Must Know Things About Your Sink and Toilet

In college, you learned several things and some of them you only applied in the exam, and since then, you have not even come across situations where you can apply them in a practical scenario. Amazingly, we sometimes seem uninterested in learning more about the things we need in our everyday life, but sometimes they can be what matters most.

A good example of something you need every day but you have never bothered to learn about is the toilet you probably just used this morning. Unless you don’t need your bathroom and kitchen, it’s good to know a few simple things about what you should do and should not do when using them. Toilet, sink, shower and tub are all important plumbing items.

Care of Drain and Disposal Systems

clogged sinkYou should never drain oily water on the kitchen sinks because the oil or grease can coagulate and block your kitchen sink pipes. Although this will not happen immediately, and sometimes takes months to show, the oils and fats in the water will collect, and hot water alone will not remove it.

Sometimes such a scenario might lead to a professional sewer line cleaning or a replacement of the whole pipe affected. Avoid spending money on things that you can avoid. Therefore, it is best to dispose of that grease and oily water elsewhere, and avoid draining it on the kitchen sink.

Use Garbage Disposals for the Solid Waste in Your Kitchen

Some waste should not be place in the garbage disposer. Bones, lemon and lime peels, shellfish shells, grease, paper or plastic should never be place in the disposer. Only soft food items. Teach your kids why they should avoid inappropriate disposal of solid waste and that only waste that can be easily ground should go into the garbage disposals.

Toilet Tips You Should Know

clogged toiletDepending on the public waste disposal system implemented in your area, there is some solid waste that should not be flushed through the toilet. Often in the rural areas, you will find septic tanks in many homes. Cotton, sanitary pads, and thick tissue papers should not be flushed in toilets or septic systems. These waste items might lead to blockages in both types of systems. Therefore, flushing sanitary pads and other cotton materials through the toilet can lead to clogs that affect a wide area.

There are other several ways of protecting the plumbing system, and you are encouraged to continue reading our blogs. If you need our drain cleaning services, you can contact us through our website www.dallasplumbing.com or give us a call.

Fix Minor Plumbing Issues- DIY

Are you ready to become a DIY plumbing expert, or at least someone who can fix the minor plumbing issues that come up? There are a number of reasons why you may need to hire services of a plumber, but most of the time some minor problems can be avoided easily. If you equip yourself with a few plumbing tips you can be in a position to combat common plumbing issues from occurring. This will save you lots of unnecessary hassles and money in the long run.

The following are some plumbing tips that you can use for both inside and outside your home to prevent common problems.

The Basement 

The basement of your home is one of the areas where problems arise. But if you adhere to the following simple plumbing tips you can prevent these issues.

  • One of the things that you can do is ensure you check your water heater settings frequently to ascertain it is at a maximum. You will reduce energy usage and prevent the instances of too hot water when you shower.
  • It is also advisable to make sure you pour water regularly if you have drains in your basement. Gases emitted by the sewer can lead to a high concentration of unpleasant smells, but if you pour a lot of water down them, you can prevent this problem.
  • In addition, for those people who have septic tanks in their basement, it is essential to hire a professional to inspect it and make sure it is pumped at least once every 3 years. If you ignore this, you may be required to change the filter field, which is a bit expensive.

These few simple steps in caring for your basement plumbing system will keep your system in tip top shape and prevent bigger, more expensive problems from occurring.

In the Kitchen / Pantry

The kitchen is another area that gives rise to the most common plumbing issues, but there are a few plumbing tips to adhere to as well. One of the golden tips for the kitchen is to restrain from disposing of greasy substances down the drain. If you do this you might end up blocking the drain.

  • Ensure kitchen plumbing maintenance is to keep your faucet’s aerator clean.
  • Low water pressure from the faucet/sprayer or water leaks from the handle are usually caused by lime buildup and sediment blocking the small openings inside the aerator.
  • The garbage disposal is another area that poses common problems in the kitchen and you are advised to avoid disposing of wrong types of food stuff down it.

In the Restroom

  • Check the toilet’s water level to be sure that water doesn’t rise above the overflow pipe. Check it by locating the pipe in the center of the toilet’s water tank (it’ll have a piece of tubing connected to it).
  • It’s easy to ignore that little drip from the sink, but the EPA reports that a leaky faucet that drips one drop per second wastes about 3,000 gallons of water a year. That’s equal to 180 showers! Can you afford to waste money on water you aren’t even using? If water won’t stop flowing, then you may need to shut off your main water valve. Approach leaks with caution to prevent greater damage. Start your cost-savings today by putting a stop to leaky faucets.
  • Be cautious of what goes down your toilet in the bathroom. Make sure nothing else goes down except toilet paper. When you notice your bathroom faucets are leaking, get someone to fix them because they can cause serious water wastage and cause more expensive problems in future.

Outside the Home 

  • Ensure you clean any leaves or debris from your drains and gutters on a regular basis. For instance, you find a buildup of such materials in vent pipes can give rise to serious problems.
  • Check regularly for stagnant water in your home yard as this might be an indicator of a leaking pipe, and if notice them ensure they are fixed as soon as possible.

To wrap up the loose ends, it is worth to mention that the above plumbing tips for inside and outside your home can help to prevent common issues which might need a professional to solve them. So, keep your home safe and avoid the common plumbing problems by adhering to the above tips.

Choosing The Right Heating and Cooling Company

Choosing the right heating and cooling company may be difficult if you don’t have the prior knowledge of the process. In fact, this can cost you extra money if you don’t know the right company for the job. Here are some factors to consider to help you find the best heating and air repair service.

Professionalism of the Heating and Air Conditioning Service Company:

It is a quality claimed by many but demonstrated by few. So many people hire heating and cooling firms without checking on their professional status. An expert in the field of commercial heating and air conditioning service should be qualified by industry institutions of accreditation.

This simply means that a professional heating and cooling firm should have one or two certificates to prove competence before servicing prospective clients. Professional accreditation is required by law in Texas, and current license numbers must be displayed on vehicles, advertising and documents.

It’s no affront to ask about these qualifications from your selected heating and cooling company. Don’t take the next step until you are confident that they have the required certification and licensing,

How Long Has the HVAC Company Been In Business?

Believe it or not, firms who have history in the industry can best meet the needs of prospective clients. If you need emergency service, find out how long the company has been in business. A service company the continues year after year providing top-rated, professional services, can usually be trusted to serve your needs. Just ask them. It’s a valid question when planning to choose a heating and cooling company.

Does the Company Have Insurance Coverage and a Satisfaction Guarantee?

One of the biggest factors that cannot be underestimated when searching for a professional heating and cooling firm is insurance coverage. To be clear here, insurance coverage protects you the prospective customer, from any damage to your property and future problems arising from the work performed. This coverage is never 100%, so it’s a good idea to check your own homeowner’s coverage.

Many people usually ignore or overlook this step when choosing an air conditioning company. Using this factor will help you get insured and covered when hiring a commercial plumbing company. In fact, you will always be comfortable after asking about the insurance coverage of your selected firm.

Do You Have A Budget/Money Issue?

Ask about the rates and costs before you commit to an appointment. Service technicians usually charge by  the hour and the time varies depending on the tasks, environment, parts required, and installation variables, some of which cannot be determined in advance. Never hire or chose a heating and cooling company without asking about costs. It can be a painful experience if things turn out the wrong way. If your project is extensive, ask for a quote before you commit to having the work done. For this reason, it is important to carry out your search effectively. Only settle for the best firm that suits requirements and your budget, but keep in mind that the quality of the job done is most important. Choose carefully and get it done right.

In a Nutshell, Here’s Your Quality Assurance Checklist for Choosing the Right Air Conditioning and Heating Company

  • Professionalism
  • Licensing and certification
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Reputation
  • History of success
  • Insurance
  • Cost estimate

Common Causes of Air Conditioner Problems

Imagine it’s hot outside and your air conditioner breaks down, leaving you exceptionally uncomfortable. Air conditioner problems are common and we want comfortable conditions restored quickly.

Unexpected air conditioner problems are bad enough, but failed repair attempts can be worse and even more frustrating. When a very important house appliance stops working, we want it repaired quickly and properly the first time.

Common air conditioner problems are:

  • Frozen Air Conditioner Coils – generally caused by dirty air conditioner filters or a coolant leak. Frozen coils need immediate air conditioner repair to avoid total breakdown, which is obviously more expensive to fix.
  • Air Conditioner Making Louder Noises Than Normal – may be due to a fan belt that needs to be replaced,  something loose or a motor or compressor failure.
  • Air Conditioner Not Cooling – could mean a number of things. It needs an immediate and accurate assessment by a trained professional to find the cause and make the needed repair.
  • Air Conditioner Leaking Moisture In The Cabinet, Closet or Room – calls for immediate air conditioner repair servicing. It may also be due to mold, mildew or other biological growth that is stopping up the necessary drain for the natural condensation that occurs.

Does my air conditioner need repair or replacement? 

To help you decide, we assess:

  • The age of your AC system. AC units work efficiently for approximately 5-10 years depending on a number of factors. After that, it may be more practical to replace rather than repair it.
  • Number of times it malfunctioned. If this is not the first time your AC unit needed repair consider upgrading to a newer model, which will likely prove to be a less expense in the long run.
  • Whether you choose to have your AC unit repaired or replaced, always count on the expertise of professionals who are licensed, fully trained and certified to install, repair and replace your system. It is advantageous to have things done correctly the first time or it can be much more costly later.

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How To Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater

Yes, there are ways you can extend the life of your water heater. For many home owners, their water heaters have a life span of about 5 years due to lack of maintenance, but if maintained properly, a water heater can work effectively for 10 or even 20 years. Water heater tanks these days are manufactured using steel and are lined using glass or porcelain. As a result of this lining, oxidation takes place over time. Due to oxidation, deterioration takes place which may even lead to leaks.

The main reason for deterioration of water heaters is sediment build-up. However the water heater would still function properly in the short-term even if affected by sediment build-up. Hard water can accelerate this build-up. There are some ways to extend the life of your water heater, including replacement of the anode rod, expansion tank installation, cleaning the tank, install a pressure regulating valve, as well as water softener. A anode rod in good condition can help prevent the corrosion in the tank. The reason is that the anode rod is made up of either aluminum or magnesium which corrodes over time protecting the tank itself from corrosion. Installation of an expansion tank is another way to control water expansion.

When water is heated to temperatures of 100°C water expands, which can have an impact on the inner surfaces of the water heater and also on the plumbing connection of your home. This expansion effect can be controlled by installing an expansion tank. Expansion tanks can double the life of your heater. Sediment built-up can be prevented by cleaning the water heater once in a year.

This is applicable only for older water heaters since the latest models have a built-in cleaning mechanism. A pressure regulating valve helps control the pressure inside the water heater preventing it from sudden failure. Water softener can also prevent your water heater from scaling. If you need professional help, or to upgrade your water heater, call Dallas Plumbing Company. We offer free estimates for new water heaters.

Electric Heaters for Homes

Many people choose electric heaters for homes because they are affordable and do not emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. In addition, there are many models to choose from such as:

Space Heaters – which are suitable for heating smaller areas or rooms. They are quiet and can directly heat a specific area.

Baseboard Heaters – which are portable, easy to maintain and safe because they have overheat protection. They are suitable for bedrooms because they have no fan and are therefore very quiet.

Garage Heaters – which are designed for heating areas of approximately 150 to 560 square feet, that are without enough insulation to retain heat. They are spot heaters, meaning they can be pointed toward the people or objects needing warmth.

Infrared Heaters – which are silent and extremely efficient because they directly heat the objects facing them.

Oil-Filled Heaters – which are radiator heaters that are recommended for heating rooms as well as small spaces such as under desks or on table tops. They are easy to maintain because they use oil that need not be replaced and never burns.

Electric Fireplace Heaters – which can be an alternative to real wood-burning fireplaces without any of the mess. They operate at a cost as low as a few cents per hour.

Electric Wall Heaters – which are effective for use in small rooms such as bathrooms. They can be installed in a recessed wall cavity and are available as convection or radiant heat models.

Many electric heaters for homes are self-contained with built-in thermostats. They are not recommended to be installed in exterior walls to avoid problems with condensation and exterior insulation. The best electric heaters for homes are those that meet your efficiency and cost requirements.

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Pipes Freezing? How to Prevent It

Cold Weather Plumbing Tips
Cold weather comes with a risk of frozen pipes. That’s a problem because, when water freezes within a pipe, the water expands inside the pipe, creating a pressure that can cause the pipe to burst. Burst pipes can send hundreds of gallons of water into your home and create thousands of dollars worth of damage. The pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are those that are located in outside walls, under sinks on outside walls, and/or in unheated crawlspaces. What can you do to prepare your pipes for frigid temps?

  • Before cold weather sets in, disconnect all garden hoses that are connected to your outdoor faucets (also called hose bibs). In addition to the valve that turns water on and off outdoors, it’s also a good idea to locate the water shut-off valve indoors that can shut off water to the faucet.
  • Pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures should be covered with insulation. You can insulate pipes that run through unheated spaces with foam insulation wrap. You could also wrap problem pipes with electrical heat tape. And you can purchase outside faucet covers at your local warehouse store or Walmart.
  • During very cold weather, let both cold and hot faucets drip slightly in order to keep the water in the pipe from freezing.
  • Open the cabinets where pipes are located in the kitchen and bathroom to expose them to your indoor heated air. You can also use a small portable heater to heat the pipes within the cabinets, as well as to add above-freezing warmth in unheated crawlspaces.
  • If you have plumbing in the garage, don’t leave the garage door open in very cold weather. Add a space heater anywhere indoors you think the temperature could drop below freezing.
  • If a pipe has frozen, but hasn’t burst, you can try several common thawing techniques, depending on the location. Heat lamps or blow dryers can be used, but don’t use un-grounded electrical appliances outdoors. Also, never use a flame torch because it creates a fire hazard and could lead to a much worse problem.

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Tips For Reducing Your Plumbing and Heating Costs

Every year, it seems that there is a steady increase in water and heating bills for homeowners. In order for you to limit the additional expense that will surely cause a lot of pressure on your budget, it is best to try out some cost-saving measures when it comes to your plumbing and heating.

In the house
Regularly check pipes all over your house for leaks. In the kitchen, if you wash down the drain leftover food, be sure to let the water run for several seconds after the disposer has emptied. Accumulated food wastes will cause pressure on drains, and will add to your plumbing and cleaning due to leaks. For the shower, use a sprayer that has adjustable flow, so you can switch to lower force when the stronger flow is not needed. This will conserve both your cold and hot water usage, which means lower water and energy bills. Check your toilet as well for leaks every so often. If you notice the sound of running water, the culprit could be the toilet flap, which you should immediately adjust or replace. If you are planning to renovate and change your toilet, choose a model that uses less water for flushing.

When you plan to be gone for more than four hours, set your thermostat three to four degrees warmer in warm weather and colder in cold weather while you are away. Consider adding a programmable thermostat that you can set to automatically adjust to your various needs. They are proven to save energy.

Doors and windows
Consider installing drapes or blinds on your windows for added insulation. This will lessen the need to turn up the thermostat, keeping your heating bills low during the cold months. Replace old weather stripping around windows and seal leaky doors as well to keep the warmth in when it is cold. Make sure you have at least 12 inches of quality insulation in your attic, and consider adding a radiant barrier. Check with your electric and gas utility companies to see if they have a program that offers insulation incentives to homeowners.

Outside the house
If you have plants all around your home, set the nozzle of your garden hoses at the spray pattern that uses less water. Only turn the hose on when watering plants.

Doing these simple cost-saving measures will help you keep your plumbing and heating bills low even when the price of water and electricity increases.

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Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For A Drain Service Company

There is nothing like having a reliable drain service company already in mind when a flooded bathroom or kitchen floor suddenly takes over your day. With so many companies and individuals offering the same services in your area, choosing the one that meets your needs the the best can be challenging. Here are a few things to consider when making the choice.

Qualifications and experience

Any company that you allow into your home should have the necessary licenses for the service that they are going to perform. At the very least, you know that they are qualified for the job. They should also be drug-tested and background-checked. Ask the questions if they don’t offer first. They should be very willing to reply with the right answers. If they get touchy or defensive, back off and look for someone else. Another thing to look for is to see if they seem to have invested in the appropriate drain cleaning equipment. Old doesn’t mean bad, but they should be properly prepared on their first visit, if they know you need drain service. Lastly, the company must also have liability insurance to protect against potential damage or harm to themselves when working inside your property.

Cost

Just like any product or service you spend money for, getting good value from doing business with a drain service company cannot be overemphasized. As a customer, getting a realistic estimate ensures that a clogged drain won’t drain your household budget for the month. Quotations you get over the phone at first contact may be different from when a company representative comes over and sees the problem first-hand. It is not possible for any company to provide an accurate estimate without seeing the problem, due to all the different factors that they may encounter. Insist on a written quote before you let them start working. Some companies offer price guarantees and free estimates, so be sure to ask.

Customer service track record

Read through testimonials from previous customers on online review sites. It is often the first and most convenient route that people take today as a measure of a company’s reputation. Don’t expect perfection. Unfortunately, some people will post negative reviews for reasons that are not justified. In most cases, these falsely negative reviews involve some sort of credit demanded by the customer. After taking this step, it is worthwhile to ask family and neighbors if they can suggest a referral for a competent drain service provider. It is always best to ask about their guarantee policy and whether they offer 24/7 service, in case you have a continued problem, as well as regular maintenance check-ups to prevent clogged drains in the future.

How to Find Good Plumbing Companies in Dallas TX

Most of us don’t think about a plumber until a plumbing need occurs. That’s when you need to have a list of trusted plumbing professionals on hand for emergencies, you ask someone you trust, or you search online for plumbing companies in Dallas, TX.

How do you find the best and most reliable plumbing professional?

Think like an employer sorting through applicants’ files. They would take into account personal references, experience, availability, location and pay rates. The best and fastest way to find a good plumbing company is through personal recommendations from friends, family and neighbors. They can provide feedback about plumbing companies in Dallas, TX from their own personal experience. In case these referrals are not available, consult consumer reviews that have sufficient details about the experiences of others in your area with particular plumbers.

Caution: Look for the necessary licenses and insurance. Professionals must have verifiable skills and should have passed written and practical exams on plumbing. Without proper licensing, the plumber is actually breaking the law and if something goes wrong, you could be the one left with both a plumbing problem and a money problem.And beware of the lowest cost. The training, licensing, and insurance cost the plumber money, part of which is included in their rates in order to be able to afford to stay in business and provide the quality service you deserve and expect. Without these important credentials, plumbers can charge less, but will likely not have the skill and protections you need.

Workers compensation and liability insurance come next. These are basics put in place and required for your protection in case your plumber gets injured while doing his job on your premises or if he accidentally causes damage to property while at work. In addition, technicians should be background-checked and drug-tested to insure protection and quality of work for customers. You don’t want someone in your home or business who cannot pass those tests.

Availability is another concern. Plumbing companies in Dallas, TX that are in close proximity to your location can respond more quickly to an emergency call. Some plumbers charge a travel fee when travelling outside a certain area. If they don’t tell you, you need to ask to avoid unnecessary expenses or surprises. You also need to consider the urgency of your issue and the time it might require the plumber to arrive.Good plumbers will try to give you a window of time when they can be there.

Ask about cost, but remember that it is impossible for any plumber to provide an accurate cost without visiting your location. There are conditions, obstacles and other factors neither of you would know until the issue is examined onsite. Usually a plumber or plumbing company will have an hourly rate, and sometimes a rough idea of cost range, given certain conditions. Describe your plumbing issue and ask for about these details before deciding which of the plumbing companies in Dallas, TX can provide the best service and the best value.

Once the plumber arrives, let him look closely at your problem to make a more accurate assessment instead of locking onto a cost range offered over the phone before they have actually had the opportunity to assess the situation.

With these things in mind, you can be sure to get the right professional to solve your plumbing problem.