Tips on How to Maintain a Domestic Central Heating System

A central heating system makes the winter bearable. However, many homeowners tend to take it for granted.

When a heater fails, you can hardly wash your hands or handle the water that comes out of your tap. You have to bundle up before you go to sleep. The cost of emergency repairs can also stress you out. Sadly, you can’t skimp on such services.

To prevent such hassles, you should get a high-quality, durable heater. You should also ensure you use and maintain it properly.

The following are tips on how to keep your central heating system running efficiently.

1. Check the filters –

These can affect the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. When it’s dirty and clogged with dust and debris, the AC or heater may not warm up your room temperature at all.

The good news is that it’s not all that hard to check and replace your filters. You can find online instructions to do these yourself. Your filters are usually installed at the end of the HVAC vents. When you remove the vent cover, you can already see the state your filter is in.

Replace your filters right away when they’re dusty and worn out. Don’t go out to your hardware store just yet. It’s not a one-size-fits all HVAC part. Write down the specifications of your filter. If you want to spend less on filters, go for disposable ones.

Inspect the filters at least once every three or four months. For your heater’s filters, replace them every month during the winter. The same goes for your AC’s filters during summer.

2. Treat rust right away –

Your plumbing and heating system is more prone to rusting when it’s a few years old. Brownish water coming out of your pipes can be a sign of internal corrosion. You may also spot the problem on the exposed parts of your heater.

You should do a pipe checkup in the early weeks of fall. You won’t be using your heater during those times, so it would not be much of a deal if repairs need to be done on it. If you see rust, you may apply an anti-corrosive treatment.

In case the rusting is extensive, you should get plumbing experts to solve the problem. This will help you save time and money. If you fix the issue on your own, you may end up creating more damage and spreading the rust to other areas.

3. Brush and wipe the exposed parts –

This is the simplest way to keep dust off your filters. Before you start cleaning, make sure the main switch of your heating system is turned off.

As you clean, look for possible signs of pest infestation. Do you hear rushing sounds inside the vents? There could also be wings and droppings. Pests like rats, squirrels and wild birds may also leave a nasty smell. If you suspect you might have a pest problem, contact a pest solution company.

Be careful when you clean and close your HVAC system. You do not want to have scratches and dents on your HVAC unit.

4. Flush your heater –

This is one of the last maintenance tasks you should do. Some people would say this process is wasteful and expensive. However, it is necessary to clean the internal parts of your heater you cannot reach.

It’s important for every homeowner to understand how their heating system works and to be familiar with the parts of their HVAC unit. If your installation team or service company did not properly orient you, you may ask a professional to conduct an inspection and run an assessment for you. Be present when he does this and ask to be oriented about your HVAC system.

Spartan Plumbing has professionals who are ready to assist you with your plumbing needs. They can conduct a professional inspection, maintenance, and repairs any day. They also have emergency, numbers so you can call anytime you need them.

The following article Tips on How to Maintain a Domestic Central Heating System is available on call Spartan in Tucson

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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How to Avoid Home Emergencies When You Come Back from Your Holiday

Holidays allow you to unwind and recharge. However, it is difficult to relax when you are constantly thinking about possible plumbing problems and other home emergencies while you’re away.

Leaking is the top problem many homeowners face when they go back home after their holidays. Boiler and appliance breakdowns are other common problems. There’s also the possibility of a burglary, pest infestations, and electrical issues.

The good news is you can prevent most of these hassles. You can’t control factors like the amount of snow that falls and how much the temperature drops, among others. But, there are things that you can do to protect your home and lessen, if not totally prevent, any damage they could cause.

Below are some tips to prevent or reduce the risk of home emergencies during your holidays:

1. Inspect –

Check all your switches, lights, power outlets, appliances, faucets, showers and pipes. Take note of problems like dimming lights, sparks in power outlets, and rusts in pipes.

Be on the lookout for pest problems as well. Your kitchen, basement, and attic are among the favorite spots of pests, but don’t forget to check out the other rooms in your home.

You should also inspect your HVAC system. However, you should only focus on the exposed parts. As much as possible, you should hire a pro for a more thorough inspection. An HVAC inspector can also check your vents in case there are pests living in there.

You need plumbing inspection services as well. Keep in mind there’s a high risk of getting leaks, bursting pipes, and other related problems during the freezing winter months. A professional inspection will ensure you spot and fix problems before it’s too late.

2. Insulate pipes –

Low temperatures and heavy snow can break your exposed pipes. What you might not see, however, is that the freezing temp may also affect the pipes behind your walls and under your fixtures. If water does not flow out of your faucets when you turn your tap on when you get home from your holiday, your pipes could have frozen.

Keeping one of your faucets running can help prevent frozen pipes. You don’t have to open it in full. You may put a container under the faucet to collect the water so you can use it when you get home. It would also be a good idea to call a plumber to insulate your pipes.

3. Ask a trusted person to oversee your place while you’re away –

Have someone you trust house-sit for you or maybe peep in a couple days a week. It could be a trusted neighbor or a relative living in nearby.

Ask him to check your taps, windows, HVAC, and other parts of the house where you could have problems. For security reasons, ask him to collect your mail and other packages that might have been left on your doorstep by the mailman or courier. Don’t forget to leave your number and contact information with him so he can get in touch with you for urgent matters.

It would also help if you have motion detectors and security cameras installed. There are modern setups that let you “watch” your home remotely. There are also those that are programmed to phone the police or other designated numbers in case of emergencies.

When it comes to your plumbing needs, check out Spartan Plumbing. You can call for an appointment to book your inspection so you can have the necessary repairs done before you go on your holiday. Taking the time to prepare for contingencies will allow you to relax and enjoy yourself during your holiday without worrying about home emergencies when you come home.

The following article How to Avoid Home Emergencies When You Come Back from Your Holiday Read more on: http://www.spartantucson.com/

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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Guide Prevent a Plumbing Emergency in Your Home

Functional sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets are often taken for granted. Some homeowners even throw in anything that can fit in the drains. If you’re one of these people, you should know that lack of maintenance and improper use of your fixtures is likely to cause plumbing emergencies. Aside from the inconveniences from these emergencies, you may end up with costly repairs and replacements. Problems like leaks and bursting pipes can run up higher utility bills as well.

Thankfully, there are
ways to prevent such problems from happening. The first thing you should do is
realize that some substances aren’t meant to be disposed through the drains.

Proper Disposal

Grease and ground coffee
are among the top culprits behind clogged kitchen drains. Food bits are another
cause, in case your sink isn’t connected to a disposal system.

To prevent clogged
drains, dispose food bits and ground coffee before putting and washing used
dishes on the sink. You can actually collect the ground coffee on a separate
container so you can reuse them as garden mulch. As for the food bits, you can
dispose them along with other kitchen waste.

Disposing oils require a
bit more work. You’ll need to collect them first using an empty milk carton or
any other container. Once full, you can add them on your bag of kitchen waste.
However, this won’t totally prevent grease buildup inside your pipes. The
buildup may be caused by the oils in your kitchen and dining ware.

Getting Rid of Grease
and Mineral Buildup

Mineral buildup tends to
happen if you have hard water in your home. Hard water is known for having more
minerals than the usual tap water. It’s best resolved by hiring a professional
to install a water softener.

The accumulation of
grease and minerals inside your pipes is difficult to detect. Nevertheless,
pouring hot water down your drain helps slow down their buildup. But if your
pipes are made from PVC, avoid this trick because the heat may weaken your
pipes. Instead of hot water, you may clean the pipes using a cup of baking soda.

Mesh Strainers

Most drains already have
built-in strainers. However, if you want to make them more efficient, you
should install mesh or plastic strainers on top of them. The additional
strainers help filter out items that aren’t supposed to be thrown into the
drains. They make drain cleanup easier as well. Don’t forget to clean these
strainers, too.

Plungers and Plumber’s
Snakes

Plungers and plumber’s
snakes are essential tools for plumbing maintenance. You should have at least three types
of plungers: one for your toilets, one for showers and tubs, and one for sinks.

To use a plunger in tubs
and sinks, you have to cover the overflow outlets first. Afterwards, open the
shower or faucet. Put the plunger on the drain and make quick plunges.

To use a plumber’s
snake, push it down the drain until you feel a resistance. Twist the snake
until it gets freed.

Signs

It’s unpleasant to deal with slow-draining sinks every time you wash. It may even come with gargling noises. Consider these as signs of potential problems in your pipes rather than just minor irritants. If unclogging your sink using plunger, plumber snake, or hot water is ineffective, it might be best to hire professional plumbing inspection and repair.

When Not to DIY

Mending a broken pipe on
your own may cause further damages. Instead of doing it on your own, let a pro
find out what the root of the problem is and fix it.

Proper maintenance requires some work. However, it can make your plumbing system last for a long time. To further prevent emergencies, you can call Spartan Plumbing for regular inspection and maintenance.

The blog post Guide Prevent a Plumbing Emergency in Your Home was originally seen on www.spartanplumbing.com/ SpartanPlumbing Tucson, AZ

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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Home Maintenance Tips for Every Season

Living in a four-season country has its pros and cons. One advantage is that you can enjoy the wonderful sights of every season change. The wonderful snow in winter and the abundant flowers in spring are breathtaking.

But, these seasons also come with lots of potential headaches for homeowners. To help you avoid them, let’s discuss the ways of maintaining and getting your home ready for each season.

Air Conditioning Fan Belt Replacement

SUMMER

Summer can get intensely hot in many parts of the world, as well as in the US. In Arizona, the temperature during summer can go as high as 40°C or 107°F.

It’s important to keep your air conditioning systems well-maintained at all times. You can do the maintenance yourself by cleaning or replacing filters and coolants.

However, it can be a tedious task. To avoid the hassle, hire a reputable HVAC mechanic who can maintain your AC systems.

Other tasks you should do in summer is cleaning and fixing damaged home fixtures. But, it may be wiser to wait until fall if you’re planning on major renovations. It would cost cheaper in fall because the demand is lower.

FALL

Fall is the time when you should start preparing for winter. Start cleaning downspouts and gutters to keep your roof durable.

You can access your roof gutters with a ladder and start clearing it of any debris. It can be dangerous, however, so it is always better call a professional to do the job.

They would be able to properly inspect your downspouts, gutters, and the entire roof for any signs of damage. Doing this is essential especially if you’re in an area that experiences heavy snowfall.

WINTER

Another season that can strain your home’s HVAC systems is winter. It’s important to have an efficient heating system in your home during this season.

Your water heaters should also function well in winter. Watch out for the signs your water heater may be going bad.

Age

Most water heaters have a 10-year lifespan. Not maintaining your water heater can also make its lifespan shorter.

Leaks

Water heaters can leak. If you find puddles near your heater, you must replace it. However, do note that leaks can also come from pipes surrounding it.

Noise

Noise is also a sign of an old water heater. The sediments that build up and harden in the water tank cause noise.

Rusty Water

If your shower and sink water looks cloudy or rusty, your water heater might be rusting. This may lead to leaks and bigger damages.

Water Isn’t Heated Enough

If your water heater is too old or damages, it may not heat water, especially in winter.

When you notice one of these signs, you should call a licensed professional to check on your water heater. Only trust professionals from a reputable company like Spartan Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. They can maintain, repair, and replace your water heater so it’ll be ready for winter.

Buying a generator should also be on your list during winter in case of power outages during a winter storm. Needless to say, it is imperative that you repair any damages beforehand to ensure your family’s safety.

SPRING

Spring cleaning is an old tradition for many homes. It not only involves cleaning, but home maintenance as well. Check your home for any damages that may have happened during the winter. Make sure that you have your trees, especially larger ones, inspected by professional arborists.

Also, don’t forget to check your outdoor water faucets. Make sure that it’s already been properly warmed up before turning them on. Check for any leaks or cracks and repair them immediately.

Preparing your home for the different seasons doesn’t only include cleaning. It’s also important to check your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Regular maintenance of your HVAC systems will ensure your family’s comfort and safety all year long.

The blog post Home Maintenance Tips for Every Season was originally seen on spartantucson.com/

Home Maintenance Tips for Every Season first appeared on:

Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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5 Drain Cleaning Tips for Fall

Fall is the ideal season to do your general drain cleanup. It can be done in preparation for the possible plumbing problems that winter often brings. These problems include freezing pipes and malfunctioning water heater. While a clean drain doesn’t directly stop such issues from happening, it lessens the risks of clogged and leaky pipes. Keep in mind that faulty pipes are harder to repair during winter.

Doing a general cleanup of your kitchen and bathroom drains is never pleasant. However, you can’t skip it unless you want to deal with slow-draining, nasty-smelling and filthy-looking drains everyday. To help you get through the chore, below are 5 tips you can follow:

1. Clean or replace strainers.

Strainers are your pipes’ first line of defense against food bits, hair, or any other items that may clog them. Most mesh and plastic strainers can be removed just by twisting or pulling them upwards. As for stainless steel ones, you may need to unscrew them first.

Ideally, you should clean mesh strainers on a weekly basis while their stainless steel counterparts should be cleaned at least once a month. Cleaning them on a weekly or monthly basis may simply involve picking up the bits and hair that got stuck on them. If there’s grime or mineral buildup, you’ll have to do some scrubbing using old toothbrushes, regular dishwashing liquid, and water. These will make the annual cleanup a lot easier.

During your annual drain maintenance, you have to inspect your strainers. Some mesh or plastic strainers may need replacement. The same goes with the screws of stainless steel strainers.

2. Repurpose old wire hangers.

Instead of throwing your old wire hangers, you can turn them into your own plumber snakes. While they may not be as efficient as the actual plumber snakes, wire hangers work fine in reducing mineral buildup inside the pipes. They can be used to pull up or push down the items that are clogging the pipes.

3. Stay away from chemical drain cleaners.

Chemical drain cleaners seem like the most convenient solution when you have dirty or clogged drains. In reality, however, they can do more harm than good. The toxic chemicals in them can damage parts of your plumbing system in the long run. Exposure to the said cleaning products may have health implications as well. It’s also important to note that they aren’t that effective in clearing clogs.

4. Use baking soda, vinegar and boiling water to clean.

The combination of baking soda, vinegar and water is a better alternative to chemical drain cleaners. For this tip, you’ll need to prepare a half-cup of baking soda, a half-cup of vinegar and a pot full of boiling water. The first thing you need to pour on your drain is the baking soda. Vinegar comes next. Leave the two substances for five minutes or longer.

Afterwards, pour the half of the boiling water directly on the drain. Never pour it over the sink or shower floor. After 30 minutes, pour the remaining water. As much as possible, do this at night when no one’s likely to use the sink or shower.

5. Make the most out of lemons.

To get rid of the strong smells on your drains, squeeze a lemon on each one of them. You may also leave the lemon peels on the drains for a few hours.

Aside from cleaning your drains, you should also hire a professional to inspect them every three years. Have your water heater and sewer system checked as well. For these services, you can count on Spartan Plumbing. They have professionals who can take care of your plumbing inspection, maintenance and repair needs regardless of the season.

5 Drain Cleaning Tips for Fall is republished from http://www.spartantucson.com/blog/

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm

Is It Time to Replace or Repair Your HVAC?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are like all machines. They have mechanical parts that are prone to damage and wear. However, many HVAC system owners don’t maintain or repair damages early on. This causes the HVAC systems to fail completely.

Observing your HVAC system will help you find out if it needs repairs or replacements. Here are some things to look out for before deciding on your next move:

Maintenance History

Do you remember when you last cleaned or checked your HVAC unit? No? Then, there’s a great chance that it’s going to fail any time soon.

Regular maintenance is essential for any kind of machine. It must be done at least once a year. It’s best to have AC units serviced during spring, while heating units should be checked during fall.

If you have failed to do so, call a reliable HVAC service company to check on your units as soon as possible. They’ll identify if your units have damage that needs immediate attention.

Old Age

HVAC units have a lifespan that is usually between 8 to 20 years. But, it’s safer to set your expectation to 10 years. There are also many factors that can shorten your unit’s lifespan.

Improperly sized and installed
Cheap, low-quality parts
Poor maintenance
If your unit matches these factors, you may need to replace it sooner than you think. Call an HVAC expert to assess your unit’s condition to be sure.

Repair History

Try to remember if your unit was repaired many times in the previous years. If so, you don’t have a choice but to replace your HVAC unit.

This means that your unit isn’t reliable anymore. Continuing to use a unit that often fails can be risky and is often more expensive than buying a new one.

Energy Efficiency Issues

Old HVAC units can also cost you a lot of money when it comes to utility bills. They’re not as efficient compared to newer models.

If you’re using an old HVAC system, it’s wiser to replace it with a new and more efficient system. In fact, the US government encourages homeowners to replace HVAC systems that are over ten years old.

But before buying a new one, it’s important to ask a trustworthy HVAC service company for advice. They can recommend the best systems to achieve full efficiency in your home.

Comfort Issues

Why do homeowners install HVAC systems in their home? It’s to live a comfortable life, of course.

And if your systems are struggling to maintain your home’s temperature, then it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. It may be time to repair or replace your HVAC units.

The job would depend on the reason why your systems aren’t working well. You may want to leave this part to the experts. They can check the overall condition of your HVAC system and identify the problem.

Whatever the reason might be, it is most important to hire services from a reputable HVAC company like Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

Hire technicians who are licensed, insured, and bonded. They can ensure that your systems are checked thoroughly and safely.

Also, familiarize yourself with the right prices of different HVAC services. Some technicians may give you a price that’s too good to be true, but chances are that they aren’t licensed and insured. This comes with the risk of bigger costs and even potential health issues in the future if you hire them.

A reputable HVAC company would only deploy trained professionals. They’ll also price their services fairly. Don’t just settle for cheap prices. Go for trusted services at reasonable prices.

If you’re in the Tucson area and you need help with your HVAC systems, call Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. They can service HVAC systems as well as commercial and residential plumbing systems.

The following article Is It Time to Replace or Repair Your HVAC? is republished from Spartan Plumbing LLC

Is It Time to Replace or Repair Your HVAC? first appeared on:

Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

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Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smells in Home

Nobody wants to live inside a house that smells like the sewers. So if your home reeks of sewer gas, you may have a big problem. Sewer gases have hydrogen sulfide, methane and many kinds of bacteria. These are unsafe for you and your family’s health. Exposure to high concentrations of these gases can even cause suffocation and even death.

Common Causes of Sewer Gas Smells

It’s important to know what causes the issues and eliminate it as soon as possible. Here are some of the common causes of sewer gas odor in your home.

  • Basement Water traps

Basements have water traps that you must maintain by using them once in a while.

Not using them for a long time can cause the water to evaporate. And if this happens, it can allow the sewer gasses to go up the pipes and into the rooms of your home.

  • Shower drains

Like water traps, shower drains that aren’t used for a long time can also cause sewer odors. When the p-trap’s water evaporates, sewer gasses can get into your bathroom.

Another reason is dirty drains. Biofilm that can build up in pipes and drains can also cause sewer-like smells. If this is the case, running water can worsen the smell.

  • Toilets

Sewer odor from toilets are among the worst as these are directly connected to your septic tank system. Toilets may produce sewer-like odors because of broken wax ring seals or infrequent use.

  • Sinks

Sewer odor from sinks can have similar causes with shower drains and toilets. Infrequent use or build-up of biofilm will give it a nasty smell.

  • Sewer line breakage

Sewer lines can eventually break or crack if not properly maintained. Sewer gasses can get into your home from these damages.

A broken sewer line is among the most difficult issues to repair. Damage can sometimes happen to pipes which aren’t easily accessible. These can often be in the under floorings or walls.

 

Ways to Get Rid of Sewer Smells

Once you find the culprit for the sewer odor in your home, it’s time to fix it. There are many ways to fix the problem.

  • You can pour some water down the water trap if the water in it has evaporated. This will restore the levels of the water trap and it will push the gasses down.
  • To prevent biofilm buildup in showers, toilets, and sinks, clean your pipes regularly. Use a brush, hot water, and soap to clean the p-trap to the drains. After cleaning, rinse with cold water. You may also use commercial or homemade drain cleaners.
  • Call an experienced plumber to fix broken sewer lines. Unless you are a plumber yourself, don’t attempt doing it on your own.

 

Call a Plumbing Service Company

Calling a reputable plumbing service company would be your best option to clear your home from sewer odor. This is because there might be more serious reasons as to why you’re experiencing this sewer-like smell. To be sure that the real cause of the smell is fixed properly and safely, trust professional plumbers find and fix it.

Don’t just hire any plumber who will promise you with great results. Make sure that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. It’s best to get in touch with trusted plumbing companies like Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

They have quite a reputation for providing the best possible services to their clients—you’ll even find plenty of reviews about the work that they have done.

It’s better to prevent any sewer related problems in the future. Call them to inspect and maintain your sewer lines regularly. You’ll also be provided with professional advices on how to prevent sewer problems from occurring.

If you’re in Tucson, call Spartan Plumbing today for immediate assistance.

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Tucson Plumber/HVAC | Spartan Plumbing Heating and Cooling Tucson AZ

6211 E. Speedway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 617-1000

https://goo.gl/maps/y597nYbGSxm