Deans Home Services | Minnesota's Premier Home Services Company

10 Ways to Stop Pipes From Freezing

Category: Plumbing

Winter in Minnesota can be beautiful, but it can also be harsh on your plumbing. When temperatures dip below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze, expanding and potentially causing them to burst. This not only creates a need for frozen pipe repair, but it can also lead to water damage. There are steps you can take to stop pipes from freezing in Minnesota’s cold weather. Here are some tips and DIY ideas:

Icicle on pipe from an article from Dean's Home Services about stopping pipes from freezing

How to Stop Pipes from Freezing

Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature both during the day and at night. A sudden drop in temperature can cause your pipes to freeze, so it’s important to keep the temperature consistent.

Keep your garage doors closed. If your pipes are located in your garage, make sure to keep the doors closed to protect them from the cold.

Insulate your pipes. Exposed pipes are more likely to freeze, so make sure to insulate any pipes that are located in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic or basement. You can use heat tape, foam pipe insulation, or even old towels to wrap around your pipes and keep them warm.

Allow faucets to drip. When the temperature outside is very cold, allow your faucets to drip slightly. This can help prevent your pipes from freezing by keeping a small amount of water moving through them.

Keep your cabinet doors open. If your pipes are located in your kitchen or bathroom, keep the cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around them.

Seal air leaks. Drafty windows and doors can let in cold air, which can cause your pipes to freeze. Make sure to seal any air leaks in your home to keep the cold out.

Disconnect your garden hoses. Before the winter weather arrives, make sure to disconnect any garden hoses from your outside faucets. This will prevent any water left in the hose from freezing and expanding, which can cause your pipes to burst.

ice in frozen pipe

Use heat lamps. If you have pipes located in a particularly cold area of your home, such as a crawl space, you can use heat lamps to keep them warm. Just be sure to use the lamps safely and keep them away from flammable materials.

Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature even when you’re not home. If you’re going on vacation during the winter, make sure to set your thermostat to the same temperature as when you’re home. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing while you’re away.

Know where your main water shut-off valve is located. In the event that your pipes do freeze and burst, you’ll need to shut off the water quickly to prevent any further damage. Make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is located so you can act quickly.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your pipes from freezing in Minnesota’s cold weather. However, even if you take all of these precautions, there’s still a chance that your pipes could freeze. If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, you should call a local plumber with Dean’s Home Services. A Dean’s Minneapolis plumber can assess and take the appropriate steps to thaw your pipes safely and prevent them from bursting.

Frozen pipes can be a major headache in Minnesota’s cold winters. But by taking some simple precautions, you can help prevent your pipes from freezing and save yourself a lot of time, money, and stress.

Homeowners who need to install a new plumbing fixtures such as a bathroom shower head or kitchen sink faucet should do their homework first to avoid wasting time and money or encountering unexpected problems. A kitchen or bathroom remodeling can be a major home project.

Use these tips from Plumbers with Dean’s Home Services if you’re looking to update, upgrade or just replace plumbing fixtures in your home.

Kitchen sink plumbing fixture

Plumbing Fixtures What You Should Know

Measure and Compare

It’s easy to think a particular plumbing fixture looks similar in size and shape to what you are already using just by eyeballing it. But take the time to accurately measure the fixture you’re looking to replace. If you can, take it with you when you go shopping so you can compare style, color, and size.

Invest in the Best

Buying quality plumbing fixtures rather than the most economical on the market is a smart investment. Quality brand name fixtures are built to be more durable and will last longer than cheap fixtures that can not only break easily but can also cause extensive water damage that represents an additional expense you didn’t expect.

Do Some Comparison Shopping

Avoid buying fixtures in a hurry because it pays to shop around. The local big box store may be convenient, but these stores may not offer the best in quality and pricing. Your local plumbing supply store can prove to be a great resource for finding the widest variety of fixtures available from top-name quality brands.

Dean’s Home Service Plumbing services works with local suppliers and have access to quality plumbing products from companies like Moën, Kohler and many more.

Dean’s plumber replacing plumbing fixture

Know What Functions You Need

In your search for just the right plumbing fixture, it’s easy to get confused and quickly become overwhelmed by the variety of supplies out there. Take a minute to jot down features of the fixture that are important to you, such as a double rather than single handle on a kitchen faucet, or a shower head that allows you to change the speed of the water pressure being dispensed.

Stay Energy Efficient

Plumbing fixture replacement offers the perfect time to install a part that can help represent energy savings for your household. Look for fixtures that carry a good Energy Star rating. Features on toilets and faucets such as high efficiency and low flow can help reduce your monthly energy costs.

Copper plumbing fixtures

Update Kitchen and Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures Without A Complete Renovation

You don’t need to gut your bathroom and remodel it from the ground up in order to get a trendy look. You can do this by simply swapping out the fixtures in the space, which is something that you can do yourself with relative ease. This is because plumbing fixtures are generally easy to remove, especially if you have an older home or one that was built before modern technology became standard.

When you’re thinking about what type of fixture you want, consider whether or not you want a more traditional or modern look for the space. If so, then a good place to start is by looking at some online images of bathrooms—this will give you ideas on what styles might work best given your needs (e.g., water pressure). Then compare those pictures against each other until one jumps out at YOU! If you need additional help, many supply houses have designers able to assist with ideas and advice.

In the final analysis, you can save yourself time and money when replacing plumbing fixtures by relying on Dean’s Home Services to get the job done right. We install only quality brand name fixtures built for durability and energy efficiency. Call us today for a no-obligation free estimate.

Four Reasons to Upgrade to a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re looking for a way to save money and help the environment, installing a tankless water heater is an excellent option. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than traditional heaters because they don’t need to store hot water in their tanks, which means that they can provide instant hot water at any time. If you’re interested in upgrading your home’s current traditional water heater, here are four reasons why it’s worth it:

Four Great Benefits that Tankless Water Heaters have to offer

  1. Instant hot water
  2. Never run out of hot water
  3. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient than tank-type water heaters
  4. Tankless water heaters save you money on your utility bills
Woman after shower

Save money

The first benefit of upgrading to a tankless water heater is saving money. The most obvious way to save money is by saving on your electric bill, but you can also save money on your gas bill. After installation by quality Plumbers, you will see an immediate reduction in your monthly utility bills as well as a longer-term decrease in costs over time.

You’ll immediately see a reduction in your electric bill since the amount of electricity used depends on how much hot water you use and how often it’s used. With a traditional tankless unit, each time anyone turns on their faucet or flushes their toilet there’s some heat loss due to expansion; this means that more electricity is required for heating purposes (the same goes for gas). By using only the amount needed at any given moment without wasting resources during periods when no one needs hot water there will be fewer interruptions in service during peak hours when everyone needs theirs!

Help the environment

Tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional water heaters. They use less energy, which means they’re better for the environment than their counterparts. When you have a tankless water heater, you don’t have to worry about your family’s water-use habits interfering with the environment because it doesn’t store any water at all! The Department of Energy estimates tankless heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily and can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use more — around 86 gallons per day.

Have hot water, almost instantly

Tankless water heaters heat up water on demand. If you have a tankless water heater and turn on your hot water, you’ll get hot water almost instantly. This is because the tankless heater only heats up enough to supply as much hot water as it needs at that moment—no more, no less. There’s no waiting for warm or lukewarm tap water to reach your sink or shower; there’s also no wasting energy by heating up gallons of cold liquid in the hot water tank. In fact, with a tankless unit, running out of hot water won’t even be an issue since these units can deliver higher temperatures than traditional ones.

You won’t run out of hot water ever again—and neither will your guests! You’ll never have to worry about guests trying to take showers while they’re visiting you again (or even if they’re here for days). Your friends will love being able to enjoy their morning showers without having to wait for them after turning on the faucet and hearing nothing happen except maybe a little gurgling sound from the pipes connected in some way or another… not anymore!

Never run out of hot water

Tankless water heaters are more efficient. A tankless water heater can be as much as 50% more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank model. The smaller size of the unit means that less energy is needed to heat up your hot water before it reaches you in the shower or bathtub, for example.

Take up less space

Tankless water heaters are more efficient, which means they also take up less space. This is especially helpful when you have limited space in your home or apartment. In fact, tankless water heaters can save you anywhere from 20 to 60 percent on your energy bills because they use only as much energy as needed to keep your family’s hot water at the right temperature.

You can also get a tankless system that fits into small spaces and doesn’t take up too much visual real estate in your home.

navien tankless water heaters

A Navien tankless water heater can save you a ton of money and it helps the environment.

If you’re not sure if you should upgrade to a tankless water heater, let me give you five reasons why it’s worth it.

A Navien tankless water heater uses less energy than traditional models. Most people who have used both will tell you that the difference is dramatic: A traditional water heater might use 50 kilowatts of electricity per hour, while Navien tankless models use gas. This means that over time, you can expect to save tens of thousands of dollars by switching over to a tankless model.

In addition to financial benefits, many customers report lower monthly bills since Navien’s heating capacity has been used for several appliances in their homes (hot tubs, dishwashers, etc.). Other significant benefits include increased safety with no risk of flooding due to broken plumbing lines and reduced environmental impact by cutting out wasted energy through standby mode. 

Swapping out your old water heater for a new one will reduce your carbon footprint and help protect our environment from the harmful effects of climate change—and all without any major hassle or financial sacrifice on your part!

Dean’s Does Tankless Hot Water Heaters

There are many benefits to upgrading to a tankless water heater. It’s much more efficient than a traditional tank, which means you save money on your utility bills. They also take up less space and don’t run out of hot water when everyone in the house needs a shower at once! When you’re ready to make the switch, Dean’s Plumbers have the expertise to quote the cost of installation of a tankless water heater as well properly install a energy efficient tankless water heater.

Is the Plumbing in My Home Haunted? 

While there are plenty of spooky places to visit in Minnesota, your house is the last place you want a ghost or a member of the un-dead. Loud banging water pipes when you turn on your washing machine or flush your toilet are annoying. Is there something living in the walls or worse, is your plumbing possessed?

That sound is called a “water hammer,” and it can be frustrating (to say the least).

Figuring out why a water hammer happens is your first step to fixing the problem.

ghost holding banging water pipes

The Cause of Banging Water Pipes in Your Home

What Is A Water Hammer?

 When you flush a toilet, water runs through the pipes, but as the toilet finishes filling up, a valve closes, causing the water to crash against the lid. This creates loud noises and vibrations and in some cases, causes the pipes to bang against the wall (which is where the water hammer name comes from).

How Do You Fix A Water Hammer?

First, you need to know when your house was built.

Homes built before 1960s:

Older homes built before the 1960’s were made with air chambers to prevent water hammer. The air chambers are merely T-sections of pipes that contain air and act as shock absorbers.

These air chambers can eventually become filled with water, leading to water hammer.

Steps to fix a water hammer:

  1. Turn off the water supply to your home.
  2. Drain all the water from your home’s pipes (i.e., faucets, toilets, dishwasher, etc.).
  3. Turn the water back on.

Homes built since the 1960s:

Modern homes are built with water hammer arrestors, instead of air chambers. These devices are connected to your pipes and contain a spring-loaded shock absorber, diverting the water and reducing the loud noise.

These arrestors almost never become clogged with water, unlike air chambers, so if you hear loud noises, call a professional to come and check it out (it may turn out that your home never had a water hammer arrestor installed, to begin with).

Other Reasons Why Your Pipes Are Making Loud Noises

1. Does the knocking happen only while hot water is running?

Some houses use CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl-chloride) as their hot water supply pipes. If a CPVC line were routed through an area that is too tight, you’d hear rubbing or knocking noises anytime hot water runs through that pipe.

Why? Because CPVC piping will expand when hot water runs through it. The only way to fix this is to call a professional plumber to relocate the pipeline to fit your home better.

2. Does the sound happen while cold water is on or running?

If this is the case, then high water pressure is creating the knocking noises you hear. This is because when the water’s flow rate is above a certain level, the flow goes from even to chaotic. In other words, when water is flowing at an extremely high rate through your pipes, it’s going to create a lot of noise.

You can test your home’s water pressure with a water pressure test gauge. If it’s too high, you’ll need a professional technician to add or replace your PRV (pressure-reducing valve).

Dean’s Home Services won’t be able to help you with a ghost BUT if you hear loud noises coming from your water pipes, Dean’s Twin Cities area Plumbers are here to help! Dean’s Home Services has been plumbing Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities metro for over 25 years, we can fix whatever plumbing issue your home may face — no matter how big or how small.


Fall Home Maintenance & Cleaning Checklist

It’s great that fall has arrived in Minnesota, but we all know what’s coming next. Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days and colder temps make outdoor work too difficult. Take some time to clean and prepare your home for fall. If you haven’t started fall maintenance, get on it now. We’ve created comprehensive fall maintenance and cleaning checklist to help you get your home ready for another Minnesota winter. (Scroll to the bottom for the complete checklist)

Fall Maintenance house exterior Minnesota.

HVAC Fall Maintenance

  • Have your clothes dryer duct cleaned: Dryer vent cleaning improves dryer efficiency as well as protects your home from a possible fire. This service can either be scheduled with a Dean’s Home Services HVAC professional or completed during your furnace maintenance appointment.
  • Check for Bugs: Check the bathroom and kitchen exhaust dampers for wasp nests. Nests in these terminals will prevent the dampers from opening.
    Hose Down your Air Conditioner: Spraying down your air conditioner in the fall is a simple task that can keep it clean and ready for next year.
  • Replace the batteries in your thermostat: If your thermostat fails while you’re on vacation, you might come home to a winter wonderland. (Batteries can usually be found in older thermostats, want a more efficient option, consider switching to a smart thermostat)
  • Replace furnace filters: Filter replacement should usually be done every three months, depending on the type of filter. The arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace.
    Ceiling fan direction for winter: Now is the time to change your ceiling fan blade direction so that it rotates clockwise for the winter months.
Annual Maintenance and Indoor Air Quality Evaluation improves your home’s energy efficiency.

If you haven’t had your heating/cooling system checked, a tune-up and inspection is a great way to make sure your current one is working properly.

A qualified Minneapolis Home Heating professional can evaluate the overall efficiency of your furnace and give recommendations on how to improve it. If there are any problems with your furnace, they’ll be able to give you options to keep you comfortable for the season ahead.

Dean’s Home Services is currently offering $49 Furnace Maintenance and indoor air quality evaluation.

Plumbing Maintenance

Water and winter in Minnesota do not go hand in hand. Fall is the best time of year to make sure the plumbing system is running efficiently.

Start by having your water heater flushed. Water heater manufacturers suggest flushing your water heater every year to get rid of sediment build up inside of it. The water in your tank can bring in minerals that solidify on the bottom and sides of your water heater and, unless flushed out, can cause your water heater to fail.

You can flush your water heater by connecting a hose to the drain valve and running hot water through it, or you can open the drain valve on your cold water supply line. This will remove any sediment that may have built up inside of your heater, which could cause problems in the future.

Flushing your home water heater can be gross. If you’re a Dean’s Club Member, it’s a complimentary task completed during your annual Dean’s Club Plumbing evaluation.

Home Plumbing Tasks
  • Drain and shut off water to exterior faucets.
    Check for leaks. If you have a garden hose, run water through it to thaw any frozen pipes.
  • Shut off the main valve from inside your home if your pipes are still running after being outside for a few days or more.
  • If you have a lawn sprinkler system (aka “irrigation system”) it needs to be drained and blown out with compressed air. Hire a pro to do this.

Cleaning, Yard, and Winter Prep tasks

Here are some home cleaning and preparation reminders that are good to remember.

  • Fertilize and Aerate Your Lawn: Lawn aeration is the single most important task you can perform to maintain a healthy lawn. Lawn aeration creates extra pore space in the soil, allowing air, nutrients, and water to enter.
  • Get Paint and Caulk out of the garage: If you’ve been housing supplies from a project in the garage, now is the time to bring them inside. Paint doesn’t handle extreme temperatures very well. And while you’re at it, don’t forget the latex caulk. Freezing ruins both latex paint and caulk.
  • Get Your Yard Ready for Snowblowing Season: Remove rocks, dog tie-out cable, extension cords, holiday light cords, and garden hoses. Then stake out paths that run near gardens so you don’t accidentally suck up rocks and garden edging.
  • Seal up the leaks: Gaps in caulk and weatherstripping let cold air into your warm home, and sealing up a drafty house can save up to 20% on your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can use caulking but weatherstripping is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get it done.
  • Clean Your Carpets: Especially if you have pets, fall is one of the best times to have your carpets cleaned. The humid days of summer have passed, but the below-freezing days of winter have yet to arrive. It’s the best time to open windows for ventilation, which should speed up the drying process. If you’re not comfortable operating a carpet cleaning machine, let a professional wrangle the bulky cleaning equipment.
  • Prune the Plants: Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.

Dean’s Home Services 2022 Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Like the feeling of checking off a completed task? Download and print our fall maintenance & fall cleaning checklist. The guide can be used to get your home ready for the changing of the season.

Fall Home Maintenance in Minnesota

For most people, maintaining their homes is a priority. You want to live in a safe and comfortable environment. If you are diligent about regular maintenance, it will help you do that. Regularly inspecting your furnace and heating system can also save on energy bills and prevent dangerous accidents from happening.

Keeping up with regular maintenance can help keep you safe over time—especially during the long winters in Minnesota!

Regular maintenance in your home will help keep you safe over time, especially during the long winters in Minnesota. If you have any questions about the checklist or would like more information on our services, please contact us today!

 Popular Plumbing Myths that People Actually Believe

“True or False” is everyone’s favorite game, isn’t it? Plumbing is one of the oldest professions in the world. When it comes to residential plumbing systems, our Plumbers have seen and heard it all. There are a number of hacks that people believe, some true, some not so much.

We’ll now attempt debunk some common plumbing myths below:

Plumbing icons

Top Five Plumbing Myths

Myth # 1: A leaky faucet is no big deal.

Sure, it might not be bothering you, but a leaking bathroom faucet can cause damage and cost you a ton of money. On top of that, it’s awful for the environment – wasting about a trillion gallons annually.

Myth # 2: Flushing Cat Litter Down the Toilet

Please don’t do this! For one thing, cat feces contain parasites that can be extremely harmful to human beings as well as to marine life. The wastewater treatment facility will likely eradicate these parasites, but why risk it? (Note that the risk is most acute for pregnant women.)

Myth #3: Ice cubes sharpen garbage disposal blades.

No they DON’T! This plumbing myth is a head scratcher but a lot of people believe it. While they will clean the blades up a bit they aren’t going to make them any sharper.

Myth #4: You should flush lemon peels down the disposal to make it smell good.

Well, it might smell good but you shouldn’t do it. Lemon peels will likely clog your drain unless you have a really powerful disposal. Not to test it, use white vinegar instead when you feel your disposal needs to be freshened up a bit.

Myth 5: Hot Water Dislodge Slow Drains

It’s understandable to believe that hot water will melt grease and carry it safely through the plumbing system. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Once that liquefied grease gets further down the pipes, it cools down and re-solidifies. One meat marinara night won’t cause a clog, but repeated grease dumping eventually will. It’s best to keep a heat-proof container to collect grease and toss it in the trash when it’s full.

There are a few different reasons for a water heater leaking water. Learn some of the common causes, some can be repaired while others mean you need to have your water heater replaced. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your water heater and that’s not always easy to do. Many times, it is located in the basement or in a closet which means it’s out of sight and out of mind.

Causes of a Water Heater Leaking

Pressure Relief Valve

One possibility is that the pressure relief valve has become faulty and is no longer able to properly release pressure from the tank. This can cause water to start leaking out of the valve itself, or from any cracks or holes in the tank.

water heater leaking image upclose image of water heater

Crack in Your Water Heater

Another possibility is that the tank itself has developed a crack or leak. This is usually the result of corrosion which can happen due to hard water and a lack of water tank maintenance. When this occurs, you’ll notice water will start seeping out of the tank. When you spot water on the floor, or around the bottom of your water heater, it’s important to check the tank for leaks.

Sediment Build Up

Sediment collection is another issue that can lead to tank leaks as well. As water heaters age, they collect sediment at the bottom of their tanks—and if homeowners don’t regularly clean it out, then this sediment builds until cracks form. These cracks allow water to leak through and cause major damage to your home!

Anode Rod

An anode rod acts as a sacrificial component of the water heater. It attracts corrosive substances so the water heater itself stays safe. However, water heater leaks occur when the anode rod becomes nearly nonexistent because of all the corrosion. Water leaks through the space where the anode rod used to be. Quick replacement takes care of any potential leaks.

Too Much Water Pressure

Like any plumbing fixture, water heaters deal with naturally occurring water pressure. Pressure occurs in water heaters because the hot water creates steam and fills the empty space. When this steam has nowhere to go, the pressure becomes too much. Water leaks through any crack in the heater to relieve some of the pressure. When the water temperature is set too high, or if water enters the system at high pressure, the heater pressure increases.

If You Smell Gas, Move Fast!

A water heater safety reminder. If you have a gas water heater, make sure the gas line has not become loose or damaged. This can cause gas to escape from the line, and if there’s a spark nearby, it could cause an explosion. Gas is not something you want to mess with, if you smell gas and suspect there may be a gas leak, get out of the house, call 911 and then call Center Point Energy or your local gas provider.

Doing a regular ‘sniff’ check can help you detect small gas leaks you may not be able to smell in other parts of the house.

Inspecting the gas line and the connections can catch problems before they turn into an actual leak. While you’re at it, make sure you look closely for any sign of a water leak that could indicate a water heater failure is imminent. Either way, if you smell gas, it’s important to shut off the gas supply and call a Dean’s Plumber or a Minneapolis gas technician right away.

water heater Repair Minneapolis

 No matter what causesthe leak, it’s important to have it fixed as soon as possible. Leaks can not only cause water damage to your home, but they can also lead to higher utility bills and decreased efficiency. If you’re not sure how to fix the leak, it’s always best to call a professional plumber with Dean’s Home Services who can provide repair and replacement options for all brands and sizes of water heaters.

Does Minnesota Really Have Hard Water? YUP

Did you know that 4.5 million Minnesotans drink water from over 6,000 public water systems each and every year? While the land of 10,000 lakes has plenty of water a surprising amount of it is actually hard. Water hardness is a challenge that many Minnesotans deal with on a daily basis. While it isn’t dangerous, it does have a negative impact on an individual’s skin and hair, as well as the plumbing and appliances inside their home.

Minnesota – the Land of Hard Water

minnesota water hardness

Minnesota residents depend on groundwater for their water supply, and 75% of them consume it. Hard water, which is generated from leached minerals from underground aquifers, builds up in pipes and appliances, causes dry and flaky skin, and produces hard water spots. To eliminate the hard water, water softeners use ion exchange. Actually, a majority of towns and cities in Minnesota deal with hard water.

2022 Minnesota Water Hardness Chart

Soft water in the home is generally viewed as 1 grain per gallon, moderately hard is 3-7 pers gallon while very hard is 10+ grains per gallon. A majority of Twin Cities suburbs have hard water, below is where you can find some of the hardest water in the Minneapolis St. Paul area.

  • Brooklyn Park 24-34 GPG
  • Buffalo 17 GPG
  • Burnsville 16 GPG
  • Champlin 18-26 GPG
  • Chanhassen 22-26 GPG
  • Edina 18 GPG
  • Maple Grove 22-36

  • Medina 20 – 23 GPG
  • Mound 22 GPG
  • Osseo 17 GPG
  • Plymouth 22-28 GPG
  • Robbinsdale 22 GPG
  • Rogers 22 GPG
  • St. Louis Park 18 GPG
  • St. Micahel 19 GPG
  • Shorewood 20-26 GPG
  • Wayzata 20-24 GPG
  • Woodbury 17-22 GPG

The Effects of Water Hardness

Hard Water and Your Skin

When hard water makes contact with your skin, some of the minerals that cause the water to be hard are left behind, absorbing your skin’s natural moisture and oils. This lack of moisture in your skin and high amounts of hard minerals can negatively influence your skin’s hydration and pH balance, which may result in pimples. In addition to harming your skin, soap and hard water mineral deposits may accumulate on your bath or shower as a result of using hard water.

Hard Water and Your Homes Appliances and Plumbing Systems

hard water scale on showerhead

The water heater, dishwasher, and refrigerator, among other water-consuming devices, are adversely affected by hard water. Scale deposits clog pipes and valves, reducing water flow or leading to leaks, which may result in costly part replacements.

Hard water is exactly what it sounds like; water with high concentrations of minerals. In this case, those minerals are mostly calcium and magnesium ions. These are called “hard” because they are difficult to remove using standard filtration techniques.

Water heaters using hard water have been found to reduce performance and lifespan significantly, in addition to increasing energy consumption. An extensive study by Battelle Memorial Institute in 2010 compared water heater efficiency with hard and soft water. Every 5gpg of water hardness resulted in an increase in scale accumulation of 0.4 pounds per year, leading to an 8% loss in efficiency and an 8% increase in energy consumption.

But don’t worry— Dean’s Minneapolis Plumbers have solutions! Here is how you can fix hard water in your home.

Best Way to Fix Hard Water in Your Home

Water Softeners

Water softeners work by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. Benefits of soft water from water softener in your home include:

  • Prevents the build-up of minerals (scale) on the inside of pipes, fixtures, and hot water heaters.
  • Lengthens the life of some appliances.
  • Reduces or prevents mineral spots on glassware.
  • Prevents or reduces soap films and detergent curds in sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines.
reverse osmosis

Installing a Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse osmosis systems work by using a semipermeable membrane to filter out the minerals in your water. They have a couple of advantages over traditional water softeners.

You no longer have to worry about your soap leaving a residue on your dishes or skin.

Reverse Osmosis is able to remove more minerals than softeners, which means your water will be super soft. Reverse osmosis filters work best on large particles, like iron and nitrates. They are not as efficient at removing smaller ions like calcium and magnesium. If you want the best water quality, an RO system might be the best option for you.

If you need help with hard water in your home, Dean’s team of professional Plumbing professionals has solutions for all types of homes in the Twin Cities. Stop hard water buildup, scale, and everything bad that it does to your hair and skin with a call to the Plumbing professionals at Dean’s Home Services.

A Pinhole leak is the most common type of home piping leak. Pinhole leaks occur in all types of home plumbing but pinhole leaks in copper piping are what our Plumbers deal with the most. Typically, these holes are less than 1/8 inch wide and a lot of times lead to more damage than a leaking kitchen sink.

Pinhole Leaks from pipe in the ceiling

Signs That You Have Pinhole Leaks in Your Home

Below are some signs you should be looking out for to avoid pinhole leaks in your home!

  • Dropping Water Pressure. One thing a pinhole leak can affect immediately is water pressure. If you’ve noticed a drop in pressure, whether in your shower, your faucet, or anywhere else where you use running water, there could be a leak somewhere.
  • Running Water Meter. Another way you can check for a small leak in your home (or any sized leak for that matter) is by checking your water meter. First, make sure that there is no water running in your house from any of your appliances, and then check the meter. If it’s showing signs of water running, then there might be a leak somewhere in your plumbing.
  • Mold and MildewPinhole leaks are notorious for causing mold and mildew growth because they often occur inside the wall where they go undetected, creating the ideal environment for growth.
  • Pipe DiscolorationThe exterior of your copper pipes should always look copper-colored.  If you’re noticing brown, green, or blue discoloration, that’s an indication of trouble.
  • Water Damage. This is the last and worst sign. If you’re seeing water damage either in your walls, floors, or anywhere in your home, it means there’s been a leak that’s run for quite some time. Water damage can cause mold growth and will weaken the structural foundation of your home when not treated quickly.

What Causes a Pinhole Leak in Copper Pipe

Although very small on the outside of the pipe, a pinpoint leak is actually a sign of a much larger corrosion problem inside the pipe and a symptom of long-term corrosiveness. When a copper water pipe corrodes and leaks, or bursts from freezing, you have to fix it fast. Dean’s Plumbers copper pipe pinhole leak repair includes removing and replacing the faulty piping.

Have Pinhole Leaks in Your Home? Dean’s Does Plumbing

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid major damage from a leak in your home. If you do end up with a small water leak a Professional Plumber is able to ensure the small, annoying leak doesn’t become something bigger.

Plumbing Tips for Saving Water

Saving Water advice and tips from Dean's Home Services

Minnesota’s growing population uses water faster than some aquifers can replenish. We all know the importance of saving water but do you know how to do it?

When it comes to conserving water, the focus is usually on the outdoors. However, it’s also possible to save a considerable amount of water by focusing on indoor water usage. Plumbing systems are often overlooked when it comes to saving water, but they account for a significant amount in most homes. In fact, if you add up all the faucets and showerheads in your home, they likely account for more than half of the total indoor use of water. Toilet leaks, dripping faucets and showerheads, and other plumbing issues can waste a lot of water without you even realizing it.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your home’s indoor water usage and cut back on your water bill as well as your outdoor usage at the same time.

How to Save Water in Your Home

Change out your showerhead with a water-saving model

Perhaps the most obvious place to start cutting back on water usage is with your showerhead. Most showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), but there are models that use as little as 1.5 GPM. Switching out your old showerhead for one of these models can significantly reduce your indoor water usage, and it’s easy to do. For maximum savings, choose a low-flow showerhead that has an Energy Star label. Not only will they use less water, they will also cut down on heat loss during showers, which helps to lower your electricity bill as well.

Use Faucet Flow Reducers

Another way to cut back on water usage at your faucets is to replace the flow reducer or “pop-off” valves with a flow reducer. These devices can reduce the flow rate of your faucets by as much as 50%. If you do a thorough check of all faucets in your home, you will likely find some that are running constantly without need, wasting a significant amount of water. A flow reducer can help fix this problem. In addition to reducing flow, these devices can also help reduce the noise level of your faucets, making them a good option for homes with children or pets. Unfortunately, flow reducers are not suitable for all types of faucets. If you are not sure how to proceed, you should consult a plumber before attempting to replace your flow reducers.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are one of the best things you can do to conserve energy!

The average tankless water heater can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills. Most tankless water heaters are considered 95% efficient, whereas standard water heaters are only 70% efficient. That means 95 cents out of every dollar spent with your tankless water heater goes toward actually heating the water and only 5% is wasted smoke, unlike the 30% that a tank water heater wastes.

Fix leaks

An easy way to waste a significant amount of water is to have a leak, but many homeowners are not even aware of this problem. Most leaks are caused by worn or corroded pipes, but they can also occur at connections between pipes, such as a toilet’s supply line or a faucet’s supply tube. Leaky faucets are particularly common, with one study showing that a startling number of faucets have leaks. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to detect a leak and have it fixed, but you have to know what to look for.

Water-Efficient Appliances

When you are done with your indoor fixtures, be sure to turn off the water. Many homeowners forget to do this, and it can result in a significant amount of water waste. If you have a dishwasher, be sure to use it. Many people do not turn them on because they think they are wasteful. However, new models are highly water-efficient and can save you as much as $80 a year on your water bill. To reduce the flow in your bathroom and kitchen faucets, install flow restrictors in your toilets and faucets. By doing so, you can cut back on indoor water usage by as much as 25%.

Saving Water is Easier with a Dean’s Club Membership

A major benefit of our Dean’s Club Membership is access to Dean’s professional plumbers. During your annual plumbing evaluation, we evaluate the plumbing system in your home and provide you with information that allows you to maintain, update, and save both money and water!

Dean's Home Services 7400 Kirkwood Court North, Maple Grove, MN 55369 Text Us