Water Heater Parts: The Anode Rod

May 18th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Your water heater is one of the hardest working appliances in your house. You probably don’t use your heater or air conditioner every day, but you almost certainly use hot water. If you use a storage water heater, as most people do, your water heater is working day and night to provide you with hot water. All of that water exposure should cause your water heater to rust into oblivion within a couple of years. Why, then, do water heaters last up to a decade under constant water exposure? The answer lies with a part called the “anode rod.” Let’s take a closer look at what the anode rod is, and why you need to have yours checked at least once a year. Continue Reading

Why You Should Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance This Spring

May 11th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Most people will schedule repairs for their air conditioner as soon as they realize that there is a problem with it. Prompt repairs are an excellent way to help your air conditioner last a long time. However, if you really want your system to last as long as possible you’ll need to do a bit more than that. Preventive maintenance is a vital part of keeping your air conditioner running smoothly. It’s so important, in fact, that most manufacturer warranties require it in order to remain valid. Let’s examine why air conditioning maintenance is so important, and why you should schedule it this spring. Continue Reading

When Is It Time to Replace My Air Conditioner?

May 4th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

No matter how well you take care of your air conditioner, there will come a time when you have to replace it with a new one. You can invest in the best possible system, schedule maintenance once a year, and have any apparent problems repaired as soon as they appear—but there’s nothing you can do to stop a system from simply wearing out after a while. So how can you tell when it’s time to get rid of your old system and invest in a new one? Continue Reading

3 Signs That Your Air Conditioner Needs Repairs

April 27th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Problems with your air conditioner, as with most HVAC systems, are progressive in nature. The longer a problem is allowed to persist, the more likely that it will spread to other parts of the system. Some problems can even cause the entire air conditioner to break down if left alone for long enough. So how can you identify problems in time to stop them from damaging your system? By recognizing the signs. Read on for 3 common signs that your air conditioner needs repairs. Continue Reading

Types of Indoor Air Purifiers That Can Benefit You

April 20th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Though your indoor air may seem clean, chances are you are inhaling millions of microscopic contaminants with every breath you take. The average home contains many varieties of airborne pollutants, including dust, germs, pollen, and mold spores. These various contaminants are responsible for allergy attacks, as well as illnesses like the cold and flu. Fortunately, there are air purifiers available on the market that combat the contaminants that cause poor indoor air quality. Let’s have a look at a few different types of indoor air purifiers. Continue Reading

Air Conditioning Problems That You Need to Know About

April 13th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Spring is upon us, and summer will be here in just a couple of months. That means that now is the time to get your air conditioner in top operating condition. Preventive maintenance during this time of year is highly recommended, as it will help identify problems that need to be fixed. If you haven’t had the chance to schedule maintenance for your air conditioner yet, though, you should keep an eye out for any problems that may already be present. Read on for a list of air conditioning problems that you need to know about. Continue Reading

3 Major Benefits of Radiant Heating Systems

April 6th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Radiant heating systems are boiler-based heaters, which use hot water to distribute heat throughout a house. The boiler heats and distributes water through pipe networks in the walls and subfloors of each room. As the water flows through the pipes, it transmits heats through the pipes and into the rooms. The concept of radiant heating dates back to ancient times, when the Romans would have hot water channeled through canals under their floors.

Despite its long history, however, in modern times radiant heating has been eclipsed in popularity by forced-air systems. This is unfortunate, as modern hydronic radiant heating offers a lot of unique advantages. Let’s take a look at 3 of the major benefits that you can garner from installing a radiant heating system.

Energy Efficiency

Having an energy-efficient heating system is a great way to reduce your home’s operating costs. The average forced-air heating system loses around 20 to 30 percent of its output to leaks in the ductwork, according to the US Department of Energy. Radiant heating uses water pipes instead of ductwork, which enables it to deliver far more of its heat to the target destination. As water is a much more effective thermal conductor than air, a room serviced by a radiant heating system will also heat up faster and stay warm for longer.

Health

Forced air heating systems often negatively affect the indoor air quality of the homes in which they are installed. Airborne contaminants have a tendency to collect in ductwork, and are circulated throughout the house whenever the heater is turned on. Using a forced-air heater too much also has a tendency to dry out the air in the house. These two factors contribute to allergy attacks and illnesses. Radiant systems circulate heat without affecting the air quality inside your home, so you can use them as much as you want without worry.

Comfort

When warm air is pumped into a room, it will immediately rise to the ceiling. As it cools, it will slowly sink to the floor of the room. This creates uncomfortable hot and cold spots in rooms heated by forced-air systems. Hydronic radiant heaters, by contrast, don’t use air as a medium to transport heat. The thermal energy moves directly through solid objects, keeping it near the floor of the room where people are most able to benefit from it.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of radiant heating, call Saddleback Plumbing. We provide heating services throughout Orange County.  

Furnace Short-Cycling: Why It Happens, What to Do About It

April 3rd, 2015 by Bill Chronister

If your furnace is turning on and off rapidly, more often than it should, it is short-cycling. This is a problem since it will put extra strain on the furnace, raise heating bills, and create repair issues. If you need help with a short-cycling furnace, call on Saddleback Plumbing. We have many years of experience in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA with furnace repair, installation, and other services. With more than three decades of helping Orange County stay warm, we are the contractor you should trust for furnace repairs.

Reasons that short-cycling may occur

The bad news first: if you have a new furnace that is short cycling, the problem may be that the furnace is the wrong size for your home. Putting in a furnace that is too large for the area it is supposed to heat is a common error that amateurs make, and one of the reasons you should only entrust furnace installation to experience professionals. If this is the case with your furnace, you usually must start over and have experienced technicians put in a new furnace.

Now for reasons a furnace might short-cycle that require less drastic repairs:

  • The air filter is clogged: This is a common problem, but thankfully it’s easy to fix. Check on the furnace’s filter; if it is congested with debris, change it (and keep doing it every month when the furnace runs on a regular basis) so the furnace receives proper airflow once more. If the furnace continues to short-cycle, call for professional repairs.
  • Thermostat trouble: A malfunctioning thermostat that reads the incorrect temperatures will cause a furnace to shut off before it should. Check to see that the thermostat isn’t exposed to drafts or extra heat. In some cases, the thermostat may need to be moved to a new location.
  • The furnace is overheating: Contemporary furnaces have safety devices to prevent them from overheating. These precautions will shut off the furnace if one of the heat exchangers grows too hot. This will cause short-cycling, and is a repair you need have taken care of immediately.

Please, do not attempt to investigate any furnace short-cycling on your own. Furnaces are complex appliances, and only trained professionals should repair them. This is especially true for a natural gas furnace, the most common type found in homes today. Let Saddleback Plumbing handle the job of finding out what problems are causing your furnace to short-cycle and fix them. We are the Rancho Santa Margarita, CA furnace service professionals who will see that the job gets done right.

What to Do When Your Toilet Keeps Running

March 25th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

On average, the toilet accounts for a third of all indoor water use in a home. This is why it’s important that you make sure the toilets in your home receive attention from professional plumbers whenever they malfunction. If you let a problem like a toilet continually running go without repairs, you might end up with an enormous spike in your water bills. Worse, you might end up with a non-working toilet, which is never a pleasant situation.

At Saddleback Plumbing, we offer professional bathroom plumbing services in Mission Viejo, CA that will get any faulty toilet back in working order. Don’t try any DIY tricks beyond using a basic plunger: give us a call and we’ll see that you receive quality service, done fast and done right.

Is your toilet is running nonstop? Here’s what to do

If the toilet continues to run water into the bowl a few minutes after a flush, it could mean a variety of problems. Although the situation shouldn’t threaten your home with flooding or water damage, it will waste a great deal of water and needs to be dealt with right away.

The first thing to do is to flush the toilet again and see if the problem continues. If it does, turn off the water flow at the feed line so the toilet will not continue to waste water.

At this point, you’ll feel tempted to lift off the cover on the tank and attempt to figure out what’s causing the trouble. You should think twice about trying to tamper with the components in the tank, however, since it’s not always easy to determine the source of a malfunction. The problem could be with a tangled flapper chain, the float, a deteriorating flapper, or a defect in the fill valve. Some of these problems are easier to fix than others, but you don’t want to guess and end up trying to repair something that isn’t broken. If the problem lies inside the fill valve, repairing it is a job that requires professionals. In some cases, the whole overflow tube and flapper may need to be replaced, which is a tricky task that will require removing the entire tank to perform, and that’s something you only want a plumber to handle.

But in general, no matter what the trouble with the toilet is, you want to have a plumber investigate it and handle the repairs to make sure that they are done right. A plumber knows the correct parts for any necessary replacements and can take care of the job in a brief time. The next time your toilet starts to run without stopping and you need bathroom plumbing in Mission Viejo, CA, give Saddleback Plumbing a call and we will send one of our skilled plumbers to the rescue.

Why Am I Not Getting Enough Hot Water from My Water Heater?

March 20th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

You’ve been relying on the same water heater for years. It has always delivered the right amount of water to keep your family happy: every morning, everyone gets to enjoy a hot shower (as long as they don’t stay in too long). But then one day, the hot water starts to run out earlier. There is more of a rush not to be the last person to hop in the shower each morning. And perhaps you’ve started to notice the hot water running out at other times of the day.

What’s wrong? Does your water heater need to be replaced? Or does it only need repair work?

To answer these questions requires professional plumbers with experience repairing water heaters. You can call Saddleback Plumbing and talk to our experts in water heaters in Orange County, CA to find out if you need repair work—or a new water heater.

Water heater repairs

There are a number of malfunctions that can cause a water heater to start to lose its supply of hot water. One of the more common is a broken dip tube. The dip tube is responsible for drawing in cold, fresh water into the storage tank, and then depositing it at the bottom of the tank where it receives heat. If the dip tube breaks, it will mean the cold water will start to gather at the top of the tank, where the pump removes the rising heated water to distribute it through the house. If cold water starts to mix at the top of the tank, it will soon replace the hot water, making it seem as if the system is running out of heated water too quickly.

Another problem that can result in a loss of the hot water supply is trouble with the burners in a gas furnace. If the burners are not igniting or not receiving sufficient natural gas, they will struggle to warm up enough water for your needs. If you have an electric water heater, loss of hot water can occur if one of the two heating elements fail.

Water heater replacement

At a certain point, a water heater will simply start to work inefficiently due to age. If your water heater is at or past its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan and it starts to lose heating power, you should probably have it replaced. Consult with a water heater professional to make sure that this is the best choice.

Call Saddleback Plumbing today for answers about water heaters in Orange County, CA. We have more than 30 years of experience installing, repairing, and maintaining water heaters in the area.