Category Archives: Plumbing

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.

Should You Get a Home Energy Audit?

During the summer months, Arizona homeowners are often shocked and dismayed by sky-high utility bills. Air conditioning costs to keep a home cool can jump up tremendously when temperatures are over 100 degrees. What if there was a way to potentially reduce these costs? There is, and it starts with a home energy audit.

The Ins and Outs of a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is a multi-step inspection of the potential drains on the energy efficiency of your home. This begins with carefully looking at your entire HVAC system to ensure it’s running efficiently. Often, there are simple efficiency issues, like clogged filters, that can be replaced to make your system more efficient.

During the audit, your home will also be evaluated to identify hold and cold spots that could indicate costly leaks. This includes windows, doors, attic, ductwork and other areas throughout your home. A window or door that isn’t properly sealed can be a big source of wasted energy. Simple repairs can make a big difference on your utility bill each month!

It’s Not About Pushing New Products

Unfortunately, many companies offer home energy audits with a single goal of selling products. This deters many homeowners from scheduling an audit on their home. At Cool Blew, Inc, this isn’t our goal. We are focused on finding the deficiencies in your home that can be driving up your energy expenses. We are also dedicated to educating and empowering homeowners to make the decisions that are right for them and their budget. Yes, we have the HVAC and indoor air quality products that can improve your home’s efficiency, but we also offer do-it-yourself tips that can save you money.

Get Ready to Start Saving!

Most homeowners are surprised at the level of savings they’ll experience following upgrades prescribed during a home energy audit. Customers have saved up to 30 percent by making just a few quick and easy improvements to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

Don’t spend another month paying more than you should for energy costs. Call Cool Blew’s Home Energy Audit Service today at 623-872-2900.

How Can You Protect Your Water Heater?

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Even during scorching summer heat, Phoenix-area homeowners still rely tremendously on their water heaters. Having continuous hot water is something that all of us rely on whenever we want to take a shower, clean dishes or wash a load of clothes. A well-functioning water heater is not only an investment in your home, it’s necessary for busy households. In other words, it’s not something to take for granted. Water heaters require regular maintenance and upkeep just like other home appliances.

Preventing Water Heater Corrosion

The most common reason why a water heater fails or leaks is corrosion, particularly in Arizona where mineral content is high in the water. It’s important to keep an eye on key trouble spots that are most commonly impacted by corrosion to maintain the lifespan of your water heater. These include electrical elements, combustion chambers, anodes and vent pipes.

Identifying Leaks

Water heater leaks can certainly come from a tank that is corroded. They can also occur where the cold-water supply line comes in or where the hot-water line goes out. Frequently, these leaks start small and are difficult to detect. Over time, they can cause tremendous damage as they saturate drywall and floors.

Because of the challenge of identifying a leak, it’s always a good idea to provide ample space around your water heater to be able to evaluate it on a regular basis. If it is blocked by garage items like furniture, bicycles or boxes, leaks are far more likely to go unnoticed until costly damage has already occurred.

Every homeowner is wise to get into the habit of inspecting and monitoring their water heater on a frequent basis. This includes checking for moisture around the plumbing connections and areas of sitting water on top or below the tank.

What Happens When the Tank Fails?

Unfortunately, some water heater tanks burst, particularly those that haven’t been properly maintained. Don’t panic. This is the time to call your local water heater specialist for a new installation. If your tank is relatively new, it may even still be under warranty. At Cool Blew Inc., we offer valley-wide emergency service. Call us at 623-872-2900.

80% of Americans Have Hard Water. Should You Invest in a Water Softener?

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You have probably heard many great things about water softeners and how they can improve the texture of your hair, boost skin appearance and extend the lifespan of your custom appliances. Yet water softeners are also an investment, and not all households necessarily need them. How do you know if you could benefit from a water softener? Let’s find out!

What are Water Softeners? How Do They Work?

Water softeners have an important job: they remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water and replace them with a softer mineral like sodium or potassium. Not all water is created equal, however. Some states and some communities have softer water than others.

In Arizona, hard water is a given. The Water Quality Association states that water is moderately hard when it contains 3.5 to 7.0 grains per gallon of calcium and magnesium ions. In some parts of Arizona, these levels can be as much as 20 grains per gallon. Though not dangerous, this can make your water hard, causing effects on your hair, skin, appliances and plumbing.

Is Hard Water Really That Bad?

It’s estimated that approximately 80 percent of the water in America is hard. If the majority of Americans are living with hard water, then what’s the big deal?

Some people don’t like that hard water can cause things like the following:

  • Mineral buildup occurs in plumbing and appliances, creating rust, corrosion and shortened lifespans.
  • Some appliances – specifically dishwashers, washers and water heaters – can be shorted because of the excess of minerals.
  • When doing laundry, whites look grayer after being washed.
  • Drinking hard water can have a mineral-heavy taste. A distillation unit or reverse-osmosis system can help.
  • It’s more difficult to clean showers, tubs and sinks because of the buildup of soap scum.
  • Hard water doesn’t thoroughly rinse away soaps, detergents and shampoos, creating skin irritation and dryness.
  • Adverse health effects have been documented from increased exposure to calcium and magnesium, such as increased cardiovascular disease, reproductive failure and cancer.

Can You Benefit from a Water Softener?

A water softener installed by an HVAC service in Peoria is guaranteed to offer some benefits because of the hard water in your home. One of the key advantages is that it will increase the lifespan of your appliances. Though water softeners cost an average of $1,000 to $2,000, they can double the lifespan of some appliances.

Installing a water softener prevents calcium and magnesium from building up in your plumbing, meaning that you will see less corrosion and clogs. Plus, cleaning your showers and tubs will be easier thanks to less soap scum, and you’re bound to see softer skin, hair and clothes, cleaner glassware and whiter fabrics.

When it comes to your health, things aren’t quite as clear. First, calcium and magnesium are essential elements to the body, so an immediate decrease in them may cause adverse health effects. Second, if you are on a strict low-salt diet, talk to your doctor about adding a water softener to your home. The additional salt in your water supply could be cause for concern.

Bottom line: If you’re only concerned about the chemicals in your water, use a water filtration system and not a water softener. If you’re looking to see more life from your appliances and enjoy softer skin, hair and linens, opt for a water softener installed by an AC service in Peoria.

Cool Blew has a great team of technicians who can answer your questions about water softeners and help you choose one that is right for your needs and budget. Call us today for an estimate!

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/BrunoRebelo

Polybutylene Plumbing: A Problem In Older Arizona Homes and Businesses

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Polybutylene Plumbing: A Problem In Older Arizona Homes and BusinessesMany older homes and offices were built with materials that wouldn’t be used today. Some of the materials that were once considered safe we now know are harmful – asbestos and lead paint are the most common examples. Polybutylene piping is now considered one of these dangerous materials. Unfortunately, it was used in many older Arizona homes and businesses. Many homeowners and commercial property owners are unknowingly at risk.

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What Are The Components Of A Gas Water Heater?

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Components Of A Gas Water HeaterKnowledge is power and knowing more about your gas water heater and how it works means that you can take better control over your home appliances as well as your bills. By understanding the parts that make up your water heater, you can start to troubleshoot problems, attempt minor repairs, or just feel more knowledgeable when it’s time for a service call.

Components Of A Gas Water Heater

The following are the components of a gas water heater, where to find them, their functions and important tips. Continue reading

4 Benefits Of Tankless Water Heaters

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4 Benefits Of Tankless Water Heaters-www.CoolBlew.comTankless water heaters are becoming more popular and are starting to be more common in households these days. They have proven to be more efficient, last longer and help reduce monthly electric bills.

Remember, every home’s set-up and every family’s needs are different, but if you are considering going tankless with your water heating system, check out these 4 benefits of tankless water heaters. Continue reading