Chemical Free Water Conditioning Technologies

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

One of the most common problems facing pipes and home appliances is the buildup of limescale from hard water, which contains dissolved mineral such as calcium and magnesium ions. Over time, your pipes can be totally blocked with these deposits. When this happens, the flow of water may be restricted and may cause serious damage to equipment. Furthermore, your dishwashers and other machines run the risk of overheating. Expect more energy to be used for your hot water and heating systems as well. In worse cases, this may lead to shorter life expectancy of your appliances. Because of these risks, some companies offer chemical free water conditioning technologies as an option for both residential and commercial buildings.

What are water softeners and how do they work?

Water softeners use salt and ion-exchange resins that are coated in a sodium solution to allow calcium and magnesium ions to migrate out of the solution, replacing them with sodium ions. If you do not want to add salt or chemicals to your water, this is when salt-free softener or chemical free water conditioners become an alternative.

The functions of chemical free water conditioners include:

  • Removal of calcium and magnesium ions in hard water
  • Prevention of scale formation due to mineral buildup in hot water boilers and pipes
  • Help in the gradual dissolution of the scale, depending on the extent of damage the heating system has incurred
  • Prevention of rust inside pipes
  • Protection of on-demand water heaters and other sensitive home appliances from mineral build-up

What are the benefits of using chemical free water conditioning technologies?

  • Eco-friendly because they produce zero discharge and there is no need for electricity
  • Easier to maintain
  • Natural alternatives
  • Easier to clean showers and appliances
  • Compact in physical design
  • Longer life expectancy for your water heater and appliances
  • Faster and more effective results

Softened or conditioned water brings positive benefits to your family’s well-being, provides better drinking water if you have pets, and allows you to feel softer, healthier skin and hair when you bathe. Most noteworthy, you can save on installation costs and maintenance since most chemical free water conditioning technologies require less of these usual requirements. Talk to a specialist and find out the best water conditioning technology suited for your home.


Home for the Holidays: Time for Your Plumbing Wish List

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Kids are looking forward to their gifts. Family members are coming. Guests are paying a visit. Undoubtedly, this is your household’s busiest time of the year. Well, not to mention the preparations you make every morning and the tasks waiting for you at home from work. Before you get involved with all the chaos surrounding the holidays, make sure to add plumbing preparations to your to-do list.

 

We have prepared a list of items that are worth checking out to ensure that everything goes smoothly according to your plans and nothing will spoil the celebration.

  • Is your water heater functioning? Does the pressure relief valve operate properly? If you have not flushed your water heater tank for a year, try it now to remove sediments and deposits.
  • To save on time and energy, simultaneously replace the anode rods (as this requires draining of water), or what is sometimes referred to as sacrificial anodes, because they help keep water heaters survive for a longer time.
  • Dispose of grease and other debris properly. While this will require additional time and energy, consider the costs you will have to incur if your drain gets clogged.
  • Consider putting a mesh strainer over your shower drain and kitchen and bathroom traps to stop unwanted materials from blocking water passage.
  • Double check your toilet’s handles, flappers and flush valves. The bathroom will be one of the most visited areas. Take care to ensure that guests will not come running out because of clogged toilets or foul smells. Regularly keep an empty wastebasket inside the bathroom to discourage guests and children from flushing unwanted items through your plumbing system.
  • Insulate exposed pipes. If your family is planning to leave home for some time, turn on your outdoor faucets and drain the pipes. This is to prevent trapped water from freezing.

If you would rather seek the assistance of a professional, schedule a maintenance check with a plumbing expert to ensure that every possible plumbing issue is accounted for. Now it’s time to prepare your holiday wish list.


Top 11 Trends in Plumbing Technology and Fixtures

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

The growth of technological innovations in the past decade has already surpassed the expectations of experts within the plumbing industry. As companies continue to invest in research and development (R&D), consumers could expect more highly-engineered bathroom and kitchen fixtures and plumbing products in the coming years.

Let us take a look at the latest developments in plumbing fixtures, furniture and fittings, including new designs that were showcased in the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando:

Robert Vanity Tops

Robert Vanity Tops in Silestone

  1. More color options for bath and kitchen faucets and handles, with particular focus on gold, bronze, gunmetal and matte-black finishes
  2. Kitchen sinks in quartz and composite materials that can resist scratches, bangs, stains and even heat. A quartz and acrylic resin combination for example, features a color that will not fade, is easy to clean, and will not produce any lingering odors.
  3. LED lighting and screens
  4. Self-cleaning toilets
  5. Luxurious, spa-style showers that can be controlled with just the touch of a button
  6. Waste-repellant toilet bowls
  7. Vanity cabinets that can fit tight bathroom spaces and powder rooms
  8. Smart home automation plumbing systems that can conserve natural resources while reducing a household’s water footprint
  9. Eco-friendly components for faucets, shower heads and toilets
  10. Smart appliances. Some even have computer chips installed in them that act as the main controllers.
  11. Tankless water heaters

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) 2017 Tech Symposium Product Show may be a great venue to witness the latest technological inventions in the industry and to directly ask the manufacturers regarding their products. It will be held on October 19-22, 2017 at the Hotel Bonaventure Montréal in Québec. Plumbing industry professionals will have the chance to learn new skills as well or refresh their design collection.

 


Top 8 Energy Conservation Tips When Heating Water

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

According to the US Department of Energy, water heaters are the second biggest contributors of electricity in the home. They account for almost 17% of a home’s energy use. The estimated average cost per hour of a water heater that uses 4,000 watts is $0.40 per kWh. If you regularly consume 2 to 3 hours of energy per day, that would result to $25 to $37 per month. It is a different matter during winter, when you probably have to heat more water for your bathing, cleaning or hand-washing needs.

Aside from buying low-flow shower heads and faucets, there are simple domestic strategies that you can employ to conserve energy when heating water.

  1. Reduce the temperature. Setting the thermostat to a moderate level, say 120 degrees Fahrenheit, can definitely lower the energy consumption by 3 to 5% without sacrificing the heater’s function. Sinks require even lower temperature (105 degrees F) for cleaning hands.
  2. Use a thermal insulator on the pipes to delay heat loss and control the condensation.
  3. Limit the hours of operation as much as possible. You can take short showers instead of the regular baths or simply try to reduce your time showering.
  4. Strategically place the heater near the most frequent areas of use to minimize piping heat loss.
  5. Install heat traps on the water heater tank if it does not have yet.
  6. Use cold water when doing laundry especially during the rinse cycle.
  7. Ask a plumbing professional to repair leaks from fixtures, appliances and hot water piping.
  8. Invest in a more modern and efficient water heater. There are new models of water heating systems that provide energy savings and improved performance.

Below is a video demonstrating the proper installation of a water heater wrap:

In case it has been determined that there is a need to replace your water heater, a plumbing expert should be able to provide you informative options suitable to your household needs.


Plumbing Problems? Beat Them While You Can

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Having immediate access to a wealth of information offering instant solutions to your plumbing problems, it may be easy to think that you can do all of them by yourself. Bear in mind though that what looks easy on the outside can really be complicated to someone who has no plumbing experience at all. As your doctor always tells you, still the best way to beat a sickness is to prevent its onset.

blocked-drains

Let us take a look at the most common plumbing issues household members experience and what can be done to avoid them:

  • Blocked drains. Regularly clean drains to avoid the accumulation of dirt, oil and grease deposits, and other debris. Always be mindful of what comes down your drain. If you think it will block the flow of water at some point, then just do not do it. Use mesh screens especially in the bathrooms to catch those falling hair. Learn how to use an auger or drain snake for simple de-clogging procedures.
  • Running toilet. Ever wondered why even after flushing, the flush tank does not seem to stop its sound? It may be that some parts of the mechanism have been disengaged or something has prevented the flapper from closing, causing the water to run intermittently. Due to wear and tear, it may be ideal to replace parts with new ones. The handle is usually the first one to break down due to its constant use.
  • Low water pressure. This problem usually results from a buildup of deposits or sediment on aerators or from the most difficult to identify: leaks. Regularly clean a shower head or faucet aerator and if you can spare, buy a water pressure gauge and check the actual pressure in your pipes.
  • Conduct a regular inspection of joints, where leaks most often occur, since they are the easiest to replace. Insulate taps or protect garden hoses especially in the winter. Install a shut-off valve to every water line or ask your plumber about ABS or PVC pipes for drains.

Do not wait for these problems to occur. The best way to prevent them from happening is to seek the advice of plumbing professionals to evaluate the entire house. They can see problems before they even occur, thus easing future stress and helping you save time and money in the process.


Why Grease Traps Are a Must for Those Kitchen Sinks

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

One of the most common problems facing kitchen sinks is the accumulation of grease or oil residues down the tube. Even if your plumber has probably warned you to avoid such materials from being poured into the pipe, over time it becomes habitual or just simply becomes unavoidable. Thus, the need to use grease traps.

Plumbing-Supply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grease traps are also known as grease interceptors or grease converters. The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) differentiates grease traps from grease interceptors based on the waste water flow rate that can be dealt with by the device. Grease traps can handle less than 50 gallons per minute while grease interceptors can handle more than 50 gallons, thus they are more common in commercial or industrial establishments.

Grease traps can reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) and other solid waste materials by restricting their flow before they enter the waste water disposal system. Thus, the risks of drain and sink blockages are reduced. Solids that will be accumulated or remain deposited on the bottom of grease traps are then removed during grease trap cleaning and maintenance. Grease traps can be emptied when the sludge fills a quarter of the tank. Regular cleaning should always be observed to avoid rotting of FOGs, which could result in odor or gas build-up.

The grease trap installation process usually involves identifying the size of the grease trap that you require, determining where to install it, and connecting the parts, which may vary from one manufacturer to another.  Unlike their commercial counterparts, residential grease traps are much easier to install and clean, but getting an expert to do these tasks will ease your worries on whether you are doing it the right way or missing out on something important. Still have questions? Ask a plumber now and get that needed protection for your waste water disposal system.

 


Five Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a House

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Buying a house is something that people should take seriously. After all, it is a huge investment that requires contemplative thinking so costly mistakes can be avoided. Whether you are starting a family or just need to relocate, a few tips can go a long way :

keys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Conduct an ocular inspection of the house and the surrounding area. Check the location’s accessibility to major establishments, level of security maintenance, and whether it is prone to flooding or wildfires or near the fault line.
  2. Seek the assistance of a qualified professional. A licensed builder, a surveyor or an architect can find out about possible defects or problems that you may not be aware of. It will incur additional cost, but it might save you from being forced to spend on unforeseen expenses in the future that a professional could have found out in the first place.
  3. Negotiate and decide effectively. Try to get the best deal and always be in control of the situation. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured by others. They may mean well, but it will be you who will shoulder all the expenses and face the challenges along the way.
  4. Look for a trustworthy agent. Someone who can make constructive feedback without sacrificing his/her own personal intentions can make a lot of things easier for you.
  5. Compute, compute and compute. On the financial aspect, make sure that you can really afford paying for the house on a long-term basis. Bear in mind that aside from mortgage payments, you also have to pay for property taxes, remodeling and maintenance expenses, and other miscellaneous costs. Do not forget to get the best house insurance there is for protection in the event of a catastrophe or theft.

And while you are seriously doing these aforementioned tips, take a moment to smile and imagine the positive benefits of having your own home. Make it a memorable experience and believe that it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. Happy buying!


Solving the Problem of Water Leaks

water-conservation-news

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

You went out to enjoy the morning.  You checked your mailbox and came across your monthly water bill. All of a sudden, the world is spinning because you are not sure if the figure in the bill is right. It is normal to feel confounded by a sudden increase in you water bill, but before you go blaming yourself or the people within your household, try to analyze your water usage in the past month. The typical domestic uses of water include drinking, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, and watering the car or the garden, among several others. If there was no unusual activity that might have caused the sudden spike in water consumption, chances are you probably have water leaks.

Below are the most common causes of water leaks:

  1. Possible clogs in drains, toilets, gutters or in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  2. Old plumbing system that has been eaten away by rust and other forms of corrosion
  3. Uneven or unregulated water pressure
  4. Rusting and sediment in water heaters
  5. External leaks caused by tree roots growing into your pipes
  6. Sudden extreme temperature changes
  7. Poor plumbing job

It is recommended that you seek the help of a qualified professional to ensure that the incident is resolved properly and does not happen again in the future. It will help you avoid unnecessary costs that may be incurred if you decide otherwise. You can seek the help of leak detection experts at Drain Busters Plumbing & Rooter if you think you have a plumbing leak in your home or office. They can do emergency plumbing, re-piping, drain cleaning, or burst pipe repair, depending on your needs.

Try to conduct regular checkups or maintenance of appliances, toilets, pipes, water heaters and gutters to avoid water leaks in the future. That way, you will not get dizzy the next time you open that mailbox and read your bill.


Are Your Plumbing Pipes Worn Out? Here Is How To Find Out

By Arnold Obat

Plumber in Houston, TX

Image Source: Pinterest

Plumbing pipes, just like any other object that is constantly in use can be worn out over a period of time and as such, it’s very important that you inspect them from time to time especially if you are living in an old house.

Before conducting an inspection, make sure that you know exactly what you are doing and what to look for. If you don’t know what to do during the inspection, then you will find this post to be of great value to you as it will show you how to check whether your plumbing pipes are worn out in 4 simple steps.

That said, make sure you get help from a professional plumber if you feel you need an expert’s perspective on your plumbing pipes.

Leaks

The first thing you want to do when doing the inspections is check for any leaks. Leaks, as you already know, tend to be problematic and in most cases, they do end up causing serious damages that require extensive repairs if not looked into.

Checking for leaks is simple all you have to do is simply look out for an accumulation of mildew or molds. In general, these two tend to thrive in moist environments and as such, you are likely going to find them where there is a leak in your home. You can use this method to inspect hard to reach plumbing pipes like ones placed behind a wall or under the floor.

Stains or Warping

In addition to leaks, you can also inspect your home for any worn out plumbing pipes by simply checking for stains. When checking for stains, there are certain areas you need to focus on and they are underneath the sink, in the bathtub, the wall and lastly the ceiling.

If at any point during your inspection you happen to notice a stain, then that simply implies that you have worn out plumbing pipes that need repair. Consider seeking help from a professional plumber if you notice stains or warping in your home.

Corrosion

Checking for corrosions is another trick you can take up when you choose to inspect your home for worn out plumbing pipes. When doing the corrosion inspection there are certain things you should look out for and they are pimples, flaking, discoloration, and dimpling.

If you find any of these, rest assured that there is corrosion and as such, it’s time to replace worn out plumbing pipes. This method can prove to be a bit problematic so feel free to get in touch with a plumber for further details on how to go about it.

Water Discoloration

Water discoloration can help you a lot during the inspection of your home’s plumbing pipes. However, it’s good to point out that it tends to work best after you’ve been out of the house for a while, may be you were on a vacation, or on faucets that haven’t been used for some time.

What are you looking for? Well, you are simply looking for discolored water. If you do find discolored water when you open any faucet in your house, then this an indication that it’s time to change your plumbing pipes.

The discolored water you seeing pouring out from the faucet imply that rust is present in your pipes and thus the water discoloration. In some cases, the rust that accumulates tend to harden the water and as a result end up affecting its taste. This, if not dealt with in good time, can end up resulting in serious health problems for anyone using contaminated water.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the work of inspecting plumbing pipes to check whether they are worn out is something that should be done by homeowners on a regular basis. If you happen to come across something that you are unsure of during the inspection, then do contact a professional plumber and let him/her assist you where necessary. Lastly, always ensure that you fix your pipes in good times in order to avoid any serious plumbing pipe problems in future.