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Everything you need to know about sewer line clogs

Your sewer line carries wastewater away from the sinks, toilets, and showers of your home. It travels underneath your yard to the street, where it connects to the municipal sewer. Most homeowners don’t give their sewer line much thought: beyond the fact that the entire operation of waste disposal is a bit unsavory to think about, the sewer line also fulfills its important function without much issue.

However, when problems do occur, the results can be disastrous. A sewer line clog can lead to sewage and wastewater backing up into your home. Known as a sewer backup, this event is a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

In this article, we’ll provide a complete guide to sewer lines, the issues they can encounter, and how you can prevent a sewer backup in your own home.

We’re your sewer line experts

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, our team specializes in sewer line inspection and repair. Our team of plumbing professionals has the tools and expertise needed to quickly diagnose issues with the sewer line and then recommend the right fix. We also fix storm drain issues.

Since 1953, homeowners in Hayward and the Bay Area have trusted our team with all their home service needs, and we’re proud to continue that tradition of great service into the present day.

Need a sewer inspection or repair here in Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, or surrounding areas? Fill out the form to schedule service with our team.

Common causes of a sewer line clog

Tree Roots

Many sewer line clogs have their roots in, well, roots. The sewer line runs from your home to the street, often passing under a front or side yard. Any nearby trees, bushes, or shrubs are a potential danger to the line. Over time, their thirsty, moisture-seeking roots will burrow down to the line, where they either enter it through an existing crack or put enough pressure on the line’s exterior to crack it open.

As the roots attempt to take in more and more moisture, they eventually grow into the line, partially—and then fully—obstructing it. This leads to a sewer line blockage and the high risk of a sewer backup.

If you have trees in your front yard, you should be aware of the threat they may pose to your home's sewer line.

If you have trees in your front yard, you should be aware of the threat they may pose to your home’s sewer line.

What types of trees pose the biggest threat?

Any tree within 10 feet of the line is a potential threat. Some tree species have faster-growing roots than others, making them more dangerous to the sewer line than others:

Less Dangerous

These trees have slow-growing, less aggressive root structures, and can be planted 10 feet away from the sewer line.

  • Maple species
  • Dogwood species
  • Crabapple trees
  • Ginkgo trees
  • Smoke trees

More Dangerous

These trees have fast-growing, aggressive root structures, and should not be planted near sewer lines.

  • Ash species
  • Poplar species
  • Cottonwood species
  • Oak species
  • Sycamore species

How can tree root incursion be prevented?

  • Plant all new trees, bushes, and shrubs at least 10 feet away from the sewer line on all sides.
  • If you have existing trees near the sewer line, consider having them moved to another part of your yard as a preventative measure.
  • When planting a slow-growing tree, plan on replacing or moving the tree in the next 15-20 years.
  • If you are planting a fast-growing tree, plan on replacing or moving the tree in the next 8-10 years. Depending on the species, this is typically representative of how long it takes its roots to expand the distance to the sewer line.

Grease & Waste

Many homeowners don’t give much thought to how they use their garbage disposal, or what they put down it. However, just how you dispose of kitchen waste can have a big impact on your home’s sewer line.

In general, the most dangerous thing to put down the sink is anything that is a liquid while hot but solidifies upon cooling.

An ABC plumber cleans out a sewer line clog at a local home.Grease

Grease is the most famous example of this. The homeowner pours hot cooking grease down the drain. As the grease travels through pipes, it begins to cool. By the time it reaches the sewer line, it may be much cooler than it originally was, and begins to solidify with the temperature change. This partially solidified grease sticks to the interior of the line. Time after time, disposing of grease in this way adds to the building blockage in the line. Eventually, it’s enough for a clog to start to form.

Food Waste

It’s not just grease that’s a problem. Here is some food waste that you should never dispose of down the sink drain:

  • Coffee Grounds: Besides grease, coffee grounds are the number one cause of sewer line blockages. These grounds can become stuck in pipes when they adhere to other materials deep inside of the line.
  • Eggshells: As the shells fracture in the garbage disposal, tiny pieces of shell shrapnel travel down the lines and become stuck in the sewer line.
  • Oil & Butter: This is essentially the same story as grease: fats and oils can coat the inside of the line and congeal deep inside of it. While it is a kitchen staple, coconut oil is especially dangerous, since it solidifies at room temperature.
  • Rice & Pasta: Anything that physically expands upon continued contact with water is bad news once in your sewer line. A half-cup of uncooked rice can bloat to a sewer line-blocking mess once exposed to water.
  • Flour: When combined with water, most flours become sticky and adhesive. This is not something you want inside of your sewer line.

Bathroom Waste

Inorganic bathroom waste is a major cause of sewer line issues. Just because something can be flushed down the toilet doesn’t mean that it should be. Avoid putting non-biodegradable items down the toilet drain. A few common examples include human hair, sanitary products, plastics, baby wipes, or flushable wipes. That latter one is a common misunderstanding: despite what their marketing says, ‘flushable’ wipes are not actually flushable and can cause a clog.

Sagging Sewer Line

Your sewer line does not use electricity or gas to move wastewater from one place (your home) to another (the municipal sewer). Instead, it accomplishes this by using gravity. The sewer line is slightly sloped diagonally so that the end at your home is several inches higher than the end at the street. This helps facilitate the movement of water from one location to another. In most cases, this gradient is very gradual: about a one-fourth of an inch drop for every foot of pipe length.

The Sewer Line “Belly”

No matter how perfectly installed the sewer line was originally, there are some potential problems that can crop up as time goes by. First, the movement of soil around the line. Throughout the year, soil can shift and move due to changes in moisture and local topographic factors. As it does, the line moves, too. If a certain patch of soil sinks, the line also sinks. This can cause a “u” shape to start to form, disrupting the gravity-assisted flow of water out of the system.

This is often known as a sewer line “belly,” and it can cause several issues. First, it creates a place in the line where wastewater gets perpetually stuck and pools. This can lead to foul odors as not all the waste is being discharged from the line. Second, if the wastewater can no longer “climb” back up the other side of the “u,” it may eventually start to back up the line and back into the house.

Dealing with a sagging sewer line

Generally speaking, there are two ways to fix a sagging sewer line. The first is relatively self-explanatory: the plumber digs up the sewer line and fixes the sag, either by replacing that section of line or by restoring it to its original position. However, this requires digging a trench in your yard to get to the line, and may not be practical for every home. Plumbers have two other options in such cases:

  • Guidance Method: Using this method, the plumber pushes the old pipe out using the new pipes and compacts the soil around it as they go, maintaining the slope.
  • Sliplining: The plumber inserts a smaller sewer line into the current one, and then pulls away the old line. The only downside of this method is that the smaller diameter of the new sewer line may be easier to clog in the future.

Schedule a camera inspection

The best way to diagnose sewer line clogs, leaks, and other issues is by using a sewer line camera tool. Most plumbing professionals—including ours here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing—have specialized snake tools that allow us to feed a small camera down the drain and into the line. As the camera moves through the line, we can see any points of trouble and any partially formed clogs.

If you have reason to believe that your sewer line is experiencing issues, a sewer line inspection is the next step. Talk to your local plumbing professional about scheduling a camera inspection.

Warning signs of a sewer line blockage

There are many potential warning signs of a sewer line clog or leak. Here are the two that you need to be on the lookout for in your home:

Simultaneous clogging

When a single drain pipe in your home is clogged, you’ll notice that the sink is backing up, the toilet won’t flush, or the shower basin is starting to flood. This is a pretty regular occurrence, and—in most cases—the problem can be solved locally by running the garbage disposal, plunging the toilet, or cleaning out the shower drain.

However, if all the drains and toilets in your home are clogged at the same time, this is almost as sure a sign as any that something is wrong deep inside of the sewer line. You should immediately turn the water off and call a plumber for service.

Slow-moving drains

Not every sewer line clog starts as a complete and total blockage. In most cases, sewer line clogs are first noticed when they only partially block the line. You’ll start to see your drains draining more and more slowly as this happens.

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.

What makes Carrier a great air conditioning manufacturer?

In your quest to find the best air conditioner for your home, you’ve likely come across several different manufacturers. Chances are good that you’ve seen Carrier air conditioners pop up more than a few times in your search. So, just what is it about Carrier that makes them such a great air conditioning manufacturer? We’ll be exploring the answers to that question in this blog post.

For a free in-home estimate on a new Carrier system here in Hayward and the Bay Area, contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Experience

One of the best things about Carrier air conditioning is the fact that the brand has been around since 1902. With the way companies start up one minute and fold the next, you’re truly doing things right if you’ve managed to stay in business for as long as Carrier has.

Experts

Another selling point for Carrier is the fact that the company is regarded as a leader in the HVAC industry. This is because, with a Carrier air conditioner, you’ll have a unit that’s efficient, high-quality and affordable.

Quiet Build

Carrier has some of the quietest air conditioning models available today. While you want to be cool and comfortable in your own home, you don’t want an air conditioner that kicks up a lot of noise while it’s on, which can prove to be both distracting and annoying.

Energy-Efficient Design

You’re sure to appreciate Carrier’s eye for energy-efficiency every month you pay your energy bill. Besides the financial savings, you’re also doing your part to save the environment by living a life that’s as energy-efficient as possible.

Also, it’s worth pointing out is the fact that Carrier was the first HVAC manufacturer to stop using ozone-debilitating gases back in 1994. That’s what makes them a great air conditioning manufacturer.

ABC is your local Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer

Besides the manufacturer, you also want to do business with local HVAC technicians who actually enjoy their work and love the company they work for. That’s the case here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We’re proud to partner with Carrier and install Carrier air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, and more.

Get more information on why Carrier is a great air conditioning manufacturer!

For more information about Carrier, contact us here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. Besides heating and cooling, we also specialize in plumbing services. We look forward to hearing from you!

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.

It’s tax refund season, and here’s why you should spend your refund on a new AC

It’s April, and that means it’s spring. It’s also tax refund season. According to the IRS, more than 80% of taxpayers received a refund last year.

While some choose to spend that money on a vacation or a boat, we’d argue that there are good reasons to re-invest that sudden influx of cash into your home.

In this blog, we’ll make the case that you should spend your tax refund on upgrading your old air conditioner to a newer model. We’ll explain the benefits, and who you should call for AC installation here in Hayward and much of the Bay Area.

Here are 4 reasons to spend your tax refund on a new air conditioner

#1. Increase the value of your home

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, you’re probably also thinking about what kind of upgrades you can make to increase your home’s selling value.

An old air conditioner that the new owners know they’ll have to replace can be a major blow to their decision to purchase your home from you. When it comes to investing your tax refund back into your home prior to sale, a new air conditioner makes sense.

By spending your tax refund to buy a new air conditioner for your home prior to sale, you’ll not only be more likely to sell your home for a higher price, but you’ll also be likelier to sell your home faster than your neighbors.

#2. Save on future energy costs

Even if you’re not actively looking to sell your home, a new air conditioner is still a wise choice. Not only will a new air conditioner offer greater reliability (more on that in a minute), but you’ll see greater energy savings, as well. That’s because new air conditioners are more energy-efficient than older systems.

Over time, those enhanced energy savings can really add up. A new air conditioner, installed today, can start saving you money this summer. That’s a good use of your tax refund, if you ask us!

#3. Reduce the risk of a breakdown

If your old air conditioner has consistently been breaking down each and every summer—even with a professional tune-up—it’s time to upgrade. Your tax refund is a great place to start.

After all, not only are you getting subpar cooling and energy-efficiency out of your system, but breakdowns can actively cost you money in AC repair over the summer.

#4. Make your home more comfortable

Ok, so this isn’t quite as forward-thinking as the other items on this list. But, your comfort does matter, and struggling through another hot summer with your old air conditioner—along with the stress it causes—just isn’t worth it.

If you’re between spending your tax refund on a vacation or an HVAC system, choose the latter. You’ll feel the difference every summer for years to come.

Call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for AC installation

For reliable, professional AC installation in Hayward and much of the Bay Area, contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing!

We’re a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer, and we’re proud to install some of the most advanced, energy-efficient systems on the market today. We offer financing with approved credit.

Get started today by contacting us for a free in-home estimate on your new Carrier air conditioner.

DIY HVAC repair is a bad idea: Call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, instead

It has become increasingly popular for homeowners to take on more and more projects themselves. The “DIY” movement has blossomed because of easy, video guides online and quick access to craft and hardware stores. However, there has to be limits. In this blog, we’ll discuss why DIY HVAC repair is a bad idea for your home.

Here are four reasons why Bay Area residents should make the call to ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

You can make the problem much worse

This is typically the outcome of most DIY HVAC repair projects that we hear about. A homeowner looks up the problem online, sees the solution in a helpful guide, and decides to give it a shot. Hours later on a frustrating afternoon, they’re no closer to getting the air conditioner fixed.

It’s not you. It’s that air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces are incredibly complex pieces of machinery. Our techs have to undergo training, and then field work, to become the pros that they are today.

You can put the safety of yourself or others at risk

First, air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces are complex mechanical devices that all use electricity or gas to condition your home. By their very nature, they’re complicated and can be dangerous for an untrained person attempting DIY HVAC repair.

Working with air conditioners and heat pumps, you risk electrocution. With furnaces, you risk damaging the heat exchanger, which can eventually lead to carbon monoxide entering your home’s air.

Let’s contrast this with working with a professional HVAC technician. Our technicians at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing are experts who have repaired, maintained, and installed all types of HVAC systems for years. They know how to fix your system safely, with no risk to themselves or you and your family.

You can void your system warranty

Many air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps come with a manufacturer’s’ warranty protecting the system for years. To be fair to them, that’s under the all-too-reasonable condition that only a professional should be working on your system.

On the other hand, when you pry your system open, typically that’s a violation of the warranty, voiding it and meaning that any problems you cause—or that just happen down the road—are your problems.

It’s one of the primary reasons that we recommend even technically savvy homeowners call ABC for their HVAC repair. That warranty is worth it.

You can cause future problems

Even if you’re able to successfully maintain or repair your air conditioner or furnace on your own, you don’t know what future problems might arise from the way things were put back together.

For example, it might be too late by the time, in late summer, that you realize your air conditioner has been extremely inefficient.

Or, the consequences of this DIY HVAC repair might not be felt for years later, when a part fails and your system dies prematurely.

Call ABC with your HVAC repair needs

If your air conditioner is acting up, don’t try to fix it yourself. Instead, call the licensed, bonded, and insured professionals at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer AC repair and heating repair throughout much of the Bay Area.

Here are the signs you need heating repair this winter

Here in the Bay Area, we’re almost through winter and entering into spring. That means it has been a full season of your furnace working at its top capacity. Here are the signs you need heating repair this winter.

In this blog, we’ll review four reasons to give ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing a call.

What are the signs you need heating repair this winter?

Obviously, a furnace that won’t turn on is as sure of a sign as any that you need heating repair—and fast.

However, it’s possible for your furnace to still need to be repaired, but still technically be working. Let’s run through the signs you need heating repair.

#1. Your home isn’t comfortable

Your comfort is the entire reason you have a furnace in the first place. If your home isn’t comfortable, something needs to change or be fixed.

In many cases, a furnace that’s having issues with continue to operate—technically. But, it’s virtually hobbled, unable to keep up with the needs of your home and family.

If your home is far too cold and it seems like the thermostat is unresponsive, give us a call. It could be an issue with either your thermostat or your furnace, and you’ll need an experienced, professional HVAC tech to inspect the situation and figure out what the root of the problem is.

#2. You’re hearing strange sounds

A furnace that’s operating right should be quiet and calm, with only occasional noises, such as the ductwork “flexing” with heat meeting cold metal.

In contrast, consistent, loud “grinding,” “shrieking,” or “exploding” noises are not normal. They’re most likely a sign that something has gone wrong with your system.

Exactly what sounds match up with what problems is up to our tech to find out. In many cases, the same sound could indicate one problem when they’re actually caused by something completely different. Contact our team to have us come out and inspect your furnace.

#3. Your energy bills are on the rise

No homeowner likes opening their utility bill and being surprised at how high it’s been getting. Here’s the thing: a malfunctioning furnace is generally an inefficient furnace. Your energy bills could very well be the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to furnace headaches.

If you’ve been noticing that your monthly bills are spiking, give ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing a call. We’ll send a technician to inspect your system and see what could be the cause of your additional energy use.

#4. Your furnace is stopping and starting constantly

This is related to the noises coming from your furnace, since it’s something you’ll have to listen for when you’re at home. If you notice your furnace is constantly starting and stopping (also called “cycling on-and-off”), it’s probably a sign that something is wrong.

“So, it starts and stops frequently. Does that really require repair?” We certainly think so. A cycling furnace is one with problems; a properly installed and properly running system should run consistently.

By cycling, you’re going to see problems #1 and #3 from this list, and your system is going to experience greater wear-and-tear than normal.

Call ABC for furnace repair in Hayward and the Bay Area

If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned signs you need heating repair, contact us. We offer emergency heating repair service in Hayward in the Bay Area.

5 signs you need a new heating system installed by a professional

Here in Hayward and the Bay Area, winter has arrived, and the nights are getting cold. The last things you want in your home is an old, dying furnace or heat pump. If you have one, it might be time to get a new heating system. In this blog, we’ll run through the signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is your source for professional furnace and heat pump installation here in the south and east Bay. Contact our team to get started.

5 signs you need a new heating system

Here are five signs that indicate that your old heating system needs replacement.

1. You feel cold all the time

Do you feel cold, even when you turn up the heat? Are different rooms radically different temperatures? This is a clear sign your heating system needs to be replaced or repaired.

With an older furnace, repairs to a burner or blower might not be worth the cost if the unit is having other problems. Talk to your ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing tech about what you can realistically expect in terms of lifespan for your system moving forward.

2. Your furnace is getting up there in age

If the furnace has been with you for 15 or more years, you need to consider replacing it with a new one. Most heating systems have a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years; after that point, they may be technically operating, but using far more energy, with far more repairs needed, than when they were new.

If you’re caught paying for higher energy bills every month and expensive repairs, a new furnace or heat pump might be the answer. A new heating system may be an initial investment that saves you in the long run, especially if your old furnace is on the verge of dying, anyway.

3. Your system is constantly starting and stopping

A properly installed furnace or heat pump should be able to operate without constant starting or stopping. This action not only leads to extra wear-and-tear on the system, but it negatively impacts your comfort and your energy-efficiency.

However, older furnaces often get to the point where they can’t keep up with your home’s heating demand, from an effectiveness or efficiency standpoint. They’re constantly running to catch up, leading to wear-and-tear that can cause a final breakdown.

4. Your furnace is making loud and strange noises

Loud noises coming out of the furnace also indicates that your furnace may be at the end of its life. The noise can occur due to many reasons. You should get the system checked to find out whether there is some serious fault with the furnace.

5. Your energy bills are on the rise

Older furnaces and heat pumps are a double-whammy. Not only are they less efficient because of their wear-and-tear over the years, but they’re also technologically behind newer models. Think about it this way: your computer from 20 years is probably far less powerful, fast, or efficient than your computer today. It’s the same concept for your furnace.

If your energy bills have been rising during the winter, you’ll have to weigh just how much a new system could save you versus how much it will cost upfront. The truth is that an energy-efficient new heating system may represent a great value.

BLOG: How to minimize your heating bills

 

Call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing to schedule a free in-home estimate

The above signs indicate that you need a new heating system. But, which one? Where do you start?

If you live in the Bay Area, the right team to call is at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer free in-home estimates on new furnaces and heat pumps. Our experienced techs can help measure your home and find the system that’s right for you. We’re a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer.

To get started on your free quote, contact us.

4 benefits of heat pumps (and why you should consider one for your home)

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to traditional air conditioners and furnaces. They offer both heating and cooling, and are perfect for homes in mild climates like ours. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the benefits of heat pumps and discuss why you should consider one for your home.

The four benefits of heat pumps

ABC is your source for professional heat pump installation in Hayward and much of the Bay Area.

1. Heat pumps offer both cooling and heating

Heat pumps are capable of both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They’re ideal for temperate climates with mild winters and warm, but not hot summers. That sounds like the Bay Area’s perfect weather, if you ask us.

Of course, one of the advantages of a heat pump is that you only have to buy and install one system as opposed to two. You only have to maintain or repair one system, as well. This is one of the factors that make heat pumps extremely popular here in the West.

2. Consistent and even comfort

With heat pumps, you’ll worry less about uneven heating and cooling, which is a problem sometimes encountered with traditional HVAC systems. Since furnaces and air conditioners are often different makes and models and different ages, you can’t predict how well one will perform compared to the other.

The heat pump uses the same basic physics and mechanism to cool and heat your home. That means that it’s just as good at one as it is at the others. Of course, that means more consistent energy bills, too. Those bills will already be looking good, because…

3. Heat pumps are more energy-efficient

Heat pumps use less energy than typical air conditioners and furnaces. This is because they’re essentially moving air from one place to another instead of burning energy to warm or cool it. (By the way, this is the same mechanism your fridge uses to keep your food cool).

You’d be surprised at just how energy-efficient heat pumps can be. Of course, over the course of an entire year, those savings can really add up.

4. You’ll see greater cost savings with a new heat pump

Due to being highly energy-efficient, heat pumps can greatly reduce your monthly energy bills. Unlike with a traditional furnace or air conditioner—which can only save you money during the months its in use—an energy-efficient heat pump runs all year, and will save you money all year. Talk about a great deal!

For more about the benefits of heat pumps and installation, call ABC

Now that you know about the benefits of heat pumps, you’ll have an easier time making a decision about whether one is right for your home. If you reside in an area having a moderate climate, a heat pump will be the best solution for your heating and cooling needs.

ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing installs, maintains, and repairs heat pumps in much of the Bay Area, including Hayward, San Jose, and surrounding communities. For affordable and professional HVAC services, contact our team today.

Here are 5 furnace tune-up benefits for your home

A furnace tune-up can save you a lot of money. It can ensure that your furnace operates efficiently without any trouble. In this blog post, we’ll run through the top-5 furnace tune-up benefits for your home—and why you should contact our team here at ABC for your furnace maintenance this fall.

The 5 benefits of scheduling a furnace tune-up

If you want to keep your heating system running right (and who doesn’t?), getting a furnace tune-up is not optional. It’s absolutely necessary. Here are some of the benefits of getting a furnace tuned up by the professionals at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing:

Furnace Installation in Hayward1. Maintenance ensures proper airflow

An experienced HVAC technician will always inspect your system to ensure proper airflow. This matters: restricted airflow can not only negatively impact your comfort and energy-efficiency, but it can also put additional wear-and-tear on your heating system. This can result in a shortened lifespan for the system.

If the airflow is restricted, our tech will diagnose the problem and remove the blockage. We’ll also clean or insert a new air filter—an action that can also have a positive impact on the airflow.

2. Lower your energy bills

Another big benefit of a furnace tune-up? Reduced energy bills. In the winter, your heating bills can account for a big part of your energy bills. Without maintenance, your furnace or heat pump will need extra energy to generate warm air. That energy use adds up over the course of an entire winter season!

Regular furnace maintenance will ensure that the furnace works efficiently without any strain, saving you money on your bills.

3. Avoid an emergency breakdown

Our maintenance will also help you avoid a breakdown that puts your furnace or heat pump out of commission. A tune-up will greatly improve the odds that your furnace works all winter efficiently without any problems. That’s because faults with the system that go unaddressed have the potential to turn into a crisis after months of near-constant use at night.

4. Prevent costly repairs

Beyond just the headache, repairs can cost your home a lot of money. A regular tune-up of the furnace will help prevent costly repairs. Initially, many issues with the heater are minor and can be easily resolved. However, left unaddressed, those issues can turn into a much more expensive problem.

Of course, ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all your heating repair needs. However, we recommend maintenance so that you can prevent the need for those repairs in the first place!

5. Ensure that your home remains safe for you and your family

Certain problems with a gas furnace—such as a cracked heat exchanger—can actually lead to problems far more serious than just lower energy-efficiency or costly repairs. Cracked heat exchangers have the potential to release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home. This is a very serious situation that needs to be dealt with immediately.

If you suspect that your gas furnace has some kind of leak, turn off the gas immediately and call the fire department. Once they’ve deemed that things are safe, call our team for repairs.

To see furnace tune-up benefits in your home, call ABC!

There are many reasons to get heating maintenance this fall. Here’s another: peace of mind. That’s what you get when you have an experienced, friendly ABC technician inspect your furnace or heat pump before winter. You’ll know that you’re going to be comfortable. You’ll know that you’re going to save on your energy bills. And you know that your furnace will operate safely.

To schedule your tune-up or to learn more about our services, contact our team or give us a call at (510) 471-8181.

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.