Category Archives: Plumbing

The results are in! Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has been voted by the readers of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST service provider in two categories! After a record number of votes Anthony PHC was selected as the BEST Plumbing and BEST Heating & Cooling company in the area!

Additionally, Anthony PHC was voted by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST Heating & Cooling company in the city.

Since 1951, Anthony Plumbing, Heating Cooling is Kansas City’s most trusted plumbing, heating and cooling provider with “The Technicians You Can Trust With Your House Keys!®”.

Anthony PHC has the largest customer referral network in the Kansas City area. All Anthony PHC technicians are drug tested and background checked, and, holding to a strong heritage of expertise and customer satisfaction, AnthonyPHC technicians participate in weekly classroom and hands-on training.

The Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.), extends the life of customer’s heating, cooling and plumbing system with annual preventative maintenance including semi-annual tune-ups and is widely supported by manufacturers and customers. Anthony PHC provides service seven days a week and is always open to attend to our customer’s needs.

Anthony PHC specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling service, maintenance and installation. Furthermore, Anthony PHC is an industry leader in home automation with its Anthony MyHome line of products.

Owner & Home Comfort Expert, Steve Burbridge proclaims, “We are honored to have been voted as the best plumbing, heating and cooling company in the area as we strive every day to provide solutions for our customers to be safe, healthy, and comfortable with the least amount of energy use. We welcome anyone who is not a current customer to see why we truly are “The Technicians You Can TRUST With Your House Keys!®”.

Do I need Plumbing Services?

What’s one of the worst sounds you can imagine? That’s right—the water running in your toilet. There’s a lot that a plunger can help with, but some cases require a professional. Our services go beyond the humble porcelain throne though. Plumbing repair can include anything from faucet repair to garbage disposers to tankless water heaters. In this post, we’ll go over some of the different services we offer. We’ll also reveal some indicators that your appliances may need repair. You ready? Let’s plunge in.

Indicators of a Broken Pipe

If you notice bubbling noises when you flush the toilet or use the sink, this could be an indicator that air isn’t escaping into the sewer lines. Whistling noises might mean that a pipe is dented. If a segment of the pipe becomes too small for the amount of water that needs to come through, a whistling noise is emitted. If this pressure becomes too much, the pipes may burst. Clanking noises occur when loose pipes bump into each other, an issue which can later lead to leaks if untreated. Yucky odors, sink holes in your yard, puddles within your home and damp drywall are also tip-offs that something’s up. If you experience persistent clogs, frequent backups, lack of water, poor water quality (unusual color or smell) or a higher water bill, contact a professional. We deal with plumbing repair so you don’t have to worry about holes in your backyard!

sinkhole

Garbage Disposals

With the option to choose between three different garbage disposals, we can accommodate any preference. Our standard option has ¾ horsepower, a heavy duty motor, a stainless steel grinding chamber (to prevent rust) and a 3-year in-home warranty. With the next level, you get 7/8 horsepower, a heavy duty motor and a 2-stage stainless steel grinding chamber. Within this chamber, your food waste is liquefied.  Once liquefied, they are safe for pipes, sewer and the septic system. Extra insulation makes it quieter, and you receive an 8-year in-home warranty. At the top of the line is our 1.1 horsepower heavy duty motor garbage disposal system. It’s 60% quieter than a standard model and comes with 3-stage stainless steel grinding chambers. It also comes with a 12-year in-home warranty. Plus, an auto-reverse feature prevents jams.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals eliminate bad odors, can be easily cleaned and are better for the environment than dumping your organic waste in the trash can. Odors are eliminated when the disposal grinds waste material into small pieces and flushes it into the sewer system—no more suffering through the rotten smell wafting out of your trash can!  Garbage disposals are easy to clean as well—all you have to do is clean the motor.  You also help out the environment when you invest in a garbage disposal. They prevent food scraps from entering the trash cycle, and the waste from disposals can be turned into renewable energy. Most importantly, they can reduce the amount of methane gas. When less trash is dumped in landfills, less trash is decomposed. If your garbage disposal is suffering from blockage, we can take care of it as part of our plumbing repair services.

garbage disposal

Instant Hot Water Installation

This temperature is not for washing your hands. Once we install a hot water heater, you’ll be able to reach a water temperature of 200 degrees. Kitchen sink heaters are installed in an attractive dispenser beneath the sink—they’re a great asset for making coffee, tea, coco and instant hot cereal. It’s also great for cleaning pots and pans as long as you’re careful. Stainless steel tanks and a 3-year parts warranty make this a great purchase.

Tankless Water Heater

What distinguishes a tankless water heater is that it doesn’t heat up water when it isn’t needed, saving on your energy bill. Since tank water heaters use gas continuously to keep the entire tank of water hot, they rack up those energy bills. When water is called for somewhere in the home, water enters the heater to be warmed up. Not only does it save on energy, but it also prevents corrosion; Water isn’t collected in the system. No corrosion=longer life (estimated at about 20 years). If you use 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more energy efficient than a conventional water heater. They may need to be tuned up once a year, but this is only to ensure the longevity of the system. Having endless hot water is one of the major selling points of this offer, as well as lower operating/energy costs. They may cost more than conventional water heaters, but it’s worth it in the long run.
tankless water heater

How it Works

The first step that takes place is that the water goes into the stainless steel heat exchanger. It uses the heat from the exhaust to preheat the water. This water then travels into the copper heater exchanger that uses heat from the burner to warm up the water. Electrical elements may be used to heat the water as well.  The one downside to a tankless water heater is that its output limits the flow rate. They provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, a number which may be too small to run multiple hot water sources at once. A gas-fired tankless water heater can produce hot water at a faster rate than electric tankless water heaters. If you still like the idea of a tankless water heater but know that you’ll be needing plenty of it, you should consider installing two or more tankless water heaters. Separate heaters can also be installed for certain appliances, such as dishwashers. If you put in a water heater at each hot water outlet, you can save 27%-50% in energy. Tankless water heaters are one of our most popular plumbing repair and installation services.

Outdoor Hose Faucet

Sprinklers, washing your car, hosing off the dog…all great reasons to install an outdoor hose faucet. At Anthony PHC, we only install freeze-proof outdoor faucets. By placing the rear chamber 10 inches inside your home, we ensure that the warmer air prevents freezing in the winter. You can also help prevent freezing by disconnecting your hose in the winter. If a faucet isn’t properly installed at a downward angle, the water can freeze and create broken pipes. To prevent cold weather damage, we also use silicone around the exterior opening. Anything to make sure your appliances last as long as possible.

hose faucet

Faucet Repair

Your faucet is one of the most important appliances in your home. Whether it’s a kitchen faucet, shower drain or bathroom faucet, we have the skills to take care of any issue that arises. We can replace faucets, take care of leaks, remedy slow drains and fix low water pressure. If your faucet brakes, you can turn off the water supply by locating the water shut-off valves beneath the sink. There will be two of them, and they’ll most likely be chrome with an oval handle. If you turn the handle or lever clockwise, the water will stop running! Presto.

plumbing repair shut-off valve

Noisy Faucet

If you notice a loud vibrating noise when you turn on/off your faucet, this could be caused by a worn-out faucet washer. To fix the issue, simply turn off the water to the faucet and use a wrench to remove the retaining nut that’s attached to the sill cock. Then, slide the handle and stem assembly out. Take off the screw located at the end of the stem and remove the washer. Replace the old washer with a new one, then put everything back together. Those who have a spring-loaded sleeve near the washer will need to replace the entire faucet. If you’d rather have a professional come take a look at it, one of our plumbing repair specialists would be happy to oblige.

Water Softeners

For those suffering from hard water, water softeners are the solution for you. There are a few indicators that should let you know if your water hardness is becoming a problem. Water that is overly hard might taste or smell off. A metallic taste indicates that there is too much iron in your water, and a rotten eggs smell means naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas may be reacting with magnesium to create sulfates. Water that tastes like dirt could be an indicator of sediment, old pipes or algae. If you notice reddish stains on your appliances, hard water could be the culprit. Consistent soap scum from water evaporating and leaving calcium deposits is another tip-off. Finally, spotty dishes, clogged shower drains, rough towels after washing and skin irritation could be the results of hard water.

To combat the negative effects of hard water, you can invest in a water softener. These mechanisms remove minerals (ie: calcium and magnesium) from the water. That way, your skin will feel smoother and your dishes will show less spotting. Your appliances will last longer when protected from hard water deposits. At Anthony PHC, we install Northstar softeners. They learn when you use water and regenerate only when the water needs it. This means less salt and water is wasted.

water softener

Contact Us

If you require any of these services, contact us. Each and every one of our employees is given 100 hours of training each year, and our plumbers work from experience—not just books. Whether you’ve got pipes that need fixing or a tankless water heater than needs installation, we’re here for all your plumbing repair needs.

 

 

Drain Cleaning Basics

Think about how much time you spend sweeping your floors, dusting the mantle, wiping down the countertop. Now think about how much more nastiness goes into your drains. Don’t they deserve the same love? We offer state of the art draining equipment (with video cameras!) to ensure we get out all the gunk. We work with kitchen drains, main sewer lines, shower/bathtub drains, toilet drains, floor drains, and bathroom/sink drains. If you’re looking for a Kansas City drain cleaning service, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will give a breakdown of the different types of drains, tools needed for drain maintenance, and ways you can prevent drain blockage. We’ll also give you some signs to look for, so you can tell if your drain is in need of cleaning or de-clogging.

kansas city drain cleaning

Types of Drains

Kitchen drains are most susceptible to blockage from grease, soap and food waste. Main sewer lines connect to a city sewer line or septic tank. Water-seeking roots can clog main sewer lines, so we go in and cut away all the roots to ensure your drain doesn’t become re-clogged after we’re finished. By cleaning your sewer and drain regularly, you ensure it doesn’t become clogged in the first place. If you notice that your shower/bathroom drain isn’t immediately sucking up the water in your tub, soap or hair may be to blame. With toilet drains, a clog may develop when you attempt to flush facial tissue, baby wipes, or other non-disintegrating products down the toilet. We use a special plumbing tool to hug the inside of the pipe wall and clear out the mess. Floor drains in basements, laundry rooms, garages, patios, driveways, etc. might have a drain to carry away water and prevent flooding. The trap inside prevents odors and sewer gas from escaping, but drains should still be regularly cleaned. For bathroom sink drains, slow draining might be due to toothpaste, soap, hair or grime. If you want to know the exact cause of your blockage, ask a Kansas City drain cleaning expert.

Essential Tools

Plungers, which run anywhere from $5-$10, are the bread and butter of plumbing. If you need to dislodge clogs further down the pipe, a cable auger or plumber’s snake is going to be your best bet. These are long, flexible steel cables that are wound around a spool and fitted with a hand crank. A cable auger is available up to 100 ft., but 25ft. is adequate for any home clog. A closet auger allows you to snake out toilets and is equipped with a hand crank. What makes it unique is that the cable is encased in a rigid shaft instead of a spool. The auger is also bent at a specific angle to make it easy for it to slide through the tight curves of a toilet trap. If worse comes to worst and your you still can’t unclog your toilet with these tools, you can rent out an electric power auger for $15-$30/day.

Floor drains (pictured below) carry wastewater from central air conditioners, washing machines, water heaters and snow-covered cars. Since they collect a lot of soap scum, laundry lint, sand and slimy bacteria, these things can crystallize in a long drainpipe. To penetrate these blockages, an electric power auger will probably be needed with at least 50 feet of cable.

floor drain

If you need us to come out and clear out your floor drain, we’ll begin by removing the strainer that covers the drain hole. Once we find the clean-out plug on the side of the drain basin, we’ll remove it with a wrench. We’ll be able to bypass the trap and feed the cable directly down the pipe. We may have to snake the cable through the trap if the drain doesn’t have this plug. Once we plug in the power auger and position it near the drain, we’ll feed the cable down the drainpipe and set the motor for clockwise rotation. We’ll step on the switch, and the cable will start turning. Then, we’ll push the cable into the pipe until we notice some resistance or heat. Upon resistance, we’ll stop the motor and reverse the rotation. Once we’ve backed out a few feet of cable, we’ll switch back to clockwise rotation and slide more of the cable down the pipe. We’ll repeat this procedure until your clog has been eliminated! To finish things off, we’ll retrieve the cable and flush out the drainpipe with hot water. We’ll be sure to replace the clean-out plug afterward.

Signs of Blockage

Besides the obvious issues draining, you can also detect a clog by overflowing toilets, water backing up in drains, or an unpleasant smell. If water is coming up from a pipe outside the home, this is also an indication of a blockage. Most homes have cleanouts (pictured below) on the exterior of their homes, which serve as an access point to the main drain line. Cleanouts are necessary for if you have a stoppage—you can easily unscrew the cap on the cleanout to ensure the waste discharges outside your home. Another great perk is that you can easily clean the line. You can clean from the outside of your home rather than picking a toilet up and snaking it that way. When water is escaping from the cleanout, there may be a main line stoppage or your septic tank may be full.

clean out

If water is coming up in the home, that’s another sign of drainage problems. You’ll notice this when you flush your toilet and the water rises in your bath or shower. More often than not, this is due to an obstruction in the bathroom drainage branch. When the water has nowhere to go, it’ll funnel into an open drain. This will most likely be the shower, because it is the lowest fixture. Normally, the toilet just needs to be pulled and snaked. This is an instance where a camera might be used by a Kansas City drain cleaning professional.

How Drains Work

Unlike supply systems, drainage systems aren’t reliant on pressure. Waste moves via pipes that pitch/angle downward. Gravity does all the work for you, saving on energy. When you’re installing a pipe, you should make sure it has a drop of ¼ inch per foot to get the proper pitch. The sewer line flows into a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank.  For this process to work, vents, traps and clean outs are needed

Vents pop up from the roof of the house and allow air to enter the drainpipes, making it possible for wastewater to flow out properly and the water in the traps to leave. They’re held by roof flashing, which is made from heavy grade rubber, lead or sheet metal.

Traps are located under your sink and are identified by their curved or S-shape. When water flows from the basin, it has the force to go through the trap and out though the drainpipe. However, enough water sticks around in the trap that it creates a seal to stop sewer gas from escaping into your home.

parts of a drain

Your kitchen sink might also have a grease trap that collects any grease that may cause clogging. These typically have clean-out plugs for easy removal or breakup of blockage. Though you may be able to see them most easily under your sink, they’re also on toilets. Toilets are self-trapped though, so they don’t need a trap at the drain. This whole system is often referred to as DWV: drain-waste-vent. For Kansas City drain cleaning, we have to have a thorough knowledge of all these parts and what their function is.

Prevent Blockages

Blockages in your garbage disposal are fairly common, so it’s important to know how you can keep your drains clean and working properly. For one, you should run large amounts of cold water whenever the disposal is running—start the faucet before the food hits the drain. You should also limit the size of the food scraps you’re sending down the garbage disposal. To avoid blockages ad unpleasant odors, don’t put these items down the drain:

  • Bags (paper or cardboard)
  • Paints, nail polish, and nail polish remover
  • Acidic or caustic substances
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication
  • Fats, oils and grease
  • Coffee grinds
  • Egg shells
  • Produce stickers
  • Disposable diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Flushable cat litter

Contact Us

If you’re looking for Kansas City drain cleaning, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us, so we can send a certified expert to take care of the problem. Our plumbing services include a variety of fixes, such as faucet repair, garbage disposals and sump pumps. Check out our tips to avoid costly plumbing repairs so you don’t have to deal with fixes in the first place.

Avoiding Costly Plumbing Repairs

The hot, humid months in Kansas City are here. Preventative maintenance is key to avoid costly repairs this summer.

  1. Check your Bathrooms – Check the toilet for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the water in the toilet bowl changes colors after 30 minutes, that is a sign that there is an issue with the components in the reservoir.  It is wise to call a licensed plumber to diagnose the problem and repair it correctly.
  2. Test your Sump Pump – Make sure your sump pump is primed and ready to work.  A simple way to check the pump is to pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on and begin removing the water out and turn off automatically when it is complete. If it is discovered that the pump is not working properly, do not hesitate to call a licensed plumber to repair or replace it.
  3. Protect the sewer line from tree roots – Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they also can cause major issues with tree roots blocking the underground sewer lines. Trees sit dormant during the winter months, but when the weather starts to warm up the tree roots begin to reach out in search of water. It is recommended to have the sewer lines serviced and inspected before the weather heats up and the roots grow into the pipes.
  4. Inspect Indoor faucets – A leaky faucet does not only make an annoying drip sound, but it can also lead to higher utility bills. Check for moisture around the outside of the faucet. Since a faucet may have leaks hidden from view, it is wise to check under and around the sink for wet spots or warped cabinetry.
  5. Evaluate Outdoor Hose Faucet – During the winter the outdoor hose faucet is very susceptible to freezing and cracking. Look at the outside of the faucet and down the wall of the home to see if there is evidence of a leak. This can cause damage not only to the outside of the home but if leaking enough; it can also cause damage to the foundation.

Contact Us

An Anthony PHC plumber will know the exact steps necessary to get your plumbing back on track. Our services include faucet repairs, garbage disposers, instant hot water installation, outdoor hose faucet, plumbing repair, sewer and drain cleaning, sump pumps, tankless water heaters, toilet repairs and installation, water heaters, and water softeners. Contact us today if you need fast service and experienced professionals.

WCAC partners with Anthony Plumbing Heating & Cooling for change

Wyandotte Countians Against Crime (WCAC) – an organization in Central
Kansas City, KS dedicated to creating and supporting projects and events that
help stop crime and start beautifying their neighborhood partnered with
Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, a Kansas City area business since
1951, on their latest park transformation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WCAC created an ‘edible fruit tree garden’ with the vision of providing a space
for local neighbors to gather and grow food. As the garden project has grown,
with now 23 fruit trees, and over 100 feet of berries, the biggest challenge was
how to supply the needed water resource affordably and efficiently. “Our costs
previously exceeded $116 per month plus the cost of water to accommodate
our needs. Thanks to our partners, and with the help of the Anthony
Plumbing, Heating and Cooling plumbing technicians, who provided the
skilled labor for installation, we were able to obtain a frost-free hydrant which
is now in the middle of the park making our watering task far more
economical and easier”, says Paul Soptick, current President of the Wyandotte
Countians Against Crime.

Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling – a Kansas City based organization
specializes in Plumbing, HVAC and Home Automation for residential and light
commercial throughout the Kansas City metro area. Owner Steve Burbridge
believes in giving back to the Kansas City community. For more information,
call A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) in MO or KS.

Furnaces and Water softeners

This two-for-one guide on water softeners and purchasing a new furnace explains how water softeners work, the different types of water softeners you can get, and how to determine which furnace is the right choice for your home. Plus, some tips on how you can save money!

new furnace installation

Water Softeners

Water softeners work by replacing hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium ions) with another ion, such as sodium or potassium. If your water is very hard (25+ grains per gallon), salt softening may be the only solution. Hard water creates the gross scales on water fixtures, increases electricity consumption by coating water heating systems, and leaves residue on your skin and hair. Water softeners are designed to remove ions within a conditioning tank and flush them away. They’re able to remove up to 5 ppm (mg/L) of clear water iron.

As the water enters the house, it passes through a bed of small plastic resign beads. These beads are covered with salt ions, which exchange with the calcium and magnesium ions.  To regenerate these beads when they become too full of magnesium and calcium ions, you must soak them in a stream of salt ions. These salt ions can be either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. With a water softener, sodium is switched out in place of calcium and magnesium, because the sodium is more desirable. The amount of sodium added is only really 12.5 milligrams per 8-ounce glass, a very low amount according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Salt-Based Water

Some people may not like salt-softened water, because it makes them feel slippery when bathing with soap. The upside to salt-based water softeners though is that they can prevent the scale build-up in pipes and water heaters by removing the hardness minerals of calcium and magnesium. They prevent soap-scum buildup in shower doors, and produce better results with clothes washers and dishwashers. Those with salt water softener systems will have to compensate with more water heaters due to the salt’s corrosive effect on the heating coils.

Water Hardness

water softener chart

Groundwater gains hardness by dissolving metals from surrounding soil and rock. Water hardness is measures by grains per gallon (gpg) or milligrams per liter (mg/L). A grain is considered 64.8 milligrams of calcium carbonate, and you have soft  water if your water tests at 1 gpg or less. Hard water can cause your pipes to become clogged with scale and reduces soap’s ability to lather in the shower, sink, dishwasher and washing machine. Instead of lathering, it creates a sticky scum.

Solutions

You can soften water by filtering it through distillation or reverse osmosis, running it through a water softener, or adding a packaged chemical softener like powdered borax or sodium carbonate. Even though many sink taps and refrigerator water dispensers help with the taste of water, the expense isn’t worth it. Even though packaged chemicals get the job done for dishwashers/washers, they make the water undrinkable and can have negative effects on your clothing. If you’re more concerned with cutting down on the harmful effects of hard water, it might be better to invest in descaling. These are sometimes marketed as ‘salt-free water softeners’, meaning they don’t actually change the chemical composition of the water.

Recharging

Some softeners utilize electric timers to flush and recharge based on a set schedule while others have computers that judge bead depletion based on water use. The third option is a water softener that uses a mechanical water meter to measure water use and initiate the recharging process once sodium exhaustion requires it. The electronic timer’s downside is that it doesn’t allow you to dispense soft water while recharging. Mechanical systems come with two mineral tanks that allows them to make soft water and recharge at the same time.

water softener recharging

The great thing about water softeners is that they’re designed to be easy to install and remove. You can take it with you when you move!

Furnaces

A furnace is used for high-temperature heating and derives from the Greek word meaning ‘oven’. The heat energy used to power a furnace is supplied by fuel combustion, electricity or introduction heating in induction furnaces. A furnace in America typically refers to the household heating systems that are based upon a central furnace (boiler).  A home furnace is permanently installed in your home and utilizes air, steam or hot water to provide heat. If your new furnace uses steam or hot water, it’s called a residential steam boiler or hot water boiler. Typically though, your new furnace will be powered by natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or fuel oil. If you live somewhere with low electricity cost or air conditioning is used more than heating, electrical resistance heating may be a more cost-efficient option. A high-efficiency furnace will operate with 98% efficiency without a chimney. A gas furnace is about 80% efficient.

The pro to having a boiler is that the furnace can provide hot water for bathing and washing dishes. No separate water heater required! However, you also have to keep in mind that if the boiler breaks down, neither heating nor domestic hot water will be accessible. Air convention heating systems are nothing new, though they’ve updated from the passive air circulation system that used to be in effect (warm air rises, cool air sinks). Now, modern ‘warm air’ furnaces use a fan to circulate the air into other rooms of the house and absorb cooler air back into the furnace for reheating (forced-air heat).

Heat Distribution

Heat is transferred in the home through an intermediary distribution system. Air is circulated through ductwork (made of sheet metal or plastic ‘flex’ duct) and can be either insulated or uninsulated. Ductwork leaks can are unavoidable unless you have some sort of mastic or foil duct tape sealing them. Wasted energy may also come from the installation of ductwork in unheated areas like attics and crawl spaces.

Size

When choosing a new furnace, it’s important to keep in mind that size is important. A home’s furnace is typically bigger than necessary to avoid the possibility of dealing with a chilly home in the wintertime. However, larger furnaces cycle on and off more frequently, putting wear on the system and wasting energy. It might also cause the temperature to jump and fall frequently, making your home uncomfortable. In addition, you’ll probably need larger ducts. To make sure you’re getting the correct size of furnace, you can contact a reputable contractor who will calculate a good size based on your home’s square footage, climate, design, and construction. Your new furnace needs to be regularly maintained according to manufacturer instructions. Most service calls for furnaces are due not to defective equipment, but human error or inadequate maintenance.

 

new furnace sizeEfficiency

Having an efficient furnace can save you a lot in the long run (and produce fewer emissions from an environmental standpoint). Gas is the most popular heating fuel right now, with efficiency measured in an annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating. This is measured as a percentage, with a higher percentage correlating to the amount of heat that the furnace can get out of each therm of gas. The lowest efficiency allowed by law is 78%, but newer models normally get up to 97%. You’ll have to accept a higher price tag if you’re looking for this level of efficiency though. Possibly $1,000 more. Keep in mind that this investment will pay off with the lower fuel bills, especially if you live in the Northeast or Midwest. Fuel bills also depends on where you live, how well your home is insulated, and your local gas and electricity rates. You can ask for multiple price estimates based on varying efficiencies to get the price that meets your needs. Always be cautious when getting a new furnace, and feel free to ask questions. For your contractor, you might ask whether the model is too new to have been properly tested, or whether an older model has any reliability problems that you wouldn’t have to deal with in a new furnace.

On top of getting a more energy-efficient furnace though, make sure to do your own part as well. For example, turn down the thermostat a s couple degrees in the winter. This can cut back on emissions by as much as 6 percent. Utilize curtains to block the chill from a window, and keep the windows covered on sunny days during the summer. When it’s cold out, pull back those curtains and soak up some free solar heating. You can even reduce heat loss by insulating ducts and sealing leaks. Help out your new furnace whenever possible!

new furnace sealing duct

Repair vs. Replace

Deciding whether to repair or replace a furnace can be a difficult decision. While a new furnace costs more than replacing, it may be a better investment for you in the long run if you’re constantly having to fix a lemon. Low airflow might be a sign that the air filter is clogged. Loose wires or a malfunction in the thermostat might be an issue. Electronic thermostats might require batteries to be recharged. Some of these repairs can be easily handled. However, if important parts (like the heat exchanger or control module) go out, you’ll be better off getting a whole new furnace. This is especially true if your furnace is more than 15 years old. Check out these furnace types to determine which kind you’re looking for.

Contact Us

You can contact us for more information on water softeners or a new furnace. We do furnace repair and install new furnace systems.

For the up-and-coming plumbers in Kansas City

If you can understand the basic principles of nature, you can understand plumbing fixes. Think about gravity, pressure, and water and how the three interact to make your toilet flush, tub fill up, and faucet run. You don’t’ have to be an Anthony PHC plumber to get these concepts. In fact, we’ll even teach you how to repair some of your own plumbing problems!

Subsystems and Shutoff Valves

There are two subsystems that make up the plumbing system in your home: one that brings fresh water in and the other that takes waste water out. Since the water entering your home is under pressure, it can travel upstairs and around corners. When water enters your house, it passes through a meter that keeps tabs on how much water you’re using. Your main water shutoff valve is normally near the meter, and should be quickly closed in a plumbing emergency to prevent flooding. Most fixtures have individual stop valves, so you don’t have to shutoff your entire water supply when the emergency is only with a sink, tub or toilet.

kansas city plumber valve

Water Heaters

Your cold water supply is immediately ready for you, but the hot water has to go through the water heater first. One pipe carries the cold water to a water heater. From there, a hot water line moves the heated water to the fixtures and appliances that require hot water. The thermostat on the heater adjusts the device’s heating elements to keep your water at the desired temperature. The default temperature for a home water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Dishwashers might require water at a higher temperature, but they normally have water heaters included that boosts the temperature another 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Anthony PHC plumbers have the expertise to install and repair water heaters, but amateurs should steer clear of trying to fix these systems themselves.

Drainage Systems and Vents

Drainage systems differ from supply systems in that they do not depend on pressure. Waste matter exits the house, because the drainage pipes angle downward. That way, gravity does all the work. Eventually these pipes filter into a sewage treatment facility or septic tank. Vents, traps and clean outs all contribute to make this process possible. According to howstuffworks.com, “the vents sticking up from the roof of your house allow air to enter the drainpipes”. Without an air supply coming in from the vents, the wastewater would have to be siphoned away.

kansas city plumber home system

Trap in the Nastiness

Just as important as the vents are traps. It’s the curved or S-shape section of the pipe under the drain and is seen under most sinks. From there, “the water flows from the basin with enough force to go through the trap and through the drainpipe”. However, there’s enough water that sticks around in the trap afterward to create a seal preventing sewer gas from seeping into your home. You need a trap in every fixture. Toilets are unique because they’re self-trapped, meaning they don’t require an additional trap at the drain. Think about all the hair and dirt that goes down your shower drain—this is regulated by drum traps. These guys form a seal against sewer gas and collect the nastiness to prevent blockage.

Unblocking a Trap

If you need to unblock a trap, there are some simple steps you can follow to combat this common predicament. You’ll need a bowl, bucket, old toothbrush, and replacement washers for this fix. The first step is to undo the sink the trap. Then, position the bowl beneath it to catch any water. Remove whatever’s creating the blockage and wash the trap in clean water. Use the toothbrush for thorough cleaning. Go ahead and replace worn washers while the trap is disassembled. Replace the trap and you’re good to go! The drain, waste, and vent are all necessary for things to run smoothly in your plumbing, so it’s imperative that all parts are regularly maintained.

 

Fixtures

A bridge between the supply and drainage system (two completely separate systems) is called a fixture. Examples of fixtures would be toilets, sinks, washing machines, and outside faucets. If something draws freshwater and discharges wastewater, it fits this category. The great thing about fixtures is that some of them have individual shutoff valves, so you don’t have to close the main shutoff for repairs.

Do-It-Yourself Repairs

If you decide to change or add any pipes in your home, make sure that you have approval from your local plumbing code official (some things are prohibited). Before starting the repair process, turn off the water supply to the fixture or main shutoff. These do-it-yourself repairs cover only minor repair issues, so be sure to contact a professional Anthony PHC plumber if you have a legitimate plumbing problem.

Unclogging Sink Drains

For unclogging sink drains, you’ll only need a drain plug and adjustment arm. These clogs normally happen near the pop-up assembly of the drain. First, remove the spring tab from the drain plug adjustment arm. Then, remove the ball valve from the sink trap and the pop-up plug. Clear out the debris clogging the sink and enjoy your fully-functioning sink drain.

Unclogging Toilets

It’s embarrassing at times (and always seems to happen at the worst possible moment), but luckily a clogged toilet is something you can take care of without the aid of a plumber. You can tell a toilet’s trap or drain is blocked when water rises to the rim and drains slowly after being flushed. The first step is to try to loosen the blockage with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, use a snake to burrow into the blockage. Pull a portion of the snake out of the drum. Then, tighten the retaining nut on top of the snake body. Finally, rotate the drum of the snake so it burrows into the waste system to clear up the blockage. After that, your toilet should flush like a dream!

kansas city plumber unclogging toilet

Fixing Water Pressure in the Shower

To increase the water pressure in your shower, use a descaling product to remove limescale buildup. You’ll need a screwdriver, bowl, and descaling solution for this project. First, unscrew the shower head from the hose. Then, unscrew the spray plate and put it in a descaling solution (make sure it’s completely immersed). Leave the spray plate in the solution for a while (this time varies), and flush any remaining scale from the pipes prior to replacing the shower head. If the water pressure continues to be a problem, contact an Anthony PHC plumber to see whether the issue may be more serious.

Sewage

Sewage, or wastewater, is the stuff that gets washed down the sink and flushed down the toilet. It can’t be dumped outside your house because it (1) creates a terrible smell, (2) contains harmful bacteria (like E. coli), and (3) has suspended solids and chemicals that have a negative effect on the environment. The environmental impacts include excessive algae growth due to nitrogen and phosphate from the wastewater, oxygen consumption that kills fish, and suspended solids that make it difficult for fish to see (and makes the water look gross).

Septic Tanks

Many homes have private sewage treatment in the form of septic tanks. This is normally necessary for houses that are very spread out from their neighbors in more rural areas. Septic tanks are essentially big concrete or steel tanks buried underground, normally in the back or front yard, that can hold 1,000 gallons of water. Water flows into the tank at one end and leaves the tank at the other end. The water within the septic tank is normally divided into three layers: the scum layer at the top (anything that floats), sludge layer at the bottom (anything heavier than water), and the middle (relatively clear water layer). The water contains nitrogen and phosphorus, natural fertilizers. The septic tank produces smelly gases, so sinks have P-traps. These loops of pipe hold water in the lower loop and block gases from being released into the house.  Instead of flowing into your home, the gases move up the vent pipe (seen poking through house roofs).

kansas city plumber septic tank

Drain Fields

When new water enters the tank, the water that was already inside gets pushed out into a drain field. The drain field is composed of perforated pipes buries in trenches filled with gravel.

Drain pipes are typically 4 inches in diameter and are buried within trenches that measure 4-6 feet deep and 2 feet wide. The bottom layer of the trench (2-3 feet) is filled with gravel.  This layer of gravel is covered in dirt. The water is then absorbed and filtered in the drain field. Depending on the ground material, you may have to have a larger drain field. For example, since hard clay absorbs water slowly, you need a bigger surface area to compensate. All you need to power a septic tank is gravity, so this passive system shouldn’t rack up the power and electricity bill. As a bonus, the grass over your septic tank will be grainer because the soil absorbs the moisture and nutrients from the drain field. An Anthony PHC plumber can go into greater detail about the pros and cons of investing in a septic tank.

Contact Us

An Anthony PHC plumber will know the exact steps necessary to get your plumbing back on track. Our services include faucet repairs, garbage disposers, instant hot water installation, outdoor hose faucet, plumbing repair, sewer and drain cleaning, sump pumps, tankless water heaters, toilet repairs and installation, water heaters, and water softeners. Contact us today if you need fast service and experienced professionals.

Outdoor Faucet Trouble

One of the most wasteful and neglected faucets in your home is the outdoor hose faucet. What you wouldn’t give for one that actually shuts all the way off ! In many cases, outdoor faucets drip because of long-term wear and tear, and it makes more sense to replace the faucet rather than repair the component.

It must be installed properly to work correctly and remain trouble-free. The rear chamber must be 10″ inside your home. The air is warmer there in the winter. It also needs to be at the proper downward angle. We want to make sure all the water drains out after use. This is why it’s important to disconnect your hose in the winter. The remaining water can freeze inside a level pipe and when the pipe breaks, that can cause endless amounts of damage. Think about what that could look like if you are out of town or at work for 8 hours. You can see why having us install it correctly is a must!

Our freeze-proof hose faucet has an easy-on, easy off 1/4 turn soft-grip handle which is made right here in Kansas City. Call us for a free estimate to replace your outdoor faucet in time for summer play and chores.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Prevent Frozen Pipesbusted pipe
Winter comes every year, and every year some put off their annual chores to get the home ready for winter.

Be Prepared
“Preparation is key,” says Steve Burbridge, at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. “Learn the location of your main water shutoff valve in case a pipe breaks,” Burbridge advises. “Above all, find out which local plumbers are equipped and ready to handle frozen pipes.”

Place A Space Heater
Keep unprotected pipes above freezing by simply placing an electric heater near them. Remember, the goal is not to make the space toasty warm and comfortable. It’s to keep the water in the pipe above freezing.

Turn Off The Water
In the worst case, turn off the main water valve while the house is unoccupied or while you sleep. If a pipe freezes and breaks, the spillage is limited only to the water in the pipe.

Open Cabinet Doors
It’s not unusual for plumbing running to a kitchen sink on an exterior wall to be extremely vulnerable because the wall is not insulated. Open the cabinet doors along that wall to allow heat into the space. Place an electric heater in front of the cabinets for an extra measure of cold protection.

Protect Garage Pipes
Because most garages are not heated; water pipes running through the garage are also vulnerable to freezing and bursting this time of year. An Auto-Ray garage heater will keep the garage warm and protect the pipes. It also keeps the floors above warm. Ice and snow brought in on the car the night before will be GONE the next morning and the floor will be dry. The Auto-Ray heats a 2-3 car garage using inexpensive natural gas for about $10 a month. And no more getting into a cold car! For more information on the Auto-Ray garage heater, please go to http://mxcanthonyold.wpengine.com/kansas-city-garage-heaters/

34900489_s Plumbing Lessons
for the Novice and Seasoned Homeowner

1. Preventive maintenance is a must. More commonly thought of for your heating and cooling system, but just as important for your plumbing system.
2. Before you purchase a home, have a video inspection performed on the sewer pipe.
3. Don’t use harsh chemicals (toxic) to attempt to open a drain and don’t waste your money on a rented drain cleaning machine. They are dangerous, don’t extend long enough, and are not powerful enough.
4. Learn where your main water shut-off valve is as well as the shut-off at each fixture. You will be prepared rather than forced to search in a panic.
5. Forget the crank-on/crank-off. Discover the convenience of our easy 1/4-turn hose bib and you will smile each time you use it.