As the weather finally starts to heat up a bit around here, it is important that you keep an eye on your air conditioner. The more you use your air conditioner to keep your home cool in hot weather, the more strain the system is going to be put under. That’s going to increase the odds of some sort of problem cropping up with the system. You need to know how to recognize that your air conditioner is beginning to malfunction, so that you can have it repaired as soon as possible and mitigate the damage. The following are some of the more common signs that your air conditioner needs professional repairs.
Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Lake Forest’
Signs That Your Air Conditioner Needs Immediate Professional ServicesMonday, April 23rd, 2018
Why a Heat Pump Won’t Switch from Cooling to Heating (and Vice Versa)Friday, January 30th, 2015
As you probably already know, part of what makes heat pumps such great choices for home heating is that they can fulfill both heating and cooling roles. This saves you money and space by removing the need to install an air conditioner in your home. However, being able to provide both of these functions also makes the heat pump a more complicated system. The more complicated a system is, the more ways it is possible for the system to break. If your heat pump won’t switch from cooling to heating, or vice versa, read on to find out why.
How a Heat Pump Works
Heat pumps are not combustion based systems. They don’t burn any kind of fuel to create heat. Instead, they siphon heat from the surrounding air and move it from one place to another. This is done through the use of the two primary parts of a heat pump, the inside unit and the outside unit. These two units are connected to each other by a conduit that both provides power and refrigerant. When the heat is turned on, the outside unit evaporates refrigerant inside a coil to draw thermal energy out of the air. The refrigerant gas, now carrying all of that thermal energy, flows inside to the inside unit. The inside unit then condenses the refrigerant back into a liquid, releasing the thermal energy so that it can heat the home.
The Reversing Valve
The direction the refrigerant flows through the system is what determines whether the heat pump is in heating or cooling mode. If the refrigerant is flowing one way, the outside unit captures heat to send it inside. If the refrigerant flows the other way, the inside unit captures heat and sends it outside. The part that determines the direction of refrigerant is called the reversing valve.
The reversing valve is a 4-way junction in the heat pump’s refrigerant line, which determines the direction that refrigerant flows through the system. In heating mode, a slide in the valve forces the refrigerant to flow in one direction. In cooling mode, the slide moves to force refrigerant to flow in the opposite direction. If a heat pump won’t switch modes, it’s a sign that the reversing valve is stuck in one position. If the valve can’t move, the refrigerant flow can’t be reversed and the heat pump becomes stuck in one mode.
If your heat pump is having issues, schedule an appointment with Saddleback Plumbing today. We provide professional heat pump repair throughout Lake Forest, CA.
Reasons for a Leaky ToiletWednesday, November 12th, 2014
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.
Some of Your Options for Water Treatment SystemsWednesday, September 24th, 2014
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!
The Cause of Bad Odors from DrainsFriday, August 15th, 2014
A plumbing system in a home that generates foul, sewer-like odors is something that you want corrected right away. There are a number of reasons that drains can start to emit bad smells, from simple problems that you can fix yourself in a few minutes, to extensive troubles with the sewer system that require major repair work from professionals. Whatever the cause and whatever the remedy, take care of those smelly drains right away.
Here at Saddleback Plumbing, we’ve provided comprehensive plumbing repair in Lake Forest, CA and the rest of Orange County since 1981. We handle drain cleaning and sewer repairs that will take care of bad smelling drains or any other trouble. Make us your first call for all your plumbing needs.
Why Drains Can Develop Bad Odors
- Dry p-trap: This is the simplest explanation, and also one that you can take care of on your own. The p-trap in a drain is the curved section of drainpipe directly beneath the sink. This shape is designed to trap water to serve as a plug against sewer gas that rises up from the wastewater system. If the sink is not used for a long period, the water in the p-trap will evaporate and allow sewer gas to escape out of the drain. If you notice the sewer odors coming from a sink in a guest room or some other sink that doesn’t receive much use, a dry p-trap is likely the source of the problem. Run water through the drain for a few minutes to restore the water plug, and that should take care of it.
- Blocked drain vents: Your plumbing has vent pipes in the wastewater system to prevent a build-up of pressure from sewer gas. Gases from the plumbing rise up through these vent pipes and leave through vent openings on the roof. If these openings become blocked (animal nests, debris from bad weather, construction errors) it will force the sewer gas up through the p-trap and push it through the water. If you hear a gurgling sound from the bad-smelling drains, it probably means the plumbing vents are blocked. Don’t go to the roof to try to fix this: stay safe and call for professionals.
- Sewer line damage: This is the most serious scenario. If you notice multiple drains in your home are emitting the bad smells, it may mean that the sewer line that carries the collected wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system is damaged or blocked. This needs immediate attention, since it can lead to sewage flooding into your home’s foundations and up onto your yard. The repairs required are extensive and need the most skilled plumbers you can find to perform.
If you can’t solve the bad drain odors on your own with a little water poured down the drain pipes, call Saddleback Plumbing right away. One of our skilled plumbers will help you with the necessary plumbing repair in Lake Forest, CA that will eliminate those odors and protect your home’s plumbing.
Why Should I Contact a Pumber for Drain Cleaning?Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Clogged drains are a hassle that homeowners expect to happen now and then—there’s just no avoiding them. But although accidents will occur when an object tumbles down a drain and blocks it, you don’t have to deal with clogs afflicting your plumbing on a regular basis because of buildups of soap scum, grease, hair, and food. With the help of professional drain cleaning, you can eliminate current clogs and help prevent future ones.
If you’re wondering why you need professional plumbers to handle this job, we’ll explain what trained and licensed plumbers can bring to the task and how it will help you. To get started, call our staff at Saddleback Plumbing. We will arrange for drain cleaning service in Lake Forest, CA that will clear out clogs and give you healthy plumbing.
Why You Need Professionals Plumbers to Clean Your Drains
- Because liquid drain cleaners are terrible for drains: Yes, in spite of their name, chemical drain cleaners you can purchase next to the mops and laundry detergent in aisle #3 at the grocery store are absolute “no-nos” for drains. They are harshly caustic, which makes them damaging to the interior of drainpipes, and they are potentially hazardous for you and your family. If you cannot clear out a clog using a plunger, don’t reach for these “cleaners.” And don’t rely on them for regular “cleaning” either.
- Professionals have comprehensive cleaning methods: A skilled plumber won’t just get rid of a clog. He or she will use methods that will clear out thick levels of contamination so that your plumbing will have far fewer problem from clogs and high water pressure in the future. Using non-invasive procedures such a hydro-jetting will wipe away all the build-up of grease, soap-scum, and other deposits from the inside of pipes.
- Professionals have the best equipment: Plumbers have access to expensive plumbing tools unavailable to the consumer (and too difficult to use without training). Hydro-jetters, mechanical drain snakes, and video pipe inspection equipment are all part of the arsenal that plumbers bring to the job of targeted cleaning in a home’s drains.
- Professionals can handle the job fast: Finally, it is worth it to have plumbers handle drain cleaning because they can take care of the work quickly, causing minimal inconvenience to you. You will have both a thorough and rapid drain cleaning job with the right plumbers on the task.
At Saddleback Plumbing, we recommend that you schedule regular drain cleaning and not just when you have a clogging issue. Make this a part of your annual checkup for your plumbing system, and you should have an (almost) clog-free home life. We also offer comprehensive plumbing services in Lake Forest, CA. To schedule your next service appointment with us, give us a call today.
Ways to Detect Leaks in Underground Water LinesFriday, May 16th, 2014
Underground water lines are a tricky proposition when it comes to plumbing repairs. You can’t usually spot signs of trouble until an actual leak has sprung up, at which time you often need to perform a full-bore excavation to get at the problem. Here in Lake Forest, CA water lines can also suffer damage from earthquakes, making excavation-based repairs more commonplace than they might be else. The good news is that technological advancements have made excavation must faster and more efficient, and there are new ways to detect leaks in underground water lines as well. We’ve broken down a few of them below.
The most obvious signs are usually the ones that will alert you to the problem. For example, if the water pressure in your home drops precipitously or puddles form in your yard without any apparent cause. Another quick way is to shut off water to the hose and then check the meter after 15 minutes or so. If water is still being used, you likely have an underground leak. In some cases, you may even be able to spot a leak if the grass in the vicinity of the leak is greener than the surrounding foliage.
Once you summon a plumber, he or she can take advantage of advanced tools to pinpoint the leak. Acoustic leak detectors can be used to spot the dripping sounds: a microphone is pointed at the ground and the plumber slowly moves along the length of the underground pipe until he pinpoints the spot where the leak is coming from. Similar tools use sonic vibrations, pressure sensors and other tricks to get to the heart of the issue.
Professional methods require professional training, which is why you should call the experts at Saddleback Plumbing the minute you realize that there’s an issue. We have ways to detect leaks in underground water lines that go above and beyond the standards, and we stand by our work from the start of the project to the end. Be sure to schedule plumbing service in Lake Forest, CA as water lines should be checked after every earthquake and any time you suspect there’s trouble. Give us a call today and let us take care of the problem for you!
3 Upgrades for Your Kitchen FaucetFriday, May 9th, 2014
Your kitchen is one of the busiest places in the house, and your plumbing needs to be ready for the task. Here in Lake Forest CA, kitchen plumbing needs to be ready for anything, from earthquakes to sudden dinner parties. But just because your faucet and other amenities have been working fine for years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider taking advantage of new advancements and features available on the market. If you’re remodeling your kitchen or even just want a little change of pace, here are 3 upgrades for your kitchen faucet that you should consider.
- Pullout spouts. Pullout spouts use a detachable faucet head, attached to a hose that allows you to extend it and then retract it back into the main faucet thanks to a counterweight in the mechanism. It helps lower splashing and allows you to get at every corner of the sink without difficulty.
- Alternating streams. New faucet types offer buttons on the sides or top, allowing you to switch from a spray to a steady stream at will. The spray setting helps you washing the dishes and performing other cleaning functions, while the stream setting gives you a steady flow of water for cooking or drinking.
- A stronger finish. Most sink finishes are fairly durable, but you may wish to change the finish for something to stand the test of time a little better. Alternately, you may wish to change the finish on your sink in order to better match other changes in your kitchen, such as remodeled cabinets or even just the purchase of a new refrigerator.
If you’re thinking about adding upgrades to your kitchen faucet, then contact the experts at Saddleback Plumbing for help. We can help you find a new sink that matches your needs, and that stays within whatever budget you have in mind. Kitchen plumbing needs to be both functional and aesthetic: working day in and day out without problems while still making your kitchen a pleasant and enjoyable place to be. For professional plumbing service in Lake Forest, CA, our plumbing experts are on call to help make your visions a reality. Call us today and let us show you what we can do!
3 Things to Consider When Replacing Bathroom PlumbingThursday, February 20th, 2014
You can choose to have bathroom plumbing replacement done for a variety of reasons. Some homeowners choose to have a full pipe replacement for older pipes during a bathroom remodel, when the pipes are exposed, either to make the remodel design more flexible or because the pipes are too aged. Other times, you’ll need replacement done to put in new fixtures, such as tub, sink, or toilet. Whatever the reason, here are three things for you to consider when it’s time for replacement work for your Lake Forest, CA bathroom plumbing.
For excellent plumbing services, from your bathroom to your kitchen and all other rooms in your home, you can depend on the professionals at Saddleback Plumbing—serving Orange County since 1981.
1. Replacement material
If you have a house older than thirty or forty years, you probably have galvanized steel plumbing, which was the dominant material for indoor plumbing since the close of the 19th century. For newer homes, you probably have copper pipes. When it comes to pipe replacement, you have the option to go for copper (if you have steel pipes), or plastic pipes such as CPVC and PEX. These three each have advantages and disadvantages, so check with your plumber about your options and their costs to help you choose the one that will work best for you.
2. Replacing one component will often involve replacing others
Whether you are installing a new low-flow toilet, a sink, or a whirlpool bathtub, placing upgraded components in your bathroom often means that other components must be upgraded as well. A professional plumber can survey your bathroom’s needs before replacement and determine what work needs to be done to ensure that all fixtures in the bathroom will work their best.
3. Use only licensed, professional plumbers
Bathroom plumbing replacement is neither a “do-it-yourself” task nor work for amateurs who claim to be plumbers. There are few places in a home that depend on the proper flow of fresh and waste water as much as the bathroom, and poor pipe replacement can mean substandard material, faulty connections, leaking, low water pressure, and even serious damage to the flooring. Make sure you call on experienced plumbing professionals for this job: you’ll save time, money, and disastrous future problems.
Having replacements done for your bathroom plumbing by a professional plumbing service in Lake Forest, CA can mean enhancing your daily routine with more advanced components and better water pressure and flow. But that success depends on having the right plumbing contractor doing the work. Make sure you call a qualified and experienced plumber when the time comes. Give Saddleback Plumbing a call today for fast and professional service.
Is an Electric Furnace Better Than a Gas Furnace?Friday, December 20th, 2013
Here in Lake Forest, CA, getting a furnace installation can be easily ignored. California winters are very mild, and we usually focus on air conditioners at the expense of heaters. This can be a big mistake. Our nights still get pretty cold, and with our California architecture favoring open, breezy homes, a good furnace can be your best friend. During installation, you may be asking “should I get an electric or gas furnace?” Both systems feature their share of advantages. Which ones work best depends on your needs and the specifics of your home.
Saddleback Plumbing offers heating services to the Lake Forest community!
Gas furnaces offer a singular advantage of cheaper month-to-month costs, since natural gas is cheaper than electricity. Repairs tend to cost less as well, since gas furnaces are more common and their replacement parts don’t cost as much. Gas furnaces also take less time to warm the home than electric furnaces, which saves you even more in monthly bills. On the other hand, electric furnaces are usually less expensive to install initially, making them a smart choice if you don’t want to spend a whole lot up front.
In addition, electric furnaces tend to be a little quieter. Electric heat doesn’t depend on a fan to blow air, which means it won’t make nearly as much noise when it works. It also doesn’t generate any drafty spots or cold spots, and it doesn’t spread indoor air pollutants like pet dander and the like. Electric furnaces thus make a popular choice for residents who have allergies or who just need to maintain a higher air quality overall. Finally, because they don’t use gas, electric furnaces can be a little safer, especially as they get older.
In Lake Forest, CA, a furnace installation doesn’t need to be your only choice. We have heating system options for our California winters, and Saddleback Plumbing can spell them all out for you. We can inspect your home and answer the question “is an electric furnace better than a gas furnace?” before planning an installation that fits your specific needs. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!