Tag Archives: children

Make Saving Water Part of Your Back-To-School Routine

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Any parent knows “back-to-school” is one of the most chaotic times of the whole year. You’re trying to establish new bedtime routines so everyone is up and ready on time in the mornings, battling the fall clothing migration as you store summer items and retrieve fall items only to realize that none of the school clothes your children could wear in May will fit them now, and getting everything relating to backpack organization, school lunches, and art supplies ready (which theoretically is supposed to make your life easier…hahahahaha…) – so we understand that water conservation really kind of takes a back burner during all of this. However, it really doesn’t have to, and since we strongly believe in teaching children good water-saving habits, we’ve compiled this list of five simple ways you can work water conservation into your new school year routine. Wanna know the best part? Many of these tips will also save you some money!

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1. Use a timer for showers. Not only will this help save water by limiting everyone to 10 minutes or less in the shower, it can also help you keep everyone focused and on time in the mornings. If you shower in the evening, having a timer can also help speed things along at bedtime. Replace your existing shower head with a water-saving shower head for more water savings.

2. Reuse your towels. When you get out of the shower, you’re clean right? Instead of tossing towels into the hamper after each use, hang them up to dry and use them again tomorrow. Buy robe hooks or re-purpose an old coat rack to hang in the bathroom and designate a hook for everyone. Even most younger children can hang a towel on a hook much more easily than trying to fold and hang over a traditional bar, and it keeps the bathroom more organized and looking nicer than having a bunch of skewed, bunched up towels half hanging off the towel bars.

3. Be mindful of your other laundry. Some days you have to try on everything in your closet before you figure out what you really want to wear…or that you and your tween daughter both agree is appropriate for school…But are all those clothes dirty? Of course not! What about those jeans you wore yesterday? They could probably be worn again before needing to be washed. When undressing, evaluate what is actually dirty and what could be worn again before being washed, and you could save not only tons of water but lots of time and energy by doing less laundry. And who doesn’t want to do LESS laundry??? When you actually do laundry, also remember to set the appropriate load size and try to use cold water or try line drying to save more energy and water.

4. Encourage healthy eating and drinking water. We’re sure you do this for your kids already, but did you know that by eating fresh foods and drinking water you’re actually helping to save water and energy? glassofwater Generally, it takes a lot more water to produce processed foods than it does to actually grow fresh foods. Additionally, purchasing locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, cheese, etc. cuts back on the amount of water needed to transport foods. We understand that not all towns or cities have a local farmers’ market and that sometimes this can be cost prohibitive, but it’s a choice worth considering and with careful planning and budgeting can be a positive, healthy change for your family. Another quick healthy tip that can potentially save you hundreds of gallons of water per year is to put a pitcher of water in the fridge for drinking instead of waiting for the tap to run cool. With this method, you can also add fresh fruits like strawberries, limes, or pineapple to infuse flavor in the water to help encourage kids to reach for a glass of water instead of sugary juices or sodas.

5. Consider the water footprint of products you use every day and try to make some changes. It’s a complex system, but water and energy are very closely tied together and it is sometimes difficult to understand how much water is really used to make the things we use all the time. Wherever you can, find ways to reuse or recycle things, or to create your own reusable items. Cloth shopping bags, reusable lunch baggies or containers, and reusable water bottles can replace their single-use alternatives to help save water. Now, we hear you saying – but doesn’t it take water to create and wash those too? Yes, it does, but the water consumed in creating and washing these reusable items is significantly less than what is wasted to create new single-use items. It’s estimated that it takes about 24 gallons of water to make one pound of plastic. Even if you buy a plastic reusable water bottle, you’re still helping to save water since that 24 gallons only has to be expended once instead of every single time you need water on the go.

If we focus only on one thing – packing lunches for school – think of all the ways you can save water…

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By making simple changes in our daily routines and making a concentrated effort to really think about how we use water, we can all start saving this most precious of resources. And although it might seem difficult at times, remember that every drop counts! Your small changes DO make a BIG difference!

Want to learn more about saving water around the house and find water-saving innovations to help you out? Check out our Guide to Water-Saving Plumbing Products.

Creating A Kid-Friendly Bathroom

Cute ducky sink with faucet Rubber ducky, you’re the one…you make bathtime so much fun! Rubber ducky, I’m awfully fond of you…boo-doo boop dee dooo…
Washing up should be a relaxing time for kids (and for parents) but too often it becomes a battle royale, exhausting you and them – and in the end nobody is any cleaner. Let us help you and your kiddos relax by turning clean-up time into fun time with a kid-friendly bathroom.
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Let’s start with the sink – after all, that’s where kids go to get the sugar bugs off their teeth, scrub away the sleep to find their shining morning faces, and wash away the travel grime from their latest adventures in kid-land. Yet the sink is the most overlooked fixture in bathroom remodels. Not anymore! Add the perfect finishing touch to a kid-themed bathroom with our exclusive collection of Barclay porcelain bathroom sinks. Designed specifically with children in mind – with super adorable rubber duckies, toy aeroplanes, and “muddy” kid handprints – they bring an element of fun and playfulness to the bathroom. The sturdy porcelain is a kid-tough, naturally moisture-, bacteria-, and dirt-resistant material, making it ideal for children’s bathrooms, while the hand-applied decals are safely baked under a layer of glaze so they won’t wear away.

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We’re sure your kids will love washing their hands and brushing their teeth in these sinks (and we don’t mind saying we secretly would too!). Hey, they might actually go brush their teeth without you telling them to!

Now let’s move on to the tub and/or shower. As parents, we know you take care to make sure your kids eat healthy food and get plenty of sleep and active playtime to keep their little bodies healthy inside, but what can you do about their outsides? Well, we always recommend generous and frequent application of sunscreen, but we’re also pleased to offer you a variety of filters for a truly clean bath or shower that pampers kids’ and babies’ sensitive skin.

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An excellent addition to any kid-friendly bathroom is our unique children’s hand shower with a filter connection that attaches to almost any faucet – including most kitchen sinks for bathing baby! The rain spray is gentle enough for babies, and the easy-to-grip handle lets older kids use it themselves. And since we know filling the bathtub with a hand shower would require more time than most busy parents have, we’ve got a filtered bath ball you can hang over your tub spout. Bubble baths are better with cleaner water!

Also, while we’re talking about making bath time easier, don’t forget a handy-dandy soap dispenser. Kids will love seeing their colorful shampoos and soaps all in a row, easily accessed with the push of a button (and what kid doesn’t like pushing buttons?). We also offer a range of shower heads and some truly unique shower drain covers with fun, whimsical designs like jigsaw puzzles, sea turtles, an octopus, and more that your kids will love.

At PlumbingSupply.com® we love to help our customers make their lives just a little bit easier. We hope we’ve inspired you with kid-friendly bathroom solutions, and invite you to check out even more cool stuff for children’s bathrooms, from potty training toilet seats to durable, comfortable Teak bath mats to help prevent slips and falls. You want it, chances are we’ve got it!

Quick Fix?

When you find a leak, but can’t fix it properly right away, what can you do? Do you let it drip, or do you jury-rig it? You don’t want to waste the water or allow a leak to damage your home, but sometimes your choices are limited.

Well, while we usually recommend fixing something properly the first time – it really does save you time, money and frustration in the long run – sometimes the quick and dirty fix actually works. Please note, we never recommend a makeshift repair anywhere you can’t get to easily or if you’re unlikely to get back to it soon. In those cases, call your plumber right away so no further damage is done. Depending on what caused the leak, there may be more of an issue than the drip you can see.

That being said, we recently added a product to our inventory that’s good for a quick fix, and a whole host of other things.

A variety of colors of silicone repair tape

Rescue Tape is a silicone self-fusing tape designed to be a versatile tool in your gotta-fix-it-now toolbox. According to the manufacturer:

You can repair leaks on plumbing and hoses in a flash, use to insulate electrical wiring or as shrink wrap, wrap tool handles, and much, much more.

Sounds great, right? We thought so and checked this stuff out. The idea of Rescue Tape is nothing new – we’ve seen silicone repair tapes on tv, at the box stores, on auction sites, you name it. And we’ve seen the reviews. People seem to love it or hate it. We’re going to try to explain why.

While we’re simply not able to test all of the claims (like whether or not it insulates up to 8,000 volts per layer), we did reproduce a few common things that might prompt the use of silicone tape.  

Example of rescue tape used on a hose connectionThe results? We successfully stopped a leak on an outdoor garden hose  connection. We wrapped a greasy pipe and kept it from leaking when pressurized to 80psi. When we cut the Rescue Tape away after wrapping, the layers looked like they had all fused together; it was one chunk of silicone! As a bonus, it didn’t leave any sort of residue.

Our team members are very creative and found all sorts of other uses for it. How about, instead of painting tool handles to make them stand out, wrap them with Rescue Tape for a nice grip and a distinctive look (You there! Where are you going with my bright-orange-handled tools!)? Baseball bat handles, wagon handles, door handles, and basically anything you can wrap this around (pencil grips anyone?). One team member wrapped their child’s scooter handles when the original foam handles ripped off. So far, so good! How about the backyard swing set? Wrap the chain in silicone tape for a pinch-free swinging experience. So many uses, so little space to write about them all…

Using this stuff is pretty straightforward – you stretch it out and wrap it around whatever needs to be fixed. The catch is how much you need to stretch it and how to wrap it around. We’ve found that most of the issues result from not stretching enough and/or failing to wrap enough.  Also, it doesn’t stick to other stuff, so this is no good to use as weatherstripping for your car doors. The tight layers of fused silicone are what work together to fix things. This means that an uneven surface will probably allow a leak to continue since there’s stuff the silicone can’t seal around (though we didn’t actually test it on uneven surfaces). However, if you’re trying to even out a rough surface, say for a nicer splinter-free grip on an old wooden handled shovel, that would work much better.

First, you have to stretch this stuff out so that it pretty much is half the width it is when relaxed. Trying to do this and get it to stay while you’re trying to wrap a hose can really makes you feel like you need a couple more hands, but trust us, you can do it.

Then you need to overlap the tap by at least half its width so you’re basically creating a double layer as you wrap. Go back and forth over your original wrap a couple of times, still stretching the tape for all you’re worth, and keep going until you get to the the manufacturer’s recommended 3-5 layers and 3-5 inches to either side of what you’re trying to fix.

Things to watch for: uneven, gritty, or bumpy surfaces can have the tape wrapped around it, but it might not stop a leak. Greasy surfaces are okay per the manufacturer, but grease (or anything else) between layers of tape is a definite no-no as it will prevent the silicone from sealing to itself. Clean hands are your best bet when working with this product.

Also, extreme water pressure may prove to be a problem. One team member used this on his leaky garden hose. He successfully wrapped the leak with about five layers, but he has 130psi at his home. The end result: “It made a really impressive bubble before it popped!” Needless to say, we recommend a pressure regulator, but that’s another issue altogether.

Here’s what the manufacturer has to say about what will work:

There are no guarantees how long a repair will last. There are many factors which contribute to a proper repair, including but not limited to the surface, the environment, the quantity of tape used, and the amount of tension Rescue Tape is stretched to. Because conditions and methods of use are beyond the manufacturer’s control, neither manufacturer nor seller will assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this product. Rescue Tape is not designed to be a permanent repair; however, many of our customers have reported that they have made long-lasting permanent repairs.

Our conclusion? Well, like we said, it’s a great quick fix for some stuff. It won’t replace properly soldered connections for our peace of mind (really, what does?), and really high water pressure will put it to the test, so this is not recommended for industrial repairs. But, our hose fix at the warehouse is still leak-free months later, which is more than plenty of time to find a new garden hose. If applied properly, it’ll even probably keep your kitchen p-trap from leaking until your landlord’s slower-than-molasses-in-January handyman gets to it. So, yeah, we like it and several of us have rolls in our toolboxes. Tell you what, next time you order something, toss in a roll of silicone tape to keep near your plumber’s emergency number.… or your child’s sports equipment.

Your turn: What’s your favorite quick fix?