Posts tagged ‘Home Service Corp.’

20 Spring Tips for your home’s plumbing, heating, cooling

With a brutal winter coming to an end, spring is here. Although it is early to do some of these things, the list will help you prepare for summer and much warmer weather. Here are several tips to safe energy and unexpected surprises from your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems.

AC UnitYour Heating & Cooling System

 As the snow melts away and you can again see that air conditioning unit in your backyard, clean debris, weeds, leaves, and branches   from around the unit.

        If you have a cover on your unit, be sure to remove it, wash it and store for next winter use.

     As the temperatures warm, use a car polish and wax on the painted surfaces of your air conditioning unit to keep the finish from deteriorating.

3.      If the unit is out of level, gently level it so it will operate properly.

4.      If you shut the unit off, energize it by turning on the circuit breaker or replacing the fuse block. Don’t immediately start the unit up but allow a day for the system to “warm up”.

5.      Replace the filter in your furnace. When you are in air conditioning mode, the blower will be operating at a higher speed and needs to move more air to cool your home. A dirty filter is one of the issues that can quickly cause unit failure.

6.      Reset the humidifier for warmer temperatures. Check your owner’s manual for instructions.

7.      If you have a pump for condensate from the inside air conditioning coil, be sure it is plugged in.

8.      Check the point where the refrigerant lines enter the home for openings that may need to be caulked to prevent critters or outside air into the house. If you have a high efficiency furnace that vents to the side of your home, also check here for openings that may need caulking.

9.      If you have not reset your setback thermostat for daylight saving time, put out the manual and do it now.

       Finally the most important tip to assure you air conditioning system is in tiptop operating condition, call us today and schedule a spring tune-up by a qualified technician.

Sump PumpYour Plumbing System

1.      Turn the water back on to outside spigots and careful check for any damage to the waterlines from freezing.

2.      Remove the cover of your sump pump pit (if you have a sump pump) and check to be sure debris or sand are not interfering with the pump intake.

3.      Also check the piping from the pump to the outside of your home for damage.

4.      Check the piping from your sump pump to be sure it wasn’t damaged from snow, ice or shoveling during the winter.

5.      Run your backup sump pump system to be sure it will operate properly if needed.

6.      Consider adding a backup sump pump system to your existing system if you don’t have one. With lots of melting snow this is an important item.

7.      Make sure your down spouts are set to put melting snow from your roof or spring rain away from the home so the sump pump will not have to operate as often.

8.      Check the point where the sump pump line leaves the home for openings that may need to be caulked to prevent critters or outside air into the house.  Also check for openings around the outside spigots that may need caulking.

9.      Call us to schedule your plumbing repairs or a complete system inspection and evaluation.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Duck Tape or Duct Tape?

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Duct Tape Prom Outfits

Duct tape has become a household staple for repairs of all sorts. There is hardly an adult who hasn’t used it at some time or another to fix something flapping, broken or loose. In fact the interest in duct tape has become so large that Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys have written numerous books, give speeches, and have a website all about duct tape. There is such a cult following of duct tape fans that their books have sold over 1.5 million copies.

Many agree that adhesive tape, the fore runner of duct tape was invented in the 1920’s by 3M Company researchers led by Richard Drew. I’m not sure what people did before adhesive tape was invented. During World War II, the American military needed a strong, waterproof tape to keep moisture out of ammunition cases. You have heard the phrase, “You need to your powder dry.” A really important issue when you’re starring into the eyes of your enemy. Being waterproof, everyone referred to it as “duck” tape. This versatile tape became the universal “tool” that could be ripped by hand and used to make quick repairs to jeeps, aircraft, and other military equipment. Johnson and Johnson Company which had developed its own line of adhesive tapes, helped the war effort by combining cloth mesh (which rips easily) with a rubber-based adhesive, and then gave that combination of rubberized, waterproof coating.

Following the war, housing in the United States boomed, and many new homes featured forced-air heating and air-conditioning units that relied on duct work to distribute warmth and coolness. The strong military tape made the perfect material for binding and repairing duct work. By changing the color of the tape’s rubberized top coat from Army green to sheet metal gray, “duct” tape was born. Today this type of tape is no longer acceptable to seal or connect ductwork.

Duct tape consists of 3 layers. The top layer is a resilient plastic (Polyethylene). The middle layer is a fabric mesh, which facilitates tearing. And the bottom layer is a rubber-based adhesive.

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Duct Tape Moon Rover Fix

The 3 layers are pressed together during manufacture. Duct tape is commonly used in situations where a strong, flexible adhesive is required, especially where exposure to the elements is a concern. But over the years it has been used for a multitude of more zany situations including:

– repairing flat tires

– making men and women’s clothing

– restraining unruly prisoners

– Forts, costumes and toys for kids

– making tennis balls behave like cricket balls

– as a temporary bandage

– temporarily repairing spacecraft.

It now comes in hundreds of colors and patterns including your favorite team’s logos. What are some of the unique ways you have used duct tape?

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Pros & Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

There has been a lot of hype in the last few years about replacing

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Which Saves you Money?

a home’s tank type water heater with a tankless style heater. For many homes and homeowners it is a great alternative. They are compact and they can provide continuous hot water for those using a lot of water. There is little energy loss from a tank filled with hot water. Many are very energy efficient during operation. Perhaps the reason many get them is it’s the newest and greatest (at least by the advertising hype).

Let’s take a look at things to consider when you need to replace your existing tank or decide to replace your existing tank.

Installation Cost

Most tankless heaters require a natural gas line to them as does your tank type heater. The difference is the tankless requires a supply of gas about 6 times that of your tank type of heater in order to provide a continuous supply of hot water. That does not mean it uses 6 times as much gas it just uses it over a shorted time. This being the case, often the piping from the gas meter to the tankless heater must be increased in size which requires much more in materials and labor.

The high efficiency tankless heaters vent the flue gases out through plastic piping not through the chimney. In some cases, especially condominiums, there is not a practical way to do this. If it can be done once again additional labor and materials are required.

Older tank type heaters do not require an electrical power supply. The tankless type heater will require an electrical power supply which may add cost.

Installed cost will typically be 3-5 times the cost of a tank type water heater. It could easily take 20+ years to overcome the installation costs and receive a payback.

Instantaneous Hot Water

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Tankless Installation

The burners of a tankless water heater come on in seconds of the call for hot water. There is hot water leaving the tank but that does not mean instant hot water at the faucet. If the faucet is a distance away from the tankless heater, you will still have a wait for hot water. This can be overcome with a tankless or tank type water heater by installing a recirculation system. This is an additional expense to either water heating system.

If you turn on a faucet at a very low hot water flow, a tankless heater may not sense it and cause the unit to fire providing hot water as needed.

Maintenance

Tank type water heaters require very little maintenance over a life of 6- 12 years. Ever those with power vent units are quite simple. A tankless heater has some sophisticated controls and systems inside of the unit which could be very costly to repair.

Another issue can come into play with the heat exchanger of a tankless heater. The passages for the water to flow through can be narrow. Mineral build up in these passages can cause them to malfunction and require extensive service. This is especially true in areas with hard water conditions or other mineral content in the water supply.

Uniqueness

Each home and family is unique. Their needs are unique. We install a variety of hot water heating systems to meet these unique needs. We can help you decide which system will best meet your family’s needs.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Pro or What-to-be?

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A toolbox full of tools does not make a Professional

With the slower economy over the past several years, many jobs have been eliminated with the unemployed or under employed looking for additional sources of income. Additionally teachers, firemen, and policemen have had schedules that allow them to have a second career. Some believe that they have the skills of a professional and decide they can be as effective as a professional in a repair or installation project. To be perfectly frank, they often can do many of the simpler tasks a professional Plumber, Air Conditioning/Heating Technician, or Electrician can do. But then again, we have followed behind many “simple” tasks that have been totally messed up by a handyman.

I am always amazed how a parent will look out for the safety of their children in many ways but look to save a buck and jeopardize the safety of their family in other ways. Most parents wouldn’t think of buying a black-market car seat for their small child. They wouldn’t consider a cheap bike helmet for their son or daughter. They wouldn’t buy milk or fruit that was not pasteurized or free of pesticides. They don’t shop for the cheapest tutor or coach. Yet when they have someone make a repair to a faucet that could scald a child, a heating system that uses natural gas as the fuel, or a circuit that needs to be properly grounded, they will have someone with little or no experience do the work just to save a dollar.

So what makes the difference between a handyman and a professional?

·        The definition of a professional from Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill”.

·        The definition of a Handyman from Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “a person (especially a man) who is skillful at doing small jobs (such as household repairs)”.

That’s quite a difference. Each of these trades requires hours of classroom training, years of working with a master, testing and ongoing training. The time frame to become a master in these trades is at least 5 years of work and study. Many have associates degrees or full bachelor degrees in business and construction. Their experiences of working in hundreds of homes similar to yours help them quickly and effectively diagnose the problem and often offer a variety of solutions. They back their work and will solve the issue to your satisfaction.Home Service Corp.

As Glenn Haege, The Master Handyman, often says, ”The best tool in your tool box is often your checkbook, call the professional.”

We have professionals ready to meet your needs Call us today to be assured of a successful outcome.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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“Mom, Our basement stinks!”

Home Service Corp. Plumbing

Finished Basement

Have you ever had an offensive odor in your home that you just could not find the source? Have you been able to determine it’s coming from the basement? From time to time we receive a call from a homeowner wanting us to send a Technician out to check into “a bad” odor in their home emanating from their basement.

The customer tells our Customer Service Rep that they have checked to be sure the dog or cat has not left a surprise for them in the basement. A search of the basement has not come up with a dead critter of some sort either. The children didn’t have an issue and put soiled clothing in the basement laundry basket, and the husband didn’t drop his sweaty gym clothes or sports equipment in the basement. The customer has tried covering up the odor with one of those new sprays but to no avail.

So we send a Technician out to the home to check out the situation and determine if there is a plumbing problem. When the Tech arrives, he will ask several questions of the homeowner to help him hone in on the source of the customer’s problem. Although the customer may have told the Customer Service Rep on the phone, the Tech will ask questions to be sure he fully understands the customer’s need and clarify any information he received from the office.

As the Tech begins his investigation of the odor, he will check into all the plumbing in the basement. An unfinished basement is often much easier to check since walls, floors, and ceilings are exposed and the plumbing can be traced. The Tech will check the drain piping for leaks and possible cracks. If there is a laundry area or a bathroom in the basement it will also be checked for cracked or leaking piping. The drain traps for each of these will be inspected to be sure there is water sealing each of the traps. If the trap is dry, sewer gases can escape from the system and enter the home causing the noxious odor. Although the Technician is not a general contractor or mold inspector, he/she would look for signs of mold near plumbing fixtures and other common mold occurring areas of the basement. Some forms of mold can have noticeable smells which we find offensive and could be a health hazard. The Technician would also check to be sure drain cleanouts plugs are in place and sealing the system and he/she would check the floor drains to be sure they have a good water seal in them.

Home Service Corp. Plumbing

Typical Trap

Many of these possible causes will require the expertise of a plumber or specialty contractor to solve, but a simple solution is often to add 2-3 cups of water to the floor drains in the basement on a monthly basis. This should also be done if there are plumbing fixtures that are rarely used in the basement since the water seals in the traps for those may dry up allowing sewer gas to escape into the home. Occasionally we find a floor drain trap that has rusted through the piping and requires the floor drain to be replaced.

If you have checked everything out without finding the source of the odor, give us a call. We can help.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Ouch! Is That Your Utility Bill?

HomeServiceCorp.comWith the cold snap or should I say cold couple of months, you may have been surprised by your gas and electric bill. If you have upgraded your furnace or boiler in the last year or so to a high efficiency unit, your bills have probably been a surprise at how much smaller they were than what you had expected. If you opened the gas and electric bill and you have not upgraded your furnace or boiler in a number of years or not at all, you were probably shocked at how expensive it was to heat your home with that old unit.

Some will say just turn down the thermostat to say 60 or 65 degrees and deal with it. Wrap up in two or three more layers and just look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. There are those that choose to do this or are forced by economic changes, but for most of us, it is truly a reduction in comfort and standard of living.

When the first and second generation of high efficiency furnaces and boilers hit the market, we were all excited about the energy savings. What we were not ready for was the high cost of repairs in these newly designed systems. Fortunately, the models available from quality manufactures today have reduced this problem for consumer and we even have longer term warranties available if something does occur.

Many furnace and boiler models today can reduce the electrical energy consumption by over fifty percent with super-efficient motors. Unit operating noise has been reduced to “whisper quiet”. Equipment comfort levels have been increase by reducing temperature swing with the occupied spaces. Many furnace cabinets are insulated to save additional energy and reduce noise.Home Service Corp. installs furnaces and Air Conditioning

Additionally, comfort today can be increased by high efficiency humidifiers which add moisture to the air to give your home a better environment for your family. Specialty air filtering can be added to remove, dust, pollen, spores, and pet dander from the air in your home. Ultraviolet lights can be used to reduce bacteria and germs in the air.

Even if you are on a tight budget, we can install a new high efficiency furnace or boiler which will save on both your gas and electric usage….saving you money. For many homes this added comfort and energy savings can be achieved for less than $5.00 a day. Contact us for details of the financing plans, terms and to see if you qualify for this financing.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Resolution Time!

 Home Service Corp. HeatingWe all make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to get fit, to stop a bad habit, or some other “life changing” promise to ourselves. Here are some activities to put on your calendar that will save you money and improve your health!

Your heating and air conditioning system heats, colds, humidifies, cleans, and moves air around your home. With some simple steps you can have a cleaner, more comfortable, safer, home and save money. These are always good resolutions to add to your list. Here is a simple tip on an easy way to accomplish these resolutions.

On that new calendar or on that new tablet or smart phone calendar do the following:

·        Put in a task to once a month check the filter on your furnace. If it is dirty, change it out every month. If it is clean check it again the following month. A dirty filter can cause your increase your furnace blower motor to work harder thus using more electricity..

·        Put in a task to check and clean the humidifier once a month during the heating season. Soak the pad in a 50% vinegar/water solution overnight and rinse with water. Replace the pad at least once during the heating season. The build-up of minerals will decrease the effectiveness of the humidifier. This reduces comfort and causes more hours of humidifier operation which costs you money. Also open the humidifier bypass damper at the beginning of the heating season along with the water supply valve. At the beginning of the cooling season close the humidifier bypass and shutoff the water supply to the humidifier. If you have UV light check it for proper operation.

·        While you are doing the things mentioned above, be sure no “stuff” is stored within a foot of the furnace or water heater. If there are flammables nearby, be sure to get them out of the house! A malfunction of the furnace or water heater can quickly cause a major fire if flammables or combustibles are nearby.

·        Mark April to call for a service call by a professional to safety and operational check your air conditioner before the season of hot weather is here. When your system is properly adjusted, it saves you money and provides better comfort.

·        Mark August to schedule a fall safety and operational check on your furnace. Every fall hundreds of people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly operating furnaces.

·        Put in a task to check the air conditioning unit monthly during the warm months for weeds, leaves, cottonwood or other debris that can partially clog the intake of the air conditioning unit and reduce efficiency and the life of the unit.

·        Put a task on the first day of spring and the first day of fall to replace the batteries on your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector. Also check for operation. If they are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced.

·        While you are changing out batteries on your smoke detectors, also change out the batteries on your thermostat if needed. Check the manual for instructions. Also remember the clock on the thermostat may need to be changed when we “spring ahead” or “fall back” to be sure you have you program operating properly on your thermostat.

That new smart phone or tablet can be used for more than just games. Home Service Corp. CoolingIt can remind you of the simple tasks needed to assure comfort, safety and energy saving in your home this coming year.

Happy New Year for all of us to you and your family!

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Ouch! It’s Too Hot!

Home Service Corp Water HeatersThere is no easy answer to the how hot your water should be. It depends. It depends on the makeup of the family, the usage of the family, and safety for the family.

When I say safety, this is a two way street. If you look at the chart below, you can see it does not take a high temperature to cause burns especially for the elderly and the young. On the other hand water that is too cool can cause Legionnaire’s disease to form in the water. When a person is exposed to the vapor or water droplets the disease can form in their lungs as pneumonia. Each of these consequences are dire for a family. So what is the best option for the average family?

Let’s look at what the maximum temperature at a faucet where a child, an elderly individual or an adult may be scalded. These would be shower, bathtub, and combination bathtub/shower faucets. Very few faucets with separate hot and cold handles can be set for a maximum temperature so the solution for these would be to replace the faucet with a single handle faucet with a temperature limit built into it. The temperature limit must be set for each home since the incoming water temperature to the faucet can vary. The maximum temperature should be set below 120° F, preferably at 115° F. The faucet should also have at least a pressure balance feature. This feature reduces the flow of hot water when it senses a reduction of flow from the cold water supply. This could be caused by a toilet flush, a faucet turned on to cold, or a sprinkler operating.

Sinks do not require a maximum temperature on residential applications since higher temperatures may be desired and the thought is that a person could quickly remove their hands from the flow of water if it was extremely hot. In commercial application the code requires a maximum temperature of 120° F at sinks to protect handicap individuals. If you have a concern or a need to control the hot water temperature at a sink, there are controls which can be installed at individual sinks.

If you keep your water heater at 130° F or lower you are increasing the chances of Legionnaire’s Disease developing within the tank or piping. A water heater set at 120° F can have water inside of it as low as 100° F. The Department of Energy recommends 120° F set point but OSHA recommends 140° F to minimize the formation of the Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria.

Table of Hot Water Scalding Temperatures & Times

Water Temperature Setting

Exposure Time

Effects of Exposure to Hot water at These Temperatures

Water at 100°   F or below See safety   note. Most   water heaters are unlikely to scald an adult occupant;
Water at 120°   F 5 minutes 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 130°   F 30 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 140°   F 5 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 150°   F 1 1/2 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 160°   F 1/2 second 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Safety Note:   Hot Water Scald Burn Warning for Infants, Children, Elderly: great care must be taken when   exposing infants or children to warm or hot water as they can be badly burned   quickly and at shorter exposure times.
Source: A.O. Smith

Our recommendation is to set you tank at a temperature no higher than 140° F also be sure your shower and bathtub faucets are set at 115° F as the maximum temperature. This will provide reasonable protection from scalding and Legionnaire’s Disease. As stated above, if you still have concerns about sink faucet temperatures, a control can be added to the sinks in your home.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.comHome Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

Am I in Trouble Now?

Home Service Corp.There are a lot of scary things we must do in life. Some of these include going to the dentist, getting a shot, starting a new job, or having a stranger in the house! When you call for service on your furnace or air conditioning system, you may be calling a stranger to come into your home. Day in and day out there is an article, a television sting, a report on customers being taken advantage of by poorly trained, unethical heating, air conditioning, plumbing or electrical service technicians. Before you have a company into your home you always want to find out some keep things about the company and the Technician that is coming out.

Here are some of the things you should check on:

  • Does the company have liability and workers comp insurance
  • What are their customers saying about them
  • Have they been in business for a number of years
  • Do they list an address for their place of business
  • What do your friends or neighbors say about the company
  • What does the web say about them
  • Are their trucks well marked
  • Do the Technicians go through drug testing and background checks
  • Can I get information about the Technician coming to my home before hand

That last item brings up some interesting facts that you should know. Plumbers and Electricians are licensed by the State of Michigan and are required to have a journeyman’s level of expertise for most work but there is no classification for a Journeyman Heating or Air Conditioning Technician. The leaders within the industry recognized this and set up the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program.

NATE is a testing program which requires a Technician to have a substantial amount of classroom and field experience to become certified in an area of the heating and air conditioning industry. There are about a dozen different classifications in which a Technician can become certified. The certification is only good for five years then the Technician must retest or have at least 60 hours of approved training. This is to assure the Technician is competent in the newer technologies since the changes have been coming rapidly in these fields. The need for higher efficiency furnaces and air conditioning equipment,  the greater need for indoor air quality measures, the protection of the environment from refrigerants, and the use of electronic controls within the equipment and system controls has made the simple heating and cooling of a home far more complicated than just 10 years ago.Home Service Corp.

So you want to be sure the Technician coming to your home to service your heating or air conditioning system or installing a new system has the NATE certification. We provide information about the Technicians we are sending to your home in a variety of ways. Our Customer Service Department can provide that over the telephone. We can email information to you before the Technician arrives. We also have information about our Technicians on our website for you to review. We are constantly training our Technicians and upgrading their customer service and technical skills so you don’t need to be scared of who is coming into your home.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.comHome Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

Lead in Your Water?

Beginning in 2014, all piping, valves, fittings, and faucets used in drinking water systems must be lead-free that are used for water consumed by humans in the United States. What are the issues and what has already been done to protect the public? First, let’s look at the history of lead and drinking water.

History of Lead and Drinking Water

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Old Lead Water Pipe

The definition of a plumber is a person who works with water pipes, once made from lead, or with lead solder for the joints. The Romans used lead pipes, and the word plumber comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. There is no Latin, or even Indo-European, etymology for plumbum but it bears a distant similarity to the Greek word for lead. Some historians believe the decline of the Roman Empire was as least partially caused by the abundant use of lead in piping, eating utensils, pots, pans and other uses. This is still an ongoing controversy. Lead piping was used for 2,000 plus years for drinking water distribution. Lead was used for solder to connect copper piping when copper replaced lead in pipe material primarily due to cost.

The Issue

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.”

What has already been done?

Prior to the 1960’s lead was often used for the water line from the city main into the home. In 1986 lead based solder for joining copper piping was banned. In 1988 all piping and fixtures were required to be lead free which required them to contain less that 8% lead content. So we have already had a significant reduction in the use of lead in our water supply system within a home. At present lead is either present in the systems of older homes or in the valves and faucets used in homes. Those valves and faucets are made of brass which is an excellent material for this use when lead in the amount of 2% is added to the copper and zinc to improve the machinability. This is the area that lead is required to be removed from the drinking water distribution system.

What is being done?

Manufactures of valves and fittings and faucets are approaching this challenge in several ways. Some are lining the water way through the valve, fitting or faucet with epoxies, plastics, stainless steel and other materials which are completely lead free. Some are building their products out of other materials such as plastic or stainless steel. Others are changing the components of the brass they are using to eliminate the lead content.

How can I reduce lead in drinking water at home?

If you have a lead water service in your home, replacement would be the very best option to reduce the chances of lead leeching into your drinking water supply. You will have valves, fittings and faucets in your home which will contain very small amounts of lead. Having your water tested would be a reasonable option.

If these are not options because of cost or other obstacles then flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for consumption. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer. Your water utility will inform you if longer flushing times are needed to respond to local conditions. As lead piping ages there is often a coating of calcium carbonate which provides significant protection from lead leeching into the water.

Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. The two actions recommended above are very important to the health of your family. They will probably be effective in reducing lead levels because most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply.

In lieu of replacing the hazardous parts of a plumbing system, there are several methods of treating water to make it less corrosive, or to remove lead from water. Water filtration may be a help to treat water to make it less corrosive, including:

  • Calcite filters
  • Carbon cartridge filters
  • Ion exchange resin cartridge filters
  • Activated alumina cartridge filters

Lead removal devices are typically applied individually to faucets and are not 100% effective, but can usually remove at least 85% of lead from a water system. They may employ such methods as:

  • Reverse osmosis
  • Distillation
  • Carbon filters

These procedures may not be appropriate for your plumbing system; you should consult us to make sure these measures are sufficient to reduce the lead content to acceptable levels before implementing them.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation Celebrating since 1980 serving our Michigan customers’ Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.