WATER SOFTENER SERVICES
What is a Water Softener
1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric
What is hard water and is it dangerous? How can you tell if you have hard water? Does it affect my health? There are a lot of questions surrounding hard water and what it means. We at 1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric is here to answer your questions and help you out. At a basic level, hard water is high amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium in your water. Luckily a water softener can turn your hard water into soft water.
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What is Hard Water
Water described as "hard" just contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Luckily this does not pose a risk when drinking your water. But it may affect the taste and enjoyment, and at worst, could erode your pipes. It is more of an annoyance and nuisance because the mineral buildup makes soap less effective and it is rough on all of your appliances, making them less effective in a shorter amount of time than if you had soft water.
Signs of Hard Water
Hard water doesn't feel different from soft water, but there are signs you can look out for to know if you've got hard water:
A Film on Your Hands After Washing Them
If you're feeling a film on your hands after you have washed them, this is caused by the calcium and the soap reacting. It may cause you to rinse your hands longer to get the film off. It's not dangerous, but it can be annoying, especially if you have skin conditions such as eczema.
Dried water spots appear mostly on silverware and glasses after they have come out of the dishwasher. This is usually a sign of calcium carbonate deposits left on the glassware. Again, not dangerous, but annoying.
Water Pressure in Your Home Slowly Starts Diminishing
When hard water hits your pipes, it causes a slow build up of minerals and essentially shrinks the interior of your pipes, reducing your water flow, and can build up in your drains causing slow draining. The long term effects can also be erosion of your pipes, which can lead to burst pipes, which isn't good. This is the biggest reason to buy a water softener, to prevent damage from your home.
What is a Water Softener?
A water softener is a filtration system that works to remove the high levels of calcium and magnesium that causes the hard water. When the water comes into the house it goes through a filtration system that filters out the hard water and leaves you with softened water to flow through the pipes and plumbing.
Installing a Water Softener
A water softener should be installed by a licensed and insured plumber. You can talk to your plumber about the different types of water softeners. There are two types of water softeners, the side by side models and the cabinet models, and many many brands. The Salt tank of the cabinet style is tucked away inside the cabinet so it makes it more difficult to clean. Whereas the side-by-side model has the brine tank separate so it is much easier to clean. You can talk to your plumber about which is right for you. Or Contact Us to install one now.
Caring For Your Water Softener
Keeping up with the care for your water softener does not take much work. To make sure it runs efficiently you will need to clean your water softener every 6 months, or 2 months depending on the model and make. Make sure you use good salts for your water softener. Cubes and crystals are the type of salts that are best. Not your table salt. You can always refer to your maul on the best types of salt to use.
Signs You Should Replace Your Water Softener
A water softener should last you from 10-15 years if it's taken care of properly. These are some of the signs to look for when considering replacing your water softener:
An old water softener can have a hard time keeping up with the minerals in hard water. If you're moving into a new home, ask how old the water softener is. If it's older than 15 years, it's time to replace it.
If you're starting to see water spots on your dishes again, this means the calcium is building up again. This means your appliances that use water are working harder and your pipes might become backed up again. Call 1-800-Plumber +Air of Amarillo, and ask about our water softener installation options.
Do You Need to Flush Your Water Heater with a Water Softener?
Flushing clears the tank of sediment and mineral buildup that can damage your water heater over time. To extend the life of your water heater and to keep it working properly, flushing it will help. Most experts and manufacturers recommend having your water heater flushed every six months. While the buildup may not be noticeable at this point, it can slowly start damaging your unit. Some handy homeowners decide to flush their water heater themselves. This can result in injury and sometimes damage your unit. It is always best to call your local professional plumber to do this job.
Need a Water Softener? Call Us!
The advantages and benefits of using a water softener are numerous and we highly recommend it to all homeowners if you are suffering from hard water. The taste of the drinking water will go up. No more spots on dishes, and your appliances will last longer.
If you are ready to install a water softener Contact Us today! We at 1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric of Amarillo can help you. Our licensed and insured plumbers have experience installing different models of water softeners. And they can explain how it works. If you need a plumber in Amarillo, do not hesitate to call us today. 1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric the Name You Can Trust. Because A water softener can restore health and happiness to your water and home. We're committed to all of our customers, all of the way, all of the time. Contact us today if you have any additional questions or to schedule an appointment.
Different Types of Water Heaters to Choose From
Conventional, tankless, and heat pumps are the most common types of water heaters in the US. The same goes for homes throughout Texas, including those in Amarillo. They all provide heated water, but their process of doing so can significantly vary.
Let's take a look at how each one works, as well as their pros and cons.
Conventional Storage Water Heater
Of all types of water heaters in the US, the traditional storage water heater is still the most common. If you have a water tank in your Amarillo, TX home, you likely have a conventional tanked water heater.
Just because these heaters are "traditional" doesn't mean that they use outdated technology. In fact, these units have had a mandatory boost to their energy efficiency since April 16, 2015. It was then that new water heaters had to follow improved efficiency measures.
With that said, you can still opt for a single-family storage water heater to replace your old one. Today, you'll find these with tank sizes ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. With a tank size upgrade, you can have more hot water ready for use at all times.
How Storage Water Heaters Work
These systems heat the cold water that flows via an opening at the bottom of the tank. The hot water then rises to the top of the tank, ready for use. When you run a hot water tap, the heated water then flows out of the tank, into the hot water pipe, and out of your faucet.
As you use hot water, cold water flows into the storage tank. This fresh supply of water gets heated again to ensure that the water in the tank remains hot.
As for energy sources, Amarillo provides many options, from gas to electricity. You can have your water heated by natural gas, fuel, propane, or electricity. It's part of Texas, after all, the state that delivers over a fifth of all domestic energy production.
The speed at which you use the heated water in the tank can outpace the speed at which the tank heats the water. So, if everyone at home runs hot water taps at the same time, you guys are likely to run out of hot water right away.
Also, keep in mind that conventional storage water heaters heat water continuously. Heating is constant for as long as the water in the tank becomes lower than the preset temperature. This means that you may end up paying for hot water that you don't get to use right away.
Tankless Water Heaters
Worldwide, the tankless water heater market had an estimated value of $2.8 billion in 2018. Experts also forecast this sector to grow by at least 7.5% up until 2025.
The increasing popularity of tankless heaters is mostly due to their energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy says they can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient than traditional heaters. This, in turn, can help homeowners save between $100 to $200 every year on electric bills.
How Tankless Heaters Work
Tankless water heaters heat water without relying on a storage container. Instead, they come with a heating element powered by gas or electricity. So, whenever you run a hot water tap, the unit heats the cold water that flows through.
Once the water flows out of the faucet's opening, you can expect it to be hot.
This direct heating is the reason such heaters are also known as "on-demand water heaters." Since it's "on-demand," you don't have to wait for a tank to fill up with hot water. You can enjoy a continuous supply of sufficiently heated water for your showers or baths.
If you have a big household, you may need two or more tankless water heaters. That's because most models have a limited hot water output rate of about 2 to 5 gallons per minute. As such, they may not be "powerful" enough to deliver hot water when there's simultaneous demand.
Also, the energy efficiency of each tankless heater drops based on hot water usage. The figures mentioned above (24% to 34%) applies to homes that use no more than 41 gallons of hot water per day. If your daily usage is 86 gallons or more, it can still be 8% to 14% more efficient than a traditional storage heater.
Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pumps aren't only in heating and air conditioning units: you can also find them in water heaters! They run on the same premise on either type of equipment, which is via heat transfer.
In this way, heat pumps work hand in hand with the environment to provide you hot water. As such, their peak performance is most evident in hot climates.
How Heat Pumps for Water Heaters Work
An electric heat pump water heater works by amplifying the heat that the pump takes from the air. It then moves and transfers some of the heat into the water stored in a tank. As it does, the water heats up, and you can get hot water flowing out of your taps or showerheads.
Considering the climate in Amarillo, a heat pump can be an option for your home. However, come winter, when the temperatures can be as low as 25 °F, a heat pump may not work as great. That's because they work best in temperatures of 40 °F to 90 °F.