1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

November 12, 2008

:317 Prevent Ice Dams

Filed under: :317 Prevent Ice Dams — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:50 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:317 EcoTip: Ice dams occur when roof snow melts over warm areas of a roof then refreezes as it runs down into colder areas. The frozen blockage creates a dam that prevents the water from draining from the roof. The water that becomes trapped can then migrate up under the roof shingles and drain into the house causing water damage. This can be especially expensive when the water drains into the wall cavities and isn’t discovered and dried quickly.

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 Additional Information:

Tomorrow’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip shows you how to predict areas where ice dams are likely to occur.

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September 26, 2008

:270 Evaluate Gutters

Filed under: :270 Evaluate Gutters — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:02 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:270 EcoTip: It’s the time of year to evaluate your gutters to be sure they are in good repair. By fixing them now – they will be ready for the fall leaves and rains or winter snow.

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 Additional Information:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts of any accumulated debris.
  • Check for rust and deterioration of the finish and make sure they are affixed tightly against the fascia boards.
  • The fascia boards should also be inspected for dry rot or damage.
  • Add some water to be sure the gutters drain and there are no leaks.
  • Add splash blocks and make sure the gutters drain away from the foundation.

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August 2, 2008

:215 Water Heater Drip Pan

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:215 EcoTip: To help prevent or reduce water damage from burst water heaters you should have a drip pan underneath them that will ideally drain to the outside. Since the water that flows into it may be very hot, it will need to be constructed of a material that can stand the heat. Metal drain pans may rust through and leaks with a high flow rate such as with a sudden bursting can also cause expensive damage. A water alarm (:214) should be installed to alert you to problems early.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :214

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July 28, 2008

:210 Water Heater Flushing

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:210 EcoTip: By flushing a few gallons from your water heater every 6 months you can help avoid the build-up of sediment that may lead to rumbling noises and bacteria. The regular screw type drain fixture on the side of most hot water heaters doesn’t let the sediment out easily. The valve should be replaced with a ball valve.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :203, :208, :209

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July 23, 2008

:205 Drain Cleaning Bacteria

Filed under: :205 Drain Cleaning Bacteria — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 7:20 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:205 EcoTip: Odor problems in drains may be because of the build-up of grime with bacteria. In order to reduce bacteria levels it is necessary to eliminate the organic material that has built up. This is the same debris that eventually leads to clogs. A bacterial enzyme drain and trap cleaner is preferable to the use of caustic chemicals.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :203, :204

Think of this a using “good” bacteria to fight “bad” bacteria. By treating your drains on a regular basis, the bacteria that cause odor problems and the grease and organic materials that cause clogs are broken down and flushed out of the pipes into the sewer system without the risks and harm from the chemical drain cleaners. Bacteria can also help keep septic tanks and lines clear so they don’t need to be pumped so often.

Roebic is one brand of bacteria based cleaners that is readily available. Their biological sewage treatment products are certified 100% biodegradable by Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. of Oakland, California. They have additional good information on drain and septic care at their website http://www.roebic.com/septicintro.htm.

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July 22, 2008

:204 Check the Trap

Filed under: :204 Check the Trap — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:47 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:204 EcoTip: All drain connections to the sanitary waste system must have a U trap (sometimes called a p-trap) that holds a few inches of water to prevent sewage gases from flowing back into the building. Sometimes the trap becomes dry allowing gases to back-flow creating a nasty odor. If you have odors coming from a drain, make sure it has a trap and try pouring a couple of cups of water down the drain. Tomorrow’s tip will deal with something else to try if this doesn’t work.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :203 

Think about your daily water use. Sometimes an odor will develop in an infrequently used drain – like in an unused guest bath or a floor drain hidden under a washing machine. These will dry out and start to smell. In addition to being obnoxious – sewer gases aren’t healthy – So make sure the traps don’t dry out.

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July 21, 2008

:203 Rotten Egg Odor

Filed under: :203 Rotten Egg Odor — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:49 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:203 EcoTip: A rotten egg – sulpher like odor coming from the sink may be your sinks drain or your hot water heater. To test and figure out which it is – run some hot water into a glass. Step away from the sink and swirl the water then sniff it – kind of like checking the quality of wine. If the rotten egg smell is in the water then the problem is probably your hot water heater. If its not in the glass of water, it is probably your septic drain.

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 Additional Information:

Tomorrow I will begin discussing these problems cause and solution.

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