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Stem Simple

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on

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There may be a time when you’re sink or tub may start to drip.  Any drip regardless of how insignificant will eventually grow into a tablespoon then into a pint, gallon, bucket – you get it – especially if you have hard water. The point is even the smallest drip represents a loss of water. And it could be a lot of water. If you take a look at the chart below you will see how even the smallest continuous drip of just 1/16 of an inch in diameter over a 3 month period will waste 74,000 gallons of water. The larger the drip, the more gallons wasted. Note that if a drip goes unattended it inevitably becomes larger and ultimately, wastes many more gallons of water.  In the case of the largest drip noted in the chart, at 1/4″, if gone unattended after 3 months, the water wasted is over a million gallons.WaterLeakCht

Why Would My Faucet Leak?

Time – most of the time its normal wear and tear and over time these washers or stems need to be replaced. However, if you live in an area where hard water is prevalent, the calcium and magnesium deposit builds and eventually gunk up your faucet seats and stems. As the sediment hardens around the stems it makes the handle harder to turn, it also will rot away the seal.When this starts to happen, you’ll first begin to notice your smooth turning faucets begin to have a little resistance when turned. The second symptom is the dripping sink or tub faucet.

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What!? Another Cost Because of My Hard Water?

Stems, washers or seats, as they’re called, are all fairly inexpensive ranging in price from about as low as $9.99 to as high as $54.99 depending on the brand and type required. Add to that the cost of a plumber to come in and change it for you, and you could be looking at a bill for over $160 if your plumber charges only $100/hour for his time.

The stems, seats and washers aren’t the only items in the water skeleton that are affected by your hard water. While these items may be the first to go, the exterior items are also taking a beating – simple things like the faucet opening and your shower head.

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 If left unattended, these items require changing more often also. Ultimately, you could be looking at costs upwards of a couple of hundred dollars, and it’s not because you didn’t like the faucet you had or needed a fresh look – it’s because they rotted – plain and simple.
Removing the calcium and magnesium deposits are a sure way to take this one household maintenance chore off the table. The most efficient and effective way is to install a water softening system in your home.