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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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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Septic System Maintenance – Take Care of your System before There is a Problem

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

People have septic systems for all kinds of different reasons. For some people, they are a matter of necessity. If you live too far away from the sewage treatment plant, then a septic system is the solution. Other people prefer septic systems because these systems add nutrients to the soil naturally. All of the waste that is funneled into a septic system is separated and the nutrients and organic matter is slowly released into the soil of the so called “release field.” These nutrients help create some of the best soil going. Whatever the reason a home has a septic system, however, one thing holds true. If you do not maintain your system properly, you could face a huge repair bill. Failed septic systems can cause an extraordinary amount of damage to property, and a system failure definitely is not going to win you any friends with the neighbors, either. Here is what you need to know about septic system maintenance so you can avoid the problems and keep your costs down.

The first stage of septic system maintenance happens every day. You have to use the system properly in the first place to prevent any major disasters. One of the biggest things homeowners do wrong for a septic system is pouring used cooking oil down the drain. Doing this even one time can clog your septic system. You should always dispose of cooking oil in a container and put it in your trash. Cleaning products are another septic system buster. Bleach, antibacterial kitchen spray, window cleaner and so on – all of these products can wreck havoc on your septic system. It is unavoidable that some of these products will find their way down your drains, but do not pour bottles of the stuff down there. If you need to dispose of old cleaning fluids, simply toss the bottle with the liquid in it in your trash.

Make sure the toilet paper you choose says that it is compatible with septic systems – the chemicals in your septic system must be able to break down the paper or it will clog. If your toilet or drains clog inside your home, make sure any drain clearing products you choose are compatible with septic systems. Many are not, and the wrong product will eat through your pipes.

Using your system properly day in and day out is not enough. Every septic system needs to be professionally maintained as well. A maintenance crew needs to come out, clear your sludge and scum out of your tank and make sure the pipes and pumps associated with the system are in working order and not leaking.

With normal use, your septic system will need a professional cleaning every two years.

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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Septic Systems – What to Avoid to Prevent Septic System Failure

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

Septic systems are a fact of life for many homeowners. For some people, there is no choice. They live too far away from the sewer system in their area for traditional plumbing to be an option. This is especially true for people who live in rural areas. For other people, a decision to use a septic system is one they make for environmental reasons. A septic system is a natural way to add nutrients to the soil.

  Whatever the reason you have a septic system, however, there is one thing that is true: you simply must maintain your system properly or it will fail. Septic system failures are not only messy and disgusting – they are also incredibly expensive to fix and can do thousand upon thousands of dollars of damage to your property. If you want to avoid any problems with your septic system, keep in mind these main reasons that septic systems break down. Avoid these, and you are on your way to maintaining a well functioning septic system.

  Some septic systems are designed to fail from the start because of the soil in which they are installed. You may not have a choice about having a septic system, but if you are considering one by choice, make sure you do your research and determine whether or not your soil is suitable for septic systems. If you have to one regardless, make sure you have more frequent maintenance done to keep the system working well.

  Another reason septic systems may fail is that they are just too small for the job. Don’t try to save money by going with a smaller septic system than suggested for your property and the amount of use you expect it to get. Saving a few hundred dollars up front will pale in comparison to the thousands you’ll spend when it fails.

  Septic system damage is a real problem for some people. Heavy machinery can easily damage a septic system, even if it is underground. If you live in a new construction area, this can be a real problem. Likewise, if you farm your land, septic damage is a real risk. If you will be using heavy equipment on your land, make sure your system is installed far away from where you’ll be using this machinery, if possible.

  Poor maintenance is another problem that causes septic system failure. Undigested solid pieces of food and other matter get stored in a septic tank, and it needs to be pumped out in regular basis. Likewise, if you frequently poor cleaning liquids down your drain or if you use a garbage disposal, your system needs to be cleared even more than recommended. Experts recommend septic system cleaning every two years – more often if you use the system more heavily than normal.

  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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