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A Flower Garden of Your Own

I absolutely adore flower gardens. Whenever I want to relax and view nature in one of its most beautiful forms, I sit in or near a flower garden. Smelling the aromatic fragrances of roses always instantly improves my mood. Do you have a flower garden on your property? If you don’t currently have a flower garden, consider starting one this summer. If your knowledge about flowers is limited, visiting a local home and garden center is a great idea. An expert at this kind of business establishment can help you pick the varieties of flowers that grow best in your part of the country. On this blog, I hope you will discover the easiest types of flowers to grow in a backyard flower garden. Enjoy!


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A Flower Garden of Your Own

Does Your Water Heater Keep Filling With Lime? What Are Your Options?

by Amelia Sutton

If you find yourself repeatedly filling your water heater with vinegar and completely draining it in an effort to remove the mineral and lime scale buildup that limits your hot water supply, you may be wondering what else you can do to prevent this from becoming a regular part of your water heater maintenance. In many cases, investing in a water softener or treatment system and changing the type of water heater you use may be your best bet when it comes to minimizing the amount of time you spend maintaining and fiddling with your home's plumbing and hot water supply. Read on to learn more about your best options for reducing lime and mineral buildup in your water heater.

Soften your household's water

Unless your water heater has its own source of water, the same lime and mineral scale that is afflicting it will eventually wreak havoc on your other appliances, from your washer to your dishwasher to your faucets or even your refrigerator's icemaker. A tanked water heater can often operate as the proverbial canary in the coal mine—because it holds and is exposed to water on a constant basis, it's more likely to develop issues sooner than your other appliances that have only intermittent or occasional exposure. This means that once you notice your water heater beginning to struggle, it's important to investigate your water treatment options sooner rather than later to avoid a rash of appliance failures. 

One way to soften your home's water is to install an ion-exchange water softener. This type of water softener utilizes sodium or potassium ions to replace the mineral ions in each molecule of water, minimizing the amount of residue that will be left behind on your water-using appliances. Other than periodically refilling your water softener with sodium or potassium pellets, you shouldn't need to perform any regular maintenance on your water softener or spend time scrubbing, soaking, or draining your other appliances to remove mineral scale.

Another option is a reverse-osmosis water softener. Unlike an ion-exchange softener, which swaps out one type of ion for another, a reverse-osmosis water softener uses a permeable membrane to filter out the larger mineral ions and allow the purified water to pass through. You'll need to occasionally change or clean the membrane in your water softener, but it shouldn't require any additional maintenance.

Invest in a tankless system

Once you've softened your home's water, it's time to turn your attention to the water heater least likely to suffer from long-term mineral-scale buildup issues. In most cases, this is a tankless heater

Unlike traditional tanked heaters, which store dozens (or even hundreds) of gallons of water inside a metal tank with a heating element to keep it at a constant warm temperature, tankless water heaters generate hot water on demand only. Most tankless water heaters can generate a relatively high number of gallons of hot water per minute of operation, allowing you to take a hot shower at the same time a load of laundry or dishes is running without compromising either stream of hot water. Tankless water heaters are also ultra-efficient—keeping water hot year-round (and often in a closet or basement that can get chilly during the winter months) can be a tremendous source of wasted energy, while a tankless heater will generate only as much water as you're able to use.

A final advantage to a tankless water heater is the relative ease with which its elements can be cleaned. Even after you've softened your home's water, it can be important to be able to fight against residue and buildup by reserving the option to soak your water heater elements in a vinegar mixture to prevent long-term damage.

See this page for more information on your water heater replacement options.