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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
Water quality is an important consideration for many homeowners in Southwest Florida. Impurities in water can affect taste, hardness and health. While water treatment plants are required to meet EPA standards for contamination levels, a routine water test is a good idea, even if you don't get your water from a well.

Water Quality Sarasota

Here are some of the contaminants that a water test can find in drinking water:

Microorganisms

Harmful microorganisms include viruses, cryptosporidium and giardia,all of which can lead to gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps.

Disinfection Byproducts

Chlorite is a byproduct of drinking water disinfection. In can cause anemia and nervous system effects in infants and young children. Bromate and haloacetic acids are another byproduct of water treatment and have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Inorganic Chemicals

Inorganic chemicals include: arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, Copper, chromium, lead, mercury, nitrates and other chemicals. These contaminants can occur naturally in the soil that comes in contact with water, as well as from industrial and agricultural byproducts. Even in very small quantities many organic chemicals can cause serious health problems.

Organic Chemicals

Organic chemicals include benzene, dioxine, toluene and other chemicals that can be found in industrial waste and agricultural pesticides and herbicides.

If your drinking water has elevated levels of contamination, or the water hardness, flavor and color is a concern, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We offer a number of solutions for cleaner water, including water softeners and whole home water treatment systems.


Humidity and Indoor Air Quality in Florida

In the subtropical climate of southwest Florida warm humid air keeps our central air conditioners working almost year round to keep the air in our homes cool and comfortable. While one of an air conditioner's main purposes is to remove moisture from the air to reduce humidity, in many homes high humidity can lead to air quality problems.

If your indoor humidity is above 60 percent you may notice condensation on windows, a musty smell and mold growth in bathrooms and other areas of your home.

What Is a Healthy Indoor Humidity Level?

Many newer digital and smart thermostats will display the relative humidity (RH) in your home. You can alos buy a hygrometer to measure the humidity. For healthy air and comfort a range of 30-50% is ideal.

The Effects of High Humidity In the Home

Besides being just plain uncomfortable, excessive humidity can cause a number of problems that can effect your health, including crating an ideal environment for mold growth and dust mites – both of which can lead to allergies and other respiratory ailments.

High humidity can also damage your home by warping wood furniture, cupping wood floors and peeling paint and wall paper.

Controlling Humidity Levels In the Home

While your central AC will remove much of the humidity in the air, it's also important to avoid creating a lot of humidity inside. Sources of humidity include: cooking, doing laundry, bathing and other household tasks. Ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. If humidity is a problem in these spaces, consider increasing the size of the ventilation and exhaust fans to remove the humid air.

When the temperatures are lower, consider 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.

If you're concerned about excessive humidity in your home, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning we can help.
Thank you to all of our customers who took the time to tell us about their experience this March. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to serving you again in the future.

"No one loves plumbing problems, but I do feel like this is my lucky day! Imagine this…….do a load of laundry, and it backs up in your shower and overflows onto your bathroom floor. Well, that’s what I encountered a few days ago. After a very quick Google search, because I did not have a previous plumber in my back pocket, I ran across ABC Southwest. After looking at their site, and reading over some of their information (i.e. pricing by the job….not price by hour, offering jetting services, and such glowing reviews)…. well, I had to give them a call. Savannah made a very favorable first impression. She was professional and personable. She assured me she would be able to get someone to my home later that same day. At this point, I had my fingers crossed that I had made a good decision despite such a quick decision to call them. From the very beginning once Henry stepped onto my property, I began to feel better. He let me talk through what was happening with my plumbing. I had a few other things happening other than the laundry water in the shower incident. I needed to know if any of this other stuff had a bearing on the immediate issue….and wanted him to have all the information to better help him assess the problem. He listened patiently. Bottom line, Henry knows his stuff. He was able to assess what he believed was happening. In this initial process, he helped alleviate some of my fears and gave me some confidence that I was in good hands. Here’s the concise scoop: Henry was professional, knowledgeable, and put up with numerous questions I had throughout the process My plumbing problem was solved in a very timely manner On the second day, Bobby joined Henry to assist. I found him to be very eager to help solve my problem. He was very courteous and pleasant. I have now found a business which I feel most comfortable relying upon in the future for plumbing and/or AC needs I did decide to avail myself of the Ultimate Advantage Club for 1 year. It not only saved me money on these initial plumbing services, but I’ve already received a call from ABC to schedule a checkup on my AC unit. I’m not expecting any kind of “up-sell” tactic on this because I did not feel any of that strategy with Henry. I did have to have a rather expensive process completed on my 1962 home’s sewer lines….(just over $2k). HOWEVER….when I saw what all was involved, I really felt like I got my money’s worth. It was a necessary undertaking, and as stated before, Henry kept answering my questions, giving me assurances that he was going to solve the problem, etc. I was more than happy having to spend the money to get this problem solved. Having plumbing issues…….BAD. Finding ABC Southwest……..VERY GOOD. I highly recommend ABC based on my initial interactions with them over the past few days. I never write reviews or give feedback. This time, I felt compelled to take the time in the hopes it helps someone else."
– Google Review

"I have had 2 gentlemen come out for service. First to change our water heater (Tanner Feb/19) & one to have an inspection done on our A/C (David B. Mar/19) Both men were very respectful & courteous! Unfortunately our water heater broke and had to be changed. Our A/C unit was only having a check up (11 yrs old) but David B. gave us a quote for repairs & cost of new units. He did not push the most expensive unit on us which we appreciate his suggestion! Unit is being installed next day. Love the fast service as we are leaving to go back to Canada!"
– Review Buzz Review

"David was here and since I don't know much about a/c, he could have really ripped me off. Instead, he said everything was fine for now, I didn't need to do anything right away, and told me what ABC could do in the future for preventive and/or maintenance work. Wow - what a nice surprise. When I need a/c work or plumbing done, I will be sure to call ABC. Thank you for sending me an honest employee - I hope they are all like him!""
– BBB Review

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Preventing Sewer and Drain Line Problems
A backed-up sewer line can be a real disaster, resulting in extensive damage to your home and in many cases requiring expensive repairs to your plumbing system. It's important to know the warning signs of sewer and drain problems to prevent the small problems from becoming drain disasters.

Knowing the Warning Signs

A home's sewer and drain system is designed like a tree, with branches of drain pipes leading to  main trunk line that runs out of the house to the sewer main. If there is a clog in a secondary line it's going be isolated to that line. For example, if your bathroom sink is clogged and the toilet flushes normally, it's isolated to the sink drain. However, it the problem is with the main line, the toilet may percolate and waste water may come up from the shower or tub drain or floor drain in the basement.

Slow to empty drains and gurgling noises from toilets are often the first warning signs that your sewer system is obstructed. It's important to have a sewer line inspection as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.

Preventative Sewer Line Maintenance

Most home owner's insurance policies do not cover sewer line problems and repairs and in most cities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer line that runs form the house to the sewer main by the street.

You can reduce the potential for sewer and drain clogs by keeping materials like cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes and other waste products out of toilets. This would include products marketed as "flushable". Pouring paint, grease and oil and other chemicals down the drain is not only harmful to the environment, it can cause problems inside the pipes.

Among the most common cause of sewer line backups and damage is tree root intrusion. A sewer and drain line inspection is cheap insurance and can find potential problems with tree root intrusion, broken or disconnected pipes, debris build-up and more. If problems are found your plumber has many tools to help clear or repair the line, including rodding, water-jetting, and trench-less sewer line repair. A follow-up video camera inspection will help to ensure that the repair was successful.

Have questions about your sewer and drain lines? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. From video camera inspections to sewer and drain line cleaning and repair, we can help.
Spring Plumbing Checklist

Spring is a good time to take a look around your home to find any plumbing issues that could lead to expensive damage to your home. Problems like water leaks, and inefficient plumbing fixtures can also lead wasted water and energy as well as higher utility bills.

Kitchen Plumbing

  • Check the faucet for drips and repair if needed
  • Check under the sink for signs of water leaks, including water stains or mold
  • Inspect the operation of the disposal, does it sound louder than it should?
  • Do the kitchen drains empty quickly, or do they need cleaning?

Bathroom Plumbing

  • Look for drips and leaks around toilets
  • Check for cracks in the toilet tank and bowl
  • Does the toilet run for longer than it should or does the handle need to be held down to empty completely? The parts may be worn out and need replacement
  • To see if the toilet is leaking, add several drops of food coloring to the tank. Check the bowl 30 minutes later. If the water has become colored, there is a leak
  • Check drains by filling sinks, tubs and showers with water. Do they drain quickly? Or do they need cleaning?
  • Check faucets and shower heads for mineral build-up. Soak fixtures in vinegar overnight to dissolve the deposits

General Plumbing

  • If plumbing fixtures are unused for long periods of time, exercise faucets and valves under sinks and toilets to prevent sticking
  • Check the water heater thermostat. It should be set to 120 or lower to prevent scalding
  • Flush the water heater tank to remove sediment at the bottom of the tank that can reduce efficiency and lead to corrosion. Check your water heater manual for the proper procedure for draining and maintaining the unit
  • If the water heater is over 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model
  • Ensure there ere no flammable liquids store near the water heater
  • Check washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or other signs of wear. Replace with stainless steal hoses if needed
  • Pour a bucket of water into floor drains to fill the trap and prevent odors
  • Check for signs of water leaks in ceilings and under sinks
  • Ensure that pluming vents outside the home are free of obstructions such as bird nests and debris
  • Ensure the sump pump is working properly by pouring a bucket of water in the pump pit. The pump should turn on a drain the water away
If you have water leaks, slow drains or other plumbing problems, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your plumbing repair and installation needs.
Central Air Conditioner Smells
Is your central air conditioner emitting a musty or sour smell? There are a few things you can check. In addition to lowering the temperature in your home your air conditioner also dehumidifies the air by blowing warm air over coils that contain refrigerant. This both reduces the temperature of the air and extracts the moisture from the air through condensation. The moisture drips off the coil and collects in a condensate pan where it can flow down the drain.

Condensate Pan

The condensate pan is located inside the air handler right under the refrigerant coils. When dirt and debris collect in the pan it can clog the drain hole, causing mold and mildew to grow – resulting in a musty smell.

If the drain is clogged you can us a piece of wire or a paper clip to clean out the drain opening. If there are signs of mold or mildew, wipe the pan clean with a sponge and  diluted chlorine bleach.

Air Ducts

If humidity levels reach high enough levels it can cause the dirt inside air ducts to turn to mold. Mold in the air ducts can be a serious health hazard. If you notice mold inside air ducts, or experience musty smells coming from the air registers, your ventilation system could be harboring mold. You should contact a mold specialist to have the duct work inspected.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter can limit the amount of air that can cycle through the system, creating an increase in humidity and dampness in the ventilation system – creating an ideal environment for mold to grow. Replace your air filter at least once a month, or at the interval recommended by the filter manufacturer.

If you suspect your central air conditioner is causing strange smells in your home, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can inspect the system and ensure that it is operating safely and reliably.
Natural Drain Cleaning Products

When a bathroom or kitchen drain becomes clogged many homeowners will reach for a commercial drain cleaner to clear the clog. While chemical drain cleaning products can be very effective at removing grease, hair and other organic material, they can be hazardous to your health and damage your plumbing if not used in a safe manner.

Chemical drain cleaners often contain chemicals such as lye, sodium hydroxide or sodium nitrate. Many of these chemicals can cause severe burns and blindness and must be handled with extreme care.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

One safe and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners are enzymatic drain cleaners. Natural bacteria or enzymes are put into the drain to feed on  hair, food waste and other organic material. These living organisms multiply inside the pipe and gradually clean the clog away. While not as fast acting as chemical cleaners, they are generally not harmful to people.

Home-made Drain Cleaner

Another way to safely clean out a drain is to use vinegar and baking soda.
    
Step 1 - pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain.
Step 2 - pour half a cup of vinegar.
Step 3 - Wait 15 minutes
Step 4 - pour in hot tap water.

An alternative method is to mix equal parts salt, vinegar and baking soda. Pour the mixture into the drain. Wait one hour, and then pour in hot water.

Water Jetting
If you have a stubborn drain clog and don't want to bother with chemical or enzyme-based cleaners, water jetting is a good option. Water-jetting is a safe and effective way to scour the inside of drain pipes to remove all the residue that snaking and rodding can leave behind.

Need help with clogged drains? Call ABC
AC Efficiency
For most homeowners energy efficiency and lower utility bills are at the top of the list when deciding on a new furnace or air conditioner.

When researching heating and cooling systems you're likely to run across a lot of industry alphabet soup. While this alphabet soup can be bit confusing at first, they're meant to provide a simple scale to compare which systems that offer the highest efficiency and lowest energy costs.

Here are two of the most common measurements of energy efficiency.

SEER

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a measure of efficiency for air conditioners. A high SEER number means more energy efficiency, and lower cost to operate. All new air conditioners have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. The most efficient systems can achieve SEER ratings over 20.

AFUE

For gas furnaces, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is a common measure of energy use and efficiency. The AFUE rating tells you how much of the fuel used by your furnace is used to actually heat your home and how much is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. For example, a 90% furnace creates heat, 90% of which is used directly by the home with 10% lost, generally as a result of venting. Some newer gas furnaces have an AFUE rating that exceeds 98%.

Have questions about energy efficiency ratings? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Tuesday, 05 March 2019 00:54

6 Solutions For Uneven Cooling in the Home

Written by
Sarasota AC Repair

It's not uncommon for homeowners to tell us that their living room is perfectly comfortable while their bedroom is always too warm. If you have noticed that some rooms in your home are too warm while other rooms are comfortable, there are several things to check.
  • Ensure that air vents are not blocked by furniture or other objects
  • A central cooling system works best if all vents are open and doors are open to allow air to circulate evenly
  • Check the air ducts for excessive dirt and debris. If necessary, have the ducts professionally cleaned to restore airflow.
  • Your home should be properly insulated to prevent cool air from escaping. Inadequate insulation in your attic is a primary cause uneven cooling problems.
  • Install ceiling fans. Many times the solution to uneven cooling is just inadequate air circulation, especially in rooms with high ceilings.
  • Air duct leaks. It's not uncommon for air ducts to have significant gaps and holes that can let air escape. Taping the gaps or having professional duct sealing performed will help the conditioned air reach the farthest reaches of the home more easily.

Zoning

If none of the above tips makes a significant difference in the uneven temperatures in your home, another option is zoning. Be segmenting, or zoning, the different areas of the home with separate ventilation fans and thermostats, you can gain more control over the comfort in each room.

Have questions about uneven cooling in your home? Give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call, we're here to help.
Thank you to all of or customers who chose ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning this month. We appreciate your feedback!

"Tanner discussed my options and gave knowledgeable information regarding a new hot water heater. He was prompt, courteous and did a very good clean up. ABC scheduled my installation the day after I called and Tanner stayed till 6:30 to complete it for me that day. Thank you ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning."


– Trenton S. Facebook

"Very courteous & efficient technician. Service was very timely & well done. Thank You."

– Tanner S., Facebook Review

"Tanner was very courteous & efficient. Would use & recommend your Co. to anyone."

– BuzzBox Review

"Outstanding Service. We had our waste lines flushed out. Henry provided great customer service!!!! *****""

– Henry C., BBB Review


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More than a promise, our level of service is guaranteed

  • Live operators - no answering machines
  • Appointments made around your schedule
  • Friendly, uniformed technicians
  • On time arrival
  • We wear shoe covers and use work mats
  • We explain all options in non-technical language
  • Follow up to make sure you're 100% satisfied
  • We stand by everything we do - NO EXCEPTIONS!
About You No Surprises

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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