Bad Habits That Cause Plumbing Issues

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

At All Hours Plumbing, we’re proud to be your go-to emergency plumbing service in Utah. We’re on call 24 hours a day to handle all your plumbing needs large and small, and there’s no issue we haven’t seen or dealt with.

Many of these issues are simply unavoidable, but there are many that fall into another class: Those caused by poor habits around the home. A few basic areas of avoidance can keep you away from costly plumbing repair calls, and save our services for the true accidents you can’t control. Here are a few tips for habits to avoid in the home.

Overusing Products

It’s great to keep your drains clean and free of gunk, but there’s a balance to strike here. Constantly overusing too many drain cleaning products can actually lead to worse results than a little blockage would have in the first place – it can cause corrosion in the drain and actually make clogs worse in many cases.

In addition, too many harsh chemicals in your drains can interfere with the waste-eating bacteria present in your septic tank. In worst cases, this can cause a sewage backup when your tank, which relies on these bacteria, doesn’t have enough to function properly.

Misuse of Sink and Garbage Disposal

The sink is another area where balance is vital. Food and other minor scraps shouldn’t just be poured down the drain and left to sit – with proper running water, they should be ground up in the garbage disposal. Certain items, such as oil and fat, should never be poured down any drain since they’ll cause hardening.

At the same time, using the disposal as a virtual trashcan for any item you can think of is absolutely not the correct approach. A blocked garbage disposal can be a large expense, so think about the load you’re placing on it.

Damaged Hidden Pipes

If you’re the type who likes to make home improvements, just be careful when drilling into walls or floors. You may damage pipes you can’t see and create an issue only a plumber can fix.

Incorrect Toilet Use

It’s one of the most common calls plumbers get – people hear the warnings about the kinds of material that should be flushed down the toilet, and they keep right on flushing down other stuff anyway. Things like feminine products, cotton balls or Q-tips are not meant to go down the toilet – they can block both the toilet itself and the rest of your system in some cases. If it’s not natural waste or specifically designed toilet paper, find another outlet to dispose of it.

Need to know more? Our experts at All Hours Plumbing are awaiting your call.

The Most Common Reasons to Call a Plumber

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

There are many reasons you might need to call a plumber for your home, and at All Hours Plumbing, we’ve seen them all more times than you could count. We’re experts in all residential plumbing issues, and our team is ready 24 hours a day to service any issues you may have.

We can’t be in your home constantly, though, and there are several more common plumbing issues which, at the very least, it’s good for you to be able to generally recognize. With some basic knowledge, you can solve certain minor issues yourself or know exactly what needs to be done to expedite the process before anything too catastrophic happens. Here are a few of the most common reasons plumbing services are typically needed.

Maintenance

The most common reason to call a plumber is general maintenance, which is vital for plumbing in every home. Some of these common items are things you might be able to do in the house yourself, though it’s always good to call for professional help if you have any uncertainty.

Basic plumbing maintenance tasks might include:

  • Examine exposed pipes for damage
  • Flush toilets and run sinks
  • Water heater and garbage disposal
  • Check for sediment on faucets and shower heads
  • Drain treatment
  • Pressure tests

In some cases, you or your plumber might discover one of a few minor-to-moderate issues.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure will cause it to be harder for you to get water out of your tap, and may be a sign of a few different things – debris buildup in pipes, problems with local municipal water supplies (more rare) or a break in your main water line (also rare). If it’s simply debris causing blockages, removal and cleaning of faucets and shower heads sometimes clears up the issues. In some cases, further professional work will be needed.

Dripping Faucets/Leaky Pipes

Not only can these be annoying based on sound and water pooling issues, problems with leaking pipes or faucets can lead to much larger concerns with water damage.

Running Toilet

The inner workings of a toilet need maintenance too, and there may come a time where they lose enough function that parts need to be replaced. Some of the reasons for a continuously running toilet might be fixable on your own, but there are also a few pretty complex reasons why this could be happening.

Drains

Slow or clogged drains are also a common plumbing issue, and if your plunger or basic home remedies aren’t doing the trick, you’ll have to get a plumber involved. Especially if you have frequent clogs, there’s a good chance you need professional service.

At All Hours Plumbing, our residential plumbing services are second to none. We offer both standard and emergency plumbing services, and our staff is available 24 hours a day to serve you.

The Benefits of Radiant Heat

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

We all want to be warm in our homes, especially during the cold months of winter, and modern technology allows this to be possible in newer and more creative ways. One of these is radiant heat, a style of heating where panels on walls, floors and ceilings are used to heat rooms – sometimes in place of traditional furnaces or other heating systems, and sometimes in addition to these.

All Hours Plumbing is a licensed, professional installer of radiant heat systems across Salt Lake City. Our technicians are trained to pinpoint the best locations for your radiant heat panels before installing them with no hassle, and our products are designed to perform and last.

What are some of the benefits to installing radiant heat in place of (or in cohesion with) traditional heating and air?

Thermal Benefits

In many cases, radiant heat will be both more efficient and more practically useful than traditional heating systems. First off, the fact that they use less electricity than most other systems is a vital consideration for your wallet.

Maybe more importantly, though, radiant heat can be much more efficient. Rather than a system which directly heats the air, radiant heating warms the surfaces of objects in the room – this can lower heat loss for people in the room and allow them to feel completely comfortable at temperatures 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than traditional heating methods.

Out of Mind

Radiant heating systems are both out of sight and generally silent, important considerations for many public buildings or for people looking to minimize invasiveness in the home. No one wants to be looking at a furnace while they eat dinner or watch TV, and certainly no one wants to be kept up at night by a loud heating system.

Durability

Because of the way radiant heat systems are designed, they’re generally extremely durable. Panels are typically concrete or another very strong material, and at All Hours Plumbing, we make sure to properly insulate your slabs to make sure they don’t receive any damage from elements.

Clean and Green

Many traditional heating systems spread dust or allergens through your house – this isn’t an issue with radiant heat, which creates only very gentle room circulation through the panels and is much easier on people with common allergy symptoms.

On a larger scale, radiant heat systems can be great for the environment. They maximize heating efficiency by warming the correct areas of rooms and severely limiting heat loss or waste. As fuel and energy costs continue to rise, radiant heat and similar systems will become even more popular.

Want to know more about this or any of our plumbing, heating or air conditioner services? Our technicians at All Hours Plumbing can’t wait to serve you.

How Drain Blockages Can Damage Your Home

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Most of us know how vital all the elements of in-house plumbing are, but for some reason drain cleaning can often fall through the cracks when discussing standard household maintenance. It’s just water, we think – what’s the worst that could happen? If there’s a bit of hair in there slowing things down, just flush some Drain-O down and everything will be fine, right?

Wrong. Drains can become a serious problem if they’re not properly kept up. Many of our emergency plumbing calls at All Hours Plumbing are for drain-related issues, which can cause everything from major water damage to contamination and major health issues.

What do you need to watch out for with drains, and how can drain maintenance benefit your home?

What Causes Drain Blockages?

You may think you’re being diligent about what gets in your drains, but it’s often tough to keep out many of the elements that can cause clogs over time if left unattended. Various items which can cause blockages include:

  • Food
  • Grease
  • Hair
  • Solid objects
  • Soap scum

If left for too long, the blockages that can be caused by these items can have severe effects. Water damage and flooding are common, and many people have to completely revamp their plumbing system if the blockages take place in pipes deep under the house. Water problems can cause mold and bacteria to form, plus the water itself can be dirty and contaminated in many cases. Many water damage issues even cause problems with the structural foundation of houses.

Problems You Can’t See

Many times, these won’t be problems you’ll see any visible evidence of until it’s too late. Sometimes noticeable drops in water pressure or obvious clogs in a drain won’t show up until the blockage is already virtually complete, and you’ll be lucky if you catch it before it causes significant, expensive damage.

Regular Maintenance

For exactly this reason, regular drain maintenance is vital. Basic preventative checks from an expert plumber like All Hours Plumbing can catch nearly all of these potential problems before they manifest into something much worse. Instead of digging up drain lines amid tree roots in your yard, you’d probably rather pay a much smaller fee for some standard maintenance and avoid the hassle altogether.

All Hours Plumbing is an industry leader in drain maintenance and other plumbing services. Our representative are standing by to assist you.

How Do You Know if Your Furnace is Efficient?

Written by SLC Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

A furnace is one of the most important pieces of technology in your home, especially given cold temperatures in the winter. At this time of year, it’s vital that your furnace is functioning at full capacity and isn’t leaking, cracking or requiring any major repairs to stay useful through the cold season.

At All Hours Plumbing, our professional furnace installation will make sure you’re up to date and set to go for the winter. We also offer professional furnace repair and replacement, and we’ve seen everything there is to see as far as issues with your home’s heating system.

When we’re not around, though, there are a few simple ways you can keep track of certain parts of your furnace’s efficiency and operational status. How, you ask? Let’s take a look.

Heating Efficiency

One of the primary ways to determine how much heating will cost through your furnace is using your furnace’s efficiency. A high furnace efficiency means a larger amount of heat is being provided for a given amount of energy used, where a low efficiency rating means it takes more energy to generate less overall heat.

Efficiency is generally viewed alongside energy costs – for instance, most electric furnaces are very high in efficiency, but because electricity itself costs so much money, the overall cost is still typically pretty high.

How to Measure Efficiency

Furnace efficiency is measured using a score called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, or AFUE. If a furnace is rated with a 75 percent AFUE score, that means 25 percent of the energy used in the furnace is lost, and the other 75 actually turns into heat for your home. The higher the number, the better the rating.

Identifying Older or Out-of-Date Units

Many older furnaces won’t have AFUE ratings, either because the information was removed or because it was never required when the furnace was made.

For these furnaces, the pilot light will be a key indicator. Furnaces with continuous pilot lights are likely older, as are furnaces which are gravity-based. These are usually only between 55 and 70 percent efficient.

Replace the Furnace?

If your AFUE score falls in a certain range, it might be time to consider replacing your furnace. Here are the recommended ranges for a few common types of furnaces:

  • Weatherized gas furnaces: 81 percent
  • Weatherizes oil furnaces: 78 percent
  • Mobile home oil furnaces: 75 percent
  • Electric furnaces: 78 percent
  • Gas-fired hot water boilers: 82 percent
  • Oil-fired hot water boilers: 84 percent
  • Oil-fired steam boilers: 82 percent

Want to lean more? All Hours Plumbing is a premier plumber in Utah, and we’re experts in furnace installation, repair and replacement.

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