Category Archives: Plumbing

What to Do about a Clogged Shower Drain

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Tired of taking a shower and being ankle deep in a murky, soapy pool of unpleasant looking water? If your shower water is draining slowly, or not draining at all, it’s a sign your shower drain is clogged.

A clogged shower drain may be caused by a small blockage or a major obstruction in your main sewer line. It’s important to determine the source of the blockage as it could cause extensive damage over time. When a drain cleaner, like Drano, doesn’t work to unclog your drain, and you’re continuing to wade in a puddle of water, it’s time to call a professional.

Here are some of the common causes of clogged shower drains:

Mineral Deposits

Most Arizona residents know we have some of the hardest water in the United States. Hard water has a high percentage of calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in it. Studies have shown the Phoenix Metro area has water hardness, measured in grains per gallon, ranging from 12 to 18 grains. Considered by water quality guidelines to be exceedingly high hardness and without a properly functioning home water softening system, mineral scaling over time on the insides of your pipes will cause drain clogs.

Hair

When you take a shower you naturally shed hairs and millions of dead skin cells. Hair and skin cells can wrap around waxy deposits or stick to grease from soap or even dirt. Over time these hairs and dead skin cells can stick to the walls of your drainpipe causing shower drain blockages.

Soap

You’re probably well acquainted with a white chalky residue on the shower surface. It’s not just an eyesore. A build-up of soap scum from the fats and wax in soap combined with minerals, dirt and hair, can cause the drain to clog and be a serious plumbing problem.

Tree Roots

Believe it or not, tree roots are a common cause of drain clogs. Tree roots in search of water sometimes grow into small underground pipe cracks over time obstructing the flow of water. A big problem you can’t fix yourself.

Smells

An unpleasant smell may emanate from your drain. This is another sign of a blocked drain, caused by the debris clogging the inner walls of the pipes. Large drain blockages may cause bathroom flooding or leaks due to standing water seeping through shower joints. Shower caulking or grout may weaken allowing standing water to migrate into the shower walls resulting in serious, costly damage.

If your shower drain repeatably clogs, and chemical drain cleaning products don’t resolve the problem, call a professional. These drain cleaning chemicals may seem like an inexpensive easy fix, but continued use of these caustic chemicals can damage your shower fittings, pipes, contaminate the environment, and be hazardous to your health. Cool Blew has years of experience dealing with shower drain maintenance, drain cleaning, and main line sewer blockage repair. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

3 Things to Know about Garbage Disposals

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If there’s one appliance that probably gets ignored the most around the house, it’s the garbage disposal. This trusty, hidden appliance works hard every day and deserves some recognition for the role it plays in your kitchen and in the environment. So, in this post, let’s take a closer look at some interesting garbage disposal facts and figures.

1. Food Waste Reduction

You may never had considered the fact that a garbage disposal is beneficial to the environment. Yes, food waste is the single largest type of waste in our landfills, and 30 to 40 percent of the United State’s food supply is thrown in the trash every year. With the installation of a garbage disposal, you can grind food waste and help reduce this amount. Using a garbage disposal instead of throwing food in the trash also helps reduce the prevalence of rodents and other unwanted critters that tend to enter garbage bins. So consider yourself eco-friendly every time you flip the switch on your disposal.

2. Garbage Disposal Prevalence

You may be surprised to find out that only half of US homes have garbage disposals. But what’s even more surprising is that half of those homeowners with garbage disposals aren’t even aware of the waste-diverting power of this appliance, according to research from InSinkErator Disposers. So, if you haven’t already, take a few minutes to get to know this appliance and how it can help make clean up around the kitchen much easier.

3. Be Careful!

While garbage disposals are powerhouses when it comes to grinding up food waste, there are some items that are better off placed in the trash. These include:

  • Grease, fats, and oil
  • Egg shells
  • Pasta, rice, and potatoes
  • Bones
  • Celery and other fibrous foods

Struggling with a sink clog or garbage disposal malfunction? Call Cool Blew. We’re here for all your plumbing repairs and replacements every day of the year. Our certified and experienced technicians are ready to help. Call us at 480-610-2100.

In a Plumbing Emergency? Here’s what to do

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Plumber
Description: Stressed out by a plumbing emergency and don’t know what to do? Read on to discover more aboutemergency water heater repair best practices.

Plumbing emergencies are common and every person or home has experienced it in one way or another. When you know how to handle a plumbing emergency, you can then more easilyprotect your loved ones and home.

The emergency may be either pipe or drain troubles.

But should you call anemergency water heater repairservice right when you notice a problem?

Here is some advice from a renowned Arizona 24-hour emergency hot water heater repair service.

Related Read:What to Do If Your Tap Water Looks Rusty

What to do If the Water Heater Malfunctions

If your water heater malfunctions, you should first turn off both the power and water supply to the water heater to prevent any further damages.

If you have a gas water heater, always turn off the gas first.

In case of overheating, you can turn off the water heater and run the hot water faucets throughout your home so that all of the heat will drain out leaving cold water.

Then call a professional emergency water heater repair service to come and inspect the issueas quickly as possible.

Related Read: Unclogging a Drain Pipe – What You Can Do

How do You Know If You Need Emergency Water Heater Repair?

Lack of hot water is the most common symptom of a malfunctioning water heater. However, there are other various problems which may need a professional plumber.

• Discolored or foul smelly water

The water coming from the faucets may have a yellow, brown, or orange tint and this shows there a problem. If the tint appears only when using hot water, it shows the problem is likely in your hot water heater.

Also, if the water has a foul smell you need to have it checked out as it means there is a reaction occurring inside the heater around the heating rod.

• Too hot water

Lack of hot water is an obvious sign something is wrong with the heater, but when the water is too hot, it’s likely there is a malfunction with the heater.

Inconsistent temperature regulation is a sign that your water heater needs to be examined by a professional plumber.

• Loud noises or banging sounds

Properly operating water heaters are relatively quiet, thus if you hear loud noises or banging sounds coming from your heater it means something is wrong and it needs to be repaired.

• Malfunctioning pilot light

When you find yourself constantly restarting the pilot light all because it can’t stay lit, call a plumber.

• Pooling water

A plumber should be called as soon as possible if you have water pooling around the bottom of your water heater.

Related Blog: Water Heater – Repair or Replace?

Are Emergency Water Heater Repairs Preventable?

The best way to prevent emergency water heater repairs is by scheduling regular maintenance of the system. This will improve its overall performance and increase its lifespan.

Also, the plumbing technician will be able to evaluate every component of your system and alert you of the possible problems.

Things to Avoid Doing to Your Water Heater

There are some common mistakes that people do with their water heaters that should be avoided.

• Don’t adjust the temperature

When the water coming out is cooler than you would like, you may be tempted to adjust the temperature control valve on the water heater which is not good.

This is because turning the valve above certain temperature marks can lead to scalding.

• Don’t towel up puddles

You may choose to use a towel to drain the pooling water beneath the water heater which is not good. This only accelerates mold growth and doesn’t fix the problem.

• Don’t release the pressure

Sometimes the water heater may produce a sound as if it’s boiling which means the pressure is building up inside the tank. You should call a professional plumber to come to release the pressure and repair the problem.

The Pros and Cons of Low Flow Toilets

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If going green or saving green are among your New Year’s resolutions, you may want to consider how you can conserve your household’s water usage. Your bathroom is a good place to start. High-efficiency, low flow toilets can help you save gallons of water each day. But many have reservations about installing them. Here are the facts.

Less Water, More Savings

From appearances, a low flow toilet looks just the same as an older, less efficient model. The primary difference is the amount of water it uses to flush waste down the pipes. Traditional models typically use 7 gallons of water per flush. Yes, that’s per flush. So, you can quickly calculate how much water you’re flushing away by multiplying 7 x the number in your household x the number of times each day they flush. You may be quite shocked to see how large this number is!

Compare 7 gallons per flush with 1.6 gallons. That’s how much a low flow toilet uses. Some use even less. On average, low flow toilets save about 35 gallons each day. In other words, you’ll see a pretty significant drop in your water bill by making the switch.

Upfront Costs

While you will certainly save on your water bill by installing low flow toilets, you have to consider installation costs. Low flow toilets do cost more than traditional toilets. If you’re considering a bathroom remodel, you will probably want to figure this additional amount into your budget.

More Clogs?

The most common reason that homeowners choose not to install low flow toilets is because they tend to clog more often. But don’t be fooled. Yes, you may have to flush the toilet more than once every so often. However, even with multiple flushes, you will still be using significantly less water than a traditional toilet. And the best way to combat this issue is to limit the amount of toilet paper you’re trying to flush.

Still on the fence about making the move to low flow toilets? Call the experts at Cool Blew. We’re happy to provide guidance and recommendations to help you make the best decision for your home.

What to Do If Your Tap Water Looks Rusty

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Seeing discolored water is a common occurrence if you’ve been away from home for a week or more. The cause is dry pipes and turning on the taps usually solves the problem quickly. But what if rusty discoloration in your water continues? We have some tips that can help.

The Source of the Discoloration

A red, brown, or orange tinge to water and a distinctive metallic taste is indicative of oxidized iron – commonly referred to as rust. While it doesn’t pose any particular health hazard, it can be unsightly, and it can stain dishware and clothing. But more importantly, rust is a sign that there may be a more serious problem with your plumbing.

What Should You Do?

The first step in addressing rusty water is determining its source. There are two primary possibilities – your home’s plumbing or the municipal water supply. To identify the source, you’ll want to start with a simple test. See if the discoloration is coming from only the hot water tap or both taps. If it’s only the hot water, you can pretty much assume that the source of the problem is your water heater. If the rust is coming from both hot and cold taps, you may want to make a call to your water department. They might need to make repairs to correct the problem.

If there doesn’t seem to be a problem with the water being distributed to your home, there are other possibilities, including corrosion of your pipes or water main. When the rust is caused by your home’s plumbing, the best solution is to call a professional plumber who can swap out rusted-out parts before they lead to more serious problems.

Whether it’s the water heater or aging pipes, repairs can be made rapidly with little disruption to you and your family. Don’t wait until corrosion of pipes or plumbing fixtures causes a leak or worse.

Want to learn more about repiping, water heater replacement, or other plumbing services? Call the experts at Cool Blew today – 623-872-2900 for all your plumbing needs.

Unclogging a Drain Pipe

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Happy Woman Using Plunger In Kitchen Sink At HomeClogged drains are one of the not-so-fun certainties of home ownership. Over time, clogs can happen in the kitchen or bathroom – often due to a build up of food particles, hair or soap scum. In most cases, minor clogs happen in the mouth of the drain and can be eliminated with a plunger or drain cleaner that can loosen the blockage. However, if they’re not treated, they can cause more serious problems.

What You Can Do First

So you have a clog. A simple first step is to use a toilet plunger. With a fast motion, plunge up and down several times to forcefully loosen debris. Turn on the faucet to see if the water is draining with ease. If not, repeat the plunging.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to try a chemical drain cleaner. These products are especially useful for hard-to-reach clogs that can’t be loosened with a plunger. Because drain cleaners contain oxidizing chemicals, such as lye, they are caustic and shouldn’t be used in poorly ventilated spaces. Open a window or turn on the fan before using them. If you don’t want to use chemicals, you can also try a combination of baking soda and vinegar as a natural drain cleaner.

When a Clog Is More Serious

If the plunger and the drain cleaner both fail to eliminate the clog, the next step may be to use a snake or auger tool. You can find these items in a hardware or home improvement store. Both augers and snakes are beneficial when the clog is within the sewer line. If you’re hearing gurgling sounds from the drain or pipes, or multiple drains are backing up, you’re likely dealing with a sewer line problem.

You’ll want to locate the sewer line access port which is often identifiable as a Y-shaped access port close to your home. Stand clear when opening the access cover as raw sewage may spew out. To unclog the blockage, feed the snake or auger into the section of the pipe where you think the clog is happening. You may need to move it back and forth several times to break up the clog.

Call the Experts at Cool Blew

Of course, not everyone wants to take this DIY approach to eliminating a clog. We get it! That’s why we offer professional clog removal. Our team of licensed plumbers have the equipment to break up clogs and clean your drains, pipes and sewer lines so that you won’t have to deal with a backup again.

Need emergency plumbing assistance or drain cleaning? Call the experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Repair or Replace That Old Garbage Disposal?

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It’s unlikely that you often think about your garbage disposal. It sits there patiently in your sink, always ready to do its job. And then one day, uh-oh, something goes wrong. As a homeowner, it can be difficult to know when you should call out a plumber or replace a garbage disposal. The good news is that your garbage disposal usually gives you a clear indicator of what to do.

Not Turning On

With an overloaded or overheated garbage disposal, the overload protector (reset switch) may be tripped. This is designed to protect it from damage. To reset, locate the button under the disposal. Press the button and try to start it. If not, wait 10 minutes and try again.

If an overload is a problem, you’ll want to check the circuit breaker to see if it has been tripped. If these two solutions don’t work, it’s time to call in a technician. At Cool Blew, we offer both electrical and plumbing services to ensure we get to the bottom of your problem.

Clogs

Garbage disposals are sturdy appliances, but they’re not designed to grind all types of food. Before you call an expert, consider what you’re putting down the drain. Here’s a list of what you should never expect your disposal to grind up.

  • Bones
  • Celery
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit seeds and pits
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Potato peels
  • Other starchy or fibrous vegetables
  • Liquid grease and oil

Bad Smells

It’s no wonder your garbage disposal gets stinky on occasion. There’s plenty of places for debris and bacteria to build up. Baking soda and vinegar can help quell the smell. But, if the odor persists, call in a professional.

Leaks

If your garbage disposal begins leaking under the sink, it may be time for a new unit. Call the plumbing experts at Cool Blew. We’ll look at connections, pipes and other possible sources for the leak. But, it’s likely that a replacement is in order.

Call the plumbing and electrical experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

3 Plumbing Tips for Labor Day Weekend

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The last long weekend of summer is here. It’s time for one final celebration of the season. What you don’t need this Labor Day is the hassles of a plumbing problem. Before you fire up the grill or jump in the pool, please read our three plumbing tips.

1. Get to Know Your Main Water Valve

Do you know how to shut off your water if you had to? If you’re like many homeowners, you might not know where the shutoff valve is. Take a few moments to locate it. The valve may be in the garage, a utility closet or outside in the yard.

What are you looking for exactly? The main valve typically looks like a wheel with spokes that turns to the right, or a lever that turns until it is perpendicular to the pipe it’s connected to. Once you’ve located it, turn the valve and see if the water is still running. If it isn’t, you were successful in shutting off the main valve.

If anything unexpected happens this holiday weekend with any of your water-using appliances, you will now know how to stop the water before experiencing a flood. And, if you’re leaving home for an extended summer vacation, it’s always a good idea to turn the water off at the main valve before leaving.

2. Prevent Clogs

Prepare for a possible holiday weekend clog by purchasing a plunger and an inexpensive three-foot auger. These two simple tools can prevent the vast majority of clogs and backups. Of course, prevention is your best strategy. Remind the kids (and the kids at heart) not to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. And potato peels, melon rinds and chicken bones belong in the trash can, not in the kitchen sink.

3. Watch the Washer

With summer comes lots of dirty laundry. Dirty play clothes, wet bathing suits and lots of towels can strain your washing machine and its hoses and connections. Take a few moments and inspect behind your machine for any evidence of leaks, cracks, or bulges. If something looks suspicious, consider calling the experts at Cool Blew.

As we wind down Summer 2020, we would like to remind you that you can always count on Cool Blew for all your plumbing needs. We’re here for routine maintenance to emergency calls. Call us whenever you need us at 623-872-2900.

Water Heater – Repair or Replace?

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It can sometimes be challenging to figure out when it’s the right time to replace a large home appliance, such as a water heater. Of course, you don’t want to spend needlessly on an upgrade. But you also don’t want to be investing in repairs that won’t be lasting. The following are some considerations as you weigh your decision to repair or replace your water heater.

The Age of the Water Heater

According to data from Consumer Reports, the average tank water heater lasts 10 years, and tankless water heaters have a lifespan of approximately 20 years. So, if you’re experiencing a malfunction of your water heater, it’s important to consider the age of it. If it’s nearing the end of its expected life, replacement typically makes the most sense.

Increasing Energy Bills

Your water heater accounts for up to 15 percent of your total energy bill. So, its efficiency isn’t something to just ignore. If you’re seeing your utility bill go up, it is likely that your water heater is decreasing in efficiency. This happens when it is working longer and harder to keep water temperature consistent. In other words, if your water heater is past its prime and losing efficiency, you will save in the long run by going with a replacement.

Cost of Repair

When it comes to water heater repair, you can do some simple mathematics to determine if repair is the right way to go. If the repair is more than 50 percent of what it would cost to replace, go with the replacement. If the repair cost is less than this, you will still want to consider the water heater’s age. You should also think about how many times it has broken down over the last two years. Multiple repairs signal the need for replacement.

In the Long Run

More often than not, replacement is the right strategy. Throwing money at a failing water heater will ultimately cost you more than buying a new one. Need help in making this decision or choosing a new model? Give the experts at Cool Blew a call today.

Summer Plumbing Problems – And How to Prevent Them

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Summer plumbing problems? These common household issues may never have entered your mind before. Then, one day…

It’s just a reality that many unfortunate homeowners will be caught off guard this summer by unexpected plumbing issues. So, as we kick off the hot season, we felt it was our duty to share with you the most common risks you face with your plumbing system – and how you can mitigate them.

Kitchen Catastrophes

It’s the season for corn on the cob, melon, stone fruits and barbecue ribs. All of these delicious summer foods can be devastatingly tough on your garbage disposal and pipes. Rinds, pits, bones, husks and other no-go items should always be placed in the trash. And as always, remember to avoid pouring cooking oils and grease down the drain. It’s a surefire way to cause a clog.

Toilet Turmoil

Schools out, and social distancing is still the norm. Let’s face it. Home toilets are being used more than ever. We’re seeing more backed up toilets and flooded bathrooms than ever before. Consider giving little and big household members a reminder not to overdo it on toilet paper and to be careful what they flush.

Laundry Overloads

Sweaty clothes, damp pool towels and all those bathing suits. The laundry room is a busy place from May through September. The last thing you want to deal with is a leaky washing machine hose that turns your house into a wading pool. Take a moment and inspect hoses for leaks, cracks and bulges. And, make it a best practice to stay at home when your washing machine is in use. This will enable you to address a problem quickly and, if necessary, call a professional.

Hot Water Heater Hiccups

With extra laundry and plenty of hot showers, your water heater is also working on overtime in the summer. If your water heater is ten or more years old, it’s time to call in a technician for an inspection. This will ensure everything is working as it should be and prevent any unexpected and highly disruptive situation. And, remember when it’s hot outside, the water in your pipes is heating up, too. In other words, turn down your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

Cool Blew Is Here for All Your Summer Plumbing Woes

We want you to have a relaxing and fun summer. The last thing you want to be dealing with is a plumbing problem. We get it! This is why we encourage you to be proactive and to call us if you need help. We’re fast, friendly and effective. Call us at 623-872-2900.