5 Plumbing Tips

1.) Don’t pour oil or grease down the drain.

Fats and oils, like butter, chicken fat and others are liquid until they reach room temperature, then they solidify and turn solid. Hair, dust, dirt and debris stick to these fats likes glue on paper. If you dump them down the drain, it will slowly clog your sink. The fat sticks to the inside of the pipes like cholesterol on a corroded artery. Eventually a total blockage happens and you get a sink full of water.

(fatberg pictures below - Source:BBC)

Always avoid dumping any fats, oils or grease down your drains.


2. ) Use a strainer in your showers and sinks.

Power rodding kitchen sinks and showers are an everyday thing here at our shop. Hair, soap residue, coffee grounds and bits of food debris get caught in the pipe. A simple cost-effective tool can help prevent a majority of these clogs. It works in the shower and the kitchen as well. It’s a simple one dollar strainer. This will prevent a majority of clogs from happening. A simple mesh wire strainer will catch extremely small bits of food particles and hair.

A wire mesh strainer is a must have for any household.


3.) Don’t flush wipes or paper towels.

Flushable wipes wreak havoc on the sewer systems across the planet. Old wipes collect into nasty blobs called “fatbergs” that clog up sewer systems. Similar problems can appear in your home sewer system. A wipe hits a turn in the pipe and gets stuck, then it accumulates and creates a blob that clogs the sewer. The problem is so bad that a professor at the university of toledo is trying to develop a wet wipe that turns into regular toilet paper when flushed.

Don’t flush any type of wipe down the toilet.


4.) Find your main water shut-off valve.

Water lines have a lot of pressure behind them, up to 55 PSI. If you spring a leak, you’ll need to know in a hurry how to turn off the water. The longer it leaks, the worse the damage will be. The shut offs can be found near the front of your home (facing the street) in the basement or by the water meter.

Locate your main water shut off in case of an emergency.


5.) Find out if your toilet seal is leaking.

The flapper / seal around your toilet tank can degrade with time. Water leaking into the toilet bowl can go unnoticed / forgotten for long periods of time. An easy trick is adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank, if you see it leaking into the bowl it’s time to replace the flapper.

Check your toilet flapper to reduce your water usage. 


You Can Count On Us

If you have a difficult plumbing problem, you can count on Green Tech Plumbing to help. Our plumbers are fully licensed, bonded and insured. We offer 24-hour emergency plumbing service. We are conveniently located in Des Plaines, IL and serving the North & Northwest suburbs of Chicago.



New Home Plumbing Inspections

Should You Get New Home Plumbing Inspection?

Yes, you definitely should.

Purchasing a new home is a major financial decision that can be great for you and your family. But, a house plagued with plumbing problems can quickly turn from a dream into a nightmare. An in-depth plumbing inspection from Green Tech Plumbing gives you peace of mind and confidence in your purchase. Informed buyers can get better deals by negotiating costly repairs before the closing. A professional plumbing inspection will help give you the knowledge needed to make an informed purchase. This blog article will cover our process in addition to providing a few tips you can use to protect yourself during the purchase.

1.) Camera The Sewer

Sending a camera down into the storm/sewer system doesn't have a downside. If the sewer system is clear you can rest easy. If the plumber discovers a major problem it's better to know now, before you make a purchase. For more information on sending a camera into the sewer, check out the sewer inspection page.


2.) Check Out The Water Heater

Visually inspect the water heater for leaks, rust, and discoloration. Brown rust-colored stains on and around the water heater are signs of corrosion. Turn on the fixtures and check the water temperatures ranges. No hot water is an obvious sign but so is scalding water. If you can't get the temperature to warm, you might have a gas control valve problem or even a thermostat issue. 


We would also recommend checking on the age and warranty of your water heater. The manufacturer's label should provide all the information but if not just grab the serial number. 


How to Read the Serial Number 

Every manufacturer has it's own serial number format, check the name brand of the water heater to get started. Next, use the information below to decipher the age of the unit. 


Rheem and Ruud


MM = Month of manufacture

YY = Year of manufacture

Example: 1209D1234 = December 2009



American and AO Smith




YY = Year of manufacture

WW = Week of manufacture


Example: 16051234567 = 2016, 5th week (early February)






M = Month of manufacture

A = January | B = February | C = March | D = April | E = May | F = June | G = July | H = August | J = September | K = October | L = November | M = December


YY = Year of manufacture


Example: 4D051234567 = April 2005



Bradford White

Bradford White’s serial numbers are a little less straightforward. The year of manufacture is noted by the first letter of the serial number, and the month is the second letter.



Y = Year of manufacture

A = 1984 or 2004 | B = 1985 or 2005 | C = 1986 or 2006 | D = 1987 or 2007 | E = 1988 or 2008 | F = 1989 or 2009 | G = 1990 or 2010 | H = 1991 or 2011 | J = 1992 or 2012 | K = 1993 or 2013 | L = 1994 or 2014 | M = 1995 or 2015 | N = 1996 or 2016 | P = 1997 or 2017 | S = 1998 or 2018 | T = 1999 or 2019 | W = 2000 | X = 2001 | Y = 2002 | Z = 2003


Note: Bradford White water heaters manufactured 20 years apart will have the same letter designation


M = Month of manufacture

A = January | B = February | C = March | D = April | E = May | F = June | G = July | H = August | J = September | K = October | L = November | M = December

Example: KH6511396 = August 2013



Is your water heater’s brand not listed above?

If your water heater’s brand isn’t listed, check NACHI’s or The Water Heater Hub’s serial decoder to learn more.


3.) Water Pressure is Important

Turn on all or most of the fixtures in the house and flush the toilets. Most home inspectors should / will do this but just in case they don't, you can do it easily. The water should flow freely and drains and toilets should dissipate the water quickly without build-up. Next, check the landscaping for soft waterlogged areas, this could indicate a problem with the sewer under it. 


4.) Hold the Lead Please

Lead is hazardous to your health, especially the elderly, pregnant women, and children. Construction companies have been using lead for water mains since the 1920s up until 1986 when it was ultimately banned. The pipes are dark and can be identified at the water main or just under your kitchen sink. 


Recently the city of Chicago started installing new water mains and it caused a noticeable problem. Residents were experiencing extremely high levels of lead in their water system because the new water mains "stirred up" built-up lead in the pipes. For more information check out this web page. 


5.) Smoke the Sewer

Smoking the sewer is an easy and effective way to check for any air leaks in your plumbing. These leaks are how sewer gas makes its way into your home. Running a smoker through the sewer will help the plumber pinpoint any possible leaks. It's an inexpensive way to make sure your family isn't inhaling obnoxious sewer gas. 

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1017 Graceland Ave
Des Plaines IL, 60016

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