Posts

5 Important Services Residential Plumbers Cover

While plumbing services are a common household task, fixing broken or leaky pipes can be a serious hassle. However, it’s not an issue you need to handle alone. With the help of residential plumbers, you can quickly restore your plumbing to full operation in no time. Residential plumbers are experts in fixing problems at home and offer affordable rates for their services. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you might need more than one visit from a plumber. Luckily, there are many qualified residential plumbers available that you can trust with this task. Here is everything you need to know about hiring residential plumbers and which one is right for you.

How to find reliable residential plumbers

There is no set rule for finding a reliable plumber. With the right due diligence, you can find a trustworthy plumber for residential plumbing services. Here are a few tips to help you find a reliable plumber:

– Ask for referrals: The best place to start your search for a plumber is your friends, family, and neighbors. If you know someone who has recently used plumbing services, ask them who they would recommend. If you don’t know anyone that has used a plumber recently, ask around at work or your local coffee shop. You can also ask your realtor for a recommendation.

– Get at least 3 estimates: Once you have a few names, it’s time to see what each plumber has to offer. You can get an estimate from each plumber and compare the services, prices, and overall professionalism. The estimate will help you get a better idea of the tasks that need to be performed to get your plumbing back to normal. This will also give you an idea of the plumber’s charges for the given job.

– Check their credentials: Make sure you check the plumber’s credentials and certifications. You can do this by checking their website and online reviews. You can also ask the plumber for a copy of their business license and insurance. This will help you verify that they are a legitimate company and not just a person working out of their garage.

What do residential plumbers do?

A plumber is a person who installs and repairs water and gas piping systems in your home. Residential plumbers don’t always work on large projects like a new building’s plumbing system. Instead, they spend their time on smaller projects for individual households. A residential plumber can help you with the following tasks:

– Fixing a leaky faucet: With daily use, all faucets will have some sort of leak. Residential plumbers can perform minor repairs to stop the leak and restore the faucet to full operation.

– Removing a clog: Clogged drains are a common plumbing problem. Residential plumbers can clear your drain line to restore normal water flow.

– Installing a new kitchen faucet: If you want a new kitchen faucet on a regular sink, you can install it yourself. However, most people hire a professional for a kitchen faucet replacement.

– Installing a new water heater: A water heater is a major plumbing task that requires professional expertise. Residential plumbers can replace your water heater with a brand new one.

– Installing a new water filtration system: A water filtration system helps keep your water clean and safe from contaminants. Residential plumbers can help you install a new water filtration system.

Licensed and insured residential plumbers

When you hire a plumbing service for residential plumbing, you want to make sure the company is licensed and insured. A licensed plumbing service has undergone inspection by the state and has proven that they meet the state’s standard for plumbers. An insurance policy will protect you in case of any damages to your home or property. If you hire a licensed and insured plumbing service, they will likely have workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees if they get injured on the job. Here are a few things you can look out for when choosing a licensed and insured plumbing service:

– Ask for their plumbing license and insurance information: You can start by requesting their license and insurance information. If they have both, they will likely have no problem showing them to you.

– Ask for references: References will help you verify the company’s legitimacy. You can ask references about their experience with the company and if they are satisfied with the services provided.

– Ask about their process: You can also ask about the company’s process for handling residential plumbing jobs. You can ask about their scheduling practices, how they charge for their services, and what type of repairs they perform.

The benefits of using licensed and insured residential plumbers

There are many benefits to hiring licensed and insured plumbing services.

– They are trained and experienced: As a licensed and insured plumbing service, they have undergone rigorous training to master their trade. They also have years of experience installing and repairing residential plumbing systems. This means they can handle any plumbing issues you face quickly and efficiently.

– They have the right tools and equipment: Residential plumbers have the right tools and equipment to handle nearly any situation. Their tools will include everything from wrenches to screwdrivers. Their equipment will include various plumbing pipes and hoses. This can help them fix your plumbing issues quickly and efficiently.

– They will leave your home clean: Residential plumbers are expected to leave your home as clean as they found it. This includes cleaning up any mess they made while fixing your plumbing. This will help you avoid having to clean up after the plumber and make the experience as painless as possible.

Finding the right licensed and insured residential plumbers for your home

Once you have narrowed down your list of residential plumbing service providers, it is time to find the right one for your home. Here are a few tips to help you find the right plumbing service for your home:

– Ask for references: References can help you verify their legitimacy and make sure you are hiring a trustworthy company. References can also give you an idea of how they operate their business.

– Ask about their qualifications: You can ask about their employees’ qualifications and certifications. You can also ask about their licensing and insurance information.

– Ask about their process: You can ask about the company’s process for handling residential plumbing jobs. You can ask about their scheduling practices, how they charge for their services, and what type of repairs they perform.

– Get multiple estimates: Once you have a few names, you can get multiple estimates to compare each company’s rates and services.

When you should not use a licensed and insured plumbing service

Not all plumbing service providers are the same. Some may not be licensed or insured. Others might be unqualified to handle your plumbing issues. These can be signs of a shoddy or unlicensed residential plumbing service:

– They are significantly less expensive: If a plumbing service is significantly less expensive than their competitors, there might be a reason why. You should ask about their licensing and insurance before you hire them.

– They have poor customer reviews: You should always check a residential plumbing service’s online reviews before hiring them. You can find out what past customers think about their services.

– They don’t want to show you their license and insurance: A licensed and insured plumbing service should have no issue showing you their license and insurance. If they refuse to show you, you should avoid hiring them.

– They don’t show up on time: Hiring a residential plumbing service is stressful enough without having to wait around for them. You should expect them to arrive on time.

Conclusion

Plumbing services are a common household task, but fixing broken or leaky pipes can be a serious hassle. However, it’s not an issue you need to handle alone. With the help of residential plumbers, you can quickly restore your plumbing to full operation in no time. Residential plumbers are experts in fixing problems at home and offer affordable rates for their services. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you might need more than one visit from a plumber. Luckily, there are many qualified residential plumbers available that you can trust with this task.

Trust Palo Alto Plumbing

Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is a company that is proud to serve our California customers and provide top HVAC services. We understand that all customers have different concerns, so we will be there to make sure your home is comfortable. Our team of professionals will quickly arrive to help with troubleshooting that solves all of your problems. Please call us today!

11 Ways on How to Find a Water Leak Underground

Is there water pooling in your yard or at the bottom of a slope, and is there improper drainage? If so, you may have an underground water leak. But how can you know for sure? We’ll examine the signs and how to find a water leak underground, why it should be repaired, and who to contact.

How to Find a Water Leak Underground

There are several indications that water is leaking underground. Here are some tell-tale signs:

A high water bill

A water bill should remain about the same each month unless you had a long-term guest or were on vacation. Look at water bills from the last few months to see if there has been an increase. If there has, it is an excellent time to call a home inspector to check out the plumbing.

Low water pressure

If there is low water pressure and you haven’t been notified about a city water pressure issue, it may be because the pipes are clogged, worn down, or broken. In some areas, new construction can cause drains to get clogged.

Broken pavement or driveway bulges

If there are no trees around, these signs indicate a pipe has cracked.

Toilets bubbling

A toilet that is bubbling indicates a clogged drain or broken pipe.

A sinkhole or pothole in your yard

A cracked pipe can cause sinkholes and potholes. Sinkholes and potholes are serious matters and require calling a home inspector immediately.

A damaged foundation or wet spots may be present

There may be a leaking or broken pipe seeping through the home if you see wet spots. This can damage the home’s foundation and ruin the structure if it is not caught early enough.

Water contaminated with dirt

There is something wrong with your pipes if you see dirt and debris in your water.

Bad odor

When there is an obstruction or broken pipe in the sewer, dirty water doesn’t flow where it should, and you will smell an odor. This is the perfect time to have a home inspector examine it.

There is water in the road

Water has no place to go but to flow down the street when a pipe bursts. This is a sure sign you have a water leak.

Your house is older than 30 years

Old homes tend to have plumbing issues as their lifespan is limited. A water leak underground might result from corroded pipes or broken pipes due to weather or the age of the home. Inspecting the plumbing system early is crucial to determine whether you have a water leak.

Sounds from pipes

It’s a smart idea to call a home inspector if you hear sounds coming from the pipes. A sewer scope may be used to assess pipe conditions. A flexible camera looks for cracks, line damage, and underground roots.

A hiss is a sound that indicates a drop in water pressure. Water can also flow around the pipe, creating a splashing sound. Additionally, pipes can be damaged by pebbles and stones clicking through and banging into them.

How to Find a Water Leak Underground: The Presence of Trees

A tree can damage a pipe if it grows too close to it because it likes the nutrients and water in the lines. You can have a sewer scope inspection done before purchasing a home to see if there are any issues with the piping. In fact, you can have this done while you are living there if there are problems with the water or if you want to know the condition of the pipes.

Inspect the Bottom of Cabinets and Sinks

Ensure that the cabinets and water are free of discoloration and mold every year. You can save a lot of money and hassle in the long run if you catch it early.

Underground Water Leaks are Emergencies

Leaking or broken pipes are not something to brush off and procrastinate. In addition to structural damage to the foundation and extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the residences, broken pipes can cause safety hazards.

Conclusion

It is unfortunate when water leaks underground, but if caught early, it can save you a lot of money. Keeping an eye on the abovementioned areas and paying attention to signs will be helpful. We hope this post was helpful for you in how to find a water leak underground. Read about the dangers of pipe leaks here for further information.

Who Should You Call?

Palo Alto Plumbing can help you detect leaks outside your home by inspecting sewers and pipes inside to locate leaks! If you require assistance, contact us right away!

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.

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!

Common Causes for Home Water Leak

Water leaks – the bane of any homeowners existence. It’s not only irritating – the drip drip sound is enough to drive anyone crazy – it’s also wasteful. A leaking faucet can waste gallons of water per day. In fact, a water leak that presents as a leaking faucet can waste up to 350 gallons of water per year. No matter where you live, this is bad news. You might feel the impulse to ignore a water leak. After all, a tiny leak is easy to ignore. However, water leaks do not go away on their own. If left unchecked, they can lead to further damage. There are many types of leaks and some are hard to identify. Read on to learn more about leaks and their causes.

Supply Line Leaks

Supply line leaks are not the same as faucet leaks. In the case of a supply line leak, the actual water supply line that supplies water to your home is compromised. The supply pipe is usually outside of the house, often buried underground. The supply line is connected to the water meter. If you notice that there is water in the water meter, this could be a sign that you have a supply line leak. Another sign of a supply line leak is if there’s water in the ground above where the line is buried. In this case, the leak is likely severe. If you have a supply line leak, do not attempt to fix this yourself. Call in a professional.

If your water pressure is too high, this can put wear and tear on your pipes. Wear and tear can lead to leaks in the supply line, which can get worse if left neglected. A professional plumber can identify the location of the leak and reinforce the area that’s weak. They can also strengthen or replace other areas of pipe that look like they are close to leaking in order to prevent supply line leaks in the future.

Toilet Leaks

Toilet leaks are some of the most common kinds of leaks in the home. They are also among the hardest to identify because they are generally silent. They don’t create the noise that leaks from a faucet can create. Because the leak is going directly into another body of water, these leaks can be hard to see and hear. The best way to identify a leak in your toilet is to listen for a sound coming from the valve in the toilet. If the valve makes a sound while the toilet is not being used, this is an indication of a possible leak.

One way to discern whether there’s a leak in your toilet is to deposit dye tabs into the water in the tank. If the colored water begins to show up in the bowl of the toilet within 15 minutes or so, you likely have a leak on your hands. A professional is the best person to fix this problem. They will be able to replace or adjust valves and lines in your toilet so that the leak ceases to be an issue. Loose or worn out parts of the toilet’s plumbing system are usually to blame for the leak. If valves are diminished or damaged, they are likely the cause of the leak in your system. While this is a repair that is easy for a professional plumber to make, it’s not something that you should try at home. If you do, you may find that you do more damage than good. And you may need to pay for more costly repairs in the long run.

Clogged Drains

A clogged drain does not just present a problem on the outside. It presents a problem on the inside, as well. A clogged drain in the sink makes it difficult for water to flow through the pipes. This can lead to internal blockages that put stress on your plumbing system, eventually leading to breaks or cracks in the pipes if left unchecked. If you notice that water is draining more slowly than usual, have your plumber check for clogged pipes. Doing this can help prevent or identify leaks in the plumbing system.

Loose Joints

If the joints that connect your piping are weak or loose, they can cause a water leak to occur in your home. When you have your pipes inspected, make sure that your plumber looks to see if the joints are in good condition. If they aren’t, they may need to be replaced or repaired. One indication of possible weak joints is a banging noise when water is in use. If you are accustomed to hearing this noise, it might be time for an inspection.

Rust

If your pipes are made of metal, they should be checked periodically for rust or corrosion. Over time, metal can be worn down and can develop areas of weakness or breakage. If pipes are rusted, there is an increased risk of a water leak.

Temperature

As with all things, pipes are affected by extreme temperatures. If temperature fluctuates wildly from hot to cold, this can cause undue wear and tear on your plumbing. This can lead to a water leak. Keep this in mind if you are experiencing severe weather conditions. It might be a good idea to have your plumbing inspected after a particularly extreme spell of weather just to make sure that everything is in good working order.

Damage

The damage that can be caused by a water leak goes far beyond inconvenience. Mold growth, structural damage, and electrical danger are all potential results of a water leak that goes unchecked. It’s important to know about the causes of leaks in order to prevent them.

Contact Us

If you notice or suspect a water leak, contact us. At Palo Alto Plumbing, we have the knowledge and expertise to do the job right the first time – every time. Contact us today by calling 650-374-0868. We look forward to hearing from you.