Tag Archives: water

There’s Something in the Water

Triad residents were dismayed this week to discover that traces of a chemical solvent known as 1,4-dioxane have been found in the Cape Fear River system. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified 1,4-dioxane as a “probable human carcinogen” when it is ingested in high dosages. The level of the chemical found in the Randleman Regional Reservoir is relatively low—less that two parts per billion—but it raises concerns about what other chemicals might be lurking in the region’s supply of drinking water.Solvent found in local water supplies

The EPA regulates physical, chemical, biological, and radiological contaminants that are on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). Currently, 1,4-dioxane is not one of the hundreds of regulated chemicals, but this fact just highlights the level of uncertainty about the quality of the nation’s drinking water. As the lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, and the coal ash spill from Duke Energy show, our water supply is uniquely vulnerable to contamination.

The EPA also identifies Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) that are increasingly appearing in water supplies. These contaminants are often the remains of pharmaceuticals and personal care products that end up in the water when they get flushed or washed out of homes or businesses. People sometimes forget that what we put into the water, as a society, is what we get out of the water. And in the case of CECs, these are chemicals and other substances that may have detrimental effects to both aquatic animals and humans. In particular, the EPA is concerned about endocrine disruptors, which can affect reproductive health and cause some cancers.

Do you know what is in your water? Dr. Johns H2O can do a free in-home water analysis to make sure that your family’s water is safe. And with our charcoal and reverse osmosis filters, we can reduce known contaminants for your health and peace of mind. Contact us today to make sure that when you’re drinking water, you’re only drinking water.


DIY Alert: You Can Insulate Your Pipes

DIY on how to insulate your pipes

Why should I insulate my pipes?

  • As discussed previously, insulating your pipes can keep them from freezing during a cold snap. Even if you hire the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning to do it for you, it’s a relatively cheap insurance policy against the huge cost and mess of a flood.
  • Even without the risk of flood, insulating your pipes makes good financial sense. Uninsulated hot water pipes cause water to lose some of its heat as it travels through the pipes. But insulating the pipes allows you to lower your water heater temperature by four degrees without any change in the heat of the water when it reaches the faucets.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it only costs $10 to $15 to insulate your pipes, which results in a savings of $8 to $12 a year. This may not seem like much, but it adds up over the years, and the investment amortizes in just one year.
  • Insulating your hot water pipes also keeps water in the pipes warmer for longer, thus reducing the time you have to wait for heated water to flow from the tap if you turn it off for a few minutes and back on. This adds convenience, as well as helping to save water.

How do I insulate my pipes?

  • Foam pipe covers make insulating your pipes a breeze. Your local hardware store stocks several different diameters for different sized pipes, and you can cut the length to fit. Most pipe sleeves have a vertical slit down the side so you can easily slide them over your pipes. Some already have a sticky inside which adheres to the pipe, but you can secure the sleeve with duct tape, wire, or a clamp, and you’re ready to go.
  • Fiberglass spiral-wrap insulation looks a bit like shiny duct tape, but it’s not actually sticky. Secure one end of the insulation around the beginning of the pipe, and then wrap the pipe, overlapping each layer by about a half-inch. Secure the other end of the insulation at the end of the pipe.

Do You Have Hard Water Problems?

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water

What is Hard Water?

Hard Water is a term for water filled with minerals that build up on your plumbing fixtures and can cause drain clogs. There are many types of hard water. One of the most common is solutions for hard water problemslimescale. Calcium and Magnesium in the water attach to the pipes and plumbing fixtures as the water runs through the pipe into the faucet and onto the sink. This “limescale” builds up and causes the drain to clog or water pressure to decrease.

How Can You Detect Hard Water?

When you are shampooing your hair, does your shampoo lather quickly or does it take more than just a dab of shampoo to get the bubbles you desire?  If it takes more soap than normal to lather, the water is considered hard. There are hard water test kits that you can purchase to test your water to determine if it is mineral-rich or not.

Water that is supplied from public utilities can be hard water as well. It has been reported that up to 85 percent of the nation’s water is hard water. Calcium, magnesium, and manganese are the three main minerals dissolved in the water. You can contact your water utility provider to obtain a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report, also known as a water quality report, if it is not available online from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The report lists the minerals and substances found in the water.

What Can You Do to Soften the Water?

Installation and use of a water softener kit is the most cost-effective way to soften your water. The water softener filters out the minerals before it reaches the inside of your home. This reduces the amount of residue clinging to the inside walls of your water pipes, your faucets, sinks, tubs, showers, and commodes. With fewer residues to leave behind, the less likely it is that you will have a clog caused by hard water buildup.

Does Hard Water Taste Like Chlorine?

If your public water has too much of a chlorinated taste, you can remedy this by purchasing a carbon filter. This is a different type of filter that corrects taste and odor problems. However, hard water that has been purified with chlorine and filtered with a carbon filter is still hard water. You will still need to purchase or lease a water-softener system to soften the water.

Can I Install the Water Softener Myself?

If you are familiar with plumbing do-it-yourself projects, you can install your own water softener.  However, for most households, it is recommended that a professional plumber install this system for you. It costs less in the long run for the professional to install it right the first time. During incorrect installation, water pipes can break or fittings can be stripped, and both of these situations are not easily fixed by a novice.