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Dependable Tips to Plan for a Healthy New Year

I'll bet that there's nothing more important to you than the health and safety of the people you love. If that's so, I also imagine you'd be interested in learning about some hidden health risks that may be lurking in your home.

Most people don't give their plumbing systems a second thought. They just come to expect that every time they turn the taps on, clean and safe drinking water will emerge. But that's not always the case. Under certain circumstances, their water can be tainted, creating a health hazard for their family.

Lead and Other Contaminants in Your Faucets

Sure, you know about cleaning the surfaces of your kitchen and bathroom to keep the spread of bacteria in check. But there's probably one place that you don't think of cleaning and you probably should.

The aerator at the end of the spout is made to reduce water consumption and boost the pressure. It contains a small wire mesh that can trap debris and floating particles in the water.

Most of what you’ll find on the mesh is calcium and lime deposits, which can be dissolved by soaking it in white vinegar. A rarer and significantly more dangerous possibility is that bits of lead from pipes or solder have come loose and become trapped in the aerator. That means that the water you drink and use to cook may be contaminated with lead.

Simply remove the aerator with a pair of pliers and clean the wire mesh gently with an old toothbrush on a regular basis to remove any accumulated dirt and contaminants.

Clean Your Water Heater

If lead and other contaminants can come loose in your pipes and end up in your aerator, they can also make their way to your hot water tank. It's normal for sand, grit, and dirt to accumulate at the bottom of your water heater, making it less effective and more costly to operate after a few years of use. But that sediment also has the potential of containing dangerous chemicals and heavy metals like lead.

To remedy the problem, you can flush your water heater by first shutting off the cold water supply, then turning the heater off either at the breaker panel for electric models or by switching the thermostat to pilot for gas heaters. Next, attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and place the other end where water can drain safely. Open the drain valve and allow it to empty. Turn the cold water supply back on for a few moments to stir up the remaining sediment. Shut the drain valve off, remove the hose, refill the tank, and turn it back on.

The Danger of Clogged Drains

Clogged and slow-moving drains are more than a mere inconvenience. They can also represent a very real health risk. When drain pipes become clogged, the water inside them can be left to stand and become stagnant.

The result is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria like legionella. The standing water can also cause strong and unpleasant odors inside the home that can aggravate allergy symptoms for anyone who is prone to them.

For this reason, we recommend having clogs taken care of as soon as they become apparent.

For quality plumbing and water safety tips and service for your Baton Rouge, LA home, you can count on the friendly experts at Cajun Maintenance. Call us today at 225-372-2444 to schedule your appointment.