You aren’t necessarily a pro just because you’ve been showering regularly since you were a kid. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that you are making shower mistakes that could have negative impacts on both your body and your plumbing system. Check out these common shower mistakes and find out why you should start breaking these bad habits right away.
Common Shower Mistakes
Leaving Your Loofah Hanging in the Shower
Do you leave your loofah hanging up in your shower for months on end? If so, you could be scrubbing yourself down with bacteria. Your shower’s damp environment provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Instead of leaving your loofah in the shower, hang it to dry in an area that is free from moisture.
Letting Hair Go Down the Drain
When you shower, you lose a lot of hair. That hair falls to the shower floor, and if you aren’t careful, it ends up in your drains. While a few strands of hair may not seem like a big deal, they build up over time and form clogs that can be difficult to get rid of. Save yourself a lot of hassle by investing in a drain cover that’s designed to keep stray hair from shower drains.
Taking Super Long, Hot Showers
We know everyone loves a long, hot shower from time to time. It’s a great way to relax after a long day or to warm yourself up on a chilly winter morning. Unfortunately, taking showers that are too long and hot can cause itchy, dry skin. Long showers also result in a lot of wasted water. Cranking up the water temperature in a poorly ventilated bathroom ups your risk of mold as well. Take care of your skin, lower your water bill, and keep mold at bay by sticking to moderately warm, 5-10-minute showers.
With Christmas just a few short days away, the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is a plumbing catastrophe. Whether you are hosting a houseful guests or just enjoying a quiet holiday at home with your immediate family, there are several things you can do to prevent plumbing problems this holiday season. Keep reading to discover how you can avoid Christmas plumbing nightmares.
Preventing Bathroom Plumbing Problems
Your bathroom will likely see increased use this holiday season, especially if you are hosting guests. Encourage those guests not to use your toilet as a trash can by placing a small bin in the bathroom. Remind young children that nothing should ever be flushed other than human waste and toilet paper.
Make sure there is a plunger in each bathroom. They made dealing with minor clogs a breeze and can help you avoid a visit from a plumber.
Install screens in shower and tub drains to catch hair and prevent it from entering your pipes.
Space out baths and showers to avoid running out of water. You may also want to consider turning the temperature up a few degrees to help avoid running out of hot water. Just remember not to
turn it up to scalding temperatures.
Avoiding Kitchen Catastrophes
Your kitchen is the other room that likely sees increased use during the holiday season. If you have a garbage disposal, remember to avoid putting in fibrous foods, bones, grease and non-food items. Flush with cold water after each use.
Never pour grease, oil or fat down your drains. Doing so is a good way to cause disgusting clogs that can really put a damper on your day.
Install a screen on your sink drain. This prevents non-food items from finding their way into your drains and causing clogs.
Christmas Plumbing Repair
If you need plumbing repair this holiday season, Larry & Sons is always here to help. We will have technicians on call throughout the season – including on Christmas Day – to handle plumbing emergencies. From the entire team at Larry & Sons to you, we would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season!
More than half of our home’s indoor water consumption happens in the bathroom. Since the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day, that means that we use more than 50 gallons of water in the bathroom (your toilet uses about 27%!). For more stats on indoor water use, see the EPA’s WaterSense page.
But don’t worry! These numbers are steadily decreasing as more and more homeowners are opting for more eco-friendly bathroom designs and plumbing fixtures. We’ve already talked about how you can create a more eco-friendly kitchen, so this time we’re heading into the bathroom.
Eco-Friendly Bathroom Solutions
1. Cut the Flush
For a standard toilet, every flush uses 3.5 to 7 gallons of water! Low-flow toilets, however, us as little as 1.28 gallons. There are also European toilet models that have a dual-flush option – one for liquid waste and the other for solid waste. Some municipalities even offer money-saving rebates on low-flow toilets and other plumbing fixtures.
2. Shower Savings
Your toilet isn’t the only water hog in your bathroom. The next largest water consumer in your home is your shower and bath, which also uses energy to heat up the water. Like your toilet, there are also low-flow showerhead options available to you. These designs use less water without sacrificing water pressure or comfort. Compared to standard showerheads, gauged at 2.5 gallons per minute, low-flow models at 1.6 gpm can cut your annual water use by 20,000 gallons and save you up to 15% on your water heating costs.
3. Frugal Faucets
Although federal plumbing standards require faucet to run at no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, many older homes still have faucet fixtures that flow at 3 to 5 gallons per minute. As with your toilet and shower, you may want to replace faucet fixtures and aerators. If you don’t have an aerator, they are cheap and easy to install yourself. Although you could shell out for those restaurant-style motion sensor faucets, we recommend just being very conscious of when the faucet is running. Turn the tap off while you are washing your face, shaving, and brushing your teeth. Doing this alone could save you over 200 gallons a month (EPA).
4. Bathroom Detailing
Avoid the hormone-disrupting and asthma-inducing effects of a PVC shower curtain by installing planet-friendly glass doors. Make sure that you have enough ventilation in the bathroom to prevent mold and mildew.
To keep even more toxins away as a result of your bathroom cleaning products, install a bath or shower that uses durable acrylic material. With ‘s high quality materials, backed by the Good Housekeeping seal, your days of scrubbing bathrooms are over. And with most remodels completed in just 1 day, you won’t have to live with a messy and stressful bathroom remodel.
You may also want to consider replacing your piping system if you have polybutylene pipes, leaking pipes, corroded pipes, discolored water, or low water pressure. Call Larry & Sons today to find and detect problems with your pipes and offer budget-friendly options for repair or replacement.
As an exclusive dealer, Larry & Sons Plumbing is committed to achieving eco-friendly bathroom comfort and efficiency.
ECO-FRIENDLY BATHROOM DETAILING
Replacement bathtubs and showers
Bath and shower wall surrounds
Walk-in tubs, step-through inserts, and barrier-free showers
Is your bathroom sink putting a “drain” on you and your routine? Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a plumber? Depending on the seriousness of your drain, you’ll be able to fix most sink clogs in fifteen minutes or less.
For bathroom sinks with stoppers, we’ve found that the stopper is often the cause of the clog. The pop-up stopper creates a perfect obstruction area for hair and other material to get trapped.
Before your bathroom clog turns into a cesspool, learn how to fix a slow-draining bathroom sink by taking out and cleaning the pop-up stopper. It involves getting a little dirty, so get your rubber gloves out, and these other items:
Materials – rubber gloves, bent wire hanger, bucket/container (to catch excess water), and pliers (if necessary)
Clean out everything underneath your sink so that you can access the piping area. Place a container underneath the piping. After everything is clear for you to work, you’re going to need to disconnect the pop-up stopper mechanism. Let’s take a look!
Before getting underneath the sink, raise the stopper lever fully so that the stopper is all the way closed and sealed. Underneath the sink, behind the main pipe running from your sink, you can see where the pop-up stopper mechanism is connected. It is a horizontal pivot rod that is connected to the clevis strap (has many holes in it for height adjustments).
Disconnect the metal arm (or clevis strap) by bending the small piece of metal (spring clip) holding it in place. The spring clip keeps the clevis strap in place and allows you to adjust the height of your stopper mechanism.
After freeing the pivot rod from the clevis strap, you can loosen the pivot rod from the pipe with your hand. If you can’t do it by hand, then a pair of pliers should do the trick. Stick a pan/bucket/tupperware underneath the pipes so that when you unscrew the pivot rod with the ball seal at the end (hidden in the pipe area) water will fall into your container and not all over the cabinet/floor.
After disconnecting the pivot rod, the plastic pop-up stopper should be free to pull out, allowing you to pull it up and out of the sink. But before you pull the stopper out, put on your rubber gloves, because it is about to get gross. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Pull the stopper out and clean it off in a different sink. Do NOT turn on the sink you are unclogging! Clean all parts with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution. Put the clean stopper aside as you grab your metal hanger and bend it into a hook shape. Get deep inside the pipe with the hanger and pull out as much gunk as you can. You can use an old toothbrush to clean the sides of the pipe.
You might also be able to pull some hair gunk through the hole where you took the pivot rod from. If you think that there is a clog in the P-bend of the pipe, you can go ahead and unscrew the P-bend and clear out any obstructions that might be there; however, simply cleaning out the stopper will fix most bathroom sink clogs.
You can also remove the P-bend if you prefer to remove the clog down through the pipe instead of up and out through the sink bowl.
Put everything back together again. After reassembling all of the pieces, while you are down there, inspect everything for leaks and corrosion.
If you notice a problem much bigger than a mere sink stopper clog, call Larry & Sons at (301) 733-5428!
If you are looking for a versatile, natural, and economical drain cleaner solution, we recommend using Bio-Clean. A combination of bacteria and enzymes work together to break down and digest materials in your drains and pipes. Call us for more information!
Don’t forget to check out our maintenance plan; we provide fall and spring HVAC tune-ups, provide 15 % off all repairs, and much more!