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Simple Tips to Conserve Water

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If your high water bill is causing you some distress, there are ways you can lower it. Are you worried about how your water usage affects the environment? The desire for water conservation can be prompted by many reasons, but whatever the case may be, there are various methods that can reduce your water consumption.

Outdated appliances can be a major cause of water waste in your home. Buying Energy Star dishwashers can increase water efficiency by about 15%, and using Energy Star washing machines can result in 40% less water being used per wash. These models rely less on water, which will ultimately save you money. While it may seem like buying new appliances would be more expensive at first, consider the purchase of upgraded appliances as an investment towards future savings.

When brushing your teeth or washing your hands, make sure you are turning off the tap. Each minute you leave the water running can waste two and a half gallons for standard facets. Turning on the tap only to rinse can be an easy way to conserve water. Installing a new aerator on your sinks can also impact conservation. A WaterSense aerator can restrict the water flow to less than one gallon per minute while still maintaining the same amount of water pressure. Make sure to let pots and pans soak in water to help soften the food stuck on them. This will help reduce the time it takes to wash them later on.

When you are waiting for your shower to warm up, put a bucket under the facet to collect the water. This water can be repurposed for other things such as watering your plants. You can turn the waste into something of value. Reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower can be a gigantic step in water conservation. An old shower head can produce up to five gallons of liquid each minute, so shortening your showers makes a tremendous difference.

The toilet is the greatest exhaust of water in your house. A low-flow toilet can cut down on gallons of waste during each flush. Installing a half gallon jug of water in the toilet tank can achieve the same outcome.

Here are some more general tips to keep in mind. Look out for leaky plumbing. A slow leak may be hard to detect, and it can be happening without you knowing. Leakage can also cause a sudden spike in your bills, so make sure to pay attention to the amount every month. If you need to water outside plants it is best to do so in the early morning. The cooler temperature means less water will be lost to evaporation. Installing a rain barrel can allow you to recycle rainwater for the purpose of maintaining your plants or lawn. Be sure to only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have full loads.

Following these simple tips can save hundreds of gallons of water each year. For assistance in improving your home’s water conservation abilities, contact Richardson Plumbing. We have over twenty years of experience, so you can be confident you are receiving quality service from knowledgeable professionals. Richardson Plumbing is located in Florence, KY, and we provide service to Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

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Taking Care of Limescale in Northern KY

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Tired of walking past your sink and having to stop and clean what seems like endless residue on your faucet? Are you even more tired of feeling as though you are having to do that more often than you should? Limescale is a pesky problem that can wreak havoc on your pristine kitchen and other appliances. But, have no worries because limescale is both treatable and preventable. After reading this, you can have your surfaces shining again in no time.

Limescale is a natural occurrence from water with higher concentrations of minerals like calcium, iron, or magnesium. The production of limescale does not mean that your water is unclean, but rather that it has an above-average amount of minerals in its composition, contributing to production of this whitish, hard, chalky residue on your water fixtures. This film is most commonly found on or around equipment that hold significant amounts of water, such as kettles, hot water boilers, and hot-water heating systems that are not maintained. Limescale is also referred to as hard water, which although not harmful, is still difficult to remove and not the prettiest sight to see.

Drinking the water affected by limescale is not harmful, but then again it may not be the most appetizing. The high concentration of minerals oftentimes changes the taste of the water and the texture of items washed in it. For example, clothes may be scratchier and dishes may have some rough spots as a result of being washed in hard water. Similarly, if the limescale builds up enough around faucets or showerheads, then you will oftentimes have to deal with removing clogs alongside the aesthetic impacts of limescale.

You can spend hours fervently scrubbing away at limescale, only to find yourself exhausted and with hardly anything to show for all your hard work. The mineral makeup of this unique residue makes it resilient to most basic cleaning methods. Therefore, the most effective method of removing limescale is to break it down using a mild acidic solution. Any old vinegar will work for this trick. Although it is still practical to remove the limescale on the outside of your equipment, it is best to remove the fixtures, if possible, and soak them in the solution to clean both the inside and outside. After soaking any affected equipment, the limescale should be mostly gone and the rest should be easily removeable with some scrubbing. If it is absolutely impossible to remove the fixtures, then try to soak as much of the equipment as possible to ensure that all limescale is dissolved.

If your limescale is a little more stubborn than most, you may need to get a stronger solution than vinegar. There are many chemical solutions designed for cleaning this type of pesky problem, just make sure that it is specifically designed for lime, rust, or calcium. However, if you do choose this route, be cautious when applying the solution because they are harsher than vinegar and can cause damage to both your appliances and your skin.

Although treating and removing limescale may seem like a quick fix, it is best to take precautions to prevent it from coming back. If the problem persists, then it is best to talk to a plumber about changing to a water-softening system. To test your water for the possibility of limescale or to discuss your options in terms of removing the problem, contact us at Richardson Plumbing for a quick, effective solution at a great price. We are located in Florence, Kentucky and serve the greater Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati areas.

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What You Need to Know About Boil Water Advisories

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With everything that has happened recently in Flint, Michigan, water quality has been a hot topic in recent months. If you read our post on Kentucky’s water, then you know that largely, Kentucky has very high-quality water, and Kentuckians can drink tap water without fear of contamination. But that doesn’t mean that occasionally there aren’t water quality based emergencies. If you want to learn more about boil water advisories, then keep reading and let Richardson Plumbing of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati inform you on the topic.

 

What is a boil water advisory?

A boil water advisory is typically issued by a governmental body to its constituents to caution them against drinking contaminated water. When boil water advisories are issued, the contaminants are usually viruses, bacteria, or protozoa, and the heat from boiling water is intended to kill them, and thus make water safe to drink. Generally, the contaminant that is being targeted is Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli, which is a microbiological pathogen that can get into a water supply due to sewage contamination. This can happen in a number of ways, but one of the most common is due to a loss of water system pressure, which can make a water supply more susceptible to contamination.

 

What do you do during a boil water advisory?

The protocol for a boil water advisory is largely contained within the name. When a boil water advisory has been issued, it is recommended to boil all drinking water for a minimum of one full minute to kill any contaminants. If you are at an altitude over 2,000 meters, it is recommended to increase the boil time to three minutes, as the altitude lowers the boiling point of water and thus even boiling water may not be hot enough to immediately kill bacteria.

 

If you are under a boil water advisory, or have any other plumbing related questions, do not hesitate to contact Richardson Plumbing. We have years of combined plumbing experience, and would be more than happy to answer any of your questions. We are located in Florence, Kentucky, but we also proudly serve all of Northern Kentucky, as well as Cincinnati. Please contact us today for any of your plumbing needs!

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What You Need to Know About Kentucky’s Water

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If you live in Kentucky but have friends or relatives in other states, you may have heard something surprising from them: they don’t drink their own tap water, instead relying on bottled water or water purifiers to get water from their taps. As someone who grew up in Kentucky, I always found this hard to believe: after all, at the end of the day, water is just water, isn’t it? But, as with just about everything else in Kentucky, our water is something that sets us apart from other areas of the country, and of the world.  If you are interested in learning more about Kentucky’s water, and how this may affect your plumbing, then keep reading and let Richardson Plumbing of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati explain.

 

It all comes down to water

Kentucky is famous for a lot of things, but at the end of the day, our two biggest claims to fame are horses and bourbon. But have you ever stopped to think about why Kentucky has those two particular resources? Many of us haven’t. You may have heard that we have such fast race horses because of our bluegrass, but that has to come from somewhere. Actually, the reason we have both such fantastic race horses and such fantastic bourbon has to do with our water. Kentucky’s water supply is broken down into two different sources: surface water, such as rivers and lakes, and ground water, which is held in underground aquifers. While much of Kentucky’s surface water has experienced pollution due to its proximity to agriculture, Kentucky’s ground water is exceptional for one particular feature: limestone. Roughly twenty-five percent of Kentucky’s ground water is stored or runs through something known as “karst,” which is pockets of eroded limestone. This limestone serves to naturally filter water, producing ground water that is free of pollutants and heavy metals, such as lead.

 

It may be hard on your pipes

All of this karst is great for bourbon and horses, but it’s not as great for your pipes. Because so much of Kentucky’s water passes through limestone, this results in Kentucky having very mineral-rich, or “hard,” water. Hard water tastes great to drink straight from the tap (there is a reason you can buy fancy “mineral-enriched” bottled water) but can have adverse effects on your plumbing. Hard water can result in mineral or lime buildup on your taps and drains, which can ultimately result in clogging or other plumbing issues. If you are experiencing plumbing issues due to Kentucky’s hard water, contact Richardson Plumbing. We are located in Florence, Kentucky, but we proudly serve Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

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