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Residential and Commercial plumbers and plumbing contractors available in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, and the surrounding Chicago South Suburbs. 24 Hour Emergency plumbers.

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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

**We are moving our old blog to our new and improved website. Too see all our posts visit kevinszabojrplumbing.blogspot.com

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5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

RH Business Marketing Solutions

Crestwood Plumbers

5 Home Improvements to Boost Water Efficiency

It's all too easy to forget that freshwater is a finite resource. With the convenience of public utilities, water conservation isn't a top concern in the United States. Even so, it's one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century, especially when you consider the EPA's findings.

The average family can waste as much as 180 gallons of water each week from household leaks. These leaks account for approximately 900 billion gallons of water waste across the nation each year. As context, that's equivalent to the annual household water usage of 11 million homes.

Clearly, the subject of water conservation demands attention. If the average family is losing that much from leaks alone, how extensive is the problem? More than that, what can you do to alleviate pressure on the country's water resources and participate in conservation efforts?

Here are five home improvements that can increase water efficiency.

1. Rainwater Collection Systems

The strategic placement of special barrels on your property can capture rainwater and reduce your water usage. Many towns and cities distribute these barrels to residents during annual sales, so check if your area participates. You can also purchase them from online retailers and home and garden supply stores.

However, it's essential to note that rainwater can pick up pollutants as it runs over the surface of your roof. If you're thinking about using rain barrel water on edible plantings, you should research the subject in greater detail and take the proper precautions. It's an essential preliminary measure.

2. High-Efficiency Sprinklers

Many sprinkler systems consume far more water than necessary to maintain your lawn and garden. When the water pressure is too high, the system will mist the air instead of providing a proper flow to soak the ground. As the mist evaporates, your plants receive less nourishment and your water efficiency plummets.

Fortunately, a high-efficiency sprinkler system is a simple improvement with both economic and environmental benefits. Certain systems with pressure-regulating stem heads can save up to 45,000 gallons of water per year. That's the equivalent of flushing your toilet 63 times each day, every day for one year.

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3. Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures

According to the EPA, the average person uses at least 20% less water with efficient fixtures and appliances. Since showers and toilets are the two biggest sources of consumption, your bathroom is one of the best places to start. A variety of low-flow products are available today.

More specifically, low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets can make a dramatic difference in your water usage. When searching for products, remember that a toilet should use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, and a shower head should have a flow rate under 2.5 gallons per minute.

4. Automatic Shower Timers

On the subject of bathroom renovations, shower timers are effective in regulating a homeowner's water usage. You simply install the device in your shower, and it monitors your consumption. If you're taking too long, it alerts you and automatically shuts the water off to let you know it's time to get out.

Of course, not everyone likes the idea of a shower timer. When you come back from an exhausting day at work, you might want to take a long shower before you call it a night. While this is fair, a timer will let you know when enough is enough, even when you're reluctant to admit it.

5. Upgraded Dishwashers

Your dishwasher makes your life easier, taking care of dirty plates and silverware without the time-consuming task of hand-washing. While this isn't necessarily bad for water consumption, the model of your dishwater definitely matters. If you have an older dishwasher, it can use as much as 10 gallons per cycle.

An investment in a newer dishwasher can reduce your consumption by almost half. Modern machines require an average of 5.8 gallons per cycle, which make them an excellent option for water efficiency. That said, you don't always have to upgrade your appliance if you clean and repair your current washer.

Start Planning Your Changes Today

As you assess the water efficiency in your home, consider some of the suggestions above. Any of the five improvements on this list can help you minimize your impact and make a big difference to our planet.

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles

Items You Never Want to Wash Down Your Drain

RH Business Marketing Solutions

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Items You Never Want to Wash Down Your Drain

Whether you are washing dishes, your hands or cleaning something up around the house, the sink seems to be a common way that people dispose of all sorts of dirt and grime and while many things are safe for disposal down a drain, it’s important to take precautions to prevent items you never want to wash down your drain from being disposed of improperly.

If you treat your drains like the garbage dump, you will soon begin to have problems with clogs, foul odors and even worse problems that can be expensive to repair. (Source: AnytimePlumbing.net)  Be sure to check this list to make sure you aren’t washing potential dangers down your drain.

Eggshells: Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, egg shells should never be dumped down the drain. When they combine with other waste, they can form major clogs that can be difficult to remove.

Produce Stickers: Those tiny stickers you find on bananas and apples are coated with adhesive glue and are often made of plastic that can get stuck in pipes and cause major clogs.

Grease: Grease is one of the most common substances that people haphazardly pour down the drain. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a person can make with their drain and should be avoided. Grease includes melted fats from bacon, sausage, poultry, hamburger and other meats and once it goes down the drain it can harden and cause sewer blockage.

Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds, especially when combined with grease can be a horrible combination down the drain. Coffee grounds alone can cause serious drain blockage, so it is best to avoid washing them down the sink drain.

Oils: Whether it is salad oil, cooking oil or even mayonnaise, never pour oils down the drain.

Fat: Shortening, butter, chicken or turkey skin, milk and other fats should not be poured down the drain. Milk is not often considered a fat by people, but the fats in the milk can cause harm to your drains.

Condoms: Condoms are flushed down the toilet or even washed down a sink drain more often than people would believe. They should never, under any circumstance, be flushed down a drain. These items do not dissolve, and they will stay inside your drain or in the sewer for years. They will also cause clogs. The best place for you to dispose of a condom is in the garbage can.

Paper Towels: Due to their thickness, paper towels need to be tossed into the trash can rather than flushed down the commode where they have been known to cause clogs.

Flushable Wipes: Yes, they can be flushed, but take precautions because even flushable wipes have been known to clog a toilet. They don’t disintegrate like toilet paper does and they can wreak havoc on a sewer system.

Motor Oil and Other Fluids: If it goes in the car, it should never be poured down a drain. Motor oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid and other car fluids can destroy a drain system, so keep them away. Contact your local landfill to find out where motor oil and other fluids can be disposed of in your city.

Paint: Let’s face it, the sink is a comfortable location to clean paint brushes and paint pans after you paint a picture, a wall or a piece of furniture. If you are painting your bathroom or other room in your home, the sink is also the last place you should ever clean your paint brushes or pans. Oil paint needs to be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility while latex paint needs to be disposed of away from drains or water sources. Check with your local city management office to find out what your local ordinances for paint disposal are.

Medication: Many cities today have return days where residents can go drop off unused medications. Many pharmacies will also take unused medications for disposal. Medications are unfortunately dumped down the drain where they eventually land in rivers and streams where they can contaminate water, kill fish and wildlife and even cause illness in humans. When you need to dispose of old medications, never flush them down the toilet. Instead, contact your local pharmacy or police department to find out where you can safely dispose of the medication.

Cleaning Products: Unless you are using 100% natural, safe for the environment cleaning products, steer clear of dumping them down the drain as they can be dangerous to water systems.

It’s a good idea to clean your drains with a mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water once a week to help keep them clean and to remove buildup. Keeping your pipes clean by not dumping the wrong items down them and by maintaining them with a weekly cleaning regimen is a good way to help avoid an expensive plumbing repair and keep things running smoothly.

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters