Preserve Water This Summer With These Seven Simple Plumbing Tips

You use water in many places in your house, which makes the idea of conserving it difficult for many homeowners. While it may appear difficult at first glance, there are numerous strategies you can employ to cut down on your water usage and save money on your bills this summer. Here are a few water-preservation strategies you can use to help you this season.

  1. Run your faucet only when necessary. Don’t have it running when you brush your teeth, flossing, or using mouthwash.
  2. Install water-sense plumbing accessories and appliances. New low-flow shower heads and sink faucets can make a large dent in your water usage without hindering water pressure levels.
  3. Take showers rather than baths. Filling your bathtub requires around 30 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower only requires around 25. Better yet, upgrade your shower head to a low-flow version to reduce your water usage down to 20 gallons per shower.
  4. Examine your toilet for leaks. Toilets are known for developing leaks that are difficult for homeowners to notice. Unfortunately, undetected toilet leaks can waste a lot of water. To examine your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank and wait for about a half-hour without flushing the tank. If you see the coloring in your toilet bowl after 30 minutes, it probably has a leak.
  5. Use your dishwasher. Hand-washing your dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher uses more water. Leave this task to the machine, but always make sure you have an entire load of dishes in prior to running the dishwasher.
  6. Upgrade to a water-smart dishwasher. If it’s almost time for you to start looking for a replacement dishwasher, choose a water-smart version that uses less water during its cycles. You may also want to choose an energy-efficient dishwasher to decrease energy usage.
  7. Dispose of garbage in the trash instead of your garbage disposal. While the garbage disposal comes in handy when you need to get rid of certain items quickly, you must use water for it to function correctly. If you can toss a product in the trash, save water and dispose of it manually.

6 Ways To Avoid A Plumbing Disaster This Winter

34463361_s (1)For most people, this is the time of year when spending time with friends and family is top of the to-do list.

Not only are there holidays to celebrate but the cold weather lends itself to staying indoors and spending quality time with loved ones.

Often, that quality time is spent sharing meals and enjoying each other’s company around the table. While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, it is also the part of the home that is the most vulnerable to plumbing disaster during the winter months.

Most specifically, a clogged garbage disposal is the number one reason that emergency plumbers are called to provide support to homeowners during the winter months.

Not only is there a lot more meal preparation and cleanup happening during the winter months but, there is also the fact that the foods that are prepared this time of the year are root vegetables and starchy foods with thick peels.

All of this leads to extra wear and tear on your garbage disposal and eventually, serious clogs. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to protect your plumbing system and garbage disposal from falling victim to a serious clog this winter:


  • Always run the water when using your garbage disposal. Running it dry could lead to clogs because the water helps to push all of the pulp and materials down the drain.
  • Keep in mind that your disposal, kitchen sink, and dishwasher all use the same drain. Be mindful of what you are putting into each of these sections of your plumbing system as the single drain could become overwhelmed easily
  • Make sure to always put vegetable peelings, meat bones and scraps, and oil or grease into the garbage can. Putting these items into the garbage disposal could quickly lead to a serious problem.
  • Pour a pot of boiling water into your garbage disposal drain at least one time per month as a preventative maintenance measure.
  • Use small pieces of citrus peels and ice cubes to keep your disposal clean and fresh
  • Consider starting a composting bucket for your home to get rid of the biodegradable items that are not able to go into your disposal drain

Your disposal is an important part of your winter weather comfort. Make sure you are using it properly and not putting anything at risk. Follow these simple tips for best practices.

4 Ways To Ensure Your Family Has A Properly Working Plumbing System This Winter

36778918_sThere are many things that homeowners can do during the fall to ensure that they home is ready for the winter weather.

The summer weather presents its own set of wear and tear risks for your home – but, the winter is especially harsh on the various systems used to make your house run.

While your heating system gets used a lot during the winter weather – your plumbing system is the one that is most at-risk from the cold weather.

Your plumbing system is both at-risk for reduced energy-efficiency and for plumbing disasters.

Much of your home’s plumbing system is buried in the ground outside of your home. This exposure to the outside temperatures and elements can make your plumbing system especially vulnerable to reduced energy efficiency.

In fact, if you do a study of your power bills, you will likely find that your plumbing system is the least energy-efficient during the winter months.

Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your plumbing system retains as much energy-efficiency as possible:

  • Wrap your water heater with an insulated blanket to buffer against the cold temperatures.
  • Make sure to have your septic or sewer system professional inspected and have any small issues repaired or addressed before they escalate to major problems.
  • Wrap heat tape or pipe sleeves around any exposed plumbing that is installed in an outside facing wall
  • Add hose bib covers on all of the outside hose spigots that are around your home

Use these tips to ensure that your home is protected from the cold temperatures and that the energy efficiency of your plumbing system is intact. Keep an eye on your monthly power and water bills and adjust your efficiency plan as necessary.

Is Your Guest Bathroom Ready For Visitors?

18735751_sAre you looking forward to entertaining guests in the coming weeks? The fall is a favorite time of year to have friends and family over for delicious meals. The foods that are associated with fall are some of the best all year.

Baking is a favorite activity in the fall because of all of the specialty apples that are in season. And, casseroles or crockpot soups and stews are made easy and filling with root vegetables, beans, and rich meats.

All of this eating means extra wear and tear on your kitchen plumbing system though. And, if you’re like most people, your kitchen plumbing was mostly ignored over the summer months in favor of spending time outdoors in the warm weather.

But, if you’re going to have guests coming, who are expecting delicious meals and will be spending a couple of nights with you, it is important to get your plumbing system in top working order. Here are some tips:

  • Look in the cabinets under all of the sinks in your home and make sure there isn’t any pooling water. If you store things under the sink in your kitchen, pull everything out so that you can check all of the corners and sides of the cabinet.
  • Not all materials that make up clogs are vulnerable to the chemicals in the cleaning product. Instead, the product sits for a long time in your pipe and eats away at the pipe material, causing a weakening in your plumbing.
  • If you leave a toilet cleaning disc in the tank, the water in the tank will become highly corrosive to the gaskets and cause it to crumble and breakdown. The end result is a toilet that doesn’t function properly. If you have a bathroom in your home that you don’t use very often, leaving a toilet cleaning disc in the tank is especially detrimental as the toilet doesn’t get flushed very often and the water in the tank is constantly bathing the toilet components in chemicals.

To ensure that your guests have a wonderful visit, and you don’t have the unexpected stress and expense of a plumbing failure, make sure to follow these tips for getting your plumbing system in top working order.

4 Maintenance Tips For Your Kitchen Plumbing

39337284_sThe fall season is a favorite time of year for many people. Not only are there some terrific holidays to celebrate this time of year, but the food and seasonal ingredients are warm and comforting.

During the fall season many people move their cooking from outdoors on the grill to indoors in the oven, stove, and crockpot. While this is great for mealtime, it is hard on your kitchen during meal preparation and clean-up.

Here are some ways that you can keep your plumbing system protected from fall season cooking and cleaning:

  • Pour a boiling pot of water down your garbage disposal drain at least one time per week. First, plug the sink with a plug that has a chain on it. Then boil a large pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the sink, and then pull the drain. The heat and pressure of the water will “wash” the inside of the garbage disposal walls.
  • When you are peeling potatoes and other seasonal ingredients, put a plastic bag on the countertop and peel the foods into it. Then, gather up the side of the plastic bag and throw the peels into the garbage can. This prevents these peels from being put into the garbage disposal, where they will cause problems for the blade and could cause a serious clog.
  • After you have cooked meat, pour the grease, oil, and drippings into an empty tin can. Then, throw the entire can into the garbage can. If you pour the grease into the kitchen drain, it will solidify in the drain when it cools and begin collecting anything that comes down the drain behind it. This will soon lead to a serious clog in your kitchen drain.
  • When you are loading the dishwasher, make sure to thoroughly rinse the dishes and get all of the food particles from them. Putting large amounts of food into the dishwasher can cause the filter to clog, leading to the dishwasher filling with dirty water.

Mealtime during the fall is comforting and warming after a cold day out of your home. But, cleanup and preparation need some thoughtful processes to make sure that your kitchen plumbing is protected. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your kitchen working great!


Spring Drain Cleaning

This year while you’re clearing out the cobwebs and dust bunnies left behind from the long winter months, don’t forget to make spring drain cleaning a part of your spring cleaning routine. Though often left neglected until problems arise, your drains could use some attention if you haven’t had them cleaned or inspected in a while, and spring is a great time to do it.

Spring Drain CleaningSpring Drain Cleaning

While many people neglect to call the plumber until they have a clogged drain, opting for routine drain cleaning is actually a good way to stop problems before they start. Having a professional come to your home annually to inspect and clean your drains has a couple benefits.

  • Having your drains cleaned annually cuts down on unpleasant odors, especially in places like kitchen sinks where food debris can build up and lead to nasty smells.
  • Annual drain cleaning gets rid of debris that could be building up in your drains before it turns into to total clog.
  • Calling in a professional each year for preventative maintenance, like drain cleaning, provides a chance for minor issues to be detected and corrected before they become major plumbing problems.

DIY Spring Plumbing Maintenance

Calling in a professional plumber is your best choice for routine drain cleaning and inspection, but if you’d rather try your hand at DIY spring plumbing maintenance, there is one surprisingly easy trick. All you have to do is pour about 1 cup of baking soda down your drain followed immediately by about ½ cup of white vinegar. Then, cover your drain with a plate or a lid. Mixing baking soda and white vinegar causes a chemical reaction that causes foaming. This foam gently removes built up debris from your drains. Remove the plate/lid after 30 minutes, then run hot water down your drain. Doing this every so often is a good way to avoid clogs and get rid of unpleasant odors.

Broomall Spring Drain Cleaning

If you’d rather call in a professional for Broomall spring drain cleaning or drain inspection, give the experts at John McCuen, Inc. a call. From routine drain inspection, cleaning and maintenance to emergency plumbing repairs, our technicians do it all. Give us a call now at (610) 325-9395 for service in Broomall, PA and the surrounding areas.

Lower Your Monthly Bills Today!

How can drain cleaning help lower your monthly bills?


Broomall Drain CleaningThe concept of drains affecting monthly bills does not cross many people’s minds. Drains, and clean drains in specific, are an important part of maintaining a healthy home. Regular drain cleaning works to the advantage of the homeowner and prevents potential damage and harm. Still, how does it save on monthly bills?

Before we can answer the question, there are a couple of important things to consider. Drains remove water from the home. Drains that are clogged or suffer from build up allow water to remain in the pipes longer leading to stagnant water that attracts odors, insects and allow disease into the home. The reason why most people don’t consider drains having an effect is due to the fact that most people do not realize there is a problem till the drain backs up. The connection between drain and monthly bills is subtle, so it goes unnoticed.

The best illustration of where regularly cleaned drains can save a homeowner money is the family toilet. If there drain is suffering from buildup, this buildup slows the removal of water from the home. Typically, this causes the homeowner to use repeated flushes to force the water through. This increases the water bill of the home. A similar situation occurs with slow shower drains. The water drains slowly, leaving residue in the shower causing the shower to be cleaned more often leading to more water use than should normally occur if the drains were clean.

Most people do not look at their homes as an integrated system, but it is one. Failure or damage to one part can have a profound effect on another part. In fact a home is a series of systems, such as the electrical system and plumbing system. It is easy to tell when the electrical system is in need of attention but often the plumbing system has to fail for the homeowner to notice. Regular drain cleanings are a way to help prevent failure leading to a clean running plumbing system and therefore an overall healthier home. While it might not seem like much, an extra gallon here or a little more water there; however, it all adds up over time. Ultimately costing the homeowner money.

Looking to see how drain cleaning can lower your bills? Call John McCuen Plumbing for quick and efficient solutions at (610) 325-9395.