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Homeowners in Hinckley, IL, know that maintenance is an essential aspect of owning a home. Plumbing is essential to daily life, so keeping the home’s plumbing system in good working order is very important. Some people think of plumbers as professionals to call when something goes wrong or when they want to install or upgrade plumbing fixtures, but your local plumber is also a valuable resource when it comes to routine tasks.
Slow Drains and Clogs
We’ve all dealt with slow drains and clogged pipes. Drain cleaners may seem like a good option because they’re cheap and easy, but they can also damage pipes. Sometimes drain cleaners do clear clogs, but it’s usually a temporary fix. They can’t find the underlying problem the way a professional plumber can. Using these chemicals too often can corrode pipe walls and contribute to leaks.
There are several steps you can take to address slow drains and frequent clogs. Drain strainers are a good investment that can save you a lot of trouble in the future. If a strainer in every drain isn’t feasible, at least install one in the kitchen sink and the shower. They are both high-traffic drains that encounter hair, soap scum, food particles, and other things that may cause clogs.
Some things should never enter drains because they create clogs or contribute to residue building up in your pipes. Substances to avoid include coffee grounds, eggshells, paper towels, cotton balls, pits and seeds from fruits or vegetables, and all types of fat, oil, and grease.
Flushable wipes are another common culprit. The flushable label should be ignored. These wipes don’t break down properly in septic systems and they create clogs in residential plumbing infrastructure as well as public infrastructure. When flushable wipes and other things that don’t break down accumulate in the sewer system, work crews have to find and remove the debris. It’s not a pleasant job and it’s also very relevant for homeowners. Problems in public sewers can also create difficulties for individual residences, and water bills may increase to cover the costs of frequent maintenance.
Call your plumber if you find yourself struggling with frequent clogs and slow drains. Plumbers have tools, such as video cameras to look inside pipes, that let them find the problem and figure out an appropriate solution. Seek professional help before the problem escalates.
No one can determine if their home has hard water just by looking at it. Hard water is clear and safe to drink. The effects develop over time. A dingy coating may appear on the shower, sink, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures. This coating is residue from consistently using hard water. Minerals are left behind after water evaporates. The residue isn’t just accumulating on visible fixtures though, it’s also building up within pipes as well.
Small spots of discoloration appear on dishes and can leave you wondering if your dishwasher is actually cleaning dishes and utensils. Mineral deposits from hard water eventually reduce the available space within pipes. This can lead to low water pressure, which may be especially noticeable in the shower. This residue can also shorten the life of your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Hard water also affects our skin, hair, and nails. Hair and nails may become hard and brittle, and skin tends to dry out and develop noticeable flaking. Clothes feel stiff and scratchy after a few cycles through the washer and dryer.
Hard water can be analyzed and confirmed with a water testing kit or samples sent to a lab. Your plumber can help you get the water tested. Hard water is categorized according to the amount of calcium and magnesium it contains. These substances are measured in parts per million, or PPM, or grains per gallon, which is shortened to GPG.
Many homeowners in Hinckley, IL, choose water softeners to remove minerals from hard water. Potassium and salt are used in some ion exchange water softening systems to replace the calcium and magnesium. These types of softeners don’t affect anything else, such as chlorine, and it isn’t always helpful to increase sodium or potassium levels in water.
Although the levels of magnesium and calcium in hard water aren’t enough to influence the amount of these minerals in our bodies, potassium and salt in water can affect our electrolyte balance. Salt can also have a corrosive effect on pipes and fixtures. Hot water heaters are especially susceptible to salt corrosion.
Reverse osmosis is one way to remove minerals, and almost any other solid substance, from your water. Although reverse osmosis is extremely effective, it has many downsides, such as large amounts of wasted water, complex equipment, and a time-consuming process. Ask your plumber if reverse osmosis is right for your home.
Chelation is another water conditioning process. Chelation binds and stabilizes magnesium and calcium. Citric acid is used as a chelant agent that attracts mineral ions and forms a ring-like chemical structure. This structure stops minerals from sticking to plumbing fixtures, so they can’t form scale. Chelation also reduces alkalinity overall and eventually clears scale that already exists, although this can take quite a long time. Citric acid is approved by the FDA and it’s a naturally occurring acid found in many fruits.
Capacitive deionization, or CDI, uses electrical currents to attract ions. No salt or potassium is involved. CDI captures ions in your water to minimize scale and provides mostly soft water, although the backwash contains almost 25% rejected water. Electrically induced precipitation also uses electrical current. It facilitates the formation of soft scale on an electrode, so the ions in your water are reduced by approximately 50%. Backwash is necessary to clean the electrode, so the downside of this system is increased water use.
The professional plumbers at Just In Time in Hinckley, IL, can help you with all of your home’s plumbing needs. They’re experts at dealing with everything from clogged pipes to hard water. Just In Time also offers emergency services for situations that need a plumber immediately.