Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Plumber

 Water Hot Enough

Certain parts of your plumbing system see direct interaction every day. Your toilet, your shower, the kitchen sink, etc. The real backbone components of your plumbing system are mostly out of sight, but that doesn’t mean that they should ever be out of mind. Here we’re talking about your water supply pipes, drains, and, yes, your water heater. Just because homeowners don’t regularly interact directly with their water heaters in Loveland, CO, doesn’t mean they should take them for granted.

Too often homeowners do just keep their water heaters out of mind, at least until something really goes wrong with the appliance. Don’t wait for your water heater to break down or spring a leak before giving it some needed TLC! Remember, this water heater is working for you each and every day—those hot showers depend on it, even if you’re not really thinking about it every time you use hot water.

Has the Problem Been Consistent?

Most people can put up with something like cool showers for a while. Some may stubbornly hold out longer than others. However, everyone has their breaking point. So, let’s ask this—are you reading this post because your current water heater has always failed to deliver water that is heated to your liking?

If so, the unfortunate truth is that your water heater may just be undersized for the task at hand. If you’re running the dishwasher while showering, or you’re last in line for the shower when everyone is getting ready in the morning, then the water heater may simply not be replenishing the supply quickly enough. An appropriately-sized water heater, or more strategic use/timing, is the only fix here.

Has Your Water Heater Been Maintained?

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard this cliched advice at some point. And you know what?

It’s terrible.

Your water heater is working hard every day, and that means it is incurring a lot of wear and tear. The degradation in operational quality may be gradual, but it is happening. Routine maintenance will help us to keep your system free of sediment, ensure that gas delivery is safe and proper, that your heating elements are functioning correctly, and more. That means better performance with greater peace of mind.

It May Be Time for a Change

Like any other system or appliance in your home, your water heater may simply be ready for retirement. We understand that you want to wring every last drop out of the systems that you pay for, but keep this in mind. The fact that your water heater can be repaired does not mean that your water heater is worth repairing.

We have great plumbers on our staff. They can do great things, and they excel at water heater repairs. If your system is old and unable to keep up with the performance that you need due to overall degradation over the years, a full replacement is really the way to go.

Schedule your water heater services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Drains Clogged

Maybe you truly love hosting friends and family around the holidays, cooking meals for them and maybe even putting them up for a few nights. Maybe you’re only lukewarm on the proceedings, but go with the flow because you’re thankful for the people in your life. Whatever the case, whatever your excitement level surrounding the responsibilities of hosting, one thing is certain—plumbing problems can put a damper on even the cheeriest of celebrations!

Among the most common of all plumbing problems, and definitely a very common issue during the holiday season, is the clogged drain. When you are cooking for and cleaning up after more people than normal, and when you potentially have a lot more strain put on your bathroom plumbing than is normal, you can understand how these problems may develop. Be sure to reach out to a member of our team with any concerns that you may have. You can count on our drain cleaning service in Loveland.

What You Can Do to Prevent Clogged Drains

Quite a lot, actually. Now, much of this is going to fall squarely on your shoulders. However, if you are hosting guests, you have to get over any hesitation that you may have in explaining some ground rules about your plumbing. This is especially true for those visitors that have young children with them. There is nothing wrong with requesting that some care be taken with your plumbing system! Keep the following in mind, and share anything relevant with any guests that you’re hosting.

The Kitchen

Do not pour any FOG down the drain. This means fat, oil, or grease. Roasted a beautiful bird to feed the crew? Pour the FOG from the roasting pan into a can, freeze it, and toss it in the garbage when you’re ready to take it out for the week. You don’t want to pour FOG down your drain, because it’s only a liquid when warm. When it cools in the plumbing system, it can and will congeal, and that can cause major clogs. Also, make sure that you’re not putting fibrous or starchy foods down the garbage disposal. Fibrous foods can jam up the impeller mechanism, while starchy foods can expand in moisture and lead to blockages.

The Bathroom

Nobody wants to talk about the business that individuals take care of in the bathroom. It’s a private affair, we get it. However, you need to make sure that everyone using your plumbing knows how to use it properly. Make sure that there is a trash bin right next to the toilet for any sanitary products that need to be disposed of. Make sure that any parents visiting with their children understand that no baby wipes, even those claiming to be flushable, are, in fact, flushable. Trust us on this one—you don’t want to learn this lesson the hard way.

If your drains are moving slowly, gurgling, or backed up completely,  just give a member of our team a call. We’ll make sure that they’re cleaned effectively and thoroughly.

Schedule your drain and sewer services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Prevent Frozen Pipes

When you think of the different problems that may develop with your plumbing system, you may think of a subpar water heating performance or a backed-up toilet. What you may not think of, at least not until it happens, is the freezing of your pipes. Unfortunately, Colorado is more than cold enough to make this a real possibility. The last thing you want after an exciting day on the slopes is to come home to your own personal skating rink.

We’ve got a few tips from our plumbers in Loveland, CO, that will help you to avoid frozen plumbing pipes in your home. Just remember that, while prevention is key, there is no way to guarantee that you’ll never run into this problem in your home. If you notice any signs at all of frozen pipes, or if you’re unsure of what you can do to prevent this issue even after reading today’s post, then let us know right away.

Maintain Airflow Around Your Pipes

If you look around your home, you are probably not going to see pipes running through your living space. If you do have pipes running along your living room ceiling, at the base of your bedroom walls, etc., well,  you may want to find a new contractor! Because so much of your plumbing system is hidden away from view, there is a very good chance that much of your piping is tucked away in unheated areas of the house.

This might mean under cabinetry, behind drawers, etc. By opening up your cabinet doors and drawers in order to let heated air from your home pass over and around those pipes, you may be able to prevent them from freezing up. It may look a bit odd to have those doors and drawers open, but it sure beats the alternative.

Insulate Your Pipes Well

There are very few plumbing services that we advise homeowners to handle on their own, but insulating your pipes is so simple that you can actually handle it yourself if you feel up to the task. Pipe insulation is very cheap, very easy to use, and can definitely prevent frozen pipes in most circumstances.

Not all of your pipes are exposed, of course, but those that are should be wrapped up in insulation. Not only can this help to prevent pipes from freezing up and bursting, but it can also help to boost efficiency as well. Wrapping hot water pipes in insulation keeps heat in the water from going to waste.

The Trickle Trick

It’s not a trick on you—it’s a trick on winter temperatures trying to devastate your plumbing system!

When you run a trickle of water through your plumbing system on those very frigid nights, you’re allowing just enough water to move through them to prevent the freezing of still water left in the pipes when they’re not in use. Don’t think of it as wasting water. Think of it as using water to prevent wasting a lot more!

Schedule your plumbing services withFort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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professional plumber

Would you cut away at the walls in your home in order to service—or attempt to service—your electrical wiring? We’re betting and, frankly, hoping that you wouldn’t. Let us ask you this, then. Would you feel more comfortable servicing the pipes in your home?  If you answered yes, we’ve got to ask: why? Safety is probably your first and foremost answer, but we really want to stress that DIY plumbing services come with their own inherent risks.

While there are certainly some cases in which you can handle your own plumbing needs—you probably don’t need a professional plumber to plunge the toilet on occasion—most plumbing issues are really going to require the skill and expertise that only a professional plumber can offer. In today’s post, we’ll talk about a few instances in which it’s in your best interest to contact a professional plumber. So read on, and be sure to contact a member of our team when you need any plumbing services in Loveland.

 

Your Drains Keep Clogging

Oh, I think you lost your train of thought. We’re supposed to be talking about plumbing issues that require professional intervention. Drain clogs I can handle on my own. 

Not effectively, you can’t. And no, that is not a challenge on our end. We know that there are cheap chemical cleaners you can use to clear up clogs in your drains, but the fact is that they’ll probably only do an effective enough job to allow the cleaner itself to pass through. Same with DIY-drain snaking. Yes, you can buy an auger. Yes, you may be able to free up some clogs. But you may also just push the auger through the clog. In either event, clogs will likely redevelop before too long.

Your Hot Water Isn’t Hot

That doesn’t mean that it has to be frigid, either. The idea that “good enough” is ever really good enough when it comes to a plumbing system is exactly how so many homeowners wind up in—apologies for this—hot water.

You may have a temperature control issue. You may have sediment at the bottom of your tank. You may simply need to replace an old, ineffective heater. Whatever the case, you want to have a professional resolve the problem ASAP.

Your Water Bills Keep Rising

This is an issue that way too many people overlook. In this world of automatic payments and managing different accounts, it can be easy to overlook fluctuations in what you’re paying for what. Don’t let high water bills sneaky by under your radar, though. If you do, you may wind up ignoring a pretty clear sign that you’ve got leaks in your plumbing system.

Remember, not all leaks are “major” and not all leaks are going to result in flooding. Many will trickle away for quite a while before you notice that anything is wrong.  Keep an eye on spiking water costs, and contact us if you have any reason to suspect leaks in your home.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care

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Great Water Heater

We know that water heaters may not be the most exciting investment in the world. A new family vehicle, for instance, might be something you’d anticipate more than a new water heater. That being said, the fact remains that your water heater is not going to last forever. You’ll need to replace it at some point—but with what? Another system capable of heating water for use throughout your home, yes, but what kind of system?

If you’re looking into your water heater options, then chances are that you’ve seen the two major one out there: tank and tankless systems. Today we’ll be turning to our expert plumbers in Windsor, CO, to help you determine which water heater is right for your needs. First, we’ll give you some background information on how these systems work, what sets them apart, and the pros and cons of each. Then, you simply need to contact us with any questions that you may have!

Eliminating Standby Energy Loss

This is really what it all comes down to. If your major interest in heating water is doing so as efficiently as possible, then it really is difficult to argue with a tankless water heater. Why? Because when you take the tank out of the equation, you also take the standby energy loss out of the equation.

Standby energy loss occurs when heat in the water heater by your water heater and stored in its tank transfers through that tank and into the air surrounding it. Heat is always going to move from hotter environments to cooler ones, remember.

When that happens, your water heater essentially winds up reheating water that it’s already heated. It may not be starting from scratch with cold water brought in through the main water line, as it would if you drained your tank, but it really adds up over time.

So Tankless Is Better?

Sure, in some cases—just as tank water heaters are better in others. One thing that you’ll notice is that tankless water heaters cost much more than tank models do. In the long run, they’re worth it. They last substantially longer than tank models do, and the improved energy efficiency plus the long lifespan can spell long-term savings.

However, some people just don’t want to spend the money up front, particularly if they’re not going to be in their home for many years to reap the benefits. There is also the factor of just how much hot water you use, and how much you use all at once.

A tankless water heater doesn’t heat water instantaneously, but it does do so on-demand. However, if you’re trying to take a hot shower while also running the dishwasher and the washing machine, the tankless system may be overwhelmed in scenarios that a properly sized tank water heater could handle. You can use more than one tankless system if you have a very high capacity household, but again: cost.

It’s a lot to think about, but we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Video Pipe

What’s the number one problem that homeowners may encounter with their plumbing system? Leaks, right? We bet you said leaks. It makes sense. After all, there are a lot of pipes in your plumbing system, and the unfortunate truth is that there is just no way to completely eliminate the risk of leaks in any one of them! The good news is that, while we can’t promise you’ll never run into leaks in your system—in fact, we can pretty much guarantee that you will!—we can help find them fast.

That’s because we offer video pipe inspection services. This is the single best way to pinpoint and diagnose leaks in your plumbing in Loveland, CO. If you have any concerns about potential leaks in your plumbing system, then be sure to call a member of our team. We’ll put our expertise and our technology to work for you. That way, you won’t have to worry about the serious problems that plumbing leaks can lead to when given the time.

 

What Is Video Pipe Inspection, and How Does It Work?

A video pipe inspection entails, well, using video equipment to inspect your pipe. Sounds simple, but it’s a bit more complicated than you may realize. We’re not just going to train a camcorder or phone camera on an active leak, show you the footage, and say “Well, there’s your problem.” No, video pipe inspection equipment actually allows us to peer directly into your pipes, finding and diagnosing problems from within.

Think of it like a drain snake but with a tiny camera on the end. The camera is affixed to a flexible rod that we feed directly into your pipes. This may be done through a drain or through an access point, depending upon the type of pipe we’re dealing with. Regardless, we feed that rod and camera in, and a live video feed is sent back to a monitor that we, well, monitor—that’s where the name comes from!

But What’s the Benefit?

Not all leaks are going to give you a clear source. Even if you see water pooling in an area of your home, for instance, the leak itself could be a long way off. That pool of water may simply be in the lowest point of the home, with water naturally following gravity’s pull to wind up there. It’s also not all about leaks.

In some cases, you may have a doozy of a clog in your drains or in your sewer line. You may have those drains or that sewer line cleaned. But how do you know that the service was effective? How do you know that there’s only one clog to deal with? It’s a lot easier when you’ve got the footage to review and you can actually see the clog and its location.

Plus, it helps with diagnostics. You know that you can trust us, but it’s also really great to be able to show you precisely what we’re talking about when we’re discussing your next steps. It’s not really so much a matter of proving we’re being honest—it’s to help you understand the potential severity of any given situation.

Schedule your video pipe inspection services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Water Pressure

Running water in your home is not something you should ever take for granted. Yes, of course, indoor plumbing is standard in homes throughout the country. Just because something is so common, though, doesn’t mean that you can take it for granted. Nor does it mean that you should settle for a subpar performance from such systems in your home. If you’ve got low water pressure in your house, then you’ve got a problem that must be dealt with.

If you encounter low water pressure in your home, then it is time to schedule service with a professional plumber in Loveland, CO. We cannot stress this enough. Not just anyone has the tools, training, and experience necessary to ensure the job is done right. Don’t get suckered into DIY service attempts just because an instructional online video gave you an undeserved boost of confidence. Reach out to a member of our team to get your water pressure back up.

 

It Could Be Your Water Main

This is something of a worst case scenario, but it is a topic we definitely need to cover. If you’ve lost water pressure throughout your entire home, then a leak in your water main could definitely be to blame. Now, a water main leak is not the cause of every instance of water pressure loss, and every water main leak may not actually result in water pressure loss. So what else should you look out for?

Keep an eye out for discolored water, which could be the result of sediment making its way into a damaged water line. You might also notice wet patches in your yard, where the line is leaking. If you have a leaking main line, then it must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid serious damage to your property.

It May Be a Localized Issue

No instance of lost water pressure is something to celebrate. But lost water pressure in one particular area of the home or to just one fixture is probably going to be a bit less intimidating than low water pressure throughout the entire house. If you run into this issue, it is likely that you’ve just got a leak in a single supply line servicing that area or fixture.

This isn’t to say that the problem isn’t serious. Remember, that water is going to wind up somewhere, and your home does not have to flood in order for serious damage to be done. If you have any reason at all to suspect a leak, be it related to water pressure or otherwise, have a plumber investigate promptly.

It Might Even Be an Issue with the Source

If you get your water from the municipal supply, then a problem with the delivery system could be to blame. You might want to contact your city or township, or at least touch base with your neighbors, to see if the problem is exclusive to your home. If you seem to struggle with water pressure regularly, and you use a water well, then a well pump replacement may be required.

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, the company you can trust.

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Toilet Leaking

For many people, the very mention of the word “plumbing” immediately brings to mind the toilet. We’re guessing that you don’t need us to remind you of just how important the toilet in your home really is. What you may need a reminder about, however, is just how serious any problems with your toilet can be. There are a lot of different issues that may develop with your toilet, and the result for your plumbing system is quite serious.

That is why you should schedule immediate plumbing services in Windsor, CO, if you suspect that there is a problem with your commode. One of the most common is a leak. However, not all toilet leaks are created equal. In some instances, you may actually be able to resolve the problem yourself. In others, the only real resolution may actually be the complete replacement of your toilet. Whatever the case may be, you can count on our professional plumbers to help you determine the right course of action. 

The Location of the Leak Means a Lot

Leaks can develop in different parts of your toilet and its plumbing. The location of the leak is going to affect the way in which symptoms of the leak surface. It will also affect the prognosis for your toilet in general. Let’s take a look at a few potential leaks that you may encounter.

  • A leak in the tank into the toilet bowl is among the most common leaks homeowners encounter. Such leaks will result in the constant running of the toilet, even if you haven’t flushed it in a while. The most likely cause of such a leak is just a misaligned flapper at the bottom of the tank, which you can adjust yourself, or a degraded flapper that will really just cost a few dollars to replace.
  • A leak in the toilet tank or the toilet bowl itself due to a crack in the porcelain is much more serious. It’s kind of like putting toothpaste back into a tube. Once that can of worms is open, you’ll need to replace the toilet. You are not going to successfully seal such leaks in any lasting manner.
  • A leak in the water supply line may lead you to panic right off the bat, as it can result in a lot of water all over the floor pretty quickly. If shutting off the water seems to stop the problem and you can actually tell that the leak is in the pipe, then relax. This is a fix that our professional plumbers can definitely handle for you.
  • A leak beneath the floor isn’t necessarily as serious as a leak in the toilet itself, in that it can be repaired. However, accessing that leak for repairs is tough and will require the removal of the toilet, replacement of the wax ring, and then the re-installation of the toilet. This is definitely not a DIY project.

Don’t ignore signs of trouble with your toilet. Schedule your plumbing repairs with the team that is big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Your Sewer Line

There are two main plumbing lines connected to your home: your main water line and your sewer line. Both are equally as important, though we often think less about our sewer lines. This is because problems often go unnoticed until disaster strikes, and the common signs can be quite subtle. However, it’s important to be aware of the signs we’ve provided for you in this blog. We’re all too aware of what the damage can be when issues with your sewer line are left unattended. That’s why it is best to schedule regular maintenance to avoid costly repair bills. If you are looking for a plumber in Loveland, CO, look no further than Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Your sewer line is the plumbing line responsible for channeling out all the waste from your home. Without this vital plumbing line, things would be quite stinky! It is important to remember that even though the sewer line is connected to a city sewer system, the homeowner is responsible for their own line. So, if your main sewer line becomes clogged, it is up to you to contact a professional to locate the source of the clog and resolve it! Below we have provided a list of warning signs that suggest your sewer line is in trouble.

Puddles in Your Yard

When there is a leak in your main sewer line, you might notice puddles in your yard. It is easy to shrug this off as a symptom of something else, so check to see that it isn’t coming from another source, like your garden hose or a sprinkler. If neither of those things are the cause, call a plumber.

Excess Greenery

If you begin to see more greenery spurt up in your lawn, it might be due to a leak in the sewer line. The leakage acts as a fertilizer, making vegetation grow more rapidly. Often, you will notice that the vegetation appears to be healthier and greener.

Foul Odors

Let’s face it, a clogged sewer line is going to emit some funky odors. If you notice any unpleasant smells coming from your drains or in your basement, it is time to contact a plumber. Trust us, you would not want to wait until the sewer line backs up into your home.

Slow Drains

If the water in your sinks, bathtub, or shower doesn’t drain as fast as it used to, it might be due to a clogged sewer line. If you notice multiple drains appear clogged, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a professional.

Mold and Mildew

A leak in the sewer line creates an excess amount of moisture, which can lead to mold. If you see a sudden growth of mold, or smell mildew, there might be trouble with the sewer line.

The best way to avoid a damaged sewer line is to schedule regular maintenance and inspection. A plumber can check for minor problems that could eventually grow into a major one. However, if a problem does arise, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. We offer a variety of plumbing services including installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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Winter in this area can be truly beautiful. It Let Your Pipes Freezecan also be a whole lot of fun! Of course, coming home to a house full of frozen pipes or a flooded basement due to a burst pipe sucks the fun right out of things. Trust us on that one. That is why our plumbers in Wellington, CO want to ensure that homeowners have some tricks up their sleeves. What kinds of tricks? The kinds that will help you to limit the risk of frozen pipes this winter season!

No, you do not need to purchase expensive heating units designed to keep your pipes warm in order to keep them safe this winter. These tips are practical, effective, and, best of all, simple! If you’ve ever experienced problems with frozen pipes, then you know how much you want to avoid them. And, if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky—but don’t push that luck. Instead, keep these tips in mind and reach out with any questions that you may have.

Keep Your Cabinets and Drawers Open

Okay, this one is not going to result in a finely tuned aesthetic for your home, but do you really care that much? We’re talking about the purely functional, here, and keeping cabinet doors and drawers open is actually a very effective way to keep your pipes from freezing over. It may look strange, but the benefits outweigh any such concerns.

Basically, you’re just allowing for airflow around any pipes passing under your cabinets, behind drawers, etc. You heat your home in the winter, but keeping these doors and drawers closed can prevent that heat from warming up pipes in these areas. That missing airflow may mean the difference between water moving through your pipes or freezing up and leading to ruptures from the pressure within!

Insulate Your Pipes

Normally, we’d be telling you that adding insulation to your home is something that only trained professionals can do. And this is true, in most cases. When it comes to insulating your pipes, though, you can do the job yourself. You just need some pipe insulation tubing and something to cut it down to size .

There is no messy spray or R-value calculation to worry about here. Just buy the tubing, snip it to size, and pop it over your pipes. While you’re at it, be sure to check if your hot water line is insulated, too. If not, then you’re allowing heat to transfer through that pipe out into the air surrounding the water heater. Just an extra tip for you!

Keep the Water Trickling

You’ve probably heard this one before, but you may have written it off as a waste of water. Water is only wasted, though, when you’re really not using it. In this case, you are using the water. Just not for what you normally do.

Keep a small amount of water flowing through your pipes, and you’ll be investing in the safety of those pipes. Sure, you’re paying for water you’re just pouring down the drains—but at least there is water flowing to drain, right?

Schedule your plumbing services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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