Which is better hot water heater or tankless?

water heaters in basement

Water heater options

If you’re needing to replace your current water heater, or you know the time is coming soon, you’re probably considering a tankless water heater.  While this is the latest innovation, along with PEX, that is taking over the home repair industry, is a tankless water heater the right choice for your home? 

We’re going to answer some basic and commonly asked questions about this very topic, because there is more to having a tankless water heater installed than the traditional water heater. Let’s start with this question, “what are the pros and cons of tankless hot water heaters?”

A tankless water heater is more energy efficient than the traditional water heaters because they don’t continuously heat and reheat the water. Instead, they instantly generate hot water with either electric coils or gas burners. Doesn’t that mean a tankless water heater uses more energy? Yes, for the onset of heating, but then it doesn’t have to keep reheating water that is in the tank, because there is no tank.

Like anything else though, there are pros and cons with a tankless water heater, which we’ve listed here. Use these to help you make the decision if going with a tankless water heater is right for your family lifestyle. 

  • Pro: Hot Water Instantly

Once the cold water is flushed from the plumbing and out the faucet, a tankless water heater can provide instant hot water unendingly. Gone is the big, bulky appliance that is taking up real estate inside your home. 

  • Con: Temperature Inconsistent 

Reports and surveys have found that tankless water heater have an inconsistent water temperature. Typically, what is happening is there is more than one outlet using hot water. Tankless water heaters aren’t able to send water to several outlets at once, like washing dishes in the kitchen while somebody is taking a shower. 

  • Pro: Longer Lifespan

Tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan compared to the standard water heater. A high-quality water heater can last 10 to 12 years where a tankless water heater will last 20 years or longer. 

  • Con: Initial Cost Higher

Tankless water heaters having a longer lifespan means that they are made different and will cost more to purchase and have installed than the traditional water heater, $500 versus $1,000 or more. 

  • Pro: Month-to-Month Energy Costs Lower

Yes, the tankless water heater is more expensive, but because they are more energy efficient, you can re-coup your money a little each month. This will be a nominal savings each month, but it will add up to several hundred over a year. 

  • Con: Hot Water Supply Limited

We briefly discussed this in the beginning. While a tankless water heater will supply an instant and steady stream of hot water, its capacity is limited. A standard water heater heats several gallons at once, ideal for a good, long hot shower or a load of laundry and the dishwasher. However, the tankless water heater system doesn’t have that 30 gallons to 80 gallons of water in the tank waiting to heat on demand. So, it can only offer so much hot water in limits. You may not be able to wash dishes, and somebody shower at the same time. 

  • Pro: Space Saver 

A tankless water heater isn’t as bulky as the traditional water heater. They are typically mounted on a wall inconspicuously.  

  • Con: Additional Equipment

In some cases, to ensure your tankless water heater is operating properly, you may need a water softener installed too, which makes the space saving pro invalid, not to mention the need to purchase bags of salt for the water softener treatments. 

  • Pro: Special Financing and Tax Credits 

Because tankless water heaters are more efficient, you’ll qualify for federal tax credits. Couple those credits with the energy savings each month, and the cost of your tankless water heater will be re-couped.  

  • Con:  Gas Lines Need Rerouting

The setup of a tankless water heater is as non-traditional as the tankless water heater itself, which makes the initial purchase of one more expensive. If your water heater is gas, the gas line has to be rerouted; an electric set up my need new wiring and breaker, and the venting is different regardless electric or gas. 

  • Pro: Standby Loss Eliminated

With a tankless water heater, there isn’t any more standby loss, which with the traditional water heater there is a lot of energy and water wasted as it heats water even when you’re not using any hot water. 

  • Con: ROI Takes Time

The tankless water heater will cost less each month, but it isn’t enough to get your ROI back quick, in fact, it can take as much as 6 years or more. 

  • Pro: Endless Hot Water

A traditional water heater will run out of hot water in houses with an active family. After 3 to 4 showers and maybe a load of dishes or laundry, the tank is empty for about an hour or longer.  With a tankless water heater, the water heats as it is being used so it never runs out.  It will have difficulty keeping with hot water demand at different locations at the same time, but for those morning showers, you’ll have endless hot water. 

  • Con: Change Of Water Usage Habits Required 

A tankless water heater is more energy efficient, but you may need to make some household changes, like showering routines, to see the water bill reduce too. Change out the plumbing fixtures to low-flow and invest in a new dishwasher that is more energy efficient too. 

  • Pro: Electric and Gas Available

Tankless water heaters are available in electric and natural gas. Going with an electric model could eliminate the need to reroute gas lines. 

  • Con: Solar Heating Available

Tankless water heaters are gaining in popularity with the solar power homes. This definitely negates the need to reroute gas lines or get new electrical wiring.  

  • Pro: Longer Warranties

Because tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan, they have a longer warranties too. Repairs and replacements are covered by most tankless water heaters for up to 20 years. This means as long as manufacturer’s recommendations are followed, with a tankless water heater is not working or if your tankless water heater is leaking will never be an issue! 

  • Con: Additional Maintenance 

Tankless water heaters require routine annual maintenance to keep the warranty valid in addition to having a water softener installed. That maintenance requires flush the tankless system to keep possible mineral build-up in the tankless water heater and water lines eliminated. 

  • Pro: Ideal for Minimal Hot Water Requirements

For anyone living in a smaller home with modest hot water demands, the tankless water heater is ideal. 

What is the downside of a tankless water heater?

We listed 10 cons of the tankless water heater above, but the one that may be considered the biggest is the initial upfront cost. The tankless water heater itself is more than the traditional water heater. Then the installation is significantly higher as well, especially if new electrical needs to be ran or gas line rerouted. 

With the installation, the homeowner is sometimes required to install a water softener, depending on the water quality where they live. Many homeowners considering tankless water heater setup are turned off by the purchase price and the install cost and requirements. 

Do tankless water heaters run out of hot water?

No, a tankless water heater will never run out of hot water. However, if there is more than one water outlet using hot water, it can’t keep up with the demand. This means one or both, or multiple places demanding hot water at the same time, one or all may not get the amount as hot as they desire. 

Things that can help you get more hot water when needed is to have low-flow water features installed. If the tankless water heater is on an exterior wall, consider adding insulation in that wall. You can consider a tankless water heater with recirculation as well. 

A recirculation pump will circulate the water periodically back to the tankless water heater where it is reheated. This prevents the water inside the pipes from cooling off and you’ll have hot water instantly the next time you get in the shower.  

How big of a tankless hot water heater do I need?

When choosing your tankless water heater, consider two factors in determining what size you need: 

  • Flow Rate: The GPM is the gallons per minute is how much hot water is needed at any time. You need to determine the heaviest water use expected.
  • Temperature Rise: The difference between the temperature of the cold water incoming and the desired temperature by using a map that gives you the groundwater temperature you’re your area of the country. 

A professional plumber will be able to assist you these figures to help you choose the tankless water heater in the right size for your family and home’s use of hot water. 

tankless water heater in shower

How long do tankless water heaters last?

The average lifespan of a tankless water heater that has had proper annual maintenance as suggested by the manufacturer will have 20 years life. Most tankless water heaters have replaceable parts and when installed by a professional, you’ll get even more years from your tankless water heater.

When considering going with the tankless water heater or tank standard water heater, while there are great things about the tankless way, it is a financial investment and in some ways, new habits and routines to be learned. Call 317-677-4918 today for your tankless water heater needs in Indianapolis, IN.

How do you fix a sewer pipe?

damaged sewer pipe

Damaged sewer pipe

It is an accomplishment to be make homeowner status. You now have an investment that you can take pride in having and enjoy for years to come. You also have a property that will throw you a curve ball from time to time, like the HVAC system going out or realizing you need sewer line repair. The HVAC system going out is obvious, but what are the signs of a broken sewer pipe?

If you live on Elm Street, a broken sewer pipe is a nightmare on Elm Street, or any street. However, being an attentive homeowner that keeps a check on all major components of a home, you can get those nightmares put to bed quicker. Like,  if you notice a broken sewer line and have professional sewer line repair done immediately, that nightmare will vanish without much damage. Here is a list of ten tell-tale broken sewer line symptoms.

1. Strong unpleasant sewer odor

A strong, unpleasant sewer odor is the first sign your home needs sewer line repair.  Every home has a sewer vent stack on the roof that helps the sewer pass on through the sewer lines. When you can smell sewage, there’s a problem somewhere along the sewer line. 

2. Gurgling toilet 

After you flush the toilet, if there is s gurgling sound or other unusual noises, the sewer line toilet waste empties into, aka the sewer line, trapped air is being released unexpectedly, meaning the sewer lineis probably broken or at least cracked. 

3. Slow drains 

When there is an isolated clog in the bathroom or kitchen every so often, that isn’t unusual. When all the drains are draining slow and no amount of plunging or drain cleaners is help, you probably need a sewer line repair. 

4. Sewage backs up in toilet or tub 

When you have constant backup in the toilet or tub from other drains, like the toilet, tub, kitchen sink, dishwasher, or washing machine, your sewer line is usually the problem. It is cracked or broken and the only way to fix this is with professional sewer line repair.

5. Mold or mildew 

Are you finding mildew or mold growth behind the walls or on the ceiling? This is an indication of too much moisture in the air creating a high level of humidity. With that mildew and mold, if you’re smelling sewer odors, then you need sewer line repair because it is broke or cracked and letting moisture escape and build up in your home.

6. Cracking walls

This is usually a sign that your foundation has cracked and shifted, the reason why could be simply the ground has moved or it could be a sewer line leaking. Either way, you need professional foundation service and possibly sewer line repair immediately.  The foundation of your home supports the structure and if it is weak and shifting, your home is not going to be safe. 

7. Pest invasion 

Are you noticing a sudden invasion of  cockroaches, rodents, sewer flies, and other pests? Insects and rodents travel through sewer lines,  this is why they are nasty beings. If your sewer line is damaged, they are making their way into your home from the sewer line. This is making your home unhealthy and unsanitary.  A sewer line repair is urgent to keep your family healthy and safe. 

8. Greener lawn patches

If there is a  broken sewage line running under your lawn, you’ll know it by really green, lush patches of grass, usually in a line.  Sewage is a natural fertilizer, but it is also bacteria and other contaminants that are unhealthy to breath or walk through.  Sewer line repair is the only way to fix this situation. 

9. Lawn indentations

Are the pavers you installed starting to sink below the ground level? Is there dampness pushing up from under them when you walk? Or maybe you have indentions in your lawn?  These are indications of a broken sewage line that is leaking and displacing the soil.   Sewer line repair is needed to stop this and make your home and lawn healthy. 

10. Sewage pool

If you have pools of sewage in the lawn, there is no doubt you need sewer line repair. This is your toilet and other wastewater backing up in your lawn instead of flowing on through the main sewer line. 

What happens when your sewer line breaks?

Of all the things in your home, the sewer line is one thing you can’t ignore. Especially when you’re experiencing any of the thing we listed above, this is a serious and urgent matter.  In addition to those things, you’re setting your home up for possible catastrophe. 

That catastrophe can include flooding inside your home and contaminated groundwater seeping into the yard, possibly into your home. That contaminated groundwater is full of bacteria, germs, and other factors that can make your family sick. Not to mention, your yard become useless, because you’ll be living in a swamp. 

Can you patch a sewer line?

Yes, when a sewer line is broken, there are ways to have sewer line repair or replacement done by a professional plumber. The two options available and the plumber will determine which sewer line repair method is best: Pipe Lining or Pipe Bursting. 

  • Pipe lining—This method is done by inserting an epoxy covered, inflatable tube in the sewer line. The plumber will inflate the tube while inside the sewer line and the epoxy will harden, filling any cracks or holes. Once the epoxy is hardened, the tube is removed and not more leaking sewer line. 
  • Pipe bursting—Some sewer line are damaged beyond the pipe lining option to work, so the plumber will use a trenchless method to repair the pipe. It is more invasive to the plumbing but not as destructive to your lawn as it was in the years past.  A cone-shaped bit is fed into the existing sewer line , destroying it and then a new one is inserted through the same hole dug to insert the cone-shaped bit. 

If these two methods for sewer line repair are not possible fixes for your sewer line, the plumber may have to resort to old school plumbing method and dig your lawn up.  This is very rare these days, but sometimes it is the only option. 

How long does it take to repair a sewer line?

If your plumber can complete a sewer line repair without digging, it shouldn’t take more than one day. However, there are a variety of factors that affect how much time it will  take.  Those factors are the pipe location, the pipe size, and the amount and type of damage the pipe has incurred. Some sewer line repair jobs can take up to 5 days or more. 

broken sewer pipe

When should I replace my main sewer line?

Although sewer line repair and plumbing are certainly durable, eventually, they will age and  need replacing. Maybe you’re lucky and never have any need for sewer line repairs, that doesn’t mean you never will.  How soon will you need to worry with this sewer line replacement? 

This can vary with different factors to be considered. Like how many clogs your home has experienced over the years, the type of soil where you live, and what type of pipe materials your sewer lines are made.  Some estimate aging times are: 

  • Clay pipes up to 60 years.
  • Cast iron pipes up to 100 years.
  • PVC pipe could be indefinite, but the material is too new to be sure yet. 

As a homeowner, take pride in your accomplishment and take care of that investment. There is more to homeownership than making mortgage payments, mowing, and cleaning the house. You need to be aware of all things like electrical, HVAC, electrical, roofing, and more. Monthly inspections are always a good idea. 

You should know upfront though, when you have sewer line issues that require sewer line repair, homeowners insurance doesn’t pay for those repairs. Your policy may have coverage for repairing damaged caused by sewer line failure, but not the repair or replacement of the sewer line. Call 317-677-4918 today for your sewer pipe repair in Indianapolis, IN.

What is a sump pump and how does it work?

sump pump well

 What does the sump pump do?

Sump pumps, usually located in the basement or crawl space, in a corner, against an outside wall, channels water away from a sump basin.  There are two types of sump pumps:

  • Submersible sump pumps
  • Pedestal sump pumps

A Navy electrician invented the sump pump in 1946 and ever since that time, the sump pump is a common fixture in many homes today, especially those with a basement. Home that were built in the 1980s were often constructed below the water table or on a floodplain. This necessitated having a sump pump for most of those homes and in1987, sump pump for basement became required by the  U.S. Federal Clean Water Act for any new construction. 

After locating your sump pump, uncover the debris that is often covering one and look inside the unit. There are multiple holes in the wall of a sump basin, each one connected to a drainpipe. Some drainpipes extend from weeping pipe tiles on your home’s foundation exterior. Other drainpipes connect to the basement’s interior drainage system.

As groundwater accumulates on the exterior of the foundation or under the basement floor, it flows into the sump basin through a drainpipe. When it has reached a certain level, the sump pump automatically turns on.  

There is a sump pump and pit, and inside the sump pump is a impeller that pulls water from the sump pit and with centrifugal force, pushes that water up into a discharge pipe. The water is then emptied from the discharge pipe out and away from the foundation. Some setups are for the sump pump to sewer downhill from the foundation. 

There are two methods for activating a sump pump:

  • A pressure sensor: This signals the pump when the water pressure has exceeded the specified level. 
  • A float activator arm: This has a buoyant ball attached that floats on the water’s surface and when the water has reached a certain height, the sump pump is activated. 

Do all basements need a sump pump?

No, not every house with a basement is prone to flooding. A house that is constructed over a pit or below the water level of the area has the tendency to flood and would need a  sump pump in the basement. The sump pump eliminates moisture and keeps a home from flooding by collecting any excess water and pumping it away from the house. 

Do sump pumps need maintenance?

If your home has a sump pump, then it is as necessary as any other appliance in your home, and yes, it will need occasional maintenance in order to work when you need it to work. A sump pump prevents water from entering the basement, pulling it from around the foundation and draining it somewhere downhill and away from your home and the foundation. The following are tips that help you keep your sump pump ready for action: 

  • Monthly: A sump pump that disposes of washing machine water should be cleaned monthly. Unplug the unit first, remove and clean the screen, then return the screen, plug the unit back in and test. 
  • Quarterly: A sump pump that doesn’t dispose of water from the washing only needs cleaning every 3 months.  
  • Annually: Once a year, clean the pump and pit is recommended.

Once a year, hiring a professional to inspect your sump pump is the same has having your HVAC system inspected each year.  It is a maintenance appointment that will make sure your sump pump is ready for action when needed. Check your sump pump’s manual and following the manufacturer’s recommendation is always the safest way to assure you unit will be ready when you need it. 

Sump pump cross section

Do sump pumps make noise?

A normal operating sump pump will make some noise from the air that comes before the water that is flowing through the piping. The better made, higher-quality pump won’t make as much noise but the older a sump pump gets, the louder it will get. If your sump pump is loud, there are are some noises that are not normal and you should have a professional plumber inspect the unit. Those noises are: 

  • Clanging: Much like any plumbing pipes in your home clanging noise from your sump pump indicates the pipe is hitting the basin or the well wall. This can be remedied by wrapping the pipe with foam insulation or placing rubber stoppers under sump pump lid so that it can’t make any connection with the interior components. The same type of stoppers can quiet rattling motor noises too. 
  • Gurgling: This sound, or a slurping noise, is typically from a standard check valve. A plumber can install a spring-loaded replacement valve that may eliminate that noise.
  • Motor Noise: Older sump pump models that are constructed from plastic or PVC are nosier than the durable iron sump pumps made today. Sump pumps today have self-lubricating motors that allow them to operate quietly. If your older model sump pump motor is getting noisier and the rubber stoppers didn’t eliminate that noise, it may be time to replace your sump pump. 

If your home came with a sump pump installed, it needs to be there for a reason. If it did not come with one and you need one, or the one you have needs to be replaced, this is an expense that you likely are not prepared for, but the results of the work they do is worth the cost. In most cases, sump pumps that are maintained as recommend can last for a long time. How many years does a sump pump last?  All appliances and equipment in will need replacing at some point, including a sump pump. Fortunately, they have an average lifespan of 10 years. The cost of a sump pump will vary from region to region, but the average cost for installing a sump pump is just over $1,000 and upward to $1200. Call 317-677-4918 today for your sump pump repair needs in Indianapolis, IN.

Can Frozen Pipes Be Repaired?

frozen pipe with burst area

Winter and your plumbing

Winter can be a beautiful time of the year, especially with snow and the holidays. Until you experience frozen pipe. Repairs this time of the year can be costly and extensive, but with a little homeowner care, you prevent most frozen pipe repair needs.

So, what causes pipes to freeze? There are three major causes of frozen pipes:

  • Quick drop in temperature
  • Poor insulation
  • Low thermostat setting

With a little money and time, there are steps you can do to prepare your home during the spring and summer when the weather is warmer to minimize, even  prevent these things from happening and having to call professional frozen pipe repair service.  

Now that we have established what causes pipes to freeze, here are steps you can take to minimize why do pipes freeze:

  • Insulate your home’s pipes in the attic and crawl spaces. Exposed pipes are susceptible to being frozen even in climates where the winters aren’t as cold. The more pipe insulation used, the better you can minimize frozen pipe repair needs.
  • Wrapping pipes with a high-grade heat tape or thermostatic heat cables. With this level of on-going heat through the pipes, it will eliminate possible frozen pipe repair needs. These products should be approved by electrical independent testing firms and only for a temporary time.  
  • Seal any areas where cold air can leak around or near the pipe locations. These are areas around dryer vents and washing machines, dishwashers, and water pipes. By using caulk or insulation in proper application and installation, you can keep the cold air out and eliminate the need for emergency frozen pipe repair service. Frozen pipe repair service calls are one of the most expensive services to need during the winter.
  • Prior to winter, disconnect all garden hoses and install an indoor valve for emergency shut off. Drain all the water from the exterior pipes and reduce the possibility of frozen pipe repair needs.
  • On a night when the weather is below freezing and a northern wind is blowing, leave indoor faucets trickling with both cold and hot water can keep frozen pipe repair needs.
  • Keep the thermostat setting at the same temperature you have during the day for the evening too. The colder the temperature at night, the more likely you’ll wake up in the morning with a frozen pipe repair emergency.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow your home’s heat to keep the interior water pipes warm.

How long does it take for pipes to freeze and burst?

Water pipes will freeze at 20 degrees Fahrenheit and lower, but there are factors that affect the speed of this happening such as:

  • Insulated pipes – the better the pipes are insulated, but without any heat to the pipe, the pipes could freeze in six hours, resulting in frozen pipe repair needs.
  • Poor insulation of pipes – with no pipe insulation, or a poor quality of insulation, the possibility of a freezing risk can be forthcoming within three hours with an exterior temperature of twenty degrees or lower, resulting in emergency frozen pipe repair service.
  • On average – The average time for water pipes, requiring frozen pipe repair service, with temperature of twenty degrees or lower is between four and five hours.

How long does it take for pipes to unfreeze?

The use of hair dryers, heat lamps, and space heaters, or other common household heated items can thaw water pipes within forty-five minutes. These can be dangerous items to use when thawing pipes, which is why it is recommended to get professional frozen pipe repair service is advisable. The thawing of pipes can release pressure, causing the pipes to burst.

Do all frozen pipes burst?

Not all frozen water pipes will burst, but the ice thawing can increase the risk of it happening, causing the need for emergency frozen pipe repair service. The pressure raises as the pipes thaw, and any rapid change in the temperature can release that pressure.

Will frozen pipes thaw on their own?

Yes, they can unfreeze on their own, but it isn’t recommended. You can either take the following steps to thaw them yourself, or call a frozen pipe repair service to assist:

Step One: Turn the water faucets on and as they pipes thaw, they will begin dribbling water. Let the water keep running so the pipes will finish thawing.

Step Two: Find the pipes that are frozen, usually an exterior wall, unheated crawl space or under a sink.

Step Three: Apply heat safely to the frozen pipes with any of the following:

  • heat pads
  • hair dryers
  • space heaters
  • towels in hot water
pipes getting repair after burst damage

Will PVC pipes burst if frozen?

No, PVC and CPVC pipe that are filled with water will not crack. Instead, they expand and contract with the temperature, absorbing the net volumetric expansion of ice. However, if there is localized freezing the water piping system, it could cause an ice plug and shut the water system down until thawed.

You may wonder can frozen pipes be repaired, and the answer is yes. It is recommended to hire a professional plumber that knows How to repair frozen pipes. If they are PVC pipes, replacing them is the easier option, and a homeowner with some general tool skills can do the repair.  Your local big box home improvement store can provide the instructions and supplies needed to do your own frozen pipe repairs and save you money. Need help with a burst pipe in Indianapolis, IN? Call 317-677-4918 today!

What is the Best Water Filtration System?

What is the Best Water Filtration System?

Do you possess a water filtration system? If not, now is an excellent time to brush up on your current knowledge of these systems. One way to review your options is to sort through a list of recommended water filtration systems. Here is a brief list to get you started.

  • The Aquasana AQ-5200. This filter is ANSI/NSF-certified to practically eliminate 77 different contaminants. These contaminants include lead, mercury, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, and other hazardous materials.
  • The A.O. Smith AO-US-200. In many respects, this model is the same as the Aquasana. This is due to the fact that both of these models are produced by the same manufacturer, A.O. Smith. This model is only sold at Lowe’s.
  • The Aquasana AQ-5300+ Max Flow. This particular model has the same certifications as the above models but offers a higher flow and filter capacity.

In order to understand your options, it is important for you to first consult with a certified plumber or a respectable plumbing company. After you review your options and preferences, you can feel confident moving forward with a water filtration system installation.

water filtration system

Are Home Water Filtration Systems Worth It?

Are you wondering whether or not home water filtration systems are worth it? The answer is that if you are already struggling with the quality of your water, then a home water filtration system will absolutely be worth it. This is also true if you have well-water. A properly installed filtration system will remove sediments, chemicals, rust, heavy metals, and organisms that can harm your health. A filtration system will also benefit your household appliances. Cleaner water means a more hygienic, safe household. After you have a whole house water filtration system installed, you will be very pleased that you spent your hard-earned money on the expenditure.

Do Water Filtration Systems Really Work?

As previously alluded to, water filtration systems can be enormously beneficial due to the fact that they reduce contaminants like lead, volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, and sediment. However, the reason why procuring an established plumber is so beneficial is due to the fact that a plumber will have the proper resources for homeowners. If, for example, a homeowner were to try to install a faulty filtration unit that is poorly rated, the filter has the ability to actually leak contaminants into the system. It is always recommended for hoemwoenrs to use safe and secure professionals for such installations.

Which Water Filter Removes the Most Contaminants?

Removing the most contaminants from water is a very important consideration. That is why extensive research has gone into these filtration units. According to the prevailing knowledge, reverse osmosis filters have been understood to be among the strongest, most effective filters for drinking water. These filtration systems are effective at removing ninety-nine percent of the most dangerous contaminants found in drinking water. 

Is Filtered Water Better than Tap Water?

It’s important to understand the limitations of tap water. There are several important considerations to ponder when it comes to discussing if filtered water is better than tap water. If all the essential minerals aren’t removed and if the filter is replaced regularly, then the filtered water will be better than both tap and bottled water.

Why Water Filter System

While you may believe that your water is currently fine, there are many different factors that go into whether or not your water is contaminated. Water filters are perfectly effective at removing elements that cause drinking water to have an unpleasant taste and smell. Lead, chlorine, and bacteria should always be removed from drinking water if at all possible.

What Water Filtration System Do I Need

The best person for helping you determine your water filtration needs is a plumber who has expertise in water filtration. He or she will understand what your water filtration needs are and help you determine your best course of action.

What Water Filtration System Removes Fluoride

Are you concerned about the amount of fluoride in your drinking water? If so, there are fluoride water filters available. Fluoride is perceived to whiten teeth and prevent tooth decay. These statements stem from studies that began in the early twentieth century. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan started to introduce fluoride into their regional water supply, and that development began to trend in other parts of the county. Nowadays, introduced fluoride is controversial. Your local plumber will be able to discuss your water treatment methods as you see fit.

water filtration system

Is Water Purification System

Your water purification needs are important. You will experience better hydration, better hygiene, and longer-lasting household appliances with an effective water purification system.

When you need a water filtration system in Indianapolis, IN, you can rely on us to assist. Please reach out to us today at 317-677-4918.

Drain Cleaning Without Chemicals

A Plumber Snakes a Drain.

Drain cleaning without chemicals

When you have a clogged drain, you want to get it cleaned as soon as possible. While there are plenty of chemical drain cleaners on the market, it’s actually preferable not to use chemical cleaners. Over time, caustic drain cleaners can damage your pipes. But, you don’t have to use chemicals for drain cleaning. Several solutions are available to help you clean your drains. One solution commonly touted is baking soda and vinegar. Does baking soda and vinegar really clean drains? Yes, baking soda and vinegar can clean minor clogs. All you have to do is pour about ½-cup each of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for about an hour. Follow up by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Several pots of water might be required to get the drain cleared. Other solutions include:

  • Hot water with dish soap: Add a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap to boiling water and pour it slowly down the drain. This mixture is good for grease clogs. It could require several tries.
  • Wire clothes hanger: A straightened clothes hanger with the hook still attached can be used to dig out hair or food matter. Once the material is cleared out, pour hot water down the drain.
  • A mixture of salt, Borax, and vinegar: Pour this mixture down the drain with boiling water. Let it sit for about an hour before rinsing with hot water. 
  • Baking soda and salt: A half-cup each works in a similar manner as baking soda and vinegar.
  • Plunger: Plungers work well especially kitchen sink clogs.

Whenever you have a major clogged drain and need help with drain cleaning in Indianapolis, IN, you can always count on the team at Grateful Plumber. Give us a call at 317-677-4918.

What to pour down a drain to unclog it?

From mixtures of baking soda and vinegar to hot water with dish soap, there are various ways to unclog drains. Most are effective but might take several tries, and a lot of hot water, to get them to work. Many other household items are also known to unclog drains. Will Coke unclog drains? Coke or any other cola can be used for drain cleaning. You can pour a 2-liter bottle of cola down the drain, let it sit for about an hour, and then rinse with hot water. Colas are actually fairly caustic, but not as much as other chemical drain cleaners, and are less likely to harm your pipes. When cleaning a drain with cola, make sure to rinse carefully so all the sugar and syrups are removed.

What is best for cleaning drains?

While frequent use of off-the-shelf drain cleaners isn’t recommended, they are valuable when you need to remove a clog quickly. Some commercial drain cleaners, however, are more effective than others, depending on the job you need them for. There are three main types of drain cleaners—enzymatic, caustic, and acidic—and each has different uses. Enzymatic cleaners produce bacteria that feed on clogs and are useful for materials like hair or paper, though not as effective against grease or soap scum. They are, however, less likely to harm pipes. Caustic cleaners are best for removing food and grease from tubs and showers—often within 30 minutes—but aren’t recommended for toilets. They are also safer for newer plastic, steel, or copper pipes. Acidic cleaners are best for heavy clogs of any type, including paper-based materials, so they could be used to unclog toilets. They are generally safe to use on newer plastic or metal pipes and are effective within about 15 minutes. When you work with these types of drain cleaners, you’ll want to wear protective clothing, safety goggles, and a respirator. 

What chemicals do plumbers use to unclog drains?

Plumbing professionals tend to avoid using chemical drain cleaners because of the potential harm they can do to pipes. Most plumbers would recommend plunging first to try to clear the clog or even using some natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar. Usually, when you call out a plumber for drain cleaning, they’ll snake out the drain using a drain snake or auger. This tool is highly effective and usually works to clear out most clogs. You can buy and use augers yourself, but you have to be careful with them and use them correctly to avoid damaging your pipes.

What is hydrojet drain cleaning?

Another tool plumbers use for drain cleaning is hydrojetting, in which high-pressure jets of water are sprayed through the pipe to clear the clog. Hydrojetting is often used when clogs are deep inside your lines and is very effective in sewer lines where tree roots have intruded to cause clogs.

Drain cleaning and camera

When clogs are deep in your pipes, plumbers sometimes send specially made cameras down the line to locate the blockage. Once located, this is often when hydrojetting is relied on to get the clog cleared.

A Plumber Snakes a Bathroom Sink

Drain cleaning in my area

If you have a stubborn clog or need any help with drain cleaning in Indianapolis, IN, you can always count on the team at Grateful Plumber for fast, effective service. We have several options available for cleaning drains. Anytime you need our help, all you have to do is call 317-677-4918.

What is the Best Water Filtration System?

water filtration system

What is the Best Water Filtration System?

Are you wondering what the best water filtration system is on the market? If so, you are among many people who are searching for the best way to purify their water. While it is true that there are many excellent varieties of water filters that can be found online, it is important to consider how much you want to invest in your home’s water purification ability. For instance, a qualified and respectable plumbing company will have recommendations in terms of your water purification options. Regardless, it is important to have clean water for you and your household.

Are Water Filters a Waste of Money?

Are you wondering if water filters are a waste of money? On the contrary, many experts in the water purification industry have evidence to back up their assertions that having clean, fresh water is integral to having good health practices. This is because there could be contaminants in your water. Please review the following list of contaminants that could be found in drinking water across North America.

  • Aluminum
  • Ammonia
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Chloramine
  • Cadmium
  • Copper

There are many kinds of contaminants that could be lurking in your local water supply, which is why it is important to have very stringent water standards for yourself and for your family.

Is a Whole House Water Filter Necessary?

Are you wondering whether a whole house water filter is necessary? In actuality, the benefits may shock you. In terms of being an asset for your home, having a whole house water purification system may be appealing for future property buyers. It will also ensure that you have good, clean, pure water on demand. A whole house water filter is installed where the main water line enters your home. You only need one whole house water filter, and once it is installed, you can reap the benefits immediately. 

Should You Filter Tap Water?

By all means, if your tap water tastes good, please feel free to keep drinking it. However, it is important to consider that if you have underlying health conditions, that drinking filtered water will ultimately benefit you. If you filter your tap water, you will have the opportunity to remove any chemicals that may be existing in your tap water. It may be a good idea to have a professional plumber test your water in order for you to know and understand the current condition of the water coming into your home.

Do Brita Filters Actually Do Anything?

Brita water filters are supposed to remove things like hardness, copper, chlorine, lead, and sediment. However, it is important to note that Brita filters do not remove bacteria. If you would like purer water, it is highly advisable that you do a little research into what kind of water you have at home. A water purification specialist at a respectable plumbing company will be able to advise you concerning what the best course of action is.

Why Water Filtration System

Water filtration systems are able to remove elements that would cause your drinking water to taste poorly. These elements include lead, chlorine, and bacteria. A home water purification/filtration system will have the power to improve the overall purity, smell, and taste of your drinking water.

How Does Water Filtration System Work

Are you wondering how a physical and chemical filtration system work? Chemical filtration uses simple chemical reactions on water filtering through an activated material like carbon. A physical filtration system will supply a physical barrier that removes bigger particles from the water. Through the two systems working together, chemical and physical, water can achieve a higher purity level.

What is RO Water Filter System

A reverse osmosis water filter system is a purification process that uses a partially permeable membrane. This membrane has the ability to remove ions, unwanted molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. This process is achieved by applying external pressure to reverse the natural flow of pure solvent. What is particularly interesting about reverse osmosis systems is the fact that reverse osmosis has the ability to remove many dissolved any suspended chemical species as well as biological ones. Reverse osmosis is used in both industrial processes and for the production of drinkable water. 

water filtration system

Water Filtration System With Cooler

If you are looking for a water filtration system with a cooler, it is certainly possible. There are many companies that provide this valuable and important service for consumers who are looking for such a service. Whenever you are searching for a good system for your home it is important to review all of your options and keep an eye on your budget.

If you would like to discuss your new water filtration system in Indianapolis, IN, our team is ready to help. Please give us a call at 317-677-4918 to reach one of our outstanding team members.

What causes low water pressure in the whole house?

water coming slow from shower head

Increasing water pressure

Do you wonder why your home’s water pressure is low? It can aggravate when you’re taking a shower or washing your car to have poor water pressure. For most water related things in our lives today, proper water pressure is important, and for our health, good water pressure is essential. If your water pressure is like not much more than a trickle, is there anything you can do about it?

Well, maybe a few things, which is what we’ll discuss here today. The first thing you need to do is make sure you don’t have any leaks with these steps:

  • A meter check: Make sure every water outlet is turned off inside and outside the house, then check the water meter. If the meter is moving, there is water running somewhere in or under your house, or underground between the meter and your house.
  • A visual check: Look under the cabinets, under the house, make sure there isn’t water running or trickling.

If all is okay, the meter is still while the water is off and you’re finding any obvious signs of a water leak, then you need to get a water pressure checker or water pressure gauge. Not everyone has one of these, so you may ask, “How do I check my water pressure without a gauge?” Keep reading because we will share three distinct ways to do that:

First Method: For this method, you need to have an average garden hose and a measuring tape, then follow these steps:

  • Attach the water hose to the outdoor water outlet. 
  • Connect the garden house to an outdoor spigot and turned it on. 
  • Raise the water hose up as high as possible and keep raising it until the water quits coming out. 
  • Using the tape measure, get the distance between the end of the house and the water spigot and write that down.

You now have the water pressure measured in water feet, or the elevation of the water pressure down. Divide this number 2.31 and you’ll have the water-feet measurement into pressure per square inch.  Keep in mind that since this isn’t done with an exact gauge, you’re getting an approximate water pressure measure.

Second Method: You’ll need a jug with measurements on it and a timer, then follow these steps:  

  • Set the timer for 6 seconds. A smartphone timer will work!
  • Start filling the jug and begin the timer at the same time.
  • As soon as the timer goes off, turn off the water.
  • Multiply the amount of water collected in the jug by ten to calculate the volume collected in 1 minute.

If you measure less than ten liters per minute, you have low water pressure. If you get a measurement between ten and fifteen, you have decent water pressure, and anything over fifteen liters per minute is excellent water pressure. Please note this method is giving you the volume of water per minute, not exactly water pressure measurement. 

Third Method: You’ll need a one gallon bucket and a timer for this method, following these steps, which will give you a flow rate not a water pressure rate:

  • Make sure all water faucets are off inside and outside your home.
  • Using the water faucet closest to the main water that doesn’t have any restrictions on the flow rate.
  • Place the one gallon bucket below the faucet. 
  • Turn the water on to fill the bucket and begin the timer at the same time.

Calculate how long it took to fill the one gallon bucket to get your per minute flow rate. If the flow rate is over 6 gallons per minute, your water pressure is too high. Plumbing experts recommend having a water regulator installed to avoid premature failure of water-using appliances and water faucets.

How do I increase water pressure in my home?

Using a water pressure gauge or any of the methods we described above and if your water pressure is measuring lower than 40 pounds square inch, there may be a pressure-reducing valve on your water main. You can increase the water pressure with any of these ways:

  • Slightly turn the screw on the top of the valve
  • Call your local water authorities and inquire if there is an issue locally. If not, request they do a pressure check.
  • If you are on a private well, you may have problems with the well pump. 

Do all homes have a water pressure regulator?

No, there is not a pressure regulator at every home, however, if plumbing maintenance is done on a home, it may require a pressure regulator to reduce the water pressure that enters the house from the main water line.

How long do water pressure regulators last?

A pressure regulator can have a lifespan between 10 years and 20 years. If your home is equipped with a pressure regulator and the water pressure has decreased or increased recently, it may time to replace it.  They are available at big box home repair stores and can range in price from $35 up to $120.

slow water from faucet

How do you fix low water pressure?

If you’re experiencing low water pressure and all indications point to the problem being outside of your home, have a pressure tank and pump integrated into your plumbing. This isn’t a DIY type job; you must hire an experienced plumber for the job.

Pressure tanks are frequently used to work with well systems, but they are a significant source of help for homes on a municipal line too. A pressure tank integrated between your home and the main shutoff valve, will maintain the water volume high in your system and maintain a constant pressure.

To boost the water pressure more, you’ll need a pump to go with the tank.  This will take the low-pressure water entering your home and increases the pressure square inch before it is sent to the pressure tank.

In a system without a pressure release valve, the water is pushed back to the main by increased water pressure from the expansion. A pressure release valve prevents that from happening, and an expansion tank is needed to accommodate the increased water pressure and volume. Water pressure without tank will allow pressure to increase throughout the house until a water fixture is used. This is setting the home’s plumbing up for problems because that extra water pressure will damage appliances, faucets, and pipes eventually. Call 317-677-4918 today for water pressure service in Indianapolis, IN.

Is a water softener worth it?

water softener

Can you drink softened water?

As the years go by there are a number of advancements you can apply to your home to lengthen the working lifespan of parts of it and improve your health. One addition that can do both comes in the form of a water softener. Unless you are on a low sodium diet, soft water offers a completely healthy and safe upgrade to the water you drink every day. Soft water provided by a water softener is different from hard or regular water because of:

  • Neutralized calcium
  • Neutralized Magnesium
  • Charged with sodium or potassium

Water made without special machinery essentially requires distilling borax and washing soda with warm water. The reason being is that most water that you drink will have harder ions that are harder on everything they interact with. When it comes to your body, consuming soft water is slightly easier on you than regular water, but when it comes to your hair and skin it is an entirely another story. Soft water is far better for the skin and hair due to the lack of minerals that at the ion level bash onto both. Your body can then more easily absorb soft water at all levels while passing over it when you come into contact with it through bathing or washing anything. When you are interested in water softener installation, call 317-677-4918 today to schedule your appointment and get one in your home.

Why does soft water feel slimy?

Depending on who you are, soft water may have an unappealing or weird texture to it thanks to the constitution of the liquid mentioned earlier. With hard water, your skin and hair will get dried out from use due to minerals in it. However, soft water will leave your hair and skin smooth as well as hydrated due to the lack of elements in the makeup that cause friction. On top of being good for your skin, soft water applies to more than one avenue of your life. 

  • Cleaning
  • Water based systems
  • Clothing

It has been known that a person does not need to use as much soap whether it comes to hygiene or dishwashing when soft water is used during the chore. The reason being is soap will lather more easily in soft water than in the other option. Furthermore, soft water at the molecular level will stick to soap far easier. While the minerals in normal water hinder the effectiveness of soap by slowing the effects. 

In your water based systems like piping, soft water does not degrade the metal that makes up your system. This is due to the lack of mineral build up on the surfaces and it moves more smoothly in any setting especially those that are pressurized like those that operate in your home. When washing your clothing with soft water, it has been found that cloths last longer in homes with largely soft water systems. This is due to the same base reasoning as were found in the health benefits and system longevity. Clothing is constantly bombarded by the minerals in hard water, causing the fabric to get weaker overtime. With soft water, clothing lasts far longer and can be softer too.

How do I know what size water softener I need?

In the process of getting a water softener for your home, normally it is a better idea to ask a specialist like those found at Grateful Plumber. This is due to the fact that you will need to multiply each person in your home by the amount of water the general person uses each day. The calculation on average is eighty gallons per person in your home. You then take that number and multiply it by the hardness of your current water, which will be removed by a number of grains per day. The reason you need a measurement of the hardness is that a water softener partly runs on small plastic beads that absorb the minerals in the water and then charge themselves into the water creating sodium. It can best be described as a type of filter that works on the molecular minerals you normally get that are tough on your body, cloths, and systems. 

Due to how it operates, a water softening system will last around ten to fifteen years until it needs a replacement. The reason for that is because the finer parts will eventually break down and need replacing on such a scale that a new one is the best choice. Although there are instances that the system can last longer, it is not a regular occourance. 

water softened cloths

What are the disadvantages of soft water?

There are disadvantages of water softeners due to the make up of the water it creates as well as because of the system. Unfortunately due to soft water having a definite lack of calcium from the system absorbing it, which means if the person is young or requires some level of calcium per day they may need to change their diet up. Furthermore, if there are elements of lead in your system like pipes, soft water can pick up the lead. Another is that when a water softener runs out of the beads or salt, the exchange that it performs simply does not happen. 

When you need a water softener or the services to maintain it, trust a group of quality plumbers to carry out those services. Grateful Plumber is a company that can get the job done when it comes to your plumbing needs that will improve your home in Indianapolis, IN. Call 317-677-4918 today to schedule your appointment and enjoy what we can get you.

How Do I Know if I Have a Slab Leak?

slab leak repair

Finding Water Where it Doesn’t Belong

As a home or property owner, you know there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your space. Water heaters can break, HVAC systems can stop working, and plumbing can become damaged. In many instances, there is a clear indication of something wrong and you likely know how to fix it. In other cases, it can be harder to find the problem, like when there is a slab leak. Slab or foundation leaks are major issues that need to be corrected as soon as possible to avoid serious damage to your home. For more information about slab leak repair in Indianapolis, IN, dial 317-677-4918 and connect with Grateful Plumber.

slab leak repair

Slab Leak Detection and Repair

There is no greater frustration as a homeowner than finding water where it simply shouldn’t be. Added to that frustration is not being able to find the source of the pooling water. When that is the case, you may have a slab leak on your hands. A slab leak happens when damage occurs to the plumbing under your foundation and that water seeps up and into your floors. Can anything be done about it? Yes and things need to be addressed as quickly as possible with this type of leak. So what should you look for and how do you know you need slab leak repair

  • Water Bill Spike: If you are experiencing a leak of any kind, it will show up on your water bills. There is an excess of water leaving your home, which means that your water bills will likely be higher than usual. If there is no way to explain the increased usage of water, then a leak of some kind may be present in your home.
  • Water Pooling: When there is a slab leak, water will eventually need to find a place to go that isn’t under the foundation. Start looking for water in and around your home where it doesn’t belong. Water ponding around your foundation line is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly. 
  • Damp Carpet or Floors: Sometimes, water doesn’t move away from the leak, it just pools up around the same spot. When that happens, you may have areas of your carpet that are damp or wet, consistently. If that’s the case, you most definitely have a slab leak that needs to be repaired. 
  • Mold, Mildew, and Smells: If and when there is a leak, there is more than likely mold not far behind. With a slab leak, you may start to notice mold or mildew in various places around your home. If you can’t find the mold, you may notice a musty or foul odor. In either case, you may need to connect with a plumber for help. 
  • Decreased Water Pressure: Low water pressure could be another indication of a slab leak. The pipes under your foundation are meant to bring water to and from your house, so when there is damage to those pipes, you’ll notice serious problems throughout the rest of your home. 

Now that you know what to look for, your next question to answer is how are slab leaks repaired? More importantly, what is the slab leak repair process? The most effective way to address this problem, unfortunately, is typically to dig into your foundation to where the leak is located. From there, a plumber will replace or patch the problem, then fill the hole that was made. If this sounds expensive, that’s because it can be. Slab leak repair prices can vary from contractor to contractor, but it will generally cost you thousands of dollars to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to repair a slab leak?
    • The cost to find a leak will likely cost between $150 and $400. That’s just to find the problem, the cost to actually repair the leak can cost upwards of $2,000. This process includes tearing up the slab, repairing the pipe, and putting everything back, which is why it’s so expensive.
  • What causes a slab leak?
    • The causes a slab leaks are usually the result of pipes that have corroded or become damaged. Underneath your foundation, there is a series of plumbing and pipes designed to direct water to and from your home. Unfortunately, because of their location, they can corrode or degrade without your knowledge. 
  • How do you diagnose a slab leak?
    • You’ll be able to pick up on certain signs such as overly saturated areas of your floor or spots that may seem softer than usual. You can also tell if there is a leak from the outside of your home. If there are cracks or problem areas throughout your foundation, you may have a leak. 
  • How do plumbers detect slab leaks?
    • Professional plumbers generally have a range of leak detection equipment that they can use in a home. For slab or foundation leaks, they will likely use an acoustic disk and ground microphones to pick up on inconsistencies in your plumbing. This will allow them to find the leak and be able to repair it. 
  • How serious is a slab leak?
    • Slab leaks are serious problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Problems like this can and will cause significant damage to your foundation, which in turn can result in serious damages to other parts of your home. 
slab leak repair

Connect With Our Team Today for More

For more information about slab leak repair in Indianapolis, IN, give Grateful Plumber a call today. Use 317-677-4918 to reach out to one of our plumbers today!