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The Benefits of a Home Water Softener

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Hard water is a very common problem, affecting water in many homes. But what exactly is it, and what can be done about it? Hard water has a high content of minerals and metals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. Although it is safe for you to drink, it can wreak havoc on your appliances, plumbing fixtures and make everyday housework even more difficult. Hard water treated with a water softener provides many benefits to your household. The following post will outline these benefits.

What Is a Home Water Softener?

A softener is a device and/or system designed to remove or dilute mineral concentrations in hard water. The system softens water by replacing minerals present in the hard water with salt via ion exchange. A softener is connected between your home’s plumbing system and the main water supply. This allows the system to remove mineral contaminates from the water before it enters your home.

Superior Cleaning

Hard water is known for reducing the effectiveness of household cleaners such as laundry soap, dish detergent, dish soap, shampoo and body wash. It often leaves white spots or streaks on your dishes and a soapy residue in your laundry. Because softened water enhances the cleaning ability of the cleansers, you will experience cleaner skin, hair, dishes and laundry. In addition, softened water requires less soap to get the job done, which can help reduce your household expenses.

Reduced Mineral and Scale Build-Up

Hard water causes scale and mineral deposits to build up in your plumbing system. As time passes, these deposits will reduce water flow, resulting in lower water pressure and eventually, a complete blockage. Moreover, they can cause pipe deterioration and corrosion, shortening the lifespan of pipes and increasing the chances of a ruptured pipe. If one of your pipe ruptures, your home could face severe water damage to flooring, cabinetry, walls and baseboards. It could also invite unwanted mold and mildew growth. A home water softener will also extend the life of your plumbing system, because it reduces the mineral content in your water supply.

Long-Lasting Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can also reduce the life of your household appliances, including your water heater, dishwasher, icemaker and washing machine. Since mineral and scale build-up will reduce water flow and efficiency, the appliances must work harder to achieve their intended result. In the end, hard water will increase your household energy costs and lead to premature appliance replacement.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Emergency Plumbing Solutions

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Life happens, and sometimes it includes emergency plumbing problems that cause leaks and other unforeseen issues. It could be a problem as simple as an overflowing toilet or a more severe emergency, such as a ruptured pipe. In either case, it is to your benefit to know how to respond quickly to avoid additional damage to your home. The following post will outline the necessary steps you should take during a plumbing emergency.

Water Heater Leak or Malfunction

Water heaters are one of the most dependable household appliances. They work around the clock to maintain water temperatures so you have access to hot water, but sometimes they malfunction or develop a leak. Perhaps you hear popping or banging sounds, or suddenly have only lukewarm or cold water. Should you discover a leaking water heater, or one that malfunctions suddenly, you should act quickly.

For this emergency plumbing situation, the first thing to do is turn off the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the appliance. Next, it would be wise to turn off the water supply to the water heater. Most water heaters incorporate a shut-off valve located on top or near the unit. Turning off the water will relieve water pressure on the tank and slow the leaking. Finally, soak up any standing water that has leaked from the tank to reduce water damage to your home until the plumber arrives.

Ruptured Pipes

If a pipe ruptures, you must quickly turn off the main water supply to the home. Often, there is a shut-off valve located on the home’s exterior where the main water supply enters the home. If not, you must locate the water meter and turn it off there. Water meters are usually housed in a concrete or metal box located close to the street. Owners of private wells will find the shut-off valve located close to their pump. Well owners should also turn off the power supply to their pump.

Seeping Septic Tank

If you notice standing water over your septic tank, chances are you are having trouble with your sewage system. To prevent additional damage to your drainfield and septic tank system, you must call your plumbing contractor immediately.

Overflowing or Running Toilet

Toilets often become clogged, causing it to back up and even overflow, spewing sewage or effluent onto your bathroom floor. In addition, sometimes the flushing mechanism can malfunction, causing the toilet to keep filling. Aside from using a plunger, you must stop water from entering the toilet tank by turning off its shut-off valve. The valve is located just behind the toilet base, and turning it clockwise will turn it off.

Call a Professional

Many people attempt to make plumbing repairs to their home, especially in an emergency situation. While you may be tempted to fix simple plumbing problems, it’s best to leave complicated issues to the professionals. For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Plumbing Myths Exposed

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Your home’s plumbing system plays a significant role in keeping your life running smoothly. When it fails, you wrestle with the inconvenience of lost service and your daily routine is turned upside down. This post exposes common plumbing myths and preventive measures to extend the life of your home’s plumbing system and appliances.

If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It

One of the biggest plumbing myths is if your plumbing is working, there’s nothing to worry about. While a faucet may occasionally drip or your toilet flushes slowly, they still perform their intended functions. However, these problems are signs of underlying issues that have significant consequences when ignored. For example, a dripping faucet not only wastes hundreds of gallons of water, it also leads to high water bills. As time passes, the drip can wear out the internal faucet mechanism and cause pitting or staining of other plumbing fixtures, such as your sink basin. A sluggish toilet is a sure sign that you have a blockage or obstruction in your sewage lines. It may work now, but could fail in the future, leading to unexpected sewer problems and costly repairs. At worse, it may result in sewage backing up into your home, a problem you want to avoid.

Noisy Water Heaters Need Replacement

When a water heater starts making banging and popping noises, some homeowners panic. Most often, the banging sound coming from your water heater is caused by sediment that has built up in the storage tank. Not only will sediment cause those spine-tingling sounds, it also reduces the efficiency of the appliance and leads to high utility bills. Annual water heater maintenance will prevent sediment build-up and keep your appliance quiet and performing at peak efficiency.

Other Common Plumbing Misconceptions

These common household plumbing practices can also cause more harm than good.

  • Toilet bowl tablets save time and labor. Toilet bowl tablets contain bleach and are designed to sit inside the toilet tank. Although some homeowners like the concept of a self-cleaning toilet, these tablets could destroy the internal flushing mechanism of the toilet in a matter of months. The labor you save with these tablets will eventually be spent on additional repairs in the future.
  • Cleanliness is king. Excessive use of household cleansers wreaks havoc on your septic system. Too many chemicals upsets the balance of microorganisms needed to break down solid waste. If your plumbing system fails, expect a hefty repair bill to restore service.
  • Ice cubes sharpen garbage disposal blades. Although putting ice cubes in your garbage disposal helps clean the blades, it does not sharpen them. The best way to sharpen your garbage disposal blades is by scheduling a service call with your local plumbing contractor.
  • Regular use of liquid drain cleaners keeps your drain lines clean. The corrosive nature of these products will degrade your drain lines over time, until they eventually fail and start to leak.

For answers to your plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Spring Plumbing Tune Ups

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Scheduling spring plumbing tune ups should be on the top of your to-do list. Often, homeowners pay little attention to their home’s plumbing system until something breaks, leaks, or becomes totally clogged. Unfortunately, the chances for a plumbing failure increase due to the added strain during the winter months. That is why spring is the perfect time to inspect and address any plumbing problems or concerns. Not only will a plumbing tune up help to prevent unexpected failures, but also prepare your plumbing for the rigorous summer months.

Water Heater Tune Up

Spring is the perfect time to tune up your water heater. Rust, scale, and sediment can build inside the tank over time and diminish its efficiency and performance as well as shorten its life span. During a typical water heater tune up, your plumber will flush the system to remove sediment buildup. They will also verify the tank and/or housing is in good condition, address any leaks, and check or adjust the water temperature settings. In addition, the plumber should verify that the T&P “temperature and pressure” relief valve is in good working condition and replace when necessary.

Irrigation System

Many households shut down and drain their irrigation systems during the winter months to protect it from the freezing temperatures outside. Unfortunately, homeowners fail to realize the damage they can cause by improperly restarting the system in the spring. Water hammer is the main culprit that pops many a sprinkler head during the initial startup. Your plumbing contractor can charge the system slowly, check for signs of leakage and adjust controllers, timers, and sprinkler heads for maximum efficiency and performance.

Household Tune Up

While the services offered between plumbing contractors may vary, the following practices are some common procedures performed in typical spring plumbing tune ups.

  • Check that all faucets are working properly, efficiently, and do not exhibit any signs of a leak.
  • Verify all household toilets are in good working condition, flush properly, do not run continuously, and do not exhibit any signs of seepage.
  • Verify that all sink, tub, and toilet drains are flowing freely.
  • Clean pop-up assemblies and P-traps when necessary to improve drain efficiency.
  • Test water pressure to help identify any signs of a leak.
  • Inspect all visible water line connections including washing machine, dishwasher, and faucet supply lines as well as any other exposed water lines.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

Hot Water Problems: Reasons Your Shower is Running Out of Hot Water

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Hot water problems – we’ve all been there. One moment you are taking a relaxing shower with the water at just the right heat when suddenly everything goes cold and you are huddled there shivering. Your hot water just ran out… but why? Should you blame other people in the house? Is your water heater or water tank causing problems? Here are the top causes behind hot water running out too quickly.

Sediment has built up in your tank.

You see this problem a lot on older tanks or water heaters in rocky areas where water is “hard” or filled with tiny mineral particles. When water gets heated up in your hot water tank, this particles precipitate out of the water and onto nearby metal surfaces in your pipes and tank. In the worst case, this forms layers of sediment called “scale” which can cause a number of painful hot water problems. However, the particles can also accumulate and roll around in a thick layer at the bottom of your water tank, called sediment.

If your tank has a lot of sediment, it may not be able to hold as much hot water as before. A plumber can flush out the sediment and advise you on maintenance to keep the problem from happening again.

Your hot water system is too small or too old.

If your shower habits are smart but you still run out of hot water over and over again, then take a step back and look at your hot water tank. How old is it? How many gallons can it hold? Around 30 to 40 gallons is usually enough for a normal family. If you have an extra-small tank, it may be time to upgrade. Likewise, newer water heater models will be able to heat water more quickly and have more advanced insulation so the heat won’t leak away.

You are using the wrong type of fuel or the wrong system.

Some types of fuel can heat water faster than others. A gas water heater can heat more quickly than an electric system, which means you may need a larger tank if you use electricity. Switch to a natural gas heater or similar system if possible – these tend to be more efficient overall. A “tankless” system that heats water as you need may also help.

Your water heater has broken.

Your water heater may be encountering mechanical problems. The most common in this situation is a broken dip tube. The dip tube circulates cold water closer to the heating element of your system, so if it breaks, then cold water and warm water will mix together, leading to a lack of hot water. Other problems with your heating element and similar components may also be to blame – consider a professional checkup. Check your area to see if local plumbers offer free inspections and estimates.

For answers to your questions about hot water problems, contact the Pink Plumber today!

Image Source: Flickr

Broken Water Heater? Get Expert Help

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Are you running out of hot water in the shower? Is your dishwasher not performing like it used to? Do you notice that your clothes washer isn’t getting the laundry clean? A broken water heater could be the source of your hot water issues . When the hot water runs out, you need to know how to respond because more serious problems could be at its root. Here are some of the common problems homeowners have with water heaters and what you should do in each scenario.

Help, I don’t have hot water

If you find yourself short on hot water, try these tips:

  • Did the system run out of water? Wait awhile to see if the system needs to reheat the water. If, after waiting about an hour, you have hot water again, you might just need a larger water heater. In some cases, as your family grows, so will your hot water capacity. However, consider having a professional check it out. There could be an issue with the burner or some other failed component.
  • Is the pilot light out? Older water heaters employ a pilot light and it’s possible that it can lose its flame. Call a professional to relight it.
  • Did you check the breaker? If the breaker tripped, the water heater may not have power to function properly.
  • Is the thermostat setting correct? Is it possible that someone fiddled with the thermostat and changed the setting? The water heater should be set to 120 degrees at minimum, 140 degrees maximum.
  • Is it dirty? Water heaters need to be maintained every year or the buildup inside the system can interfere with proper operations. Lack of maintenance can also lead to parts wearing out. During a check-up, a technician will drain the system to remove debris and buildup, check the safety and durability of valves and connections, test the systems’ pressure, and double check that the power supply is functional.
  • Is it old? Water heaters generally last about 10 years. If you maintain it well, it may last longer. Not servicing it at all could result in your system not working the average lifespan.

Get expert help when you run out of hot water. A broken water heater is a dangerous water heater and it can put your household at serious risk for fire hazards, leaking gas lines and more. Make sure you maintain a consistent supply of hot water and enlist a professional to assess your water heater today. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr

Do You Have Rust-Colored Water? What Does that Mean? What is it Trying to Tell You?

Friday, February 6th, 2015

When a water faucet is turned on, you expect to see clear running water, but sometimes instead of crystal clear water flowing freely, rust-colored water is produced.

Other times, what was once clear water has now turned red or yellow after standing. Whenever a visual indication of a water problem appears, it’s time to call a professional plumber to investigate and repair the problem.

Pipes

Rusty pipes are a common issue for homeowners. As faucets are turned on and off, causing the pressure inside the pipes to change repeatedly, it can cause loosened rust to dislodge from the pipe. This discolored water then makes its way through the water supply line into the bathroom and kitchen sinks, bathtubs, showers, and laundry room.

Galvanized pipes are also major culprits for dispensing rust-colored water. In this case, replacing galvanized pipes with copper plumbing remedies the problem.

Water Heater

Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, over time, nature takes its course especially if your home is fitted with a steel water heater. To protect the steel water heater, a coating of porcelain enamel lines the inside to keep corrosion at bay. Over time, it’s only natural for the enamel to wear out. When this happens, the steel will start to corrode, creating flakes and chips that end up settling on the bottom of the water heater. Eventually, the flakes degrade into fine rusty particles resulting in rusty-colored water. Also, the lifespan of a water heater usually runs for about 10 years. At this time, the water heater may begin to leak, which causes the rust sediment to make its way through the water line.

Anode Rod

Another part of the water heater that can cause rusty water is the anode rod. The rod is made of metal such as zinc, magnesium, or aluminum. Its purpose is to protect the steel lining through electrolysis which is a chemical reaction that causes the rod to corrode. Over time, the anode rod will become thoroughly coated in corrosion and it won’t do the job it’s designed to do. Anode rods should be replaced on a regular basis.

Well Water

Two common culprits associated with well water are iron and manganese. The three basic types or iron are ferric iron, ferrous iron, and iron bacteria. Ferric iron has a rusty red appearance coming from faucets while ferrous iron causes standing water to change to a rust or yellow color. Examples of both can be seen on sinks, showers, and bathtubs where a standing water turns red or yellow. Iron bacteria feeds on the iron found in fittings, pipes, and water. It creates slime which can become dislodged creating discolored water.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr