If any of the trades deserves their own national recognition day, it’s likely plumbers. After all, it’s the plumbers who get the panicked phone calls at all hours when disaster strikes. Maybe it’s a clogged drain, a leaking dishwasher, or worse - a cracked sewer line. They are the unsung heroes who show up to install, maintain, and fix the “infrastructure” of your home. So on April 25, hug a plumber and take a little time to appreciate all they do to keep your home running as smoothly as possible.
But a plumber’s role is no longer just about fixing problems. They can actively participate in identifying the root cause of your trouble. And don’t be surprised if they say it’s your water! The quality of the water in your home can contribute to a variety of “plumbing” problems like these:
- Low Water Pressure: No one likes to crawl into the shower first thing in the morning only to be greeted by a sad little trickle. The culprit is likely to be hardness in the water. This produces scaling in pipes and fixtures, restricting flow and leading to reduced water pressure. It can also impact your water heater’s performance, making your morning shower a tepid one at best. Other telltale signs are a white residue in your kettle or on your “clean” glassware. If you’ve experienced any or all of these, don’t be surprised if your plumber recommends a water softener.
- Leaking toilets or taps: City water supplies are required to maintain a residual chlorine level to ensure disinfection throughout the distribution system. However, if your home is closer to the treatment facility, your water may actually have a higher level of chlorine than someone further away. Chlorine is a necessary evil. It’s needed for safety, but it’s a strong oxidant and therefore hard on plastic and rubber seals and gaskets. As those get eroded away, leaks grow bigger and your water bill creeps higher and higher. Your plumber can easily install whole-house carbon filtration. And the best news is, your water will taste better too!
- Lead worries: Ever notice that the first water out of your taps in the morning tastes off? If it’s a metallic taste you’re detecting, then a quick inspection of your pipes and taps may be in order. Any blue-green staining suggests your water is corrosive and is releasing lead from your pipes. The health risk can be serious, but so is the damage to your home’s plumbing. Corrosive water will eat away at pipes, causing pitting and pinhole leaks. Your plumber will get a full water analysis and water treatment appropriate to your specific situation.
- Rust stains: Those annoying rust stains in your sinks, tubs, and toilets are caused by iron in the water supply, which is very likely a private well. If the water analysis indicates low levels of iron, then you your plumber may suggest relying on a water softener to address it. Higher levels of iron, though, will require a whole-home iron removal system.
In addition to the home water filtration systems already discussed, it wouldn't be unusal for your plumber to also suggest a whole-home ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system to protect you and your family from harmful microbes in water. Unlike the problems mentioned above, there are no visible signs of microbial contamination. But your plumber knows all too well the risks of not maintaining pipes and transmission lines and only attending to serious breaks. Sadly, that’s been the case with public water infrastructure, and it can be putting you at risk from illness- causing bacteria in your water.
With the right home water filtration systems in place, you can enjoy safe, refreshing water and rest assured that your pipes, fixtures, and appliances are protected too, giving you even more reason to hug a plumber.
Dont' want to wait for your plumber's recommendation? Find out what home water filtration systems might be right for you.