Reasons for a Leaky Toilet

November 12th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

One of the most common plumbing components to cause a leak in the home is the toilet. While this installation uses a fairly simple flushing and refilling system to operate, it can fall victim to leaks just like any other device in the home that handles water. If your toilet begins to leak, it may be due to any of the following problems. Keep in mind that you should always trust a professional for any major bathroom plumbing repairs in Lake Forest, CA, like the friendly, experienced plumbers at Saddleback Plumbing.

  • Drain Clog: If water is backing up into your home from the toilet after you flush, it’s probably due to a drain clog, either near the opening of the toilet or further down in the drain pipe. For clogs close to the drain opening, a plunger will usually do the trick. However, if the clog is further along in the pipes it may affect multiple components of your plumbing system, and you’ll need a professional to use the proper drain cleaning tools for removal.
  • Problems with the Float Assembly: The float assembly is the portion inside of the tank that allows water to fill up the bowl and drain when it is flushed. If the float is improperly installed, or if components are aged and wearing away, water will run continuously, which could result in leaks from the tank or out of an overflowing bowl.
  • Seals, Washers, and Bolts: Another possible reason for an overflowing tank is if the toilet seal, washers, or bolts that hold the toilet in place and secure it to the floor are loose or worn away. This should not be a difficult fix for a trained plumber. In the meantime, you can shut off water to your toilet with the valve located near the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cracked Tank or Bowl: Unfortunately, there are a couple of instances in which a leaky toilet cannot be repaired. One of these is if the tank or bowl develops a crack. This generally requires immediate replacement to prevent water from flooding into your home and damaging your property.
  • Corrosion: Another major problem could be if the pipes in the toilet assembly fall victim to corrosion. This may mean that components in your plumbing system need replacement. Be sure to schedule plumbing maintenance every year to prevent this possibility from catching you off guard.

Call Saddleback Plumbing anytime you encounter a problem with your bathroom plumbing in Lake Forest, CA. We offer fast and professional service to get your bathroom back to normal as quickly as possible.

Reasons to Schedule Heating Maintenance for Your Furnace

November 5th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Homeowners have a lot to deal with. Utility bills, plumbing, insulation, and a whole host of other little things have a way of occupying all of a person’s attention. These people can’t really be blamed, then, for neglecting their regular furnace maintenance until something breaks and demands a response. This will end up costing a lot more in the long run, however. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons that you should schedule regular heating maintenance.

It Saves Money

The number one reason to schedule regular furnace maintenance is simple: it saves you money. Furnaces don’t ever suddenly break down. There is always a progression of severity, as a minor issue becomes worse and worse until it begins to hinder the furnace’s normal operation. Often, this is from unavoidable wear and tear, but even then it is better to catch the problem before it gets worse. A dirty air filter, for example, is a very cheap and easy thing to replace. Leave it for too long, however, and it can trap heat in the furnace, causing a host of other problems like a cracked heat exchanger. Such things are far more complicated and expensive to fix.

It Improves Efficiency

As a furnace gets older, it will naturally decline over time. It may have to work a bit longer to reach the desired temperature, or burn a bit more fuel than it used to. These minor things aren’t major threats to the furnace or its owners, but they do have an impact on the overall lifespan of the heating system. Regular maintenance can fine-tune your furnace, replacing aging parts that aren’t performing as well and lengthening the amount of time before you have to replace the system.

Ultimately, regular maintenance improves the health and efficiency of your furnace. There’s no reason to ignore it until a problem presents itself. It is recommended that you get your furnace checked at least once a year, to ensure a long and healthy tenure of service.

If you haven’t had your annual furnace maintenance yet, call Saddleback Plumbing. We offer professional heating maintenance service in Orange County.

When Sump Pump Installation Is a Good Idea

October 29th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Here in California, the term “sump pump” is not a term that is foreign to many. A sump pump is a plumbing installation designed to protect your home from unexpected flooding. Water damage is a serious threat to your home. Not only can it ruin your property, requiring massive renovations and destroying irreplaceable items, but it may also pose health hazards for some members of your household if mold and mildew gathers as a result.

If you’re worried about flooding, or if you’ve ever had a flood in your home in the past, sump pump installation may be the best choice for you. To learn more about installing a sump pump in Mission Viejo, CA, call on the plumbing experts at Saddleback Plumbing.

How a Sump Pump Works

A sump pump is installed at the lowest point in your home, usually in the basement or a crawlspace. A technician digs a pit in the ground and installs either a submersible pump, which has a waterproof encasing and sits inside of the pit, or a pedestal pump, which rests above the pit on a pedestal. In either case, a sump pump uses motors to impel water into a drain pipe which leads to the outdoors.

Reasons You May Choose a Sump Pump

So why should you consider a sump pump in Mission Viejo? There are a few reasons. Sure, California is not as prone to flooding as many other parts of the country, where many homeowners choose sump pump installation because high water tables indicate a high risk of floods. However, it’s still a possibility that your pipes will burst and water will move into your house, especially if it has happened in the past or if it’s a frequent problem for neighbors.

People often choose to install a sump pump to protect asthma and allergy sufferers in the home, who may have a serious reaction if mold spores move into the air. Others choose to install a sump pump to increase the property value of the home. Whatever your particular reasons, the experts at Saddleback Plumbing can help you protect your home from water damage with professional sump pump installation in Mission Viejo, CA. Give us a call!

Time to Replace the Furnace: Some of the Warning Signs

October 22nd, 2014 by Bill Chronister

There is a wide range of symptoms that indicate that your furnace may need repairs. There are some signs, however, that indicate something a bit more serious. If you notice any of these behaviors when you turn on your furnace, you may need to get your furnace replaced.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is what happens when your furnace turns on and off constantly. This will cause the system to enact safety measures, which will shut down the furnace. After a short time, the furnace will restart and the cycle will continue perpetually. There are two possible causes for this. The first is that your furnace is too large for your home. The furnace itself may operate as it was intended to do, but the increase in heat output will cause the system to lock it into short-cycling.

The second possibility is that something is preventing your furnace from venting properly. This could be a problem with the air filter, heat exchanger, or several other areas that are necessary for the furnace itself to maintain the proper temperature. This can be quite serious, and is a definite sign that you need your furnace replaced.

Repair Frequency

Needing repairs every once in a while isn’t a big deal. All heating systems will eventually have problems that need fixing. When a heating system starts needing repairs every couple of months, however, you should pay attention. Needing frequent repairs is usually a sign of extreme wear and tear on the system as a whole. This is usually caused by simple age and repeated use. If your furnace suddenly seems like it needs more and more professional attention, especially if it’s an older unit, it’s probably time to start looking for a replacement.

All unusual behavior should be checked by a professional for accurate diagnosis. If you suspect that your furnace might need replacing, don’t go out and buy a new one right away. Call an HVAC technician to confirm first.

If your furnace is acting odd, call Saddleback Plumbing. We conduct heating replacement in the Orange County area.

Advantages of an Electric Furnace in Irvine, CA

October 15th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Electric furnaces have come a long way over the last few years, providing excellent heat in an energy efficient way. There are a number of benefits an electric furnace in Irving can offer your home, as we’ll out line below. It is important to note that any whole-home system requiring a large load of electricity should always be installed by a professional, so call the certified experts you can count on: Saddleback Plumbing.

How Does an Electric Furnace Work?

An electric furnace uses hot coils to generate heat. These coils are heated until they are red hot, and a fan at the bottom of the cabinet draws air into the system and over the coils. The warm air is distributed throughout your home via your ductwork.

What Are the Benefits of an Electric Furnace?

  • Low initial costs – electric furnaces are some of the most inexpensive furnaces available. The average price is around $900 for purchase versus $2,000 for gas or oil furnaces.
  • Very good energy efficiency – because electric furnaces do not burn fossil fuels, they can have an energy efficiency rating as high as 100%. This can be great for your home and the environment.
  • No need for a gas line – some homes do not have access to a natural gas line, and some are not very accessible for fuel delivery. However, electricity is widely available, and as such, may be the best choice for a homeowner challenged with these situations.
  • Safety – while no heating system is guaranteed to be 100% safe, there is no need to worry about toxic fumes with an electric furnace.
  • Clean – because an electric furnace doesn’t use a burning fuel to operate, the system stays clean, which is helpful when it comes to annual maintenance.

Electric furnaces can offer homes without easy access to fossil fuels the ability to heat with energy efficiency and comfort. If you think an electric furnace may be a good fit for your home, call Saddleback Plumbing today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained experts for professional furnace installation in Irvine.

Should I Consider Hydronic Heating for New Installation?

October 8th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

There are a lot of choices when it comes to home heating systems. One that has been around for a long time is hydronic heating, which is a system most commonly associated with use of a boiler. With the advent of better, more durable materials, the outlets for hydronic heating have expanded, giving homeowners even more flexibility. If you are considering hydronic heating, call the experts who can help you with professional heating installation in Tustin: Saddleback Plumbing.

What Is a Hydronic Heating System?

A hydronic heating system is one that uses hot water steam to heat your home. Boilers are part of a hydronic system, and the most commonly-used fuels with these systems are gas or oil.

How Does a Hydronic System Work?

In a hydronic system, water is held in a tank where it gets heated to a specific temperature. Once the water reaches this temperature (or creates the needed amount of steam), it is circulated through a system of pipes to a designated outlet. Outlets can be:

  • Radiators
  • Baseboard heating
  • Hydronic floor heating
  • Hydronic wall heating

Hydronic systems are closed systems, so once the water (or steam) cools, it returns to the tank to be heated with the next cycle.

What Are the Benefits of a Hydronic System?

There are a few benefits that hydronic systems have which others may not:

  • Good energy efficiency – hydronic systems that use oil as fuel have an average energy efficiency of 89%, and those using gas have average efficiency ratings of 90% and above.
  • Comfortable heating – the heat of hydronic systems is gradual, which can be more comfortable for many people when compared to forced air systems.
  • Quiet operation – the only time noise is created by a hydronic system is when the combustion operates to heat the water. Otherwise, the circulation and heating is silent.
  • No dust – because air doesn’t blow through ductwork, there is no build-up or circulation of dust in your home.

If hydronic heating in Tustin sounds like it’s for you, call Saddleback Plumbing and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

Common Water Heater Repairs

October 1st, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Your water heater provides comfort and convenience at home, improving your showers, keeping laundry fresh, and helping you with many of the cleaning tasks around the house. But not all water heater repair needs will be immediately apparent. It’s important to schedule water heater maintenance every year for cleaning and adjustments and to make sure no component needs immediate replacement.

Without proper maintenance, it’s likely you’ll run into some sudden repair needs from time to time. If you call a technician because of reduced heating, loud noises, or discoloration, here are some of the problems a plumber may look for when inspecting water heaters.

  • Broken Dip Tube: The dip tube is a pipe that allows water to flow into the bottom of storage tank water heaters. A burner or electric heating element at the bottom of the tank heats up the water, which then rises to the top of the tank due to the heat rising principle. If the dip tube is cracked or broken, cold water can flow to the top of the tank, which means you may not feel any hot water at all. This part will probably need to be replaced.
  • Sediment in the Tank: Loud rumbling in the tank may indicate sediment buildup. If you have hard water, mineral deposits may build up in the tank, and could eventually block the pipes. With regular maintenance, however, your tank is flushed to keep this from occurring. If you hear a loud banging or rumbling noise from your water heater, call a professional who can flush your tank and make sure there is no further damage.
  • Rust: Many people will tell you that rust in your hot water supply is a death sentence for your water heater. However, rust-colored water may result from a corroded anode rod, which simply requires immediate replacement to prevent your tank from rusting as well. The anode rod attracts particle that cause corrosion, sacrificing itself for the good of your unit. However, it needs replacement every now and then so that it does not corrode too much to function properly.

If you have questions about water heaters in Orange County, call Saddleback Plumbing today!

Some of Your Options for Water Treatment Systems

September 24th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

As a homeowner, it’s important to you that your family has access to a clean potable water supply. The promise of clean drinking water is just one of the reasons you may choose to call a professional for water treatment system installation. If you smell something strange in your water, notice discoloration, have a problem with hard water, or if you just need peace of mind, the plumbers at Saddleback Plumbing may have a solution for you. Here are some of the water treatment systems we recommend to homeowners in Lake Forest, CA.

  • Water Softener: “Hard water” is one of the most common conditions in the U.S. with homeowners’ water supplies. As water moves through the pipes from the municipal water supply, it may pick up minerals like calcium and magnesium in the process. Luckily, these are rarely harmful to your health, although some people may experience sensitivity. However, hard water can have a major impact on the fixtures in your home and your plumbing system. If you’ve ever noticed a chalky white or yellowish-green substance around your faucets and fixtures, you may have hard water. These same mineral deposits build up along the insides of fixtures, washing machines, dishwashers, and pipes, sometimes leading to irreparable damage. A water softener replaces these minerals with other ions to keep hard water out of your home.
  • Carbon Filter: A whole-house carbon filter helps filter out some of the contaminants that may cause your water to smell or taste funny. While some minerals and additives reach your water as they move through the pipes, other contaminants may reach your water supply because they are added to the water by the city. Chlorine, one of these additives, is meant to kill bacteria in the water. But many homeowners are sensitive to chlorine or would prefer it to be out of their home’s water supply. A carbon filter can rid the water of this and other common substances.
  • Reverse Osmosis System: One of the most advanced water filtration systems is the reverse osmosis system. This can remove a large assortment of minerals, bacteria, salt, and other contaminants through the process of reverse osmosis, which relies on the use of a membrane that allows only water to pass into your home.

For more information about these and other water treatment systems in Lake Forest, CA, call Saddleback Plumbing today!

How Video Pipe Inspection Works for Kitchen Plumbing Repair

September 17th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

Many people do not think much about the drains in their kitchens and how much they do on a daily basis. But your kitchen plumbing system makes it so that wastewater and food scraps move into the sewage system without any trouble. And without a functioning drain system, cooking and cleaning would be a lot more difficult. So when the drains clog in your kitchen, you want immediate repairs from a professional. But you shouldn’t choose just any plumber for the job. In this guide, we’ll look at why you should choose a company that relies on video pipe inspection for kitchen plumbing repair.

Video pipe inspection involves using a fiber optic cable with a small camera attached at the end. A technician pushes this camera into the pipes and views the live feed on a screen. This helps the plumber to find the precise location of clogs. This is important because some clogs require a different piece of equipment than others. It would not help for a plumber to use an auger that can only reach clogs close to the drain opening, when the blockage is actually deep within the sewer line.

With a fiber optic camera, a technician can also tell whether fat, oil, and grease (F.O.G.) affects your pipes. These substances may seem innocuous, but they may actually solidify and collect inside of the pipes until they clog. During video pipe inspection, a plumber may inform you of this problem. To be safe, always throw F.O.G. into a separate trash container.

Video pipe inspection may also tell you whether hard water poses a threat to your plumbing system. If your water has too many minerals such as calcium and magnesium in it, deposits may build along the insides of pipes. With video pipe inspection, the plumber can detect this and recommend solutions for your home, whether it’s pipe repair or a whole-home water treatment system.

When you need any kitchen plumbing services in Mission Viejo, CA, call the professionals at Saddleback Plumbing. We use video inspection to make sure your pipes are clear when we leave your home. Give us a call!

Why Have I Lost Water Pressure in My Home?

September 10th, 2014 by Bill Chronister

If you’ve lost water pressure in your home, daily tasks like rinsing the dishes or showering may seem to take too long. And while this is somewhat of an inconvenience, low water pressure can also indicate trouble for your plumbing system. Low water pressure may be attributed to many factors, including the fixtures in your sink or shower. But in today’s post, we’ll look at a couple of ways that the water lines may be to blame.

Leaks

One possible reason for lowered water pressure is a leak in your water line. The water line is the pipe that runs from the water main to your home plumbing system. But leaks can occur in this pipe for many reasons, including tree root infiltrations, corrosion, or a sudden change in pressure elsewhere in the system. As a result of leaks, water cannot reach your home at a high pressure. Also, water may leak into your yard, causing it to pool around the home, and the leak may only worsen, leading to the need for professional pipe replacement.

Mineral Deposits

Another common source of low water pressure is a buildup of mineral deposits. A majority of homes are affected by “hard water.” If your water is hard, it simply means that certain minerals are present in your water, usually because it picks up some minerals as it moves underneath the ground. If you have hard water, you may notice white or yellow-green deposits around your faucets, drains, and showerheads. Also, it may be difficult for soap to lather, so water spots or residue show up on your glasses after running the dishwasher. Mineral deposits also build up inside your pipes, and water lines are most at risk. If mineral deposits build up in your pipes, it will block the normal flow of water into your home. But it may also build up to the point that you have to replace the pipes entirely. If it’s caught early, a simple repair and the addition of a water softener might solve the problem.

The professionals at Saddleback Plumbing have years of experience locating trouble areas and repairing water lines in Irvine. If low water pressure is an inconvenience for you, call us today!