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Saving Water in Your Home

Category: Plumbing

Plumbing Tips for Saving Water

Saving Water advice and tips from Dean's Home Services

Minnesota’s growing population uses water faster than some aquifers can replenish. We all know the importance of saving water but do you know how to do it?

When it comes to conserving water, the focus is usually on the outdoors. However, it’s also possible to save a considerable amount of water by focusing on indoor water usage. Plumbing systems are often overlooked when it comes to saving water, but they account for a significant amount in most homes. In fact, if you add up all the faucets and showerheads in your home, they likely account for more than half of the total indoor use of water. Toilet leaks, dripping faucets and showerheads, and other plumbing issues can waste a lot of water without you even realizing it.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your home’s indoor water usage and cut back on your water bill as well as your outdoor usage at the same time.

How to Save Water in Your Home

Change out your showerhead with a water-saving model

Perhaps the most obvious place to start cutting back on water usage is with your showerhead. Most showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), but there are models that use as little as 1.5 GPM. Switching out your old showerhead for one of these models can significantly reduce your indoor water usage, and it’s easy to do. For maximum savings, choose a low-flow showerhead that has an Energy Star label. Not only will they use less water, they will also cut down on heat loss during showers, which helps to lower your electricity bill as well.

Use Faucet Flow Reducers

Another way to cut back on water usage at your faucets is to replace the flow reducer or “pop-off” valves with a flow reducer. These devices can reduce the flow rate of your faucets by as much as 50%. If you do a thorough check of all faucets in your home, you will likely find some that are running constantly without need, wasting a significant amount of water. A flow reducer can help fix this problem. In addition to reducing flow, these devices can also help reduce the noise level of your faucets, making them a good option for homes with children or pets. Unfortunately, flow reducers are not suitable for all types of faucets. If you are not sure how to proceed, you should consult a plumber before attempting to replace your flow reducers.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are one of the best things you can do to conserve energy!

The average tankless water heater can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills. Most tankless water heaters are considered 95% efficient, whereas standard water heaters are only 70% efficient. That means 95 cents out of every dollar spent with your tankless water heater goes toward actually heating the water and only 5% is wasted smoke, unlike the 30% that a tank water heater wastes.

Fix leaks

An easy way to waste a significant amount of water is to have a leak, but many homeowners are not even aware of this problem. Most leaks are caused by worn or corroded pipes, but they can also occur at connections between pipes, such as a toilet’s supply line or a faucet’s supply tube. Leaky faucets are particularly common, with one study showing that a startling number of faucets have leaks. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to detect a leak and have it fixed, but you have to know what to look for.

Water-Efficient Appliances

When you are done with your indoor fixtures, be sure to turn off the water. Many homeowners forget to do this, and it can result in a significant amount of water waste. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to use it. Many people do not turn them on because they think they are wasteful. However, new models are highly water-efficient and can save you as much as $80 a year on your water bill. To reduce the flow in your bathroom and kitchen faucets, install flow restrictors in your toilets and faucets. By doing so, you can cut back on indoor water usage by as much as 25%.

Saving Water is Easier with a Dean’s Club Membership

A major benefit of our Dean’s Club Membership is access to Dean’s professional plumbers. During your annual plumbing evaluation, we evaluate the plumbing system in your home and provide you with information that allows you to maintain, update, and save both money and water!

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters: A Complete Guide

When you have a tankless water heater, you never run out of hot water. Plumbers with Dean’s Home Services install hundreds of energy-efficient tankless into homes in the Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN area every year! Rather than storing gallons of heated water in a tank, this compact unit heats water as you need it. This means that at any given time, there’s a ready supply of hot water. But do these benefits come with downsides? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Woman taking shower

What are the benefits of a tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater has a lot of advantages.

  • The big one is limitless hot water. Whether you’re taking a shower or doing a load of laundry, you can always get warm water. This is especially helpful if you have many people living in your home.
  • Tankless water heaters are also very energy efficient. That’s because they don’t store gallons of hot water. Instead, they only heat water as you need it. This means that tankless water heaters use less energy than standard storage water heaters.
  • They also take up very little space and leave a very small carbon footprint compared to traditional tank water heaters.
  • Another big advantage of having a tankless water heater installed by Dean’s Home Services is the rebates that Dean’s will file on your behalf. (We also file permits and many manufacturer warranties are voided if not installed by a licensed plumber)

What are the cons of a tankless water heater?

One disadvantage of using a tankless water heater is that it’s more expensive upfront than a conventional tank heater. While it’s true that tankless water heaters use less energy than standard water heaters, it’s not always obvious how much less. This is just one of many reasons it’s important to use a professional plumber. If you don’t install a tankless water heater correctly, it could use more energy than a traditional water heater.

How do tankless water heaters work?

Like standard water heaters, tankless water heaters use gas or electricity to heat up water. The big difference is that they don’t store the heated water. Instead, they release the water as soon as it reaches the right temperature. That’s why these water heaters are sometimes called “demand-type” water heaters. When you turn on a faucet in an area with a tankless water heater, water passes through a heating unit. This unit uses gas or electricity to heat up the water. While it’s heating up, the water sits in a pipe. That pipe then feeds the water to your faucet. The water only sits in the pipe for about a second before it goes through a pressure regulator. The regulator ensures that it’s the right pressure for your faucet.

How much gas does a tankless water heater use?

The amount of gas that a tankless water heater uses varies. That’s because a lot depends on factors like the unit’s size, flow rate, and gallons per minute (GPM). However, on average, a tankless water heater consumes around 0.8 to 1.1 GPM. That’s around half as much as a traditional water heater.

Overall, a tankless water heater is a great choice for your home. However, you have to make sure that you install it correctly. If you don’t, you could end up using more energy than you should. If you’re wondering if a tankless water heater is right for you, look into local rebates and contact Dean’s Home Services Plumbing to determine if a tankless water heater is right for you.

What are the bubbles in my sink

Are you hearing a strange gurgling sound coming from your sink? Bubbles in your sink and the strange sounds can be a sign of trouble in your plumbing.

Bubbles in the kitchen sink

Here’s why you might see bubbles or hear gurgling in your sink — and what you can do to fix this common plumbing problem.

Why are there bubbles?

If you see bubbles or hear gurgling noises coming from your drain, it means that there is air trapped inside. While air is a natural part of your plumbing, it becomes a problem when pressure builds and affects the seal in your sink’s P-trap (forming bubbles). If there is pressure in your drain, when water flows down the drain, a vacuum will pull air through the P-trap, causing gurgling noises and bubbles.

There are a few reasons why this pressure is building in your sink drain.

  1. The P-Trap is not installed correctly. If the vent is not installed the correct distance from the P-trap, you could get this gurgling sound developing.
  2. Your drain is clogged. When the main vents are blocked, flushing a toilet or draining a tub can cause your sink to gurgle. It can be hard to diagnose exactly where in your home the blockage is. If you can’t find the clog, a professional plumbing technician will be able to diagnose the problem and find your clogged drain.

If you run into any problems with your home plumbing, don’t hesitate to give our professional technicians a call or you can also contact us here.

Follow us on social media for more plumbing tips and tricks!

A sump pump is your home’s first line of defense against a flood. A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. Over time, fine silk or sediment can build up in the pump basin leading to a problem.

Vinegar for Cleaning

Vinegar is a mild acid that can be used as a pesticide, cleaning agent, and food source. Its acidic properties can dissolve residue from smooth surfaces such as stainless steel and glass. It can also be used as a degreaser.

However, vinegar must be mixed with water in order to avoid damaging the surface. It’s only a mild acid but it still can be strong enough to dissolve materials.

For cleaning purposes, it is often best to use a stronger type of vinegar than your regular kitchen vinegar. Here’s an example of a good cleaning vinegar available on Amazon, which packs a punch 6 times as strong as a regular vinegar.

Sump pump

Cleaning a Sump Pump with Vinegar

The best sump cleaner is regular household white vinegar. Not only is it inexpensive, but it will remove dirt and prevent smells. Make a solution of vinegar and warm water, pour it into the sump pit and then give it a rest for the next 10 – 15 minutes. Flush the solution, and all sediment will be cleared. Use a rag to wipe down your sump pump and a scrub brush to remove stubborn dirt or grime

For larger issues, Dean’s Home Services plumbers can help you install, fix and troubleshoot any potential problems.

Maintain Your Water Heater And Save More Money

It’s possible to save money on your home’s energy bills by using some of these water heater maintenance tips.

We use hot water every day, but have you ever wondered just how much your water heater is costing you each year? Even if you don’t know the exact number, we can bet it’s more than you’d like to be paying. An energy-efficient model or tankless water heater can reduce costs, but most people don’t get a new water heater until they need it. Here’s some advice on how to save money from Dean’s Home Services.

Water Heater Maintenance

Insulate The Tank

In most cases, even when your water heater is not being used it’s still storing hot water. Chances are, that stored water is cooling off as it sits which means your water heater has to kick back on to heat the water constantly. You can purchase pipe insulation, a blanket, or jacket for your water heater that can reduce heat loss by 25% to 50%.

Use Less Hot Water

Do you crave hot, steamy showers? Do you wash your dishes with water at the warmest temperature? Whether you realize it or not, these tasks are costing you. Lower the temperature a few degrees to cut down on the hot water demand in your home.

Flush Your Water Heater

Generally speaking, dean’s Plumbers recommended you flush your water heater once a year. However, if your home has very hard water that is full of minerals, you may need to flush your water heater more frequently to prevent the buildup of sediment.

Why Flush Water Heater?

If you don’t schedule regular maintenance to flush your water heater, sediment will build up inside of the tank. After a while, the sediment can cause you to lose water pressure in your system — or even cause a pipe burst. If enough sediment builds up, your water heater could stop working altogether. Flushing your water heater is something that can be done by a plumber with Dean’s Home Services, this is something we do daily for Dean’s Club Members during Dean’s Club evaluations.

Insulate The Pipes

Insulated hot water pipes can raise the water temperature at your showerhead or faucet by 2 to 4 degrees on the same setting compared with pipes that are not insulated. Don’t want to go around insulating all of the hot water pipes throughout the entire house? Don’t worry, you only need to do the first 5 to 10 feet from the water heater.

Maintaining the plumbing in your will help prevent costly issues and plumbers with Dean’s Home Services have the knowledge you need to handle all your service needs.

 

It’s been a hot, hot summer, and with parts of Minnesota dealing with extreme drought, the City of Minneapolis is preparing by asking residents to conserve water. We all know the obvious steps you can take including not watering your lawn and not leaving the water running while you brush your teeth or do dishes. Dean’s Home Service plumbers work with water on a daily basis and have a few more pieces of advice that will help so you can do your part.

Only Run Your Dishwasher and Laundry When It’s FULL

Running a full dishwasher–and a full clothes washer–saves so many resources for you and your family! For starters, you save money when you’re heating fewer gallons of hot water. But also, you save money on your power bill when your appliances are running less often. And finally, you’re saving hundreds of gallons of water over time.

 

If You Don’t Have a Water Dispenser, Keep A Pitcher of Drinking Water in the Fridge

This is an easy idea, instead of letting the tap water run until it’s cold (which in the summer can take quite a while) to fill up a glass or pitcher with cold water, always have cold water on hand by keeping a pitcher of it in the fridge!

Only flush #1, #2 and Toilet Paper Down the Drain

This is a big one for us at Dean’s Home Services.  You may be surprised at the sorts of things people attempt to flush down the toilet which is something the pipes in your home are not designed to do.  This water-saving tip can actually save you hundreds in plumbing repairs–and save taxpayers thousands in water treatment problems.

 

Conserve The Amount of Water You Use with Watersense Home Products

Plumbers with Dean’s Home Services are able to provide you with Watersense approved water-efficient products that will help you save money while protecting America’s water supply.

 

Fix Leaks

Small household leaks can add up to gallons of water lost every day, no matter the size. The most common water leak in a house is probably a dripping faucet or showerhead. While these are not serious problems, they can waste a lot of water if left unattended for long and if you live in an older home in Minneapolis, regularly having your home’s water system checked will save you a lot of money.

 

If your plumbing is working just fine but instead you’re worried about your home’s air conditioner going into overdrive, Dean’s Home Services HVAC team will help cool your house down.  

Pet Owner Mistakes That Plumbers Fix

Pets are like our children, and just like children, they can wreak havoc on our homes. When it comes to your home, there are a number of That being said, one popular detail in our living space that we tend to overlook, which is usually the first to be tarnished, is our plumbing. Granted, bathing your furry friend in the tub may seem like a cute, easy thing to do, but it could lead to a lot of plumbing problems down the line.

Keep your pup and your plumbing happy by avoiding these habits:

pet owner mistakes cat

Pet Owners Need to Stop:

1. Don’t Throw Cat Litter Down the Drain

Even though your kitty litter may claim that it is flushable, there’s a strong chance that it is not. All cat litter tended to clump, meaning that you’ll be in for some serious clogs if you try to flush it

2. Don’t Bathe Your Pet in the Bathtub Without a Stopper

Some dogs and cats have long hair and are shed pretty frequently. If you bathe your pet in the tub, their hair will slowly slip down the drain and cause a backup. You can reduce the risk of a slow-moving drain by either using a drain stopper (or strainer) when bathing your pup.

 

3. Don’t Leave the Toilet Bowl Open

It may seem pretty comical to picture your pet propped up on your open toilet bowl, but it can actually be extremely hazardous for their health. The residue left from cleaners, chemicals, and waste can be harmful to your pet’s well-being and should never be ingested. Make it a household habit to always keep the lid closed and protect your furry loved one.

No matter the size, Dean’s can help with any plumbing problems you may encounter. Our plumbing trucks are workshops on wheels, which are equipped with clean, modern tools and equipment. This allows Dean’s Home Service plumbers and Drain cleaning experts to complete any job quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionally licensed plumbers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your showerhead making a screeching sound every time you turn it on? If so, there may be a number of reasons as to why this is happening. While you’re probably better off hiring a plumber to properly diagnose the problem, there are a few things you can fix yourself to get rid of the noise.

Keep reading to learn the leading three causes of a screaming showerhead.

1. The Pipe is Clogged

If your water is hard and you don’t have a water softener installed, the screaming noise may be the result of the clogged showerhead. A buildup of minerals of your showerhead calcifies, making it difficult for the water to flow freely. To remedy this problem, you need to remove the showerhead and soak it in boiling water or white vinegar. Doing so will make it easier to remove any unwanted deposits.

2. Swap Out the Cartridge

If unclogging the showerhead didn’t work and you still hear the screeching sound, you’ll have to replace the cartridge. The cartridge of the shower valve is what controls the pressure, operation, and temperature of the shower. Finding odd items, such as nails or rocks, in the shower valves are far from rare. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of a noisy showerhead.

3. The Shower Valve is Fluttering

Although it’s a little less common than the other two causes, a fluttering shower valve may be why your showerhead is so noisy. This valve is also known as the pressure-balance valve. It helps the shower valve regulate the temperature and pressure of the water. The mixing spool of this valve can start to flutter as water goes through it. Try turning the valve to hot and then cold at least twice. If fixing these issues doesn’t stop the screaming, you may need to enlist the help of a plumber.

Are you having issues with your plumbing that you can’t fix on your own? Give Dean’s Home Services a call! 

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