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Plumbing Tips and Advice

Plumbing Tips and Advice (148)

Tankless water heaters heat water in a similar way as conventional water heaters, except they don't store the heated water. Instead, they heat the water only when it's needed. This eliminates the energy required to keep a supply of heated water fully heated.

When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water is drawn into the water heater. A sensor detects the flow and activates a gas burner, which warms a heat exchanger. The flow of cold water circulated around the heat exchanger and exits the water heater at its set-point temperature.

By heating water only when needed, rather than maintaining a full tank of hot water at all times, tankless water heaters operate with greater efficiency than standard tank-type water heaters.

In addition to greater efficiency, tankless water heaters will last about five to 10 years longer than a conventional tank heater. They also take up much less space and provide you with an unlimited amount of hot water.

On the downside, a tankless system can cost up to three times as much as a tank-style heater and are more complicated to install than traditional water heaters.

Have questions about tankless water heaters? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Have you ever wondered how much water those little drips and slow leaks around your home are wasting? Here are some eye-opening statistics about household water leaks in the U.S.
  • Leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year in the average household, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household water leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That's equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Fortunately, most leaks are simple to fix and are mostly caused by worn washers and seals.
So how much are those water leaks around your home wasting? Find out be using our water drip calculator.

Enter number of drips per minute into the box below and then click Calculate.
 
 

 
Gallons per Day
Gallons in a 30 day Month
Gallons lost in a Year


Need help repairing those water drips and leaks around the home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can fix and plumbing problems, big or small.
The under sink kitchen garbage disposal is a wonderful time saving device that reduces the amount of trash in landfills and makes cleaning up in the kitchen a much more pleasant activity. But how does a garbage disposal actually work?

A common misconception is that a disposal is simply a powerful blender that uses spinning blades to shred food waste into tiny particles so they can fit down the drain. In reality, a disposal has no blades at all, but instead uses impellers (also called lugs) mounted on a rotating plate to spins the waste outward using centrifugal force. The waste is pushed against a grind ring which pulverizes the particles before the running water flushes the waste down the drain.

To keep your disposal working smoothly always run lots of water during the grinding process and for at least 15 seconds after the sound of grinding stops.

Have questions about your garbage disposal or other plumbing systems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Thursday, 19 February 2015 15:10

The ABCs of Plumbing – How Toilets Work

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Every home has a least one, and we don't usually think about how much we depend on them until something goes wrong. So how does a toilet work? It's a simple process that involved three main parts, including:
  • Flush mechanism
  • Bowl siphon
  • Refill mechanism
The flush mechanism is activated by a handle that is connected to the flush valve chain which opens the flush valve long enough for the water in the tank to empty into the toilet bowl.

The bowl siphon is molded into the base of the bowl itself and is shaped like an upside down "U". It connects the toilet bowl to the sewer line below and transports water one to the other. As soon as the bowl emptied, air enters the siphon pipe, stopping the siphoning process.

Once the tank has emptied, the refill mechanism takes over as the flush valve now rests against the bottom of the tank, sealing the drain hole and allowing the tank to be refilled, allowing the flushing process to be repeated again.

Have questions about your toilet or other plumbing systems? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.
The U.S. Department of Energy has put into effect new regulations that require all manufacturers of water heaters to meet a higher energy factor (EF) rating. Based on the new requirements, there will be significant changes to water heaters manufactured after April 15, 2015. This includes gas, oil, electric water heaters. Tankless water heaters already meet the new requirements.

How do these changes affect you?

Some of the changes that may affect you as a consumer are:
· Higher priced units – up to 35% more expensive.
· Larger units – 2” tall and 2” wider, and in some cases units may be even larger.
· More complex installation requirements
· Possible significant home remodeling costs if your water heater is located in a small space like a closet or attic.

These new regulations are being made to improve the efficiency of water heaters, which will result in lower energy costs for homeowners.

Water Heater Regulations

Should I Wait, Or Upgrade Now?

Sarasota Water HeatersAccording to manufacturer’s suggested service life, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 8-12 years. Homeowners with water heaters 10 years old or older need to seriously consider replacing it now, before the regulations go into effect and costs go up.

ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning will answer any questions you may have about the new regulations, evaluate your current water heater and provide you with options on the next steps. Then, if you decide you want to install before the new regulations take affect we’ll reserve your water heater from our inventory.

For more information, visit:
U.S. Department of Energy
AO Smith
American Water Heaters
State Water Heaters
Thursday, 08 January 2015 15:57

Solving Hot Water Pressure Problems

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Low hot water pressure can worsen over time as sediment, rust and mineral deposits accumulate in pipes and inside the water heater. Galvanized pipes are especially prone to clogging over time.

Another common source of low hot water pressure is faucet aerators that have a buildup of mineral deposits. To remove mineral build up from aerators and shower heads, remove them from the fixture and soak them overnight in vinegar.

Finally, the water heater itself may be clogged or simply worn out. Accumulated sediment in the water heater tank can reduce heating efficiency over time. Check you water heater owner's manual for instructions on flushing the water heater tank. If the water heater is more than 10 years old it's probably more cost effective to replace it rather than repair it, since a new water heater will offer higher efficiency.

Have plumbing questions? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 01:56

Preventing Drain Disasters During the Holidays

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The holidays can be particularly demanding on your home's plumbing system, and especially drains. With the extra demands brought on by holiday visitors and large meals, the risk of clogs increases significantly.

Here are some tips to avoid drain problems during the holidays.
1. Deep frying your turkey this year? Remember to never dispose of fryer grease down the drain! Even a floor drain. Instead, put it in a sealed container and freeze it if possible before putting it in the garbage.

2. Coffee ground should not be put down the drain or disposal.

3. Make sure your kitchen and bath drains have a grate or screen to prevent debris like hair and other waste from building up in the drain pipe.

4. Rinse the drain with hot water to prevent oil and grease from accumulating.

Have a clogged drain?

If all else fails to clear your clogged drain, Call ABC. We're here to help anytime.

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 20:54

The Hazards of Chemical Drain Cleaners In The Home

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The Hazards of Chemical Drain Cleaners In The Home

Household drain cleaners are among the most dangerous chemicals found in American households. They can not only be dangerous to your family's health, but can also damage your home's plumbing system.

Chemical drain cleaners are available in several forms. Alkaline drain openers contain sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Acidic drain cleaners contain concentrated sulphuric acid. Other chemicals found in drain cleaners include bleach and lye.

While drain cleaners can be effective at removing organic matter from the immediate area below the drain opening, they are not as effective on tougher clogs that form further down the drain pipe, particularly toilet and sewer line clogs.

Because most chemical drain cleaners will cause a chemical reaction when coming in contact with the organic matter clogging the drain, it's essential that they be added slowly and that you protect your face and skin from any potential contact with the chemicals. Contact with the chemicals can cause burns, blindness and inflammation to your respiratory system.

Chemical drain cleaners can also corrode pipes, and damage other materials in your kitchen or bathroom, such as wood, paint, aluminum and fiberglass.

The Advantages of Professional Drain Cleaning

The safest – and most effective - alternative to clearing clogged drains is to call a professional plumber. A plumber uses mechnical means to physically remove the toughest clogs that chemical drain cleaners either cannot reach or fully dissolve.

Best of all, you won't need to store hazardous chemicals in your home, risking your family's health and potential damage to your plumbing system.

The next time you have a clogged drain emergency, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We'll arrive in minutes not hours to clear your clogged drains, FAST.
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