Hard Water: A Common Plumbing Problem

Scale, the product of hard water slowly accumulates in everything it touches: your dishes, your skin, your pipes, dishwasher. One way to fix it is to install a softener.

Hard water is a common plumbing problem. Of all the problems to have in your house, hard water may not be the most severe; at least not all at once. Hard water is water that is carrying heavy amounts of calcium and magnesium. These minerals probably got in your water through the rock that the water has dissolved while waiting to be pumped into your house. What these minerals do is collect on every surface your water touches. This means all of your pipes, all of your cooking utensils, and your skin are all being coated regularly with these tiny rock sediments.

Only elbow grease will remove the scummy film due to hard water.
Only elbow grease will remove the scummy film due to hard water.

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manual plumbing snake in clogged tub drain
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Do it Yourself Plumbing

Many plumbing problems can be done yourself, but you must remember to do basic things like turning off the water before getting started.

You have a plumbing problem and you are considering doing it yourself (DIY). You might be a little bit nervous worrying if you will complete the task successfully. If you feel this way, follow these top 5 tips from DIY experts and decide if you literally feel up to the job or would prefer to call in a professional. You will get no medals for bravery when tackling plumbing jobs, you can only earn the applause of your audience (your wife) by carrying out a good job properly done.

clogged bathtub drain
You can do plumbing problems such as clogged drains before calling in a professional.

1.Watch a YouTube video

Go through YouTube and watch relevant video when available to guide you with tips and tricks. This could prevent you from running into problems.

2. Make sure the water is turned off

Of course this is an obvious tip, but can you be sure that you have shut down the water supply system completely? In the moments when you are completely focused on getting stuck into your plumbing job this simple act can actually get forgotten more often than you may imagine. Check out the disasters that have happened to DIY plumbers who simply forgot to carry out this essential step on the internet. Remember that the water supply valve that you find in your home may not be the main one, so check the water supply runs dry in the area where you are working before you get started changing the plumbing.

3. Mark out your disassembly steps

For first time DIY enthusiasts or even those who decide to tackle a leak without having the right experience, the greatest danger of making a complete mess of the plumbing repair job is that in the heat of the moment the correct amount of attention has not been paid to how the plumbing parts are dismantled. Make sure that you have cleared enough room to lay out the parts in the order that they were removed to ensure that you assemble the new parts in the right order.

4. Parts inspection is vital

Familiarity with the new parts you are going to assemble is not just recommended, it is vital. You must be comfortable how each part fits together in order to be able to complete a good job sometimes in restricted and cramped working conditions. When you are working on your drains this is particularly important as badly fitted drains can cause serious problems.

5. Make sure you have enough basic supplies

Experienced plumbers will tell you that the most common problem when handling DIY plumbing jobs is finding unexpectedly that you are missing a vital basic part and therefore can’t finish the job you were working on. Make absolutely sure that you have all of the basic spare parts that you might need.

The Cost of a Leaking Water Faucet

Calculate the amount of water wasted of a leaking water faucet over time. It adds up. DIY or call a plumber if you are not comfortable in fixing it.

We have all heard the sound of a leaking faucet, and many have not calculated the cost of even a slow leak. The sound of slow and steady water droplets occurring repeatedly in the night can be enough to make a person go crazy. Aside from the annoying noise, this little terror of a plumbing problem can end up costing you hundreds. In reality, one drop of water is worth a fraction of a fraction of a penny.

Faucet Dripping
The water wasted from a dripping faucet can add up and will reflect on your water bill.

All it takes is a little mathematical skill to realize the effects that faulty faucets are having on your bill.

The numbers do not lie

With some help from the drip calculator (seriously it is a website where you can figure out precisely how much water is being wasted), we can have some fun. Let’s say one faucet in your home is dripping at a rate of 5 drops a second. Over the course of a year, it will have wasted 175 gallons of water. That water and the money spent letting it drip right down the drain could have been put to better use.

But what if we zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Maxing out the calculator’s variables to 1 million homes brings that annual figure to 173 million gallons! The cost? About $20 million or so. This is a substantial amount of water waste. It’s easy for us to forget that water is a valuable, precious natural resource.

Thus, it is the responsibility of every homeowner to ensure their plumbing systems are in top shape. If you don’t care about saving money, do it for the environment. If you don’t care about the environment, do it to save money. And if you don’t care about either of those things, do it so you don’t lose your mind!

Fix Those Faucets:

If you are not comfortable with a diy fix, call a plumber and watch him do it. You can fix the next leak. Fixing a leaky faucet isn’t too hard of a plumbing job, but it can be frustrating if you don’t know the proper steps.

      • The first thing to do is shut the water supply valve off.

      • Proceed by plugging the drain to prevent nuts and bolts from accidentally falling inside.

      • Carefully remove the sink’s fixtures.

      • Replace the O-rings if they appear to be worn out, as this is a common cause of faucet leaks.

      • As well, check all the seals and clean the internal components of any mineral deposits before reassembling the faucet.

      • Make sure all connections are snug; test to see if the leak is still present by turning the valve back on. If you are lucky, the slow drip will be history! If not, call a professional or try, try again.


dripping faucet image by Wikimedia Commons

Get to Know Your Plumbing

Hiring plumbing services to assess your pipes will help to prevent leaks, high water bills and extensive water damage to the home when the pipe bursts.

It is important to get to know your plumbing so you will know how long your pipes will last and when they should be replaced. The lifespan of the pipes in the average home is probably only a few decades. Sometimes they last longer and sometimes they don’t even last the first 10 years. This greatly depends on the material used to make them as well as ground conditions and location of the home.

Hiring a plumber to inspect your plumbing will make you aware of potential problems and future improvement projects.
Hiring a plumber to inspect your plumbing will make you aware of potential problems and future improvement projects.

Eventually, all pipes will either rust, burst or suffer from corrosion. Replacing the pipes in your home will help to prevent leaks, high water bills and more extensive water damage to the home when the pipe bursts. Prevention here is key, after all pipe replacement costs considerably less than repairing the water damage.

Hiring plumbing services to complete the inspections will help to ensure that no possible problems to the plumbing are missed by untrained eyes. As mentioned above the life-span of various piping materials varies. PVC pipes can last up to 40 years. For pipes that will last nearly 100 years, use cast iron, brass or galvanized steel. Copper piping can be expected to last nearly 80 years.

It is important to note that there are many factors that can change these estimates, such as elements of the environment and physical impacts. One good example is hard water. Hard water has been known to cause much greater wear and tear on a home’s plumbing.

When Should You Replace

If you are moving into an older home, it is a good idea to have the plumbing inspected so that you can be aware of the condition of the home’s pipes. Look at the piping material to make sure it is not dangerous. Also look for leaks and tubing that is starting to rust. Hiring a plumber to complete the inspections will help to ensure that no possible problems to the plumbing are missed by untrained eyes.

Dangerous piping material, such as polybutylene and lead should be replaced before moving in. If the home is quite aged, chances are that there are lead pipes still being used. Hazards to a person’s health can be caused by lead that enters the drinking water through the pipes.

Having the polybutylene pipes replaced is not because they are toxic. Rather, these pipes can be easily broken. By replacing them before they are damaged, you will save yourself a lot of trouble that water leaks and damage can cause. When replacing pipes, materials such at PVC, PEX and copper are acceptable.

What Else To Look For

Corrosion can be discovered by looking for discoloration, flaking and staining. Metal piping is well known for becoming corroded and this corrosion leads to leaks. If you discover any of these things within the plumbing system, replacement should be highly considered. Water leaks can also happen for other reasons, such as fittings that need tightened. Once it is determined that the tubing is good, the joints should be checked if leaking continues to be a problem. Sealing or tightening the joints could be an easy fix.

What Benefits Are There to New Plumbing

By putting in new pipes, you will be cutting your chances of leaks and water damage down. The new pipes will also increase the amount of time you can expect before you have problems with your plumbing. You should continue regular inspections of your pipes even when you have new ones as this will ensure that they will last.


For the best plumbing in Cleveland TN, visit Bill Owens Plumbing.

plumbing image by Wikimedia Commons

Hiring A Professional to Repair Your Boiler

A boiler repair specialist can change filters, ensure proper maintenance and fix your boiler malfunction more quickly than you can do yourself.

One project that you might want to pass onto a professional would be repairing your boiler. Keeping your home running properly can be challenging in a tight economy. There are many projects that you can tackle on your own to keep the costs down.  If you find that your boiler stops working properly you might want to take the time to contact a specialist in boilers. They can help you find answers to your boiler malfunction issues far more quickly than you could do yourself.

If your boiler stops working, contact a professional to make sure all of the moving parts are properly oiled and not broken.
If your boiler stops working, contact a professional to make sure all of the moving parts are properly oiled and not broken.

Taking the time to make sure that you get the job done right is essential. Hiring a specialist in boilers provides you with the professional support you need to get the repairs made.

A specialist in boilers will want to look over the boiler to be sure that all moving parts are properly oiled and not broken. If they find any parts that are broken they will work hard to make sure that they are replaced. In addition to making sure that all moving parts are working properly the professional will take the time to change any filters in your boiler so that there is no contamination getting into your boiler so that it is working properly. The debris can cause your boiler to malfunction and cause damage with time. In addition, it is wise to have the specialist in boilers change any filters in the duct work of the home. This will insure that the air you are breathing is clean.

If the professional in boilers find that your unit is old and inefficient, he or she might recommend that you consider replacing it with a newer unit. This expense can be easily offset by the savings that you will see from using a new boiler to heat your home. As your boiler ages it begins to work less efficiently causing your energy bills or fuel bills to rise dramatically. In addition, as the boiler gets older it is going to need more and more repair work, which can also get expensive. You can save these expenses by having a professional in boilers install a new boiler that is going to be more efficient.

When the professional installs the boiler they will likely want to install new thermostats as well. These are typically digital and programmable in style. This means that you can set the thermostat to go to a specified temperature during certain times of the day. This is a good way to save money by only using the amount the heating that you need at the given time. In addition, digital thermostats can more accurate in their readings. A more accurate reading means that your boiler will not need to work as hard to get the job done correctly and to provide you with reliable heating throughout the home.

Before you decide whether to replace your old boiler or not, make sure that you get a couple of estimates on the job. You want to see the materials that will be used, including the boiler itself, as well as the labor costs on the page. Make sure the boiler that is going to be installed has a warranty on it and that you understand the limitations of that warranty. The professional should also guarantee their installation and be willing to back it up. Hire a professional with a good reputation to do the job so that there is no mistaking that they will do it well. You will want to make sure that you hire a licensed contractor that carries insurance to handle the work ahead.


boiler image by Wikimedia Commons

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