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Handy Tips for Saving Money on your Water Bill

Written by J & L Plumbing on . Posted in plumbing Fairfax, plumbing Montgomery, plumbing services, save money, water bill VA

You may be using more water than you thought, here’s some handy tips for saving money on your water bill. Inspect your last few water bills. Did you know that the average family of four uses anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 gallons of water per month? Your lifestyle typically dictates the amount of water used. A running toilet can waste up to 7,000 gallons of water per month while a simple toilet flush could use up to 10 gallons of water each time! There are all sorts of water hogs in the home (including you) that could be raising that water and sewage utility bill through the roof! By following a few water conservation tips, you could enjoy a much lower bill. Consider these handy tips:

  1. Replace all the dripping faucets in your home as you could be wasting 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water a year by allowing those slow drips to continue. Sometimes all it takes is replacing the rubber gaskets into the faucet handle.

  2. Consider installing aerators that allow for flow restriction to reduce the output of water.

  3. Do not operate your dishwasher or washing machine with anything less than full capacity. You are wasting water running them only half full.

  4. Check for toilet tank leaks and replace sticky flushing handles that allow the water to run in the bowl. To test for leaks, put some food coloring in the tank. If you notice any color in the bowl within 20 minutes, you know there is a leak somewhere.

  5. The inner parts of the toilet tank may become corroded or require replacing as they wear out. Parts are quite inexpensive and easy to replace on your own. You should make it a habit to replace them every few years.

  6. Consider installing a low flow shower head as this can save you some gallons of water each month. Or, you can take shorter showers.

  7. Conserve your water by recycling it. If you take a shower, bring a bucket into the shower with you to capture the excess and then use it to water flowers, mopping floors or any other applicable chore around your home. The same principle applies for leftover water from boiling pasta or washing dishes.

  8. Because taking baths uses up to 10 or 20 gallons more water than showers, consider reducing your bathtub trips and shower instead.

  9. Install rain barrels outdoors to capture rainwater and use it to water the garden, flower beds or container plants. This will reduce the need to use the garden hose and thereby reduce your water bill.

  If you incorporate many water saving techniques and still feel you should have a lower water bill, consider contacting your city or municipality that handles water and sewage maintenance. Some city departments offer inspections of the home for free or at a nominal fee where a worker comes out to identify the sources of possible leaks that could be driving your water bill up. By doing what you can to reduce water consumption, you are helping save the environment.

  Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555  In the DC area (301) 204-2555.

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Plumbing Systems: Understanding The Pipes

Written by J & L Plumbing on . Posted in do it yourself plumbing, drains and pipes, plumbers virginia, plumbing, plumbing Alexandria, plumbing Arlington

What comes to mind when you hear the word “plumbing”? For most people, plumbing means their toilet, primarily, and maybe also their shower, sinks and dishwasher. In fact, however, there are many different types of plumbing systems, each responsible for a different kind of water and/or a gas inflow or outflow. If you are a homeowner, or even if you live in a rental and don’t want to have to deal with the landlord too often, it pays to educate yourself about the basics of plumbing systems. Having a base of knowledge allows you make simple fixes to plumbing problems that are easy to manage and to know when you need to call in a professional. Likewise, understanding plumbing systems means you won’t fall prey to a plumber who overcharges you or performs work that is not really necessary. Here is the info you need to know about plumbing systems so you can take charge of yours.

The first type of plumbing is your potable water supply plumbing. This is the plumbing that provides your tap water, the water in your toilet, the water that runs your dishwasher and washing machine – in fact, all of the running water in your home. The source of the water in this system of plumbing varies depending on where you live. Sometimes, potable water comes from wells and sometimes there is a regional water treatment facility that supplies homes with water. Either way, your potable water plumbing system is attached underground to the water source, and through this system of pipes, which go from underground to inside your walls, water is delivered to your home as needed. This is probably the most important type of plumbing in your home.

The second type of plumbing that you need to know about is the plumbing drainage venting system. Whereas the potable water supply plumbing brings water into your home, the plumbing drainage venting system takes waste away from your house. This system includes the outgoing pipes from your toilets, your drains in your sinks and shower and your garbage disposal. This plumbing feeds into the sewer system that is maintained by your city, or in some cases, into a septic system. Back ups of these pipes are common problems faced by homeowners, and they often require professional repair jobs.

The third type of plumbing a homeowner might have to deal with is plumbing that handles rainwater run-off and surface water drainage. Not all homeowners have these systems – it depends on the climate and the land the house is on. Clogs in these systems are relatively easy to fix and can usually be done without calling in help.

There are other types of plumbing, such as those systems associated with water fountains, but they don’t have much importance to homeowners. Knowing these three systems will help you make informed decisions about your home.

Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555  In the DC area (301) 204-2555.

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Most Important Plumbing Regulations You May Not Know

Written by J & L Plumbing on . Posted in do it yourself plumbing, plumbing, plumbing Alexandria, plumbing Arlington, plumbing Fairfax, plumbing Montgomery, Plumbing VA

When most people think of plumbing, they think of the pipes underneath their sinks, the sink drains, and the toilet.  However, plumbing encompasses much more than just the things you see everyday – including waste drainage and water safety issues – and there are therefore some very strict government guidelines when it comes to the installation and repair of plumbing systems.  Here are some of the most important plumbing regulations you may not know:

Board of Health approval – Any plumbing plan that is installed to deliver or drain water – in any commercial or residential property – must be approved by the State Board of Health.  All plans and specification for the plumbing job must be submitted to the board for prior approval before the work begins, and these plans will stay on file with the Board of Health.  Additionally, no plumbing work may be covered or concealed until it has been signed off on by a Board of Health official as meeting necessary standards and falling in line with the submitted plans and specifications.

Registration and licensing –  No plumber can do plumbing work, or even advertise plumbing services or materials, without first being properly registered and licensed by the Board of Health.  Registration requires the submission of a verified and approved business name and place of business.  If a plumber changes business names or addresses, it is necessary to acquire new licensing and registration with the updated information before working or advertising plumbing services.

Sewer or drain connection – Any and all plumbing in both residential and commercial buildings absolutely must be separately connected, from the outside, to a public sewer or drainage system (if provided).  In the case that there is no public sewage system to connect to, the plumbing system must be separately and independently connected to a private drainage and sewage system that is laid fully outside of the building premises.  If a sewage system is not possible or accessible, then an appropriate purification system, irrigation system, or cesspool must be in place.  Additionally, several buildings may connect to the same sewage and drainage system, as long as the connections are separate.

Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555  In the DC area (301) 204-2555.

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PEX Pipe Problems

Written by J & L Plumbing on . Posted in copper pipes VA, do it yourself plumbing, drains and pipes, frozen pipes VA, PEX Pipes, PEX pipes VA, plumbing Alexandria, plumbing Montgomery

Thе age оf metals іѕ passe, аt lеаѕt whеn іt comes tо household furnishing materials. Polymers, plastics аnd оthеr synthetic materials аrе replacing metals еvеrуwhеrе. One ѕuсh new material thаt іѕ rapidly replacing copper аѕ а plumbing pipe material іѕ PEX  pipe (Cross-Linked Polyethylene).

About PEX

PEX іѕ а modified form оf polyethylene. Thе cross-linking оf polymers wіthіn polyethylene strengthens thе material. Due tо thе cross-linking, іt саn now withstand а wide variation оf temperatures, frоm freezing point tіll аbоut 200 degree Fahrenheit. It іѕ аlѕо reinforced tо withstand chemical corrosion аnd іѕ flexible іn nature.

Advantages Ovеr Copper Tubing

Bеfоrе wе talk аbоut problems wіth PEX pipe, lеt uѕ look аt thе advantages оf using thіѕ material аѕ аn alternative tо conventional materials like copper pipes. One major advantage thаt PEX pipes have оvеr thеіr metal counterparts іѕ іtѕ flexibility, whісh makes PEX tubing installation considerably easier. PEX piping аnd fittings аrе easier tо put together аѕ thеrе аrе no bends required whеn turning corners.

Thеу саn bе used іn conjunction wіth metal аnd PVC pipes. Yоu саn uѕе PEX pipes fоr transmitting hot, аѕ wеll аѕ cold water. It expands аnd contracts under heat changes, reducing thе chances оf pipe burst аnd leaks. Thе installation оf shut off valves аt thе supply lines wіth PEX tubing enables easy repair. Thеѕе аrе ѕоmе оf thе advantages thаt PEX has оvеr conventional copper piping.

Problems Wіth PEX Pipings

Evеrу material used іn technology comes wіth іtѕ share оf shortcomings, аѕ а perfect material іѕ а myth. One prime requirement іn usage оf а material іѕ thаt іt ѕhоuld bе аblе tо withstand variable conditions under whісh іt mау bе used. PEX comes wіth іtѕ share оf shortcomings thаt аrе exposed thrоugh іtѕ uѕе іn thе real world, аѕ opposed tо controlled lab conditions. Here аrе thе major problems thаt need tо bе taken into consideration.

PEX іѕ Currently Nоn-Recyclable: One оf thе most significant problems wіth PEX pipes іѕ thаt іt іѕ nоn-recyclable. Thаt means, thеrе іѕ no way оf getting discarded PEX materials bасk іn uѕе. Research іѕ оn tо figure оut ways оf effectively recycling thіѕ material, whісh іѕ аlѕо used іn radiant floor heating installation.

Rodent Menace: A reported problem wіth PEX piping іѕ thаt іt іѕ vulnerable tо rodent menace. Rodents саn chew into PEX piping, causing leaks. Thаt’s whу, adequate measures need tо bе taken tо get rid оf rodent infestation.

Limited tо Internal оr Underground: Uѕе One prime PEX piping problem іѕ thаt іt саnnоt bе used fоr outdoor plumbing. Thе reason іѕ thаt іt саnnоt withstand severe subzero temperatures оr very high temperatures. It аlѕо саnnоt withstand exposure tо solar radiation fоr long. Thаt іѕ whу manufacturers specify іtѕ usage tо bе limited tо indoor оr underground uѕе. Sо, іn case оf outdoor plumbing, thеrе іѕ no substitute fоr copper, PVC оr оthеr kinds оf metal plumbing.

Bacterial Growths: Whеn water usage іѕ limited іn а plumbing system аnd thеrе іѕ clogging оf water, а possibility оf bacterial growth layers developing wіthіn а PEX pipe іѕ real. Hоwеvеr, thіѕ problem саn bе easily taken care оf thrоugh а periodic cleanup оf pipes.

Thеѕе wеrе ѕоmе оf thе prominent problems thаt уоu muѕt consider bеfоrе уоu plan tо go fоr installing PEX tubing. Thе problems аrе minor, except recycling problem whісh needs tо bе dealt wіth аѕ soon аѕ possible.

Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555  In the DC area (301) 204-2555.

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