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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
"I called Re: problem with a handicapped toilet. Henry Cheely came corrected problem and went out of his way to help me put back behind the toilet cabinet. I had used another plumbing company for years and when I called they said it would not be until next week. I will be using ABC Southwest plumbing from now on."
– Henry C., Google+ Review

"Great service Technician David Blagg. He diagnosed And repaired the AC in no time flat! Thanks David. God Bless you!"
– David B., Facebook Review
 
"Bill, my tech was the most friendliest, kind and helpful ever! He professionally completed the repair problem and gave some helpful hints to perhaps minimize future issues. Great guy! If I should ABC's services again, I will be sure and call. Your company has a terrific asset in Bill, and its refreshing to see such a young man with such positive motivation!! Thank you!"
– Buzz Box Review

"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."
– Buzz Box Review
Sarasota PlumberReducing water usage around the home not only helps to conserve and protect our critical water supply, it also saves energy, reducing your utility bill.

Conserving water saves energy by reducing the cost of water treatment, heating water and running appliances that use water. In fact, according to the EPA, if every U.S. home had efficient plumbing fixtures the U.S. would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water, and an estimated $18 billion dollars per year!

Here are some water saving plumbing upgrades to consider.

Water Conserving Toilets

Toilets typically are responsible for most water wasted in the average home, consuming as much as 30 percent of an average home’s (indoor) water. If your toilets were installed prior to 1994, there is a good chance it uses more than 1.6 gallons of water when flushed. Consider replacing older toilets with a current EPA standard 1.28 gallon model. As an alternative for older larger tank toilets, you can conserve water by placing a small water filled bottle into the toilet tank to reduce the displacement.

Low-Flow Shower Heads

Showering accounts for around 20 percent of an average homes indoor water consumption. Today's low flow shower heads can reduce water consumption by as much as 70% will still providing a strong spray of water.

Efficient Faucets

If you have older, inefficient faucets that use more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), consider replacing them with high-efficiency faucets that have a flow rate of less than 1.5 gpm. Alternatively, you can add an aerator or flow restrictor to the faucet to easily reduce its water flow.

Have questions about water conserving plumbing fixtures? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
If you're noticing changes to the water coming out ouf your tap – such as strange colors, tastes or odors – the cause may be your water heater.

Water heater and water quality problems

To find out if the water heater is the cause, note the following:
  • Does the problem only occur first thing in the morning?
  • Does it happen after the water has not been used for a while?
  • Does the problem clear up after you run the water for a few minutes?
  • Is the problem isolated to the hot rather than cold running faucet?
If any of the above cases is true, it could be caused by your water heater.


Water Heater Odors

Bad smells, such as a sulphur odors, are sometimes caused by bacteria growing in the water heater tank. When the water heater goes unused for long periods of time bacteria, while usually harmless, can cause unpleasant odors. A sulphur, or rotten egg odor, is sometimes caused by a corroded anode rod inside the water heater. The rod should be inspected and replaced if needed.

Hard water can also cause sediment to accumulate at the bottom of the tank, causing odors. Installing a water softener should fix the problem.


Water Discoloration

Brown, red or yellow tinted water can be caused by rust from a corroded water heater tank, or pipes inside the home. The iron present in most water is not a significant health risk, but it can stain clothing and dishes and leave drinking water with a metallic taste. Your plumber can help track down the cause and determine if the water heater is the source of the problem.

White or tan particles in the water are usually a sign of calcium or magnesium. While not generally harmful to ingest, the minerals can clog pipes and drains over time. A water filtration system or water softener can remove the minerals from the water.

Have concerns about water quality in your home? Give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call. We can help identify the cause of the problem and recommend effective solutions for cleaner, better tasting water.
Performing plumbing projects around the home can be a satisfying way to improve your home and save a little money. However, before tackling those plumbing projects it's important to understand the potential pitfalls to stay safe and avoid damaging your home.

DIY Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

1. Chemical Drain Cleaners

When a drain becomes clogged the first thing many homeowners think of are the commercials they have seen for chemical drain cleaning products. While they can be very effective at clearing certain kinds of clogs, they come with important safety warnings.

The same chemicals that quickly dissolve organic matter like hair and grease can cause chemical burns to your skin or even blindness if they come in contact with your eyes. They can also damage metal pipes, plumbing fixtures, and other finishes in the kitchen and bathroom if not used correctly.

A far safer way to clear a clogged drain is with a little elbow grease and a plumbing auger. There are also natural drain cleaning products that use enzymes to break down organic material. Baking soda, vinegar and hot water is another natural method to clean out a drain. These natural methods may take a little longer to do the job, but can just as effective as more caustic drain cleaners.

If none of the above options work for those stubborn clogs, your plumber can solve the toughest clogged drain problems safely and quickly.


2. Not Shutting off the Water Supply

Most plumbing projects require turning off the water. Forget this step and you'll be dealing with gushing pipes and a big mess. If you can't locate the local shut-off valve near a fixture, turn it off at the water main.


3. Not Getting a Permit

You've just had your brand new hot tub delivered and you're all ready to install it in your new sunroom. Before you begin, do you need a permit? Some municipalities allow homeowners to pull their own permits, while others require a contractor. Always check before you begin any remodeling or installation project that you have all the required permits. This will ensure that the project is up to code and installed safely. You'll also avoid the hassle of potential fines or red flags down the road when you try to sell the home.


4. Bad Pipe Connections

In homes with copper pipes, it's important to understand the proper way to connect copper to galvanized pipes. If the two metals are connected directly, they can quickly corrode, leading to water leaks. This type of connection requires a special fitting called a dielectric union, which prevents the two metals from contacting each other.


Ask the Pros!

If you're not sure you have the skills to tackle your next plumbing project, give us a call. We would be happy to explain what's involved in completing the project. After all, there's no replacement for experience.
LWater Saving Toiletooking for ways to reduce your water bill? Toilets are one of the most water-intensive plumbing devices in the home, using as much as 7 gallons of water with each flush. By comparison a low-flow toilet uses just 1.6 gallons. If you aren't ready to replace all your toilets with low-flow toilets quite yet, but want to reduce the amount of water your toilets are using, there are a few easy to install options available that will make your toilets more eco-friendly.

Install an Adjustable Flapper

An adjustable flapper give you control over the amount of water used to refill the tank. It can save up to three gallons of water with each flush and is simple to install. First, check that the flapper is compatible with your toilet model. Once installed, adjust the flapper to get the right amount of water needed to do the job.

Install a Tank Bag

You may know about the old trick of placing a brick to the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water per flush. Unfortunately, a brick can erode over time, leaving damaging grit inside the tank that can wear out rubber and plastic parts. A better solution is to use a tank bag. You simply fill the bag with water and attach it to the toilet tank. By displacing water it will reduce the amount of water needed to refill the tank after each flush. Of course, the amount of water you save is equal to the amount of water you put in the bag, so experiment to find the right amount to effectively flush the toilet.

Install a Fill Cycle Diverter

Because the toilet bowl fills faster than the tank and the fill valve doesn't shut off until the tank is full, excess water is fed into the bowl. A fill cycle diverter can eliminate this waste, saving a half-gallon or more per fill, by diverting water back to the tank when the bowl is full.

TIP: Many utility companies offer water-saving devices to their customers for free, so be sure to check with your local utility company before purchasing a water saving device.
Hot water scalds account for 20% of all burns and every year more that 2,000 U.S. children are treated for scalding. Scalding can also lead to secondary injuries such as heart attacks, falls, and broken bones, particularly among the elderly. Most scalding accidents occur in the kitchen and bathroom, and the vast majority are avoidable.

Hot Water Safety

Because infants, children, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to burns when exposed to overly hot water in the bath, one of the most important ways of preventing scalding is to ensure your water heater temperature is set to a safe temperature.

In addition, you should always check the water temperature before placing a child in the bathtub and never leave a child alone or with other young children in the bathtub.

Most water heaters come factory set between 120°F to 140°F - this temperature may be too high for many households. The chart below shows how the scalding risk and time it takes to cause a burn.

Water Heater Thermostat Setting Exposure Time Effects of Exposure to Hot Water at High Temperatures
Water at 100 degF or below - Most water heaters are unlikely to scald an adult
Water at 120 degF 5 minutes 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin
Water at 130 degF 30 seconds 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin
Water at 140 degF 5 seconds 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin
Water at 150 degF 1.5 seconds 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin
Water at 160 degF .5 second 2nd & 3rd degree burns on adult skin

Scald Protection Devices

Scald protection devices are a must in homes with young children, the elderly and physically challenged. In many areas they are required to be installed to meet code requirements. While caution is the first line of defense to scald prevention, scald protection devices can help to maintain safer water temperatures.

Have questions about preventing hot water scalding in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help answer all your questions.
"I called Re: problem with a handicapped toilet. Henry Cheely came corrected problem and went out of his way to help me put back behind the toilet cabinet. I had used another plumbing company for years and when I called they said it would not be until next week. I will be using ABC Southwest plumbing from now on."

– Henry C. Google+ Review

"I needed a new A/C unit. It broke unexpectedly and it is obviously hot this time of year in southwest Florida. David was wonderful, explaining my options and showed me the problem with my old unit. Bryon and Trenton were on time and completed the installation completely and in a timely manner. They were professional, answered my questions and worked diligently until the job was done. Thank you for your hard work."

– BuzzBox Review

"Our technician was tanner. he fixed our problem in a speedy manner, and now it works perfectly. this was on a saturday and i called 2 plumbing companies before i tried abe plumbers, and none responded except for abc. i was very happy with abc and tanner."

– BuzzBox Review
Thursday, 19 July 2018 00:00

Aging In Place - Accessible Plumbing Design

Written by
As we age our kitchen and bathrooms can become less convenient and more hazardous. Slippery floors, hard to reach faucets and cabinets, poor lighting – all can create real challenges as we age. Thankfully, there are many ways to keep our homes safe and comfortable with plumbing fixtures that adapt to our needs rather the the other way around.

Aging In Place Plumbing

Here are a few plumbing ideas for aging in place.

Accessible Bathrooms For The Elderly and Disabled

For individuals who must be seated, vanities can be designed with knee clearance under fixtures and faucet handles that are closer in range. Plumbing fixtures are available that are operable with one hand, and don't require a tight grip or turning of the wrist. Careful placement of grab bars in bathtubs and showers can prevent slip and fall accidents.

Permanently fixed shower heads are rarely one-size-fit-all. Newer shower head designs come with a vertical sliding rail system that allows the tallest and shortest members of the household to adjust the shower head to the perfect height.

Comfort Height Toilets

Standard toilets are 14 to 15 inches high from floor to the top of bowl rim. Comfort height toilets have more comfortable heights closer to the height of a chair, from 16 to 17 inches high. The additional height can make it easier with persons having a limited range of motion or back problems.

Slip-resistance is another important consideration for providing safety in bathrooms. Many shower enclosures and bathtubs are now designed with traction surfaces, in both enamel and acrylic finishes.

Finally, good lighting is appreciated by everyone, but is essential for persons with visual impairment. Compact LED fixtures can be placed under cabinets, in showers and bath enclosures to create a well lit space.

Have questions about making your home's plumbing more comfortable and safer? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
Thursday, 12 July 2018 00:00

The Benefits of a Water Heater Expansion Tank

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Hot Water Expansion Tank

Because water expands when heated, excess pressure inside a water heater tank needs to escape. In the past, the pressure would force water in the tank to drain back out into the water supply where it came from.

Today, the water main is designed to prevent the backwards flow of water, known as backflow, by means of a check valve. The check valve prevents waste water from inside the home from returning to the water supply where it could contaminate the supply of fresh water.

How a Water Heater expansion Tank Works

A water heater expansion tank is another small tank that is attached to the water supply pipe of the water heater. The expansion tank is designed to handle the thermal expansion of water as it heats up in the water heater, preventing excessive water pressure.

If water pressure gets to high it can damage valves in plumbing fixtures, joints in supply pipes and the water heater itself. Expanding water from the water heater flows into the expansion tank, relieving water pressure in the system.

What if my water heater doesn't have an expansion tank?

Most homes that have a check valve on the water main do not have an expansion tank, since it wasn't required until recently. This may or may not cause excessive pressure buildup, depending on the specific design of the plumbing in the house.

If you are noticing that washers in plumbing fixtures are deteriorating rapidly, or water is dripping from the relief valve on the water heater, it may be wise to add an expansion tank. It can be low cost insurance against more costly damage to your home's plumbing system.

Have questions about water heater expansion tanks or other plumbing systems? Call ABC Southwest Air Conditioning and Plumbing, we're here to help.1
A home's plumbing system is designed to keep odors from building up inside the home. When you smell persistent odors it could be the sign of plumbing system problems. Here are some things to look for.

Bathroom Plumbing Odors

If you have a foul odor when flushing the toilet it could be caused by a worn toilet wax ring. The wax ring is designed to seal the toilet against the floor. Whenever water goes down a drain it pushes the air away. If the wax ring is not fully sealed, it will force the air between the floor and the bottom of the toilet, instead of down the drain pipe.

Air is also released out the main vent through the roof of the house. If the roof vent becomes blocked, the air has no place to escape. To eliminate the bathroom odors, reseal the wax ring on the toilet and ensure the main vent is not obstructed.

Basement Plumbing Odors

Traps are designed to seal out foul odors by sealing the drain with water. When the water evaporates, the seal is broken and odors enter the basement. To eliminiate the odors, simply pour a bucket of water down each trap. In addition, sinks, shower and floor drain that are used infrequently can be refilled with water to prevent smells from entering the house.

Kitchen Plumbing Odors

Foul odors in the kitchen are often caused by a garbage disposal that has a buildup of food debris. To eliminate the odor, turn on the faucet and grind ice cubes and lemon peels in the disposal, followed by a small amount of liquid dish detergent. Finish by rinse the disposal with cold water for 30 seconds.

Have questions about your plumbing system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, 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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