Have you ever bought a new gadget or fancy appliance only to realize you have absolutely no idea how to clean or maintain it?
At Instant Plumbing and Rooter, we understand the joy and convenience that a new household fixture can bring and we want to go over some of the more common ones and how to help prolong their efficiency. From filters to softeners, you want to keep your water flowing and clean, and we are here to help. In this article, we will be going over standard water heaters, tank-less water heaters, reverse osmosis systems, in-line water filters, and water softeners.
Let’s start with a standard water heater.
This is your basic run-of-the-mill tank water heater. Standard residential water heaters typically hold either 40 or 50 gallons of water and can be powered by natural gas or electricity. Standard water heaters should be flushed out and inspected by a licensed plumber annually. The flushing will help remove any sediment that has built up throughout the year and the inspection will check for any necessary repairs. Having your water heater inspected and flushed annually can help to extend the life of the unit and can also help prevent the unwanted surprise of a cold shower! If you’re not sure when the last time your water heater was maintained, then it’s probably time to schedule. Give us a call today to set up your annual water heater inspection.
Keeping on the theme of hot water, let’s talk about tankless water heaters.
Tank-less water heaters should be flushed, de-scaled, and inspected annually. The buildup that can occur inside either a standard or tank-less water heater can cause the unit to work harder than necessary which wastes energy while trying to heat your water. The descaling solution used in the flushing process helps to remove this build-up. In addition to descaling the unit, an annual inspection can ensure that no repairs are needed. This will help to prolong the life of your unit and keep it running at its best.
Moving away from water temperature and on to water quality, let’s talk about reverse osmosis systems, also known as RO systems.
RO systems filter your drinking water. If you have ever looked at a bottle of store-bought water, you may have seen where it says “filtered by reverse osmosis.” The RO systems supplied and installed by Instant Plumbing and Rooter are a 5 stage system that will turn your sinks tap water into the drinking quality of bottled water. These systems come with a separate spout that can be placed next to your kitchen faucet. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, we may also be able to run the RO water line directly to your refrigerator to provide bottle quality water for your cold water and ice. These systems require annual maintenance to replace the necessary filters. The five filters in this unit are; a sediment filter, two carbon filters, a membrane, and a post-carbon filter. The sediment should be changed annually, as it helps to remove the dirt, sand, and rust from your water. The 2 carbon filters should also be changed annually. The carbon filters remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water. This helps your water to taste and smell better. The membrane of the reverse osmosis system is what removes the bulk of the dissolved solids and contaminants from your water, up to 97% of it to be exact. The membrane should be changed at least every 5 years depending on usage. Finally, we have the post-carbon filter which should be changed every 2 to 3 years. The post-carbon filter removes the dissolved gases, tastes and odors from the water that passes from the holding tank. As you can probably tell, there is a lot that goes into a Reverse Osmosis system. Annual maintenance and upkeep of these systems are vital in order to keep your drinking water clean and free of contaminants.
Another way that many homeowners chose to filter their water is with either a refrigerator filter, an in-line filter, or both.
If your refrigerator has an ice maker, then it has a water line coming from the wall into the back of the unit. An in-line filter connects onto the water line that comes from the wall before the line goes into the fridge. There is also a filter inside the refrigerator that filters the water that is used to make ice and cold water from the dispensers at the front of the unit. Both of these types of filters are readily available at most home improvement stores and may need to be changed every few months to every year depending on the manufacturer’s suggestion. We don’t often replace refrigerator filters as they are typically easily installed by the homeowner. However, we are always happy to assist our customers with their plumbing needs and install either a refrigerator filter or an in-line filter as needed.
Last, let’s go over the condition of your water.
Here in Phoenix and the surrounding cities, we tend to have pretty hard water. Hard water can lead to a buildup of calcium deposits and other sediments in your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Some homeowners choose to install a water softener to help eliminate the hard water buildup. Water softeners have either a salt brine tank or a potassium brine tank. These tanks are placed next to the unit for the water to feed into, and back out of. As the water is filtered through the salt or potassium, the material is worn down and needs to be refilled. We do not offer a salt/potassium refill service plan and recommend that homeowners keep an eye on their tanks levels until they become accustomed to how often they will need to refill their tank. The primary factor in keeping your water softener running at an optimal level is to ensure that your brine tank doesn’t get too low. If you ever experience an issue with your water softener, please call our office to schedule an appointment to have an experienced plumber inspect the unit for possible issues.
There are many different appliances that can help keep your home’s water running clean, clear, and at the right temperature. It is important to maintain these systems to keep your water flowing smoothly. If you are worried about the condition of any of your plumbing appliances, give Instant Plumbing and Rooter a call today.