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.

What Exactly is the “Sump” in a “Sump Pump”?

March 11th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

You may know the purpose of a sump pump, which is the removal of excess water from a low part of a house, usually due to flooding or moisture gathering from a high water table. The pump part of the name is obvious enough, since these devices pump the water away and into the wastewater system. But what is the sump part of the name mean, and is it important to know?

Saddleback Plumbing has installed sump pumps in Orange County for decades now, so we can give you some details on what a sump is and why it’s important. If you want a sump pump in Irvine, CA or elsewhere in Orange County, you only have to give us a call and let us know. We have the experienced technicians capable of handling any plumbing job, no matter the size.

The Sump

The simplest definition of sump is that it’s a low space created to collect any liquid for removal. It can also refer to a place inside a cave where water naturally collects. When referring to an actual sump pump, the sump is a containment area created during the installation of the sump pump. The sump is placed at the lowest point in the basement, where the excess water flows. Depending on the type of sump pump, the pump will either sit above the sump and draw water up into it (a pedestal sump pump) or lie submerged in the sump and push the water up out of it (submersible sump pump).

The size and the location of the sump basin varies. They are usually 2 feet across and 2 to 3 feet deep, holding up to 15 to 25 gallons of water. The professional installer must determine the spot in the basement where the natural sump occurs, and then create the sump basin using a container of plastic, metal, or concrete sunk down into a hole excavated at the location.

This isn’t work an amateur can do; the excavation part alone is too difficult and requires too high a level of precision. If you have a home that is experiencing problems from water in the basement, you need to contact experienced plumbers to take care of finding the right kind of sump pump and then creating the sump basin that will do the job necessary.

Call Saddleback Plumbing today if you have issues in your house from water damage and you want future problems eliminated. We will find the right sump pump in Irvine, CA to suit your needs, and installing it correctly.

Hard Water and Your Water Heater

March 4th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Modern water heaters are built to endure, and they will resist corrosion and other damage for many years, provided that they receive annual maintenance visits from professionals. However, one factor in your home that may threaten your water heater with damage and even an early replacement is hard water coming from the municipal supply. This is a serious issue, and if it’s occurring in your home you should contact Saddleback Plumbing right away. We not only provide excellent repair service for water heaters in Orange County, but we can also install water softeners to eliminate hard water trouble.

Why hard water is a problem for water heaters

Hard water is water that contains a high amount of minerals suspended in it, principally magnesium and calcium. These minerals often enter the water supply on its way from the municipal treatment plant through ground water seepage. Hard water is almost never harmful to drink, but it can cause major issues for your home’s plumbing and its water heater.

The high temperatures inside a water heater tank will create a substance called limescale from the minerals inside hard water. Limescale will begin to build up along the inside of the tank. Because limescale acts as an insulator, it will prevent heat from escaping naturally from the tank. The result is a temperature imbalance inside the water heater that will often lead to overheating and high pressure that can damage the system. In addition, limescale deposits will start to block valves and connections in the water heater, creating additional pressure problems that can lead to leaking.

Repair technicians can de-scale a tank to remove the deposits from hard water and restore the water heater. However, if you are encountering hard water issues, you will need to go a step further and get to the root of the problem with the installation of a whole-house water softener. This will both protect your water heater and the rest of your plumbing, which will suffer from calcite deposits in the piping that will create spikes in water pressure.

Saddleback Plumbing is experienced with working on water heaters and installing and servicing whole-house water treatment systems. If you are experiencing trouble with your water heater due to hard water, give us a call right away. You can trust to our more than 35 years of experience with servicing water heaters in Orange County and finding solutions for water quality problems.

3 Things You Should Know about Your Gas Furnace

February 25th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

Gas furnaces are the most common type of heating system found in homes today, a position they have held for decades. Furnaces have retained this top spot because of their high energy output as well as their affordable operation. If you have a home with a gas connection, chances are high that you have a gas furnace to take advantage of the lower costs of natural gas compared to electricity.

Here are three things that our technicians at Saddleback Plumbing would like you to know about your furnace in Mission Viejo, CA. These facts will help you increase your understanding of how your furnace works and how to best care for it so that it continues to work its best. You can always call our technicians whenever you need assistance with your furnace, whether it’s repairs, regular maintenance, or a replacement. We are proud of the quality heating we have provided for homes in Orange County since 1981.

#1. Your gas furnace isn’t inherently dangerous

The common conception that natural gas furnaces are major risks for homes is erroneous. Gas furnaces can create hazards from carbon monoxide, but it is extremely rare for this to happen with contemporary furnaces. Manufacturers construct furnaces with multiple safety measures in them, such as furnace limit switches and automatic gas shut-off valves. However, you still must see that your furnace receives regular professional care and prompt repair work whenever necessary so you can reduce the potential risks to their lowest level possible.

#2. Your furnace won’t run without electricity

A furnace may burn natural gas to create heat, but it also has a number of components necessary for its operation that run on electricity. The blower fan must have electricity to power it, and without a blower fan a furnace cannot distribute heat. Most modern furnaces use electronic ignition systems (which are safer and more energy-efficient than standing pilot lights), so if the power goes out, you won’t be able to turn the furnace on.

#3. You must schedule annual maintenance

No heating system should go without an annual inspection and tune-up from a professional, but with gas furnaces it is especially important to schedule this service to keep it working safely. The best time to arrange for maintenance is during the fall before the colder weather arrives. However, if your furnace has gone for more than a year without maintenance, you should schedule it right away and avoid the possibility of repairs, safety hazards, or inefficient performance.

The next time you need service for your furnace in Mission Viejo, CA, or if you are interested in installing a new furnace, give our heating experts at Saddleback Plumbing a call. They will be glad to arrange for whatever work you need.

Signs That You Need Drain Cleaning Services

February 16th, 2015 by Bill Chronister

The average household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day, with almost ¾ of that amount dedicated to indoor usage. Reading this statistic should give you a good idea about how much use your drains get on a daily basis and why it’s a good idea to be aware of when it may be time to schedule drain cleaning for your plumbing.

Some Signs

There are a few ways your drains will let you know that it’s time for a professional drain cleaning:

  • Slow drains – having a slow drain means that a full-on clog is on its way. Why? Because it’s already there – it just hasn’t gotten big enough to fully block your drain yet. Slow drains usually indicate that there is a significant build-up inside your pipe; it’s better to remove this build-up before it becomes a full blockage, and the best way to remove the build-up is with a professional drain cleaning.
  • DIY remedies aren’t working – if you’ve tried some of the usual home remedies – boiling water, baking soda and vinegar or plunging – and your clog still won’t disappear, it’s time to call for an expert.
  • Gurgling sounds from the drain – a gurgling sound from a drain is actually the sound of air being released from air pockets that have been created inside your piping by build-up. The sound is an indication that there is a problem with build-up in the drain and it should be removed before it causes a bigger problem.
  • Multiple drains are slow and/or clogged – many times homes have 2 or 3 different drains on a single main plumbing line. If you find that you have multiple drains with issues, it is likely that there is a problem deep within your plumbing system, which will require the help of an expert.
  • A clog that won’t go away – if you have one drain that clogs repeatedly, even after being unclogged, it is likely the problem isn’t being fully resolved and requires the help of a trained professional.

The amount of water your drains handle is tremendous, so if you are seeing the signs that it may be time for a drain cleaning in your home, don’t wait to schedule an appointment – call Saddleback Plumbing today! We offer quality draining cleaning service in Irvine.