At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for the ‘Plumbing’ Category

Plumbing and Other Tips for Water Conservation, Part 2

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some general tips in plumbing and related areas for conserving water in your home. Whether to save on monthly water costs, improve your environmental footprint or some combination therein, there are several benefits of conserving water – and several simple methods for doing so without impacting your comfort or convenience.

With At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re happy to provide a wide variety of plumbing services to assist with water conservation, from basic plumbing repair and maintenance to water heater replacement, drain cleaning and numerous other distinct areas. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll look into a few additional home water conservation tips to consider for several areas of the house.

plumbing tips water conservation

Use the Dishwasher

Some may think of the dishwasher as a big waste of water, but this is actually generally the opposite of the truth in homes where regular dishes need to be cleaned. When comparing the amount of water used to properly clean dishes in the dishwasher compared to by hand in the sink, the former comes out far superior in terms of water conservation.

If you have an Energy Star rated dishwasher, which is tested for efficiency, you will only be using roughly five gallons per full load of dishes – and the average dishwasher holds over 200 different dishes. Comparably, hand-washing the same load of dishes will generally use over 25 gallons of water. Not only is the dishwasher more convenient by a long shot, it’s also the best water-saving method.

Running Water or Toilet Issues

A couple areas to watch out for when it comes to running water:

  • Faucets: When washing your hands, brushing your teeth or using the faucet in any other way, never let it run for long periods of time. Instead, turn it off and back on.
  • Toilet: If your toilet is running consistently, its flapper may require replacement or a flush to drain the tank. If you’re familiar with these themes you can attempt them on your own, but if not you should contact our plumbers right away.

Pipe Insulation

One major water-waster, especially in the cold months: Non-insulated pipes that cause the water inside them to take much longer to heat up (or cool down during summer). If pipes are insulated, however, water will not take as long to heat and you won’t waste as much running various fixtures while waiting for a temperature change.

Sprinkler Timing

Finally, did you know there’s a big difference in the impact on your lawn and garden plants depending on when you water them? The ideal time here will be early in the morning, avoiding the heat of the afternoon and requiring less water to adequately feed the lawn. In addition, ensure all your sprinklers are working properly and not wasting any water.

For more on how to conserve water in your home, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Plumbing and Other Tips for Water Conservation, Part 1

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

When you call the pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re happy to provide a wide array of plumbing and HVAC services for your home. From basic plumbing repair and maintenance needs to water heater repair or major sewer line issues and everything in between, we’re here to help with numerous themes or problems.

One of the broader such themes many of our clients are highly interested in: Water conservation, which has benefits both in your pocketbook and for the environment as a whole. There are several ways to limit your water consumption in the home, both saving you money and limiting your footprint in this area. This two-part blog series will look at several tips for home water conservation, from daily use areas to fixture upgrades and other hacks.

plumbing tips water conservation

Check for Leaks

One of the single largest culprits when it comes to wasted water in the home is the potential for leaks. Leaks in various household plumbing areas waste almost a trillion gallons of water throughout the US – leaks can be found in toilet attachments, faucets, pipes or valve areas.

Unsure whether you have a leak? Use your water meter and the simple steps you need to follow here to determine whether there’s a leak. If you identify one, call our plumbers for a detailed inspection where we’ll locate it and make the necessary repairs.

Hit the Car Wash

This one often confuses clients, who assume they’ll save much more water if they wash their car using their hose at home. But did you realize this hose uses around 10 gallons of water per minute? That means even for a relatively quick 10-minute wash, you could use 100 gallons of water.

Professional car washes also use lots of water, but here’s the catch: They are regulated and required to recirculate water usage. They also must follow strict water conservation regulations laid out by the state. Not only will you get a better clean at the professional car wash, you’ll be saving water as well.

Water-Saving Fixtures

One great area for water conservation that our plumbers can assist with is installing water-saving fixtures, such as low-flow toilets or water-saving showerheads. Such items can save you dozens or even hundreds of gallons of water per month.

Water Heater Service

Is your water heater regularly taking minutes at a time to heat up for showers or other warm water needs? This is simply wasting water, and a recently-serviced water heater will not have these same issues. If your water heater is very old, you might even consider upgrading to a modern option.

For more on how to conserve water in your home and various plumbing areas, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Risks of “Flushable” Wipes in the Toilet

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Due to recent societal events, themes like sanitation and cleanliness are atop the minds of many, including within plumbing and other home areas. In particular, as some have experienced toilet paper shortages, an area that’s received significant public attention is whether “flushable” sanitary wipes can be used as a replacement.

The plumbers with At Your Service Plumbing, experts in drain cleaning and several related areas (among many others), are here to set the record straight for you: “Flushable” wipes often aren’t what they claim to be, and can create significant clogging and blockage risks in your various plumbing drains. Here’s a primer on why this is the case and the care you should take when using these items for any reason.

risks flushable wipes toilet

Breakdown Period

Technically speaking, the manufacturers of many of these “flushable” wipe products are not lying when they say these materials are meant to break down within your drain after being flushed. They’re leaving important information out, however: The time it will take for this to happen.

When normal toilet paper is flushed down a toilet drain, for instance, it breaks down very quickly. This means it doesn’t present any kind of clogging risk, rather simply flowing down the drain with the rest of the water and waste. These wipes, however, don’t break down nearly as fast – they will often still be in full form several minutes after being flushed, if not longer. As you may have guessed, this significantly increases clog risks.

Ragging

And because these wipes are still solid well after being flushed, the chances for what’s known as “ragging” go way up. Ragging involves these and other items caught in the sewer line creating a blockage, one that will often grow to the point where it backs up the entire sewer line and many drains within the home – not even just your toilet drains in some cases.

So while the makers of these wipes technically have not lied to you, they have led you wrong. Even if you use their products as-directed, your risk of drain and sewer clogs is far higher.

How to Proceed

Simply put, the recommendation of our plumbers and many others is to never use these “flushable” wipes in your toilet drain for any reason. If they must be used for some sanitary purpose in or around the bathroom, instead find a different way of disposing of them in a normal trash bin. When it comes to the toilet itself, only flush approved toilet paper or human waste – all other items, from these wipes to paper towels, feminine hygiene items and numerous others, should be disposed of in other ways. For more on avoiding flushable wipes, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff without At Your Service Plumbing today.

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Benefits of Installing a Tankless Water Heater

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Have you begun to suspect that your hot water heater is nearing the end of its lifespan? If you’ve tried several repair solutions without success, or even if you’ve noticed red flags of a failing system and want to upgrade, there will be multiple options available to you.

When you visit the team with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we offer both traditional tank format and tankless water heaters for you to choose from when looking to upgrade. The tankless water heater is a modern option that comes with an on-demand heating element that supplies your entire home with at-the-ready hot water, rather than a tank that must constantly be filled and heated. Let’s look at some of the direct benefits of a tankless water heater installation for your home.

Unlimited Hot Water

For starters, unlike traditional tank water heaters, tankless heaters offer an endless supply of hot water. This is because, instead of a tank of water that can be depleted when multiple hot water fixtures are used in a short period of time, a tankless water heater uses a high-heat component that can instantly heat your water on-demand.

This means you will never run out of hot water, even if you’re the sort who likes to take 20-minute showers. There is no restriction based on the size of a tank.

Lower Energy Costs

Because of the on-demand heating capability involved, tankless water heaters use far less energy in your home than traditional options in nearly all cases. A tank system must store between 60 and 100 gallons of water at a high temperature 24 hours a day – this takes quite a bit of energy to accomplish.

A tankless option, though, accomplishes the same end result without much of this strain. It also does not deal with heat loss, which is a common risk in water heater tanks and is another form of rising energy cost.

Lifespan

Both due to improved efficiency and the lack of wear-and-tear placed on the system, tankless water heaters tend to last significantly longer than tank options. Most tankless options exceed 20 years of quality life in the home – this in comparison to a standard lifespan of about eight to 12 years for tank options.

Saves Space

Finally, tankless water heaters take up far less space than a traditional option. Standard water tanks tend to be at least 60×24 inches, and often larger in many cases – this takes up space in the building, which is particularly burdensome for those in apartments, condos or other smaller areas. Tankless options, on the other hand, are usually under 30×30 inches in size, and are often as small as a basic carry-on bag for travel. They also mount on the wall, meaning they are neatly out of the way. For more on the benefits of a tankless water heater, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Using the Fall to Prepare the HVAC System for Cold Season

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

With summer now fully in the rear-view mirror and fall in full swing, homeowners around Utah are looking to ensure their home’s HVAC and temperature control systems are ready for the cold winter ahead. This transitional season is important for a few important heating areas, both in terms of home comfort and ensuring costs don’t rise during the cold season.

When you call the team with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ll provide you with numerous related services here, from boiler or furnace maintenance services to thermostat upgrades and air quality control offerings. Let’s go over several of the areas that are most important this time of year, whether you’re handling parts of this yourself or counting on our HVAC professionals to get the job done for you.

fall prepare HVAC system

Finishing Off Summer Season

Just before you get to winter prep areas, it’s important to ensure that your warm season components are taken care of first. In fact, some homeowners intentionally plan to have both air conditioner and furnace inspection done at the same time during the fall, checking on basic connections or airflow issues from both units that may have developed over the stressful summer.

Even if you don’t take this approach, take a little time to inspect and clear out the outdoor AC condenser unit area. Trim back shrubs or vegetation and remove debris that might both block airflow and provide shelter for winter pests.

Changing Filters

The fall is also a great transition period to change your air filters during, especially if it’s been a month or two on this already. Quality air filters not only keep the home full of fresh, clean air, but they also keep several components of the HVAC system working smoothly and prevent them from wearing down earlier than normal. While they should be changed at regular intervals throughout the year, the fall period is a good time to ensure there’s a switch-out made in particular.

Thermostat Considerations

This is one of the periods of the year where you’ll want to ensure the thermostat is in good working order as well, because it will have the task of changing over from cooling to heating formats. Programmable or smart thermostats make this process simple – if you’re still using an older manual thermostat, speak to our team about modern options that come at a low cost.

Quality Inspection

Finally, for the best possible winter HVAC preparation, bring our team in for a yearly inspection and maintenance appointment. We’ll cover your entire system from top to bottom, including a keen eye for certain areas non-HVAC professionals often can’t spot.

For more on important fall HVAC services to get your system ready for the cold season, or to learn about any of our quality plumbing or heating and air programs, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Common Culprits in Post-Flushing Toilet Odors

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

As most are well aware, the bathroom can occasionally be a somewhat smelly area due to the natural waste we flush down the toilet. But for some home and business owners, odors related to the toilet are a bit different – one common plumbing issue is a sewer-like smell that becomes present after every flush of a given toilet, even when smelly bodily wastes aren’t involved at all.

When you call the pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re proud to assist you with any toilet-related issues, from handling odor issues to servicing modern low-flow toilets and much more. What are some of the culprits that might be behind this sort of odor leaking out from a given toilet after every flush? Here are a few potential explanations, plus what you might be able to do about them.

culprits post-flushing toilet odors

Irregular Use

One immediate question to ask yourself if you notice this smell after a given flush or two: How often is the toilet in question used? In cases where a certain toilet in the home or building is not used very often, water that sits in the bowl will often evaporate, leaving nothing but a dry bowl behind.

When this happens, poor odors from the drain pipe can make their way up and into your bathroom – there’s no water to act as a buffer zone. To solve this issue, note any toilets in the building that don’t get regular use, and make a point of flushing them every so often just to make sure there’s still water in the bowl and these smells don’t develop.

Wax Seal Breakage

Another form of issue that can cause odors to leak up from the piping below: When the wax ring that seals your toilet to the ground in the bathroom is broken. This seal is valuable for blocking both water and smells, but when it’s broken, air from inside the toilet and drain pipe can be pushed upward and released into the room every time you flush.

If this issue is allowed to persist, water damage may begin taking place on top of poor smells. If you notice the toilet seat rocking every time you sit down, this could be a sign that the seal is broken – and you should call our plumbers for an inspection and potential replacement.

Drain Pipe Blockages

Finally, another common cause of these smells is a blockage forming in the drain pipe. Not all drain pipe clogs lead to immediate flushing issues – some build up over time, with stinky clog items that stay stuck near the top of the pipe and lead to lasting odors. In these cases, quality drain cleaning services from our plumbers will get the job done quickly.

For more on the common culprits behind fouls odors coming from your toilet after each flush, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Basics and Benefits of Video Pipe Inspections

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

basics video pipe inspectionsModern technology has impacted several areas of home care, and the plumbing world is a good example. Take drain cleaning, for instance – what used to be restricted mostly to plungers and older metal snakes now utilizes several modern materials or solutions in many cases, bringing cost-effective and efficient methods to clearing drains.

When you come to At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, you’ll find a team that’s fully trained and licensed on all the latest drain cleaning technology. One option here that’s growing in popularity in recent years, particularly for tougher clogs in sewer lines, is the video pipe inspection – what is this, and what can it help with? Here are some basics to understand.

How it Works

Also known as a sewer camera inspection or various similar terms, a video pipe inspection is a process that, as the name suggests, utilizes a small video camera fed into the pipe in question to determine what’s causing a given blockage or issue. During this process, a small, flexible camera will be fixed to a cable that’s meant to feed into pipes and run the whole way through them if needed.

From here, the line will be fed down the pipe until it reaches the blockage or other issue (such as a broken or leaking line). Not only is a camera present, but also a tiny radio transmitter that can track the precise location and depth of the issue and inform the plumber of where they need to work.

Together, these devices make clearing drain issues far more efficient than in the past. Instead of taking educated guesses at what’s causing an issue, or worse yet having to dig up pipes or part of your yard to find out, you can understand the problem quickly and with no mess or hassle, plus your plumber will know exactly what needs to be done to fix your issue.

What it Helps Identify

There are several issues a video pipe inspection can help us identify in your system:

  • Clogs and blockages: Your pipes themselves might be in great condition, but the system itself will not work well if various products or messes have clogged them significantly. A video inspection can not only identify where a clog is, but what it’s made up of and what might be required to clear it.
  • Cracks, breaks or other pipe issues: If your pipes have undergone strain that’s led to cracking, leaking or other breakages, video can identify this as well.
  • Sagging sewer lines: In some cases, sagging sewer pipes will allow waste and other materials to build up in the sagging section, which in turn will cause major blockages. Video can spot this, however.
  • Tree root issues: In certain older sewer lines, tree roots may grow toward the line and even into it as they search for water, causing major issues. Video line inspections can help showcase the issue if it’s taking place.

For more on video drain inspections, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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All About Sump Pumps  

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

slightly-used-sump-pumpWhen it comes to flooding and heavy rains, it might seem like there’s little hope for your property. After all, there’s very little anyone can do about the forces of nature. However, sump pumps can do more than a little to help your home suffer from water damage during these harsh conditions. Below, we’ll explain in detail how sump pumps work and the kinds that are available on the market.

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Be Careful When Living With Old Pipes in Your Plumbing

Monday, August 27th, 2018

copper-pipes

If your home is old and you know that it has old pipes, you should also know getting them replaced as soon as possible will be the best choice for your health and to prevent any future plumbing disasters. However, we’re not here to lecture you.

Actually, we are, just a little bit. At the very least, there’s a chance that being aware of why old pipes are bad for your home could be very helpful to you, either now or in the future. In this post, we’ll explain just a few reasons that old pipes could be trouble if not dealt with.

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Everything You Need to Know About Hard Water

Monday, July 16th, 2018

water-softener-tankMost people have heard of hard water and know that it’s not any good for your home. But fewer people understand exactly where hard water comes from and how it causes damage. In this post, we’ll go over all of the above to make you a professional on the subject.

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