Types of Plumbing Problems You Can Solve By Yourself

fix plumbing problems

Not all plumbing repairs are as difficult as they initially seem.  However, it should be pointed out that it is also not very wise to treat plumbing problems as a do-it-yourself all the time.  The question most of the time is how confident are you that you can do the repairs properly?  Here are some plumbing problems that you can easily handle with the right tools on hand.

Frozen Pipes

Thawing frozen pipes should be done almost immediately because of the danger of cracking and leaks.  It should be remembered that as the water in the pipe turns to ice, it will begin to expand and exert pressure on the pipe causing cracks.  So how do you thaw the pipes?

Turn on all the faucets near the frozen pipe.  This allows water to move in the pipes and break the ice inside the frozen sections.  Take a blow dryer to warm up the pipe and start melting the ice inside.  Use a cloth that is soaked in hot water and wrap it around the frozen section.  Remember how heat can melt ice, so use other ways that will heat up the inside of the pipes like heating pads, sun lamps, and other similar solutions that are water resistant.  If there is a sign of water leak shutoff the water supply.

Toilet Seats

Replacing toilet seats should not be so difficult, right?  First, make sure that the replacement toilet seat you buy has all the necessary hardware attached to it.  To remove the old toilet seat, you have to unscrew the bolts holding it in place at its back edge.  After you take out the nut and bolt, put in the replacement toilet seat by making sure that the holes line up.  Put back the nut and bolt and screw it on tightly to make sure that the new toilet seat is securely in place.

Clogged Sink

You need to have a cup plunger ready to work on clogged sinks.  The water in the sink should be enough to ensure that the mouth of the plunger is at least an inch under water.  The plunger should be directly over the drain and create a tight seal to ensure that enough pressure is built up to remove the clogging.

What if you have a double sink and only one is clogged?  Make sure that the sink that is not clogged is closed off properly.  Now begin to vigorously work the plunger about 10 times without breaking its seal with the drain.  Lift up the plunger to check if the water is moving down the drain.  If not, repeat it.  This process either breaks up the obstruction or forces it down the drain to a point where normal water flow is restored.

Clogged Toilet

The process for unclogging a sink and a toilet is basically the same, except, this type you will need a flange or ball plunger.  Why?  Because this type of plunger is designed to work specifically for toilets.  So, make sure that there is a tight seal between the mouth of the plunger and that of the toilet drain.  Vigorously plunge about 10 times and check if the clogging has been dislodged.

In case normal flow has not been restored, you will need a closet auger.  By feeding this tool into the toilet drain and turning its handle, you will be able to break apart whatever is causing the obstruction or pull it out of the drain if possible.  How do you know that you have reached the obstruction?  Usually you will feel a resistance as you are turning the auger handle.

These are simple plumbing repairs you can do without causing damage or harm to the plumbing system or yourself.  If the problem persists, call a professional plumber from huntington-beachplumber.com immediately!

Common Troubleshooting For Hot Tub Heater Problem

One of the plumbing related problems that homeowners are facing has to do with the malfunctioning of hot tub heaters.  The cause of the malfunction can be quite varied and usually not something for the ordinary homeowner to handle.

However, it is important to be able to understand what is really happening before you call for professional help.  Here are some ways to better understand what the problem with your hot tub heater is.

Preparing to Troubleshoot

Water and electricity will always be a dangerous mix so you need to be extra careful.  The first thing to do is to make sure that your hot tub heater is disconnected from any electrical power source.

This helps to prevent electrocution.  Another way to prepare for troubleshooting is to have rubber-soled work boots on as a precautionary measure.

Regardless whether you are comfortable or not, it is best to leave the repair in the skilled hands of professionals.  What you really want to do is to have a better understanding of the problem so you can accurately describe it and also be aware of the necessary steps to fix it.

This way, you can make sure that you are not paying for more than what is necessary to get your hot tub heater fixed.

Common Problems

turn off water heaterAlthough it is quite difficult to predict all the possible problems you can encounter with your hot tub heater, there are some common ones that you may encounter at one time or another.  Here are some that you should be aware of.

  • Slow Heating

Sometimes you may experience that the water in your hot tub is not heating up as fast as it should be.  Most of the time, the problem has something to do with a dirty filter cartridge.

All you have to do is to either clean or change the filter cartridge and this should solve your problem.

Keep in mind that the more frequently you use your tub, the faster your filter cartridges will become dirty so you need to clean or change them often.

Sometimes instead of slow heating you may observe your hot tub heater turning on and off periodically.  This too is a sign of a possible dirty filter cartridge that needs cleaning or replacement.

You can try to consult the manual from the manufacturer on how to do this.  In case you are still having problems, call a professional to have it checked.

  • Not Heating

When I browse buena park plumbing blog, I knew if the problem is that your hot tub heater is not heating at all, there are different potential sources of the problem.  The first thing to check is the spa door on the cabinet.  You have to make sure that the spa cabinet is closing properly.

Do you have a gas-powered hot tub heater?  If it is not heating at all you need to check if the pilot light is on, if not, turn it back on.

Another possible cause of the problem is to check the condition of the insulating cover.  If you find that it is damaged, have it replaced immediately.

  • Switch is Tripping

Did you recently drain your hot tub?  If so, then air may still be running through the system causing the high limit switch to trip.

To check if this is causing the problem, allow the hot tub to run for a few times to flush the air from its lines.  It is also possible that the water temperature is reaching 120 degrees in which case the high limit switch is going to trip and shutoff the heater.

Behind the access panel door on the spa pack is a red reset button.  This will reset the high limit switch and fix the tripping.  If the problem persists after this, you need to call for professional help to make sure more serious heating problems are not the issue.

  • Too Warm

When it comes to temperature problems, normally adjusting the thermostat settings will solve the problem.  There is always the possibility that it has been set too high.

If these common troubleshooting steps do not fix your hot tub heater problem, call a professional immediately!

Basic Plumbing Task Every Homeowner Should Know


Now let’s be honest.  Are you the type of homeowner who would treat every plumbing task as a do-it-yourself project?  Or are you one who would rather pick up the phone and call a plumber immediately because you have no confidence in handling even the simplest plumbing task?

There’s nothing wrong with leaving the job to the experts, but, as a homeowner, it is also your responsibility to be able to respond to plumbing emergencies while you are waiting for the experts to arrive.  So to help you along, here are some plumbing tasks that you can safely do on your own.

Turning Off Water

This might sound funny, but this does mean more than just turning off the faucet or shower.  Keep in mind that one of the most common plumbing problem that homeowners encounter is leaks.  So whether you have a leaking pipe, dripping faucet, or even an overflowing toilet, the first thing you must do is cut off the water supply to prevent the problem from getting worse.  So how do you do it?

Have you heard about shutoff valves?  Normally, there should be a main shutoff valve and individual shutoff valves for every plumbing fixture in your home.  If you have a problem with your shower, just turn off the shower’s shutoff valve.  If the problem is with a plumbing pipe that can affect your entire home, you should turn off the main shutoff valve.  Knowing where these valves are located and how to turn them off is a basic plumbing knowledge that every homeowner should possess.  Even water heaters have shutoff valves that you should know how to operate.

Stop Running Toilets

How do you stop running toilets?  Taking the cue from the previous tip, you should answer turn off its shutoff valve.  But what if the valve is not working or there is no valve?  The first thing you do is to lift off the tank cover to check if the flapper is not sealing properly.  If you are lucky, this might just be a case of the chain attached to it being caught in some part of the flush handle.

Another possibility is that the water level might be too high causing it to go into the overflow pipe causing the toilet to run.  If this is the case, adjust the water level so that it is at least an inch below the top of the overflow pipe.  If nothing is wrong with the flapper or the water level is fine, turn off the main shutoff valve until the plumber gets to your home.

Cleaning the Sink Trap

The trap or U-bend located under the sink will eventually get clogged from dirt, food particles, and other debris that accidentally gets into the drain.  In order to clean it, you first need to turn off the water supply to the faucet.

Get at least two buckets to catch whatever amount of water is still present in the system.  Usually you can twist the pressure points to remove the trap.  If there is a blockage, you can expect some water to pour out so you need those buckets.  Clean up the trap and clear it of any debris before reassembling it.

Temporarily Stop Leaks

Why would you want to do this?  To make sure that no further damage happens to your home.  The key to stopping leaks is to cut off the water supply.  For leaks, it is best to turn off the main shutoff valve.  Now, get a piece of rubber and wrap it around the spot where it is leaking.  Hold it in place using a hose or sleeve clamp.  Tighten it just enough to temporarily stop the leak.  Place a bucket underneath to catch the drips.  This should be good enough until a plumber arrives to do proper repairs.

All of these tips are temporary fixes that will help you prevent further damage to your plumbing system and property.  After doing these, make sure that you call Pasadena plumbing, a licensed plumbing professional immediately to solve your problem.

How to prevent clogged drain

Clogged drains are a headache for every property owner.  Not just because it can allow dirty and smelly water into your home, but is can also be very costly to deal with.

On the average, you may have to pay at least $100 to get a professional plumber to take a look at it.

The most common mistake that homeowners make is that they wait for the drains to clog up instead of being proactive in preventing the drains.  So how can you prevent clogged drains in your home?

Drain Cleaning

So far one of the best ways to prevent drains from clogging is to clean them regularly.  Keeping the debris out means having something less to worry about to cause clogging.  Regular cleaning also gives your home a healthier environment.

Keeping drains clean should not be that difficult if you become conscious of the materials that go down your pipes.  So how can you effectively keep your drains clean?

  • Weekly – once a week remove the debris that has accumulated in the stoppers of your bathroom sinks. Rinse the stopper thoroughly to keep it clear of dirt.  Keep the drains of your showers and tubs clear of hair by using a bent wire hanger or hair catching brush if you have one.
  • Monthly – once a month cut the grease and slime from the sides of the garbage disposal unit using a disposer brush. You can also grind a few cups of ice with table salt to achieve the same effect.  Rinse using cold water and follow it up with lime or lemon to remove any foul odor.

For bathtubs, you need to reach the rocker arm by removing the overflow plate and raising the pop-up assembly.  This allows you to clear out the debris and rinse the area.

A bacteriological cleaner can help you in maintaining the cleanliness of your drains; just make sure that it is biodegradable and non-corrosive.

Clog Prevention

Before you should call a professional plumber like newportbeach-plumber.com, you can do a prevention action. After cleaning, what you want to do is to minimize the possibility of getting your drains dirty and deal with the problem of clogging all over again.

This can be done through sensible prevention methods that when done as a habit will save you a lot of stress and expenses.

Do you want to make things simpler for you?  Put a mesh screen over all the drains in your home to make sure that food bits, hair, and other types of gunk do not accumulate in your drains.

Simple, effective, and affordable preventive solution.

preventing clogged drains

It is important to recognize that in many homes, one of the leading causes of clogging in bathroom drains is human and pet hair.

So before you hit the shower or tub, make sure that you brush your hair a couple of times to remove loose hair.  If you are going to give your pets a bath, do it outside.

If you have to do it in the bathroom, put a wash cloth over the shower drain.  These practices will severely limit the amount of hair that gets into the drain and makes it easier to dispose of it properly.

Are you dependent on your garbage disposal unit?

Consider using a compost bin instead to help you save on water and energy usage, which also means less expenses for you.  This is also a lot easier for your drains and sewer because fewer solids are sent down.

Preventing clogged drains should be a family affair.  This means teaching children to avoid throwing down the drain or flushing things like toys, cotton, and sanitary products.

But in case this happens, the plunger and the auger are your friends.  At a fraction of the cost of getting a licensed plumber, you can dislodge clogged materials from your drains using the combination of these two tools.

Basically, if you want to keep your drains clean and maintain that cleanliness, you have to stop using it as a trash can.

Follow these sensible tips and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.  It would also be a great help to have your home plumbing system inspected professionally at least once a year.

Can You Silence Your Pipes

Have you ever heard odd noises coming from your home plumbing?  Do you think that this is something that will just go away?  The reality is that these noises should be given your priority attention because they are more than just an annoyance that stops you from getting a good night’s sleep.  In fact, if you just keep on ignoring these ghostly noises, you may find yourself facing a nightmare, a hellish plumbing nightmare!  So what should you do to silence your pipes?

sink noise

What’s the Noise About?

For most homeowners, the sound made by a creaking pipe is something that is familiar.  In fact, it may not even catch their attention that much; however, if it is something that sounds mysterious and almost unidentifiable, a sudden feeling of urgency can overcome you.

Did you know that most of the problem comes for your heating pipes?  The noises can be attributed to the fluctuation in the size of the pipes.  Regardless whether the pipes heat up or cool down, there will be expansion and contraction.  Eventually, this changing in size will create continuous friction with the joints where the pipes are attached.  Generally, this is why there are noises coming from your plumbing pipes.

wall soundprofing

Pipe Soundproofing

Can you soundproof noisy pipes?  One of the common solutions is to use under-floor soundproofing to stop noises from heating pipes.  Do this by lifting the floorboard and put in some special insulation materials to minimize the friction from the fluctuating size of the pipes.

There are two common types of specialist foam materials that can be used to insulate noisy pipes and even fill up the cavities in the spaces between them.

  1. Foam Pipe Insulation

Very easy to install and costs comparatively cheaper, it is widely preferred to silence noisy pipes.  However, when using this type of insulation, you must be very accurate when measuring the diameter of the pipe; otherwise the insulation will not fit correctly and the remaining gaps will simply let the noise persist.

Installation requires you to slit the foam along the length of the pipe and slide it in.  Seal the insulation by running duct tape or insulation tape along the seam.  This also helps to block any thermal gaps in the installation.

  1. Wrap-Style Pipe Insulation

Between the two insulation solutions, this requires a bit more work, but is as effective if not more in silencing noisy pipes.  The main drawback with this insulation solution is the cost.  If you visit your local hardware center, you will see that wraps are more expensive compared to the foam pipe type of insulation.

To use this product, just cut the wrap long enough to cover the length of the pipe.  Wrap the length of the pipe with the insulating material making sure that the insulation edges are overlapping.  Some types of wrap-style insulation have a self-adhesive side that will make it easier to install.  Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to make the insulation more effective and last longer.

sound proofing

Alternative Soundproofing

When it is almost impossible to get under the floorboards or you are just looking for effective alternatives, there are other ways to soundproof noisy pipes.  Instead of going under the floorboard, you can use soundproof underlays on top of the floorboards.  This material can even be used on your walls so suppress the noises made by your heating pipes.

This material offers a lot of flexibility because it comes in various styles and cuts.  You can also use them in conjunction with floorboards, tiles, and carpets.  Soundproofing is a low cost solution to muffle the noises being made by your pipes.  However, you must never discount the possibility that something may be wrong with your plumbing system so call on a licensed professional to have it checked out.

Silencing your plumbing pipes do not have to be expensive, but, you need to be practical in choosing the right mitigating solution to avoid getting into more problems than you started with, contact www.rancho-santamargaritaplumbing.com to get your plumbing fix.

3 Tips on How to Survive a Plumbing Emergency

Are you ready when a plumbing emergency hits?

survive plumbing emergency
Do you know exactly what to do to make sure that you minimize the damage as well as the costs of the repair and rehabilitation?  Will you be able to react quickly in case of such emergencies?  There are all questions that you and every homeowner should be able to answer quickly; otherwise, that is a sign that you are not prepared for any plumbing emergency.  Do not worry; we are going to give you some useful tips on how you can survive any plumbing emergency that may happen in your home.

1. Taking Control

In a plumbing emergency this means getting things under control, fast!  The faster you react, the less potential damage can happen.  Although it is important to point out that your reaction should be what the situation calls for; never mistake your impulse action (panic) for taking control of the situation.

So what should you do when a plumbing emergency hits?  The single most important thing at this point is to call a licensed professional plumber.  This is why it is important to always have the number of a trusted plumbing service handy.  Make sure that the plumbing service has a long experience in handling plumbing emergencies so that you will guided properly on what actions to take.

Placing an immediately call is an assurance that the way to getting things repaired quickly is already on the way.  Make sure that you give them all the details and describe the plumbing emergency as accurate as you can so that they can make a proper assessment.  Did you know that many times a plumbing problem only becomes an emergency because the homeowner panics?

2. Cut Off Water Supply

While you are on the phone trying to contact the plumbing service, act quickly to cut off the water supply to the affected plumbing area or fixture.  If you have a dedicated shutoff valve, turn the water supply from this point so that it would not affect the distribution to your entire home.  However, if you have none, you need to turn off the main valve so that the water supply to the plumbing system stops.

This is done to make sure that further damage is averted.  This is also a very good precaution against flooding and water damage.  When there is no water flowing in the plumbing system, the chances of increased damage from the plumbing emergency becomes zero.

Cutting off the water supply also gives enough time for the affected area of the plumbing system to dry off so that it can be immediately repaired when the licensed plumber arrives.  When you get the plumbing service on the phone, inform them that you have already cut off the water supply, this allows you to move to the next phase of the conversation and possibly even take time to get a quote on the extent of the repairs to be done.

3. Turn Off Water Heater

turn off water heater

Why is it important to turn off the water heater even if it is not the cause of the plumbing emergency?  Remember that you already turned off the water supply, right?  Well, in this scenario, there is a very real possibility that the water heater will be filled with steam because of the lack of water coming into the system.  This can cause the water heater to crack and be damaged.

If you don’t know where your water heater is, try to look in the basement or perhaps the utility area.  Keep in mind that there is normally a dedicated circuit breaker for the power supply to the water heater, turn the breaker off to cut the power.  For gas-powered water heaters, make sure that the pilot light is turned off.

Update the plumbing service with the steps you have taken once they arrive or while you are talking with them on the phone.  These precious moments spent taking the initiative to do this step can save you hundreds of dollars in repair work.

These are all simple and easy to do steps that will help you prepare for any plumbing emergency.  Follow them and you can be sure that you will come out a survivor.

Visit plumbingcorona.biz and schedule an appointment to get your plumbing systems checked and fixed.

The Right Time to Replace Your Sewer Line

Have you been told that your main sewer line can last as long as 100 years?  Well, if it is made from PVC piping material, which is quite accurate; but, if it is still made from clay (meaning it was placed before 1980) the expected lifespan is about 50 to 60 years at the most.  Of course, these figures are just estimates as there are other factors that will dictate the actual lifespan of your main sewer line including what you allow to go to it.  This means that there is a huge chance you would have to replace your main sewer line well before these estimated dates.

how to know

How Can You Tell

First of all, why should you worry if the main sewer line needs to be replaced?  Regulations say that as a homeowner, you would have to pay for it.  Now, is there any way to tell if it is time to replace the sewer pipes?  There are some signs that you have to be aware of that will raise some red flags.

For example, try to go to your lawn and check for the presence of foul odor.  Sometimes a musty smell is emitted through the cracks of the sewer line pipes or when the piping material becomes brittle.  The smell is usually caused by the sludge that has creeped out of the sewer pipe and made its way to the soil of your lawn.  When you see the formation of sinkholes, there is no doubt that you need to have your sewer line replaced by a licensed professional plumber before more problems appear.

You can also some warning signs from inside your home.  The bathroom is a very good place to start looking.  Do you notice a gurgling sound coming from your toilet?  It doesn’t matter if you notice it when you flush or not.  That gurgling sound or similar noise is an indication of a main sewer line going bad.  So before you get flooded with whatever waste matter, make sure you get professional help at once.

What to do checklist

What to Do

By far, the most recommended option is to do a trenchless sewer line replacement.  This has been used for more than a decade now but very few know about it because replacement of main sewer lines is not that common; remember, the pipes are supposed to last at least 50 years.

Are you one of those homeowners who want to preserve your garden or landscape?  Then this is the best solution for you.  Trenchless replacement does not have to dig up your entire yard or garden.  However, the process does cost a bit more compared to conventional methods.  But, because it is less invasive, homeowners end up with more savings because of the less work to put everything back in place.

Depending on the extent of the job, the cost of trenchless sewer line repair can be around $1,800 to $3,500.  If you were to ask professional plumbing services, they would tell you that about 75% of homeowners would prefer the trenchless replacement than having their entire yard dug up.

insurance policy

Insurance Policy

Do you have an insurance coverage?  You need to be aware that many insurance policies do not cover the replacement of main sewer lines despite the need to do the work because of gradual wear and tear on the pipes.  What should you do?

First, check your insurance policy coverage.  If it does not cover main sewer line replacement, have the option added in for about $50 to $100 per year.  Verify with your insurance provider the options available to you.  Some have a protection plan for as low as $15 to include coverage for electric, water, gas, and sewer lines.

You can get as much as $4,000 of coverage for the repair or replacement of the lateral and another $4,000 should street cutting be needed.  There are specific exclusions for sewer lines like major backups, tree roots, and others.  That is why you need to review your utility plan to understand its coverage and limitations.

Make sure you are prepared when the time comes to replace your sewer lines.  Contact tustin-plumbing.com, they are expert and professional plumbers and this will save you a lot of headaches and unnecessary expenses.

Why Your Type of Plumping Pipe Matters

Regardless whether you have a newly built home, remodeling your current one, or have an old house, it is important to know the type of plumbing pipes that go into it.  Why?  For one, the wrong type of plumbing pipes will not only be costly, but can lead to a number of plumbing problems, expenses, and headaches.

So why give yourself the trouble of worrying what is about to happen?  Have the peace of mind by making sure you know the type of plumbing pipes you have at the onset.

Copper Pipes

You can ask any licensed professional plumber and you will get the same answer; copper pipes are without a doubt the best choice of piping material currently because of its durability and proven track record for plumbing use.

Did you know that copper has been an integral part of the plumbing industry for more than 80 years?  In fact, it is not surprising if you inspect your home plumbing system and find out that some of your pipes are made of copper.

One of the best advantages of using copper is that it will not contribute to polluting your potable water supply.  Older copper pipes can even be recycled and put to good use.  The downside, however, is that the mining and manufacturing of this material causes immense damage to the environment to the point that tit almost negates its plumbing advantages.

Are you aware that copper pipes can be priced around $285 per 100 feet on the average?  Yes, the price of quality never comes cheap. Here are some explanation from www.riversideplumbing.biz.

Cross-Linked Polyethylene Pipes (PEX)

PEX Pipe

The greatest advantage that PEX presents is the ease of its installation.  This material is so flexible that it can be snaked into your walls with relative ease.  This is the reason why it is the choice material of many plumbers doing retrofitting work.

Did you know that a single piece of PEX can be extended across the length of an entire house?  Yes!  It can be curved around corners, avoid obstructions, and basically be installed in any configuration imaginable seamlessly.  If you need to put in a joint, you do not even have to solder anything, it is that simple to install.

Used for plumbing purposes for over 30 years, this material has proven to be a reliable option for home plumbing.  Its popular usage however came only about a decade ago, perhaps because of the questionable impact it may have on your drinking water.

This is because the production process for this material makes use of a toxin contained in gasoline.  However, to the defense of PEX, it has been approved for use in some localities known for their hardline stand on environmental regulations.

Improvement in the technology used in the manufacturing process have led industry experts to believe that the PEX today is far safer than what was used 30 years ago.  Usually you would have to pay around $30 for a hundred feet of PEX piping material.

Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes (CPVC)


Similar to the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes used for residential waste, this particular material is induced with additional chlorine to make it safe for potable plumbing.  For many homeowners with a knack for DIY work, this type of piping material is the hands down choice.

With a track record of durability built around its 40 years of use in the plumbing industry, it is relatively easy to install because no special tools or skills are needed.  Using CPVC is as easy as cutting the pipe using a regular handsaw and joining it with the use of adhesives and fittings.

Although it is a popular choice, it is far from being environmentally friendly.  The manufacturing process is very polluting.  There is also the issue of the material not being recyclable.  The adhesives used to join the materials together are also considered volatile.

The upside is that it does not pose any negative impact on water quality and it is usually sold for $50 for every 100 feet.

Polypropylene Pipe (PP)

polypropylene pipe

If you are looking for the best option for safe drinking water, then you have found it!  Although not getting the attention it deserves, this particular piping material has been used widespread in Europe for over 30 years.

Aside from its safety, it is also considered very durable much like the CPVC.  The great thing about this material is that you only need heat to melt and mate the connections permanently.  You want a green option for your home?

Look no further, this is the only material you will ever need for your home plumbing.  For $110 for 100 feet, it is suggested that you let professional plumbers do the installation.

Now that you know why it is important to understand the type of pipes used in your plumbing system, you can make a wise choice and investment.

How to Soften Your Water Supply

Do you have hard or soft water?  Do you even know which you have?  Basically, there are some telltale signs that will give you an indication whether you have hard water or not.  Hard water is the result of the magnesium and calcium ion contents of water, which leaves a residue on glasses or stain on clothes after washing.

If you have clogged plumbing pipes and fixtures because of mineral deposits, then there is a good chance that you have hard water.  How do you soften the water?

Water Softening

water softening

The conversion of hard water to soft is a process known as water softening.  This is achieved by removing the calcium, magnesium, and other metal cations in the hard water and replacing it with sodium.  This makes the water more compatible with soap and will extend the service life of your home plumbing system.

Based on www.plumbinglongbeach.us, water softening can be done in two ways; first is to treat the water supply at the point of entry to make sure that the entire house has soft water, or water can be treated at the point of use.

The second approach makes more sense if softened water is needed only at particular sources and the use of hard water would be fine at other points.  For majority of homes, the first way of softening water is more practical and will give out more savings on energy usage and maintenance costs.

Water Softening Process

water softening process

There are a number of accepted ways to soften hard water.  These involve processes that have been confirmed to be safe, thus there are no worries of adverse effect on human health.  Let’s take a look at the different water softening processes.

  1. Carbon Water Filter – this is considered as the simplest way to soften water and individually protect plumbing appliances. This process has also been known to improve the taste of potable water.  The downside to this process is that it is a bit inconvenient because of the need to replace it regularly.
  1. Salt-Based – this type of water softener processing is considered as the best possible solution for many homes. Salt-based water softeners deliver excellent results for the entire home.  This means that mineral deposits on faucets, showerheads, and other plumbing fixtures become a thing of the past.  Water used for laundry will also lather relatively faster. This will translate to savings in soap and similar cleaning materials.  Even washing machines, dishwashers, and heating systems will become more efficient because they will be scale-free.  For many homeowners this translates to lower energy usage and less costs on maintenance and repair bills.
  1. Electric and Magnetic – this type of water softening process is designed to stop the formation of scales for a limited period. The electrical and magnetic effects will soften the water as it passes through the system.  Unfortunately, because of the limited efficiency of this type of water softening system, it is seldom used in homes.

System Capacity

One of the important aspects in water softening is to make sure that the capacity of the system will match the estimated volume of water that you will consume in your home.  This will ensure that all the water that you will use has gone through the softening process.

The installation of the water softening unit will normally be in the kitchen near the main stopcock.  It is important to have the unit professionally installed to guarantee its performance.  The supply to the entire home should be treated except for the main cold water tap.  This is done to make sure that the water used for your food preparation will not be affected by the softening process.

Considering that the only costs you need to worry about with the water softening process is the replacement of the salt cubes and the electricity consumption, it would be to your advantage to have a water softening unit installed in your home.

Contact a licensed professional plumber to help you pick out the best unit for your use.

Using TILE to conserve Water and Energy

It is quite amazing how people become energy conscious only on certain days of the year; like Earth Day for example.  But did you know that you can actually take steps to save as much as 25 percent from your total energy use at home?  Take a look at the TILE approach to generate sensible savings.


Temperature Control

Did you know that by simply lowering the temperature of your water heater to around 120 degrees you can save as much as 3% to 5% of your heating costs?  In many homes, this would translate to an average of about $60 per year.  If you want to generate more savings, consider turning off your water heater when going on an extended vacation.

Since green plumbing is getting more popular, you can also consider putting in a hot water circulation pump to avoid wasting water that goes down your drain.  Are you aware that when you wait for the water to reach your comfortable temperature before taking a shower or washing your hands you are wasting water?  Using a circulation pump helps to deliver instant hot water as well as eliminate the costly practice of wasting water.


Install Insulation

Newer water heaters come equipped with heat traps, so if you have an older model, consider installing heat traps to generate as much as $15 to $30 savings.

To further boost energy conservation, add an insulation blanket to older water heater models to minimize the potential heat loss that drains your money.  Using insulation blankets is a cost effective way to deal with water tanks that normally feels warm to the touch.

water leak

Leak Checks

One of the fastest ways to drain money from any home is to leave leaks unattended.  Leaks can come from faucets, toilets, or hoses.  Sometimes, the simple practice of periodically replacing gaskets, washers, or flappers can be an inexpensive way to conserve water.

Leaking faucets can use as much as 75 liters of water daily and running toilets can waste as much as 750 liters a day!  Now that’s a lot of wasted water, don’t you think?

Hidden leaks inside and around the home can account for as much as 30% of system loses.  Calling for professional plumbing services to check for leaks can help save valuable water and money.


Efficient Upgrades

Instant water heaters allow hot water to be delivered without storing it first resulting in substantial energy savings and reduced water consumption.  With the water being heated instantly, you are consequently paying only for heated water that you use.  Costly heat losses are likewise eliminated.

Consider installing newer low-flow toilets that uses 30% less water with each flush.  With toilets accounting for 30% of household water use, the savings can be quite significant.

The shower is the biggest source of wasted water in an average household.  With this in mind, turning to low-flow showerheads can lead to as much as 50% reduction in water usage.  Regular showerheads use about 100 liters of water in 5 minutes.  Low-flow showerheads use only 35 liters for the same length of time and can deliver better water pressure and improved showering experience.

The water conservation value of these low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets is undeniable.  What is better is that they are the easiest efficient upgrade any homeowner can do because they require little to no technical skills.

Now, if you are truly serious with your efficient upgrade, replace older appliances with newer energy efficient ones.  These high-efficiency machines deliver energy savings together with water conservation that improves the longer you use them.  Check for energy star compliant appliances when considering efficient upgrades.

Following the TILE approach will bring down your water and energy usage resulting in tremendous savings for your household.