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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
Are your pipes, rattling, banging, squeaking or otherwise driving you crazy? Noisy pipes are not just annoying, they can be a sign of a plumbing problem. If severe enough, loose pipes can disconnect from mounting brackets stressing the pipe and causing a leak.

If a banging noise is heard when turning the water on and off, water hammer is the likely cause. Water hammer occurs when the water chamber that normally cushions the water pressure becomes filled with water. The condition can usually be fixed by draining the pipes in the home to restore the chambers with air.

Rattling Sounds

If you hear rattling noises from your plumbing system, check that the pipes are securely anchored to wood joists. Loose anchoring brackets should be tightened or replaced.

Vibration Noises

As pipes pass through holes in joists they can come in contact with the wood framing. Teh pipes can be cushioned with pieces of foam insulation to dampen the movement.

Squeaking Pipes

As metal hot water pipes expand and contract they can rub against the metal mounting straps as the water runs through. Adding foam of rubber cushioning to the mounting anchors will quiet the noise.

Have questions about solving plumbing noises in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning any time.
There are several conditions that can cause a central air conditioner's evaporator coil to drop below freezing, causing the air conditioner to freeze up. When this happens the air conditioner will not only stop cooling properly, it can cause damage to the unit. Here's what to check if the AC unit is freezing.
  1. Lack of air flow. An air conditioner works by taking the heat from inside the home and blowing it over the evaporator coil located outside the home. This split-system enables the heat exchange performed by the refrigerant to take place. Without the exchange of warm air the temperature of the coil will continue dropping, increasing the likelihood of a freeze up.
  2. Low refrigerant levels. As the level of refrigerant drops, so does the pressure inside the system. When a smaller amount of refrigerant is forced to expand the same amount, it lowers the temperature.
  3. Low outside temperature. If an air conditioner is run when the outside air is too cool, the pressure inside the unit can drop, causing a freeze up. This can occur at temperatures of around 62 degrees.
  4. Malfunctioning mechanical systems. A damaged refrigerant line, broken fan, even a clogged up air filter, all can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up.
Have a freezing air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and air conditioning. We can help.
With central air conditioners running nearly year round in southwest Florida regular maintenance is critical to ensuring that your cooling system is running reliably and efficiently. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money in the form of more frequent repairs and a shortened lifespan of the unit, but every time it's running in the form of higher utility bills. Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” – EnergyStar.gov

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

In addition to keeping your air conditioner clean, an ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning A/C tune-up includes lubricating moving parts, checking coolant levels, inspecting the blower motor, belts, electrical systems and much more. So call us today to schedule your AC tune up and keep your cooling system is operating reliably and efficiently all year long.

Spring is a good time to check your home's plumbing system and perform a few simple maintenance tasks to ensure system continue to work smoothly. Here are some items to check.

Sewer & Drains

  1. If you have slow or drains that regularly back up. Have your plumber clean out the drain before there is a backup.
  2. Ensure that sink drains have strainers to prevent debris from building up inside the drain.
  3. If there are drains that are unused for long periods of time, such as floor drains, pour a bucket of water to keep the trap filled. This will prevent sewer gases and odors from entering the home.
  4. If your home is more than ten years old, have a video camera sewer line inspection to check for tree root intrusion or other damage.

Sump Pump

Test your sump pump to ensure it is working. Pour several gallons of water into the sump pump pit. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and removed the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin can hold. The sump pump should begin pumping out water when the water level reaches about 8 to 12 inches from the bottom of the pit. If it doesn't, contact your plumber to repair or replace the pump.

Washing Machines

Check hoses for signs of wear or damage. If the hoses are older than 10 years, consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses. If the washing machine is on an upper level of the home, a drain pan should be used to prevent water damage in the event of a leak.

Toilets

  1. Check the base of the toilet for water leaks. If there are stains or standing water it could need a new wax ring seal.
  2. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.
  3. If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.

Tank Water Heaters

  1. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy waste.
  2. Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
  3. Inspect the anode tube for excessive corrosion. Replace the tube if needed.

Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. 
  2. Clean or replace the line filter.
  3. If it is making excessive nose, have your plumber inspect the unit.
Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.

Have questions about maintaining your home's plumbing system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
As we age we often discover that spaces in our home, such as the kitchen, can no longer not meet our needs as well as they once did. Thankfully, there are steps we can take to adapt these spaces to better meet our abilities as we age. The following are some ideas that can help make your kitchen more comfortable and user friendly.

1. Accessible Cabinet Design - Install drawers in cupboards that slide out to provide easy access to items in the back. Along the same idea, drawer-based dishwashers make loading and uploading dishes easier.

2. Flooring - Choose comfortable, non-slip materials such as cork, carpet or vinyl to reduce fatigue and increase safely. If you have a hard tile or hardwood floor, rubber mats can be used near sinks and other work areas.

3. Easy to use Plumbing Fixtures - Faucets with levers or motion detecting sensors instead of knobs can be more comfortable to use.

4. Task Lighting - Having good light in the kitchen is essential to safety and ease of use. Consider LED task lighting for a bright, unobtrusive light source that can be aimed right where it's needed.

With a little planning you can make your kitchen adapt to your needs so you can enjoy living in your home as you age.
If you're looking to replace your old air conditioner this spring, you may be surprised by how far technology has improved in the last 15-20 years. Improvements to air conditioners include:

Quieter Operation - By optimizing the shape of fan blades manufacturers have been able to made AC operation with less noise. Newer refrigerants enable compressors to operate more quietly.

Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants - Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better.

Reduced Energy Consumption - Decades ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity every hour to cool a typical house. Today, that level has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, thanks to technology like variable speed fans and scroll compressors.

Have questions about central air conditioners? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help answer all your questions.
Because most water leaks around the home are minor and happen slowly over time, we often don't consider fixing leaking plumbing fixtures a big priority. However, putting off plumbing repairs can come at a price. Consider these facts from the EPA.
  • 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more each day
  • A leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year
  • Minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year and is equal to annual water use in 11 million homes.
  • A shower leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year
So what can you do to prevent water waste in the home?
  • First, check faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them as needed.
  • If toilets are leaking, have them repaired.
  • If you're replacing an old toilet, water heater or other plumbing appliance or fixture, choose a model with a WaterSense rating.
Need help repairing leaks around your home? Give ABC Southwest a call, we can help with all your home plumbing needs.
Putting a lemon in your garbage disposal is a well-known way to quickly freshen your garbage disposal. While citric acid is a great deodorizer, it also corrosive and can corrode the metal inside the disposal. Lemon peel can also be tough enough to damage the grinding parts inside the disposal.

A safe way to clean your disposal is to run cold water and drop a dozen ice cubes into the chamber. While this will create a lot racket, it will also clean the food reside off the walls and the impellers. To deodorize, pour a little vinegar into the disposal.
"Jonathon has been my home on two occasions and did an outstanding job each time."
– BuzzBox Review 2/23/2017

"This is the second time Jonathon has done work at our house. The first time was for a plumbing issue and today it was to install a new water heater. Both times he was very prompt and professional. In my opinion, ABC's prices are very reasonable and are quoted before the job starts."
– Google+ Review 2/23/2017

"Love the service plan! The service pro was professional, knowledgeable and friendly. He took the time to repair and maintaince all items. He explained everything thoroughly. I would highly recommend the company!"
– Bryon E., Yelp 02/07/17

"David serviced our HVAC system, very quick response and nice clean work. Explained system and components that need regular servicing."
– David B., Facebook 02/07/17
If you're a DIY type who has the time and patience to learn a few home improvement techniques, there are several ways you can upgrade the look of your bathroom for under $1,000.
  1. Paint the walls and redo the floors. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in updating the look and freshness of your bath, while replacing old flooring with new vinyl or ceramic tile can create a dramatic new look. Many home improvement stores offer free classes in how to install new floors, saving on labor, usually the biggest cost of any remodeling job.
  2. Change the shower door. Because they make up such a large surface in the bathroom, changing the shower door can create a distinctive new look.
  3. Replace an old shower enclosure. Cracked, stained shower enclosures are an eyesore that can make any bathroom look old and tired. Replacing a tub with an enclosure and enjoy a more spacious, luxurious showering experience
  4. Replace plumbing fixtures. Newer, more contemporary faucets, shower fixtures and toilets are the finishing touch that make the bathroom more inviting and stylish.
  5. Lighting fixtures. Even the most carefully planned bathroom remodel will not live up to expectations if it's too dark and the light is not in the right location. Consider advanced LED lighting that can be adjusted for intensity and color temperature.
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  • "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
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