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3 Effective Ways How To Clean Dishwasher Drain Line | Palo Alto Plumbing

The reasons why homeowners install dishwashers in their home are obvious. They provide you with freedom from the monotonous and arduous job of washing dishes many times a day. People, however, forget the importance of how to clean dishwasher drain properly and maintain it in the process. Of all the conveniences in the modern home today, the one that makes life the easiest and saves a great deal of time is the kitchen dishwasher.

Life can be really great when your dishwasher is operating as it should. However, when it malfunctions or loses efficiency in cleaning, this can really have an impact on your personal efficiency.

There is a filtration system to dishwashers that do require frequent cleaning, specifically if you do not pre-rinse or scrape your dishes. Your dishwasher maintenance will depend on how you use it and treat it. If you do not scrape or pre-rinse your dishes, you should clean the filter once monthly. A clean dishwasher drain is achievable if you put a bit of effort into maintaining it.

If you look at the floor of your appliance, you will locate the filter and can remove it to clear away any debris or food particles with a soft brush. Then simply rinse and reinstall it. For the dishwashers that have bigger clogs that are stubborn and require more than just an easy filter clean, you need to take other steps. Your sink drain, garbage disposal and dishwasher do the majority of your dirty kitchen work and to keep them running efficiently and smelling fresh you can take a few simple steps. Take time to learn how to clean dishwasher drain below.

3 Ways How to Clean Dishwasher Drain Line

  1. Clear Garbage Disposal

Many times, your dishwasher’s water drains from the garbage disposal. In this case, you will need to clear your disposal often to allow the water to pass through it freely. If you have a full disposal, it can make the water backup and results in standing water inside the dishwasher. Be sure to loosen all clogs and completely run the garbage disposal.

  1. Clean Air Gap

Many people have air gaps installed on their kitchen counters next to the sink faucets which will prevent sink water from backing up into the dishwasher. If there is buildup in this air gap, it may cause improper draining from your dishwasher. One way to spot an air gap that is clogged is if water floods on your countertop. You can simply take the cap off of your air gap and remove all debris.

  1. Use Homemade Solution to Break Up Clogs

If you see a clog in your dishwasher drain and it causes the water to back up, try some baking soda, vinegar and hot water to loosen up and break the clog. First, add the vinegar and baking soda solution to the dishwasher basket at the bottom. Let it sit for around 15 minutes and then pour in some hot water (boiling) to the basket to clear away the clog. This is an important step in how to clean dishwasher drain.

Regular dishwasher maintenance is important to get good operation from your dishwasher and extend its lifespan. You should set up a weekly and monthly maintenance schedule to unclog dishwasher drain line or to prevent it from happening. Preventative care, even in small amounts, will help save on expensive repairs or even a dishwasher replacement later on.

If you have a clog in your dishwasher drain, it is important to clean it out as soon as possible. A clogged dishwasher drain can cause water to back up into the dishwasher, leading to water damage and mold growth. Dishwasher repairs can be expensive, so it is always cheaper to prevent problems by keeping your dishwasher drains clean.

If you need help cleaning your dishwasher drain, or if you have any other dishwasher problems, please contact us today. Our team of experts would be happy to help you get your dishwasher working properly again.

For more details call (650) 374-0868 or click here.

When You Need Emergency Plumbing Services: A Guide

When you are faced with a plumbing emergency, it can be a stressful time. Depending on the severity of the situation, an emergency plumbing situation can quickly become dangerous if not resolved quickly. If your house is flooding or the water pressure in your home is too low to operate faucets and showers safely, these are signs that there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Whether you have a burst pipe, clogged toilet or leaky faucet, there are different plumbing services that should be contacted in case of an emergency. In this article we will go over some general guidelines on when you need emergency plumbing services, as well as common issues and their solutions.

When Should You Call Emergency Plumbing Services

Water Pressure Issues

If there is a noticeable drop in water pressure or the water flow has stopped, there may be a leak in your water pipes. A leak can be caused by a number of different factors, including a break in the pipes or the formation of a clog further down the line. If the leak is small, you may be able to fix it yourself by tightening a connection or removing debris from the pipe. However, if the leak is significant or you don’t know how to fix it, you will need to call emergency plumbing services as soon as possible.

Sewer Drainage Issues

When not properly installed or maintained, a sewer line can become clogged or damaged, causing sewage to back up into your home. A clogged or damaged sewer line can cause health and safety risks, including the risk of sewage spilling out of the drain and into your home.

If you notice sewage bubbling up out of a drain or a strong smell coming from a toilet, there is a problem with the sewer line. It is best to call emergency plumbing services immediately, as sewage can quickly spread throughout the house. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

Water Heater Issues

If the water heater is leaking, hissing or making odd noises, it is time to call emergency plumbing services. Even if the water heater doesn’t look visibly damaged, it is a good idea to have it checked out by a professional. High-pressure water leaks can often go unnoticed, and a small leak can quickly turn into a major problem if not addressed quickly. If the water heater is leaking, it is probably due to one of two things. Either the element is broken or the tank is too full of sediment. The best way to avoid water heater issues is to clean the tank and flush the elements every year.

Toilet Issues

If the toilet is clogged, you may be able to clear the clog by plunging it. However, if the clog is stuck further down the pipeline, plunging may push it further into the pipes, which could result in a backup and cause sewage to spill out of the toilet bowl. If the toilet is overflowing, you will want to shut off the water supply. From there, you can use a plunger to try and suck the water back down into the toilet bowl. If the water doesn’t go down, you may need to have emergency plumbing services resolve the issue.

Burst Pipes

If you notice a pipe has burst, it is important to turn off the water supply to the entire house to prevent further damage. If a pipe burst inside the wall, emergency plumbing services will need to come out to cut a hole in the wall to access it. A burst pipe outside the house can be fixed by the plumber in less time.

Pipes can burst for a variety of reasons. The most common culprit is the freeze/thaw cycle experienced by many areas during the winter. Other causes can be age of the pipes, corrosion and poor installation.

What To Look for In Emergency Plumbing Services

In a perfect world, our plumbing would never break. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. Even if you take every precaution to prevent catastrophe from striking, your plumbing can and will inevitably fail at some point. The important thing is being prepared for when that time comes. That’s why it’s important to have emergency plumbing services on hand in case something goes wrong. Here are some things you should look for in any potential service provider before signing on with them:

Reputation

The first thing you should do when looking for emergency plumbing services is researching the company’s reputation. You can do this by reading customer reviews on their website, or by searching for reviews on third-party review sites like Yelp. There are also several industry-specific review sites like Angie’s List for plumbers, so be sure to check those out as well. A company with a great reputation is one that has an excellent track record of providing quality services to its customers. A good reputation indicates that a company has been in business for a while, is well-established, and has a loyal customer base. A reputable company is also likely to be more trustworthy and reliable.

Licensing and Certification

While certifications don’t necessarily guarantee the quality of service, they do at least show that the company has at least met some minimum standard of competence. It’s a good idea to only hire plumbing services that are licensed by the state and/or certified by an industry-specific organization. The latter will typically be a third-party certification company. In general, certifications are a good indicator that a company is trustworthy and professional enough to merit your business. The most common certifications for plumbers are:

– Licensed master plumber – this is the highest level of certification for plumbers. It means that the plumber has passed an exam, conducted a certain number of hours of field experience, and has a certain amount of practical experience.

– Journeyman plumber – This is the second-highest level of certification for plumbers. To get this certification, a person has to have work experience as an apprentice, pass an exam, and have a certain amount of practical experience.

– Apprentice plumber – This is the lowest level of certification for plumbers. To get this certification, a person has to have a certain amount of on-the-job training followed by an exam.

Responsiveness

During an emergency, you want an emergency plumbing services company that’s responsive, reliable, and timely. This will make the process easier on both you and the plumber. If possible, try to contact the company during regular business hours to see how long they take to respond. If you call after hours and get a voicemail, make sure that the company leaves an appropriate message about when someone will get back to you. This will give you an idea of how long you can expect to wait for help during an emergency.

Pricing

The cost of emergency plumbing services can vary wildly depending on the type of service and the company you use. While you should definitely shop around, don’t base your decision solely on price. Instead, you should consider the following things:

– Does the emergency plumbing services company charge by the hour or by the job? Hourly rates are often a sign of a disorganized or inefficient company. On the other hand, fixed rates are a sign that the company is confident in its ability to finish the job quickly.

– How many technicians will be working on your job? A larger team of plumbers can finish tasks quicker and more efficiently than one person.

– Do they offer any coupons or discounts? While coupons don’t necessarily indicate a low price, they can still help you save money

Repairs and Maintenance Options

Finally, you should make sure that the emergency plumbing services company offers repair and maintenance solutions. This will save you time and money in the long run. If you can’t find a company that offers both repair and maintenance services, make sure that the company has a good track record of solving plumbing issues.

How Do I Avoid Emergency Plumbing Issues?

The best way to avoid plumbing issues is by having them taken care of as soon as they arise. For example, if you have a slow leak, it is best to call a plumber as soon as possible so the leak can be fixed before it becomes a problem. It’s also a good idea to keep all your fixtures and pipes well maintained. This means periodically cleaning your faucets, toilets and sinks and replacing any worn out pipes. If you are experiencing problems with your plumbing, it may be due to a buildup of sediment in your pipes and fixtures. To prevent major plumbing issues, you can use a plumbing snake to unclog your pipes or a water softener to flush out the pipes.

How To Protect Your Sewer Line

A clogged or damaged sewer line from tree roots especially can cause significant damage to your home, as well as a health and safety risk. To protect yourself from costly repairs, you can follow a few simple guidelines.

What you can do to solve the problem of damaging tree roots:

  • Know the warning signs: frequent clogged drains, slow-flowing drains and overflowing drains
  • Schedule annual drain and sewer line inspections
  • Schedule regular sewer line cleanings to prevent root growth

If your drains clog frequently, we recommend calling emergency plumbing services to have your drain and sewer lines inspected. One of our plumbers at Palo Alto Plumbing can run a camera probe through your pipes to find any damaged areas. Once we complete the inspection, we’ll offer the necessary recommendations. If you have major tree root damage, we may recommend that the lines be replaced.

Conclusion

Plumbing issues can be a pain, but they’re inevitable. There’s nothing you can do to prevent them, so it’s best to be prepared. That way, when a plumbing emergency comes up, you’ll know what to do. When these types of issues arise, you don’t have time to waste. You need someone to respond quickly so the issue can be fixed before it becomes a bigger problem. Emergency plumbing services like Palo Alto Plumbing are here for exactly that reason, and we can take the stress out of an already stressful situation by responding quickly and repairing your plumbing so you can get back to your life.

Need Emergency Plumbing Services? Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

Call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate on emergency plumbing services. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

How to Choose the Right AC Repair Company

In the sweltering summer heat, you can’t wait to get home and into a cool environment. But when you turn on your air conditioning unit, it doesn’t respond like it normally does. The house is still hot and humid. What do you do now? You may feel this is a rather small repair job that you can have a company take care of easily. However, quite often people end up spending more money than they anticipated because they chose the wrong AC repair company. Even if the repairs seem simple enough and won’t cost a lot of money, it is important that you choose the right provider from the word go. This guide will show you how to choose the right AC repair company the first time so you can save money and hassle.

How to Choose the Right AC Repair Company

Why you should use a checklist when hiring an AC repair service

If you hire an AC repair company whose employees don’t have the appropriate certifications, you may end up with an improperly installed system that could break down again in a few months. You may end up paying more than you should, too, if you go with a non-licensed contractor. In most states, contractors who work on residential properties are required to pay a licensing fee, which covers the cost of administering the exam and the administration of the licensing program. If a contractor doesn’t have to pay a licensing fee, then they likely don’t have the same level of experience and expertise as those who do have to pay. Also, be sure the company has workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as the law requires in most states.

Don’t be fooled by ads and marketing

You may think you are getting a great deal when a company advertises $19.95 for service calls. Are they really going to come out for such a low price? It’s best to avoid services that advertise for extremely low prices. First of all, it’s probably not a legitimate AC repair company. If it is, the services performed will likely be substandard and not meet code requirements.

Another thing to watch out for is marketing which is designed to scare you into doing something right now. An example of this type of marketing is the claim that your air conditioner is on its way out. This is simply not true. If your air conditioner is 10 years old and you replace it every 15 years, then it is likely not even close to dying. It’s best to ignore marketing gimmicks.

HVAC equipment certification is key

All technicians who work on your AC unit must be certified, but not all certifications are the same. For example, if the AC repair technician is certified for refrigeration work, but not for air conditioning work, you may end up with a system that doesn’t work properly. There are several certification organizations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET); the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). You can ask for certification cards from your technicians, but keep in mind these cards can be forged. You can also check these organizations’ websites to see if the company has applied for certification.

Get more than one estimate

A good rule of thumb is to get three estimates if you need to replace your AC unit. If the bids are close, you can then go with the AC repair company that offers a shorter installation time. If there is a wide difference in price between the companies, you can ask why there is such a difference. You can also check online review sites and see what other customers have to say about the companies you are considering.

Ask to see the company’s license

You should always ask to see the AC repair company’s license and call your local municipality to confirm the company’s license is valid. If the company doesn’t have a license, then you should consider finding another service provider. While you can find out information about a business’s license online, it isn’t always accurate, so you shouldn’t take it as gospel.

Ask for references and check them

You can ask for references from the company, but be sure to follow up on them. If all of the references are from other businesses, you may want to ask why they don’t have any residential customers. You can also ask for a list of recent customers who had the same type of work done that you need. You can then call these customers to see if they are happy with the work and if they would use the company again.

Check the warranty and make sure it’s in writing

When you are shopping for a new system, you will probably see companies with a variety of long-term warranties. You may be tempted to go with the company that offers the longest warranty, but you need to make sure it is in writing. If the warranty is just verbal, then you may be out of luck if the company goes out of business or the owner retires and no one else can honor the warranty. If the warranty is in writing, then you can take the company to court if they don’t honor it.

Be wary of up-front payments

Some companies will ask you to pay a large amount of money upfront for a new system or to cover the cost of parts for a repair job. If the work is legitimate and you feel the company is trustworthy, you can request a down payment. However, if you are asked to pay for work before the work is complete, you should be very wary. That money may be gone for good.

Conclusion

If you wait until the last minute to find an AC repair company, you may not be able to find one that can come out quickly and do the work during the heat of the summer. It is best to start looking as early as February, so you have time to find the right company and have them do the work. It is best to hire a company that has been in business for at least five years, has a good BBB rating, and is a member of a reputable trade association. Look for a company that offers a wide range of services, including repair, replacement, and AC maintenance. We hope this AC repair checklist will help you choose the right company.

Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

If you are looking for AC repair companies near me, you should contact Palo Alto Plumbing today. Do not wait for a scorcher to find out your system is not blowing cold enough air or is leaking money out the window. Call today!

Looking for HVAC Companies Near Me? How They Can Save You Money

Are you tired of spending hundreds of dollars on your energy bill every month? Do you dread the summer and winter months when your energy bill spikes? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, you might want to consider getting your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system checked out by an HVAC company. An HVAC system is one of the largest energy consumers in a home, and without regular maintenance, it could be throwing your money out the window without you realizing it. If you’re looking for HVAC companies near me, here are some ways that your local HVAC company can help you save money on your energy bill.

Looking for HVAC Companies Near Me? How They Can Help Save You Money

What Is HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance refers to the recommended servicing and inspections of your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. When this is done regularly, you’ll be able to detect problems before they become costly. This can save you money by preventing issues that might require costly repairs and replacements. Some HVAC maintenance tasks may include changing filters, installing new seals and gaskets, or repairing refrigerant leaks. Other tasks may include lubricating motors or cables and cleaning dirty coils. You’ll want to find a licensed professional for your home’s HVAC maintenance. A licensed HVAC contractor from your HVAC companies near me search will have the expertise to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently all year round.

Below are some ways HVAC companies near me can help you save money on your energy bills.

Check for air leaks

The first thing an HVAC company does is check for air leaks in your home. Air leaks can allow hot or cold air into the house and spike your energy bill. These leaks could be due to cracks, gaps, or holes in the ductwork system. In order to fix these leaks, you will have to improve the insulation around the ducts.

HVAC Maintenance Improves Efficiency

One of the simplest ways to save money on your energy bill is to search for HVAC companies near me and have your HVAC system checked for efficiency. If you’ve had your system for 10 years or more, chances are it needs a tune-up. This will ensure that the system is running efficiently, and when the temperatures start to drop, you won’t be worried about shocking your utility bill with a spike in usage.

For example, a poorly insulated duct can waste up to 50% of heating and cooling energy. Additionally, poor air quality and high humidity levels can cause drafts, which lead to a chilly house during the winter months. The best way to avoid these issues is to schedule HVAC maintenance with a professional service provider every year or two. As well as improving efficiency, HVAC maintenance will ensure that your system is running at its peak performance. Your chosen technician from your HVAC companies near me search will inspect the inside and outside of your HVAC system before making any repairs or adjustments – this includes checking for leaks, dirt buildup, corrosion, and proper airflow throughout the home. If there are any problems found during the inspection, they will be fixed or replaced before you know it!

Avoid Breakdowns

The benefits don’t stop there: scheduling annual or biennial HVAC maintenance with HVAC companies near me can also reduce the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs. By having your technician come out to check on your equipment regularly, you’ll get a heads-up when there is an issue with something major like a compressor or a blower motor – these components can lead to expensive repairs if they break down without warning!

Install efficient furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps

You can save money on your energy bill by searching for HVAC companies near me and having your chosen HVAC company install efficient furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. Newer models of these appliances are better at conserving energy and running more efficiently than older models. By installing an energy-efficient appliance, you can cut your energy use by 10 to 15 percent.

Other Ways to Save Money on Energy

Replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones

One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is by replacing old appliances, like your refrigerator and dishwasher, with newer ones that are more energy-efficient. Most homes in the United States are still using a 1980s refrigerator that consumes at least 700 kWh of electricity per year. When you get a new fridge or dishwasher, make sure it’s Energy Star certified. These appliances have been tested and rated by an independent lab to meet specific standards for energy efficiency. You can also look into buying a water heater that is Energy Star certified, which will help reduce your electricity bill.

Insulate your home

The number one way to save money on your energy bill is to insulate your home, especially the attic, better. Insulating your home will help keep the heat in and the cold out. Doing so will allow you to use less energy for heating and cooling. By insulating your attic, basement, exterior walls, and doors, you can reduce up to an additional 10 percent of your energy usage each year.

Final Words

So there you have it. If you were searching for HVAC companies near me and found this article, we hope it answered some of your questions. HVAC companies near me can help you save money on your energy bill in many ways. The most obvious way is to replace your old appliances with newer, more efficient ones. You may also want to consider putting insulation on your home. Insulating all of the vents in your home and checking for air leaks can be a simple way to keep energy bills down. One of the last things you might want to think about is installing an energy-saving HVAC system. High gas prices make it more cost-effective to invest in an energy-efficient system. Replacing your old system with a new one keeps you from wasting money and helps the environment by lowering our nation’s carbon footprint.

Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

If you are looking for HVAC companies near me, you should contact Palo Alto Plumbing today. Do not wait for a scorcher to find out your system is not blowing cold enough air or is leaking money out the window. Call today!

HVAC Maintenance Checklist: 8 Important Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Breakdowns

The hot summer days are coming on quickly! Did you know that the average air conditioner in use in the U.S. is about 15 years old? Although they are a reliable source of cool air, they can also break down at any time. Without regular maintenance, your air conditioner will not operate at peak efficiency and pose a more significant threat of breakdown. This article provides an HVAC maintenance checklist and lists some of the most important steps you can take to prevent breakdowns in your AC unit. This helps ensure it continues to provide cool air for the long term.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist: 8 Important Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Breakdowns

Here is what to include in your HVAC maintenance checklist.

Change Air Filter on a Regular Basis

An air filter is necessary to keep your system running efficiently. It helps prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from entering the system and causing damage. If your HVAC system has a dirty or clogged filter, it will need to work harder to circulate the air in your home. The added stress on the AC unit can cause it to overheat and break down.

One of the simplest ways to keep your air conditioner in good shape is by changing the filter regularly. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filters every 6-12 months; however, this can vary depending on where you live, how dusty or humid it is, and other factors. It would help if you changed yours at least once every year for maximum protection of your AC unit. In addition to reducing wear and tear on your HVAC system, you’ll also be able to enjoy clean air circulating throughout your home without any worries about the buildup of allergens or bacteria.

Change AC Oil

The air conditioning unit is filled with oil and different refrigerants. This mixture needs to be replaced every so often to keep the system working at its best. Have your AC maintenance company come out and replace the oil in your system every 2-3 years, usually around your seasonal changeover.

Perform a visual inspection

The first step to prevent breakdowns is a visual inspection. This should be done at least every six months, but ideally, it should be done once a month. It requires a quick look at the outside of the unit and looking inside for any leaks or mold. Check for a dirty filter as well–this could reduce your energy efficiency and cause the unit to work harder to cool your home.

Check for loose or damaged parts

One of the essential steps to maintaining your AC unit is checking for loose or damaged parts. A loose or damaged part in your AC unit will cause it to operate less efficiently, make loud noises, and run more often than necessary.

It may be difficult to see what parts need repair when looking from outside the unit. However, if you have access to the inside of your AC unit, you’ll be able to look more closely at its components. To identify loose or damaged parts, check for any broken wires, bolts that are not securely tightened, and any other signs of wear and tear on the inside of your air conditioner.

Clean your air ducts

One of the best ways to keep your system in good condition is to clean your air ducts. The HVAC system has two major components: the outside unit, which pumps out cool air, and the inside coils and furnaces (or heaters), which bring in and distribute warm air. When these elements get dirty, they can’t work at total capacity. Your furnace will do an inadequate job of distributing hot air, or your coil might break because too much cold air is being pumped through it.

To avoid these problems, conduct a regular inspection of your ducts, including vents, grills, and expanders. If you notice any dust buildup or debris around the vents or in the grills, then it is time to clean the ducts. Use a brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner and suck out all the dust from those hard-to-reach spots. You may need a professional to run a hose through some of your more difficult-to-access areas (especially if you have a big home). The professionals will be able to thoroughly clean all of these areas with ease.

Adjust your thermostat

Most people don’t realize this, but your thermostat is a critical HVAC system component. The system will work harder to cool your home and use more energy when it’s set too high. Likewise, it won’t have enough power to effectively heat your home when it’s set too low. The ideal setting for your thermostat is 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the summer and 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in the winter.

Check your hoses

The first step to take when maintaining your system is checking the hoses. This can easily be done by simply inspecting the hoses using a hose inspection camera. If you see any of these problems, it’s time for a replacement.

  • Leakages
  • Cracks in the rubber
  • Any bulges in the hose
  • Missing or loose clamps or screws

Maintain your system

HVAC systems need to have regular maintenance. Without it, your system will not run well, and you risk breakdowns. A good practice is to have a filter inspection every 12 months, a tune-up every 24 months, and a complete check-up once every three years.

Final thoughts

HVAC systems are critical for the comfort of your home. A well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of time and money. Remember, investing in an HVAC maintenance plan is not an expense; it is an investment that will save you money and frustration down the road.

Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here

We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your HVAC system.

If your AC is not working correctly, call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

A dishwasher is an integral appliance in most households, but a clogged dishwasher drain hose can cause big problems. If the hose is clogged, dirty dishwasher water fills the sink and won’t drain. This makes it impossible to clean your dishes and disrupts your daily routine. In addition, a clog can cause the hose to leak if it becomes too full. This could cause water damage to your cabinets or flooring. Finally, a clog can emit an unpleasant smell. Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Here are six easy ways to clear a clog as well as information about when to call a plumber.

Common Symptoms of a Clogged Dishwasher

Here are some ways you can tell that your dishwasher is clogged:

– Bubbles in soap dispenser: The dishwasher is not correctly rinsing the soapy water from dishes. Something is blocking the holes on the sprayer arm, preventing it from spraying.

– Film on glasses: The dishwasher is leaving a film of dish soap residue on glasses. Dirty filters or faulty sprayer arms could cause this.

-Slow to rinse: Dirty filters may need to be replaced or cleaned out. Or, too much detergent is being used. You might also need to adjust your water temperature.

– Leaks: If you have a dishwasher with an active leak, it will be leaking from the bottom of the machine where the water supply line attaches to the dishwasher. You may also notice that water is pooling around the base of your dishwasher.

How to Prevent Your Dishwasher from Clogging 

One of the most common causes of a clogged dishwasher is the accumulation of food particles. Food particles can get onto your dishes and into your dishwasher, eventually causing it to become clogged. To help prevent this from happening, rinse off any food particles on plates before placing them in your dishwasher. Additionally, run your garbage disposal if you have one before starting a load in your dishwasher. This will prevent food particles from backing up into your dishwasher when you run a cycle. It will also help get your dishes cleaner.

One of the most critical maintenance tasks is to make sure your dishwasher is cleaned out after every use. Check if any areas may have clogged up or are not draining well. If so, you can take a baking soda and vinegar mixture and pour it down the drain. Run water through the drain to ensure it’s fully clean before adding a rinse aid to prevent clogs from occurring.

If your dishwasher is not producing completely clean dishes, the residue will start to build up on the machine’s surface. This buildup can reduce the performance of your dishwasher and cause it to break down faster. Whenever you have a significant amount of time between loads, running a cycle with nothing but water is best. This will help keep any residue from building up.

Some other things you should check for are hard-to-clean grime around the door seal, mineral deposits under the rubber gasket on top of the door, and rust or sediment at the bottom of your dishwasher drum. All these things can build up over time and ruin your machine’s performance, so periodically checking for these items is key to maintaining your dishwasher for long-lasting use!

Dishwasher Drain Hose Clogged? 6 Easy Fixes

Here are six at-home remedies to unclogging your dishwasher and get it running again:

  1.     Check the dishwasher’s filter. If it is clogged, you can use a small cup or pot to scoop out the items. 
  1.     You can use a pipe cleaner or compressed air to clear out any clogs that may have formed inside the dishwasher. 
  1.     Look for any loose parts on the bottom. This might include screws, bolts or brackets that attach various components. The water supply line may even be disconnected or broken. If any of these are happening, call your local repairman or technician and get them to come by as soon as possible!
  1.     Using a plunger, plunge the clogged end of the hose until the clog releases 
  1.     Point a hair-dryer at the clogged end of the hose until you hear it suck water and then try plunging again 
  1.     Pour baking soda down the drain line followed by vinegar, which will start to bubble. Let it sit for five minutes before you try to clean again. 

If these home remedies do not do the trick, you might need to call in a professional to help you. Below are some situations in which a professional plumber might be needed.

When Should I Call a Plumber?

If your dishwasher is severely clogged or overflowing

A clogged or overflowing dishwasher can cause extensive water damage to your home if left untreated. If you have a dishwasher that isn’t draining, the first step is to check for an obstruction in the drain hose. If this is clear and there is still no drainage, it may be time to call a plumber.

There are strange odors coming from the dishwasher that you can’t get rid of

You should also call a plumber if you notice strange odors coming from your dishwasher. This could indicate bacteria growth due to standing water in the machine.

Your dishes aren’t getting clean or the wash cycles are of 

Lastly, if your dishes are not getting clean or the wash cycle is too long to complete, you may want to consider a professional’s assistance with your dishwasher. A clogged dishwasher can cause these problems because it cannot drain properly and water doesn’t flow through as well as it should.

Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here

We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your dishwasher. 

Is your dishwasher drain hose clogged? Call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

 

 

The Importance of Air Conditioning Service

We often take the air conditioning systems in our homes for granted. We turn it on and off as we please and don’t think much about it otherwise. But here is the truth. You can’t wait too long to have your AC serviced because you run the risk of having a complete breakdown. Plus, without regular servicing, your unit will produce more cold air than it should. This will use more energy per hour and won’t last nearly as long. Scheduling regular air conditioning unit servicing is necessary for safety reasons as well as cost savings. This article covers the importance of air conditioning service, unit issues, and signs it is time for an inspection.

Why is Air Conditioning Service Important?

Air conditioners should be serviced regularly to work correctly and use the right amount of energy. If your air conditioning system is not serviced regularly, you run the risk of a complete breakdown at worst. You also risk having a problem with your system that could cost a lot more than regular service. Regular inspections also keep your AC operating at peak efficiency.

Allowing an expert to inspect your unit prevents any minor problems from becoming major ones. Plus, regular servicing will help you save energy costs because the unit won’t use as much energy per hour. This should help it last much longer than if it’s not regularly maintained.

Common Air Conditioning Problems

Here are some common issues that you could experience with an AC unit if it is not serviced regularly:

-Irregular indoor air temperature

-Noisy operation

-Loss of refrigerant, which reduces cooling efficiency

-Blow-fuse or breaker trips due to overload on the electrical system

-Excessive energy consumption causing high electric bills

-The air coming out of vents feels damp or hot

-It takes a lot of time for the AC to adjust to changes in room temperature

What to Do

If you notice any of these above issues, it’s time to call a professional. The hot summer months can be brutal for many of us in California, but they don’t have to be. More often than not, when the temperature reaches a certain point, it’s not uncommon for your AC to stop working. This can lead to more severe problems, such as mold growth and water leaks.

Don’t let this happen to you! You should know that this is not normal, and there could be something wrong with your AC.

By waiting till the temperature gets higher, the chances of needing urgent repairs or replacements increase exponentially.  It’s important to understand that waiting until the hottest days of summer is not the best idea. Remember that it’s never too early to prepare, so get your AC checked now before you feel the heat!

What Does a General Inspection Entail?

Although you know your air conditioner is working, have a general AC unit inspection every few years. Why? Equipment failure can happen suddenly and at any time, and when it does, it’s typically expensive to fix. Many different things can go awry with your air conditioner. You should never take a chance on ignoring this essential maintenance check-up.

In a general AC unit inspection, an HVAC technician will visually inspect the outside of the appliance. They’ll ensure the refrigerant levels are correct and look for signs of leaks or any other malfunctions. They’ll also look for any damage to the outside of the unit and make sure all connections are secure.

The technician will check the air conditioner’s fan belt for wear and tear or anything that would cause it to break. They will also inspect the compressor for leaks, which can be dangerous because they put out a lot of heat.

The technician will check your air conditioner to see if it runs properly. They will do this by listening to the sound of the fan, which should be around 60 decibels. They will observe if there are any moving parts.

The tester will also look at the outside of the AC unit for any leaks or damage. They will also ensure there is proper insulation around all electrical components and securely attach the thermostat wire.

When your technician is finished with the outside of your air conditioner, they will do an internal inspection. They will check how well it’s running and look for any problems inside the appliance itself.

Call for an Inspection with Palo Alto Plumbing

Call today for an appointment with Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air. One of our experts will come out to perform a general AC unit inspection on your appliance. We will do all of the things noted above.

We will also check for any signs of mold or bacteria that could be growing inside the appliance. If we find any evidence of mold or bacteria, we can provide you with solutions.

One thing that could come up during a general AC unit inspection is that your air conditioner needs further servicing. We will go over the causes and your options in detail.

Why Wait?

Palo Alto Plumbing is very proud to have been the Bay Area’s top plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors for over 16 years. No task is too small or too large for our expert — and EPA Universal Certified — technicians. We enter every job with the mindset of meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations.

When was the last time you had your AC unit serviced? The hot summer months will be here before you know it, and winter is a great time to ensure you’re ready. Call us today, and we will get you going.

Water Leaks: 6 Ways They Can Ruin Your Home & How to Prevent Them

H2O is essential to life, but it can also be destructive if you have water leaks in your home. You might not know there’s a problem until water starts seeping onto the floor or through the walls or visible mold starts growing. A leaky pipe, dishwasher, toilet, or showerhead could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Here are 6 ways that a water leak can ruin your home.

How a Water Leak Can Ruin Your Home

Water leaks can cause mold

A leak in your home can cause mold growth. Mold is a type of fungus found in the air and on surfaces like walls, tiles, or furniture. Depending on where it’s located, mold can be harmful to your health and could also cause a significant financial loss. Mold can cause asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and other illnesses. It is also hard to clean because it’s hard to get rid of once it sets in. Mold can spread quickly if it gets into the air and there is a water source nearby. For example, if your faucet drips or your pipes leak water, the wetness will attract mold spores which will spread throughout your home.

Water leaks can destroy your home’s foundation

Every home has a foundation, and the foundation must be strong. If something interrupts the structural integrity of your home’s foundation, it can lead to structural damage. If your home’s foundation is compromised, you could end up with expensive repairs to save your home from falling apart and sinking. Leaks can cause damage to the foundation if left untreated. From small leaks that happen during construction and plumbing to more significant leaks due to faulty equipment or pipes, water can cause severe problems for your foundation.

Water leaks can ruin your carpets and flooring, and your possessions

Carpets and flooring are among the most expensive things to repair or replace inside your home. Carpet and flooring are more likely to show the effects of water damage than any other room. If you spot some mold, wet spots, or discoloration on your carpet or flooring, it’s time to call a professional.

A leaky pipe or toilet can also cause a wet and moldy mess and ruin your personal belongings like furniture and electronics.

Water leaks may affect the electrical system in your home

Water leaks can cause dangerous electrical issues in your home. Water is a conductor of electricity, and a leak’s moisture can short-circuit circuits. For example, if you have a dishwasher and it leaks, you may experience a short-circuit in your electrical system. This short-circuit will lead to power outages in your home. It can also damage your appliances with corrosion or rusting. If your dishwasher has an electric motor, then the leak could stop it from working correctly and it will burn out faster than expected. It could also affect the safety of your appliances, causing them to burst into flames or overheat. The issue could be so severe that an appliance catches on fire or explodes when you’re using it.

Water leaks can damage walls

Drywall will get swollen with moisture and start to split when the walls are exposed to water for an extended period. This can lead to dangerous structural issues that could cost thousands of dollars in damages. It’s best to avoid this situation altogether by having a professional check out your home for any potential leaks before they occur.

Water leaks can cause wood rotting

Water leaking can cause rot and decay in the wood that your home is made out of. Even if you don’t see any signs of wetness, the rotting process still has started.

Signs include:

-Pitting on the exterior side walls

-Sagging ceilings and floors

-Creaking noises in certain parts of your home

-Rust around windows and doors

If you have a noticeable leak, do this now

Here are two simple ways you can take care of minor leaks now while a professional is on their way:

  1. If a pipe in your bathroom or kitchen is leaking, install a drip pan under your sink so you don’t have to worry about leaking onto other surfaces.
  2. If a water leak has occurred because a pipe has burst, shut off your water now so you don’t have to worry about flooding your home.

Ways to prevent leaks

Here are some ways you can prevent most leaks.

First, make sure your pipes aren’t old. Old pipes have small gaps that allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space. With new pipes, these gaps are eliminated so you can prevent leaks.

Second, use a rubber stopper at the bottom of your toilet tank to avoid cracks and uneven surfaces in the tank.

Third, install an aerator in the toilet’s fill valve to reduce air bubbles and prevent clogs from happening.

Fourth, use a water meter with leak detection features to ensure that you catch any leaking water before it gets too big an issue for your home.

Fifth, check your faucets for leaks and make sure they aren’t dripping after only five minutes of being turned on.

Sixth, seal off any holes in walls or ceilings as soon as possible if you notice any evidence of leakage.

The Importance of Checking for Leaks

Often, homeowners are too busy to check for leaks on their own, or they might not be sure how, which can be costly and inconvenient. So why not call in the professionals at Palo Alto Plumbing? We will be able to detect any leaks that may go undetected by homeowners or are easily missed to the untrained eye.

Professional companies like Palo Alto Plumbing will also have the expertise and equipment necessary to execute leak fixes effectively and efficiently without wasting time or money. We can identify the source of any leaks quickly and make repairs quickly to eliminate future issues.

Call Today

Water leaks are a common cause of damage to your home, and it is essential to know how to identify where a leak might be occurring. If you suspect you have a water leak in your home but don’t know where to start, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air by dialing 650-405-1460 today for all of your heating, air conditioning, and plumbing needs! You can also contact us here.

7 Plumbing Mistakes Homeowners Make

As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to maintain your plumbing system and prevent issues like a sewer leak, but it’s easy for homeowners to make mistakes that cause problems with their plumbing systems later on. This blog post will go over some of the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners make and how they can avoid them.

Quick Tips

When you’re dealing with plumbing problems in your home, it’s usually important to act quickly. The longer the problem goes unfixed, the more damage it can cause, and the harder it can become to repair. If you have a burst pipe or a sewer leak, for example, shut off the water immediately before further damage occurs. Then call a plumber as soon as possible. But how do you avoid these types of situations in the first place?

These are a few of the most common plumbing mistakes that homeowners tend to make:

1) Trying to DIY Projects

The reality is that most homeowners don’t understand how their plumbing works beyond turning on a faucet or flushing the toilet. There’s simply no reason for most of us to have a broader understanding of how many things work in our homes, like how electricity functions, or all the intricacies of a gas furnace. That’s what experts are for. After all, who has time to get into the wide ranging technical aspects of total home maintenance? So let yourself off the hook for once, and instead of trying to DIY your plumbing to save a few bucks, go ahead and call a local plumber. Honestly, it will save you time and money in the long run. Not to mention, if you have a messy sewer leak on your hands, trying to DIY a plumbing fix can even be a health hazard.

2) Failing to Fix Leaks Right Away

One of the most common things homeowners tend to put off for later is taking care of things like leaky faucets. Whether you’re wasting water by leaving the faucet dripping around the clock, or have hidden leaks in your pipes, not addressing these issues can result in higher water bills, or even worrisome damage to your property.

One sign of a sewer leak is an unusual green patch in your yard. Such waste water can fertilize the surrounding area, so unusual plant growth is a clue that there may be an underlying issue to blame. It’s essential to note that leaks can disturb your home’s foundation over time, and also lead to mold growth, which poses health hazards as well.

3) Flushing The Wrong Things Down the Toilet

Plumbing systems are more delicate than many homeowners realize, so there are certain things that should never be flushed down your toilets. Be sure that things like trash, paper towels, baby wipes, and sanitary products are always thrown in the trash instead. If you have children in your household, it’s also important to teach them what can and can’t be flushed down the toilets. Otherwise, pipes can become clogged, leading to expensive plumbing repairs, or even emergency plumbing services.

4) Using Chemical Cleaners to Clear Clogs

While this seems like a cheap and simple solution, it’s not. Unfortunately, using chemical cleaners can eat away at your pipes. They also emit toxic fumes that can be dangerous to your eyes as well as your respiratory system. Some chemical cleaners are advertised to be able to clear a drain blockage with just one application, but, in actuality, this is seldom effective. Unfortunately, you’re actually more likely to damage your plumbing with these “quick-fix” products.

5) Placing Grease or Food Down the Sink

One of the most common plumbing mistakes that people make is putting grease or food waste down the sink. This is generally disastrous because it ends up clogging the pipes, even if you have a garbage disposal. It’s important to remember to always dump food waste in the trash or in a special container used for grease, etc. Certain types of food can’t go down your garbage disposal. For example, it’s just not designed to take on heavy-duty substances, like fruit rinds, despite the fact that we’ve all been told to freshen things up with a lemon.

Tip: It’s also very important not to put food waste in your dishwasher because it can get stuck and cause clogs. There isn’t really anywhere for it to go.

6) Not Scheduling Plumbing Maintenance

One of the best ways to save money on plumbing repairs or to prevent major issues, like a sewer leak, is to schedule regular plumbing maintenance for your home. Rather than waiting for there to be an emergency plumbing problem, it pays to take a more proactive approach. Our advice is to have your system looked over at least once a year by a trusted plumbing company.

7) Not Hiring an Experienced Plumbing Company

Before hiring a plumber to come to your home, you really need to do a little research. You don’t want to put yourself in a frustrating position by relying on someone who doesn’t have enough experience to take care of the problem. It’s better to spend some time learning more about a plumbing company before you make up your mind. A reputable plumbing service should have reviews or testimonials on their website or social media pages. It’s also important to ensure that they’re licensed and insured so you aren’t putting yourself at financial risk if they’re somehow injured on the job.

Need Help?

Like any other system in your house, you have to take care of your plumbing to make sure it lasts a long time. If not, you risk dealing with expensive plumbing repairs or even water damage and mold. These mistakes can wreak havoc on your home, and take money and energy to fix! We hope this blog post helps you better understand your home’s plumbing. If you have any questions for us at Palo Alto Plumbing, or would like a free estimate, please give us a call at (650) 856-3400. Our friendly staff is here to help.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

Are you wondering if you need an emergency plumber right away or if the problem can wait a little while longer? This is a common question for homeowners to have. After all, what if something seems like a minor issue, but it turns into a real mess that’s twice as expensive to fix? Not to worry—these are some times when you can be sure it’s critical to call a plumbing expert without delay.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

A Burst Pipe

If a pipe has burst in your home, stop reading and contact an emergency plumber immediately. Depending on the situation, it doesn’t take very long for gallons and gallons of water to flood your home. Water can cause damage to furniture, flooring, cabinets, and even your home’s insulation and wood framing. If you know how to shut the water off, do that first. Otherwise, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing, and move your valuables and electronics to a safe area.

Sewage Backup

It goes without saying that sewage is a health hazard. If you have a backup, talk to an emergency plumber right away. A backup in the sewer line can be caused by things like invasive tree roots, a break in the pipe, or some kind of blockage. A sewage backup is inconvenient but it can also be dangerous. Raw sewage emits fumes and can spread pathogens.

Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet can also be an emergency. If you can’t easily resolve the issue on your own, talk to a plumber as soon as possible. The water is contaminated with bacteria, making it a health risk. If you aren’t sure of the underlying reason for the problem, a plumbing expert can help you sort it out.

You’re Without Water

If you suddenly find yourself without running water, this is cause for concern. It impacts your ability to cook, clean, or even use the bathroom. These days, most of us don’t rely on the tap for drinking water, but a lack of running water is still an emergency plumbing problem. Talk to an expert about resolving the issue.

Flood Risks

A variety of plumbing problems can pose a flood risk. Call a professional right away to prevent the need for costly repair work to your home. Water damage can also lead to other issues. For example, mold growth. This can become a real issue in and of itself because mold can be a major health hazard. A burst pipe or a failed sump pump can lead to flooding, as well as a water valve that fails to shut off.

Clogged Drains

Only a plumber will be able to tell you if there’s a hidden reason for your clogged drain. If a drain keeps getting clogged, you likely have a bigger problem on your hands than you realize. This is especially true if there’s something stopping up more than one drain in your home. Don’t risk rising water. Give a pro a call to make sure you don’t have a sewer problem.

Water Heater Failure

Another common plumbing emergency is when your water heater gives up the ghost. Discolored water is one clue, but the most obvious sign your water heater has failed is a freezing cold shower in the morning. Another thing you might notice is that your water has taken on a strange smell. Be sure to call a local plumbing service to take a look at your water heater. You don’t want to put this off because a faulty water heater can actually have hidden leaks. The last thing you want to do is spend hours mopping up all the water from its tank.

Leaky Faucets

You might not think about it, but old hardware can cause leaks too. Even if that isn’t the case, a dripping sink, shower, or toilet can really add to your monthly water bill costs, especially in the long run. Standing water is also an unpleasant mess to clean up. It often smells bad and can cause both mold and rust. Additionally, pests are drawn to water too.

DIY Plumbing Mishaps

DIY plumbing can also lead to some costly mistakes. Some of them require emergency plumbing services. Here’s a list of the most common DIY plumbing mishaps…

Forgetting to Turn Off the Water

One of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to home plumbing projects is that people often forget to turn off the water before they start taking things apart. Forgetting to turn off the water will most likely lead to water spraying from the loosened connection. What’s worse is that  you probably won’t be able to stop the flooding by putting things back together until you turn the water off at the source. If you don’t know how to shut the water off, it’s hard to think clearly when you’re in a panic and water is pouring into your home.

Too Much Drain Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners can actually do more harm than good, especially if you use them on a regular basis to deal with clogged drains. For one thing, they’re hard on your pipes. Their toxic fumes can also be a hazard to your health.

Incorrect Toilet Placement

Incorrect toilet placement is another issue we regularly see. While this might seem like a simple project you can handle on your own, it still requires specialized knowledge. Often, the new toilet doesn’t quite fit right, or the replacement bowl is the wrong shape. This can come down to incorrect measurements. For example, older homes have a different standard than more modern designs, which is something to be aware of.

Talk to an Emergency Plumber

Here at Palo Alto Plumbing, our licensed plumbers can solve anything from a drippy faucet to a cracked sewer pipe. Our detail-oriented and knowledgeable plumbers can ensure your household’s health and safety by providing quality services. Contact us at 650-405-1460 or fill out a contact form on our website to chat with one of our representatives about all of your plumbing needs!