Category Archives: General

boy drinking water

Unfiltered water?  You’ve got that covered with your reverse osmosis (RO) system with the expensive filters that you have to change, and the mineral drops that you add back into the water, ugh.  Hard water?  You’ve got that covered with your water softener and its heavy and expensive bags of salt, yikes.  Stop!  These are old technology.

New Catalytic Water Conditioning Technology Removes Hardness without Removing Minerals

There is now an easier and healthier way to take the hardness and contaminants out of the water in every faucet and appliance in your home, with a whole home water conditioning plus filtration system.  Water conditioning softens your water not by removing the minerals that your body needs, but by changing their molecular structure through catalytic treatment.  This new catalytic treatment technology requires no maintenance, no electricity, no bags of salt and no expenses, and can be installed in your home quickly.

Water Conditioning plus Non-RO Filtration Makes the Healthiest Drinking Water

Water conditioning alone does not filter contaminants out of your water.  That is where whole home water conditioning plus water filtration systems come in.  Unlike RO systems that filter only the water that comes to your sink or refrigerator, whole home water filtration filters all of your home’s water, including the water you shower in and spray on your vegetable garden.  And unlike RO systems, they leave in the important minerals that your body needs.  While whole home RO systems do exist, they are expensive to maintain and waste a lot of water.

Catalytic Water Conditioning Plus Filtration offers Many Benefits over Reverse Osmosis

The NaturalSof water conditioner plus filtration system is a great example of a water conditioning plus water filtration system that installs easily at your home’s water source and softens and filters your water all in one.  It also offers the following benefits over water softening and RO:

  • requires no maintenance, no salt, no filter replacement
  • requires no electricity like traditional water softeners do
  • doesn’t leave your hands feeling oily or soapy like traditional water softening
  • removes the hardness from water without removing the health benefit of the minerals
  • filters all of your home’s water, not just the water going to your RO tap
  • wastes no water
  • adds no sodium to your water

The NaturalSof 6L removes the following contaminants from your drinking water:

  • chlorine
  • ammonia
  • sediment
  • chloramines
  • chemicals
  • disinfectant byproducts
  • metals
  • trace pharmaceuticals
  • bacteria

Removing Hard Water Keeps Your Plumbing and Appliances Healthy

We all know that water filtration is important for the water you drink.  But did you know that removing the hardness from your water is just as important to your home and appliances?  The mineral scale build up from hard water does damage to your home in the following ways:

  • clogs your home’s plumbing and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines
  • leaves scale on heating elements in tankless water heaters, coffee pots and vaporizers
  • increases maintenance needed on whole home and stand-alone humidifiers
  • damages and clogs plumping fixtures
  • leaves spots on shower doors and glassware
  • causes you to use more detergent and soap

No home or family should be without a whole home water conditioning system and a drinking water filtration strategy.  Traditional water softeners and RO systems are still right for some, but there are many options available to suit the needs of every home and family’s particular needs.  Call our plumbing experts at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to analyze your options at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

hvac zoning for hot and cold roomsMaestro HVAC Zoning Solves Your Home’s Hot Zones and Cold Zones

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.

Maestro Zoning Allows You to Control Which Rooms Get Cooled and Heated Air

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.

How Zoning Works

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.

Maestro Zoning is Right for Any House

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.

sewer camera

Where Does your Responsibility End, and the Local Water Authority’s Begin?  Your Plumber Must Determine

Maintenance of your sewer main is shared by you and your local water authority.  If a back up occurs on your part of the sewer main, or “on-property,” it is your responsibility to fix it and to pay for it.  If it happens on your local water authority’s part of the system, or “off-property,” it is their responsibility to fix it and to pay for it.

It is up to the homeowner’s plumber to make the determination on whose part of the sewer main the back up is located and to let the local water authority know if there is a problem with their part of the sewer system.  So it is important to make sure you hire a plumber who specializes in diagnosing sewer backups.

How Can You Tell if Your Back Up is “On-Property” or “Off-Property?”

The place where your responsibility ends and the local water authority’s begins is in your lateral sewer main.  The lateral is the sewer main that runs from your house and connects to the local water authority’s sewer main.

Every home on your block has a lateral sewer main that connects to the sewer main of the local water authority, which is also called a sewer main, so differentiating between the two in conversation can be confusing.

So at what spot in your lateral sewer main does your responsibility ends and the local authority’s responsibility begin?  It is different in every home, and it is up to your plumber to determine whose portion of the lateral main the back up resides on, yours or the local water authority’s.  That is why it is important to choose a plumber who specializes in diagnosing sewer backups.

A Sewer Back Up is an Expensive Problem, Unless it is Not Your Problem…

Your plumber should be able to tell you which main is affected, your lateral main or the local authority’s sewer main.  And if the back up is in the lateral main, your plumber needs to be able to tell you if the back up is in the “on-property” portion of the lateral, or in the “off-property” portion.

Your local water authority relies on the plumbers hired by homeowners to let them know when there are off-property backups so they can send the proper teams out to correct the problems.

Camera and Diagnostic Equipment are Critical to Determine where the Back Up is Located

Luckily Anthony’s plumbers have cameras to make the job of diagnosing and repairing sewer backups easier.  If your plumber finds that your back up is off-property, they will be able to take pictures to prove where the blockage is.  These cameras also have receivers and digital location systems which identify the location and depth of pipes.

In some cases, it may cost extra for a plumber to use this diagnostic equipment, but it is well worth the money for homeowners if it can determine that backups are off-property.  Cameras allow plumbers to make better and faster repairs to your pipes which can also save you money in labor.

They can quickly tell you where the blockage is, and determine if there are sewer pipe repairs are needed as well, and where, to minimize digging.

The Benefits of Opening vs. Cleaning

There is a difference between opening a sewer main to temporarily resolve a backup, and cleaning a sewer main completely, especially in price.  Many plumbers will advise homeowners to opt for opening a pipe, which involves punching a hole in the back up with a snake, leaving only a partial opening, rather than completely cleaning the pipe.

It is much easier and more affordable to open a pipe than clean it out completely, and homeowners appreciate the cost savings.  To avoid the need for repeated drain openings and to provide a more permanent fix, a sewer main needs to be thoroughly cleaned, not just opened.

When Your Plumber Fixes Off-Property Back Ups, They Need to Tell the Local Water Authority

If your plumber determines that your back up is “off-property,” they will still fix the back up for you and have the local water authority reimburse you for the work.  Even if your plumber is able to correct a back up that is off-property, the local water authority still wants to be informed by your plumber so they can keep an eye on it and make further repairs if necessary.

A sewer main backup can cause devastating damage to multiple homeowners if left unchecked, even so as to require a house to be condemned if waste backs up and ruins electrical and HVAC equipment.  Water levels can rise quickly during a sewer main break before there is time to intercede.  So the role of the plumber in diagnosing and reporting sewer main problems is a critical one.

How Do I Know if My Back Up is in the Sewer Main Lateral or Just the Floor Drain?

Sewer main backups require much heavier snakes to open your 3 to 4 inch lateral than snakes that can negotiate a 2-inch branch line to your floor drain, so it is important to know where your back up resides, so you can call the right plumber.  The easiest test is to check to see if toilet paper or human waste is present in the standing water.  If no waste is present, have a spotter watch the floor drain while you run cold water into a bathtub somewhere else in the house for several minutes.

If the spotter never sees any water rise, then the back up is in the floor drain.  If water does rise, then the back up is in the sewer main lateral or local authority’s sewer main.  Sometimes sewer main backups can cause water to back up in your toilet or bathtub instead of your floor drain, even though the floor drain is lower.

How Do You Clear a Back Up in the Lateral Sewer Main?

You can never clear a lateral sewer main back up through the floor drain, so if the plumber you call attempts to do so you have not chosen the right plumber.  Lateral backups can only be cleared through your home’s main inside clean out which is located on the lower level and capped by a screw on plug.

Occasionally homeowners make the mistake covering up access to clean outs during remodeling; if that is the case, laterals backups must be cleared by removing a toilet and snaking from there.  If worst comes to worst a lateral back up can also be cleared from the stack which extends above the roof where the sewer gases escape, but the cost of hoisting equipment to the roof can be great.

Choose Wisely, and Seek Professional Advice

Sewer backups put your life on hold, but don’t get in a hurry and hire the first plumber available or the cheapest one you can find.  Be patient and qualify plumbers carefully; you will save a lot of money and time and aggravation.  Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO and we will help you through this process.  For more information on fixing and preventing different drain issues, click here to read our blog on “Easing Drain Pain.

 

sump pumphaga click para la version espanol
Your sump pump system is your main line of defense against indoor flooding, but only if it is working! If you have a finished basement, or if you are storing valuables in an unfinished basement, you should take regular steps to ensure that your sump pump system is working.

To be well 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 don’t already have one.

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 doesn’t, 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 won’t 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 Backup Sump Pump?

In order to fully defend against indoor flood damage, you need a battery backup 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 backup pump will provide just that – a second chance at stopping the flood if the primary pump fails. Also, battery backup 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 backup sump pump will also pump along with your primary pump when there is more water than your primary pump can handle. A backup 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 Backup Sump Pump?

A battery backup 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 backup sump pumps have alarms that alert homeowners when the battery is nearing the end of its life.

Does the Battery in my Backup Sump Pump require Maintenance?

Some do. Maintenance-free batteries are aptly named, and shouldn’t need maintenance as long as they are being charged. Some backup 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

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 stocks both sump pumps and battery backup 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.

frozen AC coilWhen your central AC blows hot air, it often means you have a frozen coil.  Frozen may sound like a good problem for an AC to have, but your system cannot cool your home if the coil is iced over.

It is important to know that AC technicians cannot fix your frozen coil problem until the coil thaws.  So if your AC is not producing cold air, take these steps before you call your technician:

 

1.  Check your filter

A dirty filter could be the only issue preventing your AC from cooling your air, and that is an easy fix. Turn off your furnace fan by turning your system to OFF on your thermostat.  Locate your return vent, unscrew the cover (if any), and pull out your filter. If it’s dirty, simply replace it. Write down the size indicated on the edge of the filter, and purchase a new one at a home improvement store.  With your system still OFF, pull out the dirty filter, paying attention to which way the air flow arrow points on the edge of the filter, and put the new filter in facing the same direction.

2. Thaw out your AC

If your filter is not dirty, try thawing out your AC coil.  First, switch your thermostat to OFF and your fan to ON. This will start defrosting your coil, which is located inside the air handling unit next to your furnace.  Call an expert technician from a reputable heating and cooling company and set up an appointment to have them come look at your AC unit after the coil thaws.  Give your unit a few hours to fully defrost, and head to a movie theater or restaurant to stay cool.

To see if your coil is thawed, locate your air handler and the frozen coil.  Check the condensate pan underneath the coil to make sure it is draining properly, and not leaking and causing damage to your floor.

3. Turn your AC back on

After a few hours, check your coil.  It should be dry and free of frost or ice.  Switch your thermostat back to “cool” to turn your AC back on. If the air comes out cooler than room temperature, you have fixed your AC problem!  If not, it is now ready for your technician to make any necessary repairs.  Even if your AC is working again, it is good to have your technician inspect the system, as a frozen coil usually a sign that something is wrong.

Don’t be stuck with a non-functioning AC system on a hot day when the demand for technicians is high, and the wait for service is long.  Get your checked annually, before trouble starts. Call Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, (913-268-4669), or click here to schedule a service call.

ecm fan motor being added to furnaceAfter July 3, 2019, residential furnace manufacturers must include energy-efficient electronically commutated low-wattage motors (ECM’s) on their furnace fans, instead of the permanent split capacitor (PSC) induction blower motors normally used.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has updated their Furnace Efficiency Rating (FER) standards, mandating that these energy conserving motors be used starting July 3, 2019 in all new furnaces, with the expectation that these new standards will result in significant conservation of energy and reduction of carbon pollution.

For homeowners, this means the initial price of residential furnaces will be increasing due to the higher cost of the ECM motors.  But though the initial cost for a new furnace will be going up, the DOE estimates these motors will save an average consumer about $340 to $500 over the lifetime of their furnace, even after accounting for the increased upfront cost, due to significant savings in energy costs.

ecm high efficiency motorECM motors are expected to keep homeowners 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.  And homeowners will be more inclined to operate their furnace fans all the time, therefore cleaning the air consistently.

The net effect on the homeowner’s energy usage by the ECM motors may be reduced by as much as 46%, which depending on the home and the furnace model, could result in as much as $67.00 per year in energy savings.

Although the old furnaces with PSC induction motors may still be in stock for a short time after July 3, they will only be available while supplies last.  Some homeowners may opt for repairing an old furnace, but it can be a costly decision when compared to the energy savings of replacing it with an energy efficient furnace.  The question then is, “how expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth it?” Even for less expensive repairs, depending upon how old your furnace is, replacement may be a more cost-effective option.

To help you make the best choice possible, Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will help you assess when and if you should replace your furnace.  Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.

sump pump claim deniedFlood Insurance Does Not Cover Sump Pump Failure

For Midwest homeowners adding flood insurance is common practice, but they might not know that neither flood insurance nor a homeowner’s policy covers sump pump failure. Sump pump failure riders or endorsements are available, but even they won’t protect against sump pump failure if the post-flood inspection finds the pump wasn’t maintained properly.

Sump Pump Riders Don’t Cover Damage if Pump is Not Maintained Properly

When submitting an insurance claim for sump pump failure, claims adjusters look for ways to prove your due diligence so they can prove your case to underwriters. Your pump will be inspected. If it isn’t found to be in good working order or you failed to keep it operational, your claim could be denied based on improper, or lack of, maintenance. You could also face an insurance premium increase.

What is Proof of Proper Maintenance?

Having your pump regularly inspected and maintained by professional plumbers like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling eliminates sump pump operational issues, and gives you the proof for insurance companies that the pump was inspected by a professional.  Maintenance is critical to a sump pump’s function. But even a properly maintained pump can fail at any time due to age or inactivity, so regular inspections are needed.

Does My Sump Pump Need a Battery Back Up to Satisfy Insurance Companies?

Even the best maintained pumps will cease to run during power outages typical of Midwest storms, therefore battery backup sump pumps are needed as well. Not only do battery backup sump pumps act as added “insurance” during power outages, but they also help carry the load of the regular sump pump if it is unable to pump water quickly enough during heavier rains.  If you have a Sump Pump rider with your insurance company, call them and clarify whether your sump pump has to have a battery backup in order for water damage claims to be paid.

Sump Pump Failure Claims are a Big Burden to Insurance Companies, and They Will Try to Avoid Paying Them

The reason insurance companies will try to avoid paying sump pump failure claims is because of the tremendous financial cost attributed to them. Fixing the damage caused by an indoor flood is a complicated and time-consuming process. Besides the repair or replacement of the sump pump, several steps must be taken before and after the repair to get your home back to normal. All electrical items in the vicinity of the flood will have to be unplugged, and if they cannot be accessed safely, the main electrical supply will have to be shut off. Then a water extraction service may have to be contracted to remove standing water before repairs can begin.

After standing water is extracted, damage to floors, walls and household items must be repaired. Flooring, furniture and electronics that cannot be repaired will have to be replaced, and irreplaceable keepsakes that are damaged may be lost forever. Then the moisture remaining even after the standing water has been removed must be eradicated, by opening windows, running fans and setting up dehumidifiers. Finally, homes must be tested for mold and mildew growth that the invasive water may have caused, and replacement of drywall and insulation might be needed to stop the spread of mold and mildew throughout the home.

Automated Flood Detection Cell Phone Alerts are Extra Insurance

Installing an automated flood detection and prevention system to your home is an easy and affordable way to receive alerts on your cell phone or tablet when flooding starts while you are sleeping or away from home. Flood prevention systems utilize water sensors placed near sump pumps and other water sources that activate an automated system when water is detected sending alerts to your phone, emitting an audible alarm, and providing an electronic water main valve shut-off feature that engages automatically or allows you to do it remotely.  The home automation experts at Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can install our Water Guardian system, which will equip your home with water sensors that will alert you of a possibly failing sump pump.

Don’t Take Chances, Call Us Today

The professional plumbers at Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling can take the guesswork out of your Sump Pump Maintenance and handle all your Indoor Flood Prevention and Plumbing needs. For more information Call A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO 913-268-4669. www.AnthonyPHC.com.  And check our Coupons page for specials on sump pump inspections and replacement at www.AnthonyPHC.com/Coupons/.

Americans are aware of the dangers of heart disease and stroke and the all the messages encouraging us to eat right and exercise to reduce the risk of these deadly events.  Research is now showing that air pollution is another cause of heart disease and stroke – and it is not something people can control as easily as their diet.  But as the average person spends 90% of their time indoors, eliminating air pollution is a reachable goal.

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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.

 

Hereford House and Anthony PHC sizzle togetherIn 1957, inspired by the famous Kansas City stockyards and the locally headquartered American Hereford Association, the Hereford House restaurant opened.  The restaurant has grown on the steadfast principle of serving the finest beef available in an atmosphere of elegant simplicity and has truly positioned itself as a Kansas City icon.

Since 1951, Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has served Kansas City area residents with the same commitment to quality that has positioned itself as a Kansas City icon for trusted, highest quality plumbing, heating and cooling services.

Anthony Plumbing Heating & CoolingThese two Kansas City traditions have teamed up to provide a sizzling offer for area residents.  Anthony now provides it’s customers an opportunity to dine on what many call America’s finest steaks whenever they meet with a comfort advisor to obtain an estimate for a new heating and cooling system.  After going through the process of choosing the finest system for their home, Anthony gives homeowners a Hereford House gift card to enjoy the finest steak dinner in a Kansas City.

Known for generous cuts of steak, Hereford House serves locally sourced Certified Hereford Beef®, raised on family farms and ranches, then aged for a minimum of 21 days. This naturally tender beef is hand-cut in-house every day, then grilled to perfection over a charcoal flame by the area’s most talented grill masters.

Hereford House LeawoodFor anyone wanting to experience a true Kansas City tradition, dinner at Hereford House is sure to be the recommendation.  With a no-obligation estimate for a new heating and cooling system, Anthony customers receive a Hereford House gift card to enjoy.  The tradition of quality in which Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling and the Hereford House have been a part of over a half-century continues together, ensuring their shared reputation for great service and the finest quality.

Anthony customers can dine at any of the four convenient Hereford House locations:  Leawood’s Town Center Plaza, Independence by the Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center, Zona Rosa in the Northland, and Shawnee west of Midland Drive and I-435.