Category Archives: News

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Routine Plumbing Inspection: A Luxury or Necessity?

How often do you deal with leaking faucets or clogged toilets? It may come as a surprise to you, but in the United States, up to 90 gallons of water go to waste per day given that 10% of all households experience leaks in their plumbing systems. When it comes to taking care of your home, plumbing is an oft-overlooked component of home maintenance. So what is it: a luxury or a necessity?

Water Leaks

Even with all the new and ingenious DIY approaches, long-lasting solutions for leaks are still hard to come by. What’s more, your efforts consume a significant portion of your time as you struggle to identify and repair the leaks without forgetting the cost associated with the purchase of tools.

Apart from flooded floors, leaky plumbing systems also pose other dangers. Mold, for instance, could grow in your walls and under the floor boards. If left unattended, affect the structural integrity of your home. Correcting such long term damage digs into your pocket. You may also need to seek an alternative place to stay if significant repairs have to be performed by your plumbing company and home renovation services, an inconvenience that wastes both time and money.

The most straightforward and economical approach for dealing with such concerns is by hiring professional plumbing companies. Don’t wait until you need major services such as drain line repair or even drain line replacements due to leaks or clogs. With the help of experienced plumbing companies in San Diego, CA, you get to discover problems early enough and have them fixed before they cause extensive damage.

It is important to ensure you hire a reputable plumbing company. Experienced companies will use state-of-the-art equipment to undertake thorough inspections of your plumbing system. As such, they are able to identify possible leak points without destroying your walls or floor.

Routine plumbing system maintenance

While you may see it as a luxury, enlisting a plumbing company for routine maintenance is a cost-effective option that gives you peace of mind. Always remember plumbing emergencies can be quite hectic. If you don’t have a reputable plumbing company’s contact on speed dial, it’s even worse. Before it gets out of hand, consider routine maintenance. Don’t be part the 10% bracket. Always ensure that your plumbing is leak-proof so it will save you both water and money.

However, if your plumbing system requires repairs, ensure that the contracted plumbing company utilizes quality materials. A good example is galvanized steel piping which, when properly installed, has a service life of 30 to 50 years. For more information on the best pipes and plumbing inspections, rely on My Plumber CA today.

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Clogging and Worn Pipes: How a San Diego Plumber Can Help

Plumbing problems are never good in the home, whether you live in New York City or sunny San Diego. Luckily, you can get drain line repair done to make your pipes more efficient. When you want to improve your San Diego home’s plumbing system, plumbing companies often use snaking and hydrojetting techniques to make pipes clean, clear, and more efficient.

Nowadays, many homes that transport water are outfitted with galvanized pipes because they can last up to 50 years. Other households may have older copper pipes that are tarnished and leaving debris behind. Regardless, it’s common for pipes in any home to become worn and clogged over time. Talk about your service options with your San Diego plumbing company to see what can be done for your worn and dated pipes.

Snaking Removes Debris and Clogs

When your drains get clogged with food, product, and hair debris, the water will start to slowly drain in both your kitchen and bathroom sink fixtures. This makes it harder to drain all the water from your basins easily. You don’t want to have stagnant water lying about, which is both irritating and unsanitary. You might find that you have to clean your sinks more often to stop mold growth and other bacteria from invading your home. When you try to clean your pipes yourself by using chemicals to break up clogged pipes, this can actually worsen your situation by damaging your plumbing system in the process.

To prevent having drain line replacement in your home, consider having your pipes snaked with a special tool designed to grab and remove clogs. This process is performed by plumbing companies who have the best tools for the job. This makes pipes of any design last much longer.

Hydrojetting Makes Your Pipes Clean and Safe

If your pipes are coated with rust and chemical debris or have been treated with chemicals for a long time to remove grime, then they need to be cleaned in order to make them safe. Hydrojetting is great for older homes that haven’t had their plumbing attended to for many years and is also great for homes that have recently installed plumbing to remove any leftover residue from drain lines.

You can get hydrojetting done as part of the snaking process, but plumbing companies can perform both of these tasks independently. Plumbing companies often inspect the homeowner’s plumbing before recommending either service to see which service will work best for your home’s needs.

Snaking and Hydrojetting Prevents Future Issues

When you let your plumber take care of your plumbing needs, you allow yourself to prevent issues from happening in the future. Believe it or not, small clogs become major issues if they aren’t tackled early on. Hire a plumber to attend to the small clogs in your drain line when water is draining slowly, your drains have an odor, or you have simple concerns.

Your plumber will give you a quote for their services before they begin their work so you’ll know what to expect as far as your budget goes. When you take better care of your plumbing system, you’ll be able to keep your pipes in great condition, longer. Contact My Plumber CA for more information.

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What to Know About Drain Line Replacement in San Diego

Plumbing problems can take many different forms. For example, as many as 10% of American homes have water leaks. These water leaks can waste up to 90 gallons of water per day.

Other American homes have drain leaks or blockages that may require drain line repair or drain line replacement. By way of background, all the drains in the house connect via a drain line to a main drain line, also known as a sewer line. The main drain line connects the house to the sewer system or septic tank but breaks and blockages can occur in any of the individual drain lines or in the main drain line.

It can be a lot to take in. Unfortunately, the need for drain line replacement could happen at any time without the proper maintenance. Here is what you should know about drain lines and when you should call a plumbing company to repair or replace a drain line:

Symptoms of Drain Line Problems

There are a number of symptoms that indicate you have a problem in your drain line. One of the most common symptoms of a broken, blocked, or damaged drain line is that toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers drain slowly. If a pipe cleaner isn’t able to fix this, it might be a bigger problem down the line.

Another symptom is sewer odors emanating from drains. This can suggest that sewage is backing up into the house, potentially putting the health of your family at risk. In any of these cases, the problem may be caused by a broken, blocked, or damaged drain line.

Causes of Drain Line Problems

Problems with drain lines can arise from a variety of causes. On common cause is the presence of tree roots growing near the main drain line. These powerful roots may bend or break a drain line as they search for water, and they may even cause joints in the drain line to separate.

Physical stress can also put a strain on your home’s drain line. This is often caused by the settling of the home’s foundation or shifting or eroding soil. When soil and minerals enter your drain line, corrosion and buildup of debris will also cause leaks and clogs.

Diagnosing Drain Line Problems

Innovations in technology now makes line inspection and diagnoses even easier. Plumbing companies in San Diego CA can feed a fiber optic video camera through the drain line to inspect the drain line from the inside. The plumber can then look for breaks, damage, and blockages without ripping up your yard for a simple problem.

Drain Line Repair and Drain Line Replacement

Drain line repair and drain line replacement are not do-it-yourself projects. Improper repair or replacement of a drain line can result in water damage or, worse yet, sewage backing up into the house. Rather than attempting a repair by yourself, a San Diego plumbing company can inspect the drain line, diagnose the cause of any drain line problems, suggest solutions, and carry out the drain line replacement or repair.

Sometimes, the drain line merely needs to be cleaned. For example, where grease deposits or other debris from inside the house have clogged the drain line, the drain line may be cleared with a mechanical snake or a high-pressure water jet.

After cleaning, the drain line may still require repair. Under some circumstances, a drain line may be repaired from the inside without digging trenches to access the buried drain line. This can be accomplished by spraying epoxy to coat the inside wall of the drain line to repair any minor cracks or holes.

When the drain line cannot be repaired, drain line replacement may be required. In a drain line replacement, a trench is dug to expose the drain line. Using information from a video inspection of the drain line, the trench may focus on a particular segment of the drain line, rather than digging up the entire drain line, saving you more money in the long run. The broken portion of the drain line is removed and a drain line replacement takes its place.

Are you in need of a drain line replacement? Rely on the plumbing company San Diego trusts: My Plumber CA.

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5 Symptoms of a Damaged Drain Line

A damaged drain has the potential to put your entire home at risk. Between corrosive pipes, tree roots invading your drain line, and sudden shifts in the soil, any number of factors could result in a damaged drain line in need of repair. After all, galvanized steel pipes only have a service life of 30 to 50 years.

If you suspect your sewer pipes need the help of a quality plumbing company, watch out for these common symptoms of a damaged drain.

Constant clogs

The frequent clogging of your home’s pipes can suggest a blockage somewhere down the line. It’s not uncommon for toilets to get clogged occasionally, but when other drains in your house aren’t draining water effectively, this suggests a potentially serious problem. Always call your local plumbing companies in San Diego CA for an inspection when you’re experiencing frequent clogs.

Multiple clogs at once

Drain line replacement is often necessary should your home experience multiple clogged drains at once. After all, there’s no reason for a clog in your bathtub to immediately affect your kitchen sink. When your home experiences more than one clogged drain at once, this suggests a system-wide problem resulting in the need for drain line replacement or repair.

A bad smell

The smell of sewer gas is impossible to ignore. Your home has more than a few methods to prevent this nasty smell from permeating your home. In fact, your plumbing system is air-tight to stop any gas leakage from entering your house in the first place. When you start to notice the unpleasant smell of sewer, this means you may have a crack in your sewer line. If left untreated, this has the potential to put your entire system at risk.

Strange sounds

You should never hear incessant gurgling, dripping, or trickling sounds in your pipes. If you notice any of these sounds after flushing the toilet or washing your hands, consider calling a San Diego plumbing company to make the proper inspection.

A change to your water bill

A sudden surge in the cost of your water bill suggests that a leak might have occurred. Even if this isn’t a problem with your drain line, this could be an issue with your main water line or plumbing fixtures. If you notice a spike in your bill without changing your daily water use, this is a huge sign that something is wrong with your plumbing.

Don’t wait for a bad problem to get worse — if you suspect your home is in need of drain line replacement or repair, don’t hesitate to contact the plumbing company San Diego trusts: with My Plumber CA, you never need to worry about a faulty pipe ruining your home. Contact us today for more information.

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When Is A Clogged Drain A Sign Of A Larger Problem?

Odds Are It’s Not Just a Clog

Clogged drains always seem to pop up at inconvenient times. Or they build up so slowly over time that we do not even realize it is clogged until we notice the water level is at our ankles during a shower. It can be difficult to check your drains for clogs since for the most part the issue is well below the drain so it is all out of sight and out of mind until a problem arises. Before you run up to the hardware store for some Drano, it is important to note that most clogs are actually signs of a problem with the sewer line. Every household has a main sewer line that transports water and waste to the city sewer. When there are issues with the main line, it often affects the drains in your house. When your standard household sink appears to be clogged, keep in mind that there could be a variety of causes and you may find that focusing on the bigger picture will save you time and money in the long run.

Does Your Drain Always Seem to be Clogged?

Keeping chemicals on hand to tend to your recurring clogs is probably one of the worst things you can do. While they seem to be an easy and affordable way to tend to a clog, they really only patch up the problems. It uses a lot of harsh chemicals to break down grease, hair, or whatever mess is causing a back up and pushes it down. This is problematic because the chemicals remain in the system for much longer than people realize and can break away at pipes. And that clog might just end up in the main sewer line and create a bigger issue, and more clogs.

If your clogs seems to come back over and over again, then you definitely should consult a professional and do not pour any more chemicals down your drain. Even if the clog seems to be tolerable and does not impact your daily activities, leaving clogs or allowing clogs to come back over and over can lead to some expensive hazards. For one, there is the health risk of leaving waste, mold, or mildew around for people to inhale. Allow that clog to come back also invites bacteria and make it so that the water build up ends up escaping elsewhere into the home. It can break down pipes and create leaks, or cause rot within the walls if left unattended for long enough. While breaking up the clog, or pulling the wad of hair and gunk out might seem to solve the problem, that clog still got there somehow in the first place. This is why checking the sewer line is crucial when it comes to clogged drains. Just like with our own health, sometimes covering up the symptoms does not make the problem go away.

Trenchless Sewer Lining For Stress Free Repairs

When My Plumber CA inspects a sewer line, we make sure to take every step and precaution to determine the source of clogs and other problems. Problems in your main drain line that might be creating regular or nasty clogs could simply be years of debris accumulating deep into the line over time, or it could be a sign of a new tree root spreading out. A sign of a large scale problem like this would be in every drain in your home started to slow, even by just a fraction. When we examine the main line, we perform a video inspection to get a look inside the line to determine the problem. Opting for a trenchless sewer lining can very likely end up fixing all of your drain and clogging problems without much delay or disruption. A trained plumber can install a pipe liner, which puts a tube coated with resin into a damaged pipe. When the resin sets, it is fused with the existing pipe and makes it corrosion resistant. The best part? The plumber would only need to dig one access hole into the landscape in order to set up a pipe liner. If there is more significant damage, pipe bursting might be the most sensible option. This process takes a brand new pipe and goes into a pipe that has collapsed or is damaged. The old pipe is broken apart, whereas with pipe-lining it creates a pipe inside of another pipe. This does require additional access holes, but your entire lawn is not going to be ripped up to get the job done. Trenchless sewer lining is extremely effective and tends to be a faster fix than traditional trench replacements. Most importantly, it can actually save you time and money in the long run. Rather than tending to small problems as they arise, trenchless sewer lining can tend to the source of the problems and help drastically increase the life of your plumbing system. You will see better performance and less problems, which saves you a lot more hassle later. Plus, it is not as invasive as repairs and replacements that require giant trenches across for your yard for an extended period of time. In fact, repairs usually take less than a day depending on severity without ruining your landscaping. The best part is that this is a permanent solution to many common complaints and can extend the life for 50 years.

Our Professional Team Can Help

My Plumber CA is the leading plumbing expert in the San Diego area. We do not just want to be your plumber when problems arise, but we want to help you get the most out of your plumbing system without breaking the bank. We especially do not want you to have to use our emergency services, although we will be happy to help if you do. We want your plumbing to reliable and long-lasting, which is why we do our best to educate our customers about the services we provide. Should you require a trenchless line replacement, you will be invited to observe the video of your sewer line with us so you can see exactly what we see. Additionally, we guide our customers to have the support the need once we leave. Our blog contains tons of information for common problems, as well as how you can perform routine and simple maintenance on all your drains and plumbing to help prevent significant problems. Check out the blog, or contact us at 619-447-5556 and we will be happy to support you in any way that we can.

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10 Plumbing Accessories to Keep Under Your Kitchen Sink

10 Plumbing Accessories to Keep Under Your Kitchen Sink

There are just some tools you should never be without. Regardless of your level of expertise, we recommend always keeping some plumbing tools at hand so that you are better equipped to handle plumbing surprises (because let’s face it, they’ll happen). Here are 10 plumbing accessories to keep under your kitchen sink (or other convenient location).

  • Drain Snake

You can’t really go wrong with a drain snake (or drain auger, as it’s often called). You can pick water flowing down a drain that has recently been snaked clearone of these bad boys up at your local hardware store or online for relatively cheap. These tools allow you to reach sink, drain, or tub clogs that would otherwise be inaccessible without a professional’s help. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of trolling your shower and sink drains with one of these every so often to remove small clumps before they turn into huge clogs.

  • Toilet Auger

A toilet auger is a different species altogether from a drain auger. Also known as closet augers, they let you clear out toilet clogs much more quickly than if you were to use a smaller drain auger. Toilet augers have a protective coating that prevents them from scratching the surface of your toilet, and they are designed in a way that makes it easier to avoid twisting up the auger cable.

  • Pipe Wrench

image of pipe wrenches in actionA set of pipe wrenches is definitely great to have on hand, even if it’s just for tightening loose piping beneath your sink. It’s good to always have more than just one pipe wrench in your arsenal, since it allows you to grip with one wrench and twist with the other. Make sure to wrap pipes in a towel or tape to protect from scratches fist.

  • Basin Wrench

A basin wrench, or sink wrench as it is often called, is used to access otherwise hard to reach nuts that are typically located beneath your sink or faucet. Try removing your faucet without one – you’ll quickly see how amazing this tool is.

  • Crescent Wrench

Also known as adjustable wrenches, these should be a staple in any household. Crescent wrenches are a must-have for working with hex nuts or other pipe fittings. Again, these are readily available at your local hardware store and even in big box stores like Target or Walmart.

  • Cup Plunger

Cup plungers are what you imagine when you think of a classic plunger. The shape of the plunger head makes them ideal for use on sink and toilet drains, where they can adhere to a flat surface and form a suction seal.

  • Flange Plunger

Did you know that there are different plungers for different uses? A flange plunger, also called a ball or toilet plunger, is specially shaped to fit into the opening at the bottom of your toilet bowl, creating a vacuum seal that helps suck out any clogged materials.

  • Flashlight

Alright, it might seem obvious but can you ever have too many flashlights? We don’t think so. It’s a great idea to keep a flashlight under your sink (and in multiple locations in your home in case of emergencies). You can go with a cheap $5 flashlight from the gas station, or you can invest in more heavy-duty flashlights such as a waterproof flashlight, a spotlight, or even a handy clip-on flashlight for hands-free operation.

  • WD-40

Every had a plumbing fixture that just wouldn’t budge? Spray a little bit of WD-40 on it and let the magic begin. This is a handly supply for squeaky hinges, stuck bolts, and a slew of other issues around the home.

  • Plumbing Tape

Plumbing tape is extremely handy for performing temporary leak stoppage. Made out of silicone rubber, it can be placed over a leak or crack in order to prevent water damage while you wait for a professional plumbing repair team to arrive. You might also consider getting some teflon tape, which is used to wrap around pipe threads and ensure a leak-free seal.

What plumbing accessories do you keep under your kitchen sink?

We’ve shared our top 10 plumbing accessories to keep under your kitchen sink – but what about you? If you’ve got a tool that you think deserves to be on this list, let us know below!  My Plumber CA is the go-to plumber in San Diego and surrounding.  Give us a call for all your plumbing, trenchless sewer repair in San Diego.

 

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Toilet Repair vs. Toilet Replacement – Which is Right for You?

Toilet Replacement vs. Repair – Knowing Which You Need

Bathroom with recent toilet replacementToilets can be fickle things, especially if you have a toilet that is decades old and always clogging. While you can certainly perform repairs on your old toilet to keep it working as long as possible, at a certain point is just makes financial sense to have a toilet replacement performed. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your toilet vs. repair it? We’ll give you some pointers so you can spot when your toilet has flushed its final flush.

Regular Maintenance Can Save Your Old Toilet

We definitely don’t recommend that you neglect your current toilet because you think that repairing it is a lost cause. On the contrary, a toilet that is properly maintained can last decades. It’s important that you take the following steps to keep your toilet looking pretty, smelling clean, and staying functional.

  • Clean inside the toilet bowl regularly. Using a toilet bowl cleaner will prevent hard water stains, bacteria, and buildup that would otherwise make your toilet bowl look grimy and smell gross.  Clean out the toilet bowl at least once a week (more if you operate a business).
  • Clean the outside, too. Debris often collects around the base of the toilet bowl, but a quick spray and wipe will have your toilet sparkling like a new diamond.
  • Don’t flush strange objects. Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet – anything else will surely lead to a drain clog.
  • Check the inner mechanics of the toilet. If your toilet keeps running or won’t flush, remove the toilet lid and check the moving parts. Your chain might need adjusting, or you might just need a new float ball or fill valve. These parts are cheap and can be found at any hardware store.

Know When It’s Time to Install a New Toilet

Alas, when your toilet has seen better days, it might just be time to upgrade with a toilet replacement. If you experience any of the following signs, then it is likely time to invest in a new Newly remodeled bathroom with toilet replacementtoilet installation today.

  1. You keep having to fix things. If your toilet is always leaking or running constantly, even after you’ve replaced parts, then it could be a sign that your toilet is just ready to go.
  2. It never looks clean. As your toilet ages, it develops scratches on the porcelain. These scratches collect dirt and make your toilet look old, dingy, and overall unappealing. Do your guests a favor – get a new toilet now.
  3. The porcelain is cracked. A crack in the porcelain bowl or base is no joke at all. What starts off as a small, hardly noticeable fracture could soon lead to a gushing of water in your bathroom. Don’t wait longer than you need to – replace your toilet ASAP.
  4. The darn thing keeps clogging. Older models of toilets tend to clog easier because they are low flow or low flush toilets. Often times you need to flush the toilet multiple times, negating any potential water savings. Newer models are low-flow, highly efficient, and a much better bang for your buck than old toilets.
  5. You want to save water. Again, technology has come a long way in terms of water saving ability. New energy efficient toilets will save you money on your water bill, so you can feel good about your bathroom and good about your wallet at the same time.

My Plumber CA can is your choice for toilet replacement today – just give us a call and set up an appointment! We offer high quality toilet repair and installation for businesses and residents alike.

Get the $49 AC Tune Up Special – Do It!

Nothing is cooler than our AC Tune up special, dog. Think of all the things you can buy with $49. You might be able to feed the family Taco Bell. But, really, there aren’t many good values out there for $49. How about a summer’s worth of worry free air conditioning with energy saving tweaks to your existing air conditioner? Yeah, that’s what you can get for half a Benjamin.

Here’s what we do –

• Check all refrigerant levels and pressure and diagnose leaks if needed
• Check and clean air filters
• Inspect the fan blade
• Clean condenser coils
• Measure the temperature difference from supply to return

When we’re finished, you’ll have a clean, efficient air conditioner that will provide you with the best performance possible. Do you want more? Get the full 21 point inspection and maintenance for $40 more. In this full HVAC tune up, you’ll also get:

• Inspection of all ductwork, coils, drains and condensate pans
• A full check of all electrical connections and contact points
• Full capacitor inspection
• Thermostat calibration
• Moving part lubrication

If you get the A/C tune up right now, it could pay for itself in energy savings before the end of the summer. After that it’s all savings until winter.
Let’s just mention the price one more time $49! Usually you can’t even get a tech in the door for that price. Right now you get the tech, the tools and the service for 49 bucks!

The Water Impact of Thanksgiving Dinner and How to Dial it Back

It’s no secret that California is suffering from the worst drought in decades. What is a secret is the amount of water that you are about to use when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. Listen, we’re not talking about all the time you’re going to spend washing your hands between touching the turkey and making the side dishes or the amount of time you’ll send in the bathroom after dinner. We’re talking about the amount of water that is needed to put that bountiful feast on the table in the first place.

We’re Not Talking Paula Deen’s Thanksgiving

We’re going to steer clear of the sensationalism in this piece. If you’d like to see some of that check out the Huffington Post product from last year Here’s How Much Butter It Takes For An All-Paula Deen Thanksgiving. Just as a small teaser – it takes 9 1/4 sticks of butter for her thanksgiving. According to Mother Jones.com, each stick takes 109 gallons of water to produce. So Paula Deen is guilty of over 1000 gallons of water use in butter alone! We’re going to assume you aren’t on board with the Butter Queen and we’ll go with a typical thanksgiving spread.

How is Water Use Calculated?

Before we can really talk about how much water you are using on Thanksgiving, we have to talk about how waster use is determined. You’ll notice as you go on that vegetables have a far smaller water footprint than meats. There’s a good reason for this. Vegetables grow using a set amount of water. Then they are picked and shipped. That’s the whole equation. For meats it is different. You have to calculate in the water cost of feeding and housing the animal as well. So, the cost of producing one tomato is only the water cost of growing and shipping whereas a turkey needs to be fed and housed and processed before it is shipped. We have taken our water usage values from several different sources to make comparisons, trying to use the median number whenever possible and focusing on California based amounts when they are known.

Dishing on the Main Dish

Let’s start out with the main dish. If you are a typical Californian family, you’ll either go with a turkey or ham. Turkey comes in costing about 468 gallons of water per pound, while ham is a more thirsty 576 (if you choose to go with a prime rib roast – the average footprint for it is 1779 gallons per pound!) Mind you, this is per pound. So a 20 lb turkey is going to run 9360 gallons of water!

Now we’ve got your attention, huh! How about cranberry sauce? Everyone has a can of cranberry sauce even if no one in the family likes it. The one can – 1559 gallons of water to produce. Yep, over 1500 gallons for that cranberry abomination that holds the shape of the can.

Sides Are Water Suckers

What about some of the more popular side dishes.

  • Mashed potatoes come in at 2528 gallons for that bowl on the table. To put that in perspective, that’s about the size of an average swimming pool. Add in another 50 gallons for jar or canned gravy!
  • You want the kids to drink milk, right? It takes 683 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk!
  • Are you having canned corn? Add another 108 gallons per can.
  • Do you have a bowl of almonds on the pre-dinner menu? Add 1.1 gallons of water for every single almond.

Having a Holiday Drink?

Are you having a drink or two? Consider that one glass (8oz) of:

  • tea is only 7 gallons of water
  • beer is 34 gallons
  • coffee only 29 gallons
  • wine varies between 50 and 75 gallons depending on where it is shipped from.

How Do You Dial it Back?

So – what do you do to dial back this potential 20,000 gallon meal? The very first thing to do is to buy local. Locally sourced foods don’t have to travel vast distances over the road and eliminate the water needed to produce gasoline for the trucking industry. 2.5 gallons of water is needed to produce the fuel needed for one gallon of gas. So the shipping water cost of a food can be found by taking the total number of miles of the shipping trip, divided by the average MPG of a diesel truck (13) multiplies by 2.5. Now that cranberry sauce is getting even more water costly as it travels 3500 miles from the bogs back east. The water transport cost of hat can of cranberry sauce is 673 gallons!

Short of having a vegan Thanksgiving with a Tofurkey, this is the best way to cut down your water cost for the holiday. Source all of your foods locally and eat as many vegetables as possible. Need more convincing? Check out these numbers from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

  • Apples – 10 gallons per serving
  • Broccoli – 11 gallons per serving
  • Carrots – 6 gallons per serving
  • Baked Potato – 6 gallons per serving
  • Tomato – 8 gallons per serving
  • Lettuce – 5.6 gallons per pound

To have a water winning Thanksgiving, the key is fresh vegetables and meat in moderation. Cutting your turkey size and getting a 12 pound hen instead of a 22 pound Tom can cut nearly half of your water footprint. If you don’t want to skimp on the bird, replacing the canned vegetables with local produce can still have a huge impact. Keep serving sizes to 8 oz and pile plates high with steamed carrots and broccoli, baked potatoes and a salad with fresh lettuce and tomato. You’ll be just as full and you’ll be saving the environment at the same time.

 

All statistics were pulled from the following resources.

http://sfwater.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=93

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/water-to-grow-foods-infographics_n_4848161.html

http://foodtank.com/news/2013/12/why-meat-eats-resources

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/11/27/families-learn-how-much-water-thanksgiving-meal-requires/

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/california-water-suck

http://www.gracelinks.org/blog/1143/beef-the-king-of-the-big-water-footprints

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/from-lettuce-to-beef-whats-the-water-footprint-of-your-food.html

http://www.gracelinks.org/285/the-hidden-water-in-everyday-products

The Practical Guide to Indoor Water Conservation

California legislators have recently been in the news for passing a law that would make wasting water a $500-a-day offense. But California isn’t the only place in the country that water conservation is an issue. Water restrictions can be found across the majority of the Southwest and even as far east as Georgia! With that in mind, we created the Practical Guide to Conserving Water Indoors. While everything on this list won’t have the same impact, every little bit counts, – even reusing your ice cubes to water your houseplants! We’ve decided to divide our guide into easy, bite-sized sections that cover that major areas of the home. We’ll start in the number one area for water use in the house, the bathroom.

Bathroom

  • Check your current showerhead for flow rate. If the rate indicated on the head is more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), purchase a WaterSense labeled showerhead t replace it. If you are not sure how much water your shower uses, try to fill a one gallon bucket in the shower. If it takes less than 20 seconds, you will save water by changing it out.
  • Buy a shower timer or use an alarm to limit your showers to 5 minutes or less.  Every minute you shorten your shower will save you over 50 gallons of water per month. A family of 4 could save upwards of 200 gallons per month just by shaving one minute off daily showers.
  • Speaking of shaving, and other things you do at the bathroom sink like brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet while you aren’t using it. You could save 5 to 10 gallons every time you shave or brush even if you have a low flow faucet!
  • Yeah, Low flow faucets are a thing. A normal faucet can use up to 4 gallons of water per minute. Replacing it with a WaterSense labeled one can save up to 2.5 gallons a minute. Don’t want to shell out $100 on a new faucet, buy an aerator for each one at $10 each.
  • Speaking of shelling out cash, one place where you’d be well served by doing so is with your toilet. If your toilet was manufactured before 1992, you’re wasting water with every flush. Even those toilets aren’t the best. They use about 3.5 gallons of water per flush. New, low flow toilets only use 1.6 gallons. Dual flush models allow you to use a 1.1 gallon flush for liquid waste.
  • Toilets use the most water in the bathroom, and if yours leaks that can make it even worse. Check for a flapper leak with a dye test (food coloring is a good choice). Replacing the flapper on a leaky toilet could save 1000s of gallons every year.
  • Plug the drain when you start filling up your bathtub. Adjust the temperature while the tub fills to prevent losing water down the drain waiting for it to warm. Even better, don’t take a bath. Every bath uses 70+ gallons of water where a 5 minute show could use as little as 12.5 gallons.
  • Have your leaky faucets fixed. A single drip every minute adds up to 5 gallons every day. If you have multiple leaks across multiple faucets or showerheads, this could add up quickly.
  • If you’re waiting for the water to warm up in the shower, collect the cool water in a bucket and use it to water your plants. If you don’t have indoor plants, use the water on your outdoor plants.

 

Kitchen

  • If you are doing dishes by hand, fill up one basin with soapy water and the other for rinsing. This can save 100s of gallons over running water. Even better, use a dishwasher. Dishwashers use far less water than washing and rinsing by hand.
  • Instead of rinsing dishes over the garbage disposal and running water down, scrape them over the trash can. This goes for pots and pans as well.
  • Fill a pan with water to rinse your fruits and vegetables instead of using running water. You can save 10 or more gallons this way. Bonus water savings – use the water from the vegetable rinse to water your house plants.
  • Consider purchasing an instahot water heater in your kitchen. It will heat the water on demand and reduce the wasted water you use while waiting for hot water from the water heater to reach your tap.
  • Consider a drinking water pitcher for your refrigerator. This way you’ll always have a glass of cold water handy and you won’t have to run the tap to get it.

 

General Indoor Usage

  • Keep a close eye on your water bill. An unexpected increase could indicate a hidden leak somewhere in your home. Have your home inspected by a licensed plumber if you see this type of increase with no changes in your daily habits.
  • Look for leaks around the house at least once a month. Leaks can be found at indoor or outdoor faucets, pipe connections and along hose lines. Don’t forget to check behind the washing machine!
  • Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when they are full. If you are in the habit of running them daily, you could save over 1,000 gallons of water a month.
  • If you have a fish tank, when you clean it out, pour the water on your plants. The water contains nitrates that are perfect for the plant growth.
  • Set your water softener so that it runs the minimum number of times necessary for the water you use throughout the day. Most 4 person households can go two days between softener cycles.
  • Washing your dog? Do it outside in an area of the lawn needs watering. That way you aren’t wasting water down the drain.

 

Obviously there are some little things that you can do every day that will help you reduce the amount of water you are using or wasting. The real key is being conscious of what you are using your water for.