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Common Garbage Disposal Problems—and What to Do about Them

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

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

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Are you experiencing a pesky plumbing 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.

Five Spring Cleaning Tips

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .


The first day of spring arrives on Sunday, March 20th. With the changing of the season comes the proverbial spring cleaning—a tradition that allows you to freshen up your home and prepare for warmer days ahead. As your experts in HVAC and plumbing, here are five spring cleaning tips to help you get started.

Clean Room by Room

Nothing feels as satisfying as a clean home. It can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. We recommend taking it room by room to clean up your house’s trouble spots. Tackle your home’s dirtiest areas first, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Then, you can move on to decluttering, dusting, and vacuuming other rooms.

Change Air Filters

Checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis just makes good sense. Clean air filters help trap all sorts of indoor pollutants such as dust, dirt, pet dander, mold, and other particulates as air circulates through your HVAC system. When an air filter is dirty and clogged, not only will the air quality in your home worsen, but your HVAC system will have restricted air flow, which can cause damage to your system.

Flush Out Drains

You can spring clean your plumbing just like the rest of your home. You don’t want a clog to wreak havoc on your household, so check your kitchen sinks, floor drains, bathroom sinks, and shower drains for any debris that may cause a clog later. Hair, soap scum, mineral deposits, and food can build up inside the pipes, restricting water flow, and potentially backing up your drain. Use an eco-friendly drain cleaner, a plunger, or a plumbing snake to clear any clogged drains.

Air Leaks

Get touchy-feely by checking your home for any air leaks. Even if your HVAC unit is running smoothly, it will have difficulty cooling or heating your home when air is leaking through the barriers of your house. Feel around windows, vents, and doors for tiny holes, gaps, and imperfect seals that can all add up to a drafty house that needs additional weatherization.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Your spring cleaning checklist would not be complete without routine maintenance for your HVAC system. Our experienced technicians will thoroughly check your system to find any potential issues and fix them before they turn into a major breakdown in the future.

Call Cool Blew

A good spring cleaning helps to keep your home environment clean and running smoothly. Why not call us today at 623-872-2900 to schedule your spring maintenance or tune up appointment.

Give Your Loved Ones Cleaner Air with a New HVAC System

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .

Are you noticing dust floating around your house even after costly HVAC repairs? Are you or family members often suffering from a sore throat, watery eyes, and a runny nose? A common cause of allergies is a deteriorating HVAC system that can no longer properly filter the contaminants inside your home.

Why not consider replacing your system now rather than dealing with the hassle and discomfort of continual indoor air issues? Valentine’s Day is a great time to show your love and appreciation by giving the gift of a new HVAC system. Let’s look closer at why you should replace your HVAC system.

Comfort

Do you notice some rooms in your house are too hot and other rooms are too cold? HVAC systems nearing 10 years of age or older often have difficulty keeping temperatures regulated from room to room. It’s a common reason why your entire home never gets warm enough or cool enough. With a new system, you’ll have a noticeable improvement in air flow throughout your home.

Efficiency

Aging HVAC systems are costly to repair, more likely to have electrical issues, more component corrosion, and can be noisy due to issues with a compressor or coil. With airborne contaminants pulled into your HVAC system, it’s probably best to replace your old system rather than continuing with low air quality, higher utility bills, and maintenance costs from an inefficient unit. Installing ENERGY STAR certified high-efficiency units will have a big impact on your energy bills and can save 20% to 30% on cooling and heating costs.

Cleaner Air

Your heating and cooling system operates like lungs for indoor air quality. Leaky ducts can pull in dirty, dusty air from attics and crawl spaces causing indoor air to be too dry in the winter and too humid in the summer. This causes the system to work harder leading to higher dust mite levels, mold, airborne viruses, insect allergens, and particulate matter. A new, high-efficiency HVAC system will immediately improve indoor air quality for your family.

Call Cool Blew

Your valentine will love the gift of a brand new HVAC system! It’s a gift that will keep on giving cleaner, healthy air throughout the year. Cool Blew has dedicated experts available 24×7 for installation, maintenance, and repairs. So, give us a call today to schedule your appointment at 623-872-2900.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Cool Blew!

What Residential Electricity Rate Plan Is Best for You?

This entry was posted in Electrical on by .


Deciding which electricity rate plan to use can be a confusing experience. Residential rate plans are designed around the square footage of your home, size of your family, schedule, and budget. Are you currently

on the best plan? Let’s take a look at some typical electricity rate plans to see which option may fit your household’s lifestyle.

Fixed Rate Plan

Electricity on this type of rate plan stays the same no matter what time of day or night, for any day of the week. There are no on- or off-peak hours on this plan. Energy usage is calculated on a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis. This plan works best:

  • If you don’t use a lot of energy.
  • Your home is small to average in size.
  • Limited usage of high energy appliances like an oven or dishwasher on a daily basis.

To save money on this plan, you’ll need to limit energy usage all year long.

Time of Use Rate Plan

Energy used on this plan is based on the time of day. For instance, you’ll pay more for electricity during high-demand, on-peak hours such as 5am to 8am and 3pm to 8pm weekdays.  This may be a good plan for your family if:

  • You’re able to use less energy during the higher cost weekday hours.
  • The size of your home is average to large.
  • You have flexibility when using major appliances like an air conditioner and stove.
  • You have a pool.

To maximize savings on this plan, you’ll need to take advantage of a programmable thermostat to save energy during on-peak hours and utilize a home energy assessment to determine which devices contribute most to your energy usage.

Predictable Bill Plan

The predictable bill plan lets you pay the same amount, every month, all year long. This plan is good when:

  • You want to control the amount you pay and avoid seasonal monthly bill spikes.
  • You want peace of mind all summer long when electricity usage dramatically increases.

This plan is good when you want to have more control over the amount of electricity you pay for. As long as your monthly energy usage doesn’t exceed a certain level of kWh used per month. You’ll pay a higher price per kWh when this threshold is exceeded.

Call Cool Blew

Quality, trustworthy service is available whenever you need it. Cool Blew is here to help you understand how to avoid breaking the bank with your energy usage. Our certified and experienced technicians are available 24×7. Call us today to schedule your home appointment at 623-872-2900.

Plumbing Tips for Unclogging Your Pipes

This entry was posted in Plumbing on by .

Clogged pipes are one of the most common household problems. When any sink, shower drain, or garbage disposal is clogged, it can quickly create a major headache. The frustration experienced from clogged pipes can drive you to try most anything to dissolve the clog. So, what should you do? Here are some DIY steps to try before calling your local plumbing company.

Plunge It

A plunger may be your best bet for dealing with clogged pipes. Plungers work well for a slow running drain, a backed-up toilet, or a clogged kitchen sink. Pressure from the plunger pushes the clog down the drain. Though a somewhat lighter touch is best when using a plunger as excessive pressure may burst pipe seals. Avoid pouring boiling water to unclog any home drain. Some pipes, especially those located under sinks, are usually PVC pipes. PVC pipes are rated for a maximum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Excessively hot water can melt the pipe resulting in costly damage. When in doubt, call the plumbing experts.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

What works best for minor clogs? Baking soda and vinegar is one of the easiest, most environmentally-friendly methods available. This home remedy works best for grease and soap scum clogs in your kitchen, bathroom sinks, and shower drains. Pour equal amounts of both down the drain and then seal it with a rubber stopper for 10 minutes or so. Stay away from using other common household chemicals like bleach or ammonia to unclog drains. It’s also best to avoid using consumer chemical drain cleaning products like Drano. Over time, pipes can corrode, causing an even bigger problem. And these chemicals are harmful to the environment, pets, and your family. If you find baking soda and vinegar don’t unclog the blockage, it’s best to call for help.

Snake Time

A snake is a plumbing tool that can bend its way through your pipes until it reaches the clog. When the blockage is hidden deep down in your pipes, a snake with a crank can be used to grab onto the blockage, such as balls of hair, and draw it out. There are electric-powered drain snakes and augers, but those are best used by trained plumbing technicians, so as not to irreparably damage your pipes from too much pressure.

Call Cool Blew

Struggling to unclog a sink or shower drain in your house? Cool Blew is here for all your plumbing repairs. Our certified and experienced technicians are available 24/7. Call us today to schedule your appointment at 623-872-2900.

Signs Your HVAC Compressor is Failing

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .


A primary component of your HVAC system, which helps keep your home comfy throughout the year, is the compressor. Think of it as the beating heart of both heat pumps and air conditioners. When the compressor goes bad in a heat pump or AC system, it can derail the entire system from operating properly. In other words, it’s a good idea to know the signs of a failing compressor.

Ticking or Chattering

Before the core of your HVAC system fails, it can make an unusual ticking or chattering noise during startup. This noise occurs because the compressor is running into difficulties starting. Don’t ignore this sound. The ticking can be from a defective relay switch. This is when you want to seek out professional guidance from your local trained technicians.

Rattling or Rumbling

Hearing an unmistakably loud rattling or rumbling noise when the compressor is running? There may be a loose distributor motor, or a component inside the compressor housing may be thrashing about. When you hear either of these sounds, turn off your HVAC system entirely and reach out to your HVAC service technicians to resolve the issue to prevent further damage.

Too Hot or Too Cold

Depending on the time of the year, if your home’s interior is freezing cold or stifling hot, it may mean your compressor has already failed. If you’ve tried turning up or turning down the thermostat, and the compressor doesn’t kick in, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call for service, instead.

Tripping Repeatedly

Definite warning signs of compressor trouble are when the HVAC system keeps tripping the electrical circuit breaker or the circuit breaker in the box has failed to turn on after being flipped. The reason this may be happening is from the compressor overheating and trying to use too much electricity. Don’t continually reset the circuit switch as it may cause a latent fire hazard. Hot electrical equipment is never a good sign. It’s also not a time for DIY.

Call Cool Blew

When a compressor fails, you’ll need professional repairs. Call your HVAC technicians at Cool Blew any time of the day or night for help. Call us today at 623-872-2900 for your plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical servicing issues.

The Smells of a Failing Furnace

This entry was posted in Heating on by .


Chilly winter temperatures mean you’re probably running your furnace in the morning and evening. As a reminder, it’s important to pay close attention to unusual smells from your home’s furnace. A malfunctioning furnace can actually be dangerous and pose hazards to your house and family. When in doubt, turn off the furnace and immediately call your local HVAC professionals. Here are some faulty furnace smells to watch out for.

Burning Smell

An overpowering burnt smell from your furnace may mean a blower motor has overheated. An excessively clogged air filter can cause dust and dirt to rapidly collect on the furnace. A dusty, burning smell when the furnace is running, lasting over an hour, may swiftly turn into a fire danger.

Electrical Smell

A burning electrical smell from your home’s air vents requires immediate attention. Electrical components may be broken or the blower motor may be overheating. The risks for an electrical fire or blower motor fire rapidly increase and may put your family in danger.

Gunpowder Smell

Do you sense a gunpowder odor when your furnace is running? An overheated circuit board or an overheated fan motor can create a smell similar to gunpowder. It’s another sign that it’s time to call for service sooner than later.

Plastic Smell

Burning plastic smells are immediately noticeable. A myriad number of things can cause this smell. Some type of object may have fallen into the furnace or have been placed next to it. The causes may range from a plastic bottlecap, a children’s or pet’s toy in or near the furnace, rubber or plastic casing from electrical wiring, an overheated furnace motor or a cracked heat exchanger. The fumes created by burning plastic are not safe to breathe in.

Metallic Smell

Smelling or tasting an acrid, metallic-like smell from your home’s air vents? Some parts of the furnace made entirely of metal may overheat or furnace insulators may be burning. The metallic odor is unmistakable and requires immediate attention.

Rotten Egg Smell

If your furnace is running on natural gas and you’re getting a rotten egg smell from the air vents, there’s most likely a leak. Shut off the furnace, evacuate your home, call your gas company immediately, so they can inspect for a gas leak, and notify your HVAC company.

Call Cool Blew

Call your HVAC technicians for further investigation and repair with any unusual odor coming from your furnace. Until the professionals arrive at your home, turn off the furnace. Remember – you can call us anytime of the day or night at 623-872-2900 for all your heating and air conditioning issues. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an inspection appointment with one of our certified professionals.

Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills in 2022

This entry was posted in HVAC Systems on by .


It’s a new year and a great time to implement new strategies to decrease what you spend on monthly utilities. With these five home improvements, you’ll not only be making your home more efficient in 2022, you’ll also be saving money.

Replace Your Home’s Drafty Windows

One smart fix to save on your utility bills is to replace old, single-pane glass windows with ENERGY STAR rated windows. Old windows do an inferior job of keeping out cold and excessively hot air. Upgrading to low-E double- or triple-paned window glass can save you 15% or more on annual household energy bills.

Invest in Water Efficiency

According to EPA.gov, the average family spends about $1,100 per year in water costs. You can easily save up to $420 annually by retrofitting with WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified appliances such as faucets, toilets, shower heads, and dishwashers. And you’ll also save up to 38,000 gallons of water per year, which is the amount of water needed to supply an average family for over four months.

Other Great Tips

  • Change out outdated, energy wasting classic incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs with ENERGY STAR approved light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). LED bulb prices have dropped sharply in recent years making them more affordable. These bulbs last much longer, are more energy efficient, and utilize smart programmable technology to turn off and on according to your schedule.
  • Lower your thermostat when you leave home. Heating and cooling can account for up to 48% of home energy consumption according to the Department of Energy. Depending on the time of year, lowering or raising thermostats by seven to 10 degrees from normal settings for eight hours a day will achieve annual utility savings of up to 10%.
  • Turn off or unplug appliances. Appliances and devices off-but-ready or on standby power, continue to use energy. So-called phantom energy or vampire power, makes up about 25% of all your home energy consumption.

Call Cool Blew

Cool Blew is your go-to service provider to help you save money in 2022 on your utility bills! You can call us any time of the day or night at 623-872-2900 for your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning issues. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians.

Happy Holidays to You and Your Loved Ones

This entry was posted in HVAC Maintenance on by .

As we get ready to celebrate Christmas and bid farewell to 2021, our family at Cool Blew wishes you and your loved ones the merriest holiday and the very best in the new year ahead. We thank all of our loyal customers for another year. As your preferred local Arizona experts in HVAC and plumbing repairs and installation, here are a few things to keep in mind during the holidays:

Reduce Holiday Plumbing Stress

The holiday season means additional guests and extra stress on your plumbing. During this time of the year, you want to make certain your pipes and drains are prepared to properly function.

  • Clear any clogs in sinks, showers, and toilets before guests arrive and make sure all toilets are flushing.
  • Make certain to have toilet plungers on hand in all the bathrooms.
  • Be careful of what you and your guests put down the garbage disposal by placing a garbage can nearby.

Be Electrical Safe

  • Be sure to keep an eye out for these potential holiday electrical hazards.
  • Check your Christmas tree, whether freshly cut or artificial, to make sure it is at least three feet from any heating source like fireplaces, space heaters, and vents.
  • Don’t overload your home’s electrical circuits by running all your festive holiday lights and decorations, both inside and outside your home, at the same time.
  • Remember to always turn off holiday lights before you go to bed or leave your house.
  • Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to make sure they’re working correctly.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive for HVAC Servicing

And remember, winter is an ideal time for HVAC service. By scheduling maintenance in January, February, or early March now, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that your HVAC system will be running smoothly when spring arrives. Unfortunately, many people wait for their HVAC unit to break down before they call for service. We refer to that as reactive service. Better to be proactive and get out ahead of potential HVAC issues. Our talented service professionals are trained at diagnosing and repairing small problems before they become major ones.

Call Cool Blew

Call us any time of the day or night at 623-872-2900 for any servicing issues that may pop up during the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours!