At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for March, 2014

Reasons to Schedule Whole-House Plumbing Replacement

Monday, March 31st, 2014

There comes a point in plumbing repair for a house when the needs of the job go beyond sealing leaks, replacing a few pipes, and fixing gaskets and valves, and turn toward a larger solution for what ails a home’s plumbing: a full piping replacement.

Whole-house repiping is a major task to undertake, and one you must leave to experienced plumbers. If you find a reliable plumbing company to handle the full pipe replacement in your home, the job will feel much less stressful for you, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the work will come out right at the end.

If you think you need whole-house plumbing replacement, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air to make an appointment for an assessment of your plumbing system. Our experienced Salt Lake City plumbers will determine if the time is right for a complete repiping.

Here are reasons you may need whole-house plumbing replacement

  • Old, outdated pipes: For decades, galvanized steel reigned as the dominant material used for plumbing because of its strength. However, galvanized steel corrodes over time, and copper and various plastics have superseded it. If you have an older home with steel plumbing, you should have it changed over to the more flexible, lightweight, and durable modern materials.
  • Constant leaking: If you call for leak repairs more than a few times a year, don’t chalk it up to a bad luck streak. Plumbing that leaks constantly is sending a warning sign that the pipes need replacement: not only a few, but the whole system.
  • To accommodate major remodeling: If you are planning a remodel for your home, replacing older plumbing at the same time will give you much more freedom for creating the design you want. Plus, during remodeling the pipes will be exposed, providing a great opportunity to eliminate outdated or leaky plumbing.

With new plumbing installed in your home, you’ll not only find yourself confronting fewer repairs for leaks, but also a reduction in clogging and problems from high water pressure. You will benefit it many ways from a full replacement of those old pipes.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air has helped re-fit homes for gleaming new plumbing since 1980. We aim for complete customer satisfaction, and our plumbers in Salt Lake City, UT are ready to assist you with any plumbing job, whether it’s as big as whole-house repiping or as small as unclogging a shower drain. You can reach us 24 hours a day when you need emergency service.

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Reasons for Sewer Odors from Your Drains

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The plumbing in your home is designed to keep the fresh water and wastewater systems separate: fresh water flows into your home through faucets, and wastewater leaves through drains. And once wastewater goes down drains, that should be the end of it.

But sometimes, you’ll pick up the odor of a sewer coming from your drains. Aside from how unpleasant this is, it can also indicate a serious problem developing inside your plumbing. We’ve listed some of the reasons that this might occur, and what you should do about them. Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air when you need plumbing repair service in Salt Lake City.

Reasons for the odors from your drains

  • Dried p-trap: The p-trap is the name for the curved pipe underneath a sink. (It looks like a P when viewed from the side, which is where it gets its name.) The p-trap collects water after you run water down the drain, and this standing water serves as a plug to prevent sewer gas from coming back up the pipe and out the drain. If the p-trap dries up because the sink sees little use, odors will start escaping. To prevent this, just run water through the drain for a minute or so, and try to regularly run water down sinks that aren’t used often.
  • Blocked exhaust vents: To help vent sewer gas from your home and equalize pressure inside the plumbing, your pipes have vents installed that send sewer gas out through the roof while allowing air in. If these vents become blocked (debris, animal nests, etc.), it will force the sewer gas back down the pipes and bubble it up through the water in the p-trap. Don’t go to the roof to try to fix this yourself. Call a professional plumber.
  • Sewer line troubles: This is the most serious issue. If you detect sewer odors coming from more than one drain, and also notice clogging and low toilet water levels, then you may have damage in the sewer line that runs under your house and to the main line in the street. This will require professionals to dig down to the trench to fix or replace the damaged line. You need to have this done immediately, before sewage starts to backflow into your house or flood the basement.

Unless the problem is a dried p-trap, which you can easily solve on your own, you will need the work of skilled plumbers to handle issues with the backflow of sewer gases into your home. Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, any time of the day or night, for the quick and effective plumbing repair in Salt Lake City, UT that will clear up the problem before it becomes an even larger problem.

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How Hard Water Can Damage Your Plumbing

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

You’ve probably heard the term hard water before but not known exactly what it means… only that it’s not something positive. Hard water is rarely dangerous for people to drink, but it can lead to problems with your plumbing, as we’ll examine.

If you have hard water in your home coming from the municipal system, you aren’t helpless. With the assistance of skilled Salt Lake City plumbers from Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, you can have your incoming water supply balanced with a water treatment system. Call us today for water testing for your plumbing that will discover if you have troubles from hard water.

Hard water: what it is, and what it does to your plumbing

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content suspended in it. These minerals are usually calcium-containing ones such as calcite and gypsum. Magnesium minerals like dolomite are also common. They rarely pose any health issues for humans to drink, but calcite and magnesium leave behind deposits on plumbing and fixtures that can put your pipes and your appliances at risk.

As hard water flows through your plumbing, it will begin to leave calcite deposits on the inside of pipes. As these deposits increase, the volume of the pipe interiors will decrease. Although it’s extremely rare for calcite deposits to completely shut off a pipe, the reduced volume is enough to cause water pressure to spike. High water pressure will begin to cause leaks throughout your piping at joints and valves, and it can damage appliances hooked to the water supply.

The appliance most at risk from hard water is your hot water heater. When hard water is subjected to the high temperature inside the tank of a hot water heater, it forms limescale along the inside of the tank. Because limescale is an insulator, it prevents the flow of heat into the water, making the boiler less efficient and causing components to overheat, eventually making the whole system fail.

Another problem with hard water is that it promotes corrosion where two different types of metal are in contact with each other. This will lead to corroded pipes that wouldn’t suffer from corrosion otherwise.

What you can do about hard water

If you notice white and yellow flaky deposits on your faucets or other fixtures, you probably have a hard water problem. First call for water testing from professionals to see how extensive the trouble is. The professionals can then help you choose a water softener to attach to your home’s plumbing that will balance the hard water with salt.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers water testing and installation of many different water treatment systems to help you protect your plumbing in Salt Lake City, UT.

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Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Heater

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Of the many technical specifications you will find on a furnace, boiler, or radiant heater, one of the most important to understand is AFUE. When you are planning a new heating installation in Salt Lake City, UT, the AFUE of the unit is crucial. In this post, we’ll explain what this rating means and why you need to know it.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air is available to assist you with any needs you have for your upcoming heating system installation in Salt Lake City. We install all kinds of heaters and can help you navigate the maze of models and specifications to the right system for your home.

Just what is AFUE?

The initials AFUE stand for annual fuel utilization efficiency. This is a measure, expressed as a percentage, of how thoroughly a heating system converts its energy source into heat. If a heating system has an AFUE rating of 80%, it means that for every 100 units of heating fuel made available (natural gas, propane, oil), the heater returns 80 units of heat (measured as BTUs, British thermal units). The higher the AFUE rating, the more completely the heater burns its fuel and the less fuel that becomes exhaust waste.

Standard AFUE ratings vary widely according to unit. U.S. regulations require furnaces to score equal to or higher than 78%, and to qualify for the U.S. ENERGY STAR label, they must have an AFUE of 85% or above. Boilers tend to score higher AFUE than furnaces, and gas power in general has superior AFUE ratings than other fuel sources. High efficiency condensing furnaces can sometimes reach 98% AFUE.

Just how important is AFUE?

Knowing how high a heater’s AFUE rating is will help you predict how much you can expect to spend on your heating bill. This is a key factor in determining your yearly budget. If you compare the AFUE rating of your current heater to that of the one you plan for the replacement installation, you’ll have an idea of how much less (or possibly more) you will spend each year.

In general, heaters with higher AFUE ratings will cost more to install upfront. You will need to balance your long-term savings with your immediate budget to decide what AFUE rating is the best for you. However, you don’t need to make this choice on your own. Professional installers will help determine how much savings you can expect from a heating system over the years. Although AFUE is a very important factor for choosing your heating installation in Salt Lake City, UT, it isn’t the only factor.

Take the time to contact At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air and speak to our heating installation professionals. If you start with skilled installers, you will end up with the right heater for your home.

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