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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY
Sewer lines can fail for many reasons, and the older the line, the greater the risk of damage from tree root intrusion, ground shift, and cracks. Because the connection from the house to the main utility connection in the street is the homeowner's responsibility, and is not covered by most homeowner's insurance policies, it's important to ensure that the line is in good condition.

Sewer and drain line inspections

Video Sewer Line Inspections

To find out if the sewer line is clogged or damaged a sewer line snake with a small video camera is inserted into the line so a technician can see the inside of the pipe on a video screen and determine if there is an obstruction or damage.

If the sewer line is simply clogged, high pressure water jetting can usually clear obstructions in the line. Depending on the severity of damage and whether the pipe is cracked or ruptured it may be possible to repair the pipe without digging.

For your peace of mind, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning to schedule a video sewer line inspection.
Inconsistent cooling in the home is one of the most common reasons homeowners contact us for service. Hot and cold zones around the home are not only an annoyance, they’re a sign that the home's air delivery system is not operating correctly. Many homeowners will simply close or open vents, or adjust the thermostat well above or below where it should be to maintain a comfortable setting. This wastes energy and can shorten the life of your air conditioner.

Air Conditioning

Several factors can contribute to uneven cooling, but, fortunately, they can all be fixed. Here are a few things that you can do to address uneven cooling in your home

Have Your Home's Ductwork Inspected

If airflow to certain parts of the home is imbalanced, you’ll experience uneven cooling in those areas. An airflow imbalance also causes your system to work overtime in order to compensate, which in turn will shorten your system’s life and decrease its efficiency.

In order to create a balanced airflow ABC Southwest will need to inspect and assess the adequacy of your home’s ductwork. If the ducts are not properly sized, it’s important to replace them with correctly sized ones.

Identifying leaks and blockages is also important, as leaks are a major contributor to inefficiency and uneven temperatures. If blockages are identified, they will be removed to restore airflow. Once the underlying causes of the imbalance have been identified, the appropriate repairs or replacement will be made to get your system functioning normally again.

Variable Speed Motors

Variable speed motors provide more even heating and cooling, and allow for more precise control of airflow throughout the home. By moving the air more slowly through the system, variable speed motors can help make a home’s air filtration and moisture control systems more effective. They adjust the system’s output based on the home’s cooling needs. They can also be helpful in situations where uneven cooling is actually desired. If there are rooms in your home that are rarely used, you can save money by keeping them at a slightly higher or lower temperature than the other rooms in your home. This involves “zoning,” which means customizing temperature settings for different areas of the home. In general, variable speed motors are the only systems that allow for zoning within the home.

Ensure Your Air Conditioning System Is Sized Correctly

Just as you’re experiencing discomfort due to uneven temperatures, your system is constantly trying to compensate, which means high utility bills and the potential for costly repairs.

Sometimes, an improperly sized HVAC system may result in uneven cooling. This could be the result of either an incorrect load calculation at the time of the system’s installation or a home’s heating and cooling needs changing over time. For example, it is common that an extra room is added or an area like an attic is converted into living space. If your HVAC system is too small to properly heat or cool your home, uneven temperatures and system failures could result. To determine whether your HVAC system is properly sized, contact ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning for an up-to-date load calculation.
Does your central air conditioner constantly cycle on and off? Or, does it seem to run forever? If so, it could be a symptom of an AC that's too large or too small. When a new central air conditioner is installed in a home one of the most important tasks the HVAC technician performs is matching the size of the unit to the amount of air being conditioned. If the unit is too large or small for the home, problems can occur.

Some of the symptoms of an air conditioning system that is sized too large for the house include the inability of the unit to adequately dehumidify the home and powering on and off too frequently. This occurs because an overly large system will cool the air so quickly that not enough humid air is allowed to flow over the cooling coil to remove the moisture from the air. The thermostat quickly reaches the set temperature and shuts off, leaving too much humidity in the air. The only practical solution is to install a properly sized condensing unit and coils.

Have questions about your air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Even if your home has the most efficient central air conditioner available, heat and humidity from inside your home could be reducing its efficiency, resulting in higher cooling bills. The reason is that many of today's, tightly sealed, well insulated homes are great at trapping heat and humidity from appliances and other sources.

Reducing heat and humidity

While simple steps like closing blinds to block the sun, and running ceiling fans to circulate the cool air near the living space can make a big difference, there are many sources of heat and humidity inside the home that can reduce the efficiency of a cooling system. Here are some things to look for:

1. Turn off incandescent bulbs. Because most of the energy from incandescent bulbs goes to generating heat rather than light, turning them off or using a dimmer will reduce heat significantly. Better yet, replace old light bulbs with cooler lighting options like CFL or LED light bulbs. They will convert more of their energy into light, thereby operating much cooler.

2. Install the thermostat away from windows and heat sources like lamps and TVs. With the popularity of wireless, smart thermostats, many homeowners are installing the devices in a less than optimum location. A thermostat should be on an interior wall away from air ducts and electrical appliances that can cause it to read higher than normal temperatures. Interior hallways are usually a good place to mount a thermostat.

3. During hot weather, use an outside grill or cook with a microwave instead of the oven or range. Kitchens are a main source of heat and humidity inside the home.  During hot weather consider skipping the oven and stove and cook outside instead.

4. Ensure that your clothes dryer and bathroom exhaust fans are venting outside and not into the attic. An improperly installed bathroom or dryer vent can lead to excessive heat and humidity, which can also create an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow. If your bathroom or laundry room experience high levels of heat and humidity, ensure that an exhaust fan is installed and is powerful enough to clear the air.

5. Dry clothes outside. Dryers not only generate a lot of heat, but also a lot of humidity. Also ensure that the dryer vent it well connected and not leaking warm air inside the home.

6. Skip the heat dry cycle on your dishwasher. Another common source of hot, humid air inside the home is the dishwasher. The drying cycle of a dishwasher generates a lot of warm, humid air, so allow the dishes to dry at cooler temperature if possible.

7. Use a water heater blanket to reduce heat loss and make your water heater operate more efficiently. While most tanks are well insulated, a blanket will ensure it isn't wasting energy.

8. Turn off the gas supply to fireplaces and heaters. Pilot lights generate heat and waste natural gas.

Have questions about keeping your home cool? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning we're here to help.
If your water heater has a conventional storage tank, it's important to perform regular maintenance to ensure that it operates efficiently and does not wear our prematurely. Most homeowners have a water heater installed and simply forget about it until it stops heating or working altogether and needs replacement. However, with a few simple maintenance steps you can increase the lifespan of the unit while also making it work more efficiently. Annual water heater maintenance will save you money in the long run, extending the like of the unit and ensuring that it operates at peak efficiency.

Water Heater Maintenance

1. Flush the water heater tank annually

Almost all water heater manufacturers recommend flushing the tank annually. Draining the tank removes sediment build up that has collected at the bottom of the tank, allowing the burner to work more efficiently. If your home has hard water, it's especially important to drian the tank to remove mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium that will build up over time, reducing efficiency.

Before draining your water heater tank, check the manufacturer's instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater. If you're not sure what to do, play it safe and call ABC Southwest for help.

2. Check the anode rod

The anode rod hangs inside the tank to help prevent the interior walls of the tank from rusting out. It should be checked annually when the tank is drained. The anode rod is designed to corrode easily, reducing the amount of corrosion on other parts inside the tank. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the water heater. Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.

3. Insulate the water heater tank

This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it's efficiency up to 40 percent. Even though the tank may feel cool to the touch, after installing the blanket put hand under the blanket. You'll be suprised how warm it is! Before installing a water heater blanket be sure to check your manufacturer's instructions, some manufacturers advise not covering the unit. Also, be sure to cut openings out for all water heater controls, including the thermostat, pressure relief valve and other controls.

4. Inspect the exterior of the water heater for leaks

Look for signs of rust around the base of the water heater. Also check the overflow valve for signs of leaks. Are there water stains on the floor around the tank? If you notice signs of possible water leaks have the unit inspected by a plumber to ensure the tank is not rusted out or in need of maintenance. Note that some moisture around the tank is not unusual, and typically is the result of condensation on cold water pipes during humid weather.

Have questions about your hot water heater or other plumbing systems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
"Very pleasant first contact when I called. Service was scheduled for the same day! Henry was outstanding! Very professional and knowledgeable! He explained what was wrong and what needed to be done. He did a fantastic job and more than surpassed by expectations! He explained the UAC program which I chose to enroll in. Peace of mind! Thank you Henry and ABC Southwest! Great customer service! I will refer friends and family to you when they need the services you folks provide."
– Review Buzz Review, 05/07/18

"On time, neat, excellent"
– David B. Google Review, d 05/30/18

"Jonathan showed up on time and quickly analyzed my situation and arranged for the needed part to be ordered. He inspected my visible plumbing and discovered a leak onto my water heater caused by a rusted out fitting. After giving me several options, we agreed that he would replace the bad fitting and associated piping. He did this quickly and neatly. I look forward to his return to install the need part for my spa tub."
– Jonathan K. Facebook Review, 05/31/18

"Henry was friendly, knowledgeable and skillful in replacing our water heater."

– Buzz Box Review, 06/02/18

Central air conditioners have many moving parts that must work together to keep your home cool. Over time these parts are subject to wear and tear. AC noises can be a simple fix, like a loose panel cover, or a sign of a more serious problem.

Central Air Conditioner Noises

Air Conditioner Rattling Noises

Rattling noises are a pretty common with air conditioners. Over time the various fasteners attaching components to the unit can come loose. If you hear rattling, check the screws or bolts holding the cover plates in place. If the rattling noises persist after tightening the panels, remove the cover and check internally for the same issue. After listening for rattles, always turn the power to the unit off at the breaker.

AC Whistling Sounds

Whistling sounds are usually heard when seals are leaking. Check for cracks and gaps in the seams of ducts near the unit and the ductwork that carries the air throughout the home. Examine the seams around these areas for loose connections and retighten any screws or bolts. If heat tape was used to also cover the seals, make sure the tape completely adheres to the duct seams.

Screeching Sounds

Like your car, the air conditioner motor uses belts. If there is periodic screeching that only occurs when the unit turns on to blow air or cool the air down, it is likely a worn-out belt that needs to be replaced. Over time belts can stretch and wear out. A qualified HVAC technician should check the belt and replace it if needed.

Clunking Sounds

Clunking sounds can mean something has come loose inside the air conditioner unit. A loose fan blade on a motor can make sounds as it turns. Or it could be a plastic component or cover plate coming into contact with the. A qualified HVAC technician should inspect the unit to ensure it is operating safely.

Concerned about noises from your central air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Tankless water heaters have revolutionized the home water heater. They produce more hot water, at a more consistent temperatures, using less energy than typical tank-style water heaters.

Tankless Water Heater Advantages

Here are some benefits to think about when considering a tankless water heater:

1. Energy Cost Saving

Because tankless water heaters provide hot water only when it’s needed, they can save you up to 40%* on your energy bill. They feature Energy Factors of 0.82 up to 0.96, while tanks are typically 0.60.

2. Endless Hot Water

Tankless hot water heaters do not store a large volume of hot water that can be depleted, but rather heat the water as it’s being used, giving you endless comfort in the form of continuous hot water at a consistent temperature. You can even use hot water for multiple tasks—such as showering, washing dishes or doing laundry—at the same time without worrying about running out.

3. Space Savings

Traditional tank water heaters can take up to 16 square feet of valuable floor space. Tankless water heaters, however, are a fraction of the size and can be installed on virtually any wall, indoors or outdoors.

4. Increased Lifespan

Tankless water heaters have a typical life expectancy of up to 20 years—twice as long as a tank-style unit.

5. Environmentally Friendly

Most tankless gas water heaters have earned ENERGY STAR® approval by meeting the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

* As based on the average cost to run an electric tank water heater per the DOE Average
Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing emergencies can range from leaking pipes and backed up sewer lines to a faucets that won't shut off and water heaters that are leaking water. Because plumbing problems can happen anytime, it's important that everyone in the household know the location of the shutoff valve for every plumbing fixture and appliance, as well as the home's main shutoff valve.

Water Shutoff Valves

If a specific plumbing fixture or appliance like a faucet or toilet is leaking or malfunctioning, first look for the fixture supply valve shut-off valve and turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply to the affected fixture. The shutoff valve is usually located underneath the toilet or sink. Clothes washers will have two shutoff valves, one each for hot and cold water, often located behind the appliance

If the problem is not with a specific fixture or appliance, or you cannot locate the shutoff valve, locate the main shutoff valve to turn off the water to the entire house. The main shutoff valve will be on the inside where the main water supply pipe enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off. If the valve is difficult to turn, keep a wrench near the valve for emergencies.

Have a plumbing emergency? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. Our professional plumbers will be there in minutes to help fix the problem.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance


Tankless, or on-demand water heaters are high tech appliances that deliver an endless supply of hot water throughout the home. They can save a lot of energy by heating water only when it's needed, unlike a tank water heater that must heat the tank continuously. Tankless water heaters are also one of the most complex plumbing devices available for the home and require proper maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently and reliably.

Removing Limescale

Over time, tankless water heaters will accumulate minerals on the inside of the tank's heating chamber. This buildup can reduce efficiency and cause the unit to run louder than usual when heating. The unit should be flushed regularly, usually once a year, to remove to accumulated mineral deposits. The steps involved will vary by manufacturer, but the procedure usually involves attaching a hose and flushing the tank with vinegar. If you're not sure of the procedure you should have a qualified technician maintain the unit.

Cleaning the Screen Filter

The second tankless water heater maintenance task involves cleaning the in-line screen filter to remove any accumulated debris.  First, turn off the incoming water supply. The filter is located on inlet fixture on the cabinet. Unscrew the plug to remove the filter. Rinse the filter off and reinstall it on the unit. Because the procedure will vary by manufacturer, it's a good idea to have a qualified technician perform the maintenance. 

Have questions about maintaining your tankless water heater? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
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