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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
"Very pleasant first contact when I called. Service was scheduled for the same day! Henry was outstanding! Very professional and knowledgeable! He explained what was wrong and what needed to be done. He did a fantastic job and more than surpassed by expectations! He explained the UAC program which I chose to enroll in. Peace of mind! Thank you Henry and ABC Southwest! Great customer service! I will refer friends and family to you when they need the services you folks provide."
– Review Buzz Review, 05/07/18

"On time, neat, excellent"
– David B. Google Review, d 05/30/18

"Jonathan showed up on time and quickly analyzed my situation and arranged for the needed part to be ordered. He inspected my visible plumbing and discovered a leak onto my water heater caused by a rusted out fitting. After giving me several options, we agreed that he would replace the bad fitting and associated piping. He did this quickly and neatly. I look forward to his return to install the need part for my spa tub."
– Jonathan K. Facebook Review, 05/31/18

"Henry was friendly, knowledgeable and skillful in replacing our water heater."

– Buzz Box Review, 06/02/18

Five Garbage Disposal Tips

Most people don't think twice about what they put down their kitchen disposal. Depending on the horsepower rating of the unit, it may be able to handle tough jobs like bones. But most disposal used in the home are 1/4 to 1/2 horsepower units that can be damaged if care is not taken with the types of food waste put down the disposal. Keeping your disposal working properly is simple if you keep the following tips in mind.

Garbage Disposal Tips

1. Only put the proper kinds of waste into the disposal

These include:
  • Soft foods
  • Ice cubes
  • Some softer bones
  • Softer fruit pits
  • Citrus peels
  • Coffee grounds

2. Avoid putting these types of waste down your disposal

Fibrous material like:
  • corn husks
  • artichokes
  • celery stalks
  • onion peels
  • seafood with shells, like shrimp

3. Always run a full stream of cold water

Let the water run for another 30 seconds after you turn off the disposer. Don't use hot water while you're grinding waste, although it's fine to use hot water when the disposer is off.

4. Let the disposal run only as long as it takes to grind the waste

This is usually less than 30 seconds, but can take longer in some cases. Running the disposal without waste can cause premature wear and tear.

5. Avoid using chemical drain cleaners in a disposer


The chemical drain cleaning products found in most stores can damage your home's plumbing and can be extremely corrosive when in contact with metal plumbing fixtures. Chemical drain cleaners can also be dangerous to store and require safe handling. Don't take chances,  if your disposal is jammed or backed up, call a professional plumber to clear the drain line.
"Very pleasant first contact when I called. Service was scheduled for the same day! Henry was outstanding! Very professional and knowledgeable! He explained what was wrong and what needed to be done. He did a fantastic job and more than surpassed by expectations! He explained the UAC program which I chose to enroll in. Peace of mind! Thank you Henry and ABC Southwest! Great customer service! I will refer friends and family to you when they need the services you folks provide."
4/30/2018 Buzz Box Review

"Great service call. Super attitude and just plain nice guy."
– Tanner S., 04/25/18 Google+ Review

"I recently scheduled an air conditioning tune-up for a very reasonable price with ABC Southwest Plumbing & A/C. I also had several small "honey do" items I needed completed while my husband was recuperating from a major surgery. Bryon arrived at the house the very next morning and within a couple of hours gave me an estimate, went to work and had everything completed within 2 hours. Bryon was very professional and at the same time very personable, expressing his sympathy towards my husband's condition. I was extremely pleased with his service and highly recommend ABC Southwest and Bryon for your air conditioning and plumbing needs. Fast, friendly service!"
– Bryon E., 04/20/18 Review Buzz Review

Read more reviews!
Sarasota Air Conditioner Maintenance

Many of the problems we see that lead to unexpected air conditioner repairs are simply the result of poor maintenance, or ignoring the signs of a potential problems for too long. Annual maintenance is critical to ensuring your air conditioner operates reliably and efficiently. But there are also a few simple steps you can take yourself to ensure your central air conditioner is kept in good shape. Here are a few things you can do before you schedule your annual air conditioner maintenance.

Outside the House

The outside section of the air conditioner, called the condenser, should be clean and unobstructed. The unit draws air in from the sides to dissipate heat so ensure that there are no trees, shrubs or other objects near the unit that could be reducing the flow of air. The fins and condensing coils of the air conditioner should be clean, without excessive dirt or debris.
  • Vacuum away any dirt, leaves and debris outside the main cabinet. Never use a power washer to clean an air conditioner!
  • Inspect the base pan for blocked drain openings
  • Inspect the coil and cabinet for any holes and leaks
  • Inspect the fan blades for any damage
Inside the Home
  • Replace the air filter - A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, increasing the likelihood of early failure.
  • Ensure that air vents or registers are unobstructed in every room of your home.
  • Update your thermostat for the cooling season.
  • Check for any unusual odors when your system starts.
  • Listen for abnormal noises when your system starts.
If you experience any strange odors or sounds, or the air conditioner is not blowing cold air, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your home cooling needs.
Tuesday, 24 April 2018 21:34

Controlling Humidity In the Home

Written by
In the humid Florida environment the air conditioner is the main defense against excess humidity. When the humidity is too high, moisture build-up can damage your home and cause health problems when mold and mildew take hold.

Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be in the 30-50 percent range. You can measure humidity with a device called a hygrometer, or using a weather station available at many hardware stores.

Proper Ventilation

Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are the primary sources of excess humidity in the home. It's important to ensure that these areas of the home are properly ventilated with exhaust fans as needed, and that the fans are vented out of the home and not just to the attic.

Excess Condensation

Condensation occurs when humid air comes in contact with cool surfaces like windows and doors. Having a barrier layer between the indoor and outdoor surfaces is the key to preventing moisture accumulation on cold surfaces. This can be accomplished by installing storm doors and ensuring windows are double glazed.

Leaving doors open to allow air to circulate and opening drapes and partially opening blinds on sunny days can also reduce the buildup of excess moisture in the home.

Have questions about controlling humidity in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 00:00

Preventing Water Leaks Around the Home

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While water leaks can add up to higher utility bills over time, they can also cause extensive damage to your home and furnishings. Undetected water leaks can cause mold to grow inside the walls of your home, causing health problems.
Here are some areas to check for water leaks around the home.

1. Washing Machine Hoses

One of the most damaging water leaks that can occur in the home is a burst washing machine hose. If the washing machine is on the main floor or upstairs the damage can be even more extensive. Check the hose connections to make sure they are tight. If the hoses are over 5 years old, or show signs of cracking or buckling, they should be replaced. Consider installing braided stainless steel hoses, which can withstand more pressure than rubber hoses.

2. Leaking Toilets

Leaking toilets are often the most overlooked leaks in the home because they are the least likely to be noticed. To test for leaks add a few drops of food coloring to a gallon of water and pour it into the toilet tank. Without flushing the toilet if the coloring appears in the bowl there is a leak.

3. Water Heater Leaks

Water heaters that a beyond their life expectancy (typically 8-10 years) are most susceptible to leaks. Rust and corrosion inside the tank will eventually cause water to start leaking. To keep your water heater working reliably and reduce the likelihood of corrosion, flush sediment from the hot water tank annually.

4. Outside Faucets

That slow, constant drip can add up to hundreds of wasted gallons of water every year. In addition, water dripping against the house can cause decay and create an inviting environment for pests like termites and ants.

Have plumbing questions? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
If your home's cooling system is getting on in years and it may be time to replace it with a new, more reliable system, here are a few things to consider when it comes to new systems.

1. Reliabilty - An air conditioner is a major investment. Do your research and go with a proven brand and you'll reduce the chances of having problems down the road.

2. Efficiency - By choosing an EnergyStar rated system you'll save you up to 30% on your annual cooling bill.

3. Professional Installation - The most important day in the life of your air conditioner is the day it's installed. Proper sizing and correct installation is critical. Choose a heating and cooling company with experience and one that stands behind their work, now and down the road.

4. Air Quality - To reduce indoor pollution consider attaching a whole house air cleaner to your furnace or air handler. You can have peace of mind knowing your new system is capturing small contaminants that can cause health problems.

Have questions about choosing a new air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Sewer & Drain Line Maintenance Tips

We don't often think about our drains and sewer line until there is a problem, but there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your home's drains sewer line and are kept in good condition both from inside and outside of the pipe.

Sewer & Drain Maintenance Tips

Homeowners are responsible for keeping the sewer lateral, the pipe that connects to the municipal sewer main.

You can help keep your home's plumbing system flowing freely from the sink drain to the sewer main by following these simple tips:
  1. Keep cooking fats and grease out of your kitchen drain. Pour cooking oil and grease into a disposable container and place it in your freezer. Once it solidifies you can dispose of it in the trash.
  2. Don’t flush wet towels, wipes, diapers, q-tips or hygiene products down the toilet.
  3. Avoid planting trees and plants where the roots may spread near the sewer line. Root intrusion is one of the most common causes for sewer line damage.
  4. Have ABC periodically inspect your sewer line to check for and fix the little problems before they become major repairs. Video sewer line inspections can find problems like cracks, tree root intrusion and obstructions.
For all your sewer and drain needs, you can trust ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning to keep your system running smoothly.

Should You Repair Or Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Should you repair or replace your AC?

If your old air conditioner is racking up the repair bills and still not performing well, it may be time to consider if replacement is a better option than yet another repair. Because a new air conditioner is a major investment, the following should be taken into consideration:

1. Repairing the AC unit may be the least expensive immediate option, but could cost more in the long run. For example if the evaporator coil has numerous leaks or is severely corroded, it’s time to replace the unit.
    
2. Depending on the age of your current air conditioner, installing a new, energy efficient system could pay for itself over time. By looking at the Energy Star Label on new air conditioners you can find out how efficient the unit is, as indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. High efficiency units have a rating of at least 12.0 SEER.

3. New Features - Some HVAC systems come with additional features that provide greater comfort. Two-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and small temperature swings.

At ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning our first priority is to keep your air conditioner running as reliably and efficiently for as long as possible. If you have questions about whether to repair or replace your current air conditioner our home comfort specialist can help.

3 Tips to Make Your Water Heater Last Longer and Work More Efficiently

Many people purchase a conventional tank water heater and simply forget about it until it stops working and it's time to replace it. However, with a few simple water heater maintenance steps you can increase the lifespan of the unit while also making it work more efficiently.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

1. Flush the water heater tank annually

Almost all water heater manufacturers will recommend flushing the water heater tank annually. Draining the tank will remove the sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank which will allow the burner to work more efficiently.

Check the manufacturer's instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater.

2. Check the anode rod and replace it if needed

The anode rod hangs in the tank to help prevent its inside from rusting out. It should be checked annually when the tank is drained. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the water heater.
Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.

3. Insulate the water heater tank

This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it's efficiency up to 40 percent.

Have questions about maintaining your water heater? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning.
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What Your Neighbors Are Saying About ABC Southwest

  • "ABC Plumbing& A/C is a company I would keep for all time. Had an emergency at night, and they came right away, very little wait time. 2 days later, Henry and Trenton did a very big job and explained in detail what they had to do. Very polite, knowledgeable, and they even cleaned up!!! Which they didn't have to do. Thank you for all your hard work!!" Read More
    – Henry C., Facebook Review
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