There are a number of potential problems to be aware of when it comes to your home’s plumbing system, the least of which (and one of the most problematic) being the presence of hard water. Many homeowners have to deal with this issue, even though most aren’t even aware they have a problem.

It’s important to understand what hard water is, its symptoms, and how it impacts your plumbing system if you want to keep that system in the best possible condition. You’d also do well to consider the installation of a whole-house water softener, installed by a professional plumber in Paramus, NJ.

WHAT IS HARD WATER?

This describes water that has high concentrations of magnesium and calcium particles in it. These particles are not particularly harmful for you or your pets to ingest, but they can do things like make your clothes fade faster in the washing machine, make your hair brittle after a shower, and make your dishes come out of the dishwasher all spotted.

The real danger, however, of hard water is the threat to your plumbing system. Years of exposure to hard water takes its toll—the walls of the pipe will start accumulating mineral deposits, known most commonly as limescale.

THE IMPACT OF LIME SCALE

So, why should you worry about limescale growing in your home’s plumbing system? Well, the more limescale builds up, the more it restricts the flow of water through your pipes. This decreases the water pressure in your plumbing system, making it difficult for the system to work as effectively as possible.

Worse, if the limescale isn’t caught and removed in a timely manner it will eventually harden. This makes it nearly impossible to remove the scale without damaging the pipe it’s attached to. If you want to truly protect your plumbing system from hard water and the limescale it creates, you’ll need to take preventive measures.

PREVENTING THE EFFECTS OF HARD WATER

As we alluded to above, the best way to address hard water is to have a whole-house water softener installed in your home’s water line. This system is a type of water treatment system developed specifically to combat hard water. There are a number of different types of water softeners, but they all work along the same principle—they neutralize the magnesium and calcium particles in the water, “softening” that water.

If you’re not sure whether or not your home suffers from the effects of hard water, there are a few ways you can spot the signs. Look around your faucets, and your bathtub and shower drain—do you see any chalky, white substance? That is limescale, and if you notice it in those areas you can make a safe bet that it’s in your pipes, too.

Another indicator to watch for is reduced water pressure, but the truly best way to check for hard water is to contact a professional and have your water tested.

Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today for quality service and guaranteed satisfaction.

Hard water is a plumbing problem many of us just deal with. It may make your hair feel greasy or leave soap scum behind in the tub or residue on dishes, but at least it’s not bad for your health, right? You might feel that hard water is a manageable problem and you don’t have to treat it, but there is the unfortunate fact that hard water can ruin your plumbing.

Learn why it’s so important to treat hard water and which systems work best in today’s guide. We’re here to answer any questions you have and make sure you get the best water filtration system or water softener for your home, so contact our team to learn more.

THE PROBLEM WITH HARD WATER

Hard water is the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water supply, and is a bigger problem than most people realize. True, it does not normally cause any adverse health effects when you drink it. But it causes other problems that you may or may not notice.

  • Soap doesn’t dissolve easily in hard water, which means soap scum is left behind in tubs and residue may be left on clothes or in dishwashers.
  • Many people notice their skin or hair just doesn’t feel clean enough after a shower with hard water.
  • Mineral deposits are left behind on sinks and drains, making them harder to clean.
  • Those same mineral deposits can clog pipes and ruin coffee makers, dishwashers, showerheads, and other plumbing appliances.

That last point is why we think it’s so important to find a water treatment system that works for your hard water.

USING WATER FILTERS TO TREAT HARD WATER

Many types of water filters make the claim that they can treat hard water—and this is true. Much of the sediment in hard water can get trapped in a media filter or carbon filter, softening the water—to an extent. A water filter may be best for homes in which hard water isn’t the biggest problem, but other pollutants or poor water taste are a primary concern.

WATER SOFTENERS

If you really want to be sure hard water is eliminated, the best bet is a water softener. This system replaces the minerals in the water supply with salt, in small amounts so it is not harmful to ingest. You will have to keep the water softener maintained and refill salt from time to time, but it’s worth it to protect your home from the adverse effects of hard water.

REVERSE OSMOSIS

Reverse osmosis systems are quite powerful, using the scientific process of (reverse) osmosis to allow pressurized pure water through a very thin membrane, and almost nothing else. That means it should block most minerals.

However, hard water can actually interfere with the operation of a reverse osmosis system. One reason you might look into installing a water softener is because you have a reverse osmosis system that you’d like to protect!

Get a new water filter or water softener in Teaneck, NJ from BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

If you have hard water, you know it can be a pain. If you let hard water go untreated, you could end up with some tough cleaning to do in the bathroom and kitchen. More important, though, is that your plumbing system’s lifespan is lowered significantly thanks to hard water, a high concentration of minerals like calcium in your water supply.

That’s why you may need a whole-house water softener to eliminate hard water at the source, right where it enters your home. Unfortunately, maintaining your water heater can seem like a pain as well. However, as long as you stay on schedule and have plumbing technicians take care of the hard parts, it doesn’t have to be so difficult!

The more you maintain your system, the less work you have to do in the long run, and the fewer repairs you’ll make. Read on for a handy reference to typical water softener maintenance.

CHECK SALT LEVELS ONCE A MONTH

Many people think that salt is what softens the water, but this isn’t quite true. The resin beads within the tank are what absorb the minerals that create hard water, and salt is necessary to clean the resin beads so they can absorb more calcium and magnesium.

The level of salt you need in your softener should be indicated in your manual. If salt levels are lower than you need, it’s time to refill. Typically, the tank should be at least half-filled with salt, with salt levels exceeding the water level by about 3 inches. If salt mushes together or bridges in the tank, you may have to break this up with a broom handle.

USE THE RIGHT SALT

If you run a search online, you’ll find many types and brands of salt competing for your attention, made specifically for water softeners. We strongly recommend against just going with the cheapest salt for economic reasons. Rock salt, for example, is often less expensive than evaporated salt pellets, but it contains calcium sulfate, which cannot properly dissolve in the water and may do more harm than good for your tank.

Instead, we usually recommend the evaporated salt pellets, which are purer and soluble. That means you won’t have to deal with so much buildup at the bottom or sides of the tank.

USE WATER SOFTENER CLEANER EVERY FEW MONTHS

Liquid water softener cleaner helps the resin beads to remain as effective as possible, and to remove hard water ions efficiently. Use this once every few months right before a regeneration cycle, and according to label instructions. This is especially important if your tank has high iron levels.

CALL IN EXPERTS TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN THE TANK

For your part, it’s important to keep a schedule of when each task should be completed for your water heater. On your personal calendar, mark one day a month to check salt levels and one day every three months to clean out the tank. In addition, mark one day a year you’ll call in technicians to professionally maintain the tank.

Professional water heater maintenance is an important part of keeping up your water softener’s lifespan. First, it gives you a break from the drudgery of monthly maintenance. More importantly, a qualified technician can find issues you may have missed, and make sure the water softener continues to function properly.

Schedule service for your water softener in Westwood, NJ with the experts at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Survey a group of homeowners about the worst problems they’ve come across and had to repair during their homeownerships, and plumbing problems are likely to be some of the most popular answers. A problem with your plumbing system may result in drainage issues or even backup through the sink, but water piping issues can be just as bad.

And one of the plumbing problems that may take you by surprise during your homeownership has to do with the quality of your water. We’re not talking about bacteria and other pollutants. That’s an entirely different problem. Today, we focus on hard water: what it is, how it wreaks havoc on a plumbing system, and how a water softener can help.

WHAT IS HARD WATER?

Hard water is not a water quality issue in the traditional sense. It shouldn’t cause health issues for your family members, and it won’t turn your water green or brown, which is why some homeowners think it’s not worth dealing with.

Hard water is when the water supply coming into your home has an excess of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals, while typically safe to ingest, can cause big trouble when they get into the pipes and all the other connected appliances.

HOW DOES HARD WATER DAMAGE PLUMBING?

You may have noticed these minerals or at least the left-behind deposits, called scaling, before. White and yellowish spots on drains and faucets are due to scaling. They’re tough to clean, but may not seem like a huge problem.

However, those same deposits built up on the drain in the bathroom sink can be inside the pipes as well. That can interfere with the way water flows through the pipes, as it restricts the volume of water flowing therein.

Eventually, all of that scaling can cause problems for pipes and other appliances:

  • Scaling built up in pipes can collect to an amount that actually blocks water from flowing, forcing you to replace pipes or clean them out with chemicals.
  • Deposits in a water heater or boiler can cause dangerous pressure changes.
  • Dishwashers, clothes washers, and other appliances may become blocked up and require replacement sooner than expected.

HOW CAN A WATER SOFTENER HELP?

A water softener is your best protection against hard water. While there are filtration systems that can block some level of particulate and mineral deposits, only a water softener can really do the trick. That’s because a water softener is NOT a filter.

Rather, a water softener replaces the ions in hard water with salt, essentially. This is still safe to drink, yet some people choose to couple a water softener with a second water treatment system. Read our blog post about additional benefits of water softeners!

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING A WATER SOFTENER?

What you should know about a water softener is that you should always look for one designed to take care of hard water throughout the entire home (not just a single fixture). A water softener installed at the meter will help to protect all your pipes and fixtures.

Secondly, you should only allow a professional plumber to install, repair, or maintain your water softener. A water softener is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all fixture, and you want one that’s right for your home—and you need it to last for many years!

Finally, you should be prepared to refill salt from time to time. This is something you can handle on your own, though our plumbers are happy to show you how!

Get your water softener in Fort Lee, NJ from the professional plumbers at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating.

Bergenfield, NJ residents have to deal with a number of recurring problems with their plumbing, including hard water deposits which are a regular issue around here. The good news is that hard water is rarely harmful. It’s simply water with a higher-than-average mineral content, usually safe minerals like calcium and magnesium that your body can absorb safely. But hard water can cause considerable problems with your quality of life and your plumbing in subtle, but no less damaging ways.

A whole-house water softener installed in your plumbing system can curtail those problems and ensure they never bother you again. Here are 3 benefits to water softeners that you should consider. 

plumber performing water softener maintenance on water heater in Bergenfield

1. CLEANER DRINKING WATER

We like to perform a quick experiment to demonstrate how a water softener can clean your water. Fill an ice tray with water from your tap, then fill a second one with bottled water from the store. When the ice freezes, you can see how much cloudier the faucet water is. A water softener will change all of that, making drinking water taste better as well as improving the taste of food cooked with it.

2. SOFTER SHOWERS

A water softener will help remove that crusty white build-up on your faucet or shower head. But it will also make your showers more pleasant, eliminating the red raw feeling you may experience and helping you feel cleaner and more refreshed when you’re done.

3. BRIGHTER CLOTHES

Hard water has perhaps its biggest impact on your laundry. It causes clothes to wear out faster than they should, and bright colors will fade if exposed to load after load of hard water. With a water softener, your clothes will look brighter and last longer, helping you stretch your household budget as well as keeping build-up from interfering with your washing machine.

Water softening is an easy and useful way to help prevent sediment build up in you water heater and to eliminate issues like those mentioned above. But water softeners should be used in moderation and can also lead to build up in your water heater. For information about how to properly maintain your water heater when using water softeners read our blog post “What’s Standard Maintenance for a Water Softener.” Call us at BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating for more information on how water softener can benefit your daily life and your Bergenfield plumbing.

Call BZ Dependable for water softener installation in Bergenfield, NJ today.

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