August 2013

What Are the Benefits of Using a Low-Flow Shower Head?

by raleigh plumbers on August 26, 2013

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Low-flow shower heads have been near the forefront of home water conservation efforts for some time now, and it’s no surprise as 20-25% of all household water usage comes from showering. Unlike earlier models of low-flow shower heads, newer models utilize a smarter design with smaller water apertures that allow these devices to provide adequate water volume while still fulfilling their purpose of using less water. These new low-flower shower heads provide clear benefits:

Water Usage. Low-flow shower heads provide the obvious benefit of water conservation, something the Environmental Protection Agency has near the top of its list (See: WaterSense program here: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/index.html). Regardless of one’s opinion of the environment, water conservation also helps homeowners directly. Low-flow shower heads have been found to drop overall household water usage by as much as 40% — if not more. Aside from the nobility of conserving so much water, the tangible benefits on your wallet will be felt with each monthly water bill. Newer, non-low-flow shower heads disperse at least 2.5 gallons of water a minute. Low-flow shower heads gently produce 2 gallons or less a minute, while older shower heads actually put out as much as 5 to 8 gallons per minute.

Energy Usage. Running your shower also consumes energy. Use of a low-flow shower head will also cut down on your monthly energy usage thanks to the decrease in monthly water usage, as water requires energy to be heated. Fewer gallons of heated water mean greater savings on energy costs.

Carbon-dioxide Emissions. Lower energy usage with low-flow shower heads also leads to lower CO2 (carbon-dioxide) emissions.

What Are the Negative Effects of Hard Water?

by raleigh plumbers on August 8, 2013

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Hard water, unlike softened water, features a buildup of mineral content. This buildup usually consists of magnesium and calcium ions as well as a collection of other dissolved compounds. This high mineral count in hard water leads to a number of potential negative effects.

Film. Hard water affects the quality of your shower or bath. Hard water and soap can make removing body cleansers more difficult, leaving a film on your skin called soap curd. Soap curd is responsible for dull looking hair and can also cause irritation to your skin. Further, soap curd collects as a film on shower walls and along your bath tub.

Washing Problems. Other problems can occur when washing dishes or clothing as a result of hard water. Hard water often makes clothes feel rougher and more irritable following a wash than they may normally due to the mineral density of the water. Hard water can also cause your clothes to wear out more quickly over repeated washes. These same minerals in hard water also leave residue when washing dishes, making it more difficult to clean your plates, cups and utensils in just one normal wash.

water-spewEfficiency and Limescale. Hard water can impact the efficiency of hot water heaters. There is a greater amount of sediment in hard water, and this can build up inside water heaters and make it more difficult for the device to heat the water. This causes a greater amount of energy usage, leading to higher energy bills over time. Additionally, other appliances that are used to heat water can become clogged with minerals that are found in abundance in hard water. This limescale buildup will also cause the devices in question to suffer from poor energy usage.