Thursday, January 17, 2019

How to Avoid Home Emergencies When You Come Back from Your Holiday

Holidays allow you to unwind and recharge. However, it is difficult to relax when you are constantly thinking about possible plumbing problems and other home emergencies while you’re away.

Leaking is the top problem many homeowners face when they go back home after their holidays. Boiler and appliance breakdowns are other common problems. There’s also the possibility of a burglary, pest infestations, and electrical issues.

The good news is you can prevent most of these hassles. You can’t control factors like the amount of snow that falls and how much the temperature drops, among others. But, there are things that you can do to protect your home and lessen, if not totally prevent, any damage they could cause.

Below are some tips to prevent or reduce the risk of home emergencies during your holidays:

1. Inspect –

Check all your switches, lights, power outlets, appliances, faucets, showers and pipes. Take note of problems like dimming lights, sparks in power outlets, and rusts in pipes.

Be on the lookout for pest problems as well. Your kitchen, basement, and attic are among the favorite spots of pests, but don’t forget to check out the other rooms in your home.

You should also inspect your HVAC system. However, you should only focus on the exposed parts. As much as possible, you should hire a pro for a more thorough inspection. An HVAC inspector can also check your vents in case there are pests living in there.

You need plumbing inspection services as well. Keep in mind there’s a high risk of getting leaks, bursting pipes, and other related problems during the freezing winter months. A professional inspection will ensure you spot and fix problems before it’s too late.

2. Insulate pipes –

Low temperatures and heavy snow can break your exposed pipes. What you might not see, however, is that the freezing temp may also affect the pipes behind your walls and under your fixtures. If water does not flow out of your faucets when you turn your tap on when you get home from your holiday, your pipes could have frozen.

Keeping one of your faucets running can help prevent frozen pipes. You don’t have to open it in full. You may put a container under the faucet to collect the water so you can use it when you get home. It would also be a good idea to call a plumber to insulate your pipes.

3. Ask a trusted person to oversee your place while you’re away –

Have someone you trust house-sit for you or maybe peep in a couple days a week. It could be a trusted neighbor or a relative living in nearby.

Ask him to check your taps, windows, HVAC, and other parts of the house where you could have problems. For security reasons, ask him to collect your mail and other packages that might have been left on your doorstep by the mailman or courier. Don’t forget to leave your number and contact information with him so he can get in touch with you for urgent matters.

It would also help if you have motion detectors and security cameras installed. There are modern setups that let you “watch” your home remotely. There are also those that are programmed to phone the police or other designated numbers in case of emergencies.

When it comes to your plumbing needs, check out Spartan Plumbing. You can call for an appointment to book your inspection so you can have the necessary repairs done before you go on your holiday. Taking the time to prepare for contingencies will allow you to relax and enjoy yourself during your holiday without worrying about home emergencies when you come home.

The blog post How to Avoid Home Emergencies When You Come Back from Your Holiday is available on http://www.spartantucson.com/blog/

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Home Maintenance Tips for Every Season

Living in a four-season country has its pros and cons. One advantage is that you can enjoy the wonderful sights of every season change. The wonderful snow in winter and the abundant flowers in spring are breathtaking.

But, these seasons also come with lots of potential headaches for homeowners. To help you avoid them, let’s discuss the ways of maintaining and getting your home ready for each season.

Air Conditioning Fan Belt Replacement

SUMMER

Summer can get intensely hot in many parts of the world, as well as in the US. In Arizona, the temperature during summer can go as high as 40°C or 107°F.

It’s important to keep your air conditioning systems well-maintained at all times. You can do the maintenance yourself by cleaning or replacing filters and coolants.

However, it can be a tedious task. To avoid the hassle, hire a reputable HVAC mechanic who can maintain your AC systems.

Other tasks you should do in summer is cleaning and fixing damaged home fixtures. But, it may be wiser to wait until fall if you’re planning on major renovations. It would cost cheaper in fall because the demand is lower.

FALL

Fall is the time when you should start preparing for winter. Start cleaning downspouts and gutters to keep your roof durable.

You can access your roof gutters with a ladder and start clearing it of any debris. It can be dangerous, however, so it is always better call a professional to do the job.

They would be able to properly inspect your downspouts, gutters, and the entire roof for any signs of damage. Doing this is essential especially if you’re in an area that experiences heavy snowfall.

WINTER

Another season that can strain your home’s HVAC systems is winter. It’s important to have an efficient heating system in your home during this season.

Your water heaters should also function well in winter. Watch out for the signs your water heater may be going bad.

Age

Most water heaters have a 10-year lifespan. Not maintaining your water heater can also make its lifespan shorter.

Leaks

Water heaters can leak. If you find puddles near your heater, you must replace it. However, do note that leaks can also come from pipes surrounding it.

Noise

Noise is also a sign of an old water heater. The sediments that build up and harden in the water tank cause noise.

Rusty Water

If your shower and sink water looks cloudy or rusty, your water heater might be rusting. This may lead to leaks and bigger damages.

Water Isn’t Heated Enough

If your water heater is too old or damages, it may not heat water, especially in winter.

When you notice one of these signs, you should call a licensed professional to check on your water heater. Only trust professionals from a reputable company like Spartan Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. They can maintain, repair, and replace your water heater so it’ll be ready for winter.

Buying a generator should also be on your list during winter in case of power outages during a winter storm. Needless to say, it is imperative that you repair any damages beforehand to ensure your family’s safety.

SPRING

Spring cleaning is an old tradition for many homes. It not only involves cleaning, but home maintenance as well. Check your home for any damages that may have happened during the winter. Make sure that you have your trees, especially larger ones, inspected by professional arborists.

Also, don’t forget to check your outdoor water faucets. Make sure that it’s already been properly warmed up before turning them on. Check for any leaks or cracks and repair them immediately.

Preparing your home for the different seasons doesn’t only include cleaning. It’s also important to check your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Regular maintenance of your HVAC systems will ensure your family’s comfort and safety all year long.

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm

Thursday, December 13, 2018

5 Drain Cleaning Tips for Fall

Fall is the ideal season to do your general drain cleanup. It can be done in preparation for the possible plumbing problems that winter often brings. These problems include freezing pipes and malfunctioning water heater. While a clean drain doesn’t directly stop such issues from happening, it lessens the risks of clogged and leaky pipes. Keep in mind that faulty pipes are harder to repair during winter.

Doing a general cleanup of your kitchen and bathroom drains is never pleasant. However, you can’t skip it unless you want to deal with slow-draining, nasty-smelling and filthy-looking drains everyday. To help you get through the chore, below are 5 tips you can follow:

1. Clean or replace strainers.

Strainers are your pipes’ first line of defense against food bits, hair, or any other items that may clog them. Most mesh and plastic strainers can be removed just by twisting or pulling them upwards. As for stainless steel ones, you may need to unscrew them first.

Ideally, you should clean mesh strainers on a weekly basis while their stainless steel counterparts should be cleaned at least once a month. Cleaning them on a weekly or monthly basis may simply involve picking up the bits and hair that got stuck on them. If there’s grime or mineral buildup, you’ll have to do some scrubbing using old toothbrushes, regular dishwashing liquid, and water. These will make the annual cleanup a lot easier.

During your annual drain maintenance, you have to inspect your strainers. Some mesh or plastic strainers may need replacement. The same goes with the screws of stainless steel strainers.

2. Repurpose old wire hangers.

Instead of throwing your old wire hangers, you can turn them into your own plumber snakes. While they may not be as efficient as the actual plumber snakes, wire hangers work fine in reducing mineral buildup inside the pipes. They can be used to pull up or push down the items that are clogging the pipes.

3. Stay away from chemical drain cleaners.

Chemical drain cleaners seem like the most convenient solution when you have dirty or clogged drains. In reality, however, they can do more harm than good. The toxic chemicals in them can damage parts of your plumbing system in the long run. Exposure to the said cleaning products may have health implications as well. It’s also important to note that they aren’t that effective in clearing clogs.

4. Use baking soda, vinegar and boiling water to clean.

The combination of baking soda, vinegar and water is a better alternative to chemical drain cleaners. For this tip, you’ll need to prepare a half-cup of baking soda, a half-cup of vinegar and a pot full of boiling water. The first thing you need to pour on your drain is the baking soda. Vinegar comes next. Leave the two substances for five minutes or longer.

Afterwards, pour the half of the boiling water directly on the drain. Never pour it over the sink or shower floor. After 30 minutes, pour the remaining water. As much as possible, do this at night when no one’s likely to use the sink or shower.

5. Make the most out of lemons.

To get rid of the strong smells on your drains, squeeze a lemon on each one of them. You may also leave the lemon peels on the drains for a few hours.

Aside from cleaning your drains, you should also hire a professional to inspect them every three years. Have your water heater and sewer system checked as well. For these services, you can count on Spartan Plumbing. They have professionals who can take care of your plumbing inspection, maintenance and repair needs regardless of the season.

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Is It Time to Replace or Repair Your HVAC?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are like all machines. They have mechanical parts that are prone to damage and wear. However, many HVAC system owners don’t maintain or repair damages early on. This causes the HVAC systems to fail completely.

Observing your HVAC system will help you find out if it needs repairs or replacements. Here are some things to look out for before deciding on your next move:

Maintenance History

Do you remember when you last cleaned or checked your HVAC unit? No? Then, there’s a great chance that it’s going to fail any time soon.

Regular maintenance is essential for any kind of machine. It must be done at least once a year. It’s best to have AC units serviced during spring, while heating units should be checked during fall.

If you have failed to do so, call a reliable HVAC service company to check on your units as soon as possible. They’ll identify if your units have damage that needs immediate attention.

Old Age

HVAC units have a lifespan that is usually between 8 to 20 years. But, it’s safer to set your expectation to 10 years. There are also many factors that can shorten your unit’s lifespan.

Improperly sized and installed
Cheap, low-quality parts
Poor maintenance
If your unit matches these factors, you may need to replace it sooner than you think. Call an HVAC expert to assess your unit’s condition to be sure.

Repair History

Try to remember if your unit was repaired many times in the previous years. If so, you don’t have a choice but to replace your HVAC unit.

This means that your unit isn’t reliable anymore. Continuing to use a unit that often fails can be risky and is often more expensive than buying a new one.

Energy Efficiency Issues

Old HVAC units can also cost you a lot of money when it comes to utility bills. They’re not as efficient compared to newer models.

If you’re using an old HVAC system, it’s wiser to replace it with a new and more efficient system. In fact, the US government encourages homeowners to replace HVAC systems that are over ten years old.

But before buying a new one, it’s important to ask a trustworthy HVAC service company for advice. They can recommend the best systems to achieve full efficiency in your home.

Comfort Issues

Why do homeowners install HVAC systems in their home? It’s to live a comfortable life, of course.

And if your systems are struggling to maintain your home’s temperature, then it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. It may be time to repair or replace your HVAC units.

The job would depend on the reason why your systems aren’t working well. You may want to leave this part to the experts. They can check the overall condition of your HVAC system and identify the problem.

Whatever the reason might be, it is most important to hire services from a reputable HVAC company like Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

Hire technicians who are licensed, insured, and bonded. They can ensure that your systems are checked thoroughly and safely.

Also, familiarize yourself with the right prices of different HVAC services. Some technicians may give you a price that’s too good to be true, but chances are that they aren’t licensed and insured. This comes with the risk of bigger costs and even potential health issues in the future if you hire them.

A reputable HVAC company would only deploy trained professionals. They’ll also price their services fairly. Don’t just settle for cheap prices. Go for trusted services at reasonable prices.

If you’re in the Tucson area and you need help with your HVAC systems, call Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. They can service HVAC systems as well as commercial and residential plumbing systems.

The article Is It Time to Replace or Repair Your HVAC? Find more on: www.spartantucson.com/

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smells in Home

Nobody wants to live inside a house that smells like the sewers. So if your home reeks of sewer gas, you may have a big problem. Sewer gases have hydrogen sulfide, methane and many kinds of bacteria. These are unsafe for you and your family’s health. Exposure to high concentrations of these gases can even cause suffocation and even death.

Common Causes of Sewer Gas Smells

It’s important to know what causes the issues and eliminate it as soon as possible. Here are some of the common causes of sewer gas odor in your home.

  • Basement Water traps

Basements have water traps that you must maintain by using them once in a while.

Not using them for a long time can cause the water to evaporate. And if this happens, it can allow the sewer gasses to go up the pipes and into the rooms of your home.

  • Shower drains

Like water traps, shower drains that aren’t used for a long time can also cause sewer odors. When the p-trap’s water evaporates, sewer gasses can get into your bathroom.

Another reason is dirty drains. Biofilm that can build up in pipes and drains can also cause sewer-like smells. If this is the case, running water can worsen the smell.

  • Toilets

Sewer odor from toilets are among the worst as these are directly connected to your septic tank system. Toilets may produce sewer-like odors because of broken wax ring seals or infrequent use.

  • Sinks

Sewer odor from sinks can have similar causes with shower drains and toilets. Infrequent use or build-up of biofilm will give it a nasty smell.

  • Sewer line breakage

Sewer lines can eventually break or crack if not properly maintained. Sewer gasses can get into your home from these damages.

A broken sewer line is among the most difficult issues to repair. Damage can sometimes happen to pipes which aren’t easily accessible. These can often be in the under floorings or walls.

 

Ways to Get Rid of Sewer Smells

Once you find the culprit for the sewer odor in your home, it’s time to fix it. There are many ways to fix the problem.

  • You can pour some water down the water trap if the water in it has evaporated. This will restore the levels of the water trap and it will push the gasses down.
  • To prevent biofilm buildup in showers, toilets, and sinks, clean your pipes regularly. Use a brush, hot water, and soap to clean the p-trap to the drains. After cleaning, rinse with cold water. You may also use commercial or homemade drain cleaners.
  • Call an experienced plumber to fix broken sewer lines. Unless you are a plumber yourself, don’t attempt doing it on your own.

 

Call a Plumbing Service Company

Calling a reputable plumbing service company would be your best option to clear your home from sewer odor. This is because there might be more serious reasons as to why you’re experiencing this sewer-like smell. To be sure that the real cause of the smell is fixed properly and safely, trust professional plumbers find and fix it.

Don’t just hire any plumber who will promise you with great results. Make sure that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. It’s best to get in touch with trusted plumbing companies like Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

They have quite a reputation for providing the best possible services to their clients—you’ll even find plenty of reviews about the work that they have done.

It’s better to prevent any sewer related problems in the future. Call them to inspect and maintain your sewer lines regularly. You’ll also be provided with professional advices on how to prevent sewer problems from occurring.

If you’re in Tucson, call Spartan Plumbing today for immediate assistance.

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm

Monday, November 5, 2018

3 Common Household Plumbing Problems

Today, we are going to look at 3 common household plumbing problems, a DIY fix to try for each, and how to know when it’s time to call in a plumbing professional to fix it.

As a homeowner, you probably have a tight budget. We understand that some minor plumbing issues can be resolved by a smart homeowner with competent tool skills. Just as you wouldn’t call a doctor at the first sign of a sniffle, you aren’t going to call a plumber for a minor clog.

Here’s a look at some simple fixes you can try at home.

3 Household Plumbing Issues and DIY Fixes

Clogged Bathroom Sink

Clogged bathroom sinks are perhaps one of the most common complaints we hear about. It doesn’t take much debris and you’re left with water backing up into the sink then draining slowly, leaving you with a slimy mess.

  • The DIY Fix: There are actually three easy things you can try before you call us. Use a flashlight to see if you can identify a blockage near the top of the drain. We’ve pulled out everything from balls of hair to metal tabs from soda cans that slipped in and caused clogs. If you can see a visible blockage, pull it out. If you can’t see a blockage, try applying air pressure with a plunger. If that fails, try a plastic plumbing snake. There is one called a Clog Remover Draining Tool, which looks like a long zip tie with thorns. You are able to insert it in to the drain, and it's able to bend with the pipes, snagging hair when you pull it back out. Sometimes this can be effective to help with simple clogs.
  • When to Call a Plumber: If these simple DIY fixes don’t work, call your plumber. While you may be tempted to try pouring in drain cleaners, resist that urge. Drain cleaners are actually pretty harmful for your piping system. The clog will only continue to worsen until the pros can remove the clog for good!

Toilet Won’t Stop Running

A constantly running toilet is more than just a noisy annoyance. It can even double your daily water usage, wasting both water and money.

The most common reason that a toilet will fail to stop running is a faulty flapper valve. The flapper is the piece inside the toilet that raises and allows water to run from the toilet tank into the bowl. When the flapper valve no longer closes off properly, the water will continue to drip.

  • The DIY Fix: Visit your local home improvement store and pick up the parts. It’s a good idea to take your old one with you or snap a photo so you can ensure you’re grabbing the right part. Follow the directions on the package and replace the flapper valve.
  • When to Call a Plumber: When replacing the flapper with the DIY kit doesn’t work, you need a plumber. Anything more complicated than replacing this part could result in a bigger water bill right now plus a plumbing bill down the road.

Low Water Pressure from the Kitchen Faucet

You used to get a nice steady spray of water out your kitchen faucet. Now, the water seems to run at barely a trickle and youcan’t get your dishes rinsed as efficiently as use once did.

The culprit is sometimes a buildup of hard water and mineral sediment that collects just inside the head of the faucet. That can be a super simple fix that doesn’t even require any tools.

  • The DIY Fix: The head of your faucet is threaded. Unscrew it. You’ll probably find black sediment dropping out as you do this. Soak the head in white vinegar for 10 minutes and use an old toothbrush to scrub the holes. Thread it back on and you should have water pressure restored.
  • When to Call a Plumber: If you screw the faucet head back on and you still don’t have pressure, you have a larger problem looming. There’s probably an undetected lead that needs to be addressed. At this point, leave the water pressure to the pros—it’s definitely not a DIY!

Wrap-Up

Some minor plumbing issues only require minimal troubleshooting, good common sense, and a little bit of tool know-how. However, when your DIY fixes fail to fix the underlying problem, don’t forget to call in a plumber. Delaying the fix can cost you money in wasted water and lead to the need for even bigger repairs.

3 Common Household Plumbing Problems is available on spartantucson.com

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm