Worried About an Expensive Water Bill? Try These Tips to Save Money and Water

Water is a necessity for all living things. We need it for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, among other things. But it can take up much of your monthly budget if you don’t use it well. Expensive water bills can become a huge problem for households. It’s important to use good water habits to avoid a large utility bill. Also, saving water can help the environment.

If you’re surprised with your increasing water bill, try these simple tips to save water and money.

Use water-saving appliances and devices

Glendale PlumberIf you think that your dishwasher uses more water than handwashing, you’re probably wrong. Handwashing dishes often use more water than a dishwasher. Also, be sure not to turn on the dishwasher until it’s completely loaded, as this will be the most efficient or the dishwasher and your water.

Many people open the faucet to its maximum pressure even when not needed. So, to save water through your faucets, consider replacing them with newer faucet models that use lower water pressure. If you can’t replace them, you can always use an aerator. Using old model toilets also adds up on your water bill. Replacing them with newer, low-flow models can decrease your bill.

Reduce drinking directly from the tap


Storing water in the refrigerator to chill is often the most efficient way to get cold water. People who drink from the tap tend to let the water flow until it becomes cool. All that wasted water can accumulate on your water bill. Keep water in reusable bottles and place them in your fridge. This will give you ready-to-drink cold water without opening the tap too often.

Heat water over the stove or in the microwave

You can get warm or hot water fast if you heat it over the stove or use the microwave. Letting your water run through the faucet while waiting for it to heat up can be a big waste. This will also end up increasing your water bill.

Take a shower instead of a bath

It takes about 35 gallons of water to fill a regular bathtub. This can be a big point of water loss if you take a bath every day. If you’re taking a bath daily, you may already know how much it adds to your monthly water bill. You may save up to 23 gallons of water whenever you skip the bath and take a shower instead.

Change your showerhead

There are new, low-flow options for showerheads available. These use less water compared to older models. Switching to a low-flow showerhead can reduce your bill by up to 60%.

Check for any leaks or damages to your water systemTucson, AZ Water-Leak-Detection-Services

The biggest contributor to water waste is damage to your water system. A small leak in the pipes can cost you hundreds of dollars. Also, ignoring any damage is likely to become a big problem sooner or later.

First, check the faucets for leaks. It can be surprising to find out how much you save when you replace that leaky faucet in your bathroom. Also, check for leaks under the sinks. Sometimes, pipes become corroded or damaged in other ways, but it isn’t noticeable until you really look. This damage can become larger when ignored.

If you’re already doing everything you can to save water, then you should be safe from a ridiculously high utility bill. However, if your water bill continues to increase despite your efforts, you may need to call an expert. In some cases, hidden pipes might be the culprit. It can be difficult to find the problem or do repairs because they’re hidden behind walls or under the floor.

That’s why you should call a professional plumber to check water system leaks in your home. A licensed plumber from a company like Spartan Plumbing has the experience and the right equipment. They can find the problem in your water system immediately and provide a variety of options to fix the problem.

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Signs Your Water Softener Needs a Repair

Hard water, in general, may be safe. But, it can damage your appliances and plumbing, which is why many people choose to install a water softner. If you have hard water in your area, a water softener system can be very helpful. Similar to most other home appliances, your water softener is also prone to the effects of normal wear and tear. Thus, it is important to be aware of the signs that your unit needs replacement or repairs.

water softener

When Your Water Softener Needs Attention

The following are tell-tale signs that your water softener requires immediate attention:

Soap Doesn’t Lather Easily –

When using hard water, it is difficult to lather soap. Things get worse when your water softener isn’t functioning well. Soap becomes more difficult to lather while taking a shower. Your shampoo and soap consumption may be higher than usual as well. This is because you will need a lot more soap to get the amount of lather you need. Once you start noticing this problem, consider having your water softener unit replaced or fixed right away.

Scale Build-up –

Scale is the chalky mineral deposit that forms inside your pipes. If you see a chalk-like substance sticking to your dishes, appliances, or faucets, you may have hard water. This means your water softener may need repairs or replacement. Neglecting the problem will only make matters worse, and you may end up facing a bigger and more expensive problem in the future.

Dry Hair and Skin –

If you feel unusually dry or itchy hair and skin, it may be due to hard water. The mineral deposits that accumulate in hard water can cause your skin and hair to dry out. If you have existing conditions, hard water can make them worse. This is why you should have your water softener inspected and serviced by a professional like Spartan Plumbing right away.

Scratchy and Faded Laundry –

Hard water can result in your laundry appearing faded and gray. It can also make your bedding and clothes feel scratchy. To prevent this issue, you must make sure that your water softening equipment is always functioning well.

As soon as you notice indications of hard water in your household, you should contact Spartan Plumbing. Their experienced technicians will make sure that your water supply is properly softened, either by fixing your current water softener system or installing a new one.

Tips for Proper Maintenance

An annual inspection of your water softener by a water treatment expert will go a long way in making sure that it is always working properly. The professional will make sure the valve is functioning well, and every setting is optimized. A water test will also be done to make sure that the system properly treats the water in your household.

There are times when you may need the services of a professional, aside from the annual maintenance call. If you aren’t sure if your water softener is working properly or not, it may be time to call Spartan Plumbing for professional help. That way, you can get a proper analysis of the situation and get the work you need to be done completed fast.

Weighing the Cost of Repairs vs. Total Replacement

If your water softener starts to need frequent repairs, you may be able to save money over the long term by buying a replacement. The cost of the parts and labor can add up over time. In addition, the downtime resulting from the frequent malfunctions can causes a lot of inconvenience and damage to appliances you use while your softener is out of service.

Weigh the cost of the frequent repairs against the cost of an upgrade. Getting a replacement may be more the more practical option, although it may require a bigger initial investment.

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Can an AC Refrigerant Leak Increase Cooling Expenses?

Coolant, or refrigerant, plays a significant role in the proper functioning of your HVAC system. A small deviation in normal refrigerant levels in your AC can result in higher electricity bills, system damage over time, as well as discomfort in your home.

The best way to combat refrigerant leaks and prevent your cooling expenses from soaring sky-high is air conditioning prevention to stop the problem from happening. Regular inspection of the refrigerant levels will help you address potential problems before they get any worse. Following are some helpful tips:

Possible Refrigerant Leak Causes

There are numerous reason there might be a leak in your air conditioning system’s coolant. The most common factors include corrosion, aging, and improper unit installation.

  • Aging – As your equipment ages, normal wear and tear can take a toll on the piping. When it tears or cracks, the pipes start to leak. The external unit that is exposed to the elements and other environmental contaminants can also experience rusting around the joints. This may also cause leaks.
  • Corrosion – The copper tubing in your AC is also prone to corrosion. Formaldehyde, or formic acid, is often the cause. The substance is found in almost all households. It not only compromises the quality of indoor air, but it also eats away the copper tubes in your indoor AC unit.

Formaldehyde or formic corrosion is capable of causing multiple leaks that often result in costly repairs or coil replacements. It is worth-mentioning that extensive rusting may be due to insufficient preventive maintenance. As a result, total replacement of expensive AC parts may be necessary.

Scheduling regular maintenance with a professional like Spartan Plumbing can help prevent air conditioning problems. You can also ask them to replace your copper coils with corrosion-resistant aluminum coils.

  • Improper AC Installation – Even if you have new air conditioning equipment, it can still develop a refrigerant leak if not properly installed. Any damaged part can also cause a leak.

Signs of Refrigerant Leaks

Complete unit replacement and expensive repairs can be avoided with early detection of a coolant leak. Signs of leaks include the following:

  • Higher Energy Bill – If you notice a sudden spike in your cooling expenses, this may be due to a defective air conditioning unit. When your AC doesn’t provide sufficient cooling, the tendency is to adjust the thermostat. While this may help cool your home more quickly, it can increase your power consumption, further contributing to a higher energy bill.
  • It Takes Longer to Cool Your Home – In summer, the coolant absorbs the indoor heat, then releases it outside. If it takes a longer time to cool your home than usual, it may mean the unit has low refrigerant levels.
  • Vents Releasing Warm Air – Try putting your hand on the vents to see if the temperature of the released air is cool. If it is warm, it is a sign of low refrigerant levels.
  • Ice Forming on the AC Coils – Low refrigerant levels will keep the indoor unit’s coils from absorbing a sufficient amount of heat, resulting in frozen coils. In most cases, you will only notice the problem once the ice starts to melt and drip on the floor.
  • Unusual Sounds from Indoor Unit – If you hear hissing sounds in your indoor unit, it may be coming from rusted copper coils. Louder bubbling sounds may be a tell-tale sign of a more serious leakage.

Frozen coils may also be a sign of a bigger problem, like a defective compressor. Call Spartan Plumbing right away to prevent further damage.

Fixing Refrigerant Leaks

Preventive maintenance is the best deterrent to refrigerant leaks, and subsequent replacement or repair expenses. A small AC refrigerant leak may be easy to repair. However, you should not attempt to repair extensive refrigerant leaks on your own. HVAC technicians are specially trained and licensed to deal with the refrigerant chemicals in AC units.

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Signs Your Gas Line Needs to Be Repaired

Learn About Some of the Signs a Gas Line Needs Fixed

A defective gas line is something that necessitates immediate attention on your part. Not only is it a health hazard, but the damaged line could also lead to a fire. Fortunately, some signs will tell you it’s time to have your gas line checked and repaired if needed. Watch out for the following signs:

commercial kitchen grease trap cleaning

Weird Smell

A weird smell is usually one of the first things you’ll notice when a gas leak occurs. A gas leak smell is distinctive and can cause headaches after a few minutes. Note though, that the smell is usually present if you’re near the gas leak or if you have an enclosed kitchen with a fairly small footage space. An open kitchen or one with a steady stream of air flow will not smell, so you’ll need to watch out for other signs.

Sudden Bill Increase

You should have a fairly good idea of how much your gas bill costs per month. If the amount suddenly skyrockets or gets a little bit higher with no apparent reason, you might want to have it checked out. It’s very easy for a small gas leak to turn into a big one if ignored for a couple of days, so you’d want to make sure it gets patched up as soon as there’s any indication of a leak.

Plants Start to Die

It’s a good idea to place plants near the gas line to act as an initial warning sign of problems. Plants are very sensitive to harmful chemicals in the air and will instantly wither if there’s a gas leak. If vegetation starts to die and there isn’t any good reason for it, you should have your gas lines checked to make sure they aren’t the cause. This is a win-win situation because, with plants in the house, you add a little bit of life in the room!

Check the Lines for Exterior Signs of Decay

The exterior of the line itself should indicate whether a repair needs to be made. Old, rusted, and corrugated lines necessitate some action on your part – even if the gas bill is stable or the plants remain healthy. External signs of decay are, by themselves, an indicator that a problem is about to happen. It’s better to have them fixed now instead of waiting for your gas bill to tell you there’s a leak.

There’s a Hissing Sound

The sound of air escaping from the gas line is distinctive and fairly common if the leak is big enough. This can be tricky, though, so you have to listen closely to hear the sound. Turn off any items that cause sounds in your home, and try to listen for a few minutes. It’s usually a good idea to do this at night because it’s quieter. If you notice a hissing sound, the next thing to do is to turn off the gas line and listen again. If the hissing sound has stopped, call the repair people right away for an immediate fix.

Appliance Malfunction

Pay attention to the appliances that make use of gas, specifically the stove and the water heater. If any of these two start to malfunction, then this likely means that there’s not enough gas getting into them, one of the possible reasons being leakage. Any unusual noise requires the input of a gas line repair expert.

If you notice any of the above signs,you should call Spartan Plumbing and have them visit your property for a thorough check-up. Staffed with experienced plumbers and holders of government-backed licenses, Spartan Plumbing can offer homeowners quality results within a reasonable amount of time.

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What Are the Main Benefits of Using a Garbage Disposal?

Reasons Why You Need to Have a Functioning Disposal in Your Home

Cooking is one activity that creates a lot of food waste at home. Even when you don’t cook a lot, buying cooked meals can still create waste. It’s difficult to completely avoid making waste when it comes to food. That’s part of why proper disposal of food waste is important.

Improper disposal of food waste can cause many problems in your home. This is why some homeowners install garbage disposal systems in their kitchens. Garbage disposals have many advantages and have become an important part of many people’s lives. Here are some of the main benefits of a garbage disposal system.

Saves You Money

Many people have experience with clogged kitchen sink drains. This often happens when food waste gets into the drains. If sinks or drains in the kitchen become clogged, you may need to hire a professional plumber to fix your disposal. Also, clogged drains can lead to bigger pipe problems. Taken together, these issues could be costly.

If this happens a lot, you’ll be spending more money than you can easily afford. Having a garbage disposal installed will prevent excessive spending on unclogging drains in your kitchen. You may still need to spend some money on a garbage disposal unit, but it won’t be as costly as always hiring a plumber to fix clogs. Garbage disposals need minimal maintenance and don’t consume much energy.

Prevents Unpleasant Home Smells

Recyclable wastes usually don’t create any odors in a home. But food wastes can leave your home smelling like a dumpster. Homeowners know it’s important to keep a clean home. This includes having a house that smells clean.

Leaving food waste in trash bins inside the house can add to the rotten smell. Having a garbage disposal can prevent this. A garbage disposal grinds food wastes and flushes them out of your kitchen and out of your home. Garbage disposals also save you time because you won’t need to take out your trash as often when you aren’t fighting the scent of food waste.

Prevents Illnesses

Garbage odors don’t only make a home less desirable to live in, but can also cause bacteria and other harmful substances to grow. These bacteria or mold spores can spread and can leave you and your family feeling ill. Some families resort to burning food wastes, yet this can also be unhealthy. Smoke from burning garbage can lead to many diseases like asthma and emphysema.

Garbage disposals are a healthier choice, especially if you have pets and young kids. Using garbage disposals can prevent bacteria from spreading in your home and keep you from being left with food scraps, or the smoke from messy garbage fires that may or may not help.

Helps the Environment

There are many reasons why garbage disposals are environment-friendly. One of these is that it lessens the need for plastic bags. Many people use plastic bags to dispose of their food wastes, which isn’t the best option for the environment.

Using garbage disposals can lessen the use of plastic bags for disposing of food wastes. Fewer plastics will go into landfills, making your house just a little greener.

Saves You Time

Garbage disposals are quick and easy to use. All you need is to drop in the food wastes, run the disposal for a few seconds, and you’re done. You won’t need to put the wastes in a trash bin and take it outside.

Keeping food waste in trash bins can end up taking much more of your time. When food wastes leak liquids, you’ll need time to clean and disinfect the area. You may only need to clean the garbage disposal once or twice in a year! That’s much better than cleaning week, or even every day.

A garbage disposal can make your life better. However, it could still become damaged over time or from misuse. When this happens, you can try fixing it yourself, but you may only worsen the problem. When dealing with disposals, it’s best to call professionals to handle the problem. If you happen to be in the Tucson area, you should call a reputable service company like Spartan Plumbing to repair your garbage disposal.

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Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

Reasons Why Your AC System Might Not Be Working Right

When summer is at its peak, that’s when you rely on your air conditioner the most. So, it would be a huge disappointment to find your unit blowing warm air instead of providing you much-needed relief from the heat. This problem is common in HVAC systems. In some cases, you might even be able to fix it on your own.

air conditioning

Here are some tips on troubleshooting an air con unit that blows hot air, and how to fix them:

Thermostat

When you notice your AC blowing hot air, the first thing to check should be the thermostat. It might have been set to “heat” by accident, and this is easy to fix. Just switch the thermostat back to “cool”, then check if the unit starts to blow cool air.

You should also check that the batteries are functioning, and the temperature isn’t set too high.

Circuit Breaker

Once you’re done checking the thermostat settings and batteries, make sure that the unit has power. Do this by inspecting the electrical panel. An AC unit needs a significant amount of power to function. When there is excessive power demand, your circuit breaker may automatically shut off as a safety measure.

To fix the problem, find the electrical panel. Look for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. Flip the breaker off completely, then switch it on to power the AC. In case of a blown fuse, replace it. Contact an HVAC pro like Spartan Plumbing if the breaker still trips from time to time for no apparent reason.

Air Filter and Evaporator Coils

While air filters don’t directly affect air temperature, they can lead to evaporator coil problems when dirty. It may get clogged with debris and dust that can hamper proper cooling operation. Your evaporator coils may freeze. You may think that this may mean cooler air, but, in reality, this can cause hot air to flow from the motor.

To prevent the problem, replace your air filters every 30 to 60 days, depending on the filter type, household, and climate. To be sure, inspect your air filters each month. Hold them up to the light. If the light barely passes through, it is time to replace the filters.

If the evaporator coil is frozen, switch the unit off, then change the filter. Don’t turn the unit back on until the unit has thawed. If the coils start to freeze again, switch the AC off right away, then call a technician to properly troubleshoot the problem, which may be a refrigerant leak or a compressor issue.

Outdoor Unit Condenser Coils

Your next step is to check the outdoor unit. The outdoor evaporator coils need to have unimpeded airflow, just like the indoor coils. Thus, you should always maintain at least 2-ft of clearance around your outdoor condenser unit.

If the outdoor unit is blocked, switch the AC off at the source. Remove the bigger items blocking the unit by hand, and rinse the smaller debris with a garden hose.

Before the start of every summer, schedule an AC cleaning and tune-up with a pro. Make sure to include complete outdoor and indoor coil cleaning.

Refrigerant or Coolant

A low refrigerant level can be the main cause of air conditioning malfunction. Over or undercharged refrigerant may be due to a worn out service valve, poor assembly, or loose joints.

Unless you are a certified technician, never attempt to fix refrigerant problems on your own. A regular tune-up scheduled at the start of every cooling season is the best way to prevent refrigerant leaks.

As soon as you notice your unit blowing hot air, freezing on the refrigerant line, or making gurgling/hissing noise, you should call an HVAC specialist right away. 

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Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Gone are the days when you’d need to feed a large burner with firewood to heat the water in your home. Now, there are tankless water heaters available on the market.

They have many names like instant-on, inline, or flash water heaters. The idea of these devices is to heat water instantly as it goes through the heater rather than having constantly heated water sit in a tank waiting to be used. Inside is a coil that generates heat that increases the temperature of the water.

These high-tech devices are becoming more popular in households and businesses. They have many advantages compared to the old types of heaters. Still, they have some drawbacks that you should consider. Before deciding on getting one for your home, here’s a list of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters.

Pros

Hot Water in an Instant

You can get instantly heated water when you use a tankless water heater. Once you’ve flushed out the remaining cold water from your pipes, you can enjoy hot water immediately. It would only take a few seconds.

Longer-lasting

Standard water heaters can last up to about 10 years. These are high-quality heaters which are quite expensive. Tankless water heaters can last more than that, usually two times as long. This can save you a lot of money because you won’t need to replace it after a decade or less.

Energy-efficient

Unlike standard water heaters, tankless ones can ultimately save you more money. This is because of their energy-efficient technology.

Continuous Hot Water Supply

Water heaters that rely on storage tanks would run out after some time. This will happen a lot faster if many people in the household use hot water. Using tankless water heaters can give you a continuous supply of hot water. You’ll never have to worry about refilling water tank once it runs out.

Space-saving

Smaller homes can now enjoy hot water with tankless water tanks. They’re smaller than conventional water heaters. They’re also usually mounted on walls so it won’t take up any floor space.

No Standby Loss

Conventional water heaters continuously heat your water even when you’re not home. Tankless water heaters only heat water when needed. This results in lower utility costs.

Cons

Inconsistent Heating

Users often complain about the inconsistent temperatures their tankless water heater provides. The problem often stems from the inability to supply heated water to many outlets at the same time.

Expensive Initial Costs

Tankless water tanks are expensive. The cheapest ones you can find will cost about $1,000. More advanced models can cost even more. The installation fee of specialized tankless heaters is also pricy.

Not Advisable for Big Families

If you have a big family, you may need to install more than just one tankless water heater. That’s because it can only heat water a few gallons at a time. This is great for one person who’ll wash the dishes or take a shower.

May Require Some House Renovations

Installing a tankless water heater may require you to hire people to reroute your gas lines or make other changes to your house. This can add more costs and inconvenience to you and your family.

Tankless water heaters have many pros and cons. Getting one for your home is already a big decision to make. But, you should also think about hiring Spartan Plumbing to install the tankless heater.

You should always hire professionals who know what they’re doing, like the experts from Spartan Plumbing. Hiring untrained plumbers can increase your costs. It may also expose your tankless water heater to damage.

Always remember that cheaper, too-good-to-be-true services may end up in disaster. Only trust experts from a reliable company for your tankless water heater needs.

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