The impact of caring for your home is felt not only by your wallet, but also by the environment. Mr. Rooter offers many resources and services to help keep your home safe and environmentally friendly.
Mr. Rooter recommends environmentally kind drain cleaning products such as BioChoiceES® for healthy pipe cleaning and maintenance. There are many reasons to use these biodegradable, eco-friendly cleaners in your drains, the most important of which is safety.
Faced with a clogged drain or overflowing toilet, it is easy to think the situation justifies a chemical drain cleaner. However, the active ingredients in most drain cleaners give off harmful fumes and leave residues that can wash back into your sink, tub, or toilet. Environmentally friendly drain care can also be caustic to exposed skin or eyes, but will not damage your pipes. Knowing you are using a safe product makes it easy to perform important preventive maintenance and keep your plumbing in good working order.
Replacing a faucet or the inner workings of a leaking toilet are plumbing issues homeowners tackle themselves every day. When buying products for do-it-yourself projects, save time and money by buying a plumbing kit for a specific job instead of hunting for individual parts. Look for a kit that contains low cost replacement parts, such as a flapper, chain, rubber mounting hardware, and float in a toilet repair kit. Any parts you don't need can be saved for another DIY project.
Toilets account for a significant portion of the water usage in you home, and a leak can go unnoticed until your utility bills come in. Improperly sealed flappers can cause water to leak out of the tank, constantly wasting water. Damage or mold on the area around any plumbing fixtures could be indicative of failing caulking, fittings, and seals.
A heavy storm or flash flooding can quickly overwhelm the sewer in your area, causing floodwaters to flow into your home through your unprotected plumbing system. To safeguard yourself against a problem that will require emergency plumbing services, you can install a backflow valve inside or outside your home. Backflow valves temporarily block drains to prevent water from going the wrong way through your system. Some valves are more simple than others, but they range in price from $300 to $600 when installed properly by a professional plumber.
Current plumbing technology has made a variety of opportunities available for environmentally minded plumbers. If you are a residential plumber concerned with water efficiency and sustainable living, you have the option of offering specialized water-efficient renovations and improvements. Plumbing industry trends include upgrading to leak-proof and root-proof pipes, low flow toilets, efficient showerheads, and the use of tankless water heaters. The government offers tax incentives for energy-efficient plumbing through programs like WaterSense from the Environmental Protection Agency. Certain areas of the country have experienced droughts and water shortages several years in a row, making conservation a definite buzzword. Plumbers who take advantage of increased awareness of environmental concerns within the industry may find demand in communities with heightened needs for water conservation service providers. Plumbers should always stay familiar with local issues that could increase their business, and proactively respond to their community’s needs.
The average person uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day, and according to the EPA the bathroom is responsible for almost 60 percent of residential water use. It is no wonder environmentally aware people seek plumbing advice about water conservation in their home.
The first step to adjusting a residential plumbing plan for better home water conservation is proper maintenance of your existing system. Leaks are one of the biggest sources of wasted money and high water bills. Inspecting your plumbing for slow leaks, constantly running toilets, or water damage in the areas surrounding your fixtures are free, simple ways to identify if there is a plumbing problem. Serious leaks should be inspected by your local Mr. Rooter, who will determine the next steps towards fixing the issue and making your home’s environmental impact as small as possible.
The next step towards a more efficient residential plumbing plan is to replace outdated fixtures with those that meet or even exceed EPA standards for water efficiency. Adding these to your plumbing system can range from an easy do-it-yourself project, like a low flow showerhead, to a complex job best left to the experts, such as a low flow toilet. The initial cost of purchasing and installing these water conservation improvements is offset over time by savings on your water bill, especially in regards to an upgraded toilet. An inefficient or leaking toilet can cause unnecessarily high water bills that add up over a 10 year period. A low flow toilet alone uses 20 percent less water per flush. Combine those savings with an efficient showerhead that also uses 20 percent less water, and you see a long-term difference in your utility costs.
It is easy to take clean, readily available, running water for granted, especially as a young person. Teaching responsible stewardship of the Earth starts at home at an early age. Get your kids involved in your water conservation efforts by letting 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 while 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 simple adjustments 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.
A dripping faucet is not only an annoyance, but it can also waste significant amounts of water. Use our drip calculator to determine exactly how much water a broken fixture is costing you.
At Mr. Rooter we take plumbing seriously, but a sense of humor helps in the world of toilets and plungers. Play The Drip Game or Scout’s Game to test your virtual plumbing skills!
According to the EPA, the washing machine accounts for over 21 percent of water usage in the average home. Advancements in washing machine technology have come a very long way. Front loading machines use up to 40 percent less water and 60 percent less energy than traditional top loading machines, but all ENERGY STAR rated machines will help reduce water and energy consumption by up to one third your current cost. Front loading washing machines and some models of top loading machines do not have agitators, which can dramatically extend the life of your clothing and save you additional money long term. Whether you have a new, energy efficient washer or not, always follow laundry best practices such as only running the washing machine if you have a full load, or selecting the appropriate water level when you do have to use less than a full load.
The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for protecting human health and the environment through government policies and regulations. Visit their website for more information about issues and policies regarding conservation. Specifically, the water portion of their website is helpful as a resource for understanding the impact clean water – or lack thereof – can have at all levels. They also provide an extensive list of resources about water conservation and education specifically geared toward children.
The Water Environment Federation is a non-profit organization that provides technical education and training for water quality professionals. They also provide an extensive resource list for the general public, educators, students, and professionals.
Water Use It Wisely has a comprehensive list of 100+ ways to conserve water and a water saving widget you can add to your website.
Every community is faced with unique environmental challenges, so become familiar with your local water regulations and conservation programs.
BioChoiceES® is a drain cleaning system that converts grease in pipes to carbon dioxide or other harmless gas. BioChoiceES is a stand-alone product for residential and commercial use, however we also offer an auto-injection system designed for food service and related industries to help control grease. If you are experiencing slow or clogged drains, using BioChoiceES on a regular basis will to clear drains and keep them from becoming clogged over time. It eliminates odors, clogs, and grease without environmentally damaging by-products, and is perfect for use in green homes. If you have a severe plumbing issue, please contact your local Mr. Rooter at 877-766-8305 for a full drain cleaning service before starting a preventive cleaning routine.