Kost's Korner

Get Rid of Hard Water

hard water Well, water has a lot of benefits, one of the biggest being no need for a water bill. But unfortunately, well water can be a little harsh and leave spots and stains from what is called "hard water." What exactly is hard water? And how does one go about fixing that in their home? Here you will find all the answers on identifying and fixing your hard water problem.

Hard water has a very high mineral content, which can alter the color and form of the water coming out. The minerals found in hard water are calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Hard water also causes buildup on faucets and drains and can cause discoloration of sinks and tubs. It also is a cause of soap scum build up, as soap suds sit on the mineral residue of the hard water and create a scum line. It's not a pleasant thing to have running through your plumbing, so how do you get rid of it?

The miracle answer is to get a water softener. Sounds simple, right? Hard water needs to become soft not to create unsightly spots and scum in your home. This process involves an ion exchange which switches out the hard minerals for softer ones such as sodium. Little beads exist in the water softener that acts as a negative charge and pulls the positively charged minerals as the water filters out. The filtered water is then replenished with new minerals, i.e., sodium. Salt plays a massive part in water softening and making sure your water is clean and fresh every time. 

Getting a water softener is an affordable and fast-acting solution to your hard water problems. Say goodbye to those red rings in the tub or hard yellow stains on the dishes and keep your water soft. 


Signs There is a Leak in Your Plumbing.

By: Nicole Stevens

Has your water bill been a little too high the past couple months?Signs You Have A Leak In Your Plumbing. Or maybe your house smells a little different when you walk in, like a post-rain smell without the rain? If these sound familiar to you, you might be in a bit of trouble with your plumbing. These two examples, along with a few other recognizable issues, are tell-tale signs of a plumbing leak in your home. Other instances occur if you have an unknown plumbing leak and here we will uncover them for you, so you don't eventually end up ankle deep in your own home!

A high increase in your water bill is one of the first signs of a possible leak in the plumbing. It wouldn't be a gradual increase in overtime, but rather a high spike from the previous average billed amount. Keep in mind that in the summer months your water bill will more than likely rise if you have a sprinkler system, but it shouldn't be a drastic increase.

A musty, moldy smell is also a significant early indicator of a plumbing leak. Even if you look all over your house and can't find any mold or mildew, the smell doesn't lie, and it will linger until you find and fix the problem. Cleaning your home to rid the scent doesn't do anything unless you see the source of the leak and get all the old, sitting water cleaned up from where the leak is located.

Dark little specks or spots appearing on your walls and ceiling (even your floor) could be a sign that there is water trapped behind those specs and spots. The longer these go unattended, the worse they become, and will eventually end in decay and cause irreversible damage to the home.

If you're hearing running water in your quiet home but have already checked that all the sinks are turned off, this is another huge sign of a leak. You'll probably hear it as a light dripping or light thudding sound when the water hits whatever is underneath the leak, and not so much a strong sound of running water.

Cracks in the foundation well after the house have settled is a severe indicator of a bad leak in the plumbing. These leaks are extra dangerous because they can ruin the entire foundation and leave you in some deep trouble if not noticed and fixed right away.

Knowing these facts about a potential plumbing leak in your home could save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run. If you suspect there is a leak in your plumbing, contact a professional like Kost Plumbing, and have them access the potential damage and get you patched up and running water through your home with 100% efficiency again! 


The Future of Plumbing.

Modern plumbing is a part of almost every single person's life now. The future of plumbing. Whether it's to flush something down or wash something, plumbing plays a role in our day to day lives, and we don't even really think about it. Even something as universally used as household plumbing can be improved upon. So what can be expected from future of plumbing as we know it?

Well as most know, water shortages are happening in a few states, like California. Because of these shortages, there have been various water restrictions set in place that vary from state to state, county to county. What this means for future plumbing is that they will become more efficient with the amount of water flowing through them. This may seem like a simple solution that should be in place already, but these pipes need to be engineered to be extremely efficient but not lose any functionality while preserving water. As these pipes are created and manufactured, homes and buildings built after will have these plumbing systems installed and save tons of water.

Along with preserving water, having these more efficient pipes will save with energy costs as well. The NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act) is going to be soon be updated with the initiative that newly produced water heaters can NOT use as much energy as they used to. The amount of energy that is typically used for water heaters today is roughly 18% of a monthly utility bill. This update to the NAECA will show a significant reduction in that utility cost, and the future of plumbing is to thank for that. Using these efficient plumbing components are the key to getting these levels much lower.

As the future of plumbing becomes more efficient in the means of water and energy usage, the components will also be easier and quicker to install. While plumbing is a great career option, it is a learned skill that involves a lot of learning, and unfortunately, admissions at trade schools have been on the decline. So ultimately, if there aren't many to follow this career - that means the parts and pieces will become easier to understand and work with. This will give more people the option to learn and stick with this trade and also benefit the consumer because it won't leave them in a wet mess for hours on end.

The future of plumbing is a lot more than just a low-flow toilet or sprinkler system on a timer; it's a massive part of our everyday lives. Even when we're not thinking about it, it's always doing something to benefit us. The future is very bright for advancements in our plumbing systems; from saving water to saving time and saving money - it's all uphill from here!

When Liquid Plumber Doesn't Work.

Nothing is worse than that moment of panic when a pipe gets clogged, and liquid plumber doesn't do the job anymore.How to unclog a drain. For some, calling in the professionals is a last ditch effort, and it's all DIY until you can't DIY anymore. The holidays are over, and those drains have seen it all, between guests and family putting extra work on the utilities this season - it's time to clean it all out and start fresh for the new year.

Maybe you're not at that point of clogged messes yet, but you can tell the sink isn't draining as fast, or the toilet isn't flushing quite as quickly as it should. Don't put yourself in that panic of needing a 24-hour plumber bc the pipes waited til the middle of the night to disrupt EVERYTHING. Products like Liquid-Plumr or Drano are made for problems close to the surface, so if you can see a little bit of a clog, then these products could work. But if you're looking down the pipes, even going as far as shining a bright flashlight down it and you're still not seeing the clog? Those store-bought "fix all's" will NOT help you here. If you try to use these store-bought pipe cleaners, they could damage your pipes further or even cause health issues for the person using it (since it's very toxic chemicals being poured down the drain).

Addressing these issues yourself will require you to get a little dirty, and fair warning, what you pull out of those drains could easily make you nauseous if you tend to be squeamish. This is another reason why a professional would be useful since even though it isn't always pleasant, they are at least used to these findings and can stomach it a bit better. U-shaped pipes are messy but an easier fix, just as long as there is a large enough pan or bucket underneath the pipe when taking it apart because there will be spillage. If it's a clog that can be snaked out, this is an easy fix as well because a powerful enough snake can get all that gunk out and clear the pipes up. Plunging is also an option, especially when it comes to toilet issues but sometimes things just get too stuck in the pipes and a plunger accompanied by a new human arm isn't enough.

In this case, it might be best to put this problem into the hands of a professional and watch your worries fade away. You'll have the comfort in knowing the job was done correctly and won't have to worry about messy aftermath. No one likes picking the hair out of the shower drain, but doing so could prevent all this in the end! Otherwise, just contact Kost Plumbing, we can clean out those pipes and make the water flow like new again.

How to tell if my home needs a water purification system?

water purification systemIn an ideal world, we would walk into our kitchen, turn on the faucet, trust the liquid flowing out of it and drink pure, clean water until our heart’s content. Sadly, however, a perfect world is not here yet. We trust our state and local governments to provide us with safe, potable drinking water, but is that really what we’re getting?

The truth is, we cannot just sit back and casually expect safety in our drinking water unless we fully confirm its safety for ourselves. Whether our drinking water from a private or municipal source, the responsibility of ensuring our water’s safety lies with us.

Testing the pH of your water is crucial to maintaining its safety. If your water’s pH level is too low or too high, lead and copper corrosion can contaminate your household plumbing. The safest pH measure for drinking water should be no lower than 6.5 and no higher than 8.5.

At a bare minimum, your water should be tested once a year for coliform bacteria and nitrates since there are serious health risks associated with these contaminants.

Strong chlorine taste or smell, metallic taste, rotten egg smell, or other noticeable tastes or smells are indicative of water that needs to be purified. The value of healthy, safe water for drinking and bathing cannot be stressed enough. We know that the human body can survive for up to three weeks without food, but we’ll only live up to three days without water!