Monthly Archives: February 2019

Angie's List 2018 Super Service AwardWe at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are proud to have earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2018.  This is the 12th year in a row that Anthony PHC has earned this esteemed award.

The Angie’s List Super Service Award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List for the year, and reflects our consistently high level of customer service.

“Service pros that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network, who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” says Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”

As an Angie’s List Super Service Award 2018 winner, we have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.

Anthony PHC has been listed on Angie’s List since 2005, and we have won the Angie’s List Super Service award every year since 2007.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. We are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. At Anthony PHC Kansas City, we are honored to be considered a top-rated service professional by Angie’s List, and we extend our thanks to the thousands of homeowners who have rated us highly on Angie’s List.  To visit us on Angie’s List, click here.

Caring for Your Plumbing System 

 

If you are looking for a plumber in the Kansas City area, and are a little overwhelmed by all of the different plumbing services available, take a look at what we’re all about at Anthony Plumbing. We teach our valued clients proactive habits that they can take to better care for their plumbing, as well as offering our expert services for any repairs or installation projects. Unlike some plumbers in the Kansas City area, we strive to develop a long-lasting relationship with our customers, instead of aiming for expensive, and sometimes unnecessary, repairs. Let’s look at different aspects of your home’s plumbing system and talk about some of the things that you can do to make them more efficient, as well as some of the plumbing services that Anthony Plumbing can take care of for you.

Main water shut-off valve.

This is one of those things that you’ll wish you knew the location of if there’s ever a water emergency, and you need to turn the water off. It will stop all water from flowing into your home.

Clogged Drains

It’s the most common plumbing issue that homeowners face. Your drains connect to all of the pipes that direct waste water out of your home. Here are a few things to know about clogged drains.

Salt and hot water: Believe it or not, it usually works. If the clog hasn’t been neglected for too long, pouring a little salt and flushing with hot water can clear it.

If your sewage is clogged: Barring any structural issues with broken pipes, sewage that is clogged is usually because of something that was flushed that shouldn’t have been. Only toilet paper can be flushed. If plunging won’t unclog the blockage, give us a call at Anthony Plumbing. Our technicians are available 24/7 to take care of all of your plumbing needs.

Ways to prevent clogs: Here are a few things that you can do to keep your drains free from clogs.

  • Don’t overload your disposal. It’s only for scraps.
  • Keep food scraps out of drains.
  • Keep hair out of shower drains with screens.
  • Never pour grease down drains.
  • Don’t flush feminine-hygiene products.

Water pressure

While you want to have sufficient water pressure for your showers and some appliances, you don’t want to have too much pressure. It will cause more wear and tear on your pipes and fixtures. You can buy a bib gauge from your local hardware store and check the pressure yourself. It should be between 40 and 85 psi. Or, we can come out and check it for you, and reduce the water pressure, if needed.

What if the water pressure is only low in certain areas?

If you are noticing some sinks or showers that have reduced water pressure, it could be a problem with the aerator, located at the end of the tap on a sink faucet. The shower-head would function as the aerator in the bathroom. You can take the aerator on a sink tap apart and clean it with vinegar and a stiff brush. Shower-heads can be soaked in a vinegar and hot water solution overnight. You can either do this yourself or have it as a part of your annual professional plumbing maintenance program.

How do I prevent frozen water pipes?

If water pipes are located too close to outer walls and are exposed to the cold weather, they can freeze. Worse yet, they can burst causing a serious flood when the frozen water pipes thaw. Having insulation installed and wrapped securely around the pipes is the best way to keep them from freezing. If you have pipes that haven’t been protected yet, and they are prone to freeze in the winter, you can also leave a trickle of water running to keep them from freezing.

Chemicals

There really aren’t any chemicals that are good for your drains. Drain cleaners might unclog a drain, but some of the clog will remain, and it will happen all over again. The chemicals are also highly abrasive on your fixtures and pipes, causing them to erode if used repeatedly. It’s much better for your pipes if you have them snaked to get rid of clogs.

Even the chemicals advertised for your septic systems are not going to be the best answer. These solutions can actually interfere with the bacterial balance in your septic tank and make matters worse.

How do I know if I have hard water, and what’s the best way to deal with it?

Typically, if you have city water, it will already be softened by your municipality. Although, it still might not be soft enough. But, if you have well water, you will want a water softener to filter some of the harmful minerals out of the water. Hard water will leave a white residue on your plumbing fixtures, cause white clothing to turn yellow in the laundry, and can cause health issues for some people.

How do I know if I have a broken water heater?

Just because you don’t have hot water doesn’t mean that you have a broken water heater. There are a couple of things that you can check.

Traditional water heaters with tanks can only supply a certain amount of hot water before they run out. Then, they will heat up more water. So, you may have to sometimes wait for more hot water to be available.

The pilot light on the water heater can also burn out occasionally. In some cases, a sudden breeze can blow the flame out. If you don’t see the lit flame when you look into the opening at the bottom of the water heater, it will need to be lit. You can relight the pilot, or give us a call at Anthony Plumbing, and we’ll be happy to do it for you.

Outdoor spigots in winter

Make sure that all garden hoses are disconnected before it starts to freeze outside. The residual water in the hose can freeze causing the spigot to expand and burst. You’d have a flood outside that might not be noticed right away.

Take care of your pipes.

As one of the premiers plumbers in the Kansas City area, we’ve seen a lot. Too often, we visit homes for maintenance or repairs and see the overhead pipes in the basement being used to hang clothes or for other means of support. Too much weight pulling on pipes can cause issues over time.

Call Anthony Plumbing today for all of your plumbing needs. Let us show you how we have earned our reputation for being one of the most trusted plumbers in the Kansas City area. We can take care of anything from clogged drains to sewer cleaning, damaged pipes, and appliance installation, just to skim the surface of the capabilities of our multi-talented team of technicians. We can even set you up on a regular maintenance plan to keep all of your plumbing systems operating efficiently for as long as possible.

furnace safetyKeeping your home warm is an essential part of preserving a comfortable living environment, but it can also represent many hazards such as fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and indoor air pollution.

The National Fire Protection Association reported a total of 54,030 home structure fires involving heating equipment between 2011 and 2015. Central heating units and water heaters accounted for 21 percent of those fires.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 150 Americans die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that is not caused by fires. Known as a silent killer, CO has no smell or taste, so neither people nor animals can tell when they are breathing it.

Get your furnace checked for safety by a highly-trained heating specialist

It’s a smart idea to have a highly-trained heating specialist like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling perform a safety inspection on your furnace. Their technicians will do the following:

  • Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks with a state of the art inspector camera.
  • Test for any dangerous gas leaks such as CO.
  • Test the ignition system for safe and proper operation.
  • Test the safety and control circuits.
  • Ensure the exhaust is venting properly.

We often run coupons for safety inspections during the winter months.  Check our coupons page for our current specials.

Watch for signs of a cracked or non-functioning heat exchanger

A gas furnace’s heat exchanger is the furnace component that actually heats the air. A cracked heat exchanger is a serious safety issue, as the gases being burned off, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide, could leak into your home, causing illness or, in extreme cases, death.  Getting an annual furnace safety inspection will help spot cracks in heat exchangers.  But homeowners should always keep an eye out for these warning signs of an improperly working heat exchanger:

  • black carbon buildup (soot) inside or outside the furnace cabinet, a sign of incomplete combustion
  • Excessive moisture in the space and on the windows (water is a byproduct of combustion)
  • unpleasant odor similar to formaldehyde
  • water on the floor at the base of the furnace
  • flu-like symptoms experienced by family members

Clean your furnace

Like other appliances around the home, a furnace will function more safely and efficiently if it’s clean. Check the pilot light and main burners on your natural gas furnace to ensure they are burning blue. If they burn orange or yellow, contact a heating specialist to have it serviced.

You can also call a highly-trained heating specialist like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to have your furnace thoroughly cleaned before the winter months when you’ll be using it regularly.

Install and/or check carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a “silent killer” because you can’t see, taste or smell it in its natural form. If it is inhaled in high concentrations or slowly over time, it can cause drowsiness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, brain damage and death.

If you have natural gas heating in your home, it’s important to install CO detectors on each floor to ensure your family’s safety. Since CO doesn’t rise like smoke does, safety experts recommend installing CO alarms at knee level, which is about the height of a sleeping person’s nose and mouth.

Also consider installing “smart” detectors that will send alerts to your phone when you are away, so your pets and elderly family members stay safe when you’re not at home.

Change your furnace filter

Clean filters allow your furnace to run more efficiently and help prevent dust from circulating through your home. If you don’t know how to change your filter, schedule a visit from a heating specialist or check for videos online that walk you through the process.

Keep area around furnace clear

Garages and closets are prone to gathering clutter, but it’s important to keep the space near your furnace clear of boxes, trash, open laundry soap, paint thinners and gasoline containers or other combustible items. Keep this up year-round, whether you regularly use your furnace or not.

Keep supply registers clean and open

While it may make sense, in theory, to close supply registers to unused rooms to save on heating bills, heating specialists suggest otherwise. A furnace needs constant, consistent airflow to function properly, or it may use up the oxygen in your home. Closed supply registers can allow water pipes to freeze even though the frozen pipe is not in the room with the closed supply register.

“It’s also possible to damage your furnace by closing too many air registers,” according to Angie’s List. “Closing off registers creates less airflow, which forces the furnace to work harder.  It’s also possible that limited airflow may cause the furnace to blow air that is too hot and trip the limit safety switch in the furnace.

Replace older furnaces

Like an old car, an old furnace that requires costly repairs is signaling that it’s near the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced soon.  Even if your furnace has a few years left in it, it may not be cost efficient to keep it if your energy bills during the heating season are high due to the furnace’s poor efficiency.

Newer furnaces are cleaner, operate more safely, produce less pollution, and are built to meet modern building codes.  If your furnace is over 18 years old or if it is requiring frequent repairs, it may be time to replace it.

In addition, after July 3, 2019, residential furnace manufacturers must include energy-efficient electronically commutated motors (ECM’s) on their furnace fans, which are expected to save homeowners significant money on electricity bills.

ECM motors are also expected reduce carbon pollution and keep occupants more comfortable, too. First, they provide more efficient airflow. Second, they reduce temperature swings in the home by allowing the fan to run for a longer time at a reduced speed.

For more information on how to safely maintain your furnace or to determine whether it’s time to replace it, contact us today at 913-268-4669 or submit our contact form.