Residents of warm-weather areas, such as Jacksonville, grow used to seeing low gas bills every month. Winter, however, can bring an unpleasant sticker shock along with the cooler weather. Many may find their budgets thrown off by this sudden rise in the amount they must pay on a usually low utility.
Almost every room in your home has access to plumbing, and even rooms like your bedroom have adjacent access. From showering, to brushing our teeth, to doing laundry, to cooking, most of our daily activities require water. Despite this fact, most homeowners don’t know a ton about their plumbing. But knowing how to shut your water off can become essential very quickly in the case of emergencies. It can also be helpful if you’re doing some quick DIY plumbing that you learned in our eBook or in one of our blogs.
Water damage in your home can be catastrophic. What starts as a small leak can quickly turn into damaged walls, ruined floors, and thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture repairs – if it can be salvaged at all.
However, homeowners don’t have to allow a little leak to turn into a major problem. To avoid serious issues, though, you’ll need to know more about your home and how you can get your water off if or when you spring a leak.
Ever hear the sound of water dripping but you don't know where it is exactly? Fortunately there are plumbing leak solutions that are simple, effective, and don't cost much money. Most issues can be handled by oneself although on occasion you may need the help of a professional. Below is a collection of DIY tips to make your life easier should the day come when you must face a dreaded plumbing problem.
Reduce your household water usage and you’ll save money on your utility bills, reduce water pollution in nearby lakes and rivers, and extend the life of your septic tank. You can cut your water usage by 25 percent by doing a few things a bit differently with your home appliances that use water.
Toilets use a lot of water, up to 27 percent of a household water usage. Here’s how you can reduce that number:
- Check for leaks. A leak can cause the loss of more than 100 gallons of water per day. Water rippling in your toilet bowl is a sure sign of a leak. Put a few drops of food coloring in your tank and if the dye appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, there’s a leak.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Every flush uses up several gallons of water.
- Reduce the amount of water in your toilet tank. Put in a bottle of water, away from anymoving mechanisms, to take up some space in the tank.
- Replace your toilet with an energyefficient one.This can reduce the amount of waterused significantly, going from five to seven gallons to only 1.6 gallons per flush.
You probably already know that shorter showers are better and that a shower uses less water than a bath. Here’s what else you can do to save water in the shower:
- Install a new shower head or a flow restrictor. These can reduce your shower flow from five to ten gallons per minute to only three gallons per minute.
- Get a tankless water heaterto heat up your water faster so you don’t have to run the shower for a few minutes to get it warm.
Kitchen and Bathroom FaucetsFaucets in the kitchen and bathroom are used multiple times daily, making them sources of potential water waste. Cut down on water usage by trying these simple tips:
- Don’t let the water run. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your dishes, or rinsing your vegetables, turn off the faucet and fill up a bowl, sink, or a cup with water for rinsing.
- Check your pipes and faucets for leaks. If you notice small drips from your faucets, that’s a leak that needs to be fixed. Another way to check is to look at your water meter. Turn off all your faucets and water appliances and check the meter. Wait an hour without using any water and then check again. If there’s been a change, you have a leak somewhere.
- Replace your faucet with high efficiency faucets or install a faucet aerator on every faucet.
Using the dishwasher instead of washing your dishes will save water, but here’s how you can conserve even more water:
- Run the dishwasher with a full load. Half loads uses up the same amount of water for less dishes, wasting water and energy.
- Don’t rinse plates before putting them into the dishwasher. Just remove large food pieces. Your dirty dishes will come out clean without any added rinsing.
It’s time for barbecues, running through the sprinkler, and lots of sunshine! It’s also time for plumbing problems that crop up during the warmer months.
A hundred years ago, hearing the sound of hissing coming from the bathroom meant you needed to check the outhouse for snakes. Today, the hissing you hear is likely to be coming from your commode not shutting down after the tank is full. While this isn't likely to result in a painful bite, your wallet is bound to experience shock at the increase in your water bill. Let's explore the cause of your hissing toilet and what you can do to stop it.
Toilets are rather uncomplicated. Inside the tank are three parts, each with a specific function.
*Flush valve - This is in the middle of the tank and is used to open up the pipe that allows waste to be removed from the commode.
*Flapper - This is attached to the flush valve. When the flush valve is opened, the flapper is pulled upward, opening the draining hole.
*Fill valve - This is where fresh water enters the tank. As the water rises in the tank, a sinker that is attached to the fill valve floats upward. When it reaches a pre-determined point, the fill valve is shut off.
The concept is simple, but something can go wrong during any of the steps. The hissing sound you hear coming from your tank is most likely the sound of the fill valve not shutting off, but the cause isn't always there.
What Can Go Wrong and How to Make it Right
There are three main reasons that can result in the fill valve not shutting off. These are the flapper, flapper chain and the float. Each is easy to fix, but you need to narrow it down to exactly which part is the cause of your hissing toilet.
Flapper - The flapper that is raised to allow water to exit the tank can become warped. When this happens, it doesn't settle tightly over the drain hole, which causes water to continuously leak from the tank. As the water leaks out, the float lowers and this tells the fill valve to add more water.
Examine the flapper and make sure it is flat. Watch as it settles over the drain hole and see if it is placed correctly and provides a leakproof seal. If it is wrinkled or otherwise not fitting, turn the water off to the tank, flush it and remove the the flapper. Take note of the brand of toilet you have and visit your local hardware store for a replacement.
Flapper chain - The flapper is attached to the flush lever of your toilet by a chain. If the chain isn't the correct length, it can keep the flapper from settling correctly in position. If it is too short, the flapper won't settle tight enough. If the chain is too long, it can find its way under the flapper, causing a gap to form and allow water to leak out. This causes the annoying hissing toilet syndrome.
If the chain appears to be too long or too short, simply reposition it where it is attached to the clip that holds it. This should solve the problem.
Float - The overflow on your toilet tank allows for a certain amount of water before it automatically starts draining through the overflow. The float that is attached to the fill valve reaches that pre-determined point and this is what tells it to shut the fill valve off. If the float is rising too high, water will drain through the overflow, causing the tank water level to lower and the fill valve to turn on.
You check for proper float level by taking note of where the overflow is located and measuring down approximately half an inch. If you see the float is rising above that level, you need to readjust it's location on the fill valve so that it stops before it gets too high.
No More Hissy Fits
One of the three above fixes should have your hissing toilet happily quiet once again. If you have done all three and you still hear hissing coming from the toilet, you should call your local snake charmer...er...plumber and have him come and check things out.
Have you been considering remodeling an antiquated and outdated bathroom? As the years roll by, your bathroom goes through a lot of use. The average bathroom today most likely has a leaky toilet, a leaky faucet, drains that run sluggishly, and worn out fixtures that detract from the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. Think about it: your bathroom is one of the most active areas of your home, so why shouldn't it be both highly functional and attractive?
Are you having recurring problems with your toilet? Or maybe you have a bigger problem that needs the attention of a professional Jacksonville plumber? It is important to find a plumber in Jacksonville that is not only affordable, but reliable and skilled. Before you get on the phone and call to compare companies, have these five questions ready.
The process of finding a plumber Jacksonville, FL residents can trust might seem intimidating. Trying to determine which person is right for the job is overwhelming and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you aren’t sure how to approach the task of finding a Jacksonville plumber, consider using the tips below to help you determine who to choose for all of your plumbing needs.