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Make the switch to a new demand-type water heater

If you are considering a water heater replacement, you should think about the numerous demand-type water heater advantages you can benefit from. If you are not considering a replacement, perhaps you should be.

In this blog, we’ll run through the advantages of switching to a new tankless system. To get started, contact our team.

Is it time to replace your old water heater?

How can you know if you need to replace your water heater? Here are some important indicators:

  • Your current water heater is 10 or more years old.
  • Your energy bill has gone up without significantly increased use.
  • Your hot water supply runs out more quickly than it used to.
  • There is visible damage to the water tank, such as a crack.

If any one or more of these things is true for you, a new water heater would be a wise investment in the near future, and ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here to help you make the transition.

The advantages of going tankless

If you haven’t already made the switch to a tankless water heater, now is the time to do it. Instead of storing hot water in a tank that must refill itself before use after it is emptied, tankless water heaters provide hot water continuously, heating the water as it flows. You won’t run out of hot water, even when multiple people are using it at once.

Here are some other demand-type water heater advantages for you to consider:

  • Fewer risks to your home – A tank in an old water heater can experience malfunctions or sustain damage that can lead to flooding or other problems in your home. Tankless water heaters have no tank to burst, and don’t endure the massive amounts of water pressure that can lead to issues.
  • Savings on your energy bill – Tankless water heaters are far more energy-efficient, which means you won’t need to spend as much money heating the same amount of water. In fact, you could cut your bill by more than 20 percent!
  • Longer-lasting equipment – Demand-type water heaters have roughly twice the lifespan of a water heater with a tank. They also have many replaceable parts, so repairs are easier and cost less.

Call ABC to learn more about a demand-type water heater

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we understand your desire to make the best decisions for your home, family, and finances. With our services, we offer fair pricing and full satisfaction to all our customers.

If you’re ready to upgrade your old water heater to a new demand-type system, contact us today for a quote.

Plumbing 101: The 4 most common causes of a sewer line clog

Over time, your home’s sewer line can become clogged, causing major problems for you and your home. A sewer line clog is a serious issue that requires professional plumbing repair services.

In our last blog post, we reviewed the signs of a sewer leak or clog. In this post, we’ll go over what causes a sewer line clog—and how you can prevent one from happening in your home!

If you do find yourself in need of sewer line services, contact ABC for emergency plumbing repair in much of the Bay Area.


Read our other Plumbing 101 articles:

STORM DRAINS   •   SIGNS OF SEWER LEAKS


Common causes of a sewer line clog

Here are the four main reasons that sewer lines experience clogs and blockages.

1. Intrusion of tree roots

Pictured: A sewer line clog can cause a major blockage in your home's sewer line.

Tree root intrusions are one of the main reasons for a sewer line clog. When there is little rainfall here in the Bay Area (especially during times of drought), the roots of large trees on your property seek water.

If your sewer pipe is leaking even a little bit, the roots will seek out the pipe and try to access the moisture. Over time, they surround the pipe and break into it, growing to fill the width of the pipe and leading to a blocked line.

As we mentioned in our previous post: find out where your sewer line runs on your property and figure out what trees and bushes are above or near the line.

Need help with this? Call the team at ABC, and we’d be happy to help you locate and diagnosis your sewer line problems.

2. Treating your toilet like a trash can

Some people treat the toilet like a trash can, which can result in a sewer line clog. Flushing wipes, baby tissues, egg shells, coffee grounds, hair, napkins, tampon, plastic bags, or other similar products can cause a clog in the sewer line.

Keep in mind that ‘flushable’ wipes are not actually flushable, as they can cause a clog. The only thing that should be flushed down the toilet is the human waste. You should use a garbage can for disposing of all other items.

3. Sagging sewer line

The sewer line can also clog due to a sagging sewer line. These sags are also known as a “belly” in the pipe. Wastewater will not be able to exit easily due when the sewer line sags into the earth, resulting in a clog in the home’s sewer line. Imagine a “U” shape—the waste can’t make it’s way back up the other end of the “U”.

The causes of this are somewhat out of your control. While it’s important to have professional sewer line installation so that everything is sloped correctly, sags are often caused by the soil shifting, particularly under the weight of your home. Other factors, including sinkholes caused by excess moisture, can cause sagging.

4. Pouring grease down the drain

This is a famous one, and that’s for a reason. Grease can also lead to a clog in the home’s sewer line. While grease is liquid, it hardens inside the sewage line, creating a stubborn clog. In order to avoid a sewer line clog, it’s important that you don’t pouring grease down the drain.

Call ABC for help clearing a sewer line clog

The above are the most common reasons for a residential sewer line clog. You should contact the licensed and certified plumbers at ABC to come and diagnose the exact reason for a clog. After assessing the reason for, and the location of, the clog, our plumber will use professional tools to efficiently get your sewer system working again.

In case you reside in San Jose, Hayward, or the surrounding locations in much of the Bay Area, you should contact our team for expert help for sewer line clogs. Our professional plumbers will quickly diagnose the problem and resolve any issues with your home plumbing.

Plumbing 101: Signs Of Sewer Line Clogs & Leaks

Okay, let’s be honest: your sewer line is probably one of those things in your home that you don’t really think much about… until something goes wrong. But, what does something going “wrong” even entail with a sewer line? What do you even look for?

In this blog post, we’ll break down both the causes of sewer line woes and the signs you need to look out for to indicate that you need plumbing repair.

If you suspect that your Bay Area home has sewer line issues, contact our team here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer emergency line inspection and repair services in Hayward, San Jose, and Oakland.

To get started, give us a call at (510) 471-8181 or contact us online.


Read our other Plumbing 101 articles:

STORM DRAINS


Causes of sewer line issues

Here are three of the most common causes of sewer line problems:

  1. Your sewer line can clog if the line is obstructed by what’s popularly known as a “grease-berg”. This is a collection of grease, oils, fats, and other material—typically poured down the kitchen sink—that collects in a physical mass, until it eventually clogs the entire 6-inch line. (Read: Here’s an example of what this looks like on a larger scale!)
  2. Your sewer line can also clog if obstructed by trash. This is why it’s not recommended that you throw anything that isn’t biodegradable down the kitchen sink or toilet. We’ve seen q-tips form the basis for a major clog!
  3. Your sewer line can crack if a tree root—searching for water—breaks into the pipe and begins to fill it. More on this in a minute!

4 Signs Of Sewer Line Problems

Here are the four big signs of sewer line troubles:

Simultaneous drain clogging

Think of your home’s plumbing like a river that is fed by multiple smaller streams. If you were to dam one of those creeks, it might not impact the larger river all that much, and the river would continue to flow downstream.

Pictured: Sewer Line Repair

This is what removing and repairing a ceramic sewer line looks like.

However, if you dammed the large river, the water from the entire system would have nowhere to go, and would start to rise above the banks. What’s more, that water would get pushed back into the creeks, and they’d flood, too.

A single clogged sink or kitchen drain is like the stream in the analogy. You might need our drain cleaning services, but it probably doesn’t mean you have a sewer line clog.

A sewer line clog or blockage is the damming of the river, in that your entire home’s plumbing is going to backup. If your sewer line clogs, all of the drains in your home will clog simultaneously. That’s when you need to drop everything and give us a call for emergency plumbing repair.

Wet ground above the line

A cracked sewer line that leaks can be a major problem. Before we get started, think about the answers to the following:

  • When was your home built? If your home was built in the 1980s or later, it likely has a PVC sewer line. PVC can crack or collapse when put under pressure (more on that in a second), but with no outside duress, it should last for the lifetime of the home. Older materials—such as cast-iron or clay—are durable, but don’t have quite the lifespan of PVC.
  • Where does your sewer line run? Find your sewer cleanout lines and determine where the sewer line runs from your home to the municipal sewer. For many homes, the line runs to the street.
  • What’s above the sewer line? Now that you know where the line runs, what’s above it? Take note of any trees, bushes, or other yard foliage.

Trace the sewer line’s location and look for any abnormal “wet” spots on the ground, when there has been no rain and there’s no irrigation for water to pool there. If it’s right above the line, this may be a sign that your sewer line has a leak.

Trees or bushes above the line

If there’s a tree or bush right above or near the line, you should be extra wary. Over time, tree roots dig deep in search of water. Roots can destroy or block sewer lines even without a leak, but a sewer leak acts as a positive feedback loop for the tree. As they find water, the roots snarl around the line, breaking into it.

Tree roots are a common cause of sewer line clogs here in the Bay Area. Even a tree that’s feet away from the line can have roots that find their way to it.

Sewer odors outside and inside

If you step outside and your yard smells like a garbage heap, that’s a pretty good sign that something is wrong. A cracked sewer line will emit sewer gases, which smell about as great as you might assume.

Sewer smells inside the home could indicate the same problem, or they could indicate that the sewer trap plugs aren’t doing their job. Either way, we recommend giving us a call. We’ll diagnose whether you need your traps fixed, or if the issue is more serious.

Schedule a sewer inspection

All of the signs above are good indicators that something is wrong with your sewer line. However, the only way to be 100% sure that’s there a blockage—and to know what exactly is causing it—is to schedule a sewer line inspection from our team here at ABC.

The best way to see a clog is to, well, actually see it. We have specialized cameras that we place on lines to go into your sewer line and identify the problem before digging things up. Depending on the type of clog, there may be a way to clear it without opening up the line.

For service in the Bay Area, turn to the experts at ABC

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we know our way around sewer lines and the problems homeowners face. Our experienced, expert plumbers are plumbing repair experts, and we offer emergency service in much of the Bay Area, including Hayward, San Jose, and Oakland.

If you need emergency service or you need a sewer camera inspection, give us a call at (510) 471-8181 or contact us online.

How to Properly Shut Down Your Furnace After Winter

Seasonal furnace shutdown tipsThe winter season is about to end in most part of the United States, including California. It’s important that homeowners make preparation for the change of season, and that includes a seasonal furnace shutdown.

In fact, the furnace that keeps the home warm during the winter months should be shut down at the end of the season to conserve energy.

A seasonal furnace shutdown does not just involve turning off the system. You need to perform a number of other steps to prepare furnace for the next winter. Here are 5 furnace maintenance tips to when shutting down the system at the end of the winter season.

Be sure to call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for help with this and all your other furnace maintenance needs!

1. Shut off the gas supply

Older furnaces have a standing pilot light. If you have such a system, you should shut off the gas supply to turn off the pilot light. The pilot light consumes gas, so it should be turned off when the furnace will not be in use for a long time.

2. Clean the surrounding area

Is your furnace located in a storage closet or the basement? If so, you should consider cleaning all the junk or boxes that lie around the furnace. You should keep the area around the furnace clean and free of any items. This is important, as it will ensure that dirt, dust, and other items do not enter the system and damage it.

3. Inspect the carbon monoxide detectors

You should always check the carbon monoxide detectors when shutting down the furnace at the end of the winter season. This is important as the furnace usually detects small cracks inside the combustion chamber that is not visible. Carbon monoxide can leak from these cracks so it’s imperative that you ensure that the detector is in good working condition.

4. Inspect the air registers

Sometimes dirt and debris accumulate inside the return and supply registers. That’s why it’s important that you have them checked and cleaned by a professional technician. Also, you should walk around the home and make sure all the air registers are kept open and clear of obstructions.

5. Clean or replace the filters

Lastly, you should have the furnace filters cleaned or repaired by a professional. Dirt, dust, and other debris tend to accumulate inside the filters. If the filter becomes clogged, the debris might get inside the system thereby doing costly damage to the system. Having the filter cleaned or repaired is, therefore, important after the end of the winter season.

Call ABC for seasonal furnace shutdown help

You should always contact a professional to maintain or clean the furnace. If you want the help of expert technicians in the Bay Area, you can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Our technicians can make a thorough inspection of the system and make the necessary repairs. We serve the areas of Hayward, San Jose, and the surrounding areas in the east and south Bay area.

Oil vs Gas Furnace: Which is Better for Your Home

Oil vs Gas FurnaceA furnace is a great blessing in areas where the temperature dips into single digits during the winters. Okay, that may not describe the Bay Area. But a properly functional oil or gas furnace ensures that homeowners have a pleasant time inside the house during the winter.

When it comes to buying a furnace, one important point that comes to the mind of most homeowners is whether to go for an oil or gas furnace.

Choosing between gas or oil furnace is not just about cost. The reality is that oil furnaces deliver more heat per gallon as compared to gas. This means that oil furnace units will cost less as compared to natural gas furnaces. However, you have to look at many other things apart from costs in order to make the right choice.

Here are a 3 important points that can help you in making up your mind as to whether oil or gas heater is right for your home.

1. Heating bills

When it comes to heating, natural gas furnaces are a clear winner. Gas had become a more affordable heat source as compared to oil. The average American homeowner paid about $728 to heat the home using gas furnace this winter, according to the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). In contrast, the cost of heating the home using oil has been a whopping $2,161. So, this means that you will save a lot in heating bills if you buy a gas furnace for your home.

2. Maintenance and care

While the upfront cost of oil furnaces is lower, they generally require more maintenance and care as compared to natural gas heaters. Gas furnaces, in contrast, require less upkeep and care. As a result, you will save on repair and maintenance costs when buying the oil heaters.

3. Emergency situations

When disaster strikes such as a leak in the main supply pipeline, you are more likely to shiver in the cold if you have a gas furnace as compared to an oil furnace. The reason is that oil furnace uses independent oil supply. You have more control over the supply with much lower chances of supply disruptions as compared to a natural gas.

Both oil and gas furnaces have pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision. After reading this article, you will have come to a definite conclusion as to which one is a better option to heat up your house.

Call ABC for more advice on a oil and gas furnace installation

Do you want to get in touch with a reliable furnace technician in the Bay Area? You can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We have a team of highly experienced and professional technicians who can take care of all types of furnace installation and repair tasks.

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying A New Furnace

5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a New FurnaceBuying a new furnace is a major home purchase whose consequences will be felt for years to come.

That is why it’s essential that you shop smartly and avoid buying the wrong one for your home. And you can’t afford to make mistakes when thousands of dollars are at stake when buying a new furnace for the home.

While cost is a prime consideration when buying a new furnace, you should look at several other factors otherwise, you will end up losing money in the long run. The consequences of making a bad choice are many.

Here are 5 mistakes that you should avoid when buying a new furnace that can light your wallet on fire.

1. Focusing too much on costs

The most common mistake that you should avoid when buying a new furnace is to focus too much on the cost. A lower cost unit might seem a better deal as compared to a costly unit. However, in most cases, low cost also translates into less energy efficiency. This means that any amount that you save when buying a low-cost unit will be negated due to higher bills over the long term.

2. Buying a furnace with a low SEER rating

You must never overlook the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) when buying a new furnace. The SEER ratio tells about the efficiency with which the furnace heats up the room. Units that have a low SEER will result in substantially more energy bills as compared to those with a high SEER rating.

Ideally, you should buy a new furnace with a SEER rating of above 17. Avoid buying a unit with a rating below 12 as it can cost a lot in terms of high energy bills.

3. Overlooking rebate opportunities

Many manufacturers and states offer rebates on certain models. The rebates offered by the manufacturer can be as much as $1,000. That’s why you should always search online to find out whether the company offers rebates or discounts. However, again keep in mind that cost should not be your main focus and look at other aspects to ensure that you are getting the best bang for the bucks.

4. Selecting the wrong type of fuel

Keep in mind that not all furnaces use the same heating source. Some use methane (natural gas) while others use propane (LPG) or electricity. Generally, natural gas heaters are the most energy efficient option as compared to the others. However, you can’t use gas furnace unless you install a gas supply line. So, it’s important that you consider this option before paying for a new furnace.

5. Not scheduling maintenance for your new furnace

Maintenance contracts are necessary to ensure that your furnace performs without breaking down during the middle of the winter. You must ensure to sign up for an annual maintenance with a reputable furnace repair and maintenance company. Regular maintenance will ensure that the system performs without any major problems for a long time.

If you want to get in touch with experienced and reliable furnace repair and installation firm in the Bay Area, you can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

5 Common Air Conditioner Problems

Your air conditioner is an essential appliance that keeps your home cool in the summer. A faulty air conditioning unit can cause a lot of inconvenience. The system must be serviced regularly to avoid a breakdown of the air conditioning unit.

5 Common Air Conditioner ProblemsWhile a lot of things can go wrong with the home air conditioner, a few air conditioner problems are relatively common. These problems, if not resolved quickly, can lead to a breakdown of the cooling device and the need for a replacement.

Here are 5 common air conditioner problems that must be addressed immediately by calling a professional technician for air conditioning repair.

1. Clogged Air Filter

The air filter prevents dust from entering the cooling device. Over time, the filter becomes clogged and must be cleaned by a skilled air conditioning professional. This is essential, as the clogged filter prevents optimal cooling. The filters need be cleaned about once a month, especially during the summers.

2. Your Fans Are Not Working

The fan prevents the compressor of the air conditioning unit from being heated up. The fan conveys the heat from the room to the outside. Sometimes, the fan does not work due to a mechanical problem. A faulty fan can trip the safety overload and may also damage the compressor unit.

That’s why it’s important that you regularly check the outside air conditioner fan regularly and have it serviced in case it’s not working.

3. Low Refrigerant Level

The refrigerant allows the air conditioner to generate cool air. A reduced refrigerant level prevents the device from properly cooling the air. In most cases, the refrigerant level is reduced due to a leak. A professional air conditioning technician can locate the leak and repair the problem.

4. Water Leak from the Air Conditioning Unit

A clogged condensate drain line can cause water to drip from the air conditioning unit. The drain line can become clogged with dirt, dust, mold, or sludge. The leaking water may result in ice building up over the coils.

The problem will also prevent proper cooling inside the house. You must call a professional technician to get the air conditioner serviced in the case of a water leakage problem.

5. Strange Noises from the Blower Motor

If you hear a screeching noise from the blower motor of the air conditioning unit, it indicates a major problem with the unit. Most likely, the issue is caused by a problem with the motor bearing or a damaged belt. In addition, a rattling, clanging, or banging noise may indicate a fault with the blower motor assembly.

If you hear any of these noises from the blower motor, you must immediately close the unit and call a professional technician to service the air conditioning unit.

Some final notes on air conditioner problems

Regular servicing of the air conditioning unit by a professional technician is important. An experienced technician can detect the problems and perform the appropriate repairs immediately.

To get in touch with a professional air conditioning technician in the Bay Area, give us a call at (510) 471-8181