Category Archives: Plumbing

Three Easily Fixable Plumbing Problems

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Three Easily Fixable Plumbing Problems

Plumbing issues unfortunately go hand in hand with homeownership. Many of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face can be directly linked to normal wear and tear, aging plumbing fixtures, absence of maintenance, or improper use. And, plumbing issues usually pop up at inconvenient times, requiring immediate attention, quick repairs, or in some cases replacement.

Usually, the most bothersome plumbing problems are the preventable ones. Here are three common plumbing issues many homeowners run into, and what you can do about them.

1. Dripping Faucet

American homes’ leaky faucets account for millions of gallons of water wasted every year, according to the EPA. That’s a significant amount of water going down the drain anywhere, but particularly in drought-stricken Arizona. Think about this additional fact from the EPA. A leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second adds up to 3,000 gallons of water wasted annually. Yet, dripping faucets are an easily repairable plumbing issue that will rapidly pay for itself in lower monthly water bills. With a simple visit from a plumber, you’ll resolve the problem and prevent all that wasted water.

2. Faulty Washing Machine Hoses

One of the most common causes of water damage in homes is from bursting or faulty washing machine hoses. The rubber hoses that are generally installed with your washing machine tend to lose pliability over time as they go through a great deal of stress as the water hoses are repeatedly turned on and off. Over the course of time, these hoses can simply fail without warning and cause expensive flooding. Now is the perfect time to have your washing machine hoses checked and replaced with stainless steel braided hoses that won’t break over time.

3. Running Toilet

You’ve probably heard a high-pitched water noise coming from the toilet after you’ve used the bathroom. This is caused when water spills into the overflow tube and the toilet does not shut off properly. Often, you simply need to jiggle the handle to stop the water tank from over-filling. This becomes a big problem when you’re not at home or you don’t hear the toilet running and the water runs unchecked for hours. You can literally waste hundreds of gallons of water without being aware of it until you get your monthly water bill. Save time and money by fixing the issue promptly.

Call Your Plumbing Professionals

Do you have questions about plumbing problems you’ve noticed in your house? Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900. We’ll do a complete inspection and professionally repair all your plumbing problems quickly, efficiently, and affordably.

Five Key Plumbing Upgrades for 2023

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Five Key Plumbing Upgrades for 2023

Your house’s plumbing system is a key component for a smoothly operating home. By implementing plumbing upgrades, your home will feel more luxurious and inviting for family, friends, and neighbors. Here are five home plumbing improvements you can make for 2023 to help reduce your home’s water demand, increase your home’s value, and help you save on monthly utility bills.

Upgrade Bathroom Sinks and Faucets

There are numerous options available for upgrading your bathroom faucets and sinks. Updating the sink style with a larger basin and modernized faucets and handles will immediately improve the visual appeal of your bathroom. Installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures will lower your monthly utility bills and help reduce your water demand if future residential drought restrictions are implemented in Arizona.

Insulate Pipes

Insulating home pipes is a quick and relatively inexpensive upgrade that can save on energy costs and maintenance. Pipes with insufficient insulation increase the risk of burst pipes due to freezing weather or extreme heat and may result in utility bills rising due to energy loss.

Install Low-Flow Toilets

According to the EPA, toilets account for almost 30% of water use in the average house. The EPA estimates that you’ll save up to $110 per year on your water bills with the addition of low-flow WaterSense labeled toilets. They’ll last up to 30 years before needing replacement and they’re 20 percent more water efficient than non-rated products.

Install a New Showerhead

Installing water-saving showerheads can also make a big difference. Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water (gpm) per minute and WaterSense labeled showerheads use no more than 2 gpm. The EPA estimates if every home in the U.S. replaced existing showerheads with WaterSense labeled products, more than 260 billion gallons of water would be saved. Depending on the water fixtures for your home, APS Marketplace and SRP Marketplace may offer instant rebates.

Change to an Efficient Water Heater

New water heaters take up less space, have a longer lifespan, and are more efficient. Adding a tankless water heater by replacing an inefficient model provides your family unlimited hot water to save money over the long term. A great addition to your home plumbing system in 2023. With a 25-year lifespan, it’s one of the most valuable home plumbing upgrades. Your professional plumbers at Cool Blew can help you select the right-size tankless water heater depending on your house’s needs.

Contact Cool Blew

Need reliable and experienced professional plumbing services for your home? Give Cool Blew a call at 623-872-2900. Proudly serving customers Valley Wide since 2002. We make comfortable happen.

When’s the Best Time to Check Your Home’s Water Heater?

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If you don’t want to get out of bed one morning and find a pool of water forming inside your home or outside your house from a broken water heater tank leaking, there is no better time than the present to inspect your water heater. Homeowners frequently ask how they can best prevent water heater-related issues in the Valley of the Sun. Here are a few things to consider now that the weather is changing to chilly mornings and evenings.

Inspect

On average, hot water heaters have a lifespan of 10 years. Summer heat in the Valley of the Sun, malfunctioning parts, and rust and sediment buildup can all cause premature failure. A visual inspection of your water heater only takes a few minutes. Be on the lookout for some of these common signs that indicate a possible water heater leak or rupture.

Rusty

If you notice rusty water flowing out of hot water taps, a likely culprit is corrosion in your water heater—a clear signal to get your tank evaluated.

Pooling

When you inspect the tank and notice water pooling underneath it or leaky pipe connections, it’s also time to call for plumbing help.

Water

More than 85% of America’s water is considered hard water. Phoenix is among the cities with the hardest water with an abundance of calcium, iron, and magnesium, originating from the soil. It then travels to Phoenix area water treatment plants which contributes to hardness. Hard water minerals can build up on your water heater’s heating element. And sediment can collect at the bottom of the tank, causing the heater to run longer than necessary. As the water takes longer to heat, it causes the steel on the bottom of the water heater to deteriorate. Eventually your water heater will break whether it’s electric, gas, or solar.

Anode Rod Issues?

Never hear of an anode rod? It’s the steel core wire with magnesium, aluminum, or zinc around it that protects the metal lining inside your tank to prevent premature rust and corrosion. The anode rod is designed to last about five years, but some things can shorten its lifespan, including water salts and well water. If your water heater is over five years old and hasn’t had the anode rod replaced, it’s time to call your local professional plumber.

Schedule

Cool Blew’s experienced plumbers can help to quickly inspect, check, and replace the anode rod, or fix a malfunctioning part like a thermostat. We replace broken water heaters, too. Want to learn more about water heaters and how to keep them functioning longer? Call the licensed plumbers at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Home Plumbing Headache: Sweating Pipes

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Home Plumbing Headache: Sweating Pipes

Have you noticed your home’s pipes dripping? It’s a common problem that is often caused by high temperatures combined with excessive moisture in the air. And yes, this can even happen after the official end of our yearly monsoon thunderstorm season. This phenomenon is commonly known as “sweating pipes.”

When you examine the sweating pipe closely, you’ll quickly discover that it’s not leaking. The dripping water is actually caused by condensation. Pipes can collect moisture when the warm, moist air surrounding cold water pipes interact with one another. The result is condensation. Specifically, cold water in your pipes will cool the air surrounding your home’s pipes, and condensation will form on the outside of exposed pipes. In layman’s terms, this moist air is water vapor wanting to become water once again.

The primary concern of pipe sweating is that it can create damage over time. Furniture, carpet, flooring, ceilings, home furnishings, and walls can be damaged from pooling water, mildew and mold that grows unabated. The leaking water may even increase the likelihood of an exterior or interior termite invasion.

Drip Dry It

So, what should you do if you’re seeing sweating pipes in your home? Insulation! Similar to how your hot water tank is insulated with a blanket, foam insulating pipes work the same way. If you’re a DIYer, there are self-adhesive or “drip tape” types of insulation at your local hardware store that adhere to pipes to prevent moisture. Make certain to wipe down the pipe and thoroughly dry it before applying the tape. Wind the pipe tape until it covers both fittings and pipe. Of course, beforehand turn off the water supply to the affected areas. Cutting water at the main source outside your home may be the easiest.

If you need to further reduce humidity created by sweating pipes, you can use a portable dehumidifier. Depending on your HVAC system, you can also turn on the thermostat setting to take care of this issue.

Don’t Sweat It

If you’re not the DIY-type, or your home plumbing skills can’t cut it, call your locally-owned plumbing professionals at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900. Our certified plumbing experts can repair all your plumbing issues. We’ll fix it right the first time and take pride in being there for you 365 days a year, 24/7 servicing satisfied customers in the Valley of the Sun since 2002.

Typical Summer Plumbing Issues

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The extreme heat impacting the Valley of the Sun this summer can cause numerous problems for your home’s plumbing. High temperatures can result in pipes expanding, causing them to leak or break, impacting your plumbing inside and outside. Let’s look at a few other common summer plumbing issues that may put a damper on your day.

Low Water Pressure

Ever turn on the bathroom faucet and notice the water seems to only trickle out or spray out in different directions? Low water pressure typically happens due to calcium buildup in the faucet aerator causing reduced water pressure. A blocked faucet aerator is an easy DIY fix. You only need to remove the aerator from the faucet and clean out the calcium deposits before putting the faucet back together.

Water Heater Breakdown

The water heater can fail for a few reasons. If you’re noticing the shower water becoming cool, there may be a broken thermostat. Often, the first sign of an excessive buildup of sediment inside the water heater tank is water gushing out of the water heater. Whatever the cause of the malfunction, it’s time to call your trustworthy local plumbing professionals. Cool Blew’s plumbing experts will inspect your water heater and repair or replace it.

Clogged Shower Drains

Dirt, hair buildup, and debris can cause blockages in your shower drain any time of the year, but we tend to take more showers in the hot summer months. Simply pouring strong chemicals down the drain sometimes can make the problem worse. Plumbing snakes and plungers can end up pushing the clog further down the pipe. When water is backing up after every shower and DIY fixes don’t resolve the problem, it’s best to call in the plumbing technicians to help sort it out.

Blocked Toilets

Clogged toilets are a common situation when you’re hosting summer parties or out-of-town guests. With more use, more issues occur, from flushing something down the toilet that shouldn’t be flushed or trying to flush too much toilet paper down at once. You’ll want to take any type of clog seriously and use a plunger first. If the toilet continues to backup or you notice a leak, call your plumbing pros.

Cool Blew’s experienced plumbers have all the tools to get your house’s plumbing in tip-top shape. You can trust that our plumbers will take care of the issue promptly. Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment. We’ll do a complete inspection and professionally repair all your plumbing problems.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Touchless Kitchen Faucets

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Thinking about a plumbing upgrade for your kitchen? You’ve seen them in restaurant bathrooms most everywhere in Arizona—touchless faucets. They save time and effort by simplifying cleaning. These technological wonders deliver a stream of water anytime motion is detected. How do these faucets work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of installing them in your kitchen by your local plumber?

How Do Touchless Faucets Work?

Touchless faucets have a sensor positioned usually at the base of the faucet. When you move your hand or even a pot or plate in front of the infrared detector, the sensor sends a signal to the solenoid valve, turning water on or off.

Advantages of Touchless Faucets

Hands Free

Whether you have dirty hands or hands full, you only need to place your hands close to the sensor to begin the flow of water. Less spreading of germs and food debris on faucets.

Saves Water

No water is wasted because the faucet turns off when there’s nothing in front of the sensor. The sensor takes three seconds or less to send a signal to shut off the water. Better for the environment and your monthly water bill, as you’ll save hundreds of gallons over a few years.

Safety

No need to reach for knobs or handles. Easy to use for all family members and automatic water temperature and flow settings.

Easier Cleaning

The spray head with a pull-down feature allows you to utilize the faucets’ stronger water flow to quickly clean dishes and cookware with less mess.

Disadvantages of Touchless Faucets

Sensor Malfunction

Since these faucets are activated by motion sensors, having too few sensors or low-quality sensors means the faucet won’t quickly turn on or off, leading to a frustrating situation.

Cost

Generally more expensive than standard faucets and the solenoid or valve can stop functioning properly over time.

Flow Rate

It can be difficult to change the water flow rate or temperature. You’ll have to touch different areas of the faucet, or for some models, use a remote control.

Call Your Plumbing Experts

Need additional information on touchless kitchen faucets or require other plumbing services? Your family-owned plumbing professionals at Cool Blew have the expertise to help you anytime of the day or night.
Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule an appointment. We’re committed to providing unbeatable customer service and quality products.

Typical Water Heater Issues

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Water heaters are a convenience homeowners expect at all times. Even though water heaters are manufactured to last, problems can still occur—and usually at inconvenient times. An interruption in hot water or low water pressure when you want to take a shower or run a load of laundry can quickly become a stressful situation. Let’s look at some typical water heater problems.

Temperature Issues

Water temperature problems can be very frustrating. The water can be too hot, too cold, or not hot enough.

Cold Water

Issues arising from water being cold when it should be hot may include the water heater not getting power, or the thermostat and heating elements not working correctly. If your water heater is gas powered, check to see if the pilot light is lit. If there isn’t a pilot light, then the water heater may not be getting an adequate gas flow. If it’s an electric water heater, check if the power cord is plugged in properly, reset the power breaker, and check for blown fuses. If the pilot light won’t relight, there’s not enough gas, or the power supply isn’t functioning properly, call your trusted local plumbing company.

Not Hot Enough

When the water is warm, but not hot enough, there may be a thermostat problem or a heating element that’s not functioning. A water heater too small for your household water needs may be another cause. These issues are best taken care of by a professional.

Overly Hot Water

Thermostat settings are the most likely cause of water that is too hot. The thermostat may have been set above the recommended setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends this setting for optimal power efficiency and to reduce the chances of scalding hot water.

Stinky or Discolored Water

Foul smelling water flowing from your faucets may be the result of a failing water heater element. A foul odor may be caused by the heating element releasing hydrogen causing the bad smell.

Rust-colored water is most likely caused by corrosion inside the water tank from a failing element. This is when you should call your plumbing technician to inspect the unit and decide if the water heater element needs to be replaced or the entire water heater needs replacement.

Call Cool Blew

These are a few of the typical water heater issues you may encounter. Call our expert plumbers at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your plumbing appointment.

P-traps and Home Plumbing Problems

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A P-trap is a plumbing pipe that you’ve likely seen underneath your sink. But you probably don’t know much about it. When you have a clogged sink, a P-trap becomes one of the first suspected culprits causing the clog. Here’s a brief overview of what P-traps are, why your home has them, and two common P-trap problems.

What’s a P-trap?

Look under any sink in your house and you’ll see a pipe with a curve resembling the letter “P” or the letter “U.” The P-trap has a very specific purpose with its bend. It connects your home’s drain and waste pipes to your municipal sewage system or home septic tank. The bend contains a small pocket of water which blocks foul smelling, toxic sewer gases from entering your home through the pipes. Methane is the most common foul smelling offensive odor blocked.

P-traps have one other important job. By being an integral part of every home’s plumbing system, these traps allow you to quickly find small items that have fallen down the drain such as jewelry. They’re found under every sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub in your house.

Typical P-trap Problems

Now that you understand P-traps as barriers to noxious fumes traveling up the sink and preventing objects from going down the drain, let’s look at two common P-trap problems you may encounter.

Clogs

The bend in the P-trap pipe contributes to all sorts of objects getting wedged in the trap curve and blocking the pipe. Objects ranging from large quantities of hair, paper towels, wet wipes, sponges, and sediment can lodge in the bend. Food, dead skin, soap scum, grease, and mineral deposits can build up over time and reduce the diameter of the pipe. Eventually, this build up will clog the pipe and if your DIY remedies don’t work, it will be time to call your local plumber to unclog.

Dry P-traps

P-traps can dry up due to evaporation, a leak, a clog absorbing the water, or even dry winds entering your home’s pipes. When the water evaporates, you’ll quickly smell the horrible sewer gases. The best way to prevent water from drying up in P-traps is to run water down every drain in your home at least once every three weeks.

Frequently encountering clogged drain pipes? It may be time to consider having your drains professionally cleaned as the best long-term solution. Call your local plumbing experts at Cool Blew to schedule your appointment today. We’re available 365 days of the year at 623-872-2900.

Common Garbage Disposal Problems—and What to Do about Them

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When your garbage disposal breaks down, it can get downright ugly in the kitchen. You won’t be able to dispose of food waste down the drain. And that’s coupled with foul smells emitting from the garbage disposal. Yuck!

So, what causes these workhorses in the kitchen to stop functioning, and more importantly, how can you prevent common garbage disposal problems from happening in the first place?

Jammed

Garbage disposals grind up hundreds of pounds of food waste yearly. When these usually long-lasting, reliable devices have limited to no grinding power with an associated humming noise, it probably means a jammed disposal. Often, liquids will back up into the sink or drain slowly. The most common culprits are non-grindable materials, like fats and oils, bones, fruit pits, and stringy vegetables.

Leaking

Garbage disposals can leak for many reasons. Damaged seals, faulty connections with the drainpipe or dishwasher, a worn-out gasket, O-ring, or flange. Disposals can leak from the top, bottom, or sides into the dishwasher or plumbing system.

Won’t Turn On

You flip the switch to turn on your garbage disposal and nothing happens. A few issues can cause a “dead” disposal. The electrical switch to the disposal may be broken. A plug in the disposal may be loose or the reset button on bottom of the disposal may have popped out.

Non-Draining

Are you noticing food waste and water backing up into the sink? Dull blades or a clogged pipe may be causing the backup issues.

Noisy

If your garbage disposal is making loud sounds, such as a grinding metal noise or a high-pitched whirling noise, it may be caused by a few issues. A part of the garbage disposal may have broken off, lugs may have become loose, or some foreign object is stuck in the blades.

Four Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Smoothly

  • Flush out the disposal with hot water on a regular basis.
  • Don’t dump excessive quantities of food waste into the garbage disposal at one time.
  • Avoid dumping potato peels, fats, oils, grease, and bones down the disposal.
  • Drop eggshells, ice cubes, or citrus peels down the disposal weekly to remove smells and keep disposal blades sharp.

Cool Blew’s professional plumbers will quickly inspect your broken garbage disposal. They’ll repair it if possible or provide a quote for a replacement unit in your sink and expertly install it. Call our experts at 623-872-2900 today to schedule your plumbing appointment.

Homeowner’s Guide to Slab Leaks

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Are you experiencing a pesky plumbing problem problem that you can’t quite figure out? If you answer yes to any of the following four questions, you may have a slab leak:

  1. Is there unusual pooling water outside your house?
  2. Are you noticing mold and mildew on your carpet or walls?
  3. Have you noticed damp spots on your carpet, flooring, or baseboards?
  4. Has your water bill skyrocketed 25% to 50% or more in a single month?

Here’s what you need to know about this common, frustrating plumbing problem.

What’s a Slab Leak?

Slab leaks happen when pipes underneath your house’s concrete foundation begin to leak. Slab leaks generally start out small and are difficult to notice, but they can quickly cause major damage and costly repairs. The leaking water can saturate the soil underneath your home causing your house to slowly sink into the ground or cause flooring to buckle if left unrepaired. Slab leaks are not something you want to take a “wait and see” approach before calling in the experts. Your local experienced technicians at Cool Blew have the tools to rapidly investigate slab leaks, provide you with the best course of action, and quickly repair.

Common Causes of Slab Leaks

Polybutylene Pipes

Polybutylene (PB) is a type of plastic resin that was extensively used from 1978 to 1995 in new home construction in Arizona and other states. This type of piping eventually leaks or bursts, mainly due to improper installation or chlorine degradation from municipal water treatment.

Earth Settling

A common issue with desert soil in the Valley of the Sun is a gradual shifting over time of the earth under your home’s concrete slab. This soil shifting causes substantial pressure on the buried water lines resulting in pipes cracking and leaking.

Poorly Wrapped Pipes

When water pipes are placed underneath your home’s concrete slab, they’re wrapped to protect them from directly touching the foundation. If the pipes are improperly wrapped, they can wear out over time from contact with the slab and leak.

Suspect a Slab Leak?

If you think you may have a slab leak, immediately call the professionals at Cool Blew to prevent any additional damage and expensive repairs. We’ll do a complete inspection to locate the leak and professionally repair the piping, saving your home from significant damage. Call us now at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment.