Archive for December 21, 2014

Types of Water Softener Systems

Water softener system is primarily used to remove minerals from the water, particularly the magnesium and calcium. Hard water that contains a number of mineral ions makes it difficult for the soap to dissolve and may clog water pipes, as well as cause lime scale on the pipes. Today, there are various water softening system available that will help remove these mineral ions from the water.

Types of Water Softener Systems

Ion Exchange Softeners

Ion exchange softeners make use of salts for the removal of the mineral irons from the water. The sodium ions present in salt are coated in an exchange medium. When calcium or magnesium ions are present, they switch places with the sodium ions and are ultimately removed from the water. This type of water softening system helps prolong the life span of many water-based home appliances, such as the dishwasher, because you will need to use less amounts of soap and detergent.

The water softening system will also reduce water spotting, thereby producing much cleaner items. However, it is important to note that this system is not recommended for drinking water and watering the plants and the lawn due to its sodium content; making it dangerous for those who need to restrict their sodium intake. If there are too many calcium or magnesium ions inside the ion exchange chamber, it will cease working; therefore, you need to remove the ions for it to start working again.

Types of Water Softener Systems

Magnetic Softening

Magnetic softening water softener system makes use of magnets and carbonated salts to take out mineral ions. Although it is not yet proven whether the magnets can actually take out minerals from the hard water, but it prevents lime scale from accumulating on the pipes. The precipitate minerals are carried along in the water and can be collected on the filter.

Reverse Osmosis

Water softener system that utilizes reverse osmosis uses semi permeable membranes that remove ions and impurities form the water. Pressure is used to push the hard water through these membranes to block minerals and impurities. The major advantage of this water softening system is that it actually removes approximately 98% of the mineral ions in the water; removing calcium, magnesium, heavy metals, and other solids. However, it also removes the minerals that are essential for humans, cooking, and plants. Furthermore, only 5 to 15% of the water runs through; thus, the rest of the water will go through waste. It is also the slowest way to soften water and the most expensive among the types of systems.

Types of Water Softener Systems

Salt-Free Softeners

Salt-free water softeners make use of nanotechnology for the removal of the mineral ions from the water. The atoms are arranged in a certain manner which creates active sites to bind the minerals. The newly bound form of minerals cannot attach to any surface, preventing the formation of the lime scale. This system is highly recommended for those who need to restrict their salt intake. Compared to ion exchange softeners, you won’t need to use much soap or detergent when washing and the system prevents the formation of the lime scale. This is also an eco-friendly method of softening water. However, if you water the hardness level which is above 75 grains per gallon then the salt-free system may not be able to effectively soften the water.

The Life Span of Water Heaters

The water heating system is very essential for those who are living in places that have seasonal cold weathers. And because it is already a basic requirement or necessity at home, it is most likely taken for granted and pushed beyond its limited life span. Knowing when it would last will not only prevent you from taking icy showers, but will also help you save money.

The Life Span of Water Heaters

How Do Water Heaters Work?

The conventional electric and gas-fired tank-style water heaters are cylindrical appliances which warm and store a certain amount of water, usually 40 to 80 gallons. According to the US Department of Energy, their expected life span is approximately 10 to 15 years. However, it is important to note that the life span depends upon the water source, maintenance, and other factors. Tank-less water heaters, on the other hand, are different from the tank-style heaters since it does not store water. Instead, it has a series of pipes which are entirely surrounded with heating equipment. This types of water heaters are often more costly than the conventional ones; however, they can last up to approximately 30 years.

The Life Span of Water Heaters

Time Frame

During the entire lifetime of a water heater, the minerals that are being dissolved into the water source will collect on one portion of the tank which can gradually damage the tank over time. Minerals, such as calcium and lime, actually react when they are heated and bound to the inside portion of the tank. Hard water, that contains high levels of calcium and lime, will reduce the life span of water heaters by more than 2 years. In addition, other sources of water, such as springs and wells, may pull up the sediments and deposit sand and mud from the water into the water heater; thereby, reducing its effectiveness more quickly than that of the minerals. It is important to note that water heaters that are using hard water or well water should be drained or flushed at least once a year to prolong the life of the tank.

The Life Span of Water Heaters

Anode Rods

Most tank-style water heaters make use of anode rods that are made up of aluminum, magnesium or zinc alloy. These anode rods extend down to the tank cavity and attract highly corrosive elements in the water; thereby preventing these elements from damaging the tank. Note that if you are using hard water, it is highly recommended that you should replace the anode rod of the tank every 5 years. Its replacement is actually easy that you can do it on your own; you only have to partially drain the tank, unscrew the anode rod, and pull it out. However if there is only little overhead space, you may just have to cut the rod as you remove it and replace it with collapsible ones which are made up of loosely linked portions. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to learn more about how to replace the rods. Note that its replacement may actually void the warranty.

The Life Span of Water Heaters

Size

The size of water heaters may affect its life span. Water heaters that are too small for the entire household may constantly heat large amounts of water which may damage the lining of the water heater; thereby, wearing out the heating elements quicker, causing several electrical problems. Thus, they need to be replaced earlier than average. Meanwhile, water heaters that are too large may waste energy because it keeps a large volume of water to be heated at all times even though there aren’t any demands for it.

Benefits of Water Heaters

No matter what type of water heater you use, maintaining it regularly will prolong its life span. Consulting heating and plumbing specialists will help you detect potential problems, recommend necessary filtration systems, as well as take measures as to the prevention of premature breakdown of water heaters. Its manufacturer may specify requirements for regular maintenance; thus, you may have to consult their manual before you call the plumber.

Ideas for Shower Remodeling

Remodeling your shower has a lot of advantages; these include increasing the value of your home, as well as the comfort of life. There are many ways and ideas that you need to consider for you to jumpstart your shower improvement project. Choose something that would work best for your taste, as well as your budget.

Tile

Consider getting a customized tile shower. Tile showers typically last longer than those that are made up of plastic and porcelain. This option for remodeling enables tile arrangements in different designs and colors. However, its installation will take longer than usual and you won’t be able to use it for a few days since you need to wait until for the adhesive and the grout to dry.

Ideas for Shower Remodeling

Fixture

Consider adding new shower fixture to brighten up the design of an old shower or add flare to a newly upgraded shower stall. You might want to change the shower head to a detachable one so that you can direct the water flow to particular parts of your body and the shower walls. You may also change your shower head to that of the rainfall type which hangs directly just like that of a traditional shower. There are also many options available for faucet knobs and handles. Try to match them to the theme of your bathroom or look for designs that would add beauty to your upgraded shower.

Ideas for Shower Remodeling

Bench

A highly functional and very convenient idea for remodeling involves placing a bench inside the shower. It may be placed as part of the shower or something that is removable depending upon the user’s preference. Placing a bench within the shower will provide a place for placing shower items and toiletries such as shampoos and soaps. It will also serve as a seat for those who are having problems in standing for long periods of time, as well as a great tool for shaving your legs. Most pre-made plastic, fiberglass, and porcelain shower often has this feature. For tile showers, on the other hand, you will need to build the bench on your own as they are installed.

Ideas for Shower Remodeling

Doors

Replacing shower and curtain doors will also add value to your bathroom. Note that the doors actually look more elegant and prevent more water from spilling out on the floor compared to curtains. Shower doors are actually available as sliding models or single pane with hinges that open. Basically, they are made up of frosted or translucent glass or even strong plastics.