Is Your Water Hard or Soft, and Why Does It Matter?

Water might look like a liquid to the naked eye, but its specific properties and additives can actually make it “hard” or “soft” water. Even if you can’t see or feel the difference, you can certainly recognize the signs and symptoms associated with each. Here’s what you should know about hard and soft water for your own home, and when it might be time to call a plumber for help.

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Soft water is considered pure because the only ion it contains is sodium. Pure, uncontaminated rainwater, for example, is soft. Unfortunately, our environment has become so polluted that it’s almost impossible to find naturally soft water.

As water travels through waterways and along the ground, it picks up minerals like a magnet. Some minerals most commonly found in water include magnesium, chalk, calcium and lime. When water is so saturated with minerals it is considered hard. Hard water not only provides health concerns when it is used as drinking water, but it also runs the risk of causing damage to a home’s plumbing system. Continue reading “Is Your Water Hard or Soft, and Why Does It Matter?”

What is Your Water Hiding?

Whether you receive your water from a municipal source or from your own backyard well, it is very important to consider what your water might be hiding. Simply using the water that falls from the faucet isn’t always the best or safest choice, especially if you have hard water. Is your household water hard or soft, and why does it matter?

The Difference Between Hard and Soft Water

Soft water is considered pure because the only ion it contains is sodium. Pure rainwater is soft, but pure rainwater is virtually impossible to find in our polluted environment. Water must travel through waterways and along the ground, picking up other minerals like a magnet. Continue reading “What is Your Water Hiding?”

Replace Chemical Drain Uncloggers with These Better Options

Slow-running and completely stopped-up drains are very common in households, especially those with young children, but chemical-based uncloggers aren’t always the best solution. They are definitely simple and convenient, but they also place a host of dangerous chemicals into the water supply and threaten the integrity of your pipes. Next time you have a clog, give these alternatives a try instead.

Why Avoid Chemical-Based Uncloggers?

First and foremost, the ingredients in these solutions are no friend to the environment. Some of the ingredients are downright toxic. By pouring them down the drain, you are guaranteeing that they end up in rainwater, sewage systems, and eventually rivers, oceans, and streams. Continue reading “Replace Chemical Drain Uncloggers with These Better Options”

What Happens to the Pipes You Don’t Use Regularly?

You may not think about them frequently, but the pipes in your home serve the essential purpose of delivering water exactly where and when you need it. Chances are that you use the majority of your pipes on a regular basis to take showers, clean the dishes, flush toilets, and water the lawn. However, if you have a sink or tub that isn’t used on a daily or weekly basis, you might be inadvertently leaving those pipes vulnerable to damage from an unlikely source: bugs! Continue reading “What Happens to the Pipes You Don’t Use Regularly?”

Just because Your Sewer Is Out of Sight, It Shouldn’t Be Out of Mind

How much thought do you give to your sewer lines? If you’re like most homeowners, probably not much! Sewer lines stay out of sight, so it’s easy to take their functionality for granted. However, since you rely on your sewer lines to transport wastewater from your home into underground sewer mains, the last thing you want to experience is a sewer line clog that forces raw sewage to come up and out of your drains. Remain alert for signs of a sewer line problem so that you can resolve the issue before it becomes a major expense and inconvenience.

Listen To What Your Plumbing Tells You

Just like the body is interconnected, so is the plumbing in your house. If you are observant, you may notice strange patterns starting to occur when you utilize different components of your plumbing. For example, your drains might start to gurgle after you flush the toilet, or your toilet might start to percolate after you run the washing machine. If these reactions start to happen, you could be facing a clog in your main sewer line or one of the secondary lines. Continue reading “Just because Your Sewer Is Out of Sight, It Shouldn’t Be Out of Mind”

Working Toward Lead Plumbing Clarity

lead-pipesWater safety and accessibility are major issues around the world, even in the United States where most people assume such problems have been resolved. As the Flint Water Crisis proved, lead is still a leading concern when it comes to water safety. Now, the EPA is working to implement regulations that will help minimize lead poisoning and keep drinking water safe for families across America.

Dangers of Lead

Humans have used lead for thousands of years. In fact, the first known mining of lead occurred nearly 8,000 years ago. However, Greek physicians discovered its danger, with Nicander of Colophon describing it as “deadly” with crippling effects on the human body. A different Greek physician, Pedanius Dioscorides, even noted, “Lead makes the mind give way.” Despite this and the fact that the Occupation Safety and Health Research Institute determined that, “Lead poisoning is one of the earliest identified and most known occupational disease. Its acute effects have been recognized from antiquity,” it took the United States Congress until the 1980s to formally ban lead as an ingredient in plumbing pieces. Continue reading “Working Toward Lead Plumbing Clarity”

Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

water-childRegardless of the source of your water, contamination is a real threat in today’s world. Pollution, discarded chemicals, and so many other made-man components all threaten the health of the water that we use and drink. It’s important to remain aware of the potential contamination present in your drinking water, as well as the methods available to purify your water and protect your health.

Why Does Contamination Form? Continue reading “Is Your Drinking Water Safe?”

Your Winter Weather Plumbing Guide

34269224 - a pipe showing freeze damageLiving in the south, you are largely shielded from many of the unpleasant effects of intense winter weather, but that doesn’t mean winter weather can’t impact you. The south has seen its fair share of unexpected weather, so you can never rule out the possibility of a snow or ice storm on your area. There are many precautions to take when preparing for winter weather, including on your household plumbing. Follow these tips to keep your plumbing running smoothly all winter long. Continue reading “Your Winter Weather Plumbing Guide”

These Holiday Plumbing Tips will Save the Day

43082449 - happy woman using plunger in kitchen sink at homeBelieve it or not, Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the busiest times of the years for plumbers. These holidays bring together large family gatherings and robust amounts of food, which places great strain on household pipes in a number of ways. Countless showers, toilet flushes, hand washing, and food disposals have the potential to cause disaster, so follow these holiday plumbing tips to keep your pipes as happy as your guests. Continue reading “These Holiday Plumbing Tips will Save the Day”

Take Advantage of Your Plumbing with a Touchless Faucet

13120132 - modern crane with flowing waterTechnology is a wonderful thing, especially when it can help you make the most of your indoor plumbing. Your pipes work faithfully everyday to keep a steady flow of water in and out of your home, and you can take advantage of that by installing some updated hardware to maximize your water use.

Touchless Kitchen Faucet Continue reading “Take Advantage of Your Plumbing with a Touchless Faucet”