Category Archives: Plumbing

Three Home Plumbing Improvements to Make in 2022

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Conserving water is an important aspect of living in the desert southwest. Decades long drought conditions have left Lake Powell only 35% full and Lake Mead less than 38% full. With the federal government declaring an unprecedented water shortage for the Colorado River and Lake Mead, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a formal shortage declaration for the first time ever in 2021. The Colorado River provides water for 40 million people, and under Level 1 water usage cuts, Arizona will face the biggest reduction with farmers being directly affected first. With all that in mind, here are three home plumbing improvements you can make for 2022 to help reduce your home’s water demand and help you save on water bills.

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 toilets. And they will last up to 30 years before needing replacement. To do your part in reducing water usage, installing a low-flow toilet can help save thousands of gallons of water every year. Some additional tidbits of information to consider: the average person will flush the toilet six times a day and a low-flow toilet will use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, amounting to a 70-80 percent water savings. Low-flow toilets have smaller tanks and some even have the option of a dual flush providing even more flexibility in flushing usage.

Water-Saving Showerheads

Installing water-saving showerheads can also make a big difference. The EPA estimates if every home in the U.S. replaced existing showerheads with WaterSense labeled models, more than 260 billion gallons of water would be saved, resulting in $5.4 billion in reduced water and energy costs annually. WaterSense labeled showerheads are independently certified to meet EPA water efficiency standards and performance criteria. These showerheads not only use less water, but also provide high water pressure. The showerheads provide optimum water pressure at 80psi, so there’s no need to be concerned about the showerhead not providing enough water pressure to shower comfortably.

Tankless Right-Sized Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters providing unlimited hot water and space-saving design can be an excellent addition to your home’s plumbing system in 2022. You’ll never run out of hot water again! You can run hot water taps at the same time or even multiple showers simultaneously without a reduction in hot water supply. Tankless heaters save space, are more cost effective, more durable with life spans ranging from 20 to 25 years, and the efficient functionality of tankless water heaters allows for instant hot water!

Call Cool Blew

For additional details on these money saving, climate friendly plumbing improvements for 2022, call Cool Blew, your locally owned experts in HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. Call Cool Blew today Valley Wide at 623-872-2900.

Does a Tankless Water Heater Make Sense for You?

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Many homeowners aren’t aware that water heating systems are the second biggest user of electricity in homes after air conditioning and heating. Yet, they are often overlooked when it comes to improving efficiency—only being replaced when they cease working.

Most homes in greater Phoenix have traditional gas or electric tank water heaters. You know them as the big white tanks typically installed in your garage. While this type of water heater is ubiquitous in homes across the Valley, it’s not the only option. A tankless water heater system is an alternative that a growing number of homeowners are exploring and installing because of the advantages over natural gas (methane), propane (LPG), solar, or electric water heaters.

What is a tankless water heater?

Also called instantaneous or continuous flow systems, tankless water heaters heat water as it flows through the device. They do not retain any water internally, except for what is in a heat exchange coil. A tankless heater can be installed either at the point-of-use or in a central location to provide hot water for an entire home.

What are the advantages of this alternative to traditional tank water heaters?

Here are three key benefits of tankless water heaters to consider before it’s time to replace your existing system:

  1. Lower costs
    Because tankless systems heat water as needed, rather than keeping an entire tank hot for your use, it typically costs much less to operate. There is also less water waste, as you don’t have to run the tap while you wait for water to warm up. This results in lower monthly utility costs. Over time, this monthly savings offsets the cost of a new tankless water heater system.
  2. Continuous flow of hot water
    It’s certainly a big surprise when you’re in the middle of a shower, and the hot water runs out. With a tankless system, you’re not using a limited tank of hot water. So, there’s never any risk of running out of water. As long as the tankless water heater is functional, you’ll always have plenty of hot water.
  3. More space
    If you have your water heater tank in your garage, you’re aware of the space it takes up. In many smaller, older homes, available space is tight for accommodating a bulky water heater. When every square foot counts, a tankless system is the right choice.

Are you ready to learn more about replacing your water heater with a new tankless model? Call the plumbing experts at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900.

Preventing Plumbing Problems

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Are you experiencing pesky plumbing problems now that summer is almost over? The most annoying plumbing-related issues are often the preventable problems that make homeowners want to pound the table and yell when they realize an ounce of prevention would’ve saved a lot of time, trouble, cost, and frustration. Here are some plumbing situations that you can check on and prevent.

Defective Washing Machine Hoses

Here’s a question for you. When was the last time you thought about your washing machine water hoses? The answer is probably, “Not in a very long time.”

Would you guess that faulty or bursting basic, plain black, rubber washing machine hoses are one of the most common causes of catastrophic water damage in houses? You cannot ignore two to four inches of water on the floor. Old rubber hoses tend to lose flexibility with age and are subject to a fair amount of stress as the water repeatedly turns on and off. These hoses have a track record for springing leaks. Carefully check your hoses showing any signs of cracks, bulges, or abrasions. Over the course of time, these hoses can simply fail without warning and cause expensive flooding. It’s a great idea to have your washing machine hoses replaced with leak-free stainless steel braided hoses. These hoses are inexpensive, and DIY easy-to-install, or have your local handyman or plumber replace them for you.

Toilet Handle Stuck

Familiar with these phrases, “Don’t forget to jiggle the handle” or “Make certain to hold the handle down” in your household? This is a very common plumbing issue where water spills into the overflow tube and the toilet does not shut off properly. Most often, moving the handle will alleviate the noise. If the water in your tank runs continuously, you may be in store for a high dollar water bill. Another problem may occur If the float in the tank is out of adjustment. Water will fill up the tank for about twenty seconds, shut off, then the toilet tank will fill up again with water. This cycle can go on endlessly until the toilet float is replaced or set correctly.

If you’ve got plumbing issues or if you have questions about plumbing problems you’ve noticed in your home, call Cool Blew today. We’ll do a complete inspection and professionally repair all your plumbing problems quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Call us now at 623-872-2900 to schedule your appointment.

Home Plumbing: Don’t Sweat It

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Does it feel like it will not stop raining? Arizona’s monsoon season has been impressive so far, producing lots of water and an interesting plumbing dilemma – damp, dripping pipes. When your home’s pipes start dripping, that’s when the amount of precipitation may have gone a bit too far. Notice moisture on or around your plumbing, pipes, or fixtures? Keep reading.

Drip, Drip, Drip

Have a pipe in your home that’s dripping water? Yet when you examine the pipe closely, the pipe is not actually leaking. The dripping water could be caused by condensation, often referred to as sweating. Your pipes do not actually sweat, though. Pipes can collect moisture when the warm, moist air surrounding cold water pipes interact with one another. Voila! Condensation will result. On hot humid summer days in the Valley, cold water in your pipes will cool the air surrounding your pipes and condensation will form on the outside of your pipes. In simpler terms, this moist air is water vapor wanting to become water once again.

The downside is pipe sweating which can create damage to your house over time. Furniture, carpet, flooring, ceilings, and walls can be damaged from pooling water and mold, and may even increase the likelihood of a termite invasion.

Drying things Out

So, what do you do now? Take the cure! It’s as simple as insulating the sweating pipes. Just like your hot water tank is insulated with a blanket. Foam insulating pipes works 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 reduce humidity created by sweating pipes, use a portable dehumidifier. Depending on your HVAC system, you can turn on the thermostat setting to take care of this issue, too.

Whatever your plumbing issue is, your local experts at Cool Blew can fix it. Keep puddles outside where they belong. Call us today at 623-872-2900.

What Are They All About: Water Filtration Systems

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Ever experience a “funny” taste or smell to the water pouring out of your tap? Depending on where you live in the greater Phoenix area, your drinking water may have taste, water hardness, or odor variations. If you moved to Greater Phoenix from a region with great tasting tap water, the City of Phoenix tap water may not be up to your standards. Don’t worry. The water is safe to drink! And drinking plenty of water is a must during our hot weather season running from April to October.

Generally, before autumn arrives, algae and minerals start accumulating in the rivers where the tap water for Phoenix originates. The water is filtered and treated many times before reaching your home, yet the taste or smell doesn’t always go away completely. That’s why the water can develop an odor or a bad taste.

The City of Phoenix Water Services Department conducts over five million tests and measurements each year throughout its treatment and distribution systems. The water is analyzed using state of the art equipment and laboratories. Phoenix continues to improve water aesthetics using carbon during treatment, highly advanced water monitoring and sampling techniques, blending of Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Salt River Project (SRP) water, and canal brushing by SRP to lessen taste and odor-causing harmless algae.

Select the Best Water Filtration System

Although you can find pitcher filter systems and bottled water everywhere, a whole-home water filtration system is your most convenient and affordable option in the long run When evaluating the best filtration system for your house, there are several system options to consider:

  • Carbon filters use carbon to ensure your water tastes chemical-free.
  • Reverse osmosis systems make water safer to drink by transferring it from a high ion concentration to a low ion concentration.
  • Water softeners with no-salt conditioners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, increasing the lifespan of your appliances.
  • Bacteria and toxin shields ensure your water is safe to drink.

Installing a water filtration system also helps protect our environment by eliminating the need to purchase water bottles. With plastic accounting for a substantial percentage of environmental pollution, a home water filtration system is a great way to decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

At Cool Blew, our locally owned business has over 19 years of experience as trusted valley-wide HVAC and plumbing specialists. In other words, you can count on us to provide you with convenient, healthy, whole-home water filtration systems. With a skilled team of professionals and fair, upfront pricing, you can feel comfortable and confident inviting us into your house to make certain the water your family uses for drinking, cooking, and bathing is the purest it can be. We follow established guidelines regarding Covid-19 safety protocols before entering your home. Call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule service.

Benefits of Professional Drain Cleaning

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Few things are more frustrating than a clogged drain in your home. Is your kitchen or bathroom sink draining slowly? The best way to avoid a plumbing emergency is to proactively have professional drain cleaning. You’ll save money in the long run and avoid a late night or holiday weekend plumbing call. Here are just some of the benefits of drain cleaning by the expert plumbers at Cool Blew.

Eliminate Clogs

What goes in your drain may eventually cause a slow or blocked drain. Mineral deposits, hair, food, and soap scum can build up inside the pipes, restricting water flow and potentially backing up your drain. Clogs show up as slow drainage. And many clogs will not resolve through plunging. Brand name drain cleaners contain chemicals that are not only harmful to your plumbing system; they’re also harmful to your health and the environment. When your drains are professionally cleaned, it’s more effective and safer than pouring in liquid drain cleaner or using a plunger.

Stop Fruit Flies and Drain Flies

You’ll find fruit flies on over ripe fruits and vegetables not refrigerated. The fermentation process attracts these bugs. You will find these insects hovering near your sink or around your house. Phorid or scuttle flies feed on decaying matter in your pipes, and these insects run rapidly across surfaces rather than flying to escape. Drain flies gorge on the debris that builds up on the inside of drains. Sewage or septic leaks feed another type, called coffin or mausoleum flies, which can emerge back up the pipes and fly out of drains. To the untrained eye it can be difficult to distinguish these types of flies. That’s when it’s time to contact a professional plumber as there may be broken underground pipes to repair and just cleaning out the sink trap may not resolve the situation.

Your Health

Bacteria and mold thrive in clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks. Stinky odors emanating from food and organic debris decaying in pipe drains can cause foul odors throughout your house. Clearing the standing water inside your pipes prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and the associated unpleasant smells.

Healthy Pipes

Pipe corrosion and leakage happen when organic materials and chemicals get trapped in your pipes. Over time, this can potentially cause slab leaks and burst pipes which are expensive to fix. Having a trusted plumbing contractor you can count on to inspect and maintain your drainage system is the best solution—saving you money and time. Removing blockages and attending to small leaks, regular drain cleaning, using high powered water to wash the insides of your pipes and performing a video inspection of the drain lines, are what professional plumbers do best.

Choose the experienced plumbers at Cool Blew. Please call us Valley-wide at 623-872-2900.

What to Do Before Your Water Heater Breaks

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You turn on your shower, and there’s no hot water. Or you open the garage door, and water comes gushing out onto the driveway. Many customers ask how they can prevent water heater-related problems. Here are a few things to consider.

You turn on your shower, and there’s no hot water. Or you open the garage door, and water comes gushing out onto the driveway. Many customers ask how they can prevent water heater-related problems. Here are a few things to consider.

Water Heater Inspection

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 rupture.

Rust Colored Water

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 or Leaking

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

Hard Water Supply

More than 85% of America’s water is considered hard water. Phoenix is among the cities with the hardest water. Phoenix-area water has 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 Breakdown

Never heard of an anode rod? It’s actually a 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. Soft water salts and well water can impact it. 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.

Cool Blew’s expert plumbers can help to quickly spot any small leaks, check and replace the anode rod, or fix a malfunctioning part like a thermostat. We replace water heaters, too. Want to learn more about water heaters? Call the licensed plumbers at Cool Blew today at 623-872-2900 for all your plumbing needs.

Common Plumbing Situations

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Plumbing problems are never fun to deal with and usually happen at the most inconvenient times. If you’d like to prevent a minor problem like a clogged kitchen sink or a leaky faucet from becoming a major plumbing issue, focus on these five plumbing situations. You’ll prevent costly repairs and home plumbing fixture replacements.

Kitchen Clogs

Thinking of putting coffee grounds, pasta, potato peelings, or rice down your kitchen disposal or drain? Think again! The best rule to avoid clogs is the less you put down your kitchen drain, the better. Don’t put medication, flour, eggshells, cooking fats, or cooking grease down the drain. They can all clog drains and potentially block pipes. Food scraps can be composted to be environmentally friendly and used in your garden. Medications can be dropped off at collection points, so pill residue doesn’t enter public wastewater treatment systems and eventually wind up in our tap water.

Annual Water Heater Inspection

Water heater maintenance ensures your system is operating at peak efficiency and helps avoid costly repairs or premature replacement. Whether it’s gas, electric, or solar, water heaters need to be checked for sediment buildup that may clog water lines or cause the tank to leak or not properly heat your water.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

Your shower drain or kitchen sink is backing up. Don’t automatically reach for those handy liquid drain cleaners. These inexpensive cleaners can weaken pipes from the chemical reaction taking place inside your drainpipe. The chemical heat reaction may even cause plastic plumbing pipes to melt or crack in some circumstances. When a plunger doesn’t resolve the clog, it’s best to contact your local plumbing expert.

Low Water Pressure

Notice your bathroom sink has intermittent water pressure? If you’ve checked under the sink and the water supply shut off valves haven’t been turned off and the spout faucet screens aren’t restricting water flow, it’s best to contact a plumber to investigate and repair. Ongoing low water pressure can quickly become a serious plumbing problem.

Toilet Flapper

Is your toilet running continuously or leaking water? Running toilets contribute to about 60% of water waste in US homes, according to recent studies. The toilet flapper may be the culprit. One easy way you can check for a leak is by dropping food coloring inside the toilet tank. After 30 minutes, if the toilet bowl has colored water, it means a leak generally around the flapper.

Cool Blew’s knowledgeable plumbers have the training and expertise to diagnose and repair any plumbing issues. Whether you are experiencing a clogged drain or a leaky faucet, trust Cool Blew to fix it. Call our expert plumbers today at 623-872-2900.

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.