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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

How do I know if my Sump Pump is Working?

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

Step 1:  Test the Pump

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

Step 2:  Watch the Drain

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

Step 3:  Test the Shut-off

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

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

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

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

How Do I Test My Back-up Sump Pump?

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

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

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

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

How Often Should I Replace My Sump Pump?

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

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

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

Check Homeowner’s Insurance

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

Call Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric

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

angie's list super service award 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid the Costs Associated with Sewer Digs

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

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

How Does Pipe Bursting Work?

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

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

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

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

Other advantages of pipe bursting include:

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

How is Pipe Bursting Different than Slip Lining?

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

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

What is the Best Sewer Company Near Me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check water pressure and adjust if needed

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

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

Check for leaks and repair if needed

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

Unclog faucets, drains and sewers

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

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

Condition or soften your water

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

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

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

Water heaters need a yearly tune up

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

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

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

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

10-point water heater tune up:

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

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

Check all faucets for proper operation and clean faucet screens

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

Inspect all exposed drain pipes and floor drains

Inspect all gas piping and valves

Install safety identification labels on plumbing valves and piping

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

girl prepping her lawn for fallWeather can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared for season changes before they arrive.  Fall marks the dawn of the heating season, and your home requires special attention to maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment when you turn on your furnace.  Your plumbing needs special preparation for cold weather, too.  By preparing for fall early, it can save you time, trouble and money.

Your Air Conditioning Still Needs Attention

Fall doesn’t mean the end of hot weather – you may still need your air conditioning well into the season.  If you haven’t had your cooling system tuned up this year, then it is smart to get it done before the season ends.

As the fall weeds grow and leaves fall, keep an eye on your outside air conditioner to keep the coil clean and unobstructed so it will be ready to go for next season.  When you no longer need cooling, you may consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from yard and tree debris.  Air conditioners do not require covers to protect them from winter precipitation however, and heat pumps should never be covered.

Did you know that fall is a great time to purchase a new air conditioner?  Prices for cooling systems are lowest in the fall and spring when HVAC contractors are not as busy.  Look for good deals on air conditioners, and on furnaces, too.  Consider replacing these items in the slow fall and spring seasons to take advantage of lower prices.

Furnace Safety Checks are Critical for Health and Safety

Fire, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and indoor air pollution are potential hazards of heating your home.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 170 Americans die every year from accidental CO poisoning alone.  Furnace safety checks, CO detectors and smoke detectors are your main defense against heating system hazards.

Furnace safety checks should be done by highly-trained heating technicians like those at Anthony PHC. A partial list of tasks that should be performed during a safety inspection include:

  • Examine the heat exchanger for cracks with state-of-the-art inspection cameras
  • Test for any dangerous gas leaks such as CO
  • Test and clean the ignition system for safe and proper operation
  • Test the safety and control circuits
  • Ensure the exhaust is venting properly

CO and smoke detectors only work if they are functioning correctly.  Change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms at the start of every fall, and make sure there is at least one of each on every level of your home.  Also consider installing the new WiFi smart alarm systems that will alert you to trouble via your phone when you are away from home.

Furnace Tune Ups Done Annually Save Energy and Satisfy Warranties

Safety comes first, but saving money and optimizing the life of your heating system is important, too.  While your Anthony PHC technician is performing your furnace safety inspection, have them perform your annual furnace tune up.  It is important to know that many air conditioning and heating components require annual maintenance to keep their warranties in effect.  And before you turn on your furnace, check your filter and replace it if needed.

Humidifiers Need Annual Maintenance, Too

Heating system humidifiers require annual maintenance, too.  Have your Anthony PHC technician clean and check your humidifier and replace the water panel.  Before turning on your furnace, make sure your humidifier is turned on, then turn your humidistat to 35% relative humidity, or the #4 setting, for optimal humidity.  Proper humidity levels can prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria and keep your nasal passages healthy.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions Could Save Your Life

Indoor air is up to 100% more polluted than outdoor air, which becomes a real concern as we close windows up for the winter.  Luckily there are several solutions available to vastly improve the quality of your indoor air.  Air scrubbers are a popular option.  UV lamps placed in your heating system can cut down on mold and allergens significantly.  Mechanical and electronic filters which replace your standard 1” filter are a great option, too.  Polluted indoor air has been linked to lung, cardiovascular and allergy problems.  Discuss the best solution for your family’s unique health needs with your Anthony PHC technician.

Don’t Forget the Fireplace

At some point you may decide to have a nice cozy fire in your fireplace.  But before the weather gets too cold or inclement, have your fireplace, flue and chimney checked for fire and gas hazards.

Protect Against Frozen Pipes with a Plumbing Inspection

Avoid broken pipes due to frozen water caused by garden hoses left attached to outside faucets.  Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and place them in storage.  Or even better, replace your outside hose faucets with frost-free versions, and you will never have to worry about forgetting your hose, because they will not freeze even with the hose attached.

Before freezing temperatures settle in, take a good look at your plumbing to determine where frozen pipes might happen, and insulate them where possible.  Any pipes in a wall adjacent to the outside or garage are at risk for freezing.  Fall is an excellent time for a plumbing inspection and safety check.  Your Anthony PHC plumber will be able to advise you on plumbing insulation tips while making sure your water heater is ready for the increased demand for hot water due to cold weather.

Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heaters Are a Great Winter Defense

One way to protect against frozen pipes is to install a natural gas infrared garage heater.  Garage heaters that run on natural gas can heat your garage for pennies a day, and warm up adjacent rooms at the same time.  Because they use no electricity, they are a great back up if your furnace stops working due to electricity outages caused by winter ice or windstorms.

Garage heaters are a wonderful way to extend your usable living space during the winter when the outdoor areas become unusable.  They help extend the life of your vehicles, too.

Your Fall Prep Checklist

In summary, to make your transition into fall easier, perform these fall preparation tasks as soon as possible in the season:

Cooling System Prep

  • Check and clean your outside air conditioner coil
  • Get a cooling system tune up
  • Consider purchasing a new air conditioner (with ozone friendly refrigerant) or furnace during the fall

Heating System Prep

  • Check your furnace filter
  • Test your CO and smoke detectors and replace the batteries
  • Get a furnace tune-up and safety inspection
  • Turn duct system dampers to the winter position
  • Schedule a fireplace, flue and chimney inspection

Humidifier

  • Turn the bypass air humidifier damper to the on position and turn thermostat on
  • Schedule to have the humidifier cleaned and checked

Indoor Air Purification

  • Install an air purification system to protect against indoor pollutants and allergens

Plumbing

  • Remove garden hoses and consider purchase of frost-free outdoor faucets
  • Insulate pipes against freezing in suspect areas
  • Consider purchasing a natural gas infrared garage heater to keep pipes from freezing

Call Us Today to Schedule a Fall Prep Visit

Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has highly trained technicians and plumbers available to come to your home and answer all your questions about preparing your home for the coming fall and winter seasons.  Call us any time of the night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to schedule fall prep service.

boy drinking water

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

New Catalytic Water Conditioning Technology Removes Hardness without Removing Minerals

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

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

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

Catalytic Water Conditioning Plus Filtration offers Many Benefits over Reverse Osmosis

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

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

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

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

Removing Hard Water Keeps Your Plumbing and Appliances Healthy

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

sewer camera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Opening vs. Cleaning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose Wisely, and Seek Professional Advice

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

 

anthony technicianpara Español,haga clic aquíAir-conditioning systems are one of those appliances you rarely think about until something goes wrong. And if you’re caught without AC in the middle of summer when HVAC technicians are at their busiest, you could face some miserable days of heat at home.

Fortunately, there are some telltale signs homeowners can usually identify before an AC system breaks down completely. Are you seeing any of the following? Better get your air conditioner replaced sooner than later.

1. Your AC is more than 10 years old

Air conditioners wear out just like any other household appliance. A well-maintained AC system will last 10 to 15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

However, systems that have not been maintained over their lifespan will not last the full 10 years. Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric, recommends having a tune-up by a professional HVAC technician to keep your system in good working order. The technician can inspect the unit’s components, identify and fix any issues and clean the indoor and outdoor coils.

2. Your energy bills are rising

Before you blame global warming for your rising energy costs, consider whether your high energy bills could be the result of faulty, failing or inefficient machinery. An AC system that is working inefficiently will run more frequently, using up more electricity while not adequately cooling your house.

Many utility companies provide comparison charts of how your bill has changed month over month and year over year. They also often provide an average temperature for each day of the month, information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.

Newer cooling systems will also tend to be more energy-efficient than older models. Investing in an energy-efficient system could provide you dividends in the long run.

3. Your system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant (R22)

In 2020, the ozone-depleting refrigerant R22 stopped being manufactured. Used as a coolant for air conditioners beginning with the first models produced in the 1950s, R22 has been found by researchers to be contributing to the thinning of the earth’s ozone.

Burbridge recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. More recently produced models use ozone-friendly refrigerant, such as 410A.

“If their system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant and it needs any repairs, it doesn’t make sense to invest any money in it,” Burbridge said.

4. Repeat breakdowns

repair costs vs age of acWhether your AC system has reached the end of its lifespan or not, having multiple serious repair jobs in a row could indicate it is near wearing out. Recall that systems last only as long as they’re maintained well, and some simply don’t last as long as others. If you’ve already fixed one issue and more are popping up, it might be best to cut your losses and replace.

Older air conditioners will also have more aesthetic issues. “Rust is a major problem, along with being noisier than newer models,” Burbridge said. “People with air conditioners that are near windows or backyard patios could benefit from the newer and quieter AC units built today.”

For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electric in the Kansas City area today.  Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.