Yearly Archives: 2017

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!

Why Do You Have Noisy Pipes in Your Home?

Are noisy pipes normal, or is something is wrong with your plumbing? What’s the cause of the rattling, banging and clanging, and what can you do to fix it?

Noisy pipes have three common causes.

Noisy Pipes

The “Water Hammer” Effect

The “water hammer” noise is caused when water is rushing along at high speed, then all of a sudden, the valve closes and blocks the current. The hydraulic shock wave reverberates through the pipe, and causes a loud banging sound.

It’s not just a bother in terms of noise. The sudden pressure can damage the pipe’s joints and connections over time. It may loosen the hardware that holds the pipe in place, and this will only make the banging louder, since the pipe will slam against metal or wood.

Heat Causing Expansion and Contraction

Maybe the sound isn’t so much of a bang as it is a ticking. These noisy pipes are likely made of copper, and you probably hear the ticking when you start using your hot water.

As the hot water hits the cold metal, it starts to expand — that’s where the ticking sound comes from. Once the heat is gone, the pipes start contracting, which produces more of a creaking sound.

Mineral Buildup Could Be the Cause

If you have significant mineral buildup, you’re likely to have noisy pipes. The minerals create a coating on the inside of the pipes, allowing air pockets to form. Once the water gets hot, the air bubbles burst and produce the popping or rattling sounds you hear.

Possible Solutions

For noisy pipes that make a loud banging noise, plumbers can install air chambers that absorb the shock and eliminate the water hammer effect. It’s also possible to install water hammer arrestors — small, spring-loaded devices that absorb the water’s momentum and significantly reduce noise. Or you could try lowering your home’s water pressure.

For pipes that tick or creak, consider lowering the temperature of your water heater so that the hot water doesn’t prove as much of a shock to the cold metal. You can also wrap insulation around the pipes to muffle the sound.

Sounds from mineral buildup can be cured by flushing your water heater on a regular basis or installing a water softener to decrease the hardness of the water supply.

Talk to Your Plumber

Connectionz Plumbing, Heating & Air is here for you — call us today. We have fast, affordable solutions for homeowners with noisy pipes.

7 Signs You Have to Replace Your Water Heater

Knowing whether to repair or replace your broken water heater can be difficult. You want to get the most out of your appliance, but you don’t want to spend money to fix it if it’s not going to last much longer anyway.

Water heater issues almost always pop up for homeowners at some point, and once the problems start, it’s usually best to think about scheduling a replacement.

replace water heater

Here are seven signs it might be time to replace your water heater:

1. It’s Old

Water heaters only last 10 to 15 years. If you don’t even remember when you got yours, it’s probably time to have it replaced. Don’t wait until it gives out and leaves you cold and shivering in the shower.

2. The Bathtub Fills with Yellow, Rusty Water

You’re finally ready to draw your bath for your Friday night relaxation ritual, but rusty, yellow water comes out of the tap. When the tank is rusting on the inside, you can tell from the color of the water. It’s a sign the tank will leak soon or is already leaking, since the inner seal is rusting away.

3. Your “Hot” Shower Lasts 20 Seconds

When you get a full 20 seconds of hot water before it turns frigid, the tank’s heating element is starting to fade. This is bad news, because that means your dishwasher and washing machine can’t clean effectively either. Plus, you’re tired of cold showers!

4. Your Water Is Warm, Not Hot

Your “hot” water never seems to get really hot. If you crank up the temperature on the tank and still only have lukewarm water, it’s a heating element issue.

5. You Jump When You Hear it Crackle or Pop

You venture down into the basement or garage (or wherever your water heater is located) and you hear a sudden loud pop. Excessive crackling or rumbling can be scary, and it’s a sign of too much built-up sediment at the bottom of the tank.

6. You’ve Paid for Too Many Repairs

Your water heater isn’t getting any younger! It might not sprout gray hair, but when it’s forced you to pay for too many minor repairs, it’s probably better to just invest in a new one.

7. You Step in a Puddle

When you try to adjust the heat settings on the tank, you notice water on the floor. Quick! Call a plumber right away. This is a tank leak, and it’s time to get a replacement.

At Connectionz Plumbing Heating & Air, we replace your water heater before it’s too late, ensuring uninterrupted hot water flow for all your future morning showers. Don’t wait until it fails — call us today so we can diagnose, repair or replace this appliance as needed.