Many people are not content to rely on the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding clean drinking water. Although our region’s water treatment facilities are known to be excellent, sometimes levels of certain chemicals can exceed recommended safety limits. For this reason, property owners all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area are investing in water filtration systems. The main problem is that there are so many to choose from. Which one is right for your home and budget? Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth specializes in the installation of water filtration systems. In addition to our full range of plumbing services, we can help you find the best filtration product for your household–and then we can install and maintain it. Learn more about these filtration systems and products here:
Do You Really Need to Filter Your Water?
It makes financial sense to question the necessity for water filtration systems in Texas. If the water treatment plants are filtering your water, why do you need to? It’s important to note that no treatment plans in the country filter out all pollutants and contaminants. The EPA mandates how much of a potentially hazardous chemical like arsenic is allowed to remain in the water. If it’s under that threshold, it’s deemed safe.
However, many watchdog and environmental groups report that the EPA’s guidelines aren’t rigorous enough and that the limits are set too high for allowable contaminants. In recent years, our drinking water has exceeded safety levels recommended by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that has a national focus on water and food safety as well as other environmental chemical concerns. According to EWG and other similar groups, drinking water in our area contains more arsenic, nitrate, metals, trihalomethanes, VOCs, and microorganisms than they believe are safe.
In recent years, our area has noted an uptick in levels of pharmaceuticals getting into the drinking water supply. For these reasons, many residents want the added protection of water filtration systems installed in their home in order to catch the contaminants that are not caught by water treatment facilities.
Evaluating Water Quality
To get a clear picture of the quality of the water coming out of your home’s taps, get a water quality test. If you get city water, simply go to the EPA website. The agency reports on what’s in our water. You can get the latest levels for contaminants that are found there. There are also water testing kits found at home improvement centers or online. You can purchase one to test your water at home.
Of course, if you have concerns because of rust or pipe corrosion, it’s important to contact us. Our plumbers can also help you determine the safety of your home’s water. In some cases, it’s not the water supply, but your pipes that could be affecting the quality of your drinking water. In either case, we can provide the ideal solutions you need for safe and clean water for your household.
Knowing what chemicals, minerals, or other contaminants are in your water is important because some water filtration systems are better suited for filtering certain materials. For example, many water filtration systems are ineffective for filtering viruses or bacteria. That might affect your purchasing decision. After conducting the water test of getting a report from the EPA, you’ll be in a better position for making an informed decision. And, of course, our plumbing pros are always happy to discuss the various systems available and to help you select the right one for your needs and budget.
What Are Some Common Water Filtering Methods/Products?
As you investigate different water filtering methods and systems on the market today, it helps to familiarize yourself with the different types. Here’s an overview of popular options to get to know. Some are likely to meet your household’s needs better than others.
Do you have hard water? Hard water is water that contains minerals like magnesium and calcium in elevated amounts. Hard water is extremely hard on your plumbing system fixtures like sink faucets and appliances that use water such as your hot water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher. Hard water can decrease the longevity of these appliances, forcing you to replace them earlier than you should if you didn’t have a hard water problem.
You can purchase water softeners, but these are only effective for combatting hard water minerals. They will not filter your water like other types of filtering systems. Hard water isn’t unsafe for drinking, but it can make your water taste unpleasant.
Carbon Filtration Systems
A carbon or charcoal filter is popular because of its affordability. These types of filtration methods are also quite old. Did you know that the ancient Egyptians actually added fresh carbon to drinking water to ‘freshen’ its taste? Carbon and charcoal filters are great options if you want to improve the taste of water or eliminate any odors that it might have. However, it’s important to note that these filters aren’t as effective for removing many contaminants such as arsenic or fluoride as other water filtering systems are. They will also not remove lead. If you have a concern about chemicals in your drinking water, be sure that you choose a filtering system that targets the contaminants you want to guard against.
Copper and Zinc Filtering Processes
A process known as kinetic degradation fluxion media might be a method you come across when shopping for a filtering system. These products use copper and zinc–and their electrons–to change contaminants in new elements. In short, the process renders contaminants benign by changing them through an electro-chemical process. These systems can be effective but they may have a shorter life span than other options available today.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration
Reverse osmosis water filtering systems filter your drinking water at its molecular level. They block any molecules larger than a water molecule. They employ a semipermeable membrane that allows water to pass through but it blocks contaminants. This is an excellent option for blocking nitrates, fluoride, and other chemicals from your water. However, it may not catch all trihalomethanes, pharmaceuticals, or VOCs.
These systems are not difficult to maintain, but they require a membrane change each year. They can also be installed at the under-sink level. If you are looking for an option that’s not a whole-house option, you might explore this one.
Ceramic filters are cheap and convenient options because they’re portable and will last a long time. They can be cleaned and reused. They also are effective for removing bacteria from water. These filters don’t remove minerals or VOCs. If you want them to remove chlorine or VOCs, you’ll need to purchase certain types of ceramic filters (with activated carbon) to filter those elements.
Ultraviolet Water Purification
If you’re concerned about viruses and microorganisms in your water, consider an ultraviolet water purification system. These are effective for killing bacteria and viruses; however, they are not ideal for eradicating small particles associated with many other contaminants. However, you can use an additional filtering system to filter those elements.
Where to Install Water Filtering Systems
Some of our clients are concerned about where their new water filtration systems are going to be installed. Installation concerns as well as cost might be factors that impact your decision along with the quality of the system’s filtering process. There are different locations where these systems may be placed to function.
Kitchen Faucet Filters
Installing a filtering system on your sink faucet may be a convenient and affordable option. This method will only filter water from that particular tap though. These systems filter water as it flows from your faucet.
Countertop systems are increasingly popular. In these cases, your sink will be outfitted with two faucets–the one you use for washing dishes and the other for drinking water. The drinking water faucet is connected to a filter that filters water before it comes out of the tap. These systems are convenient and ideal for filtering drinking water. However, if you have a hard water problem, they won’t protect other fixtures in your home or your plumbing system appliances.
An under-sink system will filter water in large amounts and at a high speed. These tend to be robust and long-lasting systems. They are not portable, but they will filter your water at the fixture level.
Whole-house water filtration systems are going to be among the most expensive systems. They connect to your water tank and will filter all the water that enters your house. You won’t need fixture-point filters. You can drink from the bathroom sink or the kitchen sink. The water you shower with will be filtered. In short, all of your home’s water will be filtered with this type of system.
Although more expensive, you can enjoy more peace of mind with a whole-house system. You can also list it as a home asset if you ever decide to sell your house.
How Can We Help?
Our plumbing company installs and maintains water filtration systems for customers. We can help you in a number of ways:
You can contact us to discuss your interest in water filtering options for your home. We can advise you about water quality testing and provide you with in-depth information about the types of filtering systems we install. We have installed systems from various companies. They offer different products to meet the diverse needs of customers.
We understand how tricky it can be to choose a system that will effectively filter all the contaminants that can be present in drinking water. Many systems are associated with pros and cons. Some are very effective but also extremely expensive. Some are only very effective for filtering certain materials like bacteria or hard water. Others may miss the chemicals you want removed from your water.
We’ll provide you with information about any types of systems you’re interested in learning more about. Let us help you make the best purchasing decisions for your household. We know the products and stay up to date about all new filtration systems to enter the marketplace.
Once you choose a system, our plumbing technicians can install it. Some are easier to install than others, but even sink-point systems can be challenging. No matter what type of system you select, you can rely on our plumbers to hook it up so that it functions properly.
Various types of systems need maintenance from time to time. For instance, many reverse osmosis water systems need to have their membrane changed each year. Our plumbing technicians can manage all of your system’ s maintenance needs. With professional maintenance, your system should last and function like it’s supposed to.
Enjoy Peace of Mind with a Water Filtering System
Installing a system that will filter or purify your drinking water is sure to enhance your peace of mind if you’re concerned about water quality for your household. There are contaminants in water that you don’t want to wind up in your glass. Once you allow our plumbers to install your new water filtering device or system, you can relax knowing that your water is as safe as possible. There are also many other benefits associated with these types of systems. For instance, you can stop buying plastic water bottles and save money! Less plastic in your shopping cart is also going to be better for the environment.
Call us to find out more about the types of systems we recommend and install for home water filtering.
Our technicians can recommend a system that meets your drinking water filtering needs and is also right for your budget. Of course, you can also rely on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth for all of your home’s plumbing system needs.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By BERMIX STUDIO at Shutterstock
8 Signs You Need Emergency Plumbing Service
Being a homeowner is a lot more hard work than a lot of people think. It is not as simple as signing some paperwork and then moving into a home. The challenges persist long after you unpack your last box, which is why it is helpful to learn a bit about some of the things you will have to tackle as a new homeowner. For starters, you will have to know when to call a plumbing service, something you probably never had to worry about as a renter.
Prior to owning a home, if something went wrong you probably just called your landlord and let them sort it out. Depending on what type of renter you were, you may have just ignored the problem. However, as a homeowner, if you spot something going on with your home plumbing system it is up to you to figure out what is going on and whether or not you will need help from a professional plumbing company. With that in mind, it may be a good idea to learn what types of things are alarming.
Whenever water is involved there is a wide range of things that can go wrong quickly. Water damage is not something to mess around with given its propensity to cause a large amount of damage in a very short amount of time. Therefore, if you want to stay on top of the plumbing in your home, you have to know what to look for and what constitutes a plumbing emergency. While you cannot prevent every single plumbing issue, the goal is to correct situations before you have hundreds of gallons of water streaming across the floor. There simply aren’t enough towels in most homes to handle this type of situation.
Learning to identify emergency situations is the best way to protect your home from long-term water damage that can quickly add up. Therefore, this guide will walk you through some of the top situations that require the help of a plumbing service. If you notice any of these situations brewing in your home it is time to get on the phone and talk to a plumbing company. Just a word of advice, keep in mind that this is not a complete list. There are things that can come up that are not on the list, so if you have any reason to be concerned about the health of your home plumbing system, trust your gut and talk to a plumber.
Up first on the list of potential problems is a water leak. Not all leaks are an emergency, as you can wait a day or two to address some leaks. However, some are blatant emergencies that need to be taken care of right away. As you might guess, the trick is learning how to tell the two apart. Water leaks can threaten your home in many different ways. Most leaks are silent which means you will not be able to see them until the damage is already done, but some occur in places you can see.
Either way, you need to always be on the lookout for leaks so that they don’t sneak up on you. Some signs of leaking water include not only spotting an actual visible leak but also spotting mold or mildew growing near a wall or ceiling. In order for mold to grow there has to be moisture, so if you see moisture that is not accounted for properly you can trace it back to a water leak in many cases. By the way, if there is a leak near any electrical wiring then this is an actual emergency and you need to call a plumbing service right away because it can lead to a lot of electrical risks including electrocution.
Low Water Pressure
There are a lot of reasons why you might have low water pressure in your home, and there are different degrees of issues you may be having with low water pressure. For example, you can be dealing with water that is hardly flowing out of your pipes or simply a little less pressure while you are in the shower. Obviously, if there is a slight decrease you can wait for a plumber to schedule a visit at their convenience, but if you have nothing more than a trickle of water out of your pipes you will need to call for emergency service.
Damaged pipes are often the cause of low water pressure, especially if it is only isolated to one or two areas of your home. If your water pressure is okay in other areas of your home, then there is a good chance that you need to have your pipes checked for a leak. In other situations, it may be a clogged aerator that is causing the water pressure in your home to drop. A lot of homes have pressure-regulating values that are designed to help conserve some energy, so this can be another avenue for a plumber to explore.
Toilet Is Overflowing
Another sign that something might be going on that needs to be investigated by a plumbing service right away is an overflowing toilet. It is a fact of life that you will clog your toilet at some point in your life. Even if it isn’t you who clog the toilet, someone in your home is going to use too much toilet paper or abuse the courtesy flush. When this situation happens your go-to will probably be the toilet plunger. With any luck, this will be enough to solve the problem, but if your toilet continues to leak then it is time to get a professional involved who can help solve the issue.
An overflowing toilet is second only to a clogged floor drain because it involves massive amounts of sewage and water overflowing on your floor. This is a situation that absolutely no one wants to deal with. The best thing to do is get to the bottom quickly if a plunger isn’t doing the trick. Sometimes an overflowing toilet is caused by a clog in the actual toilet, but other times it can be related to a clog in the main line under the toilet. For that reason, you should resist the urge to use any water in the bathroom where the issue exists until a plumber arrives to inspect the situation.
Water Heater Is Not Working
Another excellent reason to call a plumbing service immediately if you suddenly find yourself without hot water. It is impossible to live without hot water, and if you have water in your home but no access to hot water then the issue can always be traced back to a malfunctioning water heater. Depending on the age of your water heater and the issue, you will probably need either a water heater repair or replacement. The only one that can tell you for sure is a plumber once they come out and take a look at your water heater.
Sometimes the solution is simple such as replacing an inlet valve or relighting the pilot light, but sometimes it can be linked to sediment or a rusting tank. It is important to have a professional evaluate the issue so that you can restore hot water to your home and get back to daily tasks such as washing clothes, running the dishwasher, and taking a shower. As a general tip, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your water heater for leaks or odd sounds. Either of these things is a red flag that something is happening with your water heater.
Drains Are Clogged
Another clear sign you have a plumbing issue in your home is if you are dealing with partial or full clogs. A full clog is always an emergency situation and will require the help of a professional plumber, but a partial clog should be treated as a warning sign that a big clog is coming. Therefore, it is helpful to learn how to identify both so that you can get proper help before you end up with water all over the floor from a backed-up drain.
Partial clogs usually occur when debris, hair, or soap grime start to collect in the insides of your drains. Sometimes tree roots can also cause partial clogs in your sewage lines. Giveaway signs include drains that are draining much slower than usual, gurgling or bubbling noises from inside your pipes, and sewage odors that are wafting out of your sinks. If you notice any of these signs of an impending blockage it is in your best interest to call a plumbing service to evaluate the issue and clear your drain. This avoids the mess and hassle that comes with a flooded drain or sink.
It should go without saying that a burst pipe is a plumbing emergency, but just in case it doesn’t, if you notice a burst pipe you should call an emergency plumber right away. The only thing you should do before calling a plumber is turn off your water main. Once it is off, then you need to call and get help before you can even think about turning the water back on within your home.
Hundreds of gallons of water can come rushing out of a burst pipe in your home, so this is not a situation that you want to take lightly. Most people aim to fix weak pipes before they end up in this situation, so this is a good reminder to have a plumbing service conduct a full plumbing inspection. During an inspection, the plumber will look for weak pipes or any other areas of your plumbing system that might need repair or updated. This is a great way to learn more about your plumbing system, especially if you are a new homeowner and not sure what condition the plumbing in your home is in. After all, not every surprise is a good one.
Ceiling Looks Like It Is Sagging
Another potentially worrisome situation is a sagging ceiling. Usually, when a ceiling sags it is because of water damage, although there are a few other options. If you notice the paint is chipping or that there is discoloration or leaking coming from the ceiling, then you can rest assured there is a leak. At this point the sagging is likely water pressure, so this is something that you need to call a plumbing service about right away. The last thing you want to do is wait until your ceiling collapses or tiles start falling to get help. Water has to go somewhere, and if there is a leak it will eventually break through your ceiling if you wait too long to have someone look at the cause of your sagging roof.
Finally, water stains are a clear sign that something is going on with your plumbing, and your ceiling is not the place where they can show up. Pipes can leak anywhere, including within the slab foundation of your home, ceiling, and walls. Therefore, water stains can pop up anywhere and should never be ignored. A great deal of your plumbing system is located behind hidden walls, so if you see water stains this is your hint that it is time to talk to a plumbing service about a leaking pipe. Quick action can help minimize the damage and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Are you worried that you may have a major plumbing issue brewing in your home? Don’t sit on problems. Instead, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth today to schedule a plumbing visit.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By hometowncd at istock
When You Should Look For A Plumber Near Me
You can easily live in your home for a year or two before you need any help with your plumbing system, but plumbing issues can easily sneak up on you. This can leave you not only worried about your plumbing system, but it can also leave you worried about how to find a plumber near me in the city. If you have never had to hire a plumber before you can find yourself scrambling to find one that will fix your problem and also be there in the future if you have another.
The following guide will take a close look at how to find a plumber near me in the city as well as how to know when to call a plumber. Learning both of these important facts will help you make the right decision in the face of a plumbing emergency. Even if you don’t have a plumbing emergency, if you are comfortable with a plumbing service you are more likely to call them for the small things which will prevent any plumbing issues from turning into emergencies. With that in mind, take a minute to read this guide so that you can find a plumber who makes a regular service call a bit more enjoyable.
How to Find the Right Plumber for Your Home
The first step is to find the right plumber to help you with your issues. As mentioned, when you feel comfortable with your plumber you are more likely to call to get their opinion or help with issues. This makes it more likely that your plumbing system will remain in top shape so you don’t have to worry about surprise flooding. Even if you don’t think you need a plumber near me right now, it is a good idea to go ahead and do some research so you aren’t left scrambling when something happens.
It is a safe bet that you will need a plumber at some point in your life, and when that time comes you need to be properly prepared. The very best thing you can do to find a plumber, is talk to people that you already trust who live in your area. If you have friends or family members nearby, ask them who they use and get some recommendations and advice. If that is not an option, then it is time to move on to co-workers and neighbors. Your neighbors can actually be a great source of information since most homes in the same area experience similar plumbing issues.
After you gather a few names, then you can jump online to read a little more about the names that you have collected. Ideally, you will want a plumber that is licensed, bonded, and fully insured. A licensed plumber has the education they need to properly diagnose problems with your home correctly the first time around, and if they are bonded and insured you can rest assured your home is safe. These things protect you in the case of any problems or damage to your property and also show that a plumbing company is serious about what they do. Any plumber near me in the city that makes your shortlist should offer all three of things.
Reading reviews is another great way to find out if a plumber is the right choice for your home. The best way to get insight into customer service and the overall style of a company is by reading if people are satisfied when they leave. The internet has made it easy to access reviews and while there will always be a few outliers, you should be able to read a dozen reviews and get a general feel for the overall competency of a company. If you find a plumbing company you like that is highly recommended by your friends and family, is licensed and insured, and has great reviews then you are almost across the finish line.
The last thing you need to do is call and talk to them about their hours and make sure that they service your area. There are a lot of plumbers that serve the greater area, but not always your specific suburb. Therefore, you need to be careful that you choose a plumber that comes out to your home otherwise they won’t be of much help when something pops up. Second, you need to check their hours. You want a plumber that can come out at your convenience, and not one that will force you to change your schedule to take care of plumbing repairs.
Finally, you will want to check that the plumber me in the city is able to offer emergency plumbing services should the time come. The last thing you want to do is find a plumber for small repairs and then discover that you need something else when an emergency occurs. That is the last thing that you want to deal with during an emergency. If you can find a plumber that checks all of these boxes then you are set to hire them for a small job to see whether they truly are going to be the right fit for your home. If it works up, then you are set for the future and can check this task off your to-do list.
Signs You Need to Contact a Plumber for Help
Now that you have helpfully found a plumber near me in the city, your next task is to know exactly when to contact a plumber. There are some obvious signs that you need help from a plumber, but if you don’t know what they are you may find yourself dealing with an emergency situation. With that in mind, the following are a few signs that clearly show it is time to call a plumber. Keep in mind this list is not complete, so you should still listen to your gut if there is something concerning occurring in your home and it is not on this list.
You might even consider printing this page out and hanging it on your fridge to remind you. It can also be a useful checklist if you are evaluating the overall state of your plumbing system and wondering if there is anything you need to do to get it ready for the summer season. There is never a bad time to tune up some of the major systems in your home. With that in mind, let’s dig into a few of the top reasons you may need to find a plumber near me in town.
No Hot Water
One of the top reasons to call a plumber for help is an absence of hot water. Some people discover this while trying to take a shower and other people discover this when they are washing the dishes. It doesn’t really matter how you find out that you have no hot water, it is a situation that you have to properly address. You cannot live in your home without hot water because you cannot wash anything safely.
Usually, if there is no hot water in your home the problem can be traced back to your water heater. There are a dozen different issues that can cause problems with your water heater, so you need a trained plumber to come to assess the situation and find the cause. If your water heater is older or it is leaking then you may need to talk about replacement, but if your unit is newer then you may just need a simple repair. You won’t know what happens until you talk to a plumber.
Low or Varying Water Pressure
Another indication that something is going on with your plumbing is low or varying degrees of water pressure. If you sometimes feel like the water pressure in your home is perfect while other times it seems like a trickle, it is time to talk to a plumber. While all homes will experience a slight decrease in water pressure if several appliances are running at the same time, if there are no appliances running and you are still having issues with your water pressure this is a clear sign that you need to talk to a plumber. There are a dozen things that could explain this issue, but you will need a professional plumber near me in the city to get to the bottom of the situation quickly.
Your Water Looks Rusty
Another sign that something is going on with your home plumbing system is if you notice rusty or red-looking water coming out of your pipes. If the problem is isolated to only your hot water then there is a good chance the problem is isolated to your water heater. A rusty water heater can lead to rusty water. Replacing your water heater should fix the problem. On the other hand, if you are noticing rusty water in several places or out of both the cold and the hot water taps then the problem is likely a larger issue with your pipes. Once again, a plumber is the best source of information.
No Water at All in Your Home
If you don’t have any water in your home at all, this is a clear sign that you need to call a plumber near me for some help. You cannot live in a home that does not have running water, so this is a clear sign that you need help. The one thing you can do is talk to your neighbors to see if their water is running. If it is then the problem is isolated to your home and most likely associated with your main water line. A plumber can help you figure out what is going on and if your main line will need to be replaced.
Another clear sign that there is something wrong with your plumbing system is if you notice that there are signs of water damage around your home. The problem with plumbing leaks is that you can’t always see them, which makes it even harder to figure out that pipes are leaking. They can be hidden under your ceiling, under flooring, or behind the walls which is why it is so important that you learn the signs of water damage. Oftentimes if there is a link in your home you will notice the paint starting to bubble, the wallpaper starting to peel, or the actual flooring in your home starting to warp.
Leaky Faucet or Sink
With that in mind, any little bit of water can cause permanent damage, which is why it is important to talk to a plumber about a leaky faucet or sink. If you notice water dripping anywhere that it shouldn’t be it is time to talk to your local plumbing company.
Offensive Odors Coming from Drains
Often you will smell clogs before you see them. If a partial blockage is forming inside of your drains you will start to notice the bacteria and sewage that is hanging around the blockage. Usually, this means smelling a sewer-like smell near your sink. Many people attempt to drop citrus peels or bleach down their sinks to help remove the smell. While this may work for a few days, the smell will continue to come back until the blockage is removed or it completely clogs and you have a separate situation on your hand. With that in mind, it is smarter to call a plumber near me when you start to notice offensive odors coming from the drains in your home so you can prevent a clog from occurring.
If you are searching for a plumber to help you with home plumbing issues, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth to schedule a visit.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Photo By Dmitry Tkachuk at Shutterstock
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