Archive for April, 2012

Calculating Water Usage and Tips to Conserve Water

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Do you know how much water your Nashville plumbing uses in a single day?  If you guessed somewhere around 100 gallons a day, you would be significantly underestimating.  A recent study shows that the average American household uses around 400 gallons of water in homes with 4 occupants.   That 400 gallons is not even counting the out door water used, or the indirect water usage for family members.  To find the precise amount of water being consumed per household researchers have looked at every aspect of average people’s daily life to see where water is being used.  The information below contains a list of indoor and outdoor water needs for the average household, including each appliance.  This information can be used to help determine the optimal places in a home to focus on in order to limit water consumption each day.


Average Indoor Household Water Usage


  • Toilets (27%)
  • Washing Machines (22%)
  • Showers and Baths (19%)
  • Sinks (16%)
  • Water Wasted (145) – leaky faucets, toilets, and shower heads


Average Outdoor Household Water Usage

  • Lawn care accounts for 50% of indoor and outdoor water usage combined
  • Swimming pools take 19,000 gallons of water to fill on average, and when left uncovered that water evaporates at a staggering 1,000 gallons per month.  Pool covers can keep 30% to 50% of that water from evaporating.

Tips to Conserve Water in Daily Life

There are some simple ways to conserve water in our everyday lives.  By implementing some of these fixes, that water bill will begin to shrink, making your pocketbook much happier.

  • Perform simple leak detection to fix leaky faucets, taps, shower heads, and sprinklers
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is completely filled
  • Rather than rinsing dirty dishes, scrape excess food into the trash or compost
  • Wash vegetables in a bowl of water while using a vegetable brush, rather than running them under the sink faucet
  • Boil food in as little water as possible, just enough to cover the food completely
  • Turn off the tap when not directly in use such as while brushing teeth or shaving
  • Place a plastic bottle filled with water in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used for each flush, or consider installing low-flow toilets
  • Spend less time in the shower, take less baths and keep water levels low when you do bathe
  • Only do full loads of laundry
  • Don’t overwater plants
  • Use a pool cover to keep the pool cleaner and to keep water from evaporating
  • Water the lawn during the cool part of the day to ensure minimal evaporation, and ensure sprinklers are set to only water foliage, not the sidewalk
  • Switch out water-thirsty lawn for more climate-friendly landscaping or plants which need less watering

By calculating water usage in order to see where the average consumer uses water on a daily basis, it makes it easier to identify suitable areas where water can be conserved.

Greenday Clarksville 2012

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Help keep our community GREEN at the upcoming Greenday Clarksville event this Saturday, April 28th, 2012 from 9am-4pm at APSU’s Red Barn. Flat screen TV giveaway and more prizes for bringing a recyclable item to the event!

Nashville Plumbing Tips: Stop Kitchen Sink Clogs Before They Jam Up Your Sink

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Garbage disposals in Nashville are installed in almost every home. However, not all garbage disposals are alike. Some have powerful grinding motors that can easily handle large volumes of food scraps and shred them into fragments that quickly move through the drain. Less powerful units may jam or incompletely shred the food scraps, which can build up and eventually clog the drain.

If you have a garbage disposal in your Nashville home,  run plenty of water while operating it and listen to make sure it’s completely finished grinding before you switch it off. If you have an older unit, or a unit rated at 1/3 horsepower, you may want to reduce the volume of scraps you put into the drain, and probably not use it for disposing bones and other tough or stringy scraps.

Don’t Pour Grease Down the Sink

No matter what kind of disposal you have, you should never pour grease down the sink. That applies to sinks without garbage disposals as well. Grease does not mix with water, so it will cling to the interior walls of the drain pipes. Pouring detergent or soap down the drain can loosen some of the grease but not all of it. As it builds up, the grease will collect hair, food fragments,  other debris and eventually become a thick clot that backs up the sink that will require kitchen plumbing maintenance.

Bacon grease is an obvious culprit, but every meat releases a small amount of grease when it cooks. When preparing a meal, if you must pour liquid that might contain grease down the sink, follow it with plenty of hot water and dish detergent. The detergent will help flush away the grease before it builds up.

Other Causes

Even without a grease build up, hair can clog up a sink, particularly when it collects in the trap, which is the U-shaped curve of the drain pipe. Hair makes its way into the sink from washing and cleaning chores. Mopping the floor picks up loose hair. When the cleaning bucket is dumped down the sink, the hair can accumulate in the trap. Buckets of dirty water from cleaning chores should be dumped down the toilet, which has a much larger diameter drain pipe.

Soap, particularly from a bar of soap, and other detergents can clog a drain if they are allowed to accumulate. A bar of soap left in the sink can slowly ooze soap into the drain, causing a build up that will grab hair and other debris. If dish detergent or other detergent is accidentally spilled into the sink, wash it away with plenty of hot water.

Never pour paint or solvents down the sink or toilet. They don’t mix with water, will leach through septic systems, and cannot easily be removed by municipal waste treatment plants. They can also build up inside your home’s waste pipes.  If you have questions about any of these issue please contact Hiller Plumbing.

When to Call the Plumber in Nashville

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Many aspects of plumbing in Nashville around simple fixtures are easy repairs for the homeowner who likes to be handy.  Videos on the internet have made most simple repairs even easier by showing step-by-step processes to get them done.

Some plumbing repairs obviously are more complicated and require the special skills and knowledge that only years of experience can provide.  Especially when water is gushing out and you don’t know where the main shut-off is located, the damage that can intensify minute by minute should be mitigated by calling in the expert plumber.

A Fix in Time

Leaky faucets and drains, a garbage disposal or even a toilet replacement are tasks that can be accomplished with a few good tools, patience and a little information off the internet.  Knowing where to shut off the water supply–so any problems that might happen don’t turn into catastrophes–begins many repairs that end with a pat on the back.

Even sweating of copper pipes to install a new shower valve or shut-offs nearer the fixture are not life-threatening and create a high level of satisfaction for handy husbands and wives.  Installing an under-counter water filtration system is just a matter of following instructions.

Saving Nine

When something has broken and is causing serious flooding, whether or not you can find the main shut-off, it still probably makes sense to call a plumber to get the repairs made quickly and correctly.  For much less emergent situations, plumbing can still be a tricky sport to find the right size fittings so getting a plumber with a truck full of odd parts can cost a little money but save a lot of aggravation and return trips to the local hardware store to exchange the 5/8 male coupling with gasket you expected it to be for the 3/4 female that was needed.

For any project that requires a permit, a licensed plumber makes good sense who knows the proper codes and intricacies of supplies, drains and venting so the work will pass inspection.  Replacing larger items like a hot water heater, shower unit or sink are far simpler for professionals to wrestle.

Any problems with the hot water baseboard or radiant heat systems are better left to plumbers to fix who know how to properly bleed and refill the pipes to flow without air bubbles.  If there is a problem with the sewer main inside or outside the house, a plumber will be better equipped to cut and repair the pipes (as well as deal with the mess).

Because of their lethal risks, gas lines to appliances must be installed and connected by a certified technician which many plumbers are.

Ultimately, if you have any doubt about your abilities, even though you’re playing with water, a mistake can make a big mess.  Calling in Hiller Plumbing can often save a lot face.