Category: Plumbing

What to Do if Your Water is Discolored

brown faucet water

 

Many people have at one time or another complained of the sudden appearance of brown or yellow water coming out of their faucets. If this has ever happened to you, it is important to know that there could be a few possible causes for this. The water may be completely safe to drink, or it may be contaminated and pose a serious health risk. It’s good for you to know the difference or to know when to call the professionals at Air Design Systems to help.

Why is My Water Brown?

If your water is brown it could be because of sediment, minerals or rust that have built up in the pipes over time. Sediments like these can break loose and enter your home’s water supply, causing the water to appear brown or discolored.

Another cause could be because of nearby construction work or some other occurrence that has disturbed the area around your water main. When this happens, just wait a few hours and the water should clear up. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll need to call a professional plumber to diagnose the cause of the discoloration.

The most common cause of brown water coming out of your home’s plumbing system is a recent pipe replacement in the home or from broken water pipes. When rust breaks off the pipes and into your water supply, your water will turn brown. During plumbing repairs, there’s a change in water pressure which can dislodge some of the rust. The rusted or damaged pipes should be found before they cause a leak that could result in water waste or water damage.

Build-up of minerals in the water lines could also be a cause of brown or yellow water. This is more common in homes that have well water. These minerals can build up over time and cause the water to become discolored. You see this sometimes in sprinkler systems that deposit orange coloring on the sides of the house. If you use a water softener, your will want to clean it out on a regular basis to remove the deposits. If you don’t have a water softener, installing one could help with this issue. Alternatively, many people prefer to replace the well pump as they might have calcium deposits which can degrade the quality of water. Such people tend to hire firms that provide well pump installation in Redmond, WA or in their vicinity, who can replace the well system.

If you still have brown water:

If you have looked into these issues and still aren’t sure why your water is brown please give Air Design Systems a call at 202-COOL and let us help you. If your concerned that the brown water might be poisonous or undrinkable make sure you check with your local water utility to see if it is safe.

8 Tips to Avoid a Clogged Drain

women over clogged drain

 

Don’t Put Food Down the Kitchen Drain

Even with a garbage disposal, you should still avoid putting food down the kitchen sink. Garbage disposals are used for small amounts of food scraps. They shouldn’t be used to dispose of large amounts of food on a regular basis. Completely scrape food off plates and into the trash before washing the dishes.

Always Use a Sink Strainer

The top way to keep scraps of food out of your kitchen drain is to use a sink strainer all the time. It’s well worth it to invest in a high-quality mesh strainer. Choose one that fits easily into the drain without overlap. Make sure to always check that the strainer is firmly in place before washing the dishes.

Have Your Home Septic System Regularly Inspected

If you have a septic system, you should have it inspected every few years. Issues with the septic system can lead to major issues such as clogs in the drains of your home. You can’t inspect your own septic system without the correct gear and equipment to do so, hiring a professional is the best way to go. It’s a small price to pay every few years to keep from any major back up issues. If there’s ever a back up or clog that has gone unnoticed, you may have to look for sewage clean up services located in Boise, Idaho. Or wherever you live. They can handle the problem before it spills over, literally.

Only Flush Appropriate Things Down the Toilet

Clogged sinks are no fun, but clogged toilets can be a nightmare. Watch what you flush down the toilet. Waste and toilet paper are the only things that should ever go down that drain. Although many feminine hygiene products state that they are safe to flush, it’s best to just throw them in the trash instead. Flushable toilet wipes have become a big deal lately but will still clog your toilet. If there are small children in the house, make it clear that nothing that doesn’t belong in the toilet goes in the toilet. Many plumbers have pulled toys our of drains and that can be very expensive.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

When you have a clog in your drain, your first thought may be to run out and get a really harsh drain cleaning product such as drano. Tv commercials make these products look really fast and effective, but what they don’t say are the risks that are involved. Most notably, chemical products can erode drains and pipes over time, especially, cast iron pipes. These products don’t usually clear away the entire clog. Because of that, you can end up in a cycle where you have to use these products over and over again. Instead, you could call for professional plumbing service that offer drain cleaning as well; in this way, you could also have some of your other pipes looked at to make sure everything’s in order.

Never Pour Paint or Paint Thinner Down the Drain

When working on a painting a project, you’re going to have leftover paint or paint thinner. The fastest solution may be to pour it down the drain, but that’s the opposite of what you should do. Chemicals in paint and thinning products can wreak havoc on your drains and pipes.

Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

Once a week, boil a large pot of water and pour it down the kitchen drain. Repeat the process for the other drains in your home. Boiling water works wonders when it comes to clearing away old grime and buildup that can contribute to clogs.

Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

Grease may seem soluble, but it should never be poured down any drain in your home. Things like sausage grease solidify when they cool down. Liquid grease becomes thick over time and can create a buildup that will eventually cause a clog. After cooking with grease, allow it to cool down all the way.
Pour it into a disposable container of some kind, and then throw the container in the trash. You can also soak it up with some paper towels and then throw in the trash.

If you follow these tips you will be less likely to suffer from a clogged drain but, it can happen to the best of us. That is why Air Design Systems is available night and day to help you in any emergency.

How to Save Energy with a Few Tips

 

In Florida, you can’t comfortably live without an AC system. With energy bills spiking and kilowatt prices increasing, saving money on your power bill has become a necessity. As a homeowner you may be wondering, what can I do to save energy. We have some tips to help with that.

 

HVAC Maintenance

The better your HVAC system runs, the lower your monthly energy bill will run you. Plus, when your AC system runs efficiently, it helps your household be more “green”. You can substantially reduce repair needs and strain, so you get the best performance, saving you money and stress. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Upgrade to programmable thermostats and controls
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Install plenty of insulation
  • Check, repair, and replace seals and caulking around windows and doors

If your AC is old, struggling and due for replacement soon – do your research on a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio) piece of equipment. Getting a more efficient unit can make a huge difference in your energy costs.

 

Windows

When you stand outside of your windows, can you feel the AC leaking from inside the home? Many older homes have aluminum framed single-paned windows. These types of windows can make your system strain trying to equalize the temperature in your home. Replacing the windows with double-paned newer Custom Window Blinds can decrease your power bill substantially.

 

Timing Your Usage

Running your dishwasher and doing laundry late at night can also decrease your energy costs. Many power companies offer options for a rated plan where you can plan your energy usage during the lower-rated times, saving you cash. Running your water heater on a timer that turns on an hour before bath time can also conserve energy.

 

Lighting

Replacing your old incandescent bulbs with Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, or LED bulbs can save energy and improve your lights’ longevity. The average home uses 40 bulbs meaning your savings can be multiplied.

 

Stay Unplugged

In a digital world, we have tablet chargers, iPhone chargers, and a multitude of other device chargers. Making sure they are not left plugged in when we are not using them can save energy. The charge still pulls slight amounts of power even when not charging a device. This also works for small appliances such as toasters and blenders.

 

These are all different ways you can cut back on your energy costs. If you are still unsure if your AC is in peak performance mode, give Air Design a call today for a check-up at 202-COOL.

Sounds Your Plumbing Makes and What They Mean

 

Many people push plumbing issues off for a later day until the issue becomes an emergency. Your plumbing system is designed to be relatively quiet but sometimes you might start hearing noises. Here are some suggestions on what they could mean.

 

Rumbling

Many plumbers associate rumbling sounds with a water heater issue. The water inside the tank may begin to boil and rumble if dirt and other sediments accumulate at the bottom. Our technicians fix this by draining some of the water in the bottom of the heater to clean it out.

 

Banging

Banging sounds come from loose piping or heavy water flow, pipes should always be secured in place. This banging sound could also be created by high water pressure. Water pressure in your home should stay around 50 PSI (pounds per square inch) and should not go over 80 PSI. We advise homeowners to let us repair issues with high water pressure immediately because prolonged high water pressure can damage your nice appliances.

 

Thunking, or Rattling

If your piping system begins to thunk or rattle, you may have what is called a water hammer, on your hands. Water hammers happen when the direction of water flow suddenly shifts after an appliance, like a dishwasher, is used. This sudden shift can cause pipes to collapse. Our plumbers will fix this water hammer by installing air chambers throughout your home’s plumbing system. This prohibits the water from changing direction when it approaches the wall of a pipe. We might also install a water hammer arrestor, which is a device that attaches to the pipe and contains a shock absorber that can reroute the flow of water when faucets are shut off.

 

Screeching and Whining

You may have built-up pressure inside your pipes that needs to be released. If you hear this coming from a water heater it could mean a few different things such as a crack in the tank, the valve is loose, or the TPR (Temperature Pressure Release) valve is just doing its job. The first two items may require a plumber to come out for a service call, but the latter means everything is just fine.

 

If you hear strange noises coming from your plumbing system, you might be tempted to just wait for the problem to go away, but your best bet is to find the root of the issue and repair it. Air Design has plumbers available 24/7 to help you with any of the above issues.

Tankless Water Heaters Are Great for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

 

You don’t often think about it but heating water in your home is an energy cost. With energy savings being a priority these days, tankless water heaters make a lot of sense when remodeling. Your water heater ends up working harder in the winter months because the water coming from outside piping is colder. Not to mention the tank must keep heating the water, even when you’re not using it. Heating a full tank of water all day every day can move the meter up quite a bit.

Tank water heaters are not your only option though. Tankless water heaters can easily be slipped under a counter in a kitchen or in a closet during your next bathroom remodel, which could be done with the help of firms like Easy Bathroom. Here’s why it can be a great choice when renovating these rooms.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Tankless water heaters essentially pass the cold water from the pipes in your home through a small unit that heats the water as it passes through and out the other side into your shower or faucet as hot water. People can sometimes refer to this as “on-demand” hot water. A full tank system works continually to heat the water in the reserve tank to be ready to use when needed. All the needed equipment can be easily installed underneath a bathroom or kitchen sink, this allows you access to an endless supply of hot water in your newly renovated space. They also make a tankless water heater for the entire home so that all your rooms can have this “on-demand” water.

Waiting for Hot Water

Sometimes when you live in a larger house the bathrooms that are farthest away from the water heater can take several minutes to get warm. This can even take up to 10 minutes in some cases simply because of the travel distance and sometimes people experience fluctuation in the temperature due to this distance. Installing a tankless water heater in those areas can eliminate this issue.

Basic reasons to go tankless in your next remodel:

  • Tankless water heaters only run when they are being used which significantly cuts down on the amount of energy it uses compared to a tank heater.
  • Since the tankless systems are much more compact, they can be installed in smaller spaces, giving you more options on where you’d like to enjoy hot water on demand like a laundry room.
  • Some can serve just one faucet while others serve the entire house.
  • Never wait for hot water or run out of hot water for that matter.
  • They last longer, since they don’t run constantly and there’s no tank to rust out.

So, whether you’re a parent who is tired of taking cold showers by the time all the kids have finished and gone to bed or you’re a single person who wants to sing in a scalding shower for more than an hour without the water running out, Air Design can install your next tankless water heater.

4 Places to Look for Water Leaks in Your House

leaking pipes

 

Water leaks in your home or office can cause damage to your flooring, molding, cabinets and in extreme cases even your home’s framework. In addition to ruining wood, water can also create mold growth with turns your home into an unhealthy place.

 

There are specific places throughout your home, on the inside and outside, that you can inspect to determine where the water leak is coming from and how bad the leak is:

 

Fixture leaks

Leaking is common for faucets, knobs, and all plumbing in the immediate area such as underneath the kitchen or bathroom sinks or in the cabinets beneath the fixtures. Your faucets get everyday use from multiple people in your home. Even the best, well-designed or installed faucets and fixtures may need regular maintenance like tightening or parts replaced regularly. Check around the inside of your cabinet for bubbling wood or wet spots to see if you are experiencing a leak.

 

Hot Water Tanks

Water heaters are typically located in areas that are not clearly visible, usually a closet, garage, or laundry room. So, when they start leaking you may not notice until the leak is pretty bad. The pressure relief valve can be inspected and will often tell you if there is a leak somewhere inside the tank. Another thing you can do is stand near your tank and listen for a hissing sound. This will indicate that a leak might be present. Lastly, investigate behind and around the tank for leaks present in the pipes and connections.

 

Water Main

If you have noticed a major downturn in water pressure lately, that is a sign that your water meter line could be leaking. You should also look over the area around your main water line which is usually located out in the yard. If you notice that the ground is soaked with water when there hasn’t been any rain, that may mean you have a leak. In many homes, the main water line is protected by a lid that is barely above ground. Remove the lid. You’ll see the main cutoff valve. If you don’t have any experience with the water main, then it’s best to call a professional plumber right away to help you with leak detection as you could damage the mainline by digging around.

 

Toilets

The most obvious leak is an overflowing toilet bowl. Pipes can be clogged by items such as thick paper, sanitary products, small toys but the problem could be deeper than the toilet itself. Roots could have grown into and penetrated the pipes causing major blockages. If you notice water leaking from the bottom of the toilet, that is a clear sign that the seal has been damaged or loosened from the bowl. This means that seal needs to be replaced. Leaks can also happen underneath the main tank, through-holes or loose connections. If your toilet is leaking, simply shut off the water line near the toilet, which will immediately cut off the water supply and then give a certified plumber like Air Design a call.

 

If you suspect you have a leak or have checked any of these places and found one, give us a call 24/7 at 202-COOL. We never charge for emergency after-hours services.

 

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

avoiding frozen pipes

 

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

Most people move to the gulf coast, to take advantage of some of the best weather in the country. Our winters are almost non-existent, at least in comparison to the more northern states. However, we do dip into freezing temperatures occasionally. While these temperatures don’t usually last long, they can lead to frozen or cracked pipes. These can quickly turn into a emergency for you and your household. The average Floridian is usually prepared with hurricane go bags packed, tubes of sunscreen hidden away in every vehicle, and may even know the best way to deal with an alligator in the family pool. But because temperatures below 32 degrees rarely happen here, southern homeowners don’t usually worry about plumbing issues caused by winter weather. Our northern neighbors are more acquainted with these problems and have a yearly checklist they follow to mitigate the chances of a disaster.

In this article we will go over a few things you can do yourself to protect your home from frozen pipes during the colder nights this winter:

 

Get a Visual.

Has the padding around your sprinkler system worn thin? Have rodents eaten away at the insulation coating your pipes? Any pipes sticking out of the ground without insulation? Simply looking at the exposed parts of your homes plumbing system can reveal a lot about the condition of it.

 

Open Up.

Plumbing lines usually enter your house through an outside wall, usually a wall in the kitchen or a washroom. When cabinet doors are closed under the sink it can stay colder in the cabinet than in the rest of your home. Opening up the doors and allowing the warm air from your home to circulate into those spaces can help keep the pipes from freezing.

 

Get Covered.

For your outdoor pipes that don’t have any insulation make sure you insulate them with something. Even taping a towel around them can help prevent freezing. For outside spickets, you can buy winter covers from almost any hardware store.

 

Drip, Drip, Drip.

We’ve all heard the saying “moving water wont freeze” and while technically correct there is a bit more that goes into it. Turn on one or two faucets in the home so there is a small steady stream flowing.  This allows a flow of water through the pipes, that prevents ice from forming.

 

Too late they froze, what now?

You should turn off the water supply. Some homeowners have access to valves that will allow you to turn off the flow of water to specific sources. If you don’t have these valves, or don’t know where to access them, use your main shut-off valve and stop all water from flowing.

 

Call Air Design to the rescue! We are available 24/7 to come help with your frozen pipes should you need us call 202-COOL.

 

Common Signs of Plumbing Issues in Your Pensacola Home

Image of young woman washing hands in sink

 

Your home’s plumbing is one of the most important things in your house, because of its daily use it will develop quite a bit of wear and tear for many different reasons. You can expect your Pensacola home to require plumbing repairs from time to time over the years. When these repairs come up, it’s important that you act fast before further issues develop. You can depend on Air Design to give you a fair price and honest assessment of your plumbing issues.