Few things in our lives have such importance as the water we consume. We need it to survive, and though a lot of us take water for granted, there are many reasons it should be an important consideration within our homes. There are so many different products and appliances which can be purchased to improve everything from heating water to softening and filtering.
Keep the Water Flowing is a website dedicated to all of the products and appliances which can improve how you and your home handle water. This means any category of product which can improve the purity and quality of drinking water, but also things like water heaters, faucets, and other products which handle the heating, cooling, and dispensing of water.
As with many aspects of home appliances, there is more choice in the modern market than ever before. Though some products such as water heaters will require installation, most plumbers are happy to install whichever option you purchase. This means you can research the market and make a choice based on your own unique needs.
Our website is designed to help you to make these choices. We offer full ‘best of’ roundups of water-related products to show the top choices in each specific market. Also, we’ve got individual product reviews and informational articles about water-related products, including topics such as troubleshooting issues with them, installing them, and of course, choosing the top products. Having so much choice in the market can only be a good thing, but it also means that knowing which products to buy can be difficult, with lots of brands advertising their products to you at once.
Some water products featured here on Keep the Water Flowing are universally required. Everyone requires things like faucets, shower heads, and water heaters in their homes. Other products are more specific and may only be required in certain homes and certain areas. For instance, softeners are useful for most homes, but aren’t always required. If you live in a hard water area, then a water softener is an essential item. As well as showing you top products, our site is designed to help you choose which water products are needed in your specific home.
If you’ve just moved into a home, it can be easy to assume that the previous ways the water in the home were managed were the best and most efficient, but this is not always the case at all. There’s every chance upgrades can save you time and money in the long run.
Our site isn’t just a list of elite products at elite prices, either. We know that not everyone is able to spend top dollar on installing water-related products in their home, and for this reason, we’ve taken into account the value-for-money aspect, too. As you’ll see when browsing our site, we’ve unearthed some fantastic affordable options.
Now, let’s move on to the specific categories of products we discuss on our site.
Water Products and Appliances You Need to Know About
Though our site is happy to cover all sorts of different water-related products and how-to guides, some of the most commonly covered products are listed below, with some explanations on what we specifically talk about and how we have assessed the products for their quality.
Faucets are one of the most important products when it comes to dispensing water in your home. All homes have multiple faucets, and kitchen faucets can pack in a lot of different features to greatly improve the cleanliness, safety, and efficiency of your kitchen.
Our site features information on the many different types of kitchen faucets, and full reviews of products in a variety of different brands. Some of the types of faucets we consider include:
- Pull down faucets – A pull down faucet is one which has a taller spout and a detachable hose which pulls down (hence the name). The hose is usually relatively small but helps to give some flexibility when it comes to washing. These types of faucets also tend to have a lot of different spray options.
- Pull out faucets – A pull out faucet tends to have a far shorter spout, which may be a consideration if you have less space above the sink. As the name suggests, the hose of these then pulls out to allow you more space.
- Touchless faucets – These can come in multiple designs, but all use a sensor to start the flow of water.For example, when you wave your hand in front of it,the flow will start. This can seem superficial but it is actually a safety feature. Imagine you’ve just chopped raw meat and need to wash your hands. With this model, you don’t need to get raw meat on any handles.
As well as all of these home options, we have also explored commercial faucets and provided some detailed reviews for those who need a faucet for a kitchen setting within a business such as a restaurant. These faucets have more filters and sometimes more hoses to allow for a more industrial scale.
As well as there being many different types of faucets, there are many different features regarding the flow and other built-in aspects such as filters and spray options. Our articles explain these choices for the consumer and make it easier to decide which will best suit the needs in your home.
Water heaters are what allow hot water to be dispensed whenever you need to use it in your home, such as in the bathroom or kitchen. Over the years, technology has improved to mean that these have become far more efficient, and many of the very best options are reviewed here on this site.
As well as discussing the best water heaters, we’ve also got information on all of the different types of water heaters. Heating technology has become quicker and more efficient and there are varieties that can suit the type of energy source you use in your home. We have information on the best electric water heaters, as well as other varieties.
Commercial water heaters are also covered on Keep the Water Flowing. In a bigger building such as a hotel or office, it may be the case that hot water is needed in multiple locations at the same time. This would put far too much strain on a normal water heater and would mean running out of hot water. Have you ever been in a hotel and the water has run cold when you’ve gone to take a shower? This is because of the strain being put on the water heaters.
Every water heater is required to display an FHR rating which shows how much water it is capable of heating per hour of use. This will play a key factor in your decision whether you’re shopping for a commercial or a home product.
Tankless water heaters are often preferable, as they do not require constantly being kept hot, they simply heat the water as it is required. Older homes will have water heaters which have a tank, and these aren’t really the modern way of doing things. Instead, having a good heater allows it to heat enough on demand, so that you don’t run out after drawing a bath, for instance. Tankless options can also take up a lot less space, which is another benefit. We’ve reviewed the best tankless water heaters for your needs.
Another variety of water heater that you may consider is the portable water heater. These are designed mainly for RVs and other motorhomes. They tend to have a smaller capacity but are perfect for heating water on-demand when you’re on the go.
A water softener is often a good idea for treating the water coming out of your local municipal supply. The water supply varies a huge amount depending on where in the world your home is located, and some areas have ‘harder’ water than others. Hard water basically means it has more in it, which can mean minerals, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Though water will have been treated and should be safe, softer water has many different benefits. This means softeners are very popular in all sorts of homes. They are a sort of filter which can remove tiny elements from within the water to ensure its taste and purity.
Factors in deciding the best softener are discussed in detail on our site as we explore the best softeners in a variety of different capacities and styles. There are quite a lot of different features and functions of the top softeners out there, and it can be difficult to decide if you don’t know a lot about them. That’s where our ‘best of’ guides and detailed information about installing softeners can provide you with a lot of help.
The benefits of water softeners can spread quite far, and this can mean there are lots of reasons to get one! As well as better quality water to drink and cook with, there are tons of other benefits including making washing dishes less likely to leave marks. The better quality of water can also help your plumbing fixtures stay in good condition for far longer, as they are not being degraded by hard water. It also means longer-lasting appliances which use water (such as a kettle) and even a better routine for skincare and hair-care. Less minerals in the water can be much healthier for washing your face and hair. The difference softer water can make in all of these areas is significant and definitely noticeable.
There are different types of water softeners, including some that use salt to treat water and others which do not. Some can treat the water for a whole house, and some will only be able to help with one faucet or dispense point. There are some less popular functions such as magnetic-based water softeners, too, which we explain in our ‘best of’ rundowns.
If you live in a hard water area, then a softener is not just a good solution but virtually an absolute essential, and can pay for itself in the long run as it keeps you home in better condition. Our articles offer detailed information on choosing and using a softener.
You probably don’t need us to tell you about the risks involved with flooding. Flooding can start with a simple leak in your plumbing or within an appliance. It is amazing how quickly one water leak can turn into serious issues within your home. Even if you are insured against flooding, it can do damage that cannot be recovered. For instance, think about the fact that water can have catastrophic impacts on electronics. If you woke up to find a flood had gotten to your computer and destroyed your hard drive, think about how many photos and how much work might be lost. Even physical items such as photo albums can be truly irreplaceable.
Homes are getting smarter, and electronic leak detection units are available to work out when water starts to leak where it shouldn’t. More and more technology is available to us in the modern age, and there are a number of manufacturers offering leak detection models which work in a variety of different ways. Some can work by detecting sound in the pipes, and if a leak springs it can alert you of this sound. Others can sense when water appears where it shouldn’t.
Finding a good quality leak detector is key. If you’ve decided that one of these products is something you need in your home, then there is no point in purchasing one which doesn’t do a reliable job. Poor quality leak detectors are out there and can miss the leak altogether. Some very big manufacturers, such as Samsung, offer different models of detectors.
Another benefit of getting the best water leak detectors is that you can set a minimum threshold of water before the alarm is triggered. This means small incidental spills can be ignored. An alarm going off all the time when you don’t actually need to address the problem is very annoying.
Many leak detectors simply work by setting off an alarm, much like a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm would. This lets you then address the issue yourself. Others are linked to more technology such as shutoff valves to stop the water. It’s important to choose the right option for your needs for all of these reasons.
Automatic Shutoff Valves
This is another product we have reviewed in some detail here on Keep the Water Flowing, and another product which has greatly enhanced life and been made possible by technology. An automatic shutoff valve is something that a few years ago would not have been possible. As smart homes have grown and become more attainable for more people, excellent safety features and tech such as automatic shutoff valves have been more widely put in place.
These products can be linked to leak detectors, meaning that when a leak is detected you can very quickly put an end to the risks which may be involved. Some automatic shutoff valves can work with specific areas of the home while some can work as whole-house automatic shutoffs. This means that the entire water supply can be quickly stopped while you address any issues.
With the advent of the smart home, it is even possible to control the automatic shutoff valves remotely. Similar to other appliances such as heaters, which can be set to come on or change temperature from your phone or tablet, the same is possible with an automatic shutoff valve. If linked to a detector, your phone can alert you if there’s an issue with your plumbing and you can set the valve to shut off the water supply even if you’re in another country. This is a great safety feature.
Naturally, with a product like this which is relied on for such a huge job, it is important to buy something which is of a high quality. As we discussed with the leak detector, the last thing you want is for an alarm to sound when you don’t need it to, and shutting off the water automatically if not required is equally frustrating.
The technology of an automatic shutoff valve driven by smarthome technology and phone apps, for instance, is pretty new! This means there are products which are absolutely amazing and some that shouldn’t really be trusted with such a job. As well as everything within the valve needing to be reliable, you need a reliable app, and possibly a reliable detector if you have opted to set one of these up, too. In our articles about automatic shutoff valves we’ve addressed what makes a good quality valve and also what you need to consider when buying one for your home.
Our site also features lots of information about sump pumps. Sump pumps can be seen as a more ‘analog’ or ‘old school’ way of treating issues around flooding in your home, which is often caused by things like rain water. Sump pumps are often installed in basements.
These products are installed within pits and have a sensor to work out when the pit is filling up. The pump will then kick into action and pump the water up and away to a safe space where it can be disposed of outside. If your basement is prone to flooding this can be exceptionally useful, and these products require no real maintenance.
Sump pumps can take quite a bit of installing, and it isn’t an easy job, especially if you don’t have a sump pit already dug into the space you want your pump. Sump pits are essential to the product working properly and need to be dug out with care.
In terms of our reviews of the pumps themselves, we have focused on a variety of different types of sump pumps. Some sit within the pit whereas some sit next to it, with a sensor inside the pump telling it when to kick in. Naturally, the power of the pump is absolutely vital. This will need to be based on how much water you foresee it having to pump out as well as the distance and height it needs to pump said water.
There are lots of different aspects to consider, and our guides on choosing the right sump pump can help to guide you through the process.
If you buy a sump pump which doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with the water making its way into the pit, then you can end up with the flooding which you were trying to avoid. It’s essential to work out how many gallons per hour it can pump and determine if this will help you even in heavy rain. In an industrial setting, you may need an extremely powerful sump pump, or you might even be looking for multiple models.
You can check out our reviews of the best sump pumps, which talk you through all the features of these pumps as well as which models and brands might offer the best solution for you. Information on installing and maintaining these pumps can also be found here on Keep the Water Flowing.
When it comes to water-related products, we don’t discriminate! The areas discussed above are those which we currently cover in the most detail, but other articles are constantly being written on our site covering all sorts of aspects of water and its use within your home or business.
Our lists of the best products have been thoroughly researched through firsthand experience, consumer reviews, information provided from the manufacturers, and anything else we’ve noted as relevant. Our team of writers is experienced and unbiased, with the mission of helping you to get better quality and more conveniently assessible water within your home.