How a Professional Plumber Cleans Drains and Clears Drain Clogs

January 13th, 2020
drain-with-chain-plug

Drain clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face. They’re “ordinary” in the worst way—they crop up often and can bring daily activities to a halt until resolved.

The standard way to zap a clog is with a sink plunger. A hand-cranked drain auger (a.k.a. drain snake) is another option that can work in some cases. A third choice many homeowners make is to pour a bottle of “drain cleaner” into the drain to eat away at the blockage. No matter what the labels on these bottles of drain cleaners promise, they are terrible for drains and for you. When you need a third option to clean a drain and clear a clog, call a plumber in Irvine, CA.

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Clogged Air Filter: A Simple Problem With Big Consequences

December 30th, 2019
pleated-air-filter

No matter what climate you live in, the clogged air filter in the HVAC system is a major problem. Here in Orange County, our heating systems don’t put in a huge amount of work, but you’ve probably had yours running regularly over the last few weeks when night and morning temperatures dropped into the high 40s. You’ll likely have reason to turn the AC on again before the winter is over—that’s just how our climate works.

No matter if you have the air conditioner, the heater, or just the central fan of the HVAC system running, you’ll need to pay attention to the HVAC filter and have it changed routinely to avoid having it become clogged. This is a basic part of HVAC maintenance in Irvine, CA—one of the few parts of maintenance you can do on your own. We recommend checking on the filter once a month. You’ll know it’s too clogged if you hold it up to the light and the filter blocks out the light. Expect to change the filter every one to three months.

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Drain Cleaning: It’s Great for This Time of Year

December 16th, 2019
drain-cleaning-cutaway

A topic that many professional plumbing contractors bring up at this time of year is how to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter. Well, for plumbing in Orange County, CA, that’s never a problem! But that doesn’t mean there a no seasonal difficulties for your plumbing in sunny Southern California.

One common plumbing trouble during the festive season is with clogged drains. Your kitchen plumbing probably just went through a rough work-out during Thanksgiving, and now it has more celebrations and visiting relatives and feasts to deal with. This often leads to homeowners calling for help to clear out clogged drains and jammed garbage disposals when they greet the New Year.

We want you to enjoy the holidays in peace, and we recommend you schedule drain cleaning if you haven’t already. Drain cleaning is a good idea each year, so why not get into the habit now when your drains need it the most?

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Some Facts to Know About a Heat Pump Installation

December 2nd, 2019
heat-pump-backyard

A new heating installation in Irvine, CA usually isn’t a big moment—and that’s because homeowners rarely think about heating systems in the mild winter climates of Southern California. However, any HVAC installation is important, and we recommend you give some serious thought to what type of heater you have in your house. If you’ve come to the point where you’re certain it’s time to put in a new heating system, one of the best options available in our climate is a heat pump.

Heat pumps are different from most standard heaters, such as furnaces and boilers, so to help you out with a heat pump installation, we’ve listed some vital facts about what to expect from a heat pump.

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You May Need to Install a Water Softener for Your House

November 18th, 2019

The freshwater sent to homes and commercial and industrial buildings throughout Orange County is overseen by the Orange County Water Department. The OCWD makes every effort to ensure the water that reaches your house is thoroughly treated to remove harmful impurities. In many cases, the water in Orange County is better quality water than what you can get from bottled water—and it’s much better for the environment to leave those water bottles aside and go with water from your taps.

However, there is an exception with our local water, which is its hardness. Water is considered “hard” if it has higher than 10 grains per gallon of hard water minerals. These minerals include magnesium, calcium, and gypsum. In many parts of Orange County, the water has more than 10 grains per gallon unless it comes from a well. The water hardness occurs because of mineral seepage through the groundwater and into the pipes carrying water to your home.

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Beware of IAQ Problems During Wildfire Season

November 4th, 2019

dramatic-smokeWe often do a post at this time of year to caution people about the potential effects of wildfires during this season in indoor air quality in Irvine, CA. It’s different this time, because California is already in the midst of major wildfires across the state. Although Orange County isn’t dealing with a specific wildfire now, trouble with air quality will spread through large parts of the state, and more fires are always a possibility we need to be aware of.

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The Truth About Electric Furnace and Gas Furnace Efficiency Ratings

October 21st, 2019

twenty-dollar-bill-foldedFall is the usual time for homeowners to make changes in their central heating systems. Even in sunny Orange County, where the only snow we see is on the distant peaks, a central heating system is necessary for homes that often get drafty on the winter nights. Sometimes the upgrade for a heater is to buy a new one.

If you’re home is like most, you use a furnace for central heating. The two common types of furnaces people use are natural gas furnaces and electric furnaces. You might not face a choice about which type of have—if you don’t have a natural gas line, you definitely won’t get a natural gas furnace! But when you do have to make a choice, be careful that you don’t make the mistake about furnace efficiency ratings that has often misled customers into making the poorer system choice.

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Poor Cooling From Your AC in the Fall? Here’s Why

October 7th, 2019

woman-in-front-of-fan-hand-on-headOrange County only gets a small amount of relief from the heat in October. We can expect to have weather hovering in the 80s on many days this month. You’ll give your air conditioner a few small breaks, but you’ll think about the system less and less. Because of this “fall mindset,” you may not pay much attention to drops in cooling levels around your house.

If you notice a change in the volume of cooling from your AC or rooms that are warmer than they should be when the air conditioner is running, you may still need to schedule air conditioning service in Irvine, CA to have it fixed. Keep in mind, we can always have spikes in heat in Orange County at any time of the year—you want an AC you can always depend on!

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Know Where the Water Main Shut-Off Valve Is

September 23rd, 2019

plumbing-valves-and-tubesNobody wants to have a major plumbing emergency. At least you have a reliable plumber in the area who can help when you’ve got major trouble from the plumbing. Never hesitate to call us when you think you’ve got a plumbing emergency—if you wait, you’ll likely end up with a worse problem.

However, before you call us for help, there’s something essential to know in case of a plumbing mishap that’s threatening to flood your home. You must know where the water main shut-off valve for the house is and how to activate it. Share this knowledge with the other adults in the house so they also know how to stop the water flow into the house in case of emergency.

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Air Conditioner Hard Starting? Get It Fixed!

September 9th, 2019

compressor-in-ac-unitYou’re probably familiar with hard starting in vehicle engines. You turn on the ignition in an old car, and the motor grunts, grumbles, and struggles before it starts. This happens more often in colder climates than ours, but everyone knows what a hard-starting engine sounds like.

An air conditioning system can also hard start, although it makes different noises. Buzzing and humming sounds from the outdoor condenser cabinet indicate the compressor in the AC is fighting to get started. An air conditioner making a general racket when it turns on is probably hard starting.

And if your home’s AC is hard starting, don’t let it continue!

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