Yearly Archives: 2017

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips to Prevent Leaks

Dishwasher maintenance might not be on the top of your to-do list, but it’s not time-consuming or difficult, and it could save you thousands when you count the cost of water damage that could result from a leaking appliance.

As a homeowner, maybe you’re not an expert in plumbing, but you do care about your kitchen appliances. We’re here for you when you need expert help, but we’re also here to let you know what you can do on your end to keep your dishwasher in good working order.

Dishwasher Maintenance Tips to Prevent Leaks

Taking care of the dishwasher maintenance tasks listed below can help you prevent water leaks.

Check the Gasket

The gasket is the seal that surrounds the dishwasher — your favorite, hard-working appliance. If this tears or peels off, you could easily have a water leak next cycle.

Regularly inspect the gasket to make sure it’s fully attached and isn’t torn. You can find a replacement product at most home improvement or hardware stores, and they’re relatively easy to put on yourself.

Inspect the Spray Arm

The spray arm is the spinning part that rotates and blasts water at your food-crusted plates. In other words, it serves an important function.

Make sure the spray arm isn’t stuck or clogged with food particles. Also check that it doesn’t become warped or cracked. This will severely decrease the efficiency of your appliance.

Examine the Drain Hose

The drain hose carries away dirty water, and if it begins to leak, you have a problem. Prevention is the best medicine, so make sure you check the drain hose periodically to check for loose connections or hose damage.

Clean the Interior Regularly to Prevent Odors

Since your dishwasher deals with the dirty stuff, you need to proactively deodorize to keep your appliance fresh-smelling. Use detergent to scrub the inside and run a cleaning cycle with specially made dishwasher deodorizer. Clean the filter too — this can get clogged with food particles and contribute to bad smells.

General Operating Guide for Efficiency

Always repair dish racks when they break so they don’t rust or interfere with the appliance’s function. Don’t overload it! It’s tempting to try to slip one more plate in, but it could interrupt spray patterns and leave some dishes dirty.

Call Us

Looking for more helpful dishwasher maintenance tips, or maybe a fast, affordable repair? Call Connectionz Heating, Plumbing & Air today.

7 Energy-Saving Tips You Can Use This Winter

Energy-saving tips can help lower your heating bills, so you can save your cash for what matters, like holiday gifts, weekend ski trips and more.

This winter, spend less on your monthly heating bill by leveraging seven energy-saving tips to keep the warm air in and the frigid temperatures out!

Energy-saving tips to help lower your heating bills

1. Let the Sun Shine In!

You may think you’ll keep heat in by covering your windows with thick drapes that act as an extra insulator against the cold outside. This is true — at night. But on a sunny afternoon, you can raise the temperature indoors naturally if you let UV rays inside. Open those drapes and absorb free heat from the sun.

2. Close Your Fireplace Damper

It’s a common issue — homeowners build fires, but then they forget to close the damper after the logs have turned to ash. Remember to perform this simple task when your fireplace cools, or else the heat from your furnace will escape out your chimney.

3. Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater

Your water heater can account for up to 18 percent of your heating bill. That’s a lot. But you can save by turning down the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You won’t pay more than you have to for hot water and you won’t scald your hands: win-win!

4. Check Weatherstripping

If the weatherstripping around your front door is torn, you’re letting out heat and allowing an unwelcome draft in your entryway. It’s easy and cheap to replace worn-out weatherstripping around your doors, so add it to your weekend to-do list.

5. Don’t Overwork Your Heating System

You might love walking into a home that’s a toasty 74 degrees, but expect to pay significantly for this comfort. If you’re serious about using energy-saving tips to line your pocket, then don a sweatshirt and turn the thermostat down to 68.

Not only will you pay less to the gas or oil company, you’ll preserve the life span of your furnace, ensuring it doesn’t have to work overtime on colder days.

6. Use a Humidifier to Moisten the Air

If you live in a dry climate, a humidifier can help you feel warmer without turning up the thermostat. Moist air feels warmer than dry air, so put a humidifier in your bedroom at night to increase comfort.

7. Schedule a Furnace Tuneup

Most importantly, make sure your furnace is operating at maximum efficiency. That’s one of the most effective energy saving tips, because it means you’re going right to the source of the heat in your home, ensuring small problems are identified and repaired before they contribute to whole-system inefficiencies or breakdowns.

Trust Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air to replace furnace filters, assess your unit’s function and make necessary repairs before the cold weather sets in. You can also trust our team for additional energy-saving tips to keep your home warm and your heating bill down this winter.

Get a Furnace Tuneup Before Cold Weather Arrives

Have you been putting off your furnace tuneup? Don’t wait too long! Even if it’s warm now, fall comes quickly in Utah, and snow season is right around the corner.

Before you crank up your thermostat and pull on your wooly socks, make sure your furnace can handle the pressure. You’re not an HVAC expert, but we are, and we’re committed to staying proactive, helping Utah homeowners maintain comfortably warm homes throughout the upcoming winter.

Get a Furnace Tuneup Before Cold Weather Arrives

Why schedule a furnace tuneup in advance, before problems pop up?

Keep Your Family Safe and Warm

Having a furnace fail in the middle of the coldest night of the year is miserable to think about, but it can happen. When your furnace is taxed to the limit and it’s not prepared to work overtime, it can fail. Keep your family safe and warm by having licensed experts double-check that everything is running smoothly, reducing the chance of being left with no heat.

Achieve Optimum Energy Efficiency

A furnace tuneup can help ensure your HVAC system is operating at maximum energy efficiency. This will save you money, especially if you’re the type who likes to keep your home warmer than most.

Repair Minor Issues Before They Escalate

If the blower isn’t clean, it can affect the fan motor. If the system is overheating, it could crack the heat exchanger. There are so many small problems that contribute to huge issues. These small problems are inexpensive to repair, and if they’re caught in time, can help you avoid higher costs later.

Maintain Warranty Coverage

When you replaced your furnace last, you probably received a manufacturer’s warranty valid for a set number of years, with exceptions. Most manufacturers require homeowners to schedule a regular furnace tuneup at least once a year to keep the warranty valid.

Abiding by these requirements can save you money if the system fails early and must be replaced. You will be able to prove you did all you could to keep your furnace in good working order. And what better time of year to plan for a furnace tuneup than right before your system is about to be put to use daily?

Call Connectionz

Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is a local Utah furnace service team you can trust. The top three characteristics that set us apart from the competition is our wide breadth of experience, our dependability and our budget-friendly prices. When you want an affordable, comprehensive furnace tuneup, you know who to call.

Do’s and Don’ts of Unclogging a Drain

Unclogging a drain can be a challenge. It’s not as easy as pouring a jug of Liquid Plumr into the pipes and waiting for the magic to happen.

Know the do’s and don’ts of unclogging a drain before you take on the challenge. You may be able to fix the problem on your own, without professional help, but you don’t want to do any damage in the process.

Unclogging a drain

DO Follow These Guidelines

You can use boiling water to dislodge grease and hair, but not if your pipes are made of PVC; boiling water could weaken pipe joints and lead to leaks. If your pipes are made of PVC, just use hot water from the tap.

You can also try vinegar and baking soda to clear out blockages. This can help with bad odors as well.

Another way to dislodge a clog is with a drain snake. Thread it into the pipe to get it to catch on the debris and then pull it out or push it through. They’re designed to twist and bend with your pipes, so they can get out some stubborn clogs.

Sometimes unclogging a drain is as easy as pulling out the stopper. It’s common for hair and debris to get wrapped around this component and quickly lead to a backup. Thoroughly clean it off before putting it back in place.

Also, check the grease trap — sometimes clearing it out can remedy the problem.

DON’T Make These Mistakes

Some homeowners opt to use plungers when unclogging a drain, and that’s OK, but not if you’re plunging too hard. Excessive force can destroy the trap and damage the drain line.

Never pour a strong, hazardous chemical cleaning solution into your drains, no matter what the product’s marketing message is. Chemical drain cleaners aren’t usually biodegradable, and they can cause burns if they get on your skin.

You may rarely or never have to worry about unclogging a drain if you regulate what goes down it! Save your coffee grinds or eggshells for the compost. Keep fats, oils, and grease away. Put paper towels and feminine hygiene products in the garbage; don’t flush them.

When Should You Call a Professional?

Unclogging a drain isn’t always easy, but calling Connectionz is! Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is available 24/7 to help clear the worst blockages and get water flowing smoothly and quickly through your drains again. Call for emergency service whenever you have a clogged or overflowing drain — we’re here to help.

When Should You Update Your Plumbing Fixtures?

If you don’t think your plumbing fixtures need to be replaced on a regular basis, think again. Your toilets, shower heads and faucets aren’t designed to last forever. The question is, how long can they last?

plumbing fixtures

Some of the signs that you need new plumbing fixtures are minor and some are more serious. What should you watch out for?

You Can’t Stay on Top of the Leaks

How many times have you fixed a plumbing leak recently? If the faucet keeps breaking, maybe it’s trying to tell you something. Multiple leaks on one fixture is a sign it’s better to replace the entire item. Save time and frustration and put repair costs toward the price of a new faucet — that’s your best bet.

Minor Cracks Can Lead to Major Problems

Check your toilets. Do you see cracks in the porcelain? Even minor cracks are cause for concern. Many parts of a toilet can be fixed, from the stopper inside the tank to the wax ring seal at the bottom. One part that can’t be repaired is the bowl. You must install a new one before those minor cracks lead to major water damage.

You Spend Too Much on Your Water Bill

If your plumbing fixtures are older, consider how much your water bill is. What if you could instantly lower how much you spend on water every quarter? You can. All it takes is a fixture upgrade.

Modern low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets help you save water right away. You don’t have to sacrifice performance either — you still get the high-pressure flow, but you use less water. The savings add up quickly.

You Have Lower Water Pressure

Low water pressure is less than desirable. No one wants to shower in a trickle of water! Low water pressure could be a sign sediment is building up in your pipes and fixtures, especially if you have hard water.

Changing out your plumbing fixtures could rectify this issue and restore the blast you’re looking for when you need a hot shower.

You’re Ready for a Style Upgrade

Decades-old plumbing fixtures don’t function well, but they also probably look their age! Modern fixtures fit with modern style, and that’s what you’re going for: an enhanced, updated look.

You need new plumbing fixtures if you’re renovating your bathroom or kitchen, but also if you spot any problematic signs. And when you do, Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air can help. Give us a call for fast, affordable fixture installation when you don’t have time to handle it yourself!

6 Ways to Save Water and Money 

Should you be trying harder to save water? Even though Salt Lake City residents have one of the lowest average water bills when compared to urban areas across the U.S., Utah is still the second-driest state and has the second-highest per capita water usage.

save water

A large portion of the cost of water is related to the cost of maintenance on the public water system. So if Utah decides to update its infrastructure, you can expect your water bill to jump.

In the meantime, your water costs are rising because it’s summer in the desert: You’re using more water for landscaping, for fun and for drinking. It’s normal, but it’s not necessarily good for your budget.

Over the course of the next year, you can learn to save water and lower costs, so when the next dry season comes around, you’re prepared to keep bills lower and avoid breaking the bank.

Here are the top six ways to save water at home:

1. Add Insulation to Your Pipes

When you add insulation to your pipes, it takes less time for your water to heat up. This means you’re running your shower or tap less, since you don’t have to wait for it to get warm. Try to focus on pipes that are installed adjacent to an exterior wall — these are the pipes that need insulation the most.

2. Only Run Appliances When They’re Full

Don’t run your washing machine or dishwasher when it’s only half full; it wastes water and energy. Unless your appliance specifically has a setting for half-full loads, wait until the dishes and laundry pile up to run a cycle.

3. Adjust Your Sprinkler System

Are your sprinkler heads watering your lawn or the driveway? Adjust the heads so most of the water lands on the grass. Also, make sure you’re only using your system as much as is needed to keep grass alive, not wasting resources over-soaking the ground.

4. Install Low-Flow Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators

You’ll be surprised what a change you’ll see when you switch out your aging shower head for a low-flow version! You’ll see a faster stream of water that cleans more effectively, but you won’t use as much water. The same goes for your faucets when you install faucet aerators.

5. Transition to Energy-Efficient Appliances

If your appliances are over 10 years old, it might be time to upgrade. Newer appliances are more energy-efficient, and they save you thousands of gallons of water over the course of a year. Make sure your new appliances are Energy Star-approved.

6. Hire a Plumber to Check for Silent Leaks

Silent toilet leaks can waste gallons every day. It’s not easy to detect the source of water leaks in your home, but a plumber can help assess your entire system to make sure it’s functioning at maximum efficiency, making the necessary repairs to any issues discovered along the way.

Connectionz Can Help

Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air specializes in affordable, effective plumbing solutions for Utah homeowners. When you need help locating leaks, replacing an outdated dishwasher or fixing any plumbing issue, we are here for you. Call today and get the fast, efficient plumbing assistance you need.

Drain Cleaning Helps Prevent Water Damage 

Drain cleaning rids your plumbing of all the built-up grease, minerals, food and any other substances inhibiting the flow of water out of your home.

Drain Cleaning - Water Damage

You could try to clear clogs on your own, or you could trust a professional — someone who has the training and experience to address plumbing issues correctly and safely.

Signs of a Drain Clog

Do you hear gurgling in your pipes? Are your drains sluggish? Do your drains give off a bad odor?

These are all signs you could have a drain clog. They show your drains aren’t operating normally, and unless you do something to remedy the problem, it’s only going to get worse.

How Do You Normally Deal with Clogged Drains?

What is your usual approach to handling a clogged drain?

For many homeowners, the first step is to visit the hardware store. You may buy a drain cleaning product made of strong chemicals. Even though it’s marketed to make you think it’s a cure-all for clogged drains, beware: Many of these products do more harm than good.

Unexpected Consequences

The chemicals in the cleaning solution may generate heat as their main method of cleaning the pipe. This chemical reaction could help dislodge a clog, but it also can ruin a PVC pipe. It softens the inside of the pipe as well as the connecting seal, increasing the likelihood of a leak.

Instead of preventing a drain backup and overflow, chemical cleaners can drastically raise the risk of water damage!

In addition, chemical drain cleaners are toxic and can be dangerous to inhale. And they rarely work! Dumping chemicals down your drain isn’t the answer for a plumbing issue. In most cases, a plumber’s skill can easily dislodge clogs — with no damage to your pipes and no harmful fumes released into your home.

Professional Drain Cleaning Is Your Best Option

Do you want fast-moving, highly efficient drains? Do you want to eliminate foul odors from your drains? Do you want to increase your plumbing’s life span? Professional drain cleaning helps.

Water damage isn’t just unsanitary and inconvenient. It’s also expensive to fix. From flooring replacement to mold remediation, the cost of water damage rises quickly, just like the backup from your drain. Instead of putting your home at risk by ignoring these problems, why not invest in an effective repair?

Professional drain cleaning is affordable and one of the best preventive services you can schedule for your home’s plumbing — call Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air to make your appointment today.

Can You Prevent Tree Roots from Causing Sewer Line Damage?

Is sewer line damage one of your worst nightmares? Homeowners cringe at the thought of spending thousands to repair a sewer line that one of their beloved trees ruined, but it happens more often than you’d think.

The good news is you can stay proactive and prevent this problem. It may take the help of a professional plumber, but with the right team backing you up, you can keep your money in the bank and not worry about major sewer line damage.

sewer-line-damage

Tree Roots Love Plumbing Lines

Tree roots are attracted to moisture, nutrients and oxygen, so naturally they’re drawn to your sewer pipes. They grow toward the sewer line and when they find a crack in the pipe, they slowly creep inside, blocking the flow of waste, causing expensive backups into your home and sometimes cracking the pipe. You will need cleanup and a pipe replacement — two extensive jobs with high bills.

Map Out Your Sewer System

To prevent this issue, you first must know where your sewer line is. If you can’t find the clean-out caps, call your local water and sewer department and ask them to point out the location for you.

Then, check to see if any trees are in close proximity. If not, you’re in luck. If any trees are within a 10-foot radius, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Schedule a Professional Inspection

Call your local plumber and schedule an inspection. This is the fastest and most effective way to tell if your tree roots are already causing damage. Using a camera, your plumber will check the sewer line from the inside, looking for blockages and ingrown roots.

Remove Roots and Repair the Pipe if Needed

Depending on their findings, your plumber may suggest cutting intruding roots using a hydro-cutting technique or a mechanical auger. You can also use chemical solutions to kill the root system and prevent regrowth.

Once roots are removed, repairing the pipe is easily handled by expert plumbers who can give you pricing estimates on your options.

Avoid Planting Fast-Growing Trees

Going forward, consult with a landscaper to determine the best trees to plant in your yard. Try to avoid planting trees with fast-growing roots anywhere near your sewer system. Some trees to avoid include the aspen, sycamore and cottonwood. Slow-growing trees that are safer include the paperbark maple, flowering dogwood and cypress.

Trust Our Team

Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is here when you’re experiencing sewer line damage or you’d like to prevent it. We will assess the your sewer system and offer affordable, free quotes on all work — call today.

6 Signs You Need Cooling System Repair Right Away

Cooling system repair is a must — you can’t survive the summer in a stifling house!

Avoid an HVAC breakdown and call our technicians now if you notice any of the six signs listed below. It could mean your cooling system is on the verge of malfunction.

cooling system repair

1. Your Home Isn’t as Cool as Last Year

As the weather heats up, you start turning the thermostat down. But no matter how low it goes, you can’t seem to achieve the same level of “cool” as last summer. You change the system filter and hope to notice a difference, but no can do. This could mean there’s a more serious problem — leave it to us to find out.

2. Your Latest Cooling Bill Was Astronomical

Your energy bills usually give an accurate picture of the health of your HVAC system. If you’re spending hundreds to cool your home and the amount is definitely out of the ordinary, it’s possible you need cooling system repair to help the system run more efficiently.

3. The System Shuts Down Before it’s Cool

There’s nothing more frustrating than a whole-home A/C system that shuts off too early, long before it’s lowered the temperature to the desired degree. This could mean there is an issue with the system’s thermostat — definitely a repair job for an experienced technician.

4. It Makes Awfully Loud Noises

Pops, rattles and clangs are all clues the system might need a new motor or at the very least a new fan blade. Have a licensed professional take a look — sometimes the fix for this is easy!

5. Some Rooms Are Cool, Others Are Not

What if your HVAC cools your bedroom, but not your kitchen? What’s wrong?

This could mean you need vent and duct cleaning. It could mean the system’s compressor is breaking down. It could mean the system needs more refrigerant. Have a professional troubleshoot the problem to find out for sure.

6. Your System Is Leaking

You should not have leaking water anywhere near your HVAC — this definitely means you need cooling system repair. A refrigerant leak is slightly more dangerous than a water leak because it’s a health hazard, but both issues should be addressed right away.

When to Call Connectionz

If you notice any of these six signs your HVAC is failing, or if your HVAC refuses to turn on at all, call Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air right away. You need cooling system repair. Luckily, our smart, experienced team is only a phone call away and can restore the cool to your hot home in no time.

7 Signs You Need Sewer Line Repair

Do you need sewer line repair?

Too many homeowners try to handle plumbing problems on their own, but little do they know a slow-moving drain isn’t always an easy fix — not if it’s a sign of a major sewer line problem. Sewer line problems are worrisome for so many reasons — the issue could be an expensive fix, it’s inconvenient to have your sewer system out of commission and it just plain stinks (literally)!

As with many home repairs, the sooner you catch the issue, the less likely you’ll break the bank paying for collateral damage.sewer line repair, do you need it?

Here are seven clear signs you need sewer line repair:

1. Your Toilet Bowl Water Level Is Inconsistent

One day your toilet bowl is full, the next there is barely any water. It’s not just a curiosity — it’s a sign of a problem. It could mean you have a clog in your sewer system that could potentially cause a backup.

2. Animals Are Attracted to Your Yard

You can’t seem to shake the rodents and insects that are determined to make their home in your yard. Stop and think about why. It may be due to a sewage pipe break that’s attracting the wrong kind of visitors.

3. It’s Starting to Smell

Anytime you smell sewage in your back yard, basement or anywhere in your home, call a plumber. It means your sewer system needs work right away — the smell is not normal.

4. Your Yard Is Soggy

Significant pooling in your yard could point to a sewage leak. It also may be the source of the nasty smell. Take note of the location of the puddles and tell your plumber — it will help them locate the source of the problem.

5. Slow Drains

Whenever your drains are taking a long time to empty, you should worry. Also be wary of drain-cleaning products — they sometimes do more harm than good. Simply call your local plumber for a professional assessment.

6. Gurgling Noise from Your Pipes

A strange gurgling noise when your bathtub drains or your toilet flushes is never a good sign. Don’t depend on a plunger to correct the issue — depend on your plumber for sewer line repair.

7. Rising Water Bill

Your water bills keep going up. You start monitoring shower times and reducing the number of laundry loads you do, but the price continues to rise. This could mean you have a sewer line leak.

Want us to take a look at the problem? Connectionz Plumbing, Heating and Air is the Utah plumber you can call for fast, cost-effective sewer line repair. Contact us today!