, unscrew the part at the tip of the faucet, shake out the bits of scale you see and let the tip sit in some vinegar for a while. Rinse off the screen and tip, and screw them back onto the faucet.

For faucets that don’t have a removable screen, use the same process you used for the tub faucet. Keep checking the bag to ensure the vinegar isn’t leaking out.

Exteriors

Vinegar is also excellent for cleaning scale off the exteriors of your fixtures. Spray vinegar onto the fixtures and wipe off.

Note that fancier fixtures made of materials like iron might not react well to vinegar. Test a small spot in these cases; if you see discoloration, don’t use the vinegar.

Pumice Stones

For times when the buildup is so thick that vinegar is taking too long, a small pumice stone is all you need. You can find these in cosmetic sections of drug stores and big box establishments. Wet the scale and the pumice stone and then gently exfoliate your sink or tub.

Pumice stones are rough, so don’t press down – just swipe the top of the scale, and stop to check the fixture frequently. Once you’re close to having only a thin layer of scale, switch to vinegar.

Installing a Water Softener

Scale buildup at the edges of plumbing fixtures isn’t the only issue with hard water, though – you can also get a buildup of scale inside pipes, and hard water can affect how you feel after showering and how your clothes feel and smell after using the washer.

If you notice a lot of scale buildup, you need to install a water softener in the house. Contact a plumbing company to have this done; at the same time, the plumbers can try to inspect pipes to see if there is scale that needs to be cleaned out.

For water softener installation or additional help dealing with scale, contact Cleary Plumbing. Scale is controllable, so start now to keep scale at a manageable level.

4 Methods to Conserve Water During the Summer

As a homeowner, you prioritize making your house as efficient as possible. You know that these steps keep your bill costs low and your local environment more sustainable overall. One of the efforts you likely make is conserving water.

However, for many homeowners, water conservation falls by the wayside as soon as summer temperatures hit.

In this blog, we discuss four methods that you can use to conserve water even when temperatures climb.

1. Consult a Plumber About Upgrades

No matter how much thought and effort you put into how you use your plumbing, HVAC and irrigation systems, your water conservation plans may fall short if there’s a problem in the system itself.

As you decide to improve the way you use water over the summer, discuss your goals with a reputable plumber. Your plumber may suggest replacing certain components, upgrading your systems or even just changing some settings to streamline your water usage.

Watch for common signs of leaks because an untreated leak could counteract all your hard conservation work. Schedule a leak detection appointment if you notice signs like persistent musty odors or visible drips and puddles.

2. Control Your Family’s Water Play

There’s nothing more refreshing in the summer heat than splashing around in a pool or holding a water fight. However, water play can quickly waste large quantities of water, especially when young children lead the activities without any supervision.

Your water conservation efforts needn’t inhibit your family’s fun, just direct your water play choices to the most responsible options.

To reduce the amount of water used for play, set up a small pool instead of running a sprinkler. If you have a permanent pool, fill the pool up sparingly and try to complete the refill early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Cover the pool when it isn’t in use to help maintain your preferred water level.

3. Optimize Your Landscape Watering

Keeping your yard lush and beautiful while balancing the conservation needs of your area can be tricky. Start your efforts by scheduling an inspection of your watering system. This inspection can tell you if there are any problems with your irrigation lines or hose hookups. Repair any leaks or flow issues found during the inspection.

You can also evaluate the condition of your hose and replace it if you notice any issues. Also, you can check that you’re using the appropriate tools for all of your gardening needs.

As with filling your pool, do your watering during the times of day with the least evaporation-namely, in the early morning and in the evening. This step ensures that you use the smallest amount of water to maintain your yard.

4. Pour and Chill Your Drinking Water

When the heat hits, it’s important to keep your family hydrated. But running the tap until the water turns cold can waste a significant amount of water at any time of year. This habit wastes, even more, water in high temperatures.

Instead, fill a pitcher or two and put them in your fridge in the morning. You can also keep your ice cube trays filled, and invest in a reusable water bottle for each family member. Using chilled water or ice water reduces the waste from running your household tap.

Drinking from a reusable bottle decreases your reliance on disposable plastic water bottles. The production of plastic uses massive amounts of water.

Use these suggestions to keep your water usage and costs at a minimum, even during a summer heat wave.

If you still want to do more to conserve water consult with an expert from Cleary Plumbing to learn more about water conservation efforts in Florida.

How Can You Save Money on Your Water Bill?

How much water do you use? Well, if you’re in line with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stats, you probably use more than 300 gallons a day. If it seems like most of that goes to your outdoor sprinkler system or is a result of watering your garden bed, think again. Seventy percent of residential water use happens indoors.

So where is all of that water going? A whopping 24% goes to the toilet, 20% goes to the shower, 19% goes to indoor faucets, 17% goes to the clothes washer and 12% goes to various leaks. Sure, that seems like a lot. But, you don’t have to keep up this type of usage. What can you do to reduce overall home water usage? Check out the ways that you can cut your use and your water bill.

 

The Toilet

Your home’s toilet (or toilets) win top honors as the top water users. Obviously, you can’t just stop using these fixtures. No one wants to go back to the 1800s and install a pit in the ground-style outhouse in their yard. So, what can you do to cut down on your toilet-related water costs?

To start with, you can get a new, low-flow toilet. Older toilets can use as much as six gallons of water each time you flush. In addition, they may not function as well as newer models. Wear and tear may cause leaks that you don’t even know about, which only adds to the high water usage.

Toilets with the EPA’s WaterSense label are certified as water-efficient. These have met the EPA’s strict criteria for performance and the ability to cut down on water usage. A low-flow toilet typically uses somewhere around 1.28 gallons per flush (specific models vary in exact water consumption). Switching to one may save you 25% or more when it comes to your home’s total water usage.

Shower Power

After the toilet, your shower uses the second highest amount of water in your home. One way to reduce shower water usage is to install a low-flow showerhead. This project is a fairly easy fix that is also low cost. If your showerhead was made before 1992, it’s likely that you’re using more water than you have to. These typically used water at a rate of 5.5 gpm (gallons per minute). Newer showerheads cut that stat down below 2.5 gpm.

Along with using a low-flow showerhead you can save water by doing the obvious-taking shorter showers. It’s easy to drift off during a warm shower and forget just how long you’ve been in the water. Set an egg timer in the bathroom that dings when it’s time to get out, or install a shower timer that cuts the flow after a specific amount of time.

Sinks and Faucets

That drip, drip, drip of your kitchen faucet is costing you. Seriously. A leaking faucet at one drip per second can waste 1,661 gallons of water a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That will cost you up to $35 annually.

If you hear or see a leak, it’s time to call the pro in-immediately. A professional plumber can locate the source of the leak, diagnose the problem and fix it correctly.

Washing Machines

Living in dirty clothes isn’t an option. You could waste quarters at a laundry mat, but it’s much more convenient to have a clothes washer at home. Like other water-using appliances, older model clothes washers are much less efficient and may cost you much more in the long run.

Even though your older washer still gets the job done, it’s using water and energy at a higher rate than a new one would. The majority of agitator top-load washers that were manufactured at least 18 years ago use more than 40 gallons of water just to wash an average-sized load of laundry. Newer models can use as little as 13 gallons to clean your clothes. That’s a major difference that comes with a noticeable savings.

Whether you have a leak that’s costing you money or you’re ready to make your plumbing more water efficient, call Cleary Plumbing for professional help.