Wagner’s plumbers are standing by to help you with your home plumbing needs! We’re proud to be Albuquerque’s premier source for local plumbing experts. Whether you’re having water heater problems or you need help locating a tough-to-find leak, we’re the team to call. Don’t wait to call us for service!

How does hard water in Albuquerque impact your home?

You’ve no doubt heard your friends, neighbors, and family members all talk about the water quality here in Albuquerque. One of the most common subjects that gets brought up is the relative hardness of the water here in Duke City. In this article, we’ll review some of the impacts of hard water in Albuquerque and what you can do to soften the water in your home and protect your pipes and appliances.

What is hard water?

Hard water is water with a higher mineral content—calcium and magnesium are the two most common minerals—than other sources of water. Water hardness is measured in parts-per-million—even the mineral content of hard water is relatively low.

The hard water in Albuquerque can cause water deposit buildup on your faucets, fixtures, and shower heads.Measuring hard water

Most homeowners tend to think of “soft water” and “hard water” as two absolutes: in other words, water is either one or the other. This isn’t actually the case. Water hardness is actually a sliding scale, with a majority of American homes falling somewhere on the spectrum between “soft” and “very hard.”

Sources of hard water

Generally, cities and areas that draw water from groundwater tend to have more problems with hard water than those that get their water from surface sources, such as rivers and lakes. This is because groundwater—which constantly moves through rocks deep underground—has a higher mineral content than surface water.

Hard water and your health

Contrary to myths and urban legends, hard water is not bad for your health. In fact, as a minor source of calcium and magnesium—two nutrients your body needs—hard water is a net benefit. Many homeowners in blind taste-tests also prefer the taste of hard water.

Hard water in Albuquerque

According to data from USGS, the water in the Albuquerque metro area is rated as “hard.” Our groundwater sources are rated as “very hard.”

Hard water and your appliances

It’s when hard water and heat meet that things start to go wrong for your home. Heating hot water can lead to the formation of calcium carbonate, a solid, chalky buildup also known as “scaling.” Scaling is a big threat to your appliances since it has the potential to clog water lines and add additional wear-and-tear to the appliance. Let’s review the impact of hard water on three common home appliances:

  • Dishwasher: Hard water can be rough on your dishwasher, as the additional mineral content wears down the inside, interior components, and racks of the dishwasher. Hard water also leads to spotting and film buildup on glasses.
  • Washing Machine: Just like in your dishwasher, hard water is rough on the interior tub itself. However, there’s an additional effect: the minerals in hard water can more quickly leech the texture and color out of your clothes, causing them to fade faster and become worn thin faster.
  • Water Heater: This is where homeowners most often experience problems with hard water. The constant combination of hard water and heat in your water heater tank means calcium carbonate can build up through the years, even to the point where it reduces the tank capacity.

Hard water and your pipes

Everything that’s true for your home’s appliances also applies to your pipes. Here, the scaling effect caused by hard water flowing through your pipes day-after-day, month-after-month, and year-after-year can cause major problems. Calcium carbonate that forms on the interior of the pipes begins to restrict the flow of water through the pipe, which in turn increases the water pressure. This added pressure put additional stress on the rest of your home’s pipes, appliances, faucets, and shower heads.

If the pipes can’t handle the pressure, you’re looking at the potential for a pipe burst. The alternative isn’t much better: if the scaling builds up enough, it’ll block water from moving through the pipe altogether. At this juncture, you’re looking at a re-piping project for your home.

Consider a water softener

The water that comes out of the tap might be hard here in Albuquerque, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about hard water in your home. By having the plumbers at Wagner install a whole-home water softener, you can remove the hardness from your home’s water supply. The benefits of this include:

  • Reduced damage to your pipes and appliances
  • Reduced damage to your dishes and clothes
  • Less soap and detergent use
  • Better water heater efficiency

If you’re concerned about the impact of hard water on your home, give us a call here at Wagner and ask about our lineup of effective water softeners from Krystal Klear. These are some of the best residential water softeners available, and we’re proud to install them in Albuquerque homes. Call us to learn more!

What you need to know about keeping your water heater in great shape

Most homeowners rely on their water heater for everyday life, from those hot morning showers to doing the dishes late into the night. However, most of those same homeowners don’t give much thought to water heater maintenance. That’s right: as with any home appliance you rely on, there are things you should be doing to keep your water heater in good working order. In this article, we’re going to review the items on your maintenance checklist and when you need to call in the experts for further help.

A Wagner plumber helps a local homeowner with their water heater maintenance here in Albuquerque.Here in Albuquerque, Wagner is proud to be your top provider of plumbing services from experienced, friendly plumbers. To schedule your water heater service, call us today!

Our top-3 tips for water heater maintenance

Follow these three tips for maximizing the lifespan of your appliance and avoiding common problems that can occur due to insufficient maintenance:

Have your water heater flushed regularly

If you have hard water, most experts recommend you flush your water heater at least once per year. Otherwise, the minerals in your water can accumulate in your water heater.

If you are no longer able to get as much hot water from your appliance as it used to provide, sediment may have accumulated in the tank. Flushing the sediment out regularly can prevent hard water corrosion of your water heater’s components and ensure that it continues to perform efficiently.

Inspect anode rods frequently

Anode rods protect the metal inside and outside your tank by absorbing corrosion that would otherwise attack the inside of the tank wall. By their nature, anode rods are not designed to last forever—there’s a point where they become “used up”—so it’s important to have them inspected every few years. When they deteriorate, it’s important to replace them with a new sacrificial anode rod. This can greatly extend the lifespan of your system.

If you decide to inspect your own anode rods, take steps to prevent scalding (including wearing protective gloves and/or clothing). If you’re uncomfortable checking your own anode rods—which is perfectly normal!—please call us and have one of our plumbers check your anode rod. We can then advise you on whether or not the rod has been spent and needs to be replaced.

Check for drips

Most water heater leaks occur because of faulty or damaged water supply connections. Make it a habit to check around your water heater for leaks and water damage every few weeks. Even a minor leak should be quickly repaired. Just one drip per-minute can equate to a loss of 34 gallons each year!

Rely on the water heater experts at Wagner

The experts at Wagner are here to help you keep your water heater in good working order. Whether the tank is leaking or the system just isn’t working properly, we’ll be able to address your water heater maintenance or repair needs. Call us for service here in Albuquerque.

Why call a professional for drain cleaning here in Albuquerque?

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely experienced a clogged sink, toilet, or shower drain before. It’s just a part of living in a home. Drain clogs can have multiple causes, but there’s only one solution for unclogging them that’s guaranteed to work every single time: calling in a professional plumber. Only a plumber has the professional-grade tools needed to clear any clog safely, and without the use of hazardous drain cleaning chemicals. Here in Albuquerque, we’re the team to trust. When you need Albuquerque plumbers, call us.

Call our Albuquerque plumbers for professional drain cleaning services here in the metro area.

If you’ve got a tough clog, call in the plumbers here at Wagner.

Clogs aren’t always what they seem

You may think a clog is easier to remove than it actually is. The truth is that many clogs form deep inside of pipes, around u-bends in plumbing, and out-of-reach of most store-bought drain cleaning snakes and tools.

Or, even if the tool you’re using can reach the clog, it might not be particularly easy to clear out. After all, the formation of a clog at all suggests that there’s been a buildup of material inside the pipe for a decent amount of time. Store-bought snake tools might not give a homeowner the physical leverage to remove the clog, putting you back at square one.

Avoid using drain cleaners

Drain cleaners are popular because they offer an easy solution to an otherwise tough problem of clearing a stubborn clog. You just pour the cleaner down the drain and you’re done… right? Yes and no. First of all, drain cleaners don’t always work. You’re just pouring a caustic mix down your pipes and hoping it makes contact with all the clog-causing material. In many cases, homeowners have to keep using drain cleaner—the cleaner is removing some of the clog, temporarily allowing water to drain, albeit slowly, but the clog reforms at a point in the near future.

That’s the other bad thing about store-bought drain cleaners. This caustic mixture is not great for anything it comes in contact with—and, naturally, that includes the pipes in your kitchen and bathroom, as well as any surfaces it touches.

Finally, it’s worth noting that drain cleaners are also a dangerous thing to have around your home. Many homeowners accidentally injure themselves when using drain cleaners: a common scenario is that they pour some drain cleaner into a toilet with water in it, and then follow that up by using a plunger. The resulting splashback gets on skin, which can cause burns and extreme irritation.

How our plumbers clear clogs

Contrast this to what our plumbers can do: our plumbers have a wide variety of snake tools for reaching into any depth of drain to clear a clog. Some of our specialized snake tools even are equipped with:

  • Cameras: This allows us to see what is forming the clog. This is particularly useful in cases where a homeowner has lost something valuable—such as a wedding ring—down in the drain and needs us to recover it.
  • Motors: The motorized ends of these snake tools allow us to cut through the most stubborn clogs, effectively and quickly clearing the drain without any lasting damage or effect to the pipe itself.

When in doubt, you’ll want to call in your Albuquerque plumbers here at Wagner for drain cleaning service. Beyond just the tools of the trade we bring to each and every job, you’re also getting our plumber’s expertise. They know a trick or two about clearing clogs—it’s what they do.

What are demand-type water heaters and how do they work?

Every homeowner with a family knows the experience of running out of hot water on a busy morning. That happens because you exceed the total amount of water that your standard water heater has heated before the morning even started. In contrast, demand-type water heaters (also known as tankless water heaters) heat water as it’s needed at the tap. This can save you money and headaches.

Learn more about how demand-type water heaters work and why you should upgrade to one.For a free estimate on a new tankless water heater, call Wagner. Our plumbers are the very best in Albuquerque. We can professionally install a new tankless water heater in your home and put you on the path to less-stressful mornings and lower energy bills.

How do demand-type water heaters work?

Demand-type water heaters heat your water as you need it. When used properly, they provide you with these benefits:

  • Continuous hot water
  • Less maintenance
  • No risk of water damage from a burst tank
  • Long-lasting design
  • Affordable options

Most homes use a water heater that includes a tank of water. This tank can hold up to 40 or 50 gallons of hot water, but doesn’t always heat water fast enough to keep up with extended demand.

Because a demand-type heater doesn’t have a holding tank, you won’t waste energy on keeping a large amount of water warm. Plus, on top of all that, they’re space-saving, which makes them very popular for vacation homes, cottages, or even tiny homes.

Choose the best type of water heater for your home

There are many models of demand-type or tankless water heaters. Just like a traditional water heater, you can choose between propane, natural gas, and electric energy sources.

One major downside to a demand-type water heater is the output. Unlike a tank water heater, you’ll be able to heat a limited amount of water at a time. Electric units in particular struggle to keep up with more than one faucet or appliance running at the same time.

These heaters also cost more than a traditional water heater. However, this larger upfront cost will typically save you even more on your monthly energy bills.

Carefully compare each model to determine the best option for your home. Natural gas heaters tend to provide hotter temperatures with a higher gallon-per-minute flow, but they also produce more emissions and require additional venting.

Contact Wagner today for your new water heater

If you’re ready to make the switch, or if you need more information about this dynamic water heating alternative, contact Wagner today to talk to a professional plumber about your particular situation. With a demand-type water heater, you’ll never run out of hot water again.

Here’s how to find water leaks in your home’s plumbing

Throughout the life of their home, most homeowners experience some kind of plumbing leak at some point. Some leaks are obvious, like frozen pipes that burst. Others are hidden, like loose connections in under floor plumbing lines. The sooner you see a leak, the sooner you can fix it, but you first need to know how to find it. That’s where we come in!

At Wagner, we offer expert leak detection services here in Albuquerque. For 24/7 plumbing repair service, give us a call today!

Here's how to go about fixing water leaks in your home—call Wagner!

Call Wagner if you suspect you have water leaks in your home.

How do you know when you have a water leak?

Here are just some of the signs that you might have a water leak somewhere in your home or on your property:

  • Drastic, sudden increase in water bills
  • Musty smells
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Wet spots
  • Stains on floors, ceilings, and walls
  • Visible mold and mildew (outside of the shower)
  • Hissing sounds when water isn’t being used

Confirming you have a leak

If you notice any of the above signs, the first step is to confirm you have an active leak. Start by ensuring no water is being used inside the house (sinks, showers, dish washers, washing machines) or outside (hoses, fountains, etc.).

Once you’re sure no water is being used, check the leak indicator on your water meter. Usually a triangular dial or silver wheel, the leak indicator spins when there is water flowing through the meter. If no water is being used and the indicator is spinning, you likely have a plumbing leak.

Finding the source of water leaks

You first need to isolate whether the leak is inside or outside. This is easily done by turning off the main water shutoff valve and checking the water meter leak indicator again. If the indicator has stopped moving, the leak is inside the house, if it keeps moving, the leak is between the meter and the house.

If the leak is indoors:

  • Make sure the flapper valve in toilet tank seals completely
  • Check for water under sinks
  • Inspect showers and tubs for drips
  • Look for puddles around washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters

If the leak is outdoors:

  • Look for standing water near spigots
  • Check for wet spots near sprinklers and irrigation systems when they aren’t being used
  • Inspect plumbing lines to outdoor water features

Repairing plumbing leaks

Always call a professional plumber to help you find, diagnose, and fix leaks. A water leak in your home is no time for DIY work! Our plumbers here at Wagner can help you find hidden leaks and deal with them fast, before they cause more damage to your home.

For 24/7 plumbing service here in Albuquerque, call our team today!

Here’s how you can prevent a water heater tank failure

No homeowner wants to find out there is a problem with the water heater the hard way. A water heater tank failure can result in a burst tank and a flooded garage / home, costing you thousands in repairs. By knowing the warning signs of impending water heater problems, you can better avoid this catastrophe and keep your water heater running better for longer.

A water heater tank failure can cause your home to flood.

Water pooling around the bottom of the water heater is a sure sign of trouble. Call Wagner if your water heater has any kind of water leak.

In this article, we’ll review just some of the ways you can prevent a water heater tank failure, and when you should call the team at Wagner for plumbing repairs here in Albuquerque.

Know the signs

How do you know that trouble is brewing within your water heater? If you notice any of the following changes, call the professionals at Wagner and have us inspect your water heater. You may need to have your water heater repaired or replaced:

  • You run out of hot water quickly when showering, doing laundry, or washing dishes.
  • Your water has a metallic smell or taste or is rust-colored.
  • Your tank drips water from any pipes or has water collecting underneath.

Any of these signs should be enough to concern you, especially if your water heater tank is getting up there in age or the sacrificial anode rod has already been spent.

Know the causes

Nothing lasts forever, and eventually all tank water heaters start to show signs of stress and corrosion. In most cases, standard water heaters last about a decade or so—potentially longer if the anode rod is replaced halfway through the water heater’s lifespan. If yours has been around for 10 years or longer, you should be extra vigilant about potential problems.

Other factors that can contribute to a tank burst include:

  • High water pressure in your home
  • Hard water, which leads to faster scale buildup inside the tank

Know the solution

If you suspect any of these problems, you should not ignore them. The best thing you can do to prevent a water heater tank failure is to inspect, monitor, and maintain your tank regularly.

A visual inspection is just a starting point. You should have your automatic shut-off valve tested to determine if it is functioning properly. If your home doesn’t have an automatic shut-off valve installed, you should call Wagner and have us put one in.

Thanks to Wagner, you don’t have to be an expert on water heater tanks. Our plumbers not only inspect and repair your tank, but we can also replace yours with a more energy-efficient standard or tankless system. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Here’s why you should install anti-scald devices in your home

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that your hot water heater be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit—or that you have anti-scald devices installed. However, by default, most water heaters are set at 140. Hot water can be very dangerous. At 118 degrees, most adults will feel pain. Two degrees higher, 120 F, will make you feel immediately uncomfortable. At 140 F, in just 5 seconds of exposure, you can get a second-degree burn.

sink repairPreventing burns from hot water exposure is an important part of the safety of your home. Having a trusted, local plumber like Wagner install anti-scald devices can help you keep everyone in your home—young, old, and in-between—safe.

How to best avoid hot water burns

Right off the bat, one of the best things you can do is to set the hot water tank to 120 degrees F. This step reduces the risk of receiving a hot water burn from 140-degree water.

Water temperature can also change due to pressure. You may have experienced this in the shower if you’ve ever gotten an unpleasant shock of hot water after someone flushed a toilet.

Anti-scald devices react to a change in pressure by reducing the volume of hot water that is coming out of the faucet. Some of these devices react to a change in temperature, again by lowering the volume of water coming out of the faucet. This prevents hot water from reaching the level needed to scald someone. Devices that react to changes in pressure are inexpensive and easy to have a professional plumber install.

Who needs anti-scald devices?

Anti-scald devices are most commonly recommended to families with small children. A child’s skin burns quicker because it is thinner, making them even more susceptible to water burns. Most small children love water but don’t usually understand the dangers of the faucet.

There are others in your home who can be protected by an anti-scald device:

  • Diabetics: Some diabetes have neuropathy in their extremities and can’t determine the temperature of the water upon touch. This is dangerous, since too-hot water can cause burns regardless of whether or not they can feel them happening.
  • Disabled: Physical challenges can make it difficult to get out of the way of scalding water.
  • Elderly: Beyond the neuropathy mentioned above, scalding water can shock an elderly person, provoking pre-existing heart issues or causing them to fall.

Call Wagner to learn more about anti-scald devices

Your local plumbing experts here in Albuquerque can recommend the right equipment for your home. Wagner installs anti-scald devices. Typically, homeowners opt to have one in their bathroom and one in their kitchen. For an estimate, contact us today.

5 reasons Wagner is a trusted Albuquerque plumber

When you an emergency plumbing situation, you need a trusted Albuquerque plumber you can count on. In this blog, we’ll explain why Wagner is that plumber. From our 24/7 service to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust us to get the job done right.

Why you should count on Wagner as your trusted Albuquerque plumber

Pictured: If you need leak detection or leak repair services in ABQ, call us!Here are the qualities you can always expect from an experienced, trusted Albuquerque plumber from Wagner.

1. 24/7 services

Leaks and broken pipes can form without warning. When it is the middle of the night, you may not have time to wait until morning. Our plumbers are available 24 hours-a-day to come out to your abode to fix the issue, and there is no extra fee for these emergency services.

2. Years of experience

Wagner has been in business since 1928. When you look for plumbers, you do not want to hire someone who just received a license or works for a company that is so new it does not have any references. There is a reason the company has been around for nearly a century.

3. Fix all plumbing issues

Some plumbers only focus on specific issues, but with Wagner, you can be confident our plumbers will be able to repair anything. Our experts can fix water heaters, and they can detect and repair any leaks. They are also proficient with cleaning out drains in case clogs form.

4. Upfront pricing

While you want to repair your plumbing, you also do not want to spend a fortune to fix it. You deserve to know exactly what you are getting into before you hire a plumber, and our professionals will always give honest pricing quotes.

5. 100 percent satisfaction guarantee

We pride ourselves in providing high-quality work for every single project. If you are not satisfied with the work in any way, then let us know, and we will do everything in our power to correct it. You can trust us because the Better Business Bureau gave us an A+, and all our plumbers are certified.

Call Wagner for local plumbing services!

Over the decades, Wagner has helped countless households here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe maintain quality plumbing in their homes. Contact us when you notice a problem, and we promise you will love the results.

Here’s 3 reasons to get water filtration in Albuquerque

Your home relies on water either from the municipal system or from an underground well. In both cases, you may want to think about getting water filtration in Albuquerque. That’s because unwanted substances—such as chemicals, sediment, chlorine, or other contaminants—can be lurking in your tap water.

Professionally installed by the plumbing experts at Wagner, a water filtration system can remove these impurities and deliver clean, great-tasting water to your household. Plus, systems that include water softening can have a major, positive impact on your home. Let’s dive in.

Three reasons to get water filtration in Albuquerque

1. You’ll have cleaner laundry and dishes

Hard water is often a common reason why your clothes become dingy or you use more water to wash the dishes. Calcium and magnesium, two minerals typically present in hard water, prevent detergent from effectively mixing with water. As a result, more detergent is needed to clean your dishes and clothing, and it just doesn’t do the job as well as it should.

Whole-house water filtration can be an ideal solution to these issues. Both the filtration and softening processes extract these minerals, leaving you with a purer home water supply and cutting your household expenses.

2. You’ll spend less on plumbing repairs

For many homeowners, hard water can rake up additional costs in the form of plumbing repairs. Along with calcium and magnesium, hard water may also contain additional minerals, such as sulfate and carbonate.

These substances frequently combine to form scale buildup that can result in clogs, leaking pipes, or malfunctioning faucets. With effective water filtration systems, Albuquerque area homeowners can save their pipes, fixtures, and even their appliances from further damage.

3. You won’t need bottled water

Let’s start here: much of the water that comes out of the tap is safe for human consumption. Nevertheless, minerals or other substances in your water may cause it to taste or smell odd. That’s probably why Americans spend a yearly average of $100 per person on bottled water.

Even if your water supply is safe, a filtration system provides cleaner and better-tasting water. Reverse osmosis is one popular method that pulls out minerals and unwanted additives. Besides saving money on bottled water, filtration may also be an eco-friendly way to cut your household plastic consumption.

High-quality water at your fingertips

Since 1928, Wagner has proudly offered professional HVAC and plumbing services to clients in Bernalillo County and surrounding communities. To learn more about water filters in Albuquerque or other great solutions to deliver better quality water to your home, contact us today!

Here’s how you can conserve water at home here in Albuquerque

It may not seem like it, but the individual homeowner can play a big role when it comes to conserving water here in the Albuquerque metro. Conserve water at home, and there’ll be more to go around. Plus, you’ll cut your utility bills. It’s a win-win!

Pictured: By installing a low-flow toilet, you can help conserve water here in Albuquerque.

By installing a low-flow toilet, you can help conserve water here in Albuquerque.

In this blog, we’ll review some of the best ways you can permanently cut down on your water use through fixing plumbing issues and installing new fixtures and toilets. We’ll also go over some ways that you can reduce water use through your everyday actions.

For expert plumbing services here in Albuquerque, call us here at Wagner. We’re proud to be Albuquerque’s original home services company!

Maintain and upgrade your home

Dripping faucets are a much bigger problem than they may seem on the surface. In fact, a dripping faucet can waste up to 5 gallons of water in just one day! If your faucet is dripping, it’s time to call Wagner for plumbing repair. We fix and replace faucets and fixtures in the home.

Of course, dripping faucets aren’t the only kind of leak to keep an eye out for. Leaks in plumbing can be hidden behind walls or in other hard-to-access or hard-to-see places. If you’re noticing changes in your water bill—especially a sudden uptick in the amount of water used or billed—it might be time to call us for a plumbing inspection.

We offer professional leak detection services here in Albuquerque. If you suspect that there’s a leak somewhere in your home, give us a call.

Invest in water-smart appliances and fixtures

It’s also a smart idea to invest in water-efficient appliances, including faucets, shower heads, and toilets. If you live in an older home, your toilets are most likely not as water-efficient as they could be. By installing low-flow toilets, you’ll save more than half the amount of water.

At Wagner, we love doing our part for Albuquerque water conservation, so let our dedicated team of plumbers stop that dripping faucet and uncover any other leaks that may be wasting water. Additionally, we can assist you in choosing and installing low-flow toilets.

Be smart about your water use

If you have a sprinkler system in your yard, watch the weather closely so it’s not running during a rainstorm. You could also invest in monitoring systems that regulate water in your yard to prevent overwatering. Not only will this help conserve water, but you’ll also keep your plants and grass healthier.

When you’re washing your hands or brushing your teeth, don’t let the water run any longer than it has to. Washing dishes can become a less wasteful task when you fill the sink with water beforehand, rather than letting it flow while you’re scrubbing.

Finally, don’t run your dishwasher or washing machine when it isn’t full. Half-loads waste a substantial amount of water when it comes time to wash the second half. Wait until after that next dinner to run the dishwasher, and you’ll be able to not only cut back on the water used, but also save yourself some time.

There’s no better time than the present to conserve water

Start the process of reducing water use by having our team fix water leaks. Ask our plumbers or the local water company how you can better monitor your daily water use, so that you can track your progress toward a low-waste water footprint.

If you’re concerned about your home’s current water usage, contact Wagner. We’ll help you diagnose the problems and find solutions.