Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

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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Plumbing and Earthquakes: A Few Things to Know

August 26th, 2019

slab-leak-crack-in-foundationSouthern California recently experienced a number of powerful earthquakes, the most powerful in many years. Although we were fortunate to have experience minor damage here in Orange County, these quakes are an important reminder of how we need to be vigilant about earthquake safety and preparedness. There are many resources online to help you prepare your household for emergency situations from quakes. In this post, we want to talk specifically about earthquakes and your plumbing, since the plumbing system is one of the parts of a house most vulnerable to quake damage.

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Yuck, Drain Flies! How to Get Rid of Them and Keep Them Gone

August 12th, 2019

guy-screamingIs this happening in your house? Tiny insects, looking something like dark dust motes, are circling around a kitchen or bathroom drain or a shower/bathtub drain. It’s not a pleasant sight, and even worse it’s not a pleasant idea that there is a source for the breeding of flies inside your home. Although these “drain flies” (moth flies) are harmless for people, you still don’t want them in your house, and you want to eliminate the source. In many cases, this jog requires a plumber in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to help.

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Reasons Your AC Keeps Tripping Its Circuit Breaker

July 29th, 2019

installer-stripping-wireOne of the first things we recommend people check when their air conditioning system suddenly stops working (fans, compressor, all of it) is to check the electrical panel. The circuit breaker to the air conditioning system may have tripped and cut off the electricity. Resetting the tripped breaker will restore the AC to normal working order.

But what if this keeps happening? If you’re often walking to the electrical panel because the AC once again shut itself off, there’s something wrong. It might be with the electrical panel itself—if it’s an old panel, ask an electrician to look at it and determine it’s time for an upgrade. But it’s more likely you’re due for some good ol’ air conditioning repair in Irvine, CA from our skilled HVAC technicians.

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How Zone Control Works in an Air Conditioner

July 15th, 2019

inside-air-ductHere’s the standard way central air conditioners all used to work: the air conditioned by the evaporator coil is pushed into the ventilation system by the blower fan in the air handler, sending the air to every vent in the house. On the surface, this sounds like exactly what a central AC is supposed to do.

But consider this comparison: what if you turned on one light switch in your house, and instead of a single light coming on, all the lights in the house came on? That’s incredibly wasteful of energy. But this isn’t much different than turning on the air conditioner and having cooled air sent to every room, even if those rooms don’t need cooling because no one is in them.

This is where zone control HVAC systems make the difference. Zone control divides a house into different “zones” that can be cooled separately from the others. For example, there’s no need to cool empty bedrooms when everyone is gathered downstairs.

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