Deionized Water Filtration vs. Reverse Osmosis

Deionized Water Filtration vs. Reverse Osmosis

If you’re concerned about the quality of water in your home, you are probably considering a water filtration system. These units are used by homeowners to purify the water and make sure it’s safe for family and loved ones to drink and wash with. Once you have made the decision to invest in a water filtration unit, the next decision becomes which type of unit you should invest in.

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There are numerous types of water filters that are effective in their own way. Some filters are designed for irrigation purposes while others are better for purifying drinking water.

Two of the most popular water filters are deionized water filtration systems and reverse osmosis filters. Let’s look at the main differences between the two:

How does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Reverse osmosis or RO as it’s abbreviated is a water filtration process that removes impurities and bacteria from your water. Traditionalreverse-osmosis osmosis involves moving liquid from a low ion concentration to a high ion concentration, so you can imagine that reverse osmosis is the opposite. RO uses a special membrane to trap impurities, metals, and bacteria from your water.

What is Deionized Water?

Deionized (DI) water is used for many purposes in addition to its residential use. Industries such as the auto finishing industry, textile industry, and pharmaceuticals use deionized water because it is clean and completely free of minerals or bacteria.

The process to make deionized water is a two-step process.

It involves passing the water over positive ions that remove minerals and metallic particles from the water. Once this is completed, the water becomes positively charged and must be exposed to negatively charged hydroxyl ions to cancel out the positive hydrogen ions and make the water completely neutral and safe to use.

Benefits and Downsides of RO and DI

Now that we understand how these filters work, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:

Pros

  • You will save money on purchasing bottled water, which will also result in the filter eventually deionized-waterpaying for itself.
  • You will have peace of mind that your water is completely clean and safe to use. An RO filter removes up to 99% of dissolved solids in the water.
  • Your water will be free of harmful minerals and impurities that may make it taste bad. They can even remove chlorine.

Cons

  • RO filters are known to waste water, which may result in a higher water bill.
  • Some experts insist that these filters remove trace minerals that are actually good for us and make the water taste better.
  • The membrane of an RO filter is quite porous. It may let through larger particles. Many homeowners with RO filters use a secondary filter to make sure they are completely covered.

For more information on RO and DI filters in Annapolis, MD, call Heidler, Inc. today at (410) 268-7191.

It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

The month of October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, a month dedicated to encouraging people to adopt and rescue a dog at their local animal shelter. There are many great reasons why you should adopt, rather than buy, a dog at your local shelter.

You can also visit your local animal shelter to learn more information about adopting, what kind of shelter it is, and much more. If you still want to support your local shelter but can't care for a pet in your home, then there are other actions you can take.

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Why You Should Adopt and Not Shop!

Sure, some people believe that you should purchase a dog at a pet shop rather than adopting one because dogs from a pet store are cleaner, less-problematic purebreds. That's a myth. There are plenty of good reasons why adopting a dog is better for both the dog and the adopter. These reasons include:

  • Adopting a dog means saving that dog's life
  • Purchasing a dog or a puppy from a pet store is more expensive than adopting
  • You can choose whether you want a puppy or an adult dog that's more likely to have been house-trained already

Dogs from a shelter are cleaner than pet shop dogs.

adopt-shelter-dogsNot only are they cleaner, but they are also healthier. Shelters usually vaccinate their dogs as well as spay and neuter them. On top of all of that, shelter dogs don't have as many problems on a genetic level than dogs from a pet shop.

Pet stores rely on obtaining "purebred" dogs from puppy mills. Dogs that are purebred are forced to mate with their relatives, and as a result, end up receiving more genetic defects and diseases than mutts do.

Those who run puppy mills don't care about the fact that their animals may end up or currently have physical problems. They don't even take great care of their dogs. To them, dogs are nothing more than a means to earn more money. Adopting a dog can discourage the demand for dogs bred from these cruel puppy mills.

Visit Your Local Animal Shelter to Learn More

You can learn whether or not your local shelter is a no-kill shelter by checking them out in person. The shelter can provide you with useful informdonate-to-sheltersation on how their dogs are treated, and how to care for a dog, yourself. Maybe your next visit will end with you adopting a new dog.

Volunteering and donating are great alternatives to helping your local shelter.

You may not be able to own a pet of your own or may simply not want to. That's alright because you can go to your local shelter instead to help out.

Just doing basic tasks like washing dishes and feeding the pets can be a huge benefit to the shelter. Even if you don't have the time to volunteer, you can still donate money. A little bit of money can go a long way at these shelters.

Please donate to American Humane in Washington DC, or your local Humane Society and don't hesitate to call at (800) 227-4645. They founded Adopt-a-Dog Month and are dedicated to rescuing shelter dogs.

For all your plumbing needs in Annapolis, MD call Heidler, Inc.at (410) 268-7191.

It’s Back! October is National Kitchen & Bathroom Month

It’s Back! October is National Kitchen & Bathroom Month

It’s that time of year again, time to celebrate National Kitchen and Bathroom Month! The National Kitchen and Bathroom Association decided to set aside October for the education and promotion of bathrooms and kitchens way back in 1982.

It was decided that October is the best time of year for these types of renovations since the kids are back in school, and it’s not yet time to start preparing for the hectic holiday season.

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modern-kitchen
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Did you know that renovating your kitchen or bathroom adds incredible value to your home? In addition to this, it’s also a great way to take advantage of new technology and beautiful designs that combine form and function.

Here are some tips on how to properly acknowledge National Kitchen and Bathroom Month:

Avoid Trends with an Expiry Date

Trends are referred to as trends because they go in and out of style. The trick is choosing to incorporate lasting trends into your kitchen or bathroom renovation. What is the best way to do this? Thinking about your true interests and needs will help form the basis of what you need from your new kitchen and bathroom.

modern-glass-showerBy considering this, you’ll be able to recognize the items that are truly important to you.

From there, choosing a couple of simple trends to incorporate rather than going overboard with a head-to-toe Pinterest-inspired room will ensure that your new bathroom or kitchen is functional and will remain stylish for many years to come.

What is Trending in Kitchen Renovations this Year?

2016 has been all about technology and simplicity with kitchen renovations. A few staple items remain but for the most part, we are replacing old technology with new, minimalistic features.

Which is More Popular: Showers or Tubs?

Whether you prefer to rinse off in the shower or soak in a tub, there really is no preferred choice when it comes to installing showers and tubs. Both have different benefits and are great for different things. One thing is for sure, the latest trends see showers and tubs becoming separate.

bathroom-vanityThe built-in shower/tub combo is getting traded up for stand-alone showers and tubs. The real decision comes from your own personal experiences. Do you prefer showers or tubs? Answering that question will help decide which component should be the centerpiece of your new bathroom.

Bathroom Trends for 2016

In 2016, homeowners want to create a spa-like experience in their bathrooms. This means neutral colors, simple design and luxurious features.

Some of the most popular trends for 2016 are as follows:

  • Trough sinks
  • Heated floors
  • Anti-fog mirrors
  • Stand-alone tubs
  • Shower seats
  • Steam showers
  • Open-concept vanities and shelves
  • Square or rectangular-shaped faucets and fixtures

If you’re looking for help designing a new bathroom or kitchen this month, call Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD at (410) 268-7191 today.

September is National Baby Safety Month!

National Baby Safety Month

About Baby Safety Month

Each September, the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) sponsors National Baby Safety Month. The focus of this year’s National Baby Safety Month will be educating parents on the importance of registering their baby products and paying attention to recall notices.

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This is an important topic because most people pay little attention to the product registration cards they get with the things they purchase. The majority of people simply throw these registration cards away with a shrug of the shoulders. That is a dangerous attitude when it comes to baby products.

If parents do not register the products they buy for their babies, they may not hear about future recall notices until it is too late. Some of these recall notices are issued because products are found to be dangerous or even deadly. To protect their children, parents need to take a few minutes to fill out and send in the product registration cards for all the baby items that come with them.

Three Hidden Dangers for Babies

As well as registering their baby products, parents also have a responsibility to baby-proof their homes. While most parents do this, they are not always aware of the hidden dangers that may lurk in their homes. Keep an eye out for these three hidden dangers for babies in the home.

1. The Crib

Parents tend to think of cribs as the safest place their babies can be, but they can in fact be deadly. This is because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To reduce the risk of SIDS, never put any pillows, blankets or soft toys in the crib with your baby. Also, parents need to make sure to put their babies to sleep on their backs.

2. The Diaper-Changing Table

Babies can very easily roll off the table if you get distracted while changing their diapers. This can literally happen in seconds. Don’t ever leave your baby unattended on the diaper-changing table for even a moment.

3. Beware of Tripping

baby-safety-monthIf you trip while carrying your baby in your arms, the results could be tragic. Make sure that you remove rugs, stray cords and other tripping hazards from your home to prevent this disastrous situation from occurring.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. In order to prevent these tragic deaths be informed about child passenger safety laws. September is also the time of year when Child Passenger Safety Week occurs.

This year, Child Passenger Safety Week will be from September 18-24. On September 24, law enforcement officers nationwide will be checking that parents are using the correct safety devices to transport their children on National Seat Check Saturday. Make sure that you always use car seats correctly for your kids to keep them safe.

For questions regarding your Annapolis, MD home's plumbing, contact Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.

DIY Tips to Troubleshoot a Constantly Running Toilet

DIY Tips to Troubleshoot a Constantly Running Toilet

toilet-repair_480Are you tired of always hearing your toilet running? Is your constantly running toilet having a negative impact on your home routine?

As a homeowner, ensuring that your toilet is working reliably and efficiently should be a top priority.

While a running toilet may not seem like the most pressing plumbing problem, it’s just another example of something not working the way it should.

Before you call a plumber to repair your running toilet, try some of these DIY repair tips to get the toilet back on track:

Adjust the Fill Height

The fill valve controls the fill height. Different toilet models use varying mechanisms to control this. One method is with a ball cock. This is a floating component attached to an arm. When the toilet is flushed, the float is pushed down by the arm.

As the water fills back up in the tank, the float rises until it reaches the fill height at which point the toilet stops filling. The second method is a moveable cylinder that travels up and down the float valve when the toilet is flushed. After you flush, the cylinder travels down and then back up once water begins to fill. Once it reaches the fill height, it stops and the toilet stops filling with water.

If the fill height of your toilet itoilet-diagrams set too low, you will experience a constantly running toilet. A fill height set too high runs the risk of overflowing.

Make sure your fill height is set at a happy medium and your fill valves are working properly by flushing the toilet with the tank exposed and observing how these mechanisms are working.

Replace the Flapper

The flapper is a rubber flap that opens when the toilet is flushed and seals shut when the toilet refills with water. At times, the flapper may not seal properly or become worn-out and leak, causing the toilet to constantly run.

Make sure the flapper is sealing properly and not leaking by observing it as you flush. When the toilet is flushed, the flapper will open, allowing all the water to drain from the tank.

As the tank starts to fill up again, the flapper should fall back into place completely sealing the tank. If you notice ripples or ridges around the flapper or if you see water leaking from the flapper, it’s time to replace it. Another thing to check for is the length of chain attached to the flapper. If it’s too short, you may notice the flapper not sealing properly.

Check the Fill Tube

The fill tube is the mechanism that refills the tank once it’s been flushed. If the fill tube is leaking, your toilet will run all the time. Another issue to check when inspecting the fill tube is where the end of the tube is in connection to the water level. As a general rule, the end of the tube should always be above the water level to work correctly and keep the toilet from constantly running.

If you give these tips and tricks a try and your toilet is still running constantly, call the experts at Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD at (410) 268-7191 for a professional inspection and repair.

It's Back to School Time Already!

Getting Ready for Back to School

time-for-schoolPreparing to take the kids back to school in the fall is one of the most tiring and troublesome experiences a parent can go through.

There are so many little things to accomplish, such as buying new outfits, textbooks, backpacks, general school supplies, and reorganizing schedules around work and everyday life.

Most kids will not be ready and will simply not want to offer a helping hand with all of the tasks that need to be completed by the first day of school.

Savings/Budget

You should begin saving a bit of extra money ahead of time for the purchase of various school supplies. Most schools don't send home a list of what is needed, such as the books, notebooks, and pencils, until it is nearly time to return. This can be troublesome and downright headache-inducing for most parents.

The best option is to put aside a bit of money each month during the summer so when the time comes you already have the funds required to take the kids shopping.

Buying Supplies

back-in-the-classroomMost local big-name stores will offer the school supplies required for most children in the area. Large shopping chains set aside entire sections of their floor, including multiple aisles, for parents shopping for their children.

You can find brand new notebooks, three-ring binders, packs of markers, pencils, pens, and loose-leaf paper so kids can draw or write notes on. The items can be costly, so saving some money beforehand, as mentioned above, will be vital to heading back to school.

Organizing Your Schedules

This is especially important for those parents who have more than one child in their home heading back to school. Some schools, especially middle and high schools, tend to have different starting times. You must balance your time between dropping off your child before the bell rings and making it to work on-time each day. This can be a bit of a hassle at first, but once you really get into the swing of things, it should be much easier.

When possible, speak with your kids and find out who would be willing to ride the bus in the morning. If you have a school bus stop near your home, you can drop your child off on the way to work. Alternatively, you can have a family friend, or perhaps a neighbor, who also has a child heading to school, drop your kids off when they are passing by the area.

Heading back to school does not need to give you the headache that most people associate it with. Take a step back, take a quick breath, and write down exactly what needs to be done. This helpful advice is brought to you by Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD. For plumbing services call us at (410) 268-7191.

Details About the History of Plumbing in the Buildings of the Northeast

Details About the History of Plumbing in the Buildings of the Northeast

Today we take toilets, showers and indoor plumbing for granted, but it wasn’t that long ago that indoor plumbing was considered a luxury that few could afford. Plumbing really took off in America between 1929 and 1954 and is now a vital part of every modern home.

Here’s a brief recap of the plumbing history of America’s Northeast.bath-tub

The Early 1840s: Indoor Plumbing Reserved for the Wealthy

In the early 1840s, things such as running water, a toilet, a hot shower and a relaxing bath in an actual bathtub were simply inconceivable and out of reach for the vast majority of Americans. Only the wealthiest families and businesses could afford indoor plumbing.

This is due to the high cost of materials, labor and the fact that most houses were not designed with indoor plumbing in mind. Most people still used outhouses and privies. The Tremont Hotel in Boston has the distinction of being the first hotel with indoor plumbing, something truly luxurious for their patrons.

1842: The Game ­Changing Croton Aqueduct System

Manhattan, New York in the 1800’s was a busy and rapidly growing place but had a limited supply of clean, potable water. Most New Yorkers got water from wells, cisterns and small bodies of water. However, these water sources soon became polluted and clean, accessible water was desperately needed.

In 1837, construction began on the aqueduct. In 1842, the Croton Aqueduct System officially opened and forever changed modern plumbing history by supplying buildings with running water from the Croton River and into water reservoirs in urban Manhattan approximately 40 miles away.

While this made life a bit easier, there still was no system to remove waste water.

Mid 1850s: New Homes Designed with Separate Indoor Bathrooms

traditional-wellPreviously, if you had to do your business, you had to literally go outdoors to an outhouse. From 1845 to 1850 systems were finessed to efficiently remove sewage away from buildings.

Now all the parts of the equation have come together to allow more affordable and sustainable indoor bathrooms in American homes.

Many unused bedrooms at the time were transformed into an indoor bathroom, and demand dictated that all new homes be built with separate indoor bathrooms.

1870s: Pipes of Wooden Logs

It may seem unfathomable that hollowed tree logs were still used at this time to transport potable water and sewage waste, but this was the case. Wooden logs were also an effective way to convey water to fight fires.

These wooden pipes were often attached to city mains in strategic places throughout the city to aid firefighters. It wasn’t until the 1960s that copper tubing became commonly used in American homes.

Since 1947, Heidler, Inc., a family ­owned and operated plumbing company, has been proudly serving Annapolis, MD. Are you tired of hidden fees and unknown costs? At Heidler, we like to keep things simple which is why we use flat fees. Book an appointment today by calling us at (410) 268-­7191.

July is UV Awareness Month!

July is UV Awareness Month!

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the leading cause of skin cancer. July is UV Awareness Month. During this month make sure to take action to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage.

How to Prepare for UV Awareness Month

Too much sunlight can cause several long-term health conditions:

  • Visual Impairment
  • A weakened immune system
  • Wrinkles and sunburns
  • Skin cancer

Prevent Getting Sunburned

Summertime means spending more time outside enjoying the nice hot air. Make sure to check the local UV index before spendinapplying-sunscreeng time at the pool, going to the park, or even enjoying a walk with your Pokemon Go.

Check your sunscreen to make sure the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is between 30 and 50; no one wants burnt skin. Always apply sunscreen lotion 15 minutes before going outside. You will need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Protect your eyes from the sun.

Sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays on sunny days. If you are indoors sitting near a window, you should still wear sunglasses. Too much exposure to UV light can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Only wear sunglasses that offer UV protection.

What is the hottest time of the day?

You should avoid sitting in direct sunlight between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. You need to wear sunscreen throughout the year, and you need to apply sunscreen more often if you are swimming or sweating.

Some sunscreen lotions are waterproof, but you should still apply more sunscreen whenever you get out of the pool.

For summer tips with your home’s plumbing, call Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD at (410) 268-7191. A friendly customer service representative can assist you.

 

Should I Get the Plumbing Checked Out in My Future Home?

Why You Should Get a Plumbing Inspection Before Buying a New Home

When you buy a new home, you have to make sure that it is in proper condition. While the house may look shiny and new from the outside, there may be a myriad of problems that will go undetected unless you look for them.

Therefore, you need to make sure that you do a thorough plumbing inspection to make sure that you know about the problems a home may face or not face before you close on the purchase.

Check the Water Heater

checking-a-water-heaterGetting hot water is more than just turning the faucet and waiting for the water to warm up. Instead, it is heated in a large tank that is located in your basement or some other out of the way part of the home.

If there are any problems with this tank, you will either get lukewarm water or you will not get hot water at all.

This can make it impossible to take a shower, wash dishes or boil water for cooking. In addition to a lack of hot water, a faulty water heater can cause flooding in your basement. Water damage that isn't taken care of immediately can allow mold and mildew to grow throughout the home. It can also cause cracks in the home's foundation that may cause the home to tilt.

Finally, a water heater that is under too much pressure could actually rocket its way out of your home. It will go through all of the floors above it, through the roof and could land almost anywhere causing extensive damage to your yard or a neighbor's house.

The good news is that checking the water heater only takes a few minutes, and replacing it only costs a few hundred dollars. They generally last for 10 years and come with a warranty that will protect your investment for the next several years.

Make Sure the Toilet Works

When inspecting a home, take a few seconds to flush the toilet. This will help you verify that there is appropriate water pressure throughout the home. It will also prove that the pipes work properly and that there are no clogs or backups to deal with. If you notice any roots or other debris inside the toilet itself, you may need to remove them and do a more thorough check.

flush-the-toiletRoots could grow throughout the piping in your home and extend all the way to the septic tank or wherever the sewage drains away from your property. As putting in new pipes or replacing your septic tank could cost thousands of dollars, it is important that you know about this issue ahead of time.

Should there be an issue with the toilet or the pipes going to and from it, you should ensure that the matter will be resolved before agreeing to buy the home.

Check for Discolored Water

Water that is not clear when it comes out of your faucet or does not appear clear inside of the toilet could be a sign of a mineral problem. The good news is that discolored water due to mineral issues will not pose a health problem. However, that assumes that you simply have a buildup of magnesium or iron in the water.

Another possibilitydiscolored-water is that your pipes are rusted or breaking down and are releasing minerals into the water. This may be a sign that you need to replace your pipes to ensure proper water flow.

Older pipes are at a higher risk for freezing or exploding. Pipes that have cracks or any kind of structural defects may also be at an increased risk for leaks or other problems.

To get rid of the discoloration, you may need to install a water softener that will dissolve or get rid of the minerals. Over time, you should see the color go back to normal when you take a shower or turn on your faucet. If the problem lingers, you may want to consider replacing your pipes.

Improper pipe construction can lead to serious issues.

If there are gaps between individual pipes, cracks in one or more pipes or pipes are not securely attached to each other, you may see leaks throughout the home. While the leaks you can see can be fixed with ease, there may be leaks and drips in areas behind walls or within insulated areas that you cannot see.

Unless you look for and fix those issues, you can't be certain that you aren't providing an environment for termites, carpenter ants or other pests to physically eat your home from the inside out.

Prior to buying a home, make sure that you give it a proper inspection, which includes looking at the pipes inside of the property. If there is discolored water, the toilet doesn't work, or the water heater is having issues, you may want to work with the owner to figure out who pays for replacing those components.

Even if you have to pay for that work to be done for you, at least you are now aware of it and can make the fixes before the problem gets worse.

To get a plumbing inspection of a potential home in Annapolis, MD contact Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.

3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

3 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is on its way, and many people are ready to celebrate by opening their pools and having parties. Celebrating this day is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Here are some tips to make your summer celebration a success:

1) What is the Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice is the official first day of summer. It is also the longest day of the year and occurs between June 20-23 (according to the Gregorian calendar). In 2016, it will be celebrated on June 20th. There are many cultures that place a sacred significance on this day. It was seen as a day when the sun was reborn and gave most of its light to benefit the crops. It was celebrated with banquets, bonfires, and special gifts. There are still many groups, such as Wiccans, who have celebrations for the Summer Solstice.

 


2) Bonfire Tips

After braving the cold of a long winter, it is fun to celebrate the warmth of summer. You can make this year’s summer solstice a fun celebration with family and friends. What better way to celebrate than with an old-fashioned bonfire! The ancients believed that the fire honored the sun and warded off any evil spirits. Just make sure you do it in a place where building fires is not forbidden by local ordinances.

The ideal place for a bonfire is away from buildings, trees, and anything else that can catch fire. Find a spot and gather up some wood. Rather than just throw the wood in a pile, set it upright until it looks like a wooden teepee. Take smaller branches and paper to make kindling. Avoid using hazardous fire-accelerating fuels. Once the fire gets started, you can feed it larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Never leave a bonfire unattended and be sure to watch children around it.

Set the bonfire on the evening of the solstice, when the outside temperature is cooler and the fire can be seen better. Many people have hot dogs to roast over the fire; however, you can grill any type of food that you prefer. You can put meat and veggies on a skewer and have delicious kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can stick to grilling vegetables and even fruit. The classic dessert is grilled marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores!

3) Watch the Sunset / Sunrise

Another tradition is to celebrate the solstice all night. Your family and guests can watch the glorious sunset on June 20th and stay up to watch the sunrise. You can play games and tell ghost stories around the fire. If you like, you can hand out small party favors to remember the day. Just be careful to watch the fire and put it out completely with water when you are done.

Since you may be opening your pool on this day, it would be a good time to check your plumbing. Call Heidler, Inc., in Annapolis, MD, at (410) 268-7191.