mineral deposits


How Water Hardness Affects Your Plumbing

Hard water is simply fresh water supply with a lot of calcium, magnesium, and a range of trace minerals in it. The mineral content determines the level of water hardness, which is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Anything above 10.5 gpg is taken to be extremely hard, whereas 3.5 gpg is considered to be on the lower level of hardness.

Hard water doesn't pose health risks. Some studies suggest that it can aid heart health. Unfortunately, the supposed health benefits come at the expense of your plumbing system.

Clogged Pipes

As hard water continually passes through your plumbing system, the minerals start building up inside your pipes and restricting water flow. The reduced flow of water may not always be harmful, but it's annoying and inconveniencing. With time, the scale deposits from the hard water could clog your pipes leading to complete blockage or increased stress that results in leaks.

Reduced Water Heater Efficiency

Hard water lowers the efficiency of your water heater. If you ignore regular maintenance, a significant amount of mineral scale can build up at the bottom of your tank. The water heater will have to heat the water as well as all the scale that has built up, thereby using more energy than necessary.

If you have a tankless water heater, scale can build up in its heat exchanger. That not only makes your heater inefficient but could also cause overheating and burnout.

Damaged Plumbing Fixtures

Hard water can negatively affect any of your plumbing fixtures. Damaged seals and washers, valve blockages, and ruined finishes are some of its common effects.

Hard water can do damage behind the scenes for quite some time before resulting in clogged pipes, a failed water heater, and damaged fixtures. Therefore, it's best to be proactive by maintaining your water heater frequently, finding out how hard your water is, and installing a water softener if you find the hardness to be over 3 gpg.

For assistance with dealing with water hardness or any other plumbing issues in the Broken Arrow area, contact the HVAC and plumbing experts at Air Assurance.

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A Homeowner's Guide to Troubleshooting Toilet Flapper Problems

A Homeowner's Guide to Troubleshooting Toilet Flapper Problems

A toilet that continues to run after the tank has filled with water isn't exactly a plumbing emergency, but it sure can be an annoyance. A running toilet also wastes precious water and increases your water bill. If you're tired of jiggling the toilet handle every few minutes and don't want to waste water, consider these tips for troubleshooting toilet flapper problems. 

Adjusting the Chain and Flapper

When you flush the toilet, a chain attached to the flush lever lifts the toilet flapper to release water into the toilet bowl. A properly functioning flapper will fall flush back into place on the valve seat when the flush is complete, and the tank refills with water.

Problems with the chain can prevent correct operation. If the chain is too long, it may lodge between the flapper and valve seat, which results in the handle-jiggling troubleshooting technique. Shorten the chain distance to the flapper one or two links. You may need a pair of needle-nose pliers to make the job easier.If the flapper doesn't fall flush on the valve seat, you may need to adjust the flapper at the hooks. If the flapper is off center, try rotating the flush stem a hair.

Mineral Deposits

Mineral deposits on the flapper or valve seat can cause water seepage into the bowl. If your toilet runs every 10 or 15 minutes, this may be the problem. Turn off the water at the water valve behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain the tank. Gently clean the flapper and valve seat with an old toothbrush or scouring pad.

Worn Flapper

Inspect the flapper for signs of wear. If the toilet flapper is more than five years old or there are signs of wear, it's better to just replace the entire flush valve assembly. However, dealing with toilet problems involves water, which can quickly turn into a mess. You may want to contact a plumbing professional.

If you need assistance troubleshooting toilet flapper problems or other plumbing issues, contact the plumbing pros at Air Assurance today. We've proudly served residents of the greater Tulsa metropolitan area for 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anna Yunak/Shutterstock”


Treat Your Whole-House Humidifier To A Winter-Time Maintenance Check-up

Treat Your Whole-House Humidifier To A Winter-Time Maintenance Check-up

As cold winter winds blow across Oklahoma, it is time to have your whole-house humidifier checked. A properly functioning humidifier not only prevents static and unpleasant dryness, it can make you feel warmer. This is because warm air retains heat better than dry air. The warmer you feel, the lower you can set your thermostat, thereby saving money on your energy bill. Schedule a maintenance check this winter, to ensure your whole-house humidifier runs right all through the winter.

Make sure the technician performs the following tasks:

  • Checks the water panel -- a water panel will become clogged over time due to sediment and minerals. This restricts airflow and makes the unit less efficient at humidifying the home. Water panels must be changed yearly, at minimum.

  • Levels the unit – a whole house humidifier works best when water is distributed evenly over the water panel evaporator. If something caused the unit to shift, distribution may be uneven. This can happen if your house is settling or the unit is moved somehow, for example. A technician can check this and adjust the unit to make sure it is level.

  • Cleans the orifice – the orifice controls the amount of water flowing to the distribution tray. If the orifice is blocked, there will be an insufficient supply of water and your humidifier will not work properly.

  • Replaces worn parts and parts covered with mineral deposits – all parts wear out eventually or become less effective due to mineral deposits. As water evaporates, minerals are naturally left behind and build up over time. These parts can be, and should be, replaced for optimum function of the humidifier.

  • Inspects the seasonal damper – the technician should make sure the damper is set for winter months and show you how to close it later on when summer arrives.

For additional advice about your whole house humidifier and other issues related to comfort this winter, please contact us at Air Assurance. We have been serving the greater Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985 and look forward to hearing from you.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock