How to Test for Hard Water Using an Empty Water Bottle

Living with hard water is a detriment to your quality of life, and one that you don’t have to tolerate. If you suspect that you have hard water, you are likely right. Hard water boldly leaves behind evidence of its damage, from your faucets and drains to your appliances, plumbing, laundry, dishes, hair, skin, and much more. If you are on the fence about having a hard water problem, why don’t you just perform a do-it-yourself test? All you need is an empty water bottle, pure Castile soap, and a working faucet.

Continue below to learn how to perform a hard water test using an empty water bottle, plus what to do if you determine, you do have a hard water problem.

Soft Water Company Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Soft Water Services Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

How to Test for Hard Water at Home

There is really only good news about testing for hard water at home. Not only is it inexpensive, of free if you already have all of the materials, but at-home water testing is also very easy (so easy a child could do it; in fact, you should enlist your children to help you with this really cool DIY science experiment!) and the results are highly reliable. Aside from low costs, simplicity, and reliable results, at-home water testing is also beneficial because there is more than one way to do it.

Here are three, including the water bottle test:

Store-Bought Testing Kits

You could go to the store and purchase an at-home water testing kit that comes with all of the materials needed to test your water for hardness. These kits generally have you send the results into a water testing laboratory, which means you will need to pay for postage and wait for your results to come back. Water testing kits are typically very reliable and accurate.

The Water Bottle Test

A more enjoyable way to test your water would be to implement a water bottle test. All you need is an empty plastic water bottle, a pure Castile soap, and your tap water. Take your empty water bottle and fillet 1/3 of the way with water directly from the top. Then add 3 to 4 drops of soap into the bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and vigorously shake the bottle.

Set the bottle down on a flat surface and observe the bubble formation. If your bottle is filled with suds and bubbles, and the water below is mostly clear, you have little to no hard water. However, if your water is cloudy and there’s only a thin layer suds at the top, you have hard water.

Professional Water Quality Testing

The most accurate and comprehensive method for hard water testing would be to hire a professional soft water company in Indianapolis. They have the proper knowledge, materials, and resources to perform precision hardness testing, plus provide and deliver the most compatible solutions to your water quality problems.

Are you ready to have the best water quality for your home or office? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for professional water softening services in Indianapolis, Indiana and its surrounding counties. We serve residential and commercial clients with soft water sales, service, and repair.

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Common Problems With Water Softeners and What to Do About Them

Any property that uses water, whether residential or commercial, will benefit from having a quality water softener. But like any plumbed appliance, malfunctions and breakdowns are a possibility. As for water softeners, they tend to present the same types of issues, especially among low-rated models. If you suspect that your water softening system is not performing at its best, you could be right. After all, the signs are usually easy to spot, so long as you know what you are looking for.

Continue below to learn some of the most common types of problems with water softeners, and more importantly, what you can do about them.

Water Softener Service Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870
Water Softener Service Indianapolis Indiana 317-784-1870

Common Water Softener Problems

Water softener performance is an important element in your overall quality of life. A defective or damaged unit will cost you money and cause you to suffer the effects of hard water. As soon as you see signs of poor water quality or a change in your water softener’s performance, act quickly by contacting a local and trusted water softener repair in Indianapolis. They can implement a comprehensive inspection and generate a diagnosis in no time at all.

While you wait for your licensed and insured water softener professional to arrive, peruse these common water softener problems to see if any fit the mark for your home or business:

Salty-Tasting Water

Does your tap water taste a bit on the salted side? If you can detect notes of salt in your tap water, it could be due to a clogged drain hose. Salty water can also be caused by incomplete water softener regeneration cycles.

Brown Water

If you notice that your tap water is dark or discolored, namely brown, the problem may be a result of high levels of dirt and sediment that has contaminated the water lines. It could also be caused by rusting components or metal within the tank itself.

Salt Bridges

Salt bridging in water softeners is a common issue tackled by property owners all across the nation. Hard mineral ions like salt, calcium, and magnesium, produce scale, which builds up inside the tank overtime. This formation can cause obstructions that make it difficult for the water softener to perform as it should.

Not Using Salt

When you look inside your water softener brine tank, does it look like the salt hasn’t been used at all? If your salt pellet levels are not lowering as they should, it could be a sign that there’s a problem with the system’s resin beads, which by the way, could stem from salt bridging, mentioned before.

Not Regenerating

If your water softener is not completing its regeneration cycles, the problem likely has to do with the regeneration timer. If the timer is not making any beeps or sounds when you try to test it, it may be damaged.

Operation Errors

If your water softener requires you to manually program and input data, then the likelihood of experiencing an operational error is high. Even modern water softeners that are designed with innovative structuring and technical configurations are prone to errors and malfunctions. Refer to the owners’ manual for factory reset instructions.

Strange Sounds

Your water softener should not make a lot of noise. If you are hearing strange sounds coming from the unit itself or the surrounding plumbing, it could be indicative of worn-out components. This might include timers, water lines, valves, or even the motor.

All these common water softener problems can be solved by a licensed water softening plumber! Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for Indianapolis Indiana plumbing services for water softeners and more. We serve residential and commercial customers all throughout Central Indiana.

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How to Choose a Residential Water Softener Based on Occupancy

When it comes to home water conditioning, it is important to know how to size a water softener correctly. This way, you are sure to purchase the appropriate and most effective water purification system for your household. There are a few different ways to measure or size-up a water conditioning system. One full-proof way to determine which system to buy for your property is to consult a professional in the industry. They retain the experience and knowledge to set you in the right direction. In the meantime, it is always a good idea to catch up on simple tips and general advice for water softener systems.

Continue reading to learn how to choose a water softener for your home using some simple and basic math.

Indianapolis Water Softener Service and Repair
Indianapolis Water Softener Service and Repair 317-784-1870

Water Softener Grains Per Gallon

The best place to start when it comes to learning how to size a water softener, is by learning how the entire system all works. Basically, water softeners swap hard minerals for soft ones in a property’s water supply. Hard minerals include calcium, magnesium, and other metal ions and compounds, while soft minerals include sodium and potassium. Within a water softener, there are several tiny chemical magnets called ion exchange resin. These magnets are the agents that facilitate the mineral exchanges within the system. The more chemical magnets a water softener has, the higher its capacity will be.

Capacity is a common term measuring the number of gallons a system can purify before needing more salt or a new cartridge; depending on the type of system it is. Capacity is measured in “grains” or its rate or grain removal; and one grain per gallon is equal to 17.1 parts per million. On average, the water in the United States contains nearly 10 grains of hardness per gallon, while the average person uses 80 gallons of water per day.

Using the Water Softener Formula

By using a water hardness testing kit, you can quickly determine the level of hardness in your home’s water supply. In order to calculate the amount of water you need to purify, multiply the number of people living within the home by the number 80; and then multiply that number by the number of grains per gallon (10) to get the total number of grains used per day in a home. 

Here is an example for a family of 5:

Number of Occupants:  5
Gallons of Water Used per Person:  80
Average Grains of Hardness: 10

Gallons of Water Used Per Day: 5 x 80 = 400
Total Grains Used per Day: 400 x 10 = 4,000

✨ In this example, a 40,000 grain capacity water softener is recommended for the AVERAGE family of 5.

Water Softener Installation

One of the most common signs that your water softener needs to be replaced is increased water and energy bills. If these monthly costs are rising, there may be a problem with the efficiency or performance of your water softener. It could be caused by other plumbing issues too. Separate from performance problems, water softeners should be replaced every 8 to 10 years. You will require the services of a licensed plumber who specializes in water softeners for installation. Costs vary among businesses, but on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $600 or more for water softener installation.

Trusted Water Softener Advice and Service in Indianapolis

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for affordable water softener service in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of standard and master plumber services for residential and commercial properties, and specialize in water softener installation and repair for all make and model units. We also carry a full line of quality Clack™ Water Softeners for sale at contractor prices! Request a free estimate, today.

Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Water Softener

Water Softener Repair 317-784-1870

Water Softener Repair 317-784-1870

Hard water contains hard mineral content, such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. Most likely, you have experienced the effects of hard water at some point in time. Hard water not only tastes funny, it causes problems with plumbing, appliances, dishware, skin, hair, nails, and more. These effected areas are all part of the topmost reasons why you should invest in a water conditioning system, whether homeowner or tenant.

For those who rent a home or apartment, there are portable water softener options available on the market. This way, tenants will own their water softener, and have the ability to use it for future relocations. As for property owners, purchasing and installing a high-quality water softener is one of the wisest investments you can make. Continue reading to learn the top three reasons why you want to make this decision as soon as possible!

Reduce Monthly Utility Costs

Installing a water softener is a lucrative investment, even though the initial costs are high. This is because soft water is easier to transfer, heat, and use altogether. So your water heater does not have to use as much energy to heat up water, and you do not have to run the faucet for several minutes to reach your desired temperature. And reduced energy consumption saves money on monthly energy and water bills. Overtime, these energy efficient savings outweigh the initial cost of buying a water conditioner.

Protect Your Plumbing and Appliances

Hard water can negatively affect other important systems in your home. It can cause mineral buildup inside plumbing pipes, causing them to clog and corrode overtime. This also causes inconsistent or weak water flow, which can lead to increased energy consumption, higher monthly utility costs, and more. Hard water can also do the same to your appliances, such as water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines. Not only can this cause your systems to work harder and use more energy, it can lead to costly repairs and replacements. Soft water prevents these kinds of damages, saving you money and increasing the life of your appliances.

Improved Home Comfort

Hard water causes discomfort in many ways. Overtime, a buildup of limescale and calcium accumulates around plumbing fixtures, resulting in a hard, white crust. Not only is this unsightly, it reduces water flow and makes bathing less enjoyable. The minerals in hard water leave behind white film on shower doors, white spots on dishes, and even make dishware appear cloudy. All of these hard water effects reduce your quality of home living. But it gets worse. Hard water can also irritate skin, hair, and nails. Skin can feel sticky after a shower, or become dry, itchy, and flakey. Residue can build up in hair, causing it to feel greasy or dingy. And nails will turn brittle. These are all signs that your water is too high in hard mineral content.

Indianapolis Water Softener Installation

Weilhammer Plumbing Company Indianapolis Indiana

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for water softener installation and service in Indianapolis, and its surrounding areas. Master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, and his team of licensed plumbing contractors, are happy to discuss your soft water needs any time. We offer a wide range of services for all make and model water softeners, including installation, repair, replacement, maintenance, and more. We even offer water softener sales! Call us at 317-784-1870 if you are looking for economically-priced, quality water softeners in Indianapolis, IN today.

Why is My Tap Water Brown?

Water Softener Repair 317-784-1870

Water Softener Repair 317-784-1870

Municipal water plants and home plumbing is an essential technology that sets us apart from our earlier ancestors. Clean, fresh water right from the tap is a luxury we didn’t have hundreds of years ago, and a privilege that many of us take for granted. As long as our water stays the same, we don’t give it much thought. But homeowners do start to take interest in their water supply once it starts to change or take on some peculiar traits.

One common peculiarity is brown or discolored tap water. When this happens, it is important to take immediate action to resolve the issue and restore your home comfort before the root of the cause becomes worse, and more costly to repair. It is best for a small problem to be caught early on before major damage can occur to your home’s plumbing or appliances. Continue reading to learn why this happens to tap water and how to fix the problem within a reasonable budget.

Brown Faucet Water

Tap water should be virtually crystal clear, odorless, and have a neutral taste. But under poor circumstances, water can change color, lose clarity, and even have a metallic or rotten taste. These poor conditions can cause water to range in color, from light yellows and gold tones, to dark grey and brown tones. Solid particles and debris may also be visible in discolored tap water. Whatever the cause for the discoloration, it is not necessarily dangerous but certainly alarming, and a sign that something else is going wrong in your home plumbing. Fortunately, most circumstances that cause water to turn colors are easily reversible and inexpensive. But before fixing the problem, a licensed master plumber must first determine the cause.

Common causes for discolored or brown tap water:

Aging or rusted plumbing pipes. If the discoloration of tap water generally occurs first thing in the morning, or after a brief time away from home, it could very-well be rusty-old galvanized water supply lines. This is even truer if it is just one faucet delivering discolored water. The pressure caused by switching the water on and off loosens the rusted particles off of the piping, sending it straight out to the bathroom or kitchen faucet. Sometimes, this peeling exposes iron beneath the galvanic coating on the inside of the pipes, also causing the water to turn shades of brown.

High magnesium and iron levels. When tap water has excessive levels of iron and magnesium, it can cause water to change color and appear brown. This is common for homes supplied by underground wells. Sometimes, soil has high levels of iron in it, jeopardizing the ground water coloration.

Water main break. If a local water main breaks, or fire hydrants are being flushed, it can cause contaminants and debris to leak into home water supplies. These cases tend to work themselves out on their own once the water break is repaired. It usually takes about an hour or so for the water to clear up. For this reason, it is best to check with your local department before replacing any pipes or water heaters.

Water heater problems. If the brown or murky water is only coming from the hot water tap, you may need to steer your attention toward your water heater. If your water heater is over 10 years old, it may need replaced. Otherwise, it needs inspected and serviced by a qualified professional to eliminate these kinds of problems.

Fortunately, most of these problems can be solved with professional water heater repair, water filtration services, and water softening systems. Talk to your local and trusted plumbing company for help with water discoloration and plumbing problems in Central Indiana.

Weilhammer Plumbing CO. Inc.

Weilhammer Plumbing Company Indianapolis Indiana

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for affordable water heater repair in Indianapolis and its surrounding areas. Master plumber, Mark Weilhammer, has more than 50 years of experience in the plumbing industry and knows just how to solve your meet your water heater problems. We offer free estimates, free advice, and a wide range of plumbing, water heater, and water softener services for commercial and residential properties. Call 317-784-1870 for water heater repair services in Indianapolis, IN today.

Plumbing Tips for the Basement

Water Hammer Repair 317-784-1870

Water Hammer Repair 317-784-1870

The most common consequence of basement plumbing problems are basement floods. Flooded basements happen as a result of a number of reasons, most of which can be prevented. This is why regular plumbing maintenance for basements is so important. It will not only protect and preserve your basement plumbing systems, it will also reduce the chances of costly plumbing repairs down the line.

Common plumbing systems in basements include water heaters, water softeners, boilers, sump pumps, septic tanks, sprinkler line valves, washing machines, bathrooms or kitchens, and more. All home plumbing systems are different, but they will all have one thing in common in terms of basement plumbing: the need for regular maintenance. Continue reading to learn some tips for proper basement plumbing care, and who to call when you need a master plumber in your neighborhood.

Where to Start…

It is important to first consider safety when you are inspecting and servicing your basement plumbing appliances and systems. Never store flammable liquids or chemicals near water heaters, gas furnaces, or any other type of fuel-powered appliance. This includes gasoline, propane tanks, liquid adhesives, solvents, and anything else that has a flammable warning. On the topic of natural gas, it is important to make sure sewer gases are not building up too much within household drains, mostly drains that are not used as often like basement floor drains. To prevent sewer gases from backing up, simply pour a bucket of clean water down the drain every other month to keep the trap seal full.

Moving on, you should always inspect and pump your home’s sump pump periodically to prevent costly repairs like filter field replacement. Do this every three to five years, depending on the size of the home and the age of the sump pump. Another area of concern for basement flooding is your washing machine. Be sure to regularly inspect the machine and the connective hoses to check for bulges, leaks, and kinks. Catching a washing machine problem early on will not only save money on potential flooding repairs and renovations, it will also avoid having to buy a new washing machine.

If you like to save energy, be sure to also maintain a moderate water heater temperature setting. Not only does this reduce energy consumption, it also prevents dangerous scalding accidents. A good temperature setting for water heaters is anywhere between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water heater temperature is set above 120, consider lowering it a bit for safety and energy efficiency.

If you have water hammering problems, or loud noises from water usage, consider installing shock absorbers. These absorb vibrations in the water lines, muffling the obnoxious sounds made from water hammering. And for water leaks, there is an easy way to test for them that should be done every month or so. During a time that water is not being used in the house, simply read your water meter, taking notes on what you see, then check the meter again 12 hours later to see if anything has changed. If there has been a radical change in the past 12 hours that water was not used, it could be an indication of a leak. In this case, you would need to call a master plumber for professional water leak diagnostics and repair.

Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc.

Weilhammer Plumbing Company Indianapolis Indiana

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for licensed plumbing repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Master plumber Mark Weilhammer is happy to answer your questions about basement flooding, sump pump repair, water heater repair, water softener repair, and all other plumbing problems! We offer a wide range of plumbing services for both residential and commercial properties. Just call 317-784-1870 to speak with a licensed master plumber in Indianapolis, IN today.