Category Archives: General

A.S.A.P. annual maintenance programBad things come in threes. Have you ever heard that phrase? Can you imagine if this happened to three of your everyday appliances?  What if your hot water heater, air conditioner or furnace stop working right when the weather was terrible?  Not only can it be frustrating, but it could be very costly.

Annual Service Saves Money, Maintains Warranties and Extends the Life of Systems

What if there was a program that would cover the three major home appliances and save you money? Take heart, there is!  At Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric we’ve got you covered. The Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.) provides you the peace of mind knowing that your home’s major systems are tuned-up and maintained annually for optimal performance.

The A.S.A.P. comprehensive maintenance program is an investment in your heating, cooling, and plumbing system. Much like a smoke alarm, it helps prevent major problems by alerting you before costly repairs or safety hazards occur in your home.  Annual maintenance protects manufacturer warranties on your heating and cooling system and water heater.  Being an Anthony A.S.A.P. exclusive member also provides added advantages with front-of-the-line, same-day service, and no overtime charges on emergency repairs.

Every A.S.A.P. member receives:

  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Same-day emergency service
  • No overtime charges on service fees
  • No overtime charges on repairs
  • Discounted parts and service
  • 2-year parts and labor warranty on all repairs
  • Maintenance reminders and forward scheduling (schedule your tune-ups months in advance)

Heating/Cooling A.S.A.P. members receive:

  • 17-task heating tune-up including accessories
  • 16-task tune up including accessories

Plumbing A.S.A.P. members receive:

  • 10-task water heater tune-up
  • Whole-home plumbing inspection

A.S.A.P. memberships can be customized to your needs and convenience.  Call Anthony PHCE at:
(A-N-T-H-O-N-Y) 268-4669 KS or MO
to become an exclusive A.S.A.P. member.

 

 

hvac zoning system

You have 2 or more thermostats in your car, so why should you be content with only 1 thermostat in your home?  If you want it warmer in some areas of your home and cooler in others, then an HVAC zoning system is for you.  Or if you have rooms that are always too hot or too cold compared to the rest of your home and you want to even out the temperatures, you also can benefit from an HVAC zoning system.

Most homes have areas that suffer because a single thermostat located in one area controls the temperature in all parts of the home. The thermostat only knows the temperature where the thermostat is actually located. You simply cannot achieve whole home comfort with one thermostat, just like you can’t control all your lighting with one light switch.  Our Maestro Zoning system lets you control the temperature in all areas of your home by allowing you to send conditioned air when and where it is needed.  You will feel more air than you have ever felt before out of your system.

How Does an HVAC Zoning System Work?

An HVAC zoning system consists of 2 or more thermostats placed in problem areas in your home, and an electronic monitor which activates dampers in your ductwork to move conditioned air directly to those rooms where a greater supply is needed.  Anthony’s Maestro Zoning system can be installed quickly and easily in your home, to make every room a Goldilocks room, that is “just right” temperature wise.

By giving homeowners more control over how they heat and cool their home, Maestro Zoning enables the creation of comfort zones that are customizable, which keeps all family members happy while saving money on energy bills at the same time, by sending conditioned air only to the zones that need it and only when they need it.

Zoning is a simple, economical way to gain better air flow to problem areas without adding an additional heating and cooling system. Using automatic dampers (which are pneumatically activated so there are no motors that eventually fail) in your vent work, a zoning system allows you to control the temperature independently in separate areas of your home by opening some dampers and closing others.

The brain of the zoning system is an electronic monitor which activates the dampers as ordered by the individual thermostats in the areas served.  It can even be used with wireless thermostats that can be carried from room to room to ensure the desired temperature in that room.  You can also control thermostats with your cell phone.  Click here to view a video on how the zoning damper system works.

Is a Zoning System Right for My Home?

Zoning is all about the comfort of the homeowner, and any home can benefit from zoning if the homeowner wants more control over the temperature in different areas of their home.  Homes with hard to cool or hard to heat areas, or with multiple levels that require more than one thermostat are perfect for zoning. These include homes with:

  • – multiple levels, like two stories or split levels
  • – rooms over the garage or added onto the back
  • – finished areas in the basement or attic
  • – expansive glass areas that let in ambient heat
  • – family members who prefer different temperatures than others
  • – home offices
  • – portions of the home built over a concrete slab floor
  • – wings extending off the main living area in multiple directions
  • – large, open areas such as vaulted ceilings or lofts

Zoning Beats the Heat in Two Story Homes or Bedrooms over the Garage

Since a thermostat only knows the temperature of the area it’s located in, your home can suffer from stark temperature variances in different rooms.  Because thermostats are normally located on a home’s first level, rooms on upper levels can be unbearably hot because of the “stack effect” of warm air rising.  Also, second floor areas have more heat gain because the ceiling is the hot attic. And if you are the unlucky one who’s bedroom is over the garage, you know that no matter how much the AC is cranked in the house your room is always hot in the summer.  Rooms over garages are always cold in the winter, too.

Maestro Zoning is a great option for homes with these configurations.  Rather than install window units in your upstairs bedrooms or keep your lower levels uncomfortably cool in an attempt to accommodate the upper levels, zoning has become a must-have solution for any two-story home.

Zoning Eliminates Arguments Over Temperature

No more arguments over temperature in the house – with Maestro Zoning you have control of the temperature in your room, and your family members have control over theirs.  The dampers in the ductwork are activated by the electronic monitor depending on the set temperature from individual thermostats in the areas served.  These dampers allow cooled air to be sent into warmer rooms while restricting air flow to other rooms.  Since each room, or “zone” has a different thermostat, one person can enjoy a warmer room while another luxuriates in their own much cooler zone.

Call our Maestro Zoning Experts for a Free Estimate

Call our Maestro Zoning experts today for a free estimate, and we will come to your house and explore the many options available to customize a zoning system to meet your needs. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO or click here to submit your information and we will contact you at a time that is convenient for you.

battery back-up sump pumps save basementsYour regular sump pump is your first line of defense against indoor flooding, but only if it is working. To be protected against the devastating financial losses associated with indoor flooding, you need to do the following:

  • Test your sump pump now, before the torrential rains and power outages do it for you, AND
  • Invest in a Battery Back-Up Sump Pump if you do not already have one.

If your regular sump pump has received proper maintenance and has been tested recently, then you might be safe.  But if it stops working during a power outage or due to overwork because of heavy rains, a battery back-up sump pump is critical to protect your home from flooding.

How do I know if my Sump Pump is Working?

Sump pumps get a real workout during the rainy season, and they can stop working at any time. But sitting idle without regular use can also cause them to fail. You should test your sump pump frequently by taking these easy steps:

Step 1:  Test the Pump

Fill the pump pit with water and watch to see if the pump activates. If it does not, and you know you have power to the outlet, then the pump needs to be replaced.

Step 2:  Watch the Drain

Watch the pump drain water out of its basin. Make sure there are no leaks in the discharge pipe. Go outside to ensure that water is terminating where it is supposed to.

Step 3:  Test the Shut-off

Stay until the pump turns off, so you know its shut-off feature is working properly. A pump that will not shut off will eventually overheat and may stop functioning altogether.  If the pump does not shut off automatically, it will need to be repaired or replaced.

If my Sump Pump is Working, Do I Still Need an Additional Battery Back-up Sump Pump?

In order to fully defend against indoor flood damage, you need a battery back-up sump pump in addition to your regular sump pump. Sump pumps can fail at any time, and they do not warn you ahead of time when this has happened, so a back-up pump will provide just that – a second chance at stopping the flood if the primary pump fails. Also, battery back-up sump pumps work whether or not the electricity has been lost due to storm activity, and in the Midwest electrical outages are common during the stormy seasons.

A battery back-up sump pump will also pump along with your primary pump when there is more water than your primary pump can handle. A back-up pump will typically handle 1000 to 2200 gallons per hour. It also has a maintenance alarm to notify you when service is needed.

How Do I Test My Back-up Sump Pump?

A battery back-up sump pump should be tested in the same way as your regular pump. With the primary sump pump unplugged, run through steps 2 and 3 from above and make sure the pump drains the water and shuts off.

During the testing process, keep an eye on the battery indicator light. If it remains green, it is a good indication that your battery is strong. Fortunately, battery back-up sump pumps have alarms that alert homeowners when the battery is nearing the end of its life.

Does the Battery in my Back-up Sump Pump require Maintenance?

Some do. Maintenance-free batteries are aptly named and should not need maintenance as long as they are being charged. Some back-up sump pump batteries are not maintenance-free however, these batteries need to have the water levels checked in their cells every 6 months. If your battery has removable caps on the top of its cells, then you will need to keep the water level up. The batteries used for this application are special standby batteries and not car batteries or deep cycle marine batteries. Standby batteries last approximately 5 years.

How Often Should I Replace My Sump Pump?

The average sump pump lasts for about 7 to 9 years. You should replace or repair the pump if it fails any of the tests above.

Here some warning signs that your sump pump might be failing:

  • Makes strange noises
  • Vibrates excessively
  • Infrequent pump usage
  • Runs all the time
  • Irregular cycling
  • Visible rust
  • Seven years or older
  • Motor sometimes gets stuck
  • Motor failure
  • Installed by the builder
  • Frequent power outages

Check Homeowner’s Insurance

Not all insurance adequately covers damaged valuables or the costly repairs necessary to undo water damage and the mold growth that occurs afterward. Flood insurance riders may not cover damage caused by malfunctioning sump pumps unless you have a sump pump rider, and it still may not cover sump pump failures unless you can prove regular maintenance was done on the unit.

Call Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric

A qualified plumbing professional can best make the assessment of whether a sump pump system needs to be repaired or replaced and when, and our plumbers are trained to do just that. Anthony PHCE stocks both sump pumps and battery back-up sump pumps on all trucks to be available whenever you need them. So don’t hesitate to contact us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO or click here to schedule a visit.

how to kill viruses in my home

The Air Scrubber by Aerus® utilizes state-of-the-art technology developed by NASA to create a safe environment for the astronauts in the international space station.  This proprietary technology is called ActivePure®, and is the only air cleaning technology awarded the prestigious Certified Space Technology seal of approval by the Space Foundation which was created in cooperation with NASA.

ActivePure®  utilizes a proprietary photocatalyst system which creates powerful oxidizing molecules which are safe to humans and pets but which kill viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces.  Water and oxygen particles enter the ActivePure® honeycomb matrix.  While inside, the molecules are transformed into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) vapor which permeates all exposed areas of your home.  These molecules destroy viruses, bacteria, fungi and mold not only in the air but on surfaces such as counter tops, light switches, cell phones, toys and door knobs, preventing cross contamination.

Air Scrubber by Aerus® ActivePure® Technology Benefits

The Air Scrubber by Aerus® utilizes 3 different technologies: ActivePure® to kill viruses, plus ionization to prevent dust, and ozone (optional) to eliminate odors.

ActivePure® virus killing technology has the following benefits:

Ionized negative ions have the following benefits:

  • Purify air, remove VOCs, and significantly reduce dust particles and odor causing bacteria without using ozone.
  • Protect against allergy and asthma triggering contaminants and respiratory issues which may lead to health problems.
  • Improved productivity from healthier, cleaner air and surfaces.
  • Reduced dust collection on surfaces so you don’t have to dust as often.

Ozone (optional) has the following benefits:

  • Eliminates even the toughest odors from your home, including pet and cooking odors.

 

active pure photocatalyst system

How is Air Scrubber by Aerus® different from Ionizers, UV Lamps and Ozone Machines?

There are many indoor air quality options on the market, but none work like Air Scrubber by Aerus®, nor kill viruses as well as Air Scrubber by Aerus®:

Are You Ready to Reduce the Flu Viruses, Bacteria and Allergens in Your Home?

Contact us today at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to learn your options for installing the Air Scrubber by Aerus® in your home.  Or fill out the form below and we will contact you soon.



 

 

 

new toiletToilets are a luxury we take for granted until they start causing us problems.  Here are some common issues that indicate it may be time to replace your toilet, and how to choose the best replacement for your home.

Should I Replace My Toilet?

Your toilet is a molded porcelain fixture.  There is little you can do to repair a toilet once it becomes cracked or clogged with mineral deposits.  Age, repairs, inefficiency and height are other reasons why replacing may be the best choice.  Here are some signs that it may be time to replace your toilet.

Cracks

If you notice puddles of water around your toilet you may have cracks in the porcelain of your bowl or tank.  Sometimes these are hard to see as water may migrate behind the bowl onto the floor.  Toilet cracks can be a costly problem in more than just your water bill; water leaking can damage your floor and result in mold and mildew growth.  If your toilet is cracked replace it right away.  To diagnose a toilet crack, put dye in the tank and bowl.  If the dye makes its way to your toilet bowl or floor then you probably have a crack.

Clogging

Unclogging a toilet is tricky because of the way the inside of a toilet is shaped.  The first tool to try is a plunger and this may dislodge the clog. Unclogging a toilet with an auger is possible in some cases but should be done with an auger that will not scratch the finish on your bowl.  Constant clogging is the first sign that a toilet needs to be replaced.

Built Up Mineral Deposits

Mineral deposits commonly collect in the holes under the rim of your bowl.  Clogged inlet tubes will reduce the efficiency of your toilet making flushing waste difficult.  Mineral deposits can also clog the syphon tube in your tank causing the same problem.  Removing mineral deposits is possible but not easy.

Age or Plentiful Repairs

facebook live on toilet clogs

If your toilet is older, needs repairs, or perhaps you would prefer a designer color or style, it is time to consider replacement.  Newer toilets flush more effectively with less water and are a better solution than making ongoing repairs on an older toilet.  Older toilet bowls may have worn surfaces as well, making them unsightly and more difficult to keep clean.

To see inside your toilet and learn how it works, watch our video:  https://www.anthonyphc.com/how-you-do-it-thursdays/

What Toilet Should I Buy?

What is the best toilet?  Although that depends on your personal requirements, here are features to consider when choosing a toilet.

Height

Tall, or “comfort height” toilets are a popular choice for homeowners these days.  Even an extra 2 to 3 inches in the height of a toilet can make a big difference in comfort and ease of use.  Some homeowners have commented that the extra 2 to 3 inches of taller toilets seems like 12 inches, and they really like the taller toilets.  Standard height toilets measure 15 to 16 inches from floor to seat top and are not as comfortable as taller toilets.  Tall toilets measure 17 to 19 inches from floor to seat top and are considered ADA compliant.

Bowl Shape

Elongated bowls can also add to comfort and ease of use.  For a toilet to be considered ADA compliant, it must have an elongated bowl.  Round bowls may be better in tightly spaced bathrooms, and there are even designer toilets with square bowls.

Water Economy

Most newer toilets use less water than older models, but some are considerably more efficient which can save you money in the long run.  High efficiency toilets (HET) flush with no more than 1.28 gallons per flush.  Older toilets may use over 3 gallons per flush.

Flushing Systems

Over the years, new and more effective flush options have been invented to drive up effectiveness and performance to the max with minimal water consumption.  Dual flush systems give you the choice of using small amounts of water for liquid waste or larger amounts of water for solid waste.  Power flush or pressure assist toilets rely on air pressure technology instead of a water reservoir and gravity.  Touchless flushing systems allow you to flush without touching the toilet, reducing the spread of germs.

One Piece and Wall Mount Toilets

Some toilets have tanks which are molded as part of the bowl making them one-piece as opposed to two-piece.  One-piece toilets are often easier to clean and more fashionable than traditional two-piece toilets.  Some toilets can be mounted on the wall, allowing for easy cleaning of the floor.

Consider the Seat First

The number of toilet seats types available is staggering.  Soft close seats are a great option as they do not bang when you drop them, so you don’t have to bend over to close them.  Lighted and heated seats are very popular, too.  Raised seats are great if your joints are achy.  And if fashion is your thing, seats come in all types of fun materials and colors.  And you may want to invest in the luxury of a bidet toilet seat system.  Not all seats come in all bowl shapes, so if you are in the market for a new toilet, you may want to consider your toilet seat first.

Call our Expert Plumbers Today to Help you Decide

Our expert plumbers are available to help you through the process of choosing your next toilet.  We can also help you repair your current toilet if that is the option you choose.  Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y, KS or MO (913-268-4669), submit a form here:  https://www.anthonyphc.com/schedule-service/, or chat with us at www.AnthonyPHC.com.

 

angie's list super service award 2019

Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is proud to announce that we have earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA) for 2019.  This is the 13th year in a row Anthony PHC has earned this award, which honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List.

“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,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”

As an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner, Anthony PHCE has 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.

Click here to see all the great reviews we have received from our Angie’s List members, and claim one of our Deals while you are there.

pipe bursting sewer replacementYou hear those dreaded words – “replace your sewer line.”  And then the next words, “dig up your yard,” make your heart sink.  You implore your plumber… are you sure I have to tear up my yard to replace my sewer line?  Are there alternatives to digging up my yard?  The answer we can now give our homeowners is “yes!”  There is finally an alternative to digging up your yard, with the innovative process known as pipe-bursting.

Avoid the Costs Associated with Sewer Digs

What does it cost to replace your sewer line?  Some of the costs associated with a sewer dig are incurred after the job is done, in repairing your yard, driveway and landscaping destroyed in the process.  Sewer digs can also destroy older trees which cannot be replaced at any price.

By utilizing state-of-the-art pipe bursting technology, we can now avoid the destruction that comes from the traditional digging process.  If you hear the words “dig up your yard,” just say no, and call Anthony PHC right away.

How Does Pipe Bursting Work?

What is a pipe bursting machine and how does it work?  Pipe bursting is a no-dig method sometimes referred to as in-line expansion.  It utilizes a machine that pulls a new pipe through the existing pipe, causing the old pipe to be pushed apart and replaced by the new pipe.

To start the pipe bursting process, we first run a camera through your existing sewer line to inspect it.  We then create a new pipe above ground to precisely fit the existing pipe bed.  A pipe bursting machine is placed in a hole at one end of your sewer line.  It pulls the brand new pipe through the existing pipe, bursting the old pipe it in the process, leaving the new pipe in its place.

What are the Advantages of Pipe Bursting over a Traditional Dig?

Pipe bursting is a trenchless technology, which means it avoids digging a trench down to the sewer line along the entire length of the sewer.  This is a tremendous advantage because it limits the excavation and construction that disrupts homeowners and their yards.

Other advantages of pipe bursting include:

  • avoidance of major excavations
  • minimum of environmental disturbance
  • increase in pipe flow capacity (as opposed to some trenchless processes which limit capacity)
  • long lifespan of new piping of 50 to 100 years

How is Pipe Bursting Different than Slip Lining?

Many contractors implement slip lining as a trenchless process to avoid sewer digs.  Slip lining involves slipping narrower pipe into the existing pipe to patch damaged piping.  Slip lining decreases your pipe flow due to the insertion of the narrow pipe.  The repairs also do not last as long as a sewer that has received a whole new pipe through the pipe bursting process.

Pipe bursting is only done by contractors with the ability to invest in training and in the initial purchase of a pipe bursting machine.  Anthony PHC has invested in both to be able to provide our homeowners with the best possible alternative to invasive trench dig sewer replacements.

What is the Best Sewer Company Near Me?

Our sewer specialists are highly trained in this new pipe bursting technology, and we are happy to come to your home to determine if our pipe bursting is a good sewer replacement option for you.  We are committed to providing you with the most convenient and long lasting repair possible, guaranteed.  Call us anytime at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to schedule a consultation.

winter power outage blogThe high winds, heavy snow and ice accumulation of winter storms can create widespread electricity outages that last for days.  To make matters worse, leaving your home to obtain supplies or find temporary shelter can be dangerous if the roads are also compromised by inclement weather.  You can’t prevent power outages, but you can prepare for them.  And if you don’t prepare in time, there are still things you can do to add warmth to your home during a power outage.

Prep Your Home Before the Winter Storm Season

The best way to handle power outages is to prepare for them well ahead of time.  If you wait until a storm is in the forecast to prepare, you may find needed items out of stock, time too limited to complete needed tasks, or technicians and plumbers all booked up.

When electricity goes out in the winter, so does your main heat source, whether that is a furnace, boiler or electric heat.  Even gas furnaces cannot run without electricity.  To prepare, research alternative heat sources that don’t need electricity.

Install an Infrared Garage Heater

Natural gas infrared heaters like our Auto-Ray Infrared Garage Heater provide excellent sources of heat with absolutely no electricity.   Infrared garage heaters keep your garage warm all winter long for pennies a day.  Your heated garage will also provide warmth to the adjacent rooms in your home, and will also help keep the exposed pipes in your garage from freezing.  Infrared garage heaters create a great warm zone in your home during winter electrical outages.

Have Your Water Heater Checked

Did you know your tank water heater can be an alternative heat source?  Most tank type water heaters do not use electricity.  Even if it needs electricity to ignite the gas and heat the water, the heated water left in your tank after the power has gone out can be used to fill a bathtub, which can raise the temperature in your bathroom enough to bring you some comfort.  Get your water heater tuned up by our expert plumbers to ensure it is working reliably, and while they are in your home, ask them what type of ignition system it uses.

Insulate Your Plumbing

The heat in your home is the only thing keeping your pipes from freezing during the coldest weather, and once a frozen pipe thaws it can burst and flood your home.  Have our expert plumbers perform a plumbing safety inspection, and ask them which of your pipes would be most vulnerable if you lost heat during a power outage.  Some pipes can be insulated to help prevent freezing and bursting.

Consider Generators

If you don’t have a generator, consider your options.  A portable generator can run selected appliances like your furnace and a few small electronics long enough to get you through a day of no electricity.  Some generators turn on automatically during a power outage and provide your home with uninterrupted electricity.

Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Smoke Detectors

Heating your home in winter is a potentially dangerous proposition, even without a power outage.  Your home should have carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors on every level and preferably in every bedroom.  There are several good options available, and some even connect to the internet via your WiFi connection and can warn you through an app on your phone if danger is present, which is nice if you keep your phone by your bed.

It is especially important to have CO and smoke detectors in place if you are utilizing alternative heat sources during a power outage.  Combustible heat sources produce CO, which has no smell, and can cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.  Even your gas furnace may produce CO, which is why it is important to get a furnace safety check every year.

Stock up on Fuel

Fill up on fuel for your generator if you have one.  Keep your cars full of fuel too – they can be temporary warming stations while running – outside of the garage of course.  And if you are lucky enough to have a wood stove, get your log supply stocked up.

Stock up on Water

Power outages can rob your home of not only warmth, but of water.  Electricity is needed to run water pumps, so homes on well water can lose their water when they lose their electricity.  Even homes on municipal water aren’t safe if a power outage disables the water plant pumps; you will have only a small amount of pressure left in your pipes until you lose your water completely.  Keep a stock of drinking water on hand just in case the worst happens, and use water from your tap sparingly.

Purchase Battery Back Ups for your Devices

You can purchase battery back ups that will recharge your phones if you find yourself away from electricity sources.  Buy these for your cell phones at least, and consider purchasing them for your computers as well.  It is important to have a charged phone during weather emergencies, so keep these devices charged and ready to use.

Act Quickly Once You Lose Power

Once the power has gone out, you won’t have long before your home becomes uncomfortably cold, and possibly dangerous to children, the sick and pets.  Take these steps to make sure your family stays safe.

Consider Leaving Your Home

If your family and pets are “portable,” your best course of action might be to move them to a hotel for the night.  Hotels usually have back up generators in case they lose power, but it is always good to ask to make sure.  Be careful making this decision however, as the same conditions that cause winter power outages can cause dangerous driving conditions.

If you find it unwise to leave home, remember that you can always use your vehicles as temporary warming stations if taken outside of the garage first.  To remove your car from your garage after your power goes out you will have to open the garage door manually, which may not be possible until you first disconnect the mechanical door opener from the garage door.

Safely Add Heat to the House

Turn up your infrared garage heater if you have one.  Fifty degrees is a good temperature for normal use, but they can be turned up much higher, which will not only get your garage toasty but will help heat your adjacent rooms.

If you have a wood stove, fire it up and keep it burning.  If you have a limited amount of wood, burn at regular intervals, letting it get quite cold between burns.  Think twice before using your wood burning or gas fireplace; unless it has a fan to circulate heat, you may lose more heat up the chimney than you generate by burning wood or gas.  Never use your fireplace without opening the flue first, and only use your fireplace or wood stove if it, and your chimney, have been inspected recently and are in safe working condition.

Use the sun for heat. If it’s a sunny day, open the blinds on the windows on the sunny side of the house. Place dark blankets on the floor, furniture or bed in direct sun to soak up the sun’s heat. As soon as the sun goes down re-insulate the windows the best you can.

Run a bathtub of hot water; it will add heat to the rooms around the bathroom.  You could take a hot shower to warm up, too.  Standard tank type water heaters do not use electricity so you can take advantage of always having hot water.

Insulate Your Home and Yourselves

Eliminate heat loss to your home by closing curtains and blocking drafts.  Only open your doors if it is absolutely necessary.  Move to the warmest room of the house and camp out there.  This might be the basement during the winter, due the insulating power of the earth.  Bring your warmest blankets and coats with you.

Eliminate heat loss to your body by putting on layers including long underwear, warm socks and a hat.  Consider using chemical hand and foot warmers, but never directly on skin.  Even self-heating pain relief pads can work in a pinch, but they get very hot and can burn the skin as well.

Staying hydrated can help you stay warm so make sure you drink enough.  Do not drink alcohol as it will lower your body temperature.  Your body requires more food to stay warm in the cold so make sure you eat enough, too.

Use Water Wisely

It is best to conserve water for drinking in case the power outage stops water pumps from getting water to your home.  But if the temperature outside is well below freezing, do turn on your faucets and let a pencil sized stream of water run to prevent your pipes from freezing.  As far as flushing your toilets, use the yellow-mellow, brown-down rule.

Give Us a Call

Call us before, during or after a power outage for help.  There are always ways we can help you, and we want to help if we can.  You can reach us by calling A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, or by clicking here to schedule service

 

 

 

pumpkin in the drainAh the ooey gooey feeling of sticky pumpkin innards that cling to your hands when pumpkin carving.  Think cleaning up after that is a nightmare?  What’s worse is what could happen if you wash the pulp and seeds down your drain.

Oh but you are putting them in the garbage disposal you say?  Bad idea!  Despite popular belief, garbage disposals are not meant to be garbage “dispose-alls.”  We refer to these handy appliances as garbage “disposers” for this reason.

Some food items should never be placed into a garbage disposer, and the fibrous, sticky flesh and hard seeds like those in pumpkins innards are two biggies that should be avoided.

Garbage disposers work by spinning your food waste against a grind ring on the side of your disposer wall.  Fibrous foods like pumpkin flesh and potato peels can stick to the sides of the grind ring before they can pass through and become pulverized, and that can clog your disposal.

The stringy flesh of certain vegetables and pasta should also never go into your garbage disposer.  These stringy food items can wrap around the spinning impellers at the bottom of your garbage disposer and jam them.

Hard foods like pumpkin seeds should also stay out of your disposer, as they are too hard to be completely pulverized by the grind ring, as are the tough rinds of pumpkins and other melons.  These food items that don’t get pulverized can still pass through your garbage disposer and get stuck further down your drain pipes.

Even pumpkin flesh that gets shredded adequately in a disposer can clog your drains.  The sticky goo of pumpkin innards dries quickly once it attaches itself to the walls of your pipes, and becomes a clog in the making.  If you have ever tried to pick a dried pumpkin seed off of a plate then you can understand the glue-like consistency of pumpkin guts.  Add a few errant pumpkin seeds to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a Halloween nightmare only a call to our plumbers will fix.

Before you begin your pumpkin carving adventures, have a “pumpkin disposal plan” in place that does not include putting pumpkin innards in your sink.  If you do end up with a garbage disposer problem or a clogged drain, call our expert plumbers at Anthony PHC right away at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.

tech with water heater We all take our plumbing for granted when it works, but when it doesn’t work it can be inconvenient, frustrating and costly.  Did you know that you can keep your home’s plumbing in great shape and avoid costly problems with a plumbing tune up?  What is a plumbing tune up, you ask?

There are many steps that can be included in a professional plumbing tune up, but we will cover the more important steps here.

Check water pressure and adjust if needed

Several factors can cause your water pressure to change, including leaks, clogs, or issues with municipal water suppliers.  Water pressure that is too high can damage seals, cartridges, faucets, appliances and water heaters.  Having your water pressure checked once a year by an expert Anthony PHC plumber safeguards these items and prevents expensive repairs and replacements.  But if you hear your pipes banging don’t wait, have your water pressure measured right away – this is called water hammer, and it can happen when water pressure is too high.

Remember that high water pressure also increases your water usage and costs you more on your water and sewer bill.

Check for leaks and repair if needed

Even a small leak can increase your water bill significantly, not to mention damage your walls, cabinets and floors.  Leaking faucets are easy to spot, but our expert Anthony PHC plumbers check for hidden water damage caused by leaking water behind cabinet doors and appliances.  They also check washing machine hoses for bulges – a bulging washer hose can burst and cause a lot of money in water damage, especially if you are away from home for an extended period and not around to notice the leak.  If you leave your home for extended vacations, consider having our plumbers install an Anthony Water Guardian water leak detection system that will alert you of damaging leaks via your cell phone, and automatically shut the water off to your home, preventing damage.

Unclog faucets, drains and sewers

Over time, faucets can get clogged by mineral deposits and debris which restrict water flow.  Cleaning the aerator in your faucets regularly prevents this.  Fixtures that don’t have aerators will benefit from a good vinegar soaking to help remove mineral scale and improve water flow.

Remember that mineral scale deposits build up in drain pipes as well, along with hair, grease and other debris.  Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will inspect slow moving drains cabled them to release partial blockages.  Some homeowners find a periodic sewer mainline rodding helpful to prevent blockages caused from tree roots.

Condition or soften your water

As mentioned above, mineral scale build up from hard water can clog your faucets and drains, but it can also damage your water heater, dishwasher, coffee pot and other appliances.  If you haven’t yet incorporated a conditioning of softening system into your home’s plumbing, you should consider doing so.  “Tuning up” your water by removing hardness can extend the life of your pipes, fixtures and appliances and save you money and plumbing problems.  Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will test the hardness of your water and review the best water conditioning options for your home and your family.

Inspect and test your sump pump and battery back up sump pump

Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will inspect and test your sump pump as well as your battery back up system.  Alignment of each pump’s float is critical for proper operation.  Any debris in the sump pit will be removed and the discharge piping will be properly secured as well as tested.  Systems that infrequently operate are subject to clogs in the discharge piping which renders the pump useless.  Neglecting to provide periodic maintenance to a sump pump can void your sump pump endorsement on your homeowners insurance, leaving you with no coverage for water damage caused if your sump pump fails.  Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will perform these inspections and maintenance for you, and document their work to satisfy your homeowners insurance.

Water heaters need a yearly tune up

Your water heater will live a long life if it is tuned up annually.  Traditional tank water heaters need to be drained and flushed to remove mineral deposits.  Tankless water heaters must have yearly maintenance to remove scale build up.  Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will perform both of these tasks, as well as check and clean the burner, make sure the combustion bi-products are venting properly, and test your gas pipe connections to make sure no gas is leaking.

Anthony PHC’s A.S.A.P. plumbing membership adds peace of mind

As you can see, caring for and maintaining your plumbing is a big job, and an important one, to save your money and your family’s health.  The best way to stay on top of your home’s plumbing needs is with an Anthony Service Agreement Program low-cost plumbing membership.  Anthony PHC customer care staff will call you to schedule this yearly service so you don’t have to think about it, and your expert Anthony PHC plumber will take care of all the maintenance and inspections for you.  We have heating and cooling memberships available as well.  Call us today at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.

The Anthony PHC’s A.S.A.P. plumbing membership includes the following annual maintenance steps:

10-point water heater tune up:

  1. Check water shut-off valve for proper operation
  2. Test temperature and pressure safety relief valve
  3. Drain water from tank to flush out sediment and replace drain valve if necessary
  4. Inspect anode rod if accessible
  5. Check water pressure at the tank and install expansion tank if needed
  6. Clean burner or lint chamber on FVIR water heater
  7. Check thermocouple and clean if necessary
  8. Check for gas leaks
  9. Check for proper drafting of vent gases and integrity of venting system
  10. Check for visible corrosion and stability of tank base

Dye-test all toilets and check all toilet connections and seals for tightness

Check all faucets for proper operation and clean faucet screens

Test sump pump and battery back-up sump pump for proper operation

Inspect all exposed drain pipes and floor drains

Inspect all gas piping and valves

Install safety identification labels on plumbing valves and piping

Check garbage disposer, dishwasher, clothes dryer and washing machine connections