Why You Should Have A Water Softener In Your Home

Why You Should Have A Water Softener In Your Home

Calgary, do you really need a water softener?  

Well, when it comes to safety, the answer in our opinion is no.  BUT, for many other health and proactive reasons, it is a definite YES!  Confused? Let us explain by some facts:

  1. Hard Water makes many people’s skin irritated and dry.
  2. Hard Water leaves deposits in piping.
  3. Hard Water scales on fixture surfaces.
  4. Hard Water plugs fixtures and appliances.
  5. Hard Water leaves a white film on glass.

And it is a resounding fact that Calgary indeed has hard water.  How do we know this? It is easy to determine with a simple test.  Even our amazing City posts the results for the public on their website.  Some of you may not know that it is different for North Calgary then South.  Either way, you have hard water with the Northside slightly less than in the South.  What is also interesting is looking at the times of year the water is harder than others.  Each year we see spikes for approximately 4 months through our winter season.

NORTH CALGARY

Bearspaw Treatment Plant Effluent Water Hardness (mg CaCO3) for 2017

Monthmg/L CaCO 3grains/gallon
January19513.6
February19213.4
March18713.1
April17612.3
May17212.1
June1429.9
July14310.0
August15510.8
September15510.8
October16111.3
November17312.1
December17812.5
Average169.011.8

SOUTH CALGARY

Glenmore Treatment Plant Effluent Water Hardness (mg CaCO3) for 2017

Month​mg/L CaCO 3grains/gallon
January25217.6
February25317.7
March24617.2
April19813.8
May20114.1
June18212.7
July19213.4
August18713.1
September18913.2
October20314.2
November22115.5
December24317.0
Average21415.0

So now that you know the facts, how can improve your situation by protecting your home and your skin all at the same time.  As a bonus you will use less soap to do dishes, in your washing machine, and be protecting expensive appliances and your water heater.  Did you know if you have a tankless water heater you are voiding the manufacturer’s warranty if you do not have a hardness level below their stated levels (Yup, Calgary is way above those levels).

Installing a true water softener is the key to ensure you are getting the soft water you want.  There are alternative’s and unfortunately most do not hold up to expectation. If you do want an alternative we suggest a unit utilizing a time-release citrus filter.  This will limit scale but will not be effective in turning water from hard to soft. The reason a water softener is able to do this magic trick is because it is performing a true ion exchange. Water Softener’s, that use salt, exchange calcium and magnesium (which makes the water hard) for sodium ions.  And voila! You have soft water. It is able to do this repeated times through a regeneration of its resin bed.

Our units are High Efficient and use almost no more electricity than a plug in clock.  They also last a long time! The cabinet and tank are even a Lifetime Warranty. With it’s upflow design it has by far the most efficient regeneration on the market, as well as a cool municipal feature which creates less regeneration required.  It even recognizes if you left town and have not been using it, so again no regeneration is need, but will keep fluid in the brine to ensure bridging and other common issues do not occur with your unit.

So, now you have the details and facts and you may decide you are just fine without a water softener.  And hey, that is totally cool with us. BUT, if you realize there is a better life for your skin and home just around the corner, give us a call at 403-205-2782 or reach out at aqualityplumber.com.  We would be happy to discuss this further.

By the way, if you made it to here, you get the best part.  At the Calgary Fall Home Show, we have a Super Special on for $500 off our regular pricing.  Just come by our booth, #441, and say Hi and we can book you in right there. And don’t forget to fill out a draw card too as someone is going to win a free unit installed valued at $1795.00!  This is by far the best price we have ever done for these units, and we pulled favors to make this possible, so take advantage.

Garburator or Compost?

Garburator or Compost?

Garburator-768x512 Garburator or Compost?  Ever wonder why you should compost if you already have a garburator? Doesn’t it all eventually end up back in mother earth anyway?

Kitchen waste is a major part of composting and once we own a garburator, we become conditioned to scrape plates and put everything we can down our garburator in our sink. This is still the best thing to do, right!?

At Aquality Plumbing & Heating, we want you to reconsider using your garburator for kitchen scraps! Please start composting and give your garburator a break.

Why would we suggest you compost instead of using a garburator?

Maybe you are surprised that a business that sells and installs garburators is pushing for composting, but to us, it makes complete sense. Aquality Plumbing & Heating is built on honesty and providing services for Calgarians that they actually really need. We are about being helpful – not for selling products if they won’t benefit you and make your life better.

Garburators have a place and as an owner of one in my home I see the value. In the past, I used my garburator to get rid of plate scraps and then cut up lemon or lime to keep the smell down as that kills bacteria from forming. (That’s a helpful tip for you Garb-people out there!). I also “flush” the kitchen sink once a week to keep it healthy. (Learn more about Sink Maintenance.)

Our home plumbing systems are not actually designed to have so much food debris running through them. In addition, the City’s water systems then have to work extra hard to screen this same debris out before it is processed back into our river system.

Can My Compost Bin Really Handle All Our Table Scraps?

With the City of Calgary having compost bins available, we finally have the best of both worlds. I no longer put table scraps into my sink even though I have a garburator. I get everything I can, even yogurt, into the compost as I know it will break down and create a sustainable fertilizer that will be used for so much good around the city!

In addition, I feel good knowing this saves space in our landfills: food waste is 50% of our current garbage!

Use Your Own Compost

Hey, you can even be selfish and compost at home and keep the goods for yourself and your yard! In the end, I am proud to say that my drains run clear which means I avoid a potentially costly service call for an augur service, that many garburator users and abusers will incur.

Compost. Not Garburator.

The truth is, we see a ton of people abuse their garburator by using it for items that it cannot fully break down. We even see people prepping for large meals and putting everything down the drain. To save yourself money in the long run and avoid the annoyance of a plugged line, put that food waste in the compost! It is smart and super easy!

What Should a Garburator be Used For?

In the end, I still have and use my garburator almost everyday for the little items that find a way in the sink. This ensures my drain stays clear. I just no longer use it to rid myself of all the food waste we produce in our home. Composting is designed to deal with all this material in the best way possible, our piping systems are not.
~ David H., Owner, Aquality Plumbing & Heating

Still not convinced?
Check out these compelling reasons to compost, as listed by our awesome City of Calgary!

http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages/Recycling-information/Residential-services/Green-cart/Why-Green-Cart.aspx

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

water-kitchen-black-design-768x512 DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance
Did you know there are some easy and quick actions you can do at home to keep your sinks and drains healthy?

Yup. Sinks and drains need regular TLC, just like your car. By doing these super easy steps every few months, you can avoid unnecessary plumbing repair costs in the future. If you use your sinks and water lines often, you may want to do these steps more frequently.

How do I “Flush” my Sink?

Flushing a sink is so easy. And necessary. David, the owner of Aquality Plumbing & Heating, tells us his method:

“I “flush” the kitchen sink once a week to help keep it healthy and clean. You “flush” a sink by filling it up once a week with hot water, then pulling the stopper so it really creates some pressure to clean out any debris left behind in the pipes.

What shouldn’t I put down the drain?

Just because it will go down your drain, does not mean you should put it down the drain! We want you to avoid unnecessary plumbing calls for clogged drains, so think carefully before putting anything down your drain that isn’t water.

Food items that are solid, may be small enough to slip through, but they should ideally be caught by a mesh style drain cover or something similar. Even tiny stuff like the “hair” on corn or grains of rice, can make a real mess once it enters your piping system. Non-food items should not go into the piping system either. Kids paints, your paints (the City of Calgary has special drop off spots for chemicals), glue, chemicals, medicines, construction liquids and anything else that isn’t water, really should not go down your drain!

If something slips down your drains that shouldn’t, we can help. In fact, we are really good at unclogging stuck drains, but truthfully, we’d rather see you keep your drains running clear and avoid an unnecessary plumbing service call.

Can I Keep my Garburator Line Clean too?

If you have a garburator, you need to give extra special TLC to that drain line! It is important to keep that line running clear and it’s easy if you follow some basic guidelines. For full details, you should read this blog: “Garburator or Compost?”. To keep it clean, you can cut up a lime or lemon once in a while and put it down the garburator. This helps to keep it smelling better and cut down on bacteria forming. Flushing the garburator line is also an excellent thing to do. Do this just the same way as you flush a sink, as described above.

Always avoid coffee grinds, rice, potato peels, and large amounts of any one item down your garburator. This is very likely to clog the line. (But guess what! All those items can be composted!)

Follow these simple guidelines and you can relax knowing that you are avoiding an unnecessary plumbing call because your drain lines are properly cared for.

DIY: Regular Sink and Drain Maintenance

How to fix a water leak in my home

Screen-Shot-2018-06-08-at-6.53.24-PM-768x502 How to fix a water leak in my home

What if you could tell you had a small leak in your home as soon as it started, before it becomes a huge wet mess that requires you to replace carpet, drywall, personal belongings and more?

Lots of items in our homes can leak and eventually cause water damage or even result in mold growing inside our home. Leaks happen while we are home and while we are away. Tiny drips of water can come from a dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater, water softener and more and can lead to a large leak.

When clients call us after they’ve had a water leaker in their home, we always help them out by repairing or replacing the cause of the water damage but we also aim to discover what could have been done to prevent this unwanted water leak.

A Solution:

One solution is to install something like the Honeywell Lyric Water and Freeze Detector, which we think is a must-have for every single homeowner. It is easy to use, high tech and will potentially save you thousands of dollars of home repair when it detects water leaks as small drips. It will then alert you on your phone before it becomes a big water disaster.

The Lyric Water and Freeze Detector comes with a 4 foot cord that can be placed in smart locations such as under a hot water tank, near your washing machine and even along your basement’s foundational walls. It detects water drops and sends an alert to your smart phone right away so you can jump on the issue while it is still small. It works when you are home or not home, day and night. The system uses your home’s wireless wifi network.

Be smart and get on top of potential home damage. As my grandfather used to say, “Spend a little now, or spend a lot later!”. If you need help installing the device, we can help. In fact, with our professional installation, you will receive a 5-year warranty through Honeywell that is not available if you self-install.

Click here to watch the Honeywell Lyric Water and Freeze Detector.

Contact us to learn more.

 

5 Easy Steps: Shut Down Your Outdoor Hose Tap

5 Easy Steps: Shut Down Your Outdoor Hose Tap

 

Aquality-Image-768x512 5 Easy Steps: Shut Down Your Outdoor Hose Tap

The season is changing.

The beauty of a sunny day paired with the chill of crisp, cold air, is nature’s way of saying, “SHUT OFF YOUR OUTSIDE HOSE TAPS INSIDE FOR THE WINTER!”

Every year at this time of year, we have so many people calling during the first Calgary chinook of winter because their basement wall is soaking wet and their carpet has become a wet mess. They have not shut off their outdoor faucets properly, resulting in  frozen pipes and a flooded basement. 

Water that is not moving, freezes relatively quickly.  Hose taps that are not being used have stagnant water under full pressure.  They are also on the exterior of your home where freezing is most likely to occur.  And yes, even if you have a frost-free hose bib, you should be shutting off the water supply inside.  

Water also expands when it freezes and when there is nowhere for it to go, it will split the pipe from the pressure. If you’ve ever looked at water you make into ice cubes, it rises higher than you poured it after it is frozen.  The same thing happens inside your pipe.  When a Calgary chinook hits the ice, it begins to thaw and returns to the state of water. 

And what’s the problem?  Your pipe is now cracked and letting water under pressure run non-stop until you shut the water off.  This can cause immense damage to your home in a very small time.

Aquality Plumbing & Heating is here to help you avoid this mess! Secure your outdoor taps by shutting your hose bibs off indoors for the winter.  Follow these 5 easy steps below.

  1. Find the shut-off valve inside your home for your outdoor tap. You may have more than one of each. shut-off-water-outdoor-plumbing-taps 5 Easy Steps: Shut Down Your Outdoor Hose Tap
  2. Turn clockwise to shut off or perpendicular to the pipe.  This depends on your valve type.  
  3. Go outdoor and turn on your outdoor hose tap.  Let the tap run until all the water is out and then stop fully.
  4. Leave the outdoor hose tap open for the winter. Do not leave a hose attached outdoor.
  5. Return back inside, find your shut off valve, find the stop & drain valve to drain excess water. This will relieve excess water in pipe through the stop & drain on the shut off to ensure that water has moved away from the exterior of your home.

Follow these steps and you will have peace of mind and save money!

If you can’t find your shut off valve, if water will not stop coming out of your outdoor faucet, or you have any other questions, give Aquality Plumbing & Heating a call at 403-205-2782 or contact us online and we will gladly come and resolve the issue.

We have been providing expert and honest plumbing and heating service in Calgary since 2004.

Learn why it is important to shut off your hose bib during different times of the year.

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