Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Voted Best Plumber in Kansas City
Who is the best plumber in Kansas City? Well, if you ask the readers of Pitch Magazine the answer is Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Anthony PHC was voted as “Best Plumber” in The Pitch Magazine’s addition of “Best of Kansas City 2017”.
In response to hearing the news, Steve Burbridge, Owner exclaimed, “We strive to provide the best service experience every hour of every day so it is always great to get validation that I believe our hard working plumbers deserve.”
This award comes on the heals of being recognized as the “Best Plumbing & HVAC Company” in Johnson County by the readers of Lifestyle Magazine as well as “Best HVAC Company” by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine.
“It’s great to be recognized throughout the entire metro area!”, said Steve Burbridge. “We are very grateful for our amazing customers!”
Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is an award-winning service company dedicated to indoor comfort, safety, health and energy savings.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not calling out a plumber to take care of a dangerous problem. By neglecting your fixtures and drains, you create even bigger issues for yourself. In this post, we’ll go over the different plumbing problems you may encounter, troubleshooting tips for the simple fixes and which problems require emergency plumbing in Kansas City.
You can prevent expensive repairs by conducting regular maintenance on your appliances. Complete your own maintenance inspection by examining exposed pipes around your house and checking for signs of moisture (when it isn’t humid). You can easily search for indicators of corrosion on brass or copper fittings. Corrosion indicates a slow leak since it occurs more quickly on damp metal. Ensure all your water faucets have a steady flow, but keep in mind that water pressure varies depending on faucet style and purpose. You can also look at drainage speed and flush toilets to check efficiency.
Clogged sinks are one of the most common plumbing problems out there. Clogged drains can be caused by hair, unprocessed food pieces, and more. Though this issue isn’t an emergency, it can cause the water flow to stop completely if it becomes too severe. You can use shower drain protectors to keep hair out of your drain and prevent the issue altogether.
To fix the problem, use a plunger to dislodge a clog with air pressure. Keep in mind that it can’t make the clog disappear completely. Commercial drain cleaners and clog removers are an option, but they can sometimes damage pipe materials if they’re utilized too often. You can check to see how bad the damage is by shining a light down the pipe. If the clump is near the mouth of the drain, you can use a pair of pliers or tweezers to remove the obstruction. The best way to prevent clogs is by installing drain screens, but we’re the ones to call if you require emergency plumbing in Kansas City!
We’re all familiar with this plumbing mishap…the clogged toilet. It’s embarrassing and inconvenient, but luckily there’s a quick fix! If you notice strange noises or leaking within your toilet, try some DIY tips. If the problem continues, you may have to deal with leaks and structural damage. Plus, raw sewage backups can create health issues in your homes. You can tell if the drain or trap is blocked when you see water rising to the rim and draining slowly after being flushed. A good troubleshooting technique is to bring out a trusty plunger. If that doesn’t work, use a snake to burrow into the blockage. Pull some of the snake from the drum and tighten the nut at the top of the snake body. After that, rotate the drum of the snake to ensure it gets the job done! When all else fails, contact emergency plumbing in Kansas City.
A running toilet is another common problem that plagues homes around the world. Jiggling the toilet handle can only patch the problem for so long. Toilets run when the flapper valve that lets the water pass from the tank to the bowl doesn’t fit properly. It could also be that the float isn’t balanced or the fill tube comes loose. You can purchase a toilet repair kit, but it may not be able to do the trick is there are more complex, underlying issues. If you’ve already checked out the flapper, float apparatus and fill tube, the culprit could be sediment. A tip off that you may have a silent leak is higher water bills. You can check for a leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to the upper tank, waiting 15-20 minutes and looking for any hint of color. If there’s tinted water, the flapper valve isn’t working properly. Once you’ve identified the issue, you can contact us for toilet repair.
Leaky faucets and toilets not only drive you insane, but also increase your utilities cost. You may have to deal with rust and mold growth as well. According to Aqua Plumbing, “when you turn off the tap, rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal that prevents more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet”. If the washers become stiff, dislodged or torn, that’s where you get the drips. You’ll need specialized tools to replace the washers, so it’s sometimes more affordable to just hire a professional to do it for you. For those who neglect their leaks, the valve seat can be become corroded, requiring even more plumbing assistance. If you have ceramic plates that work together to form a seal rather than washers, repair jobs will be even more complicated. You’ll be able to tell if you have ceramic discs or a canister tap if you have a lever-operated sink or tub. We offer faucet repair services day and night!
Leaky pipes can go undetected for several weeks, but it’s important to identify and fix the problem before it becomes a huge money investment. Leaks normally occur at joints, but can be temporarily fixed with commercial joint fillers and fitting compounds. This quick fix eventually requires a more permanent solution in the form of pipe or fitting replacement. If you have a leaky U-joint beneath your sink, you can use a compression clamp or leak tape to keep the water from spraying. A leaking water heater valve can be replaced by a professional, but you may need an entirely new system if the heater wall is rusted through. A leaky washing machine hose can cause mold and rust, so get this taken care of as soon as possible.
Low Water Pressure
One of the worst things to encounter after a long day is a shower with low water pressure. If your stream is more like a trickle, it may be an issue with the pipes in your home or the municipal water supply. The most common reason for this issue is a build-up of deposits or sediment on faucet aerators, though this normally happens in systems without filters. Soaking your aerator in vinegar overnight can often do the trick. If that’s not it, a leak in the pipes might be your problem.
Some other problems to be concerned about are broken water lines (caused by poor water quality or water pressure), burst pipes (freeze-thaw cycle issue), a lack of hot water or a sewer system backup. You’ll be able to tell if you have a sewer system backup if you experience multiple drain clogs, gross odors emitting from the drains, gurgling toilets and pools of water near floor drains.
Questions to Ask
Can the Issue Wait?
Before you call someone out for emergency plumbing in Kansas City, ask yourself whether the issue can wait until the next day. A water leak in your basement requires immediate attention to prevent flood damage, but a faulty toilet can wait until the next morning if you have alternate toilet options. An issue may be more pressing depending on the time of year as well. A broken sink in the middle of the summer will be a problem, as will a faulty heater in the middle of the winter. In some cases, you can shut off the water without having to call in outside help. Simply locate the water shutoff valve and determine whether you need to shut off the main one or a specific valve. This will hold off the problem until the morning when you can call a plumber.
Will Waiting Cause More Damage?
You need to ask yourself whether putting off a repair will cause even more damage. If the answer is yes, opt for emergency plumbing in Kansas City. You can cut down on damage by using buckets and rags to soak up a leak, but don’t delay a permanent fix. Failure to nip these issues in the bud can results in floor, ceiling and wall damage.
Is this My Problem?
Sometimes, it’s not your responsibility to fix the problem. The water company and utility provider will be able to tell you if the issue is affecting the whole neighborhood rather than just your home. An example of this would be malfunctions with city water supplies. This saves you money, since repairs are made at no cost to you!
Things to Consider
Make sure you know exactly how much you’ll be paying for the repair. On top of service fees, you may be charged an extra fee for emergency services completed at night or on the weekends. We’ll be able to give you a ballpark estimate to fix your problem before we come out to your home. Do some comparison shopping and take into account reviews before making the call. There are some plumbing tasks that you can’t complete unless you’re a trained professional, like new construction that needs building permits and installation of new pipes/tubs. Seek out emergency plumbing in Kansas City if:
- There’s a septic tank leak
- The sewer line breaks or leaks
- You have water heater issues
There are upsides and downsides to tankless hot water heaters; It’s all a matter of how much hot water your home requires and whether you are willing to wait for your investment to pay off. While tankless heaters are more expensive (sometimes three times the amount of a traditional water heater), they have a longer life-span and can lower your utility bill significantly. If you’re using 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, a tankless hot water heater can be 24%-34% more energy efficient than storage tank water heaters. If you use more hot water (like 86 gallons a day), they can be 8%-14% more energy efficient. Life expectancy is typically more than 20 years with a tankless water heater. In this guide, we’ll go over the key advantages to a tankless water heater, how to calculate the size and type you’ll need, how they work and what differentiates the different types. We’ll also go over some aspects you might have to sacrifice when investing in a tankless water heater.
Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater
There are several advantages to choosing a tankless water heater over a tank heater. What really differentiates a tankless water heater from a traditional water heater is that they can eliminate standby heat loss. Where a regular hot water heater is constantly heating and storing water, tankless hot water heaters heat water on demand. This means there is no hot water sitting idly in a tank and losing heat. Some tankless water heaters are controlled via a thermostat, giving you more flexibility to vary output temperature. Another perk is that they take up less space and are better for the environment—the rusty tank doesn’t get thrown in a landfill. Your larger, traditional heaters take up a huge amount of space with their 30-50 gallon tanks. Some that hold 40-60 gallons can be 60 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Compare that to a tankless water heater that’s roughly the size of a large computer, and you can see why these bad boys are so popular in homes with little free space.
These tankless hot water heaters are rated by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate. You’ll need to figure out how many hot water devices you intend to use at any one time (ie: running the washer and shower at the same time) and add up the flow rate (in gallons per minute). You’ll want to shoot for this desired flow rate when looking for the best tankless water heater. To cut down on the flow-rate, you can invest in low-flow water fixtures.
Calculating Temperature Rise
When deciding which type to go with, you should consider both the flow rate and the temperature rise (ie: difference between groundwater temperature and desired output temperature). You can use this map to see the average groundwater temperature for your area. Simply subtract your ground water temperature from your desired output temperature. You’ll want to shoot for 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit for your water to be heated. If your groundwater temperature is 60 degrees and you want your shower at 110 degrees, that’s going to be a 50-degree rise.
Calculating Flow Rate
Flow rate can be calculated by adding up the GPM for the household water fixtures you’ll need at one time. A bathroom faucet with low-flow is estimated at 0.5-1.5 GPM. Most faucets installed past 1992 are set at 2.2 GPM and 3.0 and 5.0 GPM post-1992. A kitchen faucet could be anywhere from 3.0-7.0 GPM. Since kitchen faucets don’t use aerators, there are no low-flow numbers. A shower’s low flow rate it normally pegged at 1.0-2.0 GPM. Pre-1922 heads can range anywhere from 4.0-8.0 GPM. If you notice that hot water isn’t reaching your faucet as quickly as you would like, you can add a circulation system to the heat source. Depending on the tankless model you choose, it may already be designed for a circulation system add-on—no reconfiguring piping or buffer tank necessary.
What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?
Here’s an example from Compact Alliance to help you use these figures to calculate the tankless hot water heater necessary for your needs:
An average shower will be between 104–106° and uses 2.6 gallons of water. Assuming your water temperature is 40° coming into your home, and you want to produce enough hot water to run 2 showers at the same time, what temperature rise would you need to produce to accomplish this?
Answer: You’ll need to raise the incoming water temperature from 40 degrees to 105. You’ll need to be able to heat at least 5.2 gallons of water, so you’ll need a tankless water heater that can produce at least a 60 degree rise in temperature at 5.2 gallons per minute.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Water is heated when the hot water tap is turned on. The cold water travels via a pipe into the unit, where it is then heated with a gas burner or electric elements (heating coils). A powerful heat exchanger transfers the heat from one source to another. This exchanger is activated by the flow of water. Flow sensors measure the exact flow rate and takes into account the temperature readings at the heater’s inlet/outlet. This data is sent to the temperature controller. Combustion gases safely exit through a dedicated, sealed vent system.
Unlike with a storage tank, you don’t have to wait for the storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. The downside to tankless heaters is that their output limits the flow rate. The average tankless water heater heats water at about 2-5 gallons per minute. The gas fire tankless water hearers have a higher flow rate than electric ones, but they’re still strained when multiple hot water sources are running at once. To remedy the issues, you can install two or more tankless hot water heaters or install separate heaters for different appliances that use up a lot of hot water. To install these systems properly, you’ll need to take into consideration fuel type, climate, local building code requirements and safety issues.
Tankless Water Heater Pros & Cons
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates gas-fired tankless water heaters save an average of $108 in energy costs each year compared to traditional tanks. Electric tankless heaters save $44/yr. However, you have to compare this number to the cost of the heaters themselves. A tankless water heater can cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,000. You’ll need to make sure that your home can handle a tankless water heater. If you have electric-only utilities, for example, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical system. This can be a costly endeavor. Sometimes, tankless water heaters require more intricate installation as well. Your home’s gas piping, gas meter and gas line to the meter may not be the appropriate size for the high gas load that will be replacing the conventional storage gas heater. When not installed properly, these heaters may underperform or present a safety hazard to your home.
Tankless water heaters that utilize natural gases are 23% more efficient than a traditional storage version (60% efficiency). Gas-powered tankless water heaters qualify for a $300 tax rebate as well. You’ll be able to calculate how much hot water the heater can deliver over a set period of time by taking into account the first-hour rating for storage-tank water heaters and the gallons-per-minute rating for tankless water heaters. Hot water heaters typically provides 3.5 gallons of hot water per minute. If your home uses less than 41 gallons of hot water each day, you’re the perfect candidate for a tankless heater. In your case, they can be 23%-34% more energy efficient according to Energy.gov.
Types of Heaters
There are a couple different types of tankless heaters: point-of-use and whole-house. Point-of-use systems can only heat water for one or two outlets. You can stick them under a cabinet or in a closet, because they’re so small. You’ll be able to reduce water loss by decreasing lag time (time it takes for the hot water to reach your faucet). In larger houses, this lag time can last several minutes. You can also pick between electric, propane or natural gas models. Where point-of-use models are typically electric, whole-house systems utilize natural gas or propane.
The gas and propane-powered heaters are more powerful, which makes them ideal for whole-house systems. The key difference between a whole-home gas tankless water heater and a standard gas heater is the storage tank. An Energy Star certified tankless water heater harnesses the power of a secondary heat exchanger to reduce energy consumption by 9% compared to a conventional gas tankless water heater. This secondary exchanger take out extra heat from the combustion gas and cools it to condensation. This is where they get the name ‘gas condensing’. They also require venting through a vertical PVC pipe and condensation drain. You’ll see electric models more in point-of-use scenarios, though some people purchase two in parallel. Those seeking a shower in a pool house or hot water for an outdoor kitchen are better off with a small, electric tankless heater. Plus, electric models don’t create greenhouse gases and can be operated with a remote control. You don’t have to worry about flooding from a ruptured tank either.
Getting the Best Tankless Water Heater
We want to help you get the best tankless water heater for your hot water needs and budget. If you’re interested in a tankless hot water heater, contact us. Our certified technicians can answer any questions you have and get the job done on YOUR schedule.
Best Plumbing in Johnson County and Best Heating & Cooling company in Johnson County.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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, 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).
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).
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.
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.