Winter is Just Around the Corner...
Don't let cold weather catch you unprepared! Avoid frozen water pipes and the mess and expense they can cause by taking a few precautions now. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe and split the hose. Insulate exposed pipes and faucets. Outdoor faucets and pipes and those in unheated attics, garages, and crawl spaces are most vulnerable to freezing. Local hardware and building supply stores have good pipe and faucet insulating materials available. In a pinch, wrap pipes and faucets with a thick layer of newspaper or rags and cover with plastic.
Find the master water shutoff valve for your home's internal plumbing. In most homes, it's located in the garage. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and how to turn it off in an emergency. If that valve is not accessible, call 253-856-5600, to have the service isolated at the meter. Have your plumber's phone number handy. What if you wake up one morning and despite your best efforts your pipes are frozen? Be aware that the frozen pipe may already be broken. If that's the case, as soon as it thaws, water will come gushing out. Be ready to turn off the master shutoff valve to minimize the damage.
WaterSense Toilet Rebate Program...
Toilets account for nearly 30% of residential indoor water consumption. To help consumers reduce water use, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the WaterSense program to identify toilets that use less water while still providing excellent performance. These toilets are certified by independent laboratory testing to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only high-efficiency toilets that complete the third-party certification process can earn the WaterSense label.
If you're in the market for a new toilet, make it an EPA certified WaterSense labeled toilet available at most hardware and plumbing supply stores in a wide range of brand names and prices. In addition to saving water and $ with every flush, you may be eligible for a rebate of up to $50 per toilet. For more information and an application, click here. For more ways to save water in the bathroom, click here for a great article.
Toilet on the run?
According to the American Water Works Assoc., 20% of all toilets can be leaking at any one time and people don’t know it. Some leaks are silent. Thousands of gallons of water can be wasted with a leaking toilet and if that’s happening at your house, it’s costing you money.
Check toilets by pouring a quarter teaspoon of food coloring into the toilet tank and don't flush for fifteen minutes. If the color shows up in your toilet bowl, you have a leak. In most cases, it’s due to a worn out flapper valve and is easy to fix. Age and the use of some cleaning chemicals, or in other cases, naturally-occurring minerals in the groundwater build up on the underside causing the valve not to seal properly. For more information, visit epa.gov/watersense.
Healthy Home Tips...
Looking for ideas on how to be healthier and keep more of the green stuff in your wallet? Check out this flyer from King County's Local Hazardous Waste Management Program on "healthy home tips".