Quick Climate Conversation: Green Plumbing with Petri Plumbing

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Bluedot Living Brooklyn sat down with Chris Petri of Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning in Brooklyn to ask some of our biggest questions about green plumbing in a city. Petri is licensed and certified by Green Plumbers USA, the first in New York City to receive this designation. The answers were edited lightly for clarity.

1) What does green plumbing mean?

Green plumbing refers to the act of installing or updating systems in order to reduce energy and water consumption. This type of plumbing takes steps to lower consumption in every way possible while the system is in use and even when it’s not. A great example of Green Plumbing is an indirect hot water system. This system works by circulating hot water from the boiler to a coil inside the tank. Heat from the water in the coil is then transferred to the water in the tank, which then flows to your fixtures. An indirect-fired water heater does not require electricity or gas and, therefore, does not need a vent. This means that the indirect system is a near net zero in energy consumption whenever your boiler is running.

2) How can renters think/do more about energy efficiency in their apartments?

As a renter, you probably won’t invest in upgrades to a home that is not yours, so use what you have. Smart thermostats, settings or timers can be installed and used to efficiently heat or cool a home. Reducing your hot water consumption to necessities – like cleaning dishes and showers – will also help in water use reduction.

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3) What can I do today to make a change?

Be conscious of what you are using, not just what you are doing. By thinking through your consumption levels, you start the first step to becoming more energy efficient. For example, small changes in how you use water can go a long way toward conserving this precious natural resource.

4) We hear a lot about cutting back water usage, does that just mean turning off the tap when we brush our teeth?

Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth is a start. But, cutting back on water usage means being efficient in all of your consumption. By watering your plants in the mornings or evenings when the sun exposure is limited, by not rinsing dishes in the sink before loading the washer or by only running the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load, you reduce your water use.

5) I have a leaky faucet in an older apartment and my radiator heat was on until early May. What issue should be fixed first?

A leaky faucet or toilet can use much more water than most people realize. You may not be causing any damage since it’s leaking into a sink, but you can lose several gallons an hour, wasting water. Homeowners should solve the most immediate and constant problem first – in this case, the leaky faucet. 

6) Is there anything else you want renters and homeowners to know about green plumbing?

“Going Green” will always require a higher investment at the front end of any project but once you calculate the savings to the Earth and your own wallet in the long-term, you will see the benefits of green plumbing!

About Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning

Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning is a family owned and operated business serving Brooklyn and the New York City area since 1906.


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Michaela Keil
Michaela Keil
Michaela Keil is the Editor of Bluedot Living Brooklyn, and the Managing Editor, Special Projects, for the Brooklyn Eagle. When she's not writing, you can either find her outside — in the rain, shine, snow, or cold — or inside baking bread. Find her on twitter @mkeil16.
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