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Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

There are several emergency plumbing issues which simply can’t be avoided, and these are why you employ a 24/7 plumber like All Hours Plumbing. We’re here to address your water damage and other plumbing issues an hour of the day, no matter what.

A big part of our services, however, involves informing our clients about ways to potentially avoid these serious issues in the future. Some of the most common issues we see this time of year relate to water heaters – here are a few tips for properly maintaining yours.

Know Basic Details

It may sound obvious, but you should know exactly where your water heater is and how to access it. You should also know what type of water heating is being used – natural gas, electric or propane. Does your heater use a storage tank, or is it tankless? Be sure to write down your model and serial number, or at least know where it’s located on the tank. This could be relevant down the line if you have any issues.

Know How to Turn it Off

If there’s an emergency, especially if you can smell gas or if there’s water actively leaking into your home, you need to be able to shut things off. Most water heaters have shut-off valves on the cold side piping, and you should locate yours. There should also be a disconnect switch for gas within a few feet of the heater. It’s also good to know which circuit breaker is used for the water heater, so you can shut this off at the source if needed.

Give it Space

It’s good to clear the area near your heater, both for ease of access and for other issues. Gas-fired units need oxygen to burn, for instance, and it’s much easier to let this happen or catch issues like leaks if you have room to see what’s going on in that area. It can also be a fire hazard to store things too closely.

Drain Regularly

At least once a year, use your drain valve to drain a few gallons from your heater. This is a great way to keep it up to date, and also to check for larger problems – if you see larger amounts of debris in the water, this could signal that it’s time for a full flush of the system.

Annual Inspection

Finally, be sure to have an annual inspection on your heater. This can be something you do yourself if you’re experienced, but there are several detailed steps that plumbers like ours are recommended for in most cases.

To find out more about the water heater installation or maintenance services we can provide, or any other element of our plumbing offerings, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

Tips for Common Toilet Issues

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

As your go-to option for emergency plumbing services in Utah, we at All Hours Plumbing are available 24/7 to handle your most serious plumbing issues. The toilet is one of the most common areas we’re called out to service, and with good reason.

Did you know, though, that there are several toilet-related incidents you can solve on your own, with nothing but a basic tool kit and a little know-how? There may be certain severe issues only a professional can take care of, but here are a few basic tips for helping you handle some of these concerns yourself – or at least hold them off until professional help can arrive.

Phantom Flushes

Are you hearting your toilet randomly refill itself at strange times, even when it hasn’t been used recently? This and related issues are called phantom flushes, and they’re caused by a slow leak from the toilet tank into the bowl itself. A bad flapper or flapper seat is the issue – this is what controls how quickly water enters the tank, and it’s easy to see in the tank.

To solve phantom flushes, drain the tank and the bowl first. Then check the flapper seat for wear and tear or outright damage – if it’s in bad shape, you’ll likely just need a simple replacement.

Tank Trickling

This is when water trickles into the tank via the supply line, and you’ll hear a hissing sound that sustains for long periods of time. First, check whether the floating element in the tank is sticking, or needs to be adjusted a little. Next, make sure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube. If neither of these works, it’s time to call the plumbers at All Hours Plumbing.

Slow Emptying

Also called a weak flush, this is usually caused by clogged holes under the rim of the toilet bowl. To fix it, poke each flush hole under the rim gently with a curved piece of wire, with the goal of cleaning out any debris. You can use a small mirror to help you see, and a metal coat hanger should do the trick. Be careful not to scratch the bowl.

The Clog

The most common issue involving toilets, there are several causes of clogs. A trusty plunger will often do the trick, especially a force-cup plunger that’s a big more heavy duty than the standard kind. For a more serious clog, use a closet auger. Again, be careful not to scratch the bowl while you’re doing this.

If you’re confused about any of these details, or want to know more about any of our plumbing services, speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

The Sneaky Benefits of Winter AC Installation

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

It’s still the middle of winter, and when you think about your home’s heating and air issues, you’re thinking about how to stay warm. At All Hours Plumbing, our technicians are here to help you accomplish that goal throughout the colder months.

We’re also here to give you a free tip: It’s never too early to be planning for the next season even as you get through this one. In this case, we’re talking about air conditioning – it may still be cold, but if you’re even considering a replacement or new AC installation, there are several reasons why this time of year might be best for you. Let’s look at a few.

Ease of Installation

There are many situations where it will be much easier for us to install your air conditioner in winter than during the summer. Especially if we’ll be working in an attic or any other cramped area of the home, temperatures in the heart of summer can be sweltering and very difficult to work in.

It’s not like there’s snow inside your home or anything, and the ability to work in standard temperatures can actually make your AC installation much simpler during the winter.

Early Season Issues

Let’s say you’re on the fence about replacing your air conditioner, but you decide to wait it out and give it a try at the beginning of the summer season before making any decisions. This may seem prudent, but let’s say it works fine for a few weeks before breaking down in, say, late June – where are you at now? You’re stick in an inhumanly hot home, paying more for emergency services to come handle your problem right away. If you had gotten your system checked out and replaced back in winter, you’d have avoided this discomfort plus these extra charges.

Cost Benefits

There are potential cost benefits all over the map if you install an AC during winter. For starters, that ease of installation we mentioned above might get you a slightly lower rate, and many manufacturers of AC units will offer partial rebates if you purchase at this time of year.

You’re also getting out in front of any maintenance costs you may incur by waiting until your current machine breaks down. In addition, we offer several special deals specifically meant for these down months. The right planning can save you a boatload of money on a process you likely would have gone through anyway.

Want to learn more about AC installation, or any of our heating and air solutions? The experts at All Hours Plumbing are standing by to assist you.

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Modern technology reaches many industries, and plumbing is among these. At All Hours Plumbing, we strive to bring you the most up-to-date and modern appliances and services for your commercial plumbing needs.

Within the water heating realm, this often means a tankless water heater. Also called an on-demand water heater, a tankless heater offer several potential benefits to conventional heaters. Let’s find out how tankless heaters work, and what benefits they may offer you.

How They Work

When you turn on your hot water tap, the tankless water heater first draws some cold water through a pipe into the unit. Once it’s there, the unit heats the water using either a gas burner or an electric heating element.

This removes the need for a tank to hold constantly-hot water all the time. Most tankless heaters can deliver water at a rate of two to five gallons per minute, with gas-firing models claiming higher general rates than electric models.

Types

There are two types of tankless water heaters:

  1. Small units installed near point of use: These are used for single sources of water, with smaller output capacities
  2. Larger units capable of serving an entire house: Can be used for multiple points of use

Advantages

There are several big advantages to tankless water heaters:

  • Compact: They take up less space than conventional heaters
  • Standby losses: This energy wasted while hot water cools down in pipes, or while it sits in the storage tank. For this reason, there can be major cost benefits to on-demand heaters as well
  • Less water: Only the amount of hot water needed is used, and you don’t need to let the water run for a while before it turns from cold to hot
  • Unlimited hot water
  • Durability: The expected life of a tankless water heater is up to 20 years. With most conventional heaters, it’s closer to 10 or 15 years

Want to learn more about tankless water heaters, or any other element of our water heating or commercial plumbing services? Speak to the experts at All Hours Plumbing today.

The Proactive Approach to Commercial Plumbing

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

As the manager of any commercial building can tell you, commercial plumbing is often an entirely different animal than residential plumbing. Many of our most common emergency plumbing calls at All Hours Plumbing involve issues in a commercial building.

As a building manager, staying proactive in checking for problems and providing basic maintenance is vital, and we’re here to help. Here are some of the most common plumbing issues present in commercial buildings, and how you can help avoid them.

Leaks

Basic leaks of faucets and other water fixtures are common in larger buildings where there are dozens of these features. Unfixed leaks can cost your business thousands of gallons of water and the corresponding monetary cost, and even worse, water damage might cause structural damage that can take a huge chunk out of your budget. Regular basic checks on all faucets and other water sources can catch these issues before they become serious.

Water Temperature Issues

Water heaters often have problems in the home where they’re only servicing a few people, so it stands to reason that they also often have issues in larger buildings with much more stress on them. This often materializes in the form of water that’s too hot or too cold in faucets. If you’re having consistent issues with a water heater, a basic maintenance call to a commercial plumber like All Hours Plumbing will clear your problem up before it causes larger damage.

Clogs

There are lots of people in most commercial spaces, which means more potential for clogs in toilets or drains as they’re used more often. Signs here will usually include slow draining and a constant need for plunging in toilets. If you hear employees make these complaints or start noticing them yourselves, take steps to determine the source of the problem.

Maintenance

For all of these areas plus any other less common plumbing issues in commercial buildings, the name of the game is regular maintenance. It comes at a small cost, yes, but this is an expense that’s well worth it relative to the alternative: The potential for serious, incredibly costly plumbing issues if problems are left unattended. You’re better off safe than sorry, especially if you’re the one in charge of managing a commercial office building.

For commercial and residential plumbing needs large and small, the experts at All Hours Plumbing are here to serve you. Speak with one of our agents today.

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