Consider It Done!
PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Thursday, 04 April 2019 15:48
Water quality is an important consideration for many homeowners in Southwest Florida. Impurities in water can affect taste, hardness and health. While water treatment plants are required to meet EPA standards for contamination levels, a routine water test is a good idea, even if you don't get your water from a well.

Water Quality Sarasota

Here are some of the contaminants that a water test can find in drinking water:

Microorganisms

Harmful microorganisms include viruses, cryptosporidium and giardia,all of which can lead to gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cramps.

Disinfection Byproducts

Chlorite is a byproduct of drinking water disinfection. In can cause anemia and nervous system effects in infants and young children. Bromate and haloacetic acids are another byproduct of water treatment and have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Inorganic Chemicals

Inorganic chemicals include: arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, Copper, chromium, lead, mercury, nitrates and other chemicals. These contaminants can occur naturally in the soil that comes in contact with water, as well as from industrial and agricultural byproducts. Even in very small quantities many organic chemicals can cause serious health problems.

Organic Chemicals

Organic chemicals include benzene, dioxine, toluene and other chemicals that can be found in industrial waste and agricultural pesticides and herbicides.

If your drinking water has elevated levels of contamination, or the water hardness, flavor and color is a concern, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We offer a number of solutions for cleaner water, including water softeners and whole home water treatment systems.


Tuesday, 02 April 2019 18:43
Humidity and Indoor Air Quality in Florida

In the subtropical climate of southwest Florida warm humid air keeps our central air conditioners working almost year round to keep the air in our homes cool and comfortable. While one of an air conditioner's main purposes is to remove moisture from the air to reduce humidity, in many homes high humidity can lead to air quality problems.

If your indoor humidity is above 60 percent you may notice condensation on windows, a musty smell and mold growth in bathrooms and other areas of your home.

What Is a Healthy Indoor Humidity Level?

Many newer digital and smart thermostats will display the relative humidity (RH) in your home. You can alos buy a hygrometer to measure the humidity. For healthy air and comfort a range of 30-50% is ideal.

The Effects of High Humidity In the Home

Besides being just plain uncomfortable, excessive humidity can cause a number of problems that can effect your health, including crating an ideal environment for mold growth and dust mites – both of which can lead to allergies and other respiratory ailments.

High humidity can also damage your home by warping wood furniture, cupping wood floors and peeling paint and wall paper.

Controlling Humidity Levels In the Home

While your central AC will remove much of the humidity in the air, it's also important to avoid creating a lot of humidity inside. Sources of humidity include: cooking, doing laundry, bathing and other household tasks. Ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. If humidity is a problem in these spaces, consider increasing the size of the ventilation and exhaust fans to remove the humid air.

When the temperatures are lower, consider leaving doors open to allow air to circulate and opening drapes and partially opening blinds on sunny days can also reduce the buildup of excess moisture in the home.

If you're concerned about excessive humidity in your home, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning we can help.
Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:22
Thank you to all of our customers who took the time to tell us about their experience this March. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to serving you again in the future.

"No one loves plumbing problems, but I do feel like this is my lucky day! Imagine this…….do a load of laundry, and it backs up in your shower and overflows onto your bathroom floor. Well, that’s what I encountered a few days ago. After a very quick Google search, because I did not have a previous plumber in my back pocket, I ran across ABC Southwest. After looking at their site, and reading over some of their information (i.e. pricing by the job….not price by hour, offering jetting services, and such glowing reviews)…. well, I had to give them a call. Savannah made a very favorable first impression. She was professional and personable. She assured me she would be able to get someone to my home later that same day. At this point, I had my fingers crossed that I had made a good decision despite such a quick decision to call them. From the very beginning once Henry stepped onto my property, I began to feel better. He let me talk through what was happening with my plumbing. I had a few other things happening other than the laundry water in the shower incident. I needed to know if any of this other stuff had a bearing on the immediate issue….and wanted him to have all the information to better help him assess the problem. He listened patiently. Bottom line, Henry knows his stuff. He was able to assess what he believed was happening. In this initial process, he helped alleviate some of my fears and gave me some confidence that I was in good hands. Here’s the concise scoop: Henry was professional, knowledgeable, and put up with numerous questions I had throughout the process My plumbing problem was solved in a very timely manner On the second day, Bobby joined Henry to assist. I found him to be very eager to help solve my problem. He was very courteous and pleasant. I have now found a business which I feel most comfortable relying upon in the future for plumbing and/or AC needs I did decide to avail myself of the Ultimate Advantage Club for 1 year. It not only saved me money on these initial plumbing services, but I’ve already received a call from ABC to schedule a checkup on my AC unit. I’m not expecting any kind of “up-sell” tactic on this because I did not feel any of that strategy with Henry. I did have to have a rather expensive process completed on my 1962 home’s sewer lines….(just over $2k). HOWEVER….when I saw what all was involved, I really felt like I got my money’s worth. It was a necessary undertaking, and as stated before, Henry kept answering my questions, giving me assurances that he was going to solve the problem, etc. I was more than happy having to spend the money to get this problem solved. Having plumbing issues…….BAD. Finding ABC Southwest……..VERY GOOD. I highly recommend ABC based on my initial interactions with them over the past few days. I never write reviews or give feedback. This time, I felt compelled to take the time in the hopes it helps someone else."
– Google Review

"I have had 2 gentlemen come out for service. First to change our water heater (Tanner Feb/19) & one to have an inspection done on our A/C (David B. Mar/19) Both men were very respectful & courteous! Unfortunately our water heater broke and had to be changed. Our A/C unit was only having a check up (11 yrs old) but David B. gave us a quote for repairs & cost of new units. He did not push the most expensive unit on us which we appreciate his suggestion! Unit is being installed next day. Love the fast service as we are leaving to go back to Canada!"
– Review Buzz Review

"David was here and since I don't know much about a/c, he could have really ripped me off. Instead, he said everything was fine for now, I didn't need to do anything right away, and told me what ABC could do in the future for preventive and/or maintenance work. Wow - what a nice surprise. When I need a/c work or plumbing done, I will be sure to call ABC. Thank you for sending me an honest employee - I hope they are all like him!""
– BBB Review

Read the latest reviews
Tuesday, 19 March 2019 16:27
Preventing Sewer and Drain Line Problems
A backed-up sewer line can be a real disaster, resulting in extensive damage to your home and in many cases requiring expensive repairs to your plumbing system. It's important to know the warning signs of sewer and drain problems to prevent the small problems from becoming drain disasters.

Knowing the Warning Signs

A home's sewer and drain system is designed like a tree, with branches of drain pipes leading to  main trunk line that runs out of the house to the sewer main. If there is a clog in a secondary line it's going be isolated to that line. For example, if your bathroom sink is clogged and the toilet flushes normally, it's isolated to the sink drain. However, it the problem is with the main line, the toilet may percolate and waste water may come up from the shower or tub drain or floor drain in the basement.

Slow to empty drains and gurgling noises from toilets are often the first warning signs that your sewer system is obstructed. It's important to have a sewer line inspection as soon as possible to identify and correct the problem.

Preventative Sewer Line Maintenance

Most home owner's insurance policies do not cover sewer line problems and repairs and in most cities, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sewer line that runs form the house to the sewer main by the street.

You can reduce the potential for sewer and drain clogs by keeping materials like cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, baby wipes and other waste products out of toilets. This would include products marketed as "flushable". Pouring paint, grease and oil and other chemicals down the drain is not only harmful to the environment, it can cause problems inside the pipes.

Among the most common cause of sewer line backups and damage is tree root intrusion. A sewer and drain line inspection is cheap insurance and can find potential problems with tree root intrusion, broken or disconnected pipes, debris build-up and more. If problems are found your plumber has many tools to help clear or repair the line, including rodding, water-jetting, and trench-less sewer line repair. A follow-up video camera inspection will help to ensure that the repair was successful.

Have questions about your sewer and drain lines? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. From video camera inspections to sewer and drain line cleaning and repair, we can help.
Monday, 18 March 2019 15:01
Spring Plumbing Checklist

Spring is a good time to take a look around your home to find any plumbing issues that could lead to expensive damage to your home. Problems like water leaks, and inefficient plumbing fixtures can also lead wasted water and energy as well as higher utility bills.

Kitchen Plumbing

  • Check the faucet for drips and repair if needed
  • Check under the sink for signs of water leaks, including water stains or mold
  • Inspect the operation of the disposal, does it sound louder than it should?
  • Do the kitchen drains empty quickly, or do they need cleaning?

Bathroom Plumbing

  • Look for drips and leaks around toilets
  • Check for cracks in the toilet tank and bowl
  • Does the toilet run for longer than it should or does the handle need to be held down to empty completely? The parts may be worn out and need replacement
  • To see if the toilet is leaking, add several drops of food coloring to the tank. Check the bowl 30 minutes later. If the water has become colored, there is a leak
  • Check drains by filling sinks, tubs and showers with water. Do they drain quickly? Or do they need cleaning?
  • Check faucets and shower heads for mineral build-up. Soak fixtures in vinegar overnight to dissolve the deposits

General Plumbing

  • If plumbing fixtures are unused for long periods of time, exercise faucets and valves under sinks and toilets to prevent sticking
  • Check the water heater thermostat. It should be set to 120 or lower to prevent scalding
  • Flush the water heater tank to remove sediment at the bottom of the tank that can reduce efficiency and lead to corrosion. Check your water heater manual for the proper procedure for draining and maintaining the unit
  • If the water heater is over 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model
  • Ensure there ere no flammable liquids store near the water heater
  • Check washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or other signs of wear. Replace with stainless steal hoses if needed
  • Pour a bucket of water into floor drains to fill the trap and prevent odors
  • Check for signs of water leaks in ceilings and under sinks
  • Ensure that pluming vents outside the home are free of obstructions such as bird nests and debris
  • Ensure the sump pump is working properly by pouring a bucket of water in the pump pit. The pump should turn on a drain the water away
If you have water leaks, slow drains or other plumbing problems, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help with all your plumbing repair and installation needs.
Friday, 08 March 2019 22:44
Natural Drain Cleaning Products

When a bathroom or kitchen drain becomes clogged many homeowners will reach for a commercial drain cleaner to clear the clog. While chemical drain cleaning products can be very effective at removing grease, hair and other organic material, they can be hazardous to your health and damage your plumbing if not used in a safe manner.

Chemical drain cleaners often contain chemicals such as lye, sodium hydroxide or sodium nitrate. Many of these chemicals can cause severe burns and blindness and must be handled with extreme care.

Enzyme Drain Cleaners

One safe and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners are enzymatic drain cleaners. Natural bacteria or enzymes are put into the drain to feed on  hair, food waste and other organic material. These living organisms multiply inside the pipe and gradually clean the clog away. While not as fast acting as chemical cleaners, they are generally not harmful to people.

Home-made Drain Cleaner

Another way to safely clean out a drain is to use vinegar and baking soda.
    
Step 1 - pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain.
Step 2 - pour half a cup of vinegar.
Step 3 - Wait 15 minutes
Step 4 - pour in hot tap water.

An alternative method is to mix equal parts salt, vinegar and baking soda. Pour the mixture into the drain. Wait one hour, and then pour in hot water.

Water Jetting
If you have a stubborn drain clog and don't want to bother with chemical or enzyme-based cleaners, water jetting is a good option. Water-jetting is a safe and effective way to scour the inside of drain pipes to remove all the residue that snaking and rodding can leave behind.

Need help with clogged drains? Call ABC
Saturday, 09 March 2019 21:25
Central Air Conditioner Smells
Is your central air conditioner emitting a musty or sour smell? There are a few things you can check. In addition to lowering the temperature in your home your air conditioner also dehumidifies the air by blowing warm air over coils that contain refrigerant. This both reduces the temperature of the air and extracts the moisture from the air through condensation. The moisture drips off the coil and collects in a condensate pan where it can flow down the drain.

Condensate Pan

The condensate pan is located inside the air handler right under the refrigerant coils. When dirt and debris collect in the pan it can clog the drain hole, causing mold and mildew to grow – resulting in a musty smell.

If the drain is clogged you can us a piece of wire or a paper clip to clean out the drain opening. If there are signs of mold or mildew, wipe the pan clean with a sponge and  diluted chlorine bleach.

Air Ducts

If humidity levels reach high enough levels it can cause the dirt inside air ducts to turn to mold. Mold in the air ducts can be a serious health hazard. If you notice mold inside air ducts, or experience musty smells coming from the air registers, your ventilation system could be harboring mold. You should contact a mold specialist to have the duct work inspected.

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter can limit the amount of air that can cycle through the system, creating an increase in humidity and dampness in the ventilation system – creating an ideal environment for mold to grow. Replace your air filter at least once a month, or at the interval recommended by the filter manufacturer.

If you suspect your central air conditioner is causing strange smells in your home, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can inspect the system and ensure that it is operating safely and reliably.
Thursday, 21 February 2019 00:41
How Long Should My Central Air Conditioner Run?

If you're noticing that your air conditioner is running for longer than usual, or not running for as long as usual, it's important to consider all the factors that determine the length of a cooling cycle. The air temperature outside, the size and condition of air ducts, the amount of insulation, and the quality of the weather stripping around windows and doors, are just a few of the factors that will determine the length of the cooling cycle.

Outside Temperature

The cooling cycle lasts until the temperature on the thermostat is reached. It shuts off at that point and starts again when the house begins to warm up again.  If it is just a few degrees warmer outside, it may run for a few minutes. If it is very hot and humid, with a 30 degree difference between the thermostat setting and outside temperature, it may need to run much longer to reach the desired temperature.

Air Ducts and Circulation

Because a central air conditioner performs best when cooling the entire house, it's best to keep all vents and doors open when possible. Closing off rooms will not save energy, it will only make the AC work harder. Keeping your AC properly maintained, including changing the filter regularly, will also ensure that it's performing at peak efficiency.

AC Sizing

Air conditioners perform best when they are properly sized for the space they are cooling. The size of an air conditioner is measured in BTUs. One BTU is equal to the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. If your air conditioner has more BTUs than necessary, it will cycle more frequently. If it has too few BTUs, it will run much longer per cycle.

Assuming your central air conditioner is properly sized for your home, it should be able to cool and remove moisture from the air in 7 to 10-minute cycles. If not there could be a problem.

Have questions about your central air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Monday, 25 February 2019 14:49
Selecting a low-flow toilet
Toilets account for a large proportion of the water usedin the average home. When replacing  existing toilets it makes sense to check the gallons-per-flush to save water. You'll save money on your utility bill, and you help preserve our most precious natural resource.

High Efficiency Toilets

Low-flow toilets, or high-efficiency toilets (HET), have become more efficient and reliable, save more water while providing plenty of flushing power. To be classified as a HET by the EPA, a toilet must use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. They typically have an efficient design that uses gravity to empty the bowl.

Ultra-High Efficiency Toilets

Ultra-high-efficiency toilets (UHET) use only 1.28 gallons per flush. Some models use air pressure for flush assistance in the form of a special air tank integrated into the toilet. This can increase the noise when flushing due to the use of air pressure. They may also require a power connection, and could need more frequent maintenance.

Other low-flush toilets use a small pump within the unit to assist with flushing. While these toilets are sleek and modern, they also require a power source.

Dual-Flush Toilets

Dual-flush toilets, as the name suggest, can flush with different amounts of water. One button releases a small amount of water while a second empties a larger amount of water for solid waste, making them a smart and efficient alternative.

The more complexity and technology a toilet has, the greater the cost of installation and maintenance. So it's important to weight the long-term utility savings against the up-front cost of installation.

If you're replacing a new toilet and have questions about the different options available, give ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call, we can help all your plumbing questions.
Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:07
Why Do I Quickly Run Out of Hot Water?
Does your shower start out nice and hot, then rapidly run out after just a few minute? If the problem is only happening while taking a shower, it could be the shower mixer. A plumber should check the pressure balance and temperature control faucet. When they are not working properly, you will notice a reduction in the hot water pressure as when using a faucet. Temperature control shower faucets have a spring that turns the hot water supply down when it detects a change in the water temperature. As the spring ages and wears out it results in a loss of hot water temperature.

Broken Dip Tube

Another common cause of rapid hot water loss is a broken dip tube. This dip tube is a pipe inside the water heater that passes cold water through the hot water to the bottom of the tank so the burner can heat it up. If the dip tube falls off, the cold water empties into the top of the water heater and overruns the hot water outlet, sending cold water to the shower.

To determine if the dip tube is the cause of the problem and to stop the loss of hot water your plumber will need to pull the cold water inlet pipe out ot the water heater to check  the condition of the dip tube.

Water Heater Age

A water heater will typically last around 10 years. Over time sediment can build up leading to corrosion. The burning will gradually become less efficient and will produce less hot water in the same period of time as it used to. Consider the age of the unit when deciding wether to repair or replace the water heater.

Have water heater problems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help diagnose the cause and recommend effective solutions to get the hot water flowing again.
Page 1 of 20

More than a promise, our level of service is guaranteed

  • Live operators - no answering machines
  • Appointments made around your schedule
  • Friendly, uniformed technicians
  • On time arrival
  • We wear shoe covers and use work mats
  • We explain all options in non-technical language
  • Follow up to make sure you're 100% satisfied
  • We stand by everything we do - NO EXCEPTIONS!
About You No Surprises

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4