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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

Saturday, 24 November 2018 00:01

4 Ways To Prevent Kitchen Drain Problems


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.
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 19:06

The ABC's of Plumbing - Hydrojetting

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.
If the pilot light pilot light on your gas water heater will not stay lit or the burner that will not ignite, you likely have a defective thermocouple. A thermocouple works by sensing the heat from the pilot flame and, when the temperature is high enough, it sends a signal to the gas valve to supply gas to the pilot light.

Water Heater Thermocouple

A thermocouple is an important safety device that prevents gas from being sent to the pilot and burner if there is no source of ignition. If the gas were to continue flowing to an unlit pilot light, the result would be a hazardous buildup of natural gas. While the part sends an electric signal to the gas valve, it doesn't use any electricity itself, but instead uses heat to generate an electrical impulse.

The first sign that a thermocouple is failing is that the supply of hot water is reduced or stopped altogether as the thermocouple receives false signals and shuts off the gas, thinking the pilot light is out. If the pilot light remains lit but the gas supply is shut off, the thermocouple is the likely culprit. A plumber should inspect the unit to diagnose the problem. If the thermocouple has stopped working, it is not repairable and should be replaced.

Have questions about your water heater? Cll ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

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.
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 15:02

5 DIY Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

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.
Tuesday, 07 August 2018 21:57

Protect Your Family From Hot Water Scalding

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.
Low Water Pressure

If your home's water pressure doesn't seem strong enough there are a number of possible causes. First, if the water pressure is only low in a few places, such as a shower head or faucet, it could be that the shower head or faucet aerator are clogged with mineral deposits. Soaking the fixture in vinegar overnight will dissolve the buildup and get the water flowing.

If low water pressure is a problem with all plumbing fixtures, inside and outside the home, consider the age of the home. If the home was build in the 1960 or 1970s it may have galvanized steel pipes. The galvanization was designed to prevent corrosion of the steel pipes. However, when the galvanization wears away, rust can build up over time. The result is reduced water pressure. To fix the problem, the pipes will need to be replaced. If the house was built in the 1980s or later, there is likely another issue with the plumbing. Check that the main water shut-off valve is fully open.

Perform a Water Pressure Test

Water pressure can be tested using a pressure gauge on an outside water spigot. Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and normal water pressure is typically between 30 and 80 PSI. If the reading is less than 40 psi, the city may be delivering water at a low pressure. If the city can't boost the pressure, consider installing a water pressure booster system.

Have questions about water pressure in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your plumbing needs.
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 15:31

Choosing the Best Water Filtration System

Sarasota Water Filtration

When choosing a water filtration system for your home there are several things you will want to consider to ensure that the system provides the best solution for your needs. 

1. What's in the Water?

Most homeowners purchase a water filtration system because of a problem with their water. The water may be too hard, have poor taste or odors, or there may be concerns about contamination. The first step in choosing the right solution is to understand what's in your water. If you get your water from the city you can request an annual water quality report. The EPA requires all community water systems to deliver an annual water quality report, called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). If you have a well, you can order an independent water analysis. Once you know what's in your water, you can make an informed decision about which water treatment option is best for your home.

2. Is the Water Treatment For Drinking and Cooking, or the Whole House?
If a water test has revealed a high level of contaminants in the water, such as bacteria, or you're experiencing iron staining, a whole house water treatment system is usually a better choice. If the water test shows no significant problems, but you're not happy with the taste of the water from the tap, installing a water filter under the kitchen sink may solve the problem.

3. Does All Your Water Come From a Private Well?
Studies have shown that more than a third of U.S. homes with private wells have E. coli and other potentially harmful bacteria. For homes with wells, we recommend a reverse osmosis or UV whole house water treatment system.Even for homes with city water, contamination is still a risk. Over 600 boil water alerts are issued every day by city water districts in the U.S.

4. How Much Water Does Your Household Use?
How much water will flow through the home during peak usage? Knowing the number of bathrooms in a home is often a quick and simple way to determine the size needed of specific water treatment systems.

5. How many people are in the household?
Generally, knowing the number of people live in your home will help to estimate the total water usage, and therefore what size water filtration system would be best suited for your home.

Have questions about choosing the right water filtration system for your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help.
Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:21

How Often Should I Flush My Water Heater Tank?

If you have a tank-style gas or electric water heater you can extend the lifespan of the unit by regularly flushing the tank to remove sediment build-up that can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the lifespan of the unit. Sediment is caused by minerals in the water that accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Flushing the tank removed the buildup and helps the burner work more efficiently. It also reduces the likelihood that the bottom of the tank will develop corrosion and leaks.

Sarasota Water Heater Maintenance

How often you should flush the tank depends on a number of factors, including the size of the tank, the number of people in the household and how hard your water is. Here is a general guide for how often you should flush your tank.

1 or 2 person household - Inspect the water heater every 6 months and flush the tank every 12 months.

3 or 5 person household - Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 8 months.

6 or more person household: Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 6 months.

Need help maintaining your water heater? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help with all you home pluming maintenance needs.
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