Monthly Archives: January 2019

Do you have a Gas furnace for Back Up Heat?

Shut off your Heat Pump if you have a Gas Furnace for the Back Up Heat

heat pumpHomeowners that have what has been called a hybrid heating system ( a heat pump with a gas furnace back up) should operate only with the gas furnace for the winter if gas prices are low.   Natural gas prices have been very low in past years, caused by an abundance of gas available and mild fall temperatures. On the other hand electric rates continue to climb. The beauty of having a hybrid heating system is the ability to choose which source of heat is more economical to use and for this winter it certainly is natural gas.

With a typical operation of a hybrid heating system, the heat pump will operate with ambient temperatures above 32 degrees. When temperatures are below 32 degrees the gas furnace would operate. To lock out the heat pump from operating, homeowners should switch their thermostats to “emergency heat” mode. Don’t worry about the word “emergency” – think of it as auxiliary heat which is the gas furnace.

Note: In all electric homes where the backup heat source is an electric furnace, the heat pump should be operated since it is more efficient than an electric furnace.

Annual Plumbing Inspection and Checklist for Your Home 

 

It is that time of year again. The days are ticking away. Do you have your home inspection checklist complete for this year? When you want peace of mind knowing your house is in tip-top shape for the next twelve months, then Anthony Plumbing has a solution. Our preventative maintenance program includes member perks that can save you tons of money.

What plumbing services maintenance should homeowners do inside the house each year?

  • Check all plumbing lines to and from the water heater for leaks
  • Clean out the p-traps underneath all the sinks
  • Check the water heater temperature – it should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit for safety and to ensure your water heater lasts
  • Inspect the shower head and bathtub faucets for rust, hard water buildup, and leaks
  • Check washing machines and dishwasher hoses for leaks, corrosion, and mineral deposits
  • Turn the garbage disposal on and run a few things through it to see if it operates smoothly and quietly
  • Check sewage drains and make sure they are working properly
  • Inspect the toilet for leaks, moisture buildup, and inefficient operation

 

Outdoor areas to check for damage before calling a plumber Kansas City

Your gutters and downspouts can flood your drains if they do not remove water effectively. When you have clogs, it can allow water to pool in one area or another. This water can seep into the walls or the foundation, and it can cause mold growth because the water is stagnant.

Why is it important to have an annual plumbing inspection?

 

Money savings on toilet repairs and drain cleaning services

Did you know that over 10 percent of houses in the United States have plumbing issues causing a loss of nearly 100 gallons of water a day? Is your home one of these houses? Unless you perform regular plumbing checks or have an annual plumbing inspection, you may not realize the money you could be saving.

Avoid the messy work and save the hassle with a yearly checkup

Using an expert means that you do not have to do the dirty work of climbing under the house or in crawlspaces to check all the connections. When the plumber finds small problems, you can choose whether you want to complete the repair now or later. For big problems, you will be happy that an expert is capable of handling water heater installations and replacing sump pumps. Fixing clogged drains and toilet issues is another thing most homeowners are happy to hand over to the expert after an annual plumbing inspection. When you do not want or do not know how to flush your water heater, our plumbing inspectors at Anthony Plumbing perform this task as a part of our Annual Maintenance Program.

Tips for maintaining your plumbing between visits

  • Routinely look for leaks, corrosion, or damage
  • Investigate any mold or mildew smells
  • Insulate outdoor plumbing like pipes that run under the house
  • Remember that the seals in your pipes will wear out over time – if you are lucky enough to avoid these issues for several years, then be wary of potential problems and be vigilant with your plumbing checks

 

 

 

Why Anthony’s Plumbing is the Best Choice in Kansas City

Annual service and quality checks from Anthony’s gives you peace of mind knowing that when something breaks, you have an expert who can handle the job. You can read some of our nearly 10,000 reviews online to see what you can expect when our licensed and certified plumbers visit your home for inspection or repair. We provide a one-year guarantee on all of our repairs. Plus, we will never fix anything you do not agree to before we start working. With our high ratings on Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau, you know you are getting a quality inspection and repair from a local leader.

Plumbing services you can count on

Most of the plumbers at Anthony’s have over a decade and a half of experience working on numerous plumbing systems and equipment. Our company has over 65 years of experience helping Kansas City residents with toilet repairs, water heater replacements, and drain cleaning. Our sewage cleaning service is not like other plumbing companies. Where a different plumber Kansas City might clean out the clog or get the drain to work, Anthony plumbers take the time to clean the line thoroughly and completely to ensure you do not have the same issue in a couple of years.

Items we replace

  • Water heaters
  • Boilers
  • Sewage pipes
  • Toilets and garbage disposals
  • Outdoor spigots
  • Sump pumps
  • Water softeners
  • Entire home plumbing system replacement

24-hour plumber Kansas City when you need plumbing help the most

Do you want the peace of mind knowing you have a reliable plumber on call for disasters like broken pipes and backed up sewage drains? What do you do when you cannot afford the upfront cost of replacing a sump pump? Anthony Plumbing provides assurance that we will help no matter what time of day or night you call. Plumbing emergencies do not wait for the holidays to pass before happening, so our experts are always on call to help you when you need us the most. We also have financing for large ticket items that can take a chunk out of your bank account. HomeAdvisor says that it can cost more than $1,000 to replace a water heater. Preventing you from paying this cost all at once is a huge help when you are on a budget.

Anthony Service Agreement Program

Because we have decades of experience working on all models and brands of equipment, our plumbers have the skills to fix or install any plumbing product. One of our most popular services is our A.S.A.P. plan. This service agreement provides members many perks that Kansas City, MO residents can depend on to save money and offer assurances when things go haywire. This service plan helps you prevent major disasters like no hot water in the middle of winter when the entire family is home for Christmas.

Perks of the A.S.A.P plan

  • Can ask for the same plumber Kansas City each time you call
  • No added cost for weekend calls
  • No overtime fees
  • Additional discounts on parts and services like toilet repair and drain cleaning
  • 100 percent satisfaction for service guarantee
  • Trusted and thoroughly vetted plumbers with years of local experience
  • Warranty compliance checks
  • Efficiently running systems using less energy and saving you money

When you call Anthony Plumbing for your plumbing services and needs, we value your time and property. We find the source of the problem and use our skills and training to provide the correct fix so that you have no further issues. Our preventative maintenance plan helps you save money on repair and installation costs while making sure your plumbing runs smoothly to save you money in the long run. Our technicians have many common replacement parts on the truck too because we stock these items to ensure you do not have to wait for a part to come in on back order.

 

Sewer smell coming from the bathroom? Tips and Advice 

 

Bad odors emanating from the bathroom may not have that element of surprise, but even so, it’s a good idea to run down the source. When that smell reeks of the sewer, it may not go away on its own but instead, point to a serious problem that might require professional plumbing repair.

The wastewater plumbing systems in your home are fairly simple. They rely on unblocked pipes, gravity and fresh air venting to drain. Whenever something interrupts any of these, there could be a drainage problem. Sometimes the issue occurs close to the bathroom, while it could also be a sewer line blockage or overflowing septic tank.

The Trap Is Dry

All sinks have traps beneath them that hold enough water to prevent the gases from leaking up from the sewer or septic tank. It occurs most often when you haven’t used a fixture and the water has evaporated. Simply running some water in the sink or flushing the toilet should fix the problem.

If you have a second home elsewhere and are gone for months at a time, ask the person watching your home to pour water down the bathroom and kitchen sinks, along with the toilet bowls. If you have the water turned off, put a few gallons of tap water into plastic jugs for them to use.

Sewer gas drifting into your home’s air for weeks or months could leave an offensive smell behind, even after you’ve aired your home out thoroughly. If, when you return, you smell sewer gas, open the windows immediately. Methane is explosive and the other components of the gas are toxic at various levels.

Clogged Vent Pipe

The vent for your bathroom’s plumbing should protrude through the roof. Unless it’s screened over, it’s vulnerable to birds who may find it a good place to nest. Leaves can also collect in these pipes over time that will eventually clog them. The pipe may also be cracked and the sewer gas is leaking through it into your bathroom.

A sure sign that you have a blocked vent is when all the drains in your home are slow. Run the water in each of the sinks in your home. If they all drain slowly, you probably have a blocked plumbing vent. Sometimes you’ll also hear bubbling or gurgling from a plumbing fixture, although this can also be a sign of a blocked sewer line.

If you’re comfortable getting on the roof, you can look for nests or leaves in the pipe. Bring along a flashlight to see further down into the pipe. If you suspect a cracked vent pipe, you’ll probably need a plumber in Kansas City to find the leak, which they do by using harmless smoke pencils. It’s likely the vent pipe is inside a wall and professional plumbers have the tools to find and fix it.

Blocked Sewer Line

Sometimes the plumbing blockage starts as far away as the sewer line. Symptoms include a strong odor of sewer gas as well as slow drains in the basement or first floor of your home. You may even have sewage backing up into your fixtures. Normally, the sewage takes the path of least resistance and it will come up through the fixtures closest to the main drainline for your home.

Early symptoms are similar to those of a blocked vent pipe. You may hear gurgling or bubbling sounds periodically and the faint odor of sewage. Your fixtures may start draining slowly, then stop draining altogether. After a while, the sinks may start to drain normally, only to be followed a period of slow draining.

Tree and shrub roots are a common cause of blocked sewer lines in the Kansas City, MO area. Over time, the joints between sewer pipes can loosen and leak. The plant roots sense the presence of water and send roots in that direction. Eventually, the roots will grow into the pipes where there’s a constant flow and block the pipes.

Another cause for blockage is a collapsed sewer line. Older homes in the city are vulnerable to crumbling sewer pipes, especially those made from clay or orangeburg, a tar- and wax-impregnated type of cardboard sewer pipe that breaks down over time. You may be one of the few KC residents who has orangeburg pipe. If you suspect you may have orangeburg, search for “plumbers near me” to contact Anthony Plumbing.

Anthony Plumbing will send a camera down the pipe to identify the blockage and use our equipment to remove the blockage so that the wastewater flows freely again. If the pipes lack structural integrity, our plumbers may be able to install a liner without having to dig up your yard to replace the sewer pipe.

Septic Tank

Sometimes the bad odor in the bathroom is coming from an overflowing septic tank. They do need to be pumped periodically and there are things you can do to keep it working properly. A plumber in Kansas City can give you the information you need to keep your tank from overflowing and minimize service calls.

Sink Overflow Clog

Sometimes the overflow for the sink becomes clogged or collects enough gunk to foul the air in the bathroom. The overflow hole(s) prevent the sink from overflowing onto the floor should someone forget to shut the faucet off. Over time, organic matter can collect on or near it.

If you notice grunge around the holes, use white vinegar and a brush or rag to clean the area. You can also dilute bleach with water to kill the bacteria and remove it. If it’s a stubborn odor, a professional plumbing Kansas City can clear and clean the sink for you.

Toilet Repair for Leaks

Plumbers install toilets by setting them on a wax ring and bolting them down. They caulk the joint between the floor and the fixture to prevent any leakage. The bolts on the toilet can also loosen over time. The caulk can eventually dry out and the toilet can start to leak onto the floor or invisibly into the subfloor. Over time, bacteria will grow inside the wet flooring and emit a strong odor that could be the source of the foul odor coming from the bathroom.

Unless you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer, toilet repair probably isn’t something you want to undertake. We at Anthony’s can help you with this plumbing Kansas City repair. The job may involve replacing some of the subfloor if the structural wood underneath is damaged. We will replace the damaged wood and flooring in the bathroom and make sure that the toilet sits tight on the floor and is leak-free.

Bottom Line

Many of the problems that cause sewer gas to back up into the bathroom are entirely preventable. If you’d like more information about plumbing repair or any issues you’re having or would like to prevent them, call us at (816) 407-8444,

 

drain running clear

Your sink, toilet or bathtub is clogged. Is the problem at the trap, or the main line, or somewhere in between? The plumbers on our drain remediation team have the tools to quickly analyze your situation and get your drain open and flowing.  Our drain remediation trucks carry state-of-the-art video cameras and drain opening equipment so we can diagnose and solve your “drain pain” quickly and professionally.

Diagnosing an Impending Clogged Drain

The best way to handle drain clogs is to avoid them altogether through our annual plumbing inspections, where our plumbers diagnose issues with your pipes that will lead to clogs and solve them before clogs can form.  Unfortunately, there are not many warning signs of impending clogs, but if you experience any of these signs you should call in our drain remediation team right away:

Your Drains are Slow

A slow drain is usually the first sign of an issue. As soon as you start to notice your sink, bath or shower draining slower than normal, call us.

Odors are Coming out of Your Drain

Sometimes you will notice an odor due to waste backing up before you actually can see the fluid build up.

Water “Rings” Near a Floor Drain

Sometimes fluid backs up from a floor drain and then goes back down slowly.  You may only see the “ring” around the drain since the fluid has already subsided.

How to Open a Clogged Drain

You can treat slow drains with hot water or baking soda and vinegar and hopefully keep clogs at bay, just never use chemical drain openers, and never pour boiling water down PVC pipes.  But once a drain becomes fully clogged, there are only two basic ways to open it:  plungers (evacuators) and augers (snakes).  Occasionally a homeowner can successfully open drains themselves using these tools, but it often takes a professional plumber to remove drain covers, stoppers, traps and clean outs in order to access the clog and remove it.

Plungers and Evacuators

In order for a plunger to work, a tight seal must be formed between the plunger and the sink, tub or toilet to build up enough suction to dislodge the clog from the walls of the pipe.  In order to know if the plunger to working, there must be standing water; if the water level goes down you can tell that you are having success.  Not all plungers are created equal; if your dollar-store plunger is failing you might try a more expensive version from a home supply store.  Plumbers have access to high-suction evacuators that are even more effective than traditional plungers.

Augers and Snakes

There are many types of augers and drain snakes.  For bathroom sink and tub clogs, a flexible plastic stick with prongs to grab debris can be effective.  For bigger jobs like a clogged toilet, a drain snake can be used.  These devices come with hand cranks or motors, and work by swirling a flexible metal cable around in your pipes until the clog breaks up.

The pipework beneath sinks, showers and bathtubs can be very intricate, and it is possible to damage the components using augers or snakes, especially in older homes.  Even toilets can be damaged by the use of drain snakes.  It is best to have a professional plumber snake your drains rather than risk expensive plumbing repairs.

What Happens During a Drain Remediation Visit

Depending upon where the clog exists, our experts will remove hardware to access the clog.  Sometimes this means removing a drain cover, clean out cap, p-trap or sink stopper pop-up mechanism.

Depending on the severity and placement of the clog, the drain remediation expert will either use a high-suction evacuator or auger to dislodge the clog and open the drain.  Hot water will then be used to flush the drain and make sure it is running smoothly.  A camera will be utilized for major drain pipes to check the integrity of the system. Once the drain is opened and water is flowing freely again, the hardware will be replaced as it was.

How to Avoid a Clogged Drain

There are a variety of different drains around your house that need to be kept open so they work properly and conveniently.  Some are easier to maintain than others.  Always make conscious decisions about what you put down your drains!

Don’t Treat Your Kitchen Drain and Garbage Disposer Like a Garbage Can

Grease, soap and food waste can take their toll on kitchen drains, clogging them slowly (or quickly) over time.  Garbage disposers do not prevent clogs, and they can become clogged or jammed themselves with improper usage.  Never put grease down a drain.  And even if you have a garbage disposer, use it only for tiny bits of food that cannot be gathered and thrown away in a waste can.  Put a strainer on each of your kitchen drains to keep the majority of food waste out of your drains and garbage disposer.  And always have cold water running when you turn on your garbage disposer; this keeps oils hard and moving through your pipes instead of coagulating in them.

Put Strainers on Shower and Tub Drains

Hair is biggest danger with shower and tub drains, so make sure there is a strainer on your tubs and shower drains.  Regularly remove the hair that builds up on the strainer.  Even if you have no hair or little hair, strainers will stop small items like soap pieces, shampoo caps or jewelry from slipping down the drain. There are many different types of strainers, so keep looking until you find one that works for your drain.

Only Flush #1, #2 and Toilet Paper

There are only two items that should be placed in a toilet:  toilet paper and human waste.   Clogged toilets are often the result of flushing facial tissue, cat litter, feminine products, baby wipes or other products that don’t disintegrate the way toilet paper does.

Protect Bathroom Sink Drains

Clogs in bathroom sinks can result from toothpaste, soap, hair, styling products and other grime.  And bathroom sinks with drain stoppers do not accommodate strainers, so extra care must be taken to keep clogging substances out of these drains.  Run water the entire time you are brushing your teeth. Consider spitting into a tissue instead of the sink, and use paper towels to wipe styling products and hair from your hands before you rinse them off.  And if you get sick, run to the toilet, never to the sink.

Keep Debris Out of Floor Drains

Floor drains capture soap from cleaning products and laundry detergent that can build up scale over time.  They are also susceptible to receiving any kind of dirt, debris or trash that kind finds its way to the floor, which can clog them up quickly.  Never sweep anything into a floor drain other than water.

Get Your Sewer Drain Snaked Regularly

If water backs up in your floor drains or toilet after using large amounts of water, it probably means your sewer pipe is clogged.  These are the pipes that run from your house to either the city sewer or to your septic tank.

Sewer drains are at risk of being clogged by the same items that clog your interior pipes.  But an additional risk to sewer drains is plant roots that seek an easy way to water sources through your sewer pipe.  Trees and bushes in your landscaping can clog sewer drains quickly, depending upon the growing season, so regular snaking of outside drains is recommended to keep roots from taking over.  Also pay attention to where your sewer pipes are buried; driving over them or parking on them can cause them to collapse and require them to be replaced.

Get your septic tank inspected regularly.  Opening up your sewer drain will do you no good if your septic tank is not operating properly.  If you have a septic tank, make sure that the motor is running correctly, the laterals are in good shape and the drain pipe is open all the way to the drainage area on your property.  Septic tanks on a routine inspection plan with a qualified septic tank specialist should run properly for years with no major issues.

Install a Water Softener

Hard water is a big contributor to clogged pipes.  Minerals in the water from our public water sources build up in pipes over time and is difficult to get rid of this scale once it is deposited.  There are many types of water softeners; the tanks that require bags of salt are just one of the many options.  Some filters can be placed easily and affordably on your main water intake that will lengthen the life of your plumbing significantly.

Get an Annual Plumbing Inspection

We cannot stress enough how much an annual plumbing inspection can save you money.  Preventing drain clogs is just one of those ways.  Professional plumbers can assess the condition of your pipes, faucets, toilets, water heater, water softener, water filtration system, sump pump, exterior hydrants and even the hoses attached to your washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerator, and implement preventative steps to save your home and your plumbing from expensive repairs.

Opening Drains vs. Cleaning Drains

There are two solutions to getting rid of clogs; opening drains and cleaning drains.  Our drain remediation specialists are fully equipped to provide both drain opening and drain cleaning services.

Opening drains is a fast and affordable solution that most homeowners choose, but it may not be the best long term solution.  Opening drains removes all the clogs from a drain, so water can pass freely through your plumbing.

When drain clogs are a more constant problem, we sometimes recommend a full drain cleaning.  Cleaning drains involves removing all sediment from the walls of the pipes instead of just opening them.  Though cleaning a drain is more time-consuming than opening a drain, it generally keeps your drains running smoothly for a longer period of time.

Call Us Any Time of the Day or Night

You are too busy for clogged drains, we get it – that’s why we are here 24/7 to respond, and have plumbers and drain remediation specialist in your neighborhood until midnight, even on weekends.  And remember, we are the “Technicians You Can TRUST with your House Keys!®”, so you don’t even have to be at your home when we visit.

Call us anytime at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO; that’s 913-268-4669 or 816-268-4669. Or complete our Online Scheduling form at https://www.anthonyphc.com/schedule-service/ and we will give you a call.