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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

Drain Cleaning Sarasota

Keeping your kitchen drain flowing smoothly is simple if you follow a few simple rules.

1. Keep grease out of drains. Grease and fat are among the worse things you can pour down a drain. You may get away with pouring grease for a while without noticing any problems, but over time grease can accumulate inside the drain and slow the flow of water. grease can also cause food waste to cling to the inside of the drain, making a sticky mess. A safe way to dispose of oil and grease is to pour it into an empty plastic container that can be sealed and thrown into the trash. Thicker grease can be wiped off pans with a paper towel and thrown into the garbage.

2. Don't overload the disposal. While garbage disposals are a great convenience, it's important to to rely too heavily on the disposal to get rid of all your food waste. Scrape food waste into the garbage prior to rinsing dishes into the sink.

3. Starchy foods are bad for drains. Food that become sticky and expand when wet, such as pasta, patatos, rice, etc, can cling to the inside of pipes. and create stubborn clogs. Also avoid putting egg shells and banana peels down the disposal.

4. Maintain your drains. When using your disposal always run plenty of water , and let the water run for 30 seconds after turning off the disposal. You can also keep your drains in good condition by spreading a half a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. After the solution stops fizzing, pour a few cups of boiling water.

If you notice that your drains are emptying slowly, give us a call, we can help clear the toughest clogs.
Hard water can cause problems for homeowners in both increased energy usage and a shortened lifespan of appliances. The two minerals most commonly found in hard water, calcium and magnesium, make heating water less efficient. It requires more energy to heat mineral heavy water compared to clear, purified water.

Hard Water and Plumbing Problems

Hard water can also cause limescale build-up, drastically restricting the water flow in your pipes. Steel pipes are the most prone to this problem, copper and PVC are not as susceptible to limescale build up. Over time this scale build up can lower water pressure in your home's plumbing, eventually leading to costly damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures. As the flow in pipes becomes more restricted, the limescale buildup will happen at a faster rate.

The areas that you may first notice mineral build up are in areas around shower heads, plugs, faucets and valves. Slowly dripping faucets can cause scale build up on sink surfaces and could damage the rubber washers that are required to keep the mechanism water tight. If this occurs, the washers can sometimes be difficult to replace.

Valves that are found in various appliances, such as ice-makers, washing machines and dishwashers can also end up with scale build-up. If small amounts of limescale build up around the valves, they may not be able to completely close, which can allow water to leak.

Hard Water and Water Heaters

Heating elements in water heaters can also quickly form mineral deposits. When there is limescale between the heating element and the water it will act as a barrier, preventing the water from heating up efficiently and causing the burners to work overtime. Mineral deposits from hard water can also dramatically reduce the lifespan of a water heater by clogging pipes, valves and drains.

Have questions about hard water in hour home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 00:54

Troubleshooting Your Garbage Disposal

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Troubleshooting a Garbage Disposal

First, for your safety, never place your hand inside the disposal!

It may seem obvious, but first check that the disposal is plugged in. If the disposal is plugged in, check the reset button located on the bottom of the disposal if the button has popped out, push it back in. If these steps do not work, check the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If the disposal still won't turn on and it is not making a humming sound, then there is an electrical problem with the unit.

Slow Disposal Drain

Slow draining of a garbage disposal can be caused by a number of problems. Assuming you've given the disposal enough time to run and clear the garbage, you probably have a clogged drain line.

We recommend against using chemical drain cleaners in a garbage disposal. You can damage the disposal and aside from being ineffective, most drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can cause severe skin irritation and damage to plastic and metal surfaces.

Preventing Disposal Problems

Avoid grinding coffee grounds, potato peels and eggshells. They stick to any waste in the pipe and are likely to create a clog. You can keep your disposal working by occasionally grinding up pieces of lemon peel and ice cubes.

Need plumbing help? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all of your plumbing and drain needs.
As smart devices make there way into every aspect of our daily life, one of the most popular devices for the home is the smart thermostat. Brands like Honeywell, Nest and Ecobee all promise ease of use and automated control over the climate in our homes. They also have the potential to increase efficiency and energy savings by learning when to heat and cool automatically based on household routines.

How much do smart thermostats save?

So how much many can you actually save with a smart thermostat, and are they worth the price premium over a conventional digital thermostat? A study by Nest® and two independent researchers found that customers saved an average of 10 to 20 percent on heating and 15 percent on air conditioning costs.

Because much of the savings from a programmable thermostat depends on the homeowner programming the unit to operate at the right time of day, they are prone to not being used at the optimum settings, either because they are to complicated to program or schedules that change to often, leading to settings being manually overridden.

Smart thermostats, on the other hand, make it more likely that the unit will operate at peak efficiency by automatically learning the household routine. For example, turning up the air conditioning when the home is unoccupied, then turning it back down when it detects that the home is occupied. Additionally, many models offer smart phone integration, humidity control and detailed power consumption reports and money-saving suggestions.

Have questions about setting up your smart thermostat to work with your home's heating and cooling system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 17:48

Is Your Air Conditioner Harboring Mold?

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Mold is commonly found in varying amounts in air conditioning systems. Letting the mold grow unattended can decrease air quality and lead to health issues for those living in the home. It's important to understand where mold typically grows and and learn how to remove it from HVAC systems when necessary.

AC Mold

Air conditioning systems are particularly prone to mold as a result of normal operation. Drain pans, which hold standing water for long periods of time, are primary mold sources. Pipes that contain bends and curves may hold water from unit operation, leading to mold growth. Often when there is mold growing inside the unit, you may be able to see it growing on the inside of the air ducts.

While it can be easy to spot mold around your air conditioner, it's not as simple as cleaning the surfaces where mold is visible, you must find the source of the problem to prevent mold from growing in the future.

The cause of mold is excess moisture. The interior parts of your HVAC system are ideal places for mold to grow. This is usually a symptom of water leaks and flaws in the unit. A professional HVAC technician can locate the cause of excess the moisture and recommend solutions.

To avoid dealing with mold issues in the future, examine your condensate drain regularly for clogs. If this drain gets backed up, the standing water can develop bacteria, which may turn into mold. Once you’ve removed the mold from the system, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t return by regularly maintaining the unit to keep the ducts clean.

Having your HVAC ducts cleaned regularly can help to remove visible mold growing in the air ducts. If you can see mold in these places, there may be mold accumulating in other parts of your home. If the mold problem is severe enough, you’ll need to contact a mold specialist. Make sure that the professional who cleans your system uses a cleaning treatment that does not contain harmful chemicals that may adversely affect your indoor air quality.
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 22:34

Choosing a New Water Heater For Your Home

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Sarasota Water Heater Installation

When selecting a new water heater for your home there are a number of important things to consider. First, you need to ensure that the water heater will provide enough hot water during peak demand. Second, water heaters are rated for efficiency, which is found on the EnergyStar label. You will want to choose a model that costs less to operate. And finally, there are very different technologies available to heat water. Do you want a conventional tank style water heater? Or do you want an endless supply of hot water from a tankless water heater?

What Size Water Heater Do You Need?

When choosing a water heater the size of the tank is an important consideration. Another consideration is the "First Hour Rating". The First Hour Rating is a calculation that determines the performance capabilities of a water heater within the first hour of use when recovered to the thermostat setting. It's a measure of how efficiently a water heater can maintain a constant temperature. When a plumber installs your new water heater, he will ask questions about the size of the household and hot water usage to match the demand with the size of the unit.

Tankless or Conventional Water Heater?

If your current water heater struggles to provide enough hot water, there are two options. You can upgrade to a larger tank style water heater, or convert to a newer, tankless style water heater.  While tank water heaters have the lowest initial purchase price, they typically have a shorter lifespan and use more energy by having to keep a large volume of water hot continuously. Installing a water heater blanket can reduce heat loss and lower energy use.

Tankless water heaters heat water only when it's needed, meaning less energy is used and there is a continuous supply of hot water. While they are more expensive to install, they typically last more than 20+ years and can save up to 34 percent on energy costs.

Have questions about hot water heaters? Call ABC Southwest. Our hot water experts can answer all your questions.
Thank you to all our customers who took the time to tell us about your service experience this month. We look forward to serving you again in the future.

"Service was quick and efficient. My service technician Henry Cheely was friendly and professional. He took the time to explain the problem and his recommended solution. I was very happy to have my leak fixed within 3 hours of detection. From the service call to the service every thing was great!"
– Henry C., 10/04/18 Google Review

"October 2017 I was out of town and my plumbing backed up in the entire home. My wife was very upset and I called ABC Southwest Plumbing & Air. Henry showed up at our residency and walked me through what the plumbing issue entailed. Henry dug up our front yard and put a new sewer pipe into the city system. He reassured my wife that everything was addressed. The charge for this plumbing emergency was several hundred dollar below the other local plumbing vendors. I signed a 2-year service maintenance contract with ABC Plumbing for both my plumbing issues and air conditioning seasonal maintenance. Henry was there and we are confident in the work he did. The front lawn has heeled and you can not even notice where the digging occurred. Henry again assured us that the grass would grown back around the trench mark."
– 10/05/18 Google Review

"Excellent! Friendly, timely and professional service. Henry did a great job helping us select, and changing out our old kitchen faucet. He took the steps to ensure that his installation was done correctly, and he even did a good job of cleaning everything up when he was finished. We have used ABC Southwest several times, and would highly recommend them and Henry to anyone in need of quality plumbing work."
10/19/18 Google Review

"David Blagg was the HVAC tech who resolved our air conditioning problem. He arrived on time. His personal appearance and attitude were outstanding. Mr. Blagg explained the source of our problem and gave us several options to resolve the issue. As a customer, I believe we received value for our dollars. I strongly recommend David and his company."
– 10/19/18 Google Review

"Busted my main water line with my lawnmower. Henry called me within 5 minutes of talking to the phone service. Was able to get to my house in about 20 minutes and went right to work. He reviewed the situation and gave me his recommendations and cost for the repair right away. He did a great job of repairing my problem and I would highly recommend ABC and Henry to anyone."
– 10/21/18 Google Review

To read more customer reviews, visit: https://www.reviewbuzz.com/ABCSouthwestPlumbingAC/
"Matt did a great job for us. Was able to explain problem and options for us. Good work and on time. We'll ask for Matt when we need plumbing help."
– BuzzBox Review
 
"David is a very knowledgeable technician and always does a great job when he has serviced our air conditioner."
– BuzzBox Review
 
"Service was quick and efficient. My service technician Henry Cheely was friendly and professional. He took the time to explain the problem and his recommended solution. I was very happy to have my leak fixed within 3 hours of detection. From the service call to the service every thing was great!"
– Henry C., Google+ Review
Thursday, 20 September 2018 19:59

Finding the Cause of Plumbing Noises Around the Home

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Your home's plumbing system will normally make a range of noises as it operates normally. However, you may hear different noises that you have never heard before. By understanding which noises are normal and which could be the sign of a bigger problem you can often prevent expensive plumbing repairs.

Plumbing noises

Whistling Plumbing Sounds

Whistling sounds are often caused by a toilet fill valve that is leaking. You can often stop the sound temporarily by remove the lid of the toilet tank and adjusting the fill valve mechanism until it stops. The fill valve should be replaced to eliminate the leak.

Vibrating sounds

This is another sound often caused by a toilet's fill valve. When the gasket inside the top cap of the fill valve is old and worn, it becomes less flexible. When closed, the poor seal can cause vibrations in wall near the toilet. Check the fill valve by removing the tank lid and activating the fill valve from the arm. If the vibration stops, the fill valve is worn and should be replaced.

Banging Pipe Noises

If you hear banging noises when using faucets in the home it may be caused by improperly secured pipes behind the walls. If the piping is metal the problem may be caused by expansion and contraction when the pipes run through the joists or studs.

Another common cause of banging noises is "water hammer". This occurs when there is high water pressure in your plumbing system. Water flowing in one direction does not want to stop moving. When you turn off a faucet, the water still has considerable force to be absorbed by the pipe. If the pipe is against a stud or joist, it will bang against the wood. Having a water hammer arrestor installed can eliminate the banging noises.

Rumbling Sounds

Rumbling sounds are often heard when a water heater has excessive sediment build up. When water is trapped in this sediment and starts boiling the heat is not transferred out of the flue as efficiently, causing turbulence and noise.

Carefully draining a few gallons of water from the water heater tank using hose attached to the drain valve can remove much of the sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank.
Over time, pipes inside your home can begin to accumulate limescale, grease and other debris that can gradually slow the flow of waste water, eventually causing drains to empty slowly or backup. While snaking, rodding are effective in many situations, the safest and most effective way to clear out stubborn clogs and thoroughly clean out pipes throughout your home's plumbing system, is to use hydrojetting.

Sarasota Hydrojetting

How Does Hydrojetting Work?

Hydrojetting is a technique that plumbers use to scour the inside surface of pipes with high-pressure water. The process involves inserting a hose to the plumbing system's cleanout, an access point to the inside of a pipe. The hose is connected to a specialized pressure washer that controls the amount of water that is injected into the pipe.

A plumber must know the right water pressure to use depending on the condition of the pipes, so before beginning a small video camera is used to assess the condition of the interior of the pipe and determine the extent of the buildup so the pressure can be adjusted accordingly. The pressure required to do the job may be 5,000 psi or more, or as much as 20 gallons per minute.

One of the reasons hydrojetting is so effective is that it employs gravity to scour the pipe from the bottom up. The combination of the natural downstream gravity flow of the waste and the upstream pressurized blast of water scours the pipe wall, dislodging debris and flushing it down the pipe. After the pipe has been hydrojetted, the inside of the pipe is again inspected with a camera to ensure that the process was effective.

Even if your drains seem to be working fine right now, hydrojetting of sewer and drain lines is a good way to inspect and maintain your home's plumbing system to ensure that the small problems don't become major sewer and drain clogs down the road.

Have questions about hydrojetting? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your home sewer and drain maintenance needs.
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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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