The Hard Truth about Water Softeners

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The term hard water is used to describe a fresh water supply that contains relatively high amounts of the natural minerals, calcium & magnesium along with a variety of trace minerals. Hard water is not bad for your health, but it can cause problems with your plumbing & your household appliances. Hard water reacts with cleaning products, creates soap buildup & can wear down fixtures & appliances more quickly than soft water. The minerals found in hard water build up over time and can take a toll on dishes, clothing, fixtures & even skin & hair.


How does water become  h a r d ? 

Although rainwater is pure when it falls from the sky, as it flows from the surface into aquifers, it absorbs minerals, primarily calcium & magnesium. This absorption changes it from soft to hard water. The amount of mineral content the water contains determines the hardness of the water.

Where does your household fall on the water hardness scale?

Problems caused by  h a r d  w a t e r :

  • Hard water minerals clog pipe work & reduce water flow
  • Small films of lime scale build up on tile & bath/kitchen fixtures
  • Difficulty rinsing off soap & shampoo completely, leaving skin or hair feeling dry or dull
  • Glasses & dishes are left with streaks after cleaning
  • Hard water makes your clothes fade faster from washing

What does hard water do to your  p l u m b i n g ?

The buildup on tubs, showers, sinks & faucets caused by hard water are only part of the problem. The minerals in hard water build-up inside pipes, fixtures & appliances over time. We don’t see this buildup and it can cause all sorts of plumbing problems including; reduced water flow, clogs & increased stress on pipes & fixtures. The mineral deposits can also cause appliances to operate less efficiently & wear down faster.


Filter out hard water with a  w a t e r  s o f t e n e r .

Installing a water softener in your home will filter out all the nasty hard water minerals, keeping your plumbing clean & efficient. Water softeners convert hard water into soft water. They work by exchanging the hardness ions in your water with sodium ions. Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc can install a water softener to filter out all the hard water coming into your home from the source. That way you have soft water running through your entire home & integrated through all your household appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Benefits of  s o f t  w a t e r :

  • Increased longevity of all your plumbing & water systems
  • Better efficiency of all water appliances; dishwashers, coffee machines, water heaters, etc.
  • Softer skin & smoother hair after showering
  • Reduced monthly energy costs
  • Softer clothes & reduced colour fading after washing
  • Cleaner & shinier glasses & dishes

Contact Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc today to have your water tested and we will recommend a water treatment solution that best fits your home.

Pure Water – Pure & Simple.

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Choose Purified Water.

Nothing is more important to you and your family’s health than drinking clean purified water. The recommended daily intake of purified water is between 1.5 to 2.5 liters per day. The water you drink helps flush your kidneys of toxic substances & assists in controlling your blood pressure. Reverse Osmosis is a great way to ensure you are getting enough purified water to keep yourself healthy & well-hydrated.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

The best & most efficient method of transforming undesirable water into clean, healthy & tasty drinking water. In reverse osmosis, untreated water flows through a semi permeable membrane & carbon filters. The size of the membrane lets the water flow through the filter, but leaves behind salt, chemicals, minerals & impurities. The result is “pure” water that’s free from bacteria & minerals.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis.

Reverse Osmosis Systems Remove Contaminants – No matter where you live, there’s a lot more than just H20 in your home’s water. However, with an RO system, you can drastically reduce many of those unwanted contaminants.

Reverse Osmosis Systems Reduce Sodium from Soft Water – Water softeners solve a lot of hard water problems, but they are not meant for purification. Your water softener uses an ion exchange process where hard minerals are replaced with sodium molecules and can leave behind a high level of total dissolved solids. These dissolved solids can impact the taste of the water. RO systems filter out the sodium that your water softener adds.

You’ll Stop Buying Bottled Water – Bottled water is expensive and those plastic bottles create a lot of waste as they all too often go unrecycled. The type of treated water most often used by bottled water companies is reverse osmosis water, so why not cut down on waste and install your own unit under your sink!

It’s Better for Cooking – The water you cook with often ends up in your food and the impurities in your home’s water are going to affect the taste of the food you make. When you boil pasta, make soups or bake homemade bread, pure water can make a big difference.

Your Ice Cubes will be Crystal Clear – Have you ever noticed when you make ice cubes, they look white and cloudy? The impurities and gasses in your water crystallize when they freeze giving your cubes this cloudy appearance. Cloudy ice cubes have been shown to be softer and melt faster than clear ice cubes made with pure water from an RO system. That means ice cubes made with an RO will keep your drinks cooler longer without watering them down as much.

Reverse Osmosis Water Tastes Delicious – Perhaps the best reason to have an RO system in your home is how great the water tastes. When you remove all those impurities, all you’re left with is clean, refreshing water.

Space Saving – Getting a reverse osmosis system can be a space saver depending on where you would like to put it. There are so many sizes to choose from, so you can tailor your decision to fit your needs.

Saving money, space and time are all attractive things that will be provided from one of our Reverse Osmosis systems. Not only that, but it will also taste better and be better for your health. What are you waiting for – contact us today!

Keep Your Fire on Demand

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As the season turns and temperatures are beginning to drop, now’s the perfect time to think about heating & how you want to manage the coming cold. Clean, efficient and cost-effective, a gas fireplace is the perfect solution – and keeps away the mid-winter brrrs.

Get the professionals at Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. to install a gas fireplace in your home and you will reap all the benefits.


GAS FIREPLACES CAN REDUCE YOUR YEARLY HEATING COSTS – Turn down the temperature on your home’s central thermostat, and zone heat the areas where the most time is spent (often the family or living room) with your gas fireplace. This keeps those rooms warm and comfortable & reduces the amount of money spent heating rooms that aren’t in use.

GAS FIREPLACES ARE EASY TO ENJOY – Bedroom, living room, or bathroom – it doesn’t matter! Gas fireplaces come in all shapes & sizes and can be easily installed in almost any room in your home. Flip it on, flip it off, turn it up and turn it down – they offer plenty of heating options with just the click of a button! There’s no messing around with thermostats, timers or baseboards – when you want heat, you get heat immediately and in the dead of winter, there’s nothing better.

GAS FIREPLACE = NO MESS – Once installed, you can say goodbye to dirty wood, smoke, smelly fire-starter, and kindling splinters. Anytime you want to enjoy a soothing fire, just flip the switch (or tap your remote) and let the relaxation begin!

SAFETY FIRST – Managing an open, wood fire can be hazardous. You should opt for a glass-encased, gas-burning fireplace instead, you still get to enjoy the beauty of an open-flame fire but without the worry of wayward sparks.

LIGHT IT UP – When power lines go down, it doesn’t take long for the cold to seep in. Many gas fireplaces don’t require electricity to function, making them a great option for heating your home during a blackout.

Keep it simple (and safe) and go with gas!

Here’s Why You Need a Standby Generator

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Extreme weather is upon us, and can cause extended power outages during the winter months. It’s a good idea to invest in a standby generator to ensure you are prepared during a power outage.

When a power outage occurs, a standby generator turns on automatically and delivers backup power to your home. The generator is fueled by natural gas or propane and is wired into your home’s electrical panel. The generator is installed permanently beside your home and provides uninterrupted backup power for days at a time.  The generator continues to run until the utility power returns.

Without backup power, you could lose the following:

  • Communication: Internet, cell phone chargers, TV
  • Climate Control: Loss of heating and/or air conditioning
  • Property Damage: Loss of sump pump & operation of maintenance tools
  • Personal Hygiene: Unable to bathe or wash clothes
  • Fridge/Freezer: Food spoilage
  • Safety: Loss of indoor or outdoor lighting which can leave property vulnerable for theft
  • Monetary Loss: Hotel expenses, dining out, property damage & unexpected expenses

REASONS TO LOVE A STANDBY GENERATOR

Fast, automatic delivery of emergency power after power line failure

Maintains the same comfort level, whether you are at home or at work

Provides a permanent solution

*Don’t forget to have your generator serviced annually to ensure everything is working properly for when you really need it. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Plumbing Tips

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You can expect two parts of the house to exhibit plumbing problems on Thanksgiving Day – the kitchen & the bathroom. Luckily you can avoid plumbing issues by taking a few precautions & using your plumbing wisely.

  1. Dispose of Food Scraps Mindfully: Putting food scraps, such as turkey bones, potato peels or celery in the garbage disposal might seem like a simple clean up – but they can easily become clogged or damage the disposal. 

  2. Run Water After Using the Garbage Disposal: Run your kitchen faucet for a few minutes after you use your garbage disposal, which will help wash everything down smoothly.
  3. Throw Away Grease: When cooking with fat and oil, be sure to keep it out of your drains. Instead throw it away in a sealed container to avoid plumbing disasters.
  4. Use A Sink Strainer: This will prevent any large food scraps from going down the drain the potentially clogging it.
  5. Remind Guests to Be Mindful: If you are expecting a house full of guests, remind them not to flush paper towels, sanitary napkins, flushable wipes, cotton balls or anything else down that can harm your toilet.
  6. Turn Down the Thermostat: Lower the temperature when you start cooking, the oven will heat up the house.

We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes, may you enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving!

 

Annual Service Plans

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Did you know Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. offers annual service plans to inspect & maintain your heating, cooling and water system equipment? Avoid costly repairs and replacements by keeping your current systems in good working condition! Our team of licensed professionals can inspect everything from:

  • Pressure Systems:
    • Inspect for leaks
    • Verify tank pre-charge
    • Check water pump operation and controls
  • Water Treatment:
    • Service Water Softener
      • Set time and setup system
      • Clean injector
      • Check meter operation
    • Service Iron Filter
      • Check peroxide level & pump
    • Service Ultraviolet light
      • Change UV bulb
      • Clean sleeve, as required
      • Check overall operations
    • Service Reverse Osmosis System
      • Change filters, yearly
      • Change membrane & polishing carbon, every 3-5 years
  • Furnaces (Gas, Propane and Electric):
    • Clean and inspect furnace burner, blower and related components
    • Clean all drains and condensate equipment
    • Clean burner and flame rod
    • Test operation and combustion
  • Air Conditioners:
    • Clean A-coil in duct system
    • Check outdoor unit and wash out condenser
  • Fireplaces:
    • Remove the glass and logs
    • Clean the glass, burner and vacuum the blower assembly
    • Re-assemble unit
    • Test operations
  • Water Heaters (Gas, Propane & Electric):
    • Blow out and vacuum burner
    • Inspect vent system
    • Check operations
  • Automatic Generators:
    • Clean cell and filters
    • Check spark plugs, voltage and battery
    • Inspect all connections
  • HRV Units:
    • Change oil
    • Check intake and exhaust hoods
    • Clean system

And all of our service plans come with yearly service notifications, appointment setups and inspection reports! Our plans can be customized to suit your needs and include all of your heating/cooling and water system equipment. So contact us today for a Quote !

Well & Septic Inspections

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Did you know…Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. performs well & septic inspections? Whether you are buying or selling your home, or would just like your system inspected by a licensed professional, we can help by providing recommendations and identifying future problems that may occur, so you are prepared!

Call Hunter Plumbing today – (519) 458-4488 for more information!

Spring Plumbing Checklist

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Winters can be tough on your plumbing, with freezing temperatures putting a strain on your pipes and pressure on your tank, it’s no wonder homeowner’s experience unfortunate drips and leaks that didn’t exist last fall. Let Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. help you with your spring checklist to ensure your plumbing and drains are in good working order! Here are 5 things to check for this spring:

  1. Check over your drains – Spring is here and so is the rain and wet weather. You need to make sure the drains in your home are clog free and ready to take on anything. If you have any unused or infrequently used floor drains in your basement, fill the trap by pouring in a gallon of water. You can also do this to test your sump pump by pouring a few buckets of water in your sump pump pit. The sump pump should immediately switch on and pump out the water before turning off again. If it doesn’t do this, it is best to get your sump pump checked over by the professionals at Hunter Plumbing and Heating before it’s too late and your basement floods.
  2. Check over your exterior plumbing – Your exterior plumbing can and will have a negative impact on your home if it is not in good working order. It is not uncommon for leaks and flooding to occur. Start by cleaning out all the gutters and eaves and ensure the downspouts are directed away from your house at the right degree. Check visible pipes and faucets for leaks or erosion. Also check your roof vents to ensure the mesh surroundings are clear of leaves, ice, sticks and possibly even a bird’s nest.
  3. Check over your water heater – You will want to check for leaks before anything else. Look around the bottom of the tank for water and around the fittings at the top of the water heater. Depending on if it is a big leak or a slow leak, there may be just a few drops of water or a big pool of water. If left unchecked, these leaks can become worse, more costly problems in the future. Also, look for the flush valve on your water heater and pump out a few gallons. This will drain out sediment and allow you to look for corrosion in the tank. Doing this once a year can actually make your water heater a more effective system and protect the life span of your water heater. Not comfortable checking this out yourself? Call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing and Heating! We provide service, maintenance and repair services on plumbing and water heaters!
  4. Check your toilets – While running toilets are easy to spot and hear, you may not know how to look for a leak. Try putting a few drops of food colouring into the tank of the toilet. If the colour appears in the toilet in less than an hour, it is time to get that toilet fixed. If you also notice water around the base of the toilet or water dripping from the supply, it is time to call in Hunter Plumbing and Heating to fix and/or replace your toilet to prevent further mold and water damage.
  5. Check your faucets for drips or leaks – Look over your kitchen and bathroom taps for water leaking around the base or water dripping from the drains under the sink. Ensure that all drains are in good working order and drain properly. If they are slow, check the drains for clogged food debris and hair. Clean mineral deposits from your shower heads, toilets, bathtub tap and faucets using vinegar or CLR. If you find you cannot unclog your drains yourself, or fix the leak at your faucet, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing and Heating before the problem worsens and becomes more expensive!

Spring is a busy time of year both inside and out, but your household plumbing should not be overlooked. Drips, leaks, and floods can become costly and easily ruin your home. If you are too busy, or notice a problem but don’t have the time or know-how to fix it, call Hunter Plumbing, Heating & Excavating Inc. at (519) 458-4488. We are here to help with your spring repairs and projects!

Well Owner Information Package

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Well Owner Information Package

Now that you have a well on your property, you are legally responsible for the proper maintenance and abandonment (plugging and sealing) of your well.  A poorly maintained or improperly abandoned well could result in contaminated well water and ground water, and it could affect your health.

The following tips will help you protect your well:

  • Test the quality of your well water on a regular basis and look for changes in the water’s appearance (colour, taste and odour).
  • Keep surface water and foreign materials (especially insects, snakes and mice) from entering the well by securing the well cap in place and checking your well regularly for signs of rust and wear, cracks, holes or gaps in the well’s structure.
  • If materials get in your well, safely remove them.
  • Keep ponded water, vehicles, pet waste, salt and fertilizer away from the well.
  • Make sure the ground around your well slopes away from your well.
  • Ensure the well is accessible for future repairs and maintain the minimum above ground height (typically 40cm above the surface).
  • Check for and identify abnormal sounds. They could indicate wear on the well’s pump, waterlines or electrical cables or other issues.
  • Check the pump’s efficiency. If the pump is continually running or losing pressure, it may be a sign of a crack or hole in the waterlines.
  • Ensure your septic system is in good working order and is pumped out regularly to prevent contamination of your well water.

For information on testing the quality of your well water, visit:

For more information on properly maintaining or abandoning your well:

Inspecting your well can be dangerous work. If you are not familiar with wells, let an experienced and licensed well technician perform the work. Hunter Plumbing & Heating is a licensed well contractor through the Ministry of Environment and employs licensed well technicians.