August 23rd, 2017 Comments Off on Green Laundry Made Simple

Green Laundry Made Simple

No, you don’t need to ditch your all-too-convenient washer and dryer. Then again, chances are you wouldn’t even be looking at this blog if you weren’t interested in additional ways to conserve energy and water. So, let’s have it, shall we?

Best case scenario, your washing machine is eclipsed only by your heating and cooling systems in home energy consumption. Washing machines also consume large amounts of water. It’s only natural, therefore, to consider how to enjoy clean clothes, bedding and towels while using less energy and water. Here are several tried and true methods to consider:

Get yourself a clothes line. Hang your clothes outside to dry, weather permitting. Or, when the weather doesn’t, use an indoor drying rack. The latter might not be the solution for every load, but can be a great asset for smaller loads.

Wear clothes multiple times. We’re not suggesting that you lower your clean clothing standards, just pointing out that not everything you or your family wears needs to be washed after just one use.

Rinse your clothes in cold water.  Energy Star states that nearly 90% of the energy needed to run a load of clothes is consumed in the task of heating the water. By rinsing your clothes in cold water, you can reduce energy consumption in a big way.

Only wash full loads. Filling up your washing machine with water requires energy, and energy is wasted every time you wash less than a full load of clothes.

Clean the dryer lint filter after every load. A lint-free filter improves air circulation and speeds up the drying process.

Check your dryer exhaust. If your exhaust vent isn’t shut tight, outside air will infiltrate, thus forcing your dryer to work harder, and that means greater energy consumption.

Here’s another way to reduce water and energy consumption at home: make your next water heater a tankless system. That’s right, by getting rid of the storage tank system that keeps your water heated 24/7, you’ll conserve large amounts of electricity. You’ll use less water, too, as tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, meaning no more waiting for it to turn hot. And let’s not forget the added storage space you’ll gain by switching to a tankless system, as tankless system heat exchangers are wall-mounted and can be installed just about anywhere, including inside a closet.

To learn more about tankless water heaters, and how to conserve greater amounts of energy and water, contact your friends in the business today: Norhio Plumbing.

No Comments

August 14th, 2017 Comments Off on Why You Should Drink Less Bottled Water

Why You Should Drink Less Bottled Water

We all use bottled water at one time or another to satisfy our need for “clean and fresh”. And that’s true whether at home or on the go.

But legions of people across the land overdo it, thus creating an ecological menace.  Consider these very real and alarming statistics:

  • Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
  • 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled
  • 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)
  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles

Anytime bottled water is your only clean water solution, please recycle.  But for just about every other clean water need, a home water filtration system is the better choicer.  These are the two types we most often recommend and install:

  • Point-of-use (also called “under sink”) water filters remove lead and other impurities as you draw water from your faucet.  The water tank and filter are installed under your sink, and we have different size tanks to accommodate your average daily consumption.  Each point-of-use system comes with its own dedicated faucet, and we offer multiple styles and options to suit your décor and personal taste.
  • Whole-house water filters provide clean, purified water from every water source in your home, including your washing machine, dishwasher, faucets, shower, and all the rest.  This is the solution for people who want clean, soft, and filtered water – no substitutions, please!

More Benefits of Filtered Water.

  • Water filters greatly reduce the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer by removing chlorine and chlorine byproducts from drinking water.
  • Water filters provide the healthiest water for children’s developing immune systems.
  • Water filters provide the last line of defense between the body and the over 2,100 known toxins that may be present in drinking water.

And, of course, you’ll save money on bottled water, about 40% of which is nothing more than tap water. Plus, did you know that about 90% of the cost to manufacture bottled water is for the bottle?

To learn more about your water filtration options and which type of system is best for your family’s needs and budget, contact Norhio Plumbing today. We’re your local water filtration specialists.

No Comments

July 24th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink Drain

How to Unclog Your Kitchen Sink Drain

Isn’t it great when your kids help you clean up after dinner, especially without even having to ask them. It’s such a blessed treat for many parents that they don’t think to impart their knowledge of what can and shouldn’t go down the drain – until, of course, the deed is done.

And there you have just one of countless ways that, for all the caution we practice and preach, certain items like grease, cooking oils, leafy vegetables, and chicken bones end up inside your sink drain or garbage disposal before trouble can be averted.

But that’s okay – sometimes, at least. Because not every clogged drain requires our services to unclog it. So, here’s what to try the next time you’re faced with a clogged kitchen sink drain in an effort to save you both time and money.

A-Plunging We Will Go

If you don’t already have one, you would do well to purchase a short-handled plumber with a flat, bell-shaped bottom – not the flanged bottom that your toilet plunger features. Then, follow these simple steps:

  1. Partially fill your sink with water
  2. If you have two drains, cover the other one to allow the pressure from the plunger to do its work
  3. Cover the drain completely with the plunger and give it a few forceful plunges
  4. Remove the plunger and see if the clog drains away 

If not, it may take a few more repetitions to get the job done. 

Use Your Own Drain Cleaning Solution

Who needs an expensive chemical drain cleaning solution when you can concoct your own out of everyday household supplies? Certainly not you, we trust!

  1. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda (about ½-cup each and pour the mixture down the drain
  2. Allow the solution to sit for about five minutes
  3. Run hot water down the drain and see if the clog has cleared away

Once again, if you don’t get the desired result after one try, it’s worth repeating the process at least one more time.

We wish we could tell you that these DIY drain cleaning solutions will work every time, either on their own or when practiced consecutively. But we can’t. So, for all those occasions when no amount of DIY techniques will get your drain clog, it’s Norhio Plumbing to the rescue. Just as we have been for many thousands of local home and business owners since 1973.

No Comments

July 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Enjoy Unlimited Hot Water with a Tankless Water Heater

Enjoy Unlimited Hot Water with a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re ready to replace your water heater, you have more options than ever. And that’s literally true thanks to new technologies and a relatively new government mandate for greater energy efficiency.

For purposes of this blog, let’s assume you have either an electric or gas storage tank water heater. Most people still do, but there’s an up and comer that’s making steady games in hopes of one day taking over first place: gas tankless water heaters.

 

Here’s what they offer that storage tank water heaters don’t:

  • With the right size system, you can enjoy an unlimited supply of hot water.
  • A system lifespan up to 20 years vs. 10-12 years for storage tank models.
  • With a tankless system, you won’t grow old waiting for your water to get hot. And that’s just one way a tankless system can help lower your energy costs.
  • Your current storage tank heats water 24/7 so it’s ready when you need it. A tankless system, by contrast, provides hot water “on demand” without the constant need to keep the water heated. Thus, even greater energy savings.

Here’s something else you’re bound to like about a tankless water heater: added storage space. Maybe not a ton but, in some households, every little bit counts. A tankless heat exchanger is roughly the size of a briefcase and is wall-mounted, and that’s where the added storage space comes from.

So, if you’re tired of rationing your hot water supply to ensure everyone has enough, contact Norhio Plumbing for more information about your several new water heater options, including a gas tankless system. It’s a smart and longer-lasting solution.

No Comments

June 30th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Unclog a Shower Drain

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

The easiest way to tell if you have a partially clogged shower drain is to look down. Not now, of course, but while you’re taking a shower. Because if the water isn’t draining as fast as it’s pouring all over you and, instead, is rising up to and beyond your ankles, there’s a clog.

Before it gets any worse, you should take a few minutes to try and clear it on your own, but only if you have plastic or latex gloves available to protect you from the bacteria that has formed on the mass of hair, soap residue, shampoo, and what have you that’s causing the clog.

And now, let’s get started:

• Use a plunger: The best kind of plunger for clearing a shower clog is not the kind you use in the toilet but a flat-bottom plunger with either a long or short handle. If there’s not already some water in the tub, pour some so you’ll get added pressure when you begin plunging. You’ll also want to remove the drain cover and plug any overflow holes in your tub with a rag to permit proper airflow. Once all that’s lined up, plunge away and hope for the best.

• Use a bent hanger: If you can see the clog with the drain cover removed, or the clog comes into view after some vigorous plunging, go ahead and scoop it out with a bent wire coat hanger. Just be careful not to push the clog further down the drain.

• Use a plumber’s snake: If you can’t see the clog, your next best bet is to try a snake. Push it dow the drain until you feel the clog, and then wind the handle to break up and remove the clog.

• Use a liquid drain clearing solution: If none of the above methods work, you can try pouring a liquid solution down your drain to break up the clog. Once the solution has settled, pour a tea kettle fun of boiling water down after it. Don’t have an enzyme-based drain cleaner at home? You can substitute a half cup each of baking soda and distilled with vinegar. Let that combination sit for about 30 minutes, and then give it the hot water treatment.

If nothing you’re doing is getting the job done, we can and will once you contact Norhio Plumbing for service. We’re your local service providers for every home plumbing need.

No Comments

May 17th, 2017 Comments Off on The Pros & Cons of Cooking on a Gas Stove

The Pros & Cons of Cooking on a Gas Stove

If you spend enough time watching the Food Channel, you know that all the top cooks and chefs use gas stoves and ovens to prepare their meals.

Does that mean, perhaps, that you’re now beyond curious and seriously thinking about switching from electric to gas at home? Well, to help you along in that process, here are the top pros and cons of cooking with gas.

Gas Stove Pros

  • It’s faster. You turn on a burner, it’s already hot, and away you go.
  • Readily adjustable. Want to switch from medium to simmer?  Just turn the knob and eyesight alone will direct you to the right setting.
  • More uniform cooking. Gas flames cook more evenly than an electric burner because the flames spread themselves along the bottom of a pot or pan.
  • Lower cost. Assuming you already have natural gas, it will cost you less to operate a gas vs. electric stove.

Gas Stove Cons

  • Higher upfront cost. And yet, you will recoup the difference over time from reduced energy costs.
  • Safety concern. You have to be diligent when operating a gas stove or oven to make sure it turns on.  If not, then it’s still releasing gas into the air, and that can cause serious problems.

And yes, if you switch from an electric to gas range and don’t already have a gas connection in your kitchen, you’ll need that too. But no problem there with Norhio Plumbing right nearby to assist you. We’re licensed and experienced plumbers and gas fitters: your assurance of a job well done with abundant safety precautions taken every step of the way. To learn more or schedule a free quote, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

No Comments

May 9th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Choose a Drain Cleaning Company

How to Choose a Drain Cleaning Company

We all know about knee-jerk reactions, as in, doing and saying the first thing that comes to mind in response to some sort of external stimulus.

Touching a hot stove, for example, not only causes you to pull your hand away in a hurry, but perhaps utter a few choice words or two – hopefully with the kids well out of earshot. Or how about when an ump calls your kid out at the plate during a little league game and, from your vantage point, he or she was clearly safe. Do you sit there calmly and shout “that’s okay, honey, you’ll get ‘em next time,” OR loudly pronounce the ump unfit for his present occupation in your own unique style?

Along those sam lines, how are you most likely to react when a drain or toilet clogs up? Well, other than bemoaning your current predicament out loud, you’re likely to try fixing it yourself. When that doesn’t work out, the next step often is to search the internet for a local drain cleaning service, and then hope you’ve chosen the right one.  What happens if you don’t? With any luck, you locate someone who really CAN fix the problem, does so, and you make every effort to save their contact information for future reference.

Has that ever happened to you – you know, paying twice (at least) for the same thing?  We hope not, and to help to prevent that from happening the next time you have a clogged drain that requires the services of a professional, we invite you to call Norhio Plumbing.

Our technicians come equipped for any contingency – not just because of how well-equipped they are, but also by virtue of their extensive training and experience. If necessary, we’ll recommend a video inspection of the problem drain so we can determine – and show you – exactly what’s wrong, and where the problem resides. That, in turn, frequently leads to faster and less costly solutions.

For all those clogged drains that just won’t budge, they’ve met their match in Norhio Plumbing. That’s because we also come equipped with hyrdro-jetters that use high-pressure sprays of water to clear a drain line from end to end.

For clogged drain problems fixed right the first time, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

No Comments

April 22nd, 2017 Comments Off on Why You Need an Annual Water Heater Inspection

Why You Need an Annual Water Heater Inspection

Water heating accounts for approximately 14 percent of your home’s annual energy costs. That makes it the third largest source of energy consumption in your home, trailing only your heating and cooling systems in that department.

That’s reason enough to schedule a water heater tune-up from Norhio Plumbing.  But here are two more:

  • Over time, your water heater will build up sediment which can hinder its performance. The unit also can develop cracks in the combustion chamber and elsewhere that not only can lessen its efficiency but shorten its lifespan.
  • A crack or leak in a gas water heater isn’t just a performance issue, it’s a safety issue. Gas and carbon monoxide leaks represent health hazards that are best avoided through regular inspections.

Here’s just some of what a water heater inspection by Norhio Plumbing can include:

  • Check for water leaks. If your water heater develops a leak, it can lead to wasted water and expensive repairs and safety hazards in your home.
  • Drain and flush your tank. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits build up on the bottom of your storage tank. Draining it periodically will improve system performance and help extend its lifespan.
  • Test the temperature pressure relief valve. Your TP relief valve protects your unit from problems should the temperature or tank pressure exceed normal levels.
  • Clean your burner assembly. A clean burner assembly will promote cleaner burning and help keep your gas bills to a minimum.
  • Check for proper venting of combustion gasses. The goal is to ensure that combustion gases, including carbon monoxide, are safely being vented outdoors.

For enhanced indoor comfort, convenience, and safety, contact Norhio Plumbing today to request a water heater tune-up and safety inspection.

No Comments

April 12th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Detect Water Leaks.

How to Detect Water Leaks.

Ever wonder how much water is contained in a drop? Well, so did the US Department of Interior, who determined that on a gallon of water contains 15,140 drops.

Well, as the saying goes, that knowledge plus a dollar (or so) will get you a cup of coffee.  But hold off on that coffee for just a minute, because now we’re going to get somewhere with this whole dripping water theme.

For starters, any water leak is problematic. Not just in terms of wasted water, but in the amount of damage a steady leak cause to your home and personal possessions. Exactly how much water is a faucet, for example, capable of leaking?  Consider the following:

  • If a faucet leaks 10 drops of water per minute, that equivalent to 500 gallons per year, or 11 full bathtubs.
  • How about if that same faucet is leaking 1 drop per second? Now you’re looking at 3,000 gallons of water or 66 full bathtubs over a year’s time. And that’s a lot of waste.
  • According to the EPA, the average household accounts for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year while 10% of all US homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. That all adds up to an estimated 1 trillion gallons of water wasted annually.

So here’s our advice: do whatever’s necessary to repair a leaking pipe, faucet, or showerhead as quickly as you can.  Every drop of water saved counts.  But for your own sake, there’s more you can do. Periodically, inspect your house and property for these additional signs of a leak:

  • Damp areas in your yard where the rest of the lawn is bone dry (could indicate a break in your sewer line)
  • Damp or wet areas of carpet over a concrete floor
  • The sudden appearance of black mold on a wall or ceiling
  • Water dripping for your toilet shut-off valve
  • Water puddling around the base of your water heater
  • Water on the floor behind your refrigerator, around your dishwasher, under a sink, or anywhere else in your home
  • Brown spots on a wall or ceiling

Hidden leaks can cause structural damage to your home, especially if not detected early on. So, don’t guess at the cause if you notice any of the above warning signs.  Instead, contact Norhio Plumbing for fast and reliable service.  We’ll locate the source of the leak and give you a guaranteed upfront price quote to solve the problem.  Need a plumber?  Norhio Plumbing is ready to lend a helping hand.

No Comments

March 7th, 2017 Comments Off on How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

As the song lyrics go, “Into each life, a little rain must fall.” But since when does “life” have to be synonymous with “basement”?

The truth is, there’s plenty you can do to prevent water from entering your basement, even though some of those measures can be pricey.  Here are a few things you can do on the cheap to help your own cause:

  1. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and are directing rainwater away from your home. Add extensions or troughs if your downspouts don’t extend out at least 3 feet from your foundation walls.
  2. Inspect foundation and basement walls for cracks. While some cracking is normal as a home settles and ages, neglected cracks can expand and allow groundwater to enter your home.
  3. If your home has ground level or below-grade basement windows, keep water out with well covers that secure to the foundation.
  4. Have your septic system cleaned and inspected regularly to prevent clogs from sending sewage and backwater into your home. Even in homes with city sewer systems, a backwater (or backflow) valve is a good defense against what could be a very messy situation.

At Norhio Plumbing, we offer two levels of assistance to remove water from your basement as quickly as it enters: sump pumps, and back-up sump pumps.  A sump pump is your first line of defense to remove water almost as soon as it reaches your sump pit. But sump pumps can fail or shut off due to a power outage, and then what?

Well, in this case, the “what” is a backup sump pump that will activate as soon as the main pump shuts down, no matter what the reason.  For more information and a free in-home proposal, contact Norhio Plumbing today.

No Comments