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What Is a Water Softener?

Have you heard people refer to the softness or hardness of water? These terms refer to the number of minerals, like calcium or magnesium, in the water in your plumbing system. Depending on your location, the level of minerals in the water can vary. If you prefer softer water with fewer minerals, you can ask your plumber about installing a water softener.

This filtration system can reduce the concentration of minerals in your water so that it is softer. But can filtered water bring health and plumbing improvements? The answer depends on your existing water supply and advice from your plumber. Read on to learn more about how a water softening system can impact the plumbing in your home or commercial property.

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Should I Soften My Water Supply?

Before you consider installing a water softener, ask your utility provider if your water is already treated with a softener. Filtering already softened water could put your pipes in danger of corrosion and other plumbing issues.

But softening hard water can help prevent naturally occurring minerals from building up within your plumbing system. This scale can lead to blockages within pipes and other fixtures that will need costly repairs to clear.

Reducing these minerals in your water will also help you keep your sinks, tubs, and glassware clean. The minerals can leave spots and deposits on these items, which will mean that you need to clean more to keep your home looking its best. This process will also improve the function of appliances like dishwashers and fridges, extending their lifespan.

Are There Risks with Softening Water?

Though water softeners have many advantages, this filtration system will not benefit every household or commercial establishment. The system can pose some risks to the existing plumbing, an individual’s health, and the environment.

Water softeners work by removing minerals from the water that passes through the filter. But it also exchanges these minerals, replacing them with sodium or potassium molecules. The chloride solution left behind after this process gets drained away from your property like waste in your plumbing.

This means that the chloride will potentially pollute the water in your community. Ask your plumber about the environmental impact of a personal water softener. Additional sodium in your water supply can also have adverse health effects. Individuals with underlying health issues might see harm from consuming excess salt.

As mentioned, the water softening process might lead to corrosion in your pipes. This could mean metal from the pipes may end up in your water, leading to health concerns.

Consult with your plumber to learn if this system will benefit your property. Different factors will play into whether the pros outweigh the drawbacks of a water softener. If you do get one, test your water on a regular basis to make sure it continues to work properly. Use it as directed by the manufacturer and by your local plumbing expert.

Signs of Leaks Without Standing Water

When you picture a leak in your plumbing system, you likely imagine water escaping pipes and accumulating in puddles in your home or commercial building. But sometimes a plumbing leak will not present so predictably.

Fortunately, there are many other indicators that could point to a leak in your pipes or other plumbing. Standing water where it does not belong is only one sign of a leak. Read on to learn about four other ways you can tell that you have a leak in your plumbing system.

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Do I Have a Plumbing Leak on My Property?

Damage to Walls or Ceilings

Spotting puddles or drips from a pipe provides a clear indicator of a leak. But this does not always occur so clearly if a leak exists. But you might see other visible signs that your plumbing has a leak.

Water can collect within the walls or ceiling of your building. Moisture can wreak havoc on the interior structure of your property. So you might see cracks beginning to form as the water eats away at these parts of the building.

A leak can also create stains on these areas. Discoloration may also occur if your building begins to grow mold. If any of these issues arise, do not hesitate to call a plumber.

Strange Smells

You can employ other senses besides sight to determine whether you have a leak in your plumbing. If water begins to collect on your property but outside of view, you might notice unexplainable odors.

Stagnant water will start to produce a musty smell if left alone for some time. This is abnormal even with heavy usage of plumbing systems that work properly. Mold and mildew can also give off a strange smell. Know that odors like these should be looked into by a professional.

Low Water Pressure

A leak in your pipes can impact the effectiveness of your entire plumbing system. If you realize that water from your faucets seems to flow more slowly or with less pressure, a leak could be disrupting the system.

If water is escaping through a leak, it may not flow with the force it should through the rest of your property. So a change in the water pressure could be a good sign that you should call a plumber for a leak detection check.

Increased Water Bills

You may use more water during certain times of the year, such as for landscaping in the summer months. This could lead to a rise in your water bill. But a larger jump in your bill with seemingly no reason could mean you have a leak in your plumbing system.

Water escaping through a leak in a pipe will make it look like you use more water on your property, increasing the charges on your utility bill. If you see an unexplainable spike in your bill, you should consult with a plumber to see if a hidden leak is causing this issue.

Commercial vs Residential Plumbing

You are likely familiar with the types of clogs, leaks, and other plumbing issues that may arise in your home. But if you own a business, you can begin to see that the plumbing system on your property also requires care and can run into problems.

These systems all have the same general equipment, but the differing purposes for each building can impact the type of plumbing services you may require. Knowing these differences can help you keep your place’s plumbing in great shape. Read on to see comparisons and contrasts between plumbing maintenance for commercial and residential systems.

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Routine Plumbing Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections for plumbing systems are crucial in order to make sure they function at their best. Examinations from an expert can allow plumbers to spot issues before they evolve into emergencies. This saves you money in the long run as you can avoid costly repairs.

For residential systems, plumbers recommend a complete inspection every two years. Commercial systems will likely receive more usage and therefore will require more regular upkeep, including inspections.

Restaurants and other businesses may need four routine plumbing maintenance jobs each year. Talk to your local plumbing expert to learn how often you should schedule plumbing inspections for your building. They can provide special annual plans that businesses can subscribe to for optimal preventative care.

Understanding Water Usage

Humans use water in a variety of ways constantly, both at home and at work. In your home, you use water in the bathroom, the kitchen, the laundry room, and more. You drink it, wash with it, and clean dishes and clothes with it.

In a commercial setting, some of these water usages overlap. You, your employees, and your patrons may use the restroom or drink water in your building. But with more people occupying a commercial space than a residential one, the amount of water utilized will increase.

With more water accessed, the pipes and other plumbing will see more usage. This may mean a higher chance of wear and tear that could lead to plumbing issues. With this in mind, you can understand the importance of paying attention to the function of your plumbing on your commercial property.

Likelihood of Plumbing Emergencies

You might fix minor plumbing issues, like a small clog, on your own in your home. You can do the same in your commercial building as well. But you know that you need to call a plumber if you cannot repair a plumbing concern yourself, whether the issue occurs at home or at work.

Because commercial spaces can use more water, this plumbing system may be more likely to have a plumbing emergency. Burst pipes and other severe problems cannot be fixed on your own. And they will require prompt attention before you suffer major property damage. Ideally, you should choose a plumber with 24-7 services in case of an emergency like this.

4 Common Toilet Problems

If your toilet is not working properly, it can cause a major disruption in your home. But how serious are these malfunctions in your toilet? Do you need to call a plumber or can you fix this appliance on your own?

These tips from your plumber can help you diagnose the problem with your toilet and understand the significance it means for your plumbing system. Read on to learn about four issues that can impact a toilet and how you can resolve them.

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Clogged Toilet

Clogs can form if you have attempted to flush a larger amount of toilet paper or waste and it cannot pass properly through the piping in your toilet. It can also occur if you have tried to flush items down the toilet that do not belong there.

A blocked toilet will disrupt your home, but in many cases, you can unclog it by using a plunger. Major clogs might need a snake tool to move the blockage. If the clog remains after these efforts, you might need to remove the toilet to get better access to the blockage. If you have concerns, contact your plumber.

Reduced Water Level

If after you flush your toilet, you realize that the toilet bowl did not fill all the way with water, this could point to a few common issues with the toilet. You can lift the lid of the tank to observe the fill tube or valve for signs of damage.

In some instances, you just need to reconnect the fill tube to the appropriate overflow tube. If the tube or valve seems to require repair, you will likely need to replace these items to fix the toilet.

This problem may also happen if the toilet bowl has cracked, though you will likely also see water leaked onto the floor if this occurs. You will need to replace your toilet in that case.

Constant Refilling Toilet

If after your flush, the toilet refills and does not stop, you might be at a loss as to what is causing this problem. The issue could also run up your water bill, so you will want to find the cause promptly.

A toilet may do this for a few reasons. You can open the lid of the toilet tank and check the water level there. If it is too high, you can adjust the height of the float arm to reduce the level.

The problem may also develop due to a leak in the flapper of the toilet. In this case, water constantly travels from the tank to the toilet because the flapper is too damaged to seal the pathway properly. You will need to drain the tank of water before replacing the flapper.

Noisy Toilet Tank

A persistent hissing sound often accompanies the constant refilling of the toilet. But other sounds from your toilet tank could indicate different problems with the appliance.

A gurgling sound often points to air pressure within the drain line. This can stem from a clog, so you should employ a plunger to get rid of any blockages. A sound similar to a foghorn could mean you have a problem with the float in the tank. You may need to call a plumber to replace the float if this happens.

Why Plumbing Fixtures Can Fail

Water is crucial in your daily life, so you want a plumbing system that you can rely on both in your home and your place of business. If your drains and pipes seem slow, this could mean that your system is not functioning as it should.

To avoid a plumbing emergency, like a burst pipe or major leak, you should get damaged fixtures evaluated and amended as soon as you notice an issue. Prompt plumbing maintenance could prevent serious interruptions in your life as well as expensive repairs. Read on to learn four potential causes of failed plumbing systems that your local plumber can diagnose for you.

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Expired Plumbing Fixtures

Your plumbing system consists of various pipes and appliances, each of which allows water to flow where it needs to without issue. However, these fixtures cannot last forever, and you should pay attention to when these items are due to expire.

If you move into a new property, you should ask about the expiration date for pipes, water heaters, and other plumbing fixtures. Though traditional water heaters can last for 10 or more years, and water lines and pipes usually last for more than four decades, it will be beneficial to know how much longer these items will endure. This way you can replace items before they break.

Temperature Changes

Seasonal changes, especially temperature fluctuations, can majorly impact your plumbing system. When temperatures drop below freezing, lingering water in your pipes can freeze. The ice expands and can cause your pipes to burst, requiring costly and extensive repairs.

You can protect your pipes in the winter months by insulating them and fixing leaks before the cold sets in. Completing winterization for buildings not used during the winter can keep your plumbing system running smoothly once the weather thaws.

Poor Plumbing Hardware or Installation

If pipes and other plumbing items are not installed properly, then the fixtures could suffer damages that will mean your water does not flow well. It could leave lasting harm that will need a great deal of work from a plumber to amend.

These problems may occur if a plumber chooses low-quality hardware for your system too. Make sure you hire a plumber that you trust when installing new plumbing fixtures so that you can avoid this issue.

Lack of Routine Plumbing Maintenance

When your plumbing is functioning well, you likely do not worry often about potential problems that could occur. But you should still complete regular maintenance on your plumbing system to ensure that it keeps working as it should.

A plumber can check your faucets, water heater, and other fixtures for early signs of leaks or disfunction. They can intervene promptly if there are any issues, halting a plumbing emergency.

Your local plumber can use video technology to do a thorough inspection of your system. You should seek an evaluation of your plumbing every two years for the best results.

How to Prevent Clogs in Your Shower Drain

If you notice water pooling around your feet as you shower, it is likely because an obstruction has formed in the drain. Water accumulation in the shower due to a clogged drain can make your shower or tub dirty and leave your feet feeling gross as they linger in the water.

Cleaning products, plungers, or your local plumber can assist you in clearing clogs in your plumbing. However, you can prevent these clogs by altering some of your bathing and cleaning habits. Guardian Plumbing Services, a team of highly qualified plumbers serving customers in Annapolis, MD, lists three ways that you can lower the risk of forming clogs in a shower drain.

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Consider a Drain Screen

One of the major contributors to clogs in a shower drain is hair. Thin strands can easily slip down a drain and then clump together to block pipes and form a clog.

A mesh drain screen can cover your shower drain, catching hair that may otherwise enter your pipes and create a blockage. Hairs will instead accumulate on this screen, which you can then empty into your trash once or twice a month. This device is easy to install and can prevent inconvenient and costly clogs from affecting your plumbing system.

Avoid Oily Shower Products

You may be aware of the dangers of emptying oil and grease down your kitchen sink as you cook. This concept applies to your shower drain as well. Greasy shower products, like coconut oil or oil-based scrubs, can stick in your pipes and harden. As they accumulate, they will harden and create a clog in the shower drain.

You can pay attention to the ingredients in the products you use when you shower. If they seem to contain high amounts of oil, you might want to substitute them with ones that are less oil-based.

If you rely on greasy products outside of the shower, you might want to ensure they are absorbed in your skin properly before you bathe. Alternatively, you can wipe away any oily residue that lingers on your skin before you shower.

Flush Drains Regularly

Though you may utilize drain screens and other precautionary methods, materials may still begin to build up in your drain and form clogs. You can eliminate this build-up before it becomes a clog, however, by flushing your drain.

To do this, you can set your shower to a hot temperature and allow the water to run for a few minutes. The heat can melt substances clinging to the pipes. And the force of the water can rinse away the lingering residues. Contact your plumber for an inspection if you have concerns about frequent clogs in your shower drain.

Find Emergency Plumbing Services in Annapolis, MD

Guardian Plumbing can unclog drains and complete other emergency plumbing services for customers in Annapolis, MD. Our plumbers can also perform routine maintenance and inspections for residential and commercial clients. To get an estimate for your plumbing job at no cost to you, contact our office by phone at 301.685.5017. You can also reach a member of our staff online.

Outdoor Plumbing Maintenance for Spring

With temperatures warming and harsh weather conditions letting up, many people are looking forward to spring’s arrival. But this new season signifies upkeep that you should complete to ensure your plumbing system works properly.

Even if you do not notice blatant leaks or clogs around your property, you should check your outdoor plumbing facilities as soon as you can. Proper inspections will prevent expensive and damaging plumbing emergencies from occurring. Guardian Plumbing Services, a team of expert plumbers headquartered in Annapolis, MD, identifies two tasks that should be on your plumbing maintenance to-do list this spring.

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Spring Cleaning for Your Outdoor Plumbing System

Test Your Faucets

Over the winter, you likely did not utilize hoses, faucets, or sprinkler systems on the exterior of your property. With pleasant weather coming and plants blooming, you likely look forward to taking care of them with your outdoor plumbing facilities.

But cold winter temperatures may have caused freezing within your outdoor pipes that could cause them to burst. It is also possible that mineral deposits may have formed in the plumbing system during this period of disuse and created stubborn clogs.

To ensure your system works properly, you should test your outdoor faucets and see if they run and flow properly. If they have slow or weak water pressure, you may have a leak in your pipes that will need repair from a plumber. Prompt attention from a plumbing expert will ensure that a plumbing concern will not create further damage to your system and therefore your property.

Clean Your Gutters

Harsh storms and blizzards this winter may have blown leaves, sticks, and other debris into your gutters. With snow melting and spring showers on the way, you need to make sure water has a clear path as it flows off of your roof and away from your property.

Birds, insects, or other critters may also build nests in gutters, interrupting this water flow. If your gutters have clogged due to build-up, this water may overflow and cause water damage. Persistent leaks in your foundation, siding, or roofing may leave you with costly repairs.

Completing this maintenance on your gutters is a good way to protect the structure of your home or commercial property. If you see puddles and moisture accumulating close to the foundation of your home, this could be a sign that water is not flowing through your gutter system properly. If you are concerned about accessing your gutters on your own, contact a contracting expert for assistance.

Find Expert Plumbing Services in Annapolis, MD

Guardian Plumbing Services provides plumbing repair, inspection, and installation for commercial and residential customers in Annapolis, MD. If you have a leaking pipe or a clogged drain, call one of our highly qualified plumbers to take a look at the issue. To get a quote for your plumbing job at no cost to you, contact our staff by phone at 301.685.5017 or reach our office online.

Appliances Can Get Clogged Drains

You may have dealt with clogged drains in your sink, shower, or tub that might have been severe enough to contact a plumbing professional. A plumber is known to help with problems in your pipes as well. But several of your home’s appliances connect to water lines and could be subject to clogs and other plumbing issues.

Your plumber can offer advice to prevent draining and leaking that can stem from these clogs and lead to water damage in your home. Guardian Plumbing, a team of expert plumbers located in Annapolis, MD, describes three appliances in your home that may get a clog that could create plumbing concerns in your home.

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3 Home Appliances That May Sustain Clogging Issues

Dishwashers

The dishwasher has made cleaning plates, silverware, and other crockery in your kitchen much easier. If your dishwasher is not working properly, this can create a major disruption in the flow of your home and lead to severe frustration.

Standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher can signify that a clog has formed in its system. You can check the filter at the back of the dishwasher to see if debris has blocked water from emptying as it should.

You can also try running the garbage disposal to clear potential blockages in the sink line that may also impact your dishwasher. If these tricks do not work, a plumbing professional may need to evaluate your draining system.

Washing Machines

As your washing machine cleans dirt and grease from your clothing, it may also garner other debris, like minute portions of fabrics, in its drain. These particles can build up over time and create a clog in the drain hose that may require a plumber to evaluate and repair.

You can recognize this issue if your clothes are sopping wet after a cycle through the machine because water has not drained completely. This problem may also point to a broken pump if no clog is evident, so you may need to contact your local plumbing expert.

Refrigerators

Have you spotted water accumulating on the kitchen floor near your refrigerator? This problem can occur if the drain that collects moisture from the refrigerator’s defrosting and cooling cycles has become clogged. The water then has nowhere to go and overflows through the freezer and ultimately to your floor.

This drainage problem can create further damage to your refrigerator or freezer. The water build-up on the floor could lead to warping or structural damage to your flooring as well. Contact your plumber as soon as you can to address this concern.

Find Expert Plumbing Services in Annapolis, MD

Guardian Plumbing Services offers both preventative and emergency plumbing for residential and commercial customers in the greater Annapolis, MD area. Call our team of qualified professionals for assistance with clogs, leaks, or other plumbing repair needs. To get a quote for your plumbing job at no cost to you, contact our office by phone, day or night, at 301.685.5017 or reach our staff online.

Call Your Plumber During a Home Remodel

Have you noticed your bathroom or kitchen could use an upgrade? New cabinets and counters can make your home look more beautiful and refreshing and improve the function of your space.

While you might not target your plumbing during a remodeling project, sinks, toilets, and pipes might be impacted during renovation. Ensure your plumbing continues working flawlessly in your updated space by consulting with a local plumber. Guardian Plumbing Services, a team of expert plumbers headquartered in Annapolis, MD, list three reasons why you should call your plumber before you start renovations your home.

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Avoid Disastrous Delays During Your Project

A home remodeling project in your kitchen or bathroom requires meticulous planning. You may work with a contractor about how to obtain materials, when to complete the work, and what the budget will look like.

But a plumber can help you ensure your project is in compliance with local requirements. If you need a permit before replacing or adjusting any part of your plumbing system, your plumber can let you know. They can help you obtain it with ease so that you do not experience interruption during your renovation.

The supervision of a plumbing professional will also ensure that you do not interfere with your plumbing system during the course of the remodeling project. An accidentally broken pipe can cause property damage as well as significant delays to your renovation.

Prevent Future Plumbing Problems

A home renovation can provide a good opportunity to get an inspection of your plumbing system. When you have brand new flooring and hardware, the last thing you want is a leak to cause damage to your home.

A qualified plumber can make sure your plumbing system is in good shape and that any new fixtures, including faucets, are installed properly. You can relax knowing that your home remodel can be safe from looming plumbing emergencies if you have your property reviewed by a professional.

Maximize Efficiency in Your Updated Space

Renovating your kitchen or bathroom allows you the opportunity to express your unique style. But it also provides the chance to improve the function of your space. These two rooms are frequently habited in your home. So you want to ensure an upgrade to the space will not hinder their usage.

A plumber can provide valuable advice about where your current plumbing fixtures can move or work better in your new bathroom or kitchen. Their tips can ensure your system runs smoothly and can even cut your costs on your water bill. They can also make sure the remodeling project will not lead to long-term issues with your plumbing system down the road.

Find an Expert Plumber in Annapolis, MD

Guardian Plumbing Services helps commercial and residential customers with their plumbing needs in the greater Annapolis, MD area. Whether you want to inspect your pipes and require emergency repairs, our team of highly-qualified professionals can assist you. To get a quote for your plumbing job, contact our staff online or reach us by phone, any time of the day or night, at 301.685.5017.

Strange Stains and My Plumbing System

When your plumbing system runs smoothly, you will not notice any excess water in your home. However, if you see stains, this could be water damage, indicating there may be a leak somewhere in your system.

While these stains could stem from a plumbing problem, they could also be caused by other moisture concerns. Guardian Plumbing Services, a team of expert plumbers serving the Annapolis, MD area, describes several types of water stains you may find in your home and what issues they could signify.

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Stains on the Ceiling

If you look up to your ceiling and notice a brownish stain there, this could be a sign of water that has seeped into this area, evaporated, and left discoloration behind. If this issue stems from plumbing concerns, such as a leaking pipe, you should contact your plumber immediately for emergency repairs.

However, the moisture could come from other sources, including faulty roofing, condensation in the attic, or caulking issues near a shower, toilet, tub, or sink. Your plumber can help you target the problem and fix it before more structural damage can occur.

Colored Water Stains Near Plumbing

Stains may also develop near plumbing sources, such as drains and exposed pipes. Though these may not always signify a plumbing emergency, it can help to understand the causation of certain kinds of stains.

If you notice white stains that may seem spotty in appearance, this could be due to mineral build-up in the water supply, also known as hard water. If you notice deposits of this kind, you should clean them routinely to avoid damaging your water heater or other plumbing fixtures. Your plumber can evaluate the area to determine if you may have a water treatment issue.

Stains that are red or orange in color could indicate a higher iron content in the water in this area. This could point to a reaction of the water with metal, such as a drain stopper, so you should clean these stains carefully. It could also occur due to your water supply, so you should monitor this situation closely.

Expert Plumbing Services Available in Annapolis, MD

Guardian Plumbing offers emergency repairs and maintenance work for commercial and residential plumbing systems in the Annapolis, MD area. If you notice leaks or other plumbing concerns, call your local plumber. To get a quote for your plumbing job or project, contact our staff online or reach our office by phone at 301.685.5017.