Consider It Done!
PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
"Henry C was very professional and knowledgeable want him back for all my needs. Great job he did!!."
– Judy's Book 01/25/17

"We have a maintance agreement with ABC and worth every penny. Yesterday, David conducted the bi annual HVAC service. Today, we had our plumbing inspected that included the backflow inspection that may be required by the County. Trent and Henry were our team today for Plumbing. The staff is professional and courteous. They are on time and a pleasure to work, very informative and answer all questions. We had a new garbage disposal installed and arranged to have our water heater replaced. Great decision to hire this company."
– Judy's Book 01/24/17

"David showed up on time and finished inspecting the A/C components in less than an hour. He was professional as well as friendly."
Facebook, 01/19/17

"Jonathan left the work area looking like no one had been there. Very professional in every respect."
– Buzz Box, 01/06/17
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are gases emitted by solids or liquids inside the home. The sources of VOCs in the home are numerous and include:
  • Household cleaning products
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Wood preservatives
  • Wax that contain organic solvents
  • Disinfectants
  • Cosmetics
  • Hobby products
All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and to a lesser degree when they are stored.The possible health effects of exposure to VOCs include:
  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination and nausea
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Some VOCs are also suspected carcinogens
The extent of the health effects depend on many factors such as the level and length of exposure. According to the EPA, concentrations of VOCs (https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality) indoors are up to 10 times higher than outdoors.

So what can you do to limit your family's exposure to potentially harmful VOCs? The EPA recommends taking the following steps:
  • Use good ventilation when using products that emit VOCs
  • Read and follow product instructions and warnings carefully
  • Store opened containers of unused products in a safe location and ensure they are tightly sealed and not leaking.
  • If a product is leaking, discard of the container as directed. Do not transfer the contents to another container.
  • Plywood furniture and flooring should be sealed to reduce potential exposure to formaldehyde.
Your home's air conditioner or heat pump uses one of two kinds of refrigerants: R-22 (also known as Freon) or HCFC-22. If your air conditioner was manufactured in 2010 or later, it uses HCFC-22.

R-22, or Freon, is being phased out and replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. The most common replacement for R-22 in central air conditioners is R410A, also known as Puron. If your central air conditioner is still using R-22, it will not be compatible with R410A.

When you upgrade to a R-410A central cooling system, a new line set and new evaporator coil will be installed to replace the older R-22 equipment. R-410A cooling systems have proven to be dependable, efficient and quieter.

Have questions about your central air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.
If the supply of hot water heater in your home is not sufficient, even after turning up the thermostat, there are a number of possible causes.

1. The Dip Tube Is Damaged

Cold water enters the water heater through the dip tube where it is forced to the bottom of the tank for quick heating. When the tube is broken the water remains at the top of the tank, where the hot water outlet is, causing it to return cold water with the heated water.

2. Sediment Has Built Up at the Bottom of the Tank

Over time, minerals in the water can build up at the bottom of the water heater tank where the burner is located. This causes a gradual reduction in heating efficiency that will make the water heater work harder and eventually resulting in less hot water. Flushing the tank annually will prevent sediment build up.

3. The Heating System Is Malfunctioning

Most water heater problems occur with these systems:
  • Thermal switch
  • Thermostat
  • Heating element
A licensed plumber should inspect the water heater and repair the part as needed.

4. Hot Water Heater Is Too Far From Where It's Needed

If the water eventually heats up, the problem is sometime a hot water tank that is too far from where it's needed. In the cold months in particular, pipes will cool the hot water before it reaches the faucet where it's needed. Insulating the pipes can help reduce heat loss.

5. The Water Heater Tank Is Undersized

If you have recently noticed that your water heater suddenly seems to supply less hot water, or runs out suddenly, it could be that your water heater tank is too small to keep up with demand. Installing a larger tank or tankless water heater will ensure that you have all the water your household needs.
For years professionals have used advanced thermal imaging cameras to identify problems with pipes, ductwork, insulation and other systems in the home. Thermal imaging works by converting infrared light into an visible image on a video screen called a thermogram. Temperature differences are easily seen as a range of warm and cool colors. Aim a thermal imager at a window and cold air leaks become easily visible. By performing a thermal inspection of your entire home you can locate leaking air ducts, drafty doors and attics with insufficient insulation.

The advantages of thermal imaging are not limited to home heating and cooling. Problems with plumbing and electrical systems can also be identified. Water leaks inside walls and ceilings, and clogs inside pipes can be detected through thermal imaging. Overheating electrical systems can also be quickly located and diagnosed.

Inexpensive Thermal Imaging for Homeowners

Until recently the high cost of thermal imaging systems meant they were used almost exclusively by professional contractors. Today, inexpensive thermal imaging cameras are in reach of the average homeowner. One example is the Seek CompactXR®, a portable thermal imaging camera that plugs directly into your smartphone. It works by translating thermal energy (infrared light) into a visible image right on your phone. So the next time you're weather sealing your your home tracking down water leaks, or checking for overheating electrical systems, you can take the guesswork out of the equation by using a thermal imaging device to pinpoint the source of the problem.
Many homes have rooms that go unoccupied for long periods of time. Guest rooms, bedrooms and basements make up a large percentage of the air volume in the average home. So it seems like a simple question: if the room is unused, why not close the air registers to save energy? The reality is that closing vents can actually waste energy, harm your furnace and AC while also making occupied rooms less comfortable.

When your central heating and cooling system was installed your HVAC technician carefully measured the volume of air in your entire home, then matched the size of your furnace and air conditioner to provide the best performance. Reducing the air volume by closing vents will not make your AC cool less or the heating system heat less, it will simply send the same amount of air to the open air ducts and vents throughout your home. In addition, during normal operation a home's ductwork will lose 20-30% of the air though leaks. Closing vents will simply cause more conditioned air to leak, wasting energy.

Closing air vents also increases the pressure inside the ductwork, which in turn will make the blower fan work harder to push the air through. The result is an increased risk of the AC evaporator coil freezing or the furnace's heat exchanger overheating.

Of course, closing one or two air vents is not going to cause major issues, but for each vent that is closed the performance of your central heating and cooling system will be diminished.
"Jonathan did an excellent job. He called throughout the day to update me on the status of when he could arrive. He explained several options for how to repair my broken hot water heater (I think 4 options total). He fully explained everything he needed to do. He also spoke to my husband, who was out of town, over the phone and patiently went over everything with him. Despite the fact that it was Sunday and took a while to do the repair Jonathan always had a smile on his face and was very polite. I had an issue on a Saturday a few months back and ABC was the only company who could come out right away. The hot water heater broke on a Sunday and same thing - they took the call right away and worked with me to resolve the issue. I would highly recommend this company."
– Jonathan K. BuzzBox 12/13/16

"David is super professional. Great to work with."
BuzzBox Review 12/07/16

"David is always professional and honest with us.. great person and great company.. recommend to all."
– David B. BuzzBox 12/07/16
When a bathroom or kitchen drain gets clogged many homeowners will purchase chemical drain cleaning products to try to clean out the obstruction. While drain cleaners can be effective at removing organic material from drains, they also carry a few risks.

Liquid drain cleaners usually contain corrosive alkaline, bleach and lye in concentrations up to 50 percent. They dissolve organic matter like food waste, hair, grease and other material. However, the further the clog is from the drain opening, the less effective they will be. This is why drain cleaners are usually not very effective for unclogging toilets.

Drain cleaners are also highly corrosive and are among the most hazardous household products you can purchase. To reduce the risk of injury, the manufacturer's instructions should be followed carefully and the products stored in a safe location where they cannot be reached by children.

When using chemical drain cleaners it is important to avoid contact with materials near the drain such as wood, paint, fiberglass and aluminum. Wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes.

The alternative to chemical drain cleaners is professional drain cleaning. Physically removing obstructions using a drain snake or water jetting is the safest, most effective way to remove tough clogs from sewer and drain lines. At ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric we provide fast, affordable drain cleaning, so you can skip the chemicals and rest easy knowing the job will be done right and there are no dangerous chemicals stored in your home.
The odor of rotten eggs, or sulphur, in water is often a sign that it contains hydrogen sulfide gas. The smell may be noticeable only when the water is initially turned on or when hot water is running. Because heat helps the gas escape into the air, the odor may be especially strong in the shower.

In high enough levels, hydrogen sulfide can be corrosive to metals, and cause yellow or black stains (metallic sulfides) on your kitchen and bathroom fixtures. It may also affect the appearance and taste of cooked foods. Fortunately, the levels of hydrogen sulfide found in drinking water will be in low enough concentrations that they are not harmful to your health.

What Causes Hydrogen Sulfide In Water?

There are a couple of reasons your home's water may smell like rotton eggs from hydrogen sulfide, they include:

1. Decaying organic material or chemical reactions of sulfur-containing minerals in the ground.

2. Water heaters can sometimes make hydrogen sulfide gas through the magnesium anode rod, which supplies electrons that sustain the reaction of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas.

Solving Hydrogen Sulfide Problems in the Water Supply

When the problem is occurring with the water supply itself, installing a water treatment is usually the most effective long-term solution. If the odor is a result of the hot water system, modifying your hot water heater may reduce the odor. The process involves replacing the water heater’s magnesium anode rod with one made of aluminum or other metal may improve the situation.

Have questions about your home's water quality? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help test your water and offer effective solutions for everything from odors and bad taste, to hard water.
Even if your home has central cooling, ductless mini-split heating may be a good option in certain situations.

A mini-split system consists of a small air handler in each room, usually installed into the wall near the ceiling. A small conduit connects a condenser outside the home to all of the indoor air handlers. When used for cooling, they typically offer greater efficiency and improved performance compared to window AC units. Here are some applications where mini-split systems offer an advantage over traditional central air conditioning.

1. Mini-split systems can be installed in older homes, attics, or new additions without existing ductwork.
2. They can be used to solve challenging heating situations where the furnace is located too far from certain areas of the home, such a new addition.
3. Ductless heating and cooling systems are ideal where you need to optimize the temperature of a room for a specific purpose, such as a wine cellar or cold storage.
4. External or seasonal spaces like detached garages or porches.

If your interested in how ductless mini-split systems could work in your home, give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call, we're here to help.
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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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