Three Water Conservation Efforts to Try This March

Three Ways to Save Some Green for St. Patrick’s Day 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average household spends over $1,000 on water costs yearly. That’s just one family! Thankfully, there are many things homeowners can do to reduce their water consumption and save money on water bills. This blog will share three tips to help save both water and money. 

Turning Off the Water During Routine Tasks 

tap waterSome easy habit changes that can save a lot of water include:

  • Turning off the water when shaving: Shutting the water off when shaving can save 10 gallons of water per shave. 
  • Turning off the tap when brushing teeth: Keeping the water on while brushing one’s teeth can waste 8 gallons of water daily. 
  • Shutting off the faucet when washing dishes: Turning off the kitchen sink faucet while washing dishes by hand can save 10 gallons of water.

Installing Water-Saving Fixtures and Appliances 

Water-saving plumbing fixtures are becoming increasingly popular for households and businesses looking to reduce their water consumption and save money. Examples of water-saving appliances include low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. 

Low-flow showerheads use less than 2 gallons of water per minute, compared to standard showerheads that use around 2.5 gallons per minute. This seemingly small difference can add up over time for savings. Low-flush toilets use less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, compared to old toilets may use about 3.5 gallons per flush. Households can use at least 20 percent less water by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances in their homes, leading to significant savings. 

Prevent Toilet Issues 

toiletThe only things that should go down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Flushing anything else risks causing toilet clogs, and clogged toilets can also be wastewater. When a toilet is clogged, it uses additional gallons of water to flush the obstruction. 

Clogs can also occasionally result in the toilet's flapper valve staying open for an extended period, allowing water to run continually and waste significant amounts of water. To prevent toilet clogs, homeowners should refrain from flushing anything other than toilet paper down a toilet. 

About RCL Mechanical 

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated plumbing, heating, and cooling business serving Taunton and the surrounding communities. They offer flat-rate prices, a membership plan, and the latest technology. Call them today for clogged toilet repair or bathroom and kitchen plumbing services in Taunton, MA.

Get to Know the Home's Boiler Better

Three Things Homeowners Might Not Know About Their Boilers 

A home’s boiler plays an important role; it heats the house even during the coldest months of the year. However, there are many things about these systems that homeowners may not know––which can be critical to a properly working system or help them decide on their next heater replacement. 

Some things to know about owning and operating a boiler include: 

Many Boilers Don’t Boil Water 

boilThere’s a good reason why boilers have their names. When boilers were invented in the 1860s, they boiled water, then heated homes using hot water vapor. For many years, the basic design remained the same. That is until engineers came up with safer, alternative ways of designing these appliances. 

Now, most boilers operate using a heat exchanger instead of boiling water. Instead of boiling water in a storage tank, the boiler’s pipes heat water, sending that heat to various parts of the home. There are many advantages that modern-day boilers have over their older counterparts. Because many heat water on demand, they don’t rely on tanks, making them more energy efficient. They also offer more flexibility when it comes to their purchase and installation. 

Boilers Offer an Eco-Friendly Option 

Boilers, especially those certified by EnergyStar, offer an eco-friendly home heating option. EnergyStar reports that its boilers have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 87 percent or more for oil boilers and 90 percent or more for gas boilers. An AFUE score measures how efficiently an appliance operates. 

The higher a boiler’s AFUE score, the higher the initial purchase cost may be. However, homeowners will save over time because of the lower utility costs to run it. Some energy-efficient boilers also qualify for tax credits and rebates from the Inflation Reduction Act so homeowners can save even more. This makes installation more affordable and allows homeowners to start seeing the benefit of a green boiler almost instantly.  

Low Boiler Pressure Affects Efficiency 

billBoilers need adequate pressure to operate correctly. When the boiler pressure inside the appliance is low, it may not heat the home as well as it could. It could also: 

  • Shorten the boiler’s lifespan 
  • Lead to higher energy bills 
  • Increase the risk of problems to the system 
  • Lead to poor indoor air quality 
  • Lead to uneven heating throughout the home 

It’s crucial to get routine maintenance from a professional to prevent low pressure and other issues with a boiler. 

About RCL Mechanical 

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, financing, and 24/7 availability. Call them today for boiler services in Taunton, MA

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3 Common Signs of Frozen Pipes

Be on the Lookout for These Signs of Frozen Pipes 

Winter brings with it plenty of hardships. Dealing with the plummeting temperatures and snow is bad enough, but the toll that winter weather can take on the plumbing can be too much. Having to deal with the fallout of a frozen pipe adds a lot of frustration to an already stressful season. 

Frozen pipes may not sound too bad at first. Surely anyone can deal with losing water to a fixture for a day or two until temperatures warm up. But, the real problem with frozen pipes is that they can lead to a pipe burst and flood the area with gallons and gallons of fresh water or even sewage. 

Instead of taking the risk of having to deal with a burst pipe, homeowners should understand the warning signs of frozen pipes so they know if they need to winterize the pipes and put more effort into prevention. Protecting pipes from freezing can be the difference between a relaxing and cozy winter and a nasty, expensive plumbing emergency. Here are three signs that pipes are freezing. 

Low Water Pressure From Faucets or Fixtures faucet

As a pipe freezes, its diameter is reduced by ice forming inside the walls of the pipe. As the diameter of the line is slowly closed off, water will come out of fixtures at a lower pressure or just a trickle. If the pipe and its contents are completely frozen, then no water may come from the fixture at all. 

If homeowners notice little to no water coming from a tap, this indicates a pipe is frozen. Homeowners should be careful when pipes thaw because when water freezes, it puts pressure on the line, and it can burst, which can cause massive flooding when the line unfreezes. Homeowners should immediately contact a plumber if they believe a pipe has burst. 

Exposed Pipes With Visible Frost 

If it is cold outside, pipes exposed to the elements are at risk of freezing. The most obvious sign that a pipe has frozen is the presence of frost on its exterior. When frost appears, this clearly indicates that the water inside the line has turned to ice and blocked water flow. It is important to address the issue immediately if this happens, as frozen pipes can lead to costly repairs. 

Taking steps such as covering exposed pipes with insulation or a tarp and letting faucets drip when temperatures drop drastically can help prevent frozen pipes. Contact a plumber immediately if it is too late and the pipes are already frozen. They will be able to help properly thaw the pipes. Homeowners should not try to thaw frozen pipes on their own to prevent further damage. A professional plumber will be able to identify any other issues that may have led to the pipe freezing and help ensure it doesn't happen again. 

Foul Odors in the Bathroom 

smellIf the bathroom smells like sewage in the winter, it’s another sign the sewer line is likely frozen. Freezing temperatures can cause sewer pipes to freeze, leading to an unpleasant smell. When the water in the pipe freezes, it expands and blocks the flow of waste, causing a sewage backup. This can cause an unpleasant odor in the area around the pipe and any other areas connected to it. 

In addition, if the freeze-thaw cycle is repeated several times, it can cause pipes to crack or break, leading to further backups and odors. To prevent sewer pipes from freezing, homeowners should ensure that they are properly insulated and sealed with caulking. Also, pipes should be checked regularly for any signs of damage or wear. These steps can help reduce the risk of frozen pipes and decrease the likelihood of unpleasant odors.

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical s a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rate prices, the latest technology, and 24/7 availability. Call them today for emergency plumbing services in Taunton, MA.

Installing a Heat Pump Can Make a Home's Heating More Efficient

Energy-Saving Heat Pumps Make it Possible to Be Comfortable While Saving Money

As the weather continues to get colder, homeowners start dreading the heating bill. With energy costs so high, it may seem inevitable that people will have to shell out their wallets to cover the expenses. This may not be the case, however. Heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling, and they use significantly less power than traditional heating and cooling systems, saving homeowners money.

Defining and Categorizing Heat Pumpspump

The main reason that heat pumps are so efficient comes from the fact that they do not have a heat source in the traditional sense. In other words, they do not create their own heat. There is not a burner or a gas flame in sight for these ingenious appliances. They are called heat pumps because they literally move heat from one place to another. No matter how cold it is outside, there is heat to be gathered to bring inside the home. That is how a heat pump works. There are several varieties of heat pumps, including.

  • Air Source Heat Pump: This is perhaps the most common and least expensive heat pump to install. It pulls heat from the air in the winter to bring it inside and pumps the indoor heat outside during the summer. This system is normally paired with ductless heat and air.
  • Water Source Heat Pump: This type of heat pump may be coupled with a water heater for its heat. It takes heat from a closed loop of water pipes and distributes it throughout the home. 
  • Geothermal Heat Pump: This system uses the nearly constant ground temperature to adjust the heat in the house. A series of pipes is installed well below ground, and the closed loop is filled with water or coolant. Heat is either taken from the ground and released into the home, or heat from the house is released through the pipes underground. Geothermal heating is a more expensive system to install, but the constant temperature underground makes it one of the most highly efficient systems.

Advantages of Ductless Systems

Ductless heat pump systems are growing in popularity due to their efficiency. As discussed above, heat pumps lead to much lower utility bills than traditional heating and cooling systems. However, the lack of ductwork required for ductless systems provides additional advantages, including:

  • Ideal for older homes without space for air ducts and homes that do not already have ductwork.
  • No air ducts mean no heat loss through the ducts, increasing the system’s efficiency and saving homeowners money.
  • Ductless systems are often easier and faster to install than traditional central heating systems because they don’t require installing air ducts.

Lower Energy Usage Means Lower Cost

saveThough the initial output for a heat pump installation will be expensive, the energy-efficient system will provide major savings in the long run. A heat pump is a highly energy-efficient way of heating or cooling a home. While traditional air conditioners and heater systems use fuel to generate heat, a heat pump simply transfers heat from one place to another. This process is simple and does not require any burning of fuel, making it much more efficient and less expensive to operate. 

Heat pumps are very effective in providing comfort year-round, as they can both cool a home during the summer months and heat it during the winter. Homeowners should consult a reliable HVAC company about whether or not the heat pump is a good choice for their household and which type would best fit their needs.

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate prices, 24/7 availability, and the latest technology. Call them today for heat pump services in Taunton, MA

Get the Plumbing Ready for Visitors This Holiday Season

The Signs to Look Out for Before Thanksgiving 

It’s that time of year again when families are getting together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Before their arrival, it’s important to ensure that the plumbing works properly to avoid any unwanted messes. The holidays cause enough stress and anxiety, so it’s imperative that the plumbing doesn’t add to that stress. This article will outline common signs of plumbing issues in a home so homeowners can call a plumber before the holidays. 

Check to See if Toilet Repairs are Necessary 

toiletToilets are one of the most commonly used plumbing fixtures in a home, and homeowners want to ensure that they are working properly this Thanksgiving. Several signs indicate that a toilet needs to be repaired. One obvious sign that a toilet needs to be fixed is if it’s constantly clogged. For instance, if there are constant clogs or even random but frequent ones, it’s a sign that a plumber should be called to diagnose and fix the issue. 

Another sign of a faulty toilet is a leak. A leak can be determined if there is water pooling around the toilet or if there are cracks along the outside of the bowl. If a toilet is making strange noises, like gurgling, it could also mean it needs to be serviced. Also, if a toilet is not flushing correctly, that signifies the toilet is malfunctioning. Knowing the signs of a faulty toilet that needs to be repaired will help homeowners determine when to call a plumber. 

Pay Attention to Kitchen Plumbing and Fixtures 

Another place that homeowners should pay attention to avoid plumbing issues this Thanksgiving is the kitchen. Since families will heavily use this area for the holidays, it should be working perfectly. One of the first signs homeowners may notice that indicate plumbing issues is the occurrence of slow draining. This generally means that there is a blockage in the drain, and it needs to be cleared with drain cleaning. 

Another sign of a clogged drain is foul odors. These odors can occur due to food waste and other materials caught in the blockage. Gurgling is another sign of a blockage in the pipes. This is because the blockage in the pipes can cause air bubbles to create noise. 

Water leaks are another significant sign that there are plumbing issues that need to be addressed by a professional. Service from a qualified plumber can ensure that the kitchen plumbing is working properly and there is no damages present. If a homeowner notices water where it shouldn’t be, they should call a plumber immediately. 

Consider Upgrading Plumbing Fixtures

upgradingThe bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house. Whether starting the day or winding down for the night, this space plays an essential role in daily routines. So why not make it as functional and stylish as possible? One of the easiest ways to do this is by upgrading fixtures. Something as simple as a new sink or faucet can add a touch of luxury to a space while improving its functionality. A new showerhead can completely change the look and feel of a shower. No matter what kind of upgrade homeowners are looking for, there are plenty of options to choose from, including water-saving fixtures.

One of the best ways to upgrade a home’s water-saving capabilities is to install water-saving plumbing fixtures like low-flow showerheads and touchless faucets. Low-flow showerheads can save up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while touchless faucets can help prevent water waste by automatically shutting off when not in use. These simple upgrades can make a big difference in water usage, saving homeowners money on the water bill, and will help keep the home looking its best before holiday guests arrive.

About RCL Mechanical 

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide flat-rate prices, financing, and 24/7 availability. Call them today for plumbing services in Taunton, MA.