Category Archives: Plumbing

Why Your Toilet Keeps Getting Clogged

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One of the most irritating, and yes downright gross, household inconveniences is a clogged toilet. Yuck! While it’s bound to happen every once in a while, you may have a bigger problem if it’s occurring with some frequency. If unclogging is becoming a commonplace task, keep reading…

Consider What You’re Flushing

We all know what should be flushed down the toilet – waste and toilet paper. But, often other things are also flushed down which can cause clogs. If you’re experiencing ongoing clogs, consider if any of the following items have been flushed down:

  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Dental floss
  • Medicine
  • Hair
  • Facial tissues
  • Sanitary products
  • Diapers

By keeping these non-flushables out of your toilet, you can avoid many clogs.

It Could Be Mechanical

One of the most common sources of clogged toilets is an improperly working flapper inside the toilet. The flapper needs to open all the way to release sufficient water to enable a proper flush. If the flapper isn’t working correctly, first adjust the chain to make sure it opens completely when flushing.

Grab the Plunger

Another source of clogs can be objects getting stuck in the trap of the toilet. This is the s-shaped portion of the toilet that sits between the toilet and the drain. If this is a possibility, place your plunger over the entire toilet opening and move it up and down. The suction of the plunger may be able to remove anything that is caught in the trap.

Unclog the Drain Line

If it’s not the trap or flusher, the clog may be further down in the drain line. A chemical, lye drain unclogging solution can help remove the clog. Make sure to carefully follow the directions on the product. However, if this doesn’t work, it could be a problem with a connecting drain line. This is a good time to call in a professional to check all your drain lines and identify the source of the problem.

It Might Be Hard Water Build Up

Here in Arizona, our hard water can cause mineral deposits to form on anything – including the inside of your toilet. If there appears to be lime buildup under the rim of your toilet, use a wire hanger to scrape it off. You can also use a mixture of one-part muriatic acid to 10-parts water. Pour this solution down your toilet’s overflow tube. This quick fix can frequently eliminate clogs.

If you can’t figure out the source of your clogged toilet, or you just don’t want to deal with the problem yourself, call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 today.

What’s a Slab Leak and How Can It Affect My Home?

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Imagine coming home from a two-week vacation feeling rested and restored from your time away. You pull up to your Phoenix area home and everything looks fine. But when you open the door you notice a slightly musty smell. A moment later, as you step into the living room, your heart sinks. There’s an inch or two of water on the floor, and everything is completely soaked. There’s no gushing water from a broken pipe, no evidence of a what caused the flood. Unfortunately, you’ve just discovered the homeowner’s nightmare referred to as a slab leak. Undetected slab leaks that grow into major water damage incidents affect many homes in the greater Phoenix area.

Slab Leak Causes

New homes are built on large concrete pads referred to as “slabs.” In the past, many Phoenix area home builders made the choice to install plumbing pipes under the slabs of new homes for a variety of reasons. In terms of design, there were some perceived advantages, but also, over time, unintended negative consequences. Under certain circumstances, water pipes beneath a slab can become damaged or develop leaks, and that’s when serious water damage can occur. Soil conditions, shifting soil or improper installation can affect the outside of the pipes while hard water, chemicals and mineral deposits can degrade the inside of pipes. Either of these conditions can result in leaking pipes beneath the concrete foundation of your home. A slab leak can degrade the foundation of your home, as well as cause significant damage to your carpeting, flooring, furniture and possessions.

Signs You May Have A Slab Leak

There are some early warning signals that indicate you may have pipes leaking beneath your concrete slab. Has your water bill increased for no apparent reason over the last few months? Do you notice moisture on the floor or unexplained wet spots in your carpeting? When it’s very quiet late at night, do you notice the faint sound of gurgling or running water even though there are no faucets turned on, no appliances running, such as your dishwasher or washing machine? These signs could point to a slab leak and should be checked by a professional.

What Should You Do If You Have A Slab Leak?

A slab leak is a serious problem which has the potential to cause severe damage to your home. It’s not a do it yourself weekend project and unfortunately, it won’t fix itself. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse. If you suspect water may be leaking under your foundation, call the professionals at Cool Blew for expert leak detection today.

For all your plumbing and HVAC needs, call the true blue, Cool Blew professionals today at 623-872-2900.

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing System

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Spring is nearly here, tempting us to open windows and doors to bring the season’s freshness indoors. This makes it the perfect time to do a little deep cleaning around the house. As part of your “spring clean,” you won’t want to forget your plumbing. Yes, it requires some freshening up just like other aspects of your home. And, with a little annual TLC, you can enable your plumbing fixtures and system to last longer and perform better.

Here are some plumbing-related items to add to your home maintenance “to do” list.

  • Use a bacterial drain cleaner to eliminate debris and build-up from drains.
  • Snake any slow floor drains and pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains to prevent sewer odors from entering your home.
  • Remove mineral build-up from faucets and shower heads.
  • nstall mesh strainers over floor drains to prevent hair and other debris from going down and causing clogs
  • Check water supply lines to your faucets, toilets, washing machine and water-using appliances. Look for tears, leaks, or bulges.
  • Do a leak inspection in and around your home, including a water meter reading check to ensure you’re not missing anything.

It’s a Good Time to Call Your Plumber Too!

Along with performing these annual maintenance tasks, it’s also wise to obtain an annual inspection from a plumber who can check pipes for leaks or damage, test your system and replace any pipes or lines before they become bigger problems. Don’t forget your water heater. Your plumber can also ensure it is working as it should be to prevent any unwanted surprises.

Your plumbing is vital to your home. It’s good common sense to be proactive and keep your system and fixtures clean and well-maintained. By doing so, you will save yourself a lot of headaches and dollars down the road by preventing a minor issue from turning into a major problem. Call Cool Blew, your expert source for plumbing in and around Phoenix today at 623-872-2900.

Do You Need a Water Softener for Your Phoenix Home?

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Every region has unique characteristics when it comes to their tap water. In some areas, water can have a slightly cloudy appearance. Others have issues with water having an unusual smell. Here in the greater Phoenix area, the common problem is hard water. If you see lime scale build up on plumbing fixtures, shower doors and drinking glasses, you’ve spotted the issue. The good news is that it’s easily corrected with a water softener.

The Hard Facts on Hard Water

Interestingly, Phoenix is home to some of the hardest water in the United States. Due to large amounts of minerals in water supplies, it can cause scale to form on plumbing fixtures and appliances. In fact, it can shorten the life of dishwashers, water heaters, faucets and pipes. That’s not the only issue. It can also make white clothes look dingy and wreak havoc on your hair and skin. In other words, as a homeowner, it’s important to tackle the problem of hard water.

What Are the Benefits of a Water Softener?

If you’re tired of residue, streaks and spots on glasses, dishes and appliances, it may be time to consider a water softener. With a quick professional install, a water softener can instantly improve your home’s water quality. Not only will you stop seeing the visible evidence of hard water on household items, you’ll also experience improved condition of your skin and hair. Your laundry will look and feel better, too!

Another perk! Water softeners don’t require much maintenance. With most systems, it’s as simple as adding salt occasionally to keep the water softening process moving. Typically, you will only need to add salt every two months or so. That’s not much to ask when you consider the major benefits of having softer water.

What Size Water Softener?

Water softeners come in many sizes. An average person will use approximately 75 gallons of water every day. A home with three people, using approximately 225 gallons of water per day, will need a 32,000-grain water softener. While this is a standard size, there are many other sizes available to meet the specific needs of your family. To learn more about water softener sizing for your home, call the experts at Cool Blew at 623-872-2900.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Protect Your Home’s Plumbing

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As we ring in 2018, it’s time to make some resolutions to make your life better. At Cool Blew, we believe that keeping your home’s plumbing in excellent shape is a resolution worth keeping all year long. The following are some easy-to-follow strategies to ensure the coming year is smooth and clog-free!

  1. Be Careful What You Place in Your Garbage Disposal
  2. Your garbage disposal is not a garbage can. To maximize the lifespan of this essential kitchen tool and your pipes, here’s the list of what to prevent from going down your kitchen drain:

  • Asparagus
  • Banana peels
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooked meat scraps
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit pits and scraps
  • Grease
  • Nuts
  • Vegetable peels (including potato)

  1. Don’t Flush Trash Down the Toilet
  2. Limit what you flush to toilet paper and human waste. Avoid flushing Q-tips, cotton balls, diapers, feminine products and paper towels. None of these items were meant to go down the drain and can cause challenging clogs that lead to costly repairs. Even bathroom wipes that claim to be flushable can result in clogs. Instead, invest in a conveniently placed waste bin that can be used to catch all those items that don’t belong in the toilet.

  3. Reduce Your Water Consumption
  4. Here in the Arizona desert, water is precious and something we all need to conserve. Why not make 2018 the year that you make a few minor adjustments to your water usage patterns that can also save you money. Consider creating a family agreement to shorten shower time, run only full loads in the washing machine and turn water off when it’s not in use. Minor changes can result in big savings that help both the environment and your budget.

    1. Maintain Your Water Heater
    2. Throughout the greater Phoenix area, we have hard water, loaded with minerals. Protect your water heater in 2018 from rust and corrosion by removing sediment. This is a relatively easy process that can be accomplished with a hose and a bucket. If you don’t feel comfortable handling hot water heater maintenance, call Cool Blew today at 602-872-2900.

    3. Schedule a Plumbing Tune-Up
    4. A tune-up for your plumbing system is a great way to kick off 2018. One of our expert plumbers will inspect your home’s drains and water lines to ensure everything is functioning properly. A tune-up can also identify small issues before they turn into bigger problems.

    Wishing you a happy and successful 2018!

Maximize the Lifespan of Your Water Heater

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Think about how much you rely on your water heater each and every day. From providing warm showers to cleaning your clothes, dishes, pots and pans. While you may not think about all that your water heater does on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to give it some love with a routine maintenance schedule. By doing so, you can keep it running optimally for many years to come.

What You Need to Do

Caring for your water heater isn’t difficult, but it does require some effort. The following are the steps necessary to keep this vital component of your home running as it should be:

Keep the thermostat at 120 degrees or below

You can save up to five percent in monthly energy costs for every 10 degrees you reduce your water heater’s temperature. You’ll also reduce its workload and any risk of scalding, too.

Remove sediment

At least two or three times a year, partially drain your tank to remove sediment and debris. Here in the greater Phoenix area, minerals that build up can corrode tanks. To drain the tank, turn off the cold- water supply and hook up a garden hose to the drain valve. Water can be drained into a bucket until the water runs clear.

Test the pressure relief valve

At least once a year, test the pressure relief valve by discharging it two or three times. Look for small leaks from the valve which signal a need to call for service.

Insulate the tank

A fiberglass jacket for your water heater tank and insulation around the cold and hot water pipes can improve efficiency all year-long.

Reduce the temperature when out-of-town

Whether you’re a snowbird who is gone for part of the year or just taking a two-week vacation, you can extend your water heater’s function by turning it to the vacation setting while you’re away. This maintains the pilot light without continuously heating the water.

And, remember to call Cool Blew at 623-872-2900 if you’re in need of water heater repair or replacement. We’re here to ensure you and your family are never left in the cold.

Drop the Drip: Overcoming a Common Plumbing Problem

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Drip, drip, drip. The sound of a leaky faucet is unarguably one of the most annoying sounds known to mankind. Tiny drops of water steadily hitting a sink or shower can keep you up at night and waste a surprisingly large amount of water. But, what exactly causes a leaky faucet? We have answers.

In the vast majority of leaky faucets, the cause is simply wear and tear on your faucet. Continuously turning it on and off can cause faucet washers and stems to wear out. It can be a problem with an O ring which is an integral point wherein dripping can occur or a corroded valve seat which serves as the connection between the faucet and the spout. Over time, an accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode and leak. Worn out or improperly installed washers, loose parts and worn out seals can also be the culprit. In rare cases, a leak can be caused by a broken pipe or fitting. Regardless of the cause, a leaky faucet is undoubtedly irritating. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to repair. In nearly every case, a skilled plumber can replace worn out parts without requiring you to invest in a new sink or faucet.

The Water Adds Up

Not only is a leaky faucet incredibly annoying, it can cost you big on your water bill. Even a small drip can add up to gallons of water wasted each day. Here in the Phoenix area where water is hard, a steady drip can also damage your faucet and sink. So, even if you aren’t bothered by the relentless noise of a drip, there are plenty of other reasons to get it fixed promptly.

Be Proactive with Plumbing Problems

Like with many household issues, dripping faucets and other plumbing problems should be fixed as quickly as possible to avoid water waste and to protect fixtures. Taking a wait and see approach will likely lead to a higher water bill and the potential for having to replace fixtures instead of just a minor part. Leaky faucets do not repair themselves!

Understanding why a faucet is leaky is necessary for fixing it effectively. This is why it’s important to call a qualified plumber who has the expertise to identify a problem and make the necessary repairs. In other words, call Cool Blew if and when you are dealing with a leaky faucet.

Thanksgiving Plumbing Tips

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It may surprise you, but Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest day of the year for plumbers, across the United States. We, plumbers, jokingly refer to it as “Brown Friday.” Yuck!

Now, why do you think plumbers are so busy after this particular holiday? Well, there are two common problems that occur. Clogged or broken garbage disposals often happen during this food-focused holiday. Sewer line backups are the other frequent issue. Because a holiday plumbing problem can quickly turn into a plumber-worthy emergency, we’ve provided some preventive tips that hopefully will keep everything smooth-sailing throughout Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

Don’t Put Bones or Peels in the Garbage Disposal

After ten hours of cooking, we understand it’s tempting to shovel what’s left on plates right into the disposal. Don’t do it! Your garbage disposal was never intended to grind bones, or mounds of potato peels for that matter. By doing so, you’re creating a recipe for your disposal’s grinding halt.

Don’t Pour Grease or Oil Down the Drain Either

You would think that pouring a liquid down a drain wouldn’t cause a problem. Think again! The problem with grease and oil is they coagulate, becoming solid and sticky. A lump of grease in your sewer pipe can quickly cause a not so pleasant sewer line backup. Instead, pour unwanted oil and grease in a coffee can or other metal container. Let it cool off and throw it in your garbage can.

Don’t Put Trash or Food Down the Toilet

This seems only logical. Right? Well, a house full of people often leads to guests using toilets as garbage cans. The only thing that should be flushed down is toilet paper and biological waste which dissolves quickly. Anything else can stick around in your sewer pipe and cause a backup. This Thanksgiving give thanks to all guests who only use the toilet for what it was intended to be used for.

Get a Plumbing Check-Up

Do you have frequent sink backups? Do pipes make weird noises or leak? Don’t wait for the busiest day of the year to make that call. Before you are cooking that Thanksgiving turkey, ensure your plumbing is working properly. Call Cool Blew today to schedule a plumbing check-up at 623-872-2900.

Yes, this is not the most pleasant topic, but it’s better to learn these tips and follow them than having sewage bubbling up in your guest bathroom on Thanksgiving evening. By doing so, you won’t have to experience the hassle of Brown Friday.

What Is a Water Heater Booster?

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Do you have family members who take long showers, leaving you in the cold? If you’ve discovered the chilly truth of running out of hot water due to a too-small water heater, you may want to consider a simple addition to your water heater called a water heater booster.

Homeowners are often surprised to learn that a single shower can use 10 or more gallons of hot water. If you have a standard 50-gallon tank, you can quickly surpass your family’s hot water needs. Dishwashers and washing machines only add to the daily consumption. If you’re tired of running out of hot water mid-shower, it might be time to consider the installation of a water heater booster.

What is a Water Heater Booster?

A water heater booster is installed directly on the water line to provide more hot water than the tank can provide. In fact, this small device, that is attached to the tank or nearby wall, can nearly double your shower time. Compatible with both electric and gas tanks, a water heater booster detects the temperature of the water from the tank outlet and activates when it senses that the inlet temperature has dropped below a set activation temperature.

Should You Invest in a Water Heater Booster?

If your household is battling the daily challenge of not enough hot water, it may make sense to consider a water heater booster. A unit can be added to an existing tank or installed along with a new water heater. Call Cool Blew today to learn more about the benefits of a water heater booster and if it’s right for your home.

Looking to Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings

Nearly 15 percent of your home’s energy costs can be attributed to your water heater. While a water heater booster can help increase the amount of available hot water in your home, it’s also wise to consider ways to increase the efficiency of your water heater. Often, a few small modifications can make a big difference.

Consider Low Flow Showerheads

Reducing the flow of water in your shower and sinks can mean more hot water when you need it.

Insulate the Tank

Wrapping your tank can save up to 10 percent in heating costs. Check your tank’s manual for specific insulation requirements.

Replace an Inefficient Water Heater

Today’s energy-efficient water heaters can save 15 percent or more in energy costs over older models. Look for an Energy Star model that has heat traps that prevent convective heat losses through inlet and outlet pipes.

Have questions about water heaters? Call Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900. Serving Peoria, AZ and the greater Phoenix area.

Should You Invest in a Water Softener?

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Are you contemplating the purchase of a water softener? Here in the greater Phoenix metro area, we have some of the hardest water in the country. This is a result of two common minerals that are naturally occurring in Arizona soil – magnesium and calcium. These minerals dissolve in our water and create those unsightly, white chalky deposits that we commonly see on our glasses, faucets and shower doors.

The solution for reducing water hardness is to install a water softener. At Cool Blew, we install water softeners for homeowners throughout the entire Phoenix valley. Along with helping you keep your glasses and bath fixtures free from those unsightly deposits, there are many other advantages to installing a water softener.

Protects Pipes

Those mineral deposits also collect and build up in your home’s pipes. This can result in frequent clogs and even corrosion which may lead to costly leaks. Converting hard water into soft eliminates the minerals before they enter into pipes.

Protects Your Clothing

Washing your clothes in hard water leaves them feeling rough and over time will damage them. With a water softener, you’ll be amazed by the softness and appearance of your clothing.

Protects Your Skin and Hair

The hot, dry desert air of Arizona is hard enough on skin and hair. Hard water only makes this worse, leaving your skin dull and your hair lifeless. Soft water results in softer, healthier skin and hair.

Better Tasting Water

A water softener will also eliminate the unpleasant smells and tastes that are inherent in water with a high mineral content. With a whole house water softener, you will have great tasting water from every faucet and eliminate the need for bottled water.

Extend the Life of Your Appliances

Appliances that use water, such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators were not built for hard water use. Over time, they can be impacted with a variety of issues due to the build-up of minerals. This means that an appliance that would otherwise have a 10-year lifespan, may only last six or eight years because of problems caused by hard water.

Cost and Comfort

When you look at the advantages of a water softener, you’ll likely be amazed at how it can save you money on plumbing and appliances while improving the overall comfort and value of your home. Learn more today by calling Cool Blew.