Author Archives: Katherine Harvey

About Katherine Harvey

I have 2 beautiful kids that I enjoy spending time with.

Air Conditioning Maintenance: When to DIY and When to Call a Professional

Your property’s air conditioning system is the source of major comfort for all those under your roof. In the warmer summer months, air conditioning provides much-needed relief from the heat outside by cooling your indoor space to an acceptable temperature. In the event that your AC stops working, it can mean a host of problems for you and all those in your home or business. A broken or faulty AC can lead to uncomfortably warm temperatures inside. It can also lead to decreased efficiency and increased energy bills for you, the property owner. To keep your AC from breaking down, it’s important to perform air conditioning maintenance as regularly as possible.

Today, we’re covering when to perform air conditioning maintenance yourself and when to call a professional.

Air Conditioning DIY Maintenance

Is your air conditioner not working the way it used to? Maybe you’ve noticed your indoor space staying cool less consistently, or perhaps you’ve noticed a spike in your energy bills. Whatever the sign, your AC system may be to blame. While there are many AC repairs and maintenance steps that should be left to professionals, there are still a number of fixes you can make on your own to keep your air conditioning system working in peak condition. Below are three DIY maintenance fixes you can perform on your air conditioning system.

DIY Fix #1: Change Your Air Filter At Least Once Every Season

Clean air filters are a crucial component to your air conditioning system. They filter dust, dirt, and other debris out of your air supply to ensure that only clean, clear, climate-controlled air reaches your indoor space. Over time, dirt will collect and clog your air filter. This can lead to a number of problems for your indoor space. Air will pass through a dirty filter slower, causing your system to work harder pushing air through, ultimately slowing down your air conditioning process while raising your electricity bill.  By cleaning or replacing your air filters regularly, you can keep your air clean, optimize your AC’s performance, and save money in the long run.

  • Reusable Filter: With a reusable filter, simply remove the filter from your unit and hose it off outdoors, be sure filter is completely dry before placing back in unit. It is best not to clean the filter indoor as you may clog your drains in the process. Keep in mind that you may have to dispose of a reusable filter over time depending on wear and tear.
  • Disposable filter: Simply remove the old air filter and dispose of it. (take note of the exact model of filter if you are unsure what to purchase as a replacement).

DIY Fix #2: Reset Your Breakers

Your circuit breakers (or “breakers” for short) are switches for electrical connections in your home or business designed to automatically stop the flow of current in an electric circuit as a safety measure. Circuit breakers will “trip” (stop the flow of electricity) when they encounter some electrical disturbance (even a minor one) that may cause electrical hazards. Often times, these disturbances are not cause for concern. However, if they trip your breakers, they’ll keep your outlets and appliances from working until the breaker is reset.

To reset your breakers, first, find the breaker panel in your home. It will likely be located in your garage or basement. Locate the breaker that controls your AC unit, switch-off then back-on. If your breaker panel is not well labeled, look for any switches not completely on or off and turn them on.

DIY Fix #3: Open and Unblock All Registers and Air Vents

If you noticed that the air conditioning in your home or business isn’t working very well, the problem may not lie with the air conditioner at all — rather, it’s the ductwork and ventilation.

Check all your vents and registers to ensure they are open and unblocked. This will include the vents which pull the warm air in (Usually located in the hallway or the ceiling) as well as the vents pushing the conditioned air out.

When to Call a Professional for AC Maintenance and Repairs

Wondering when to call a professional for AC maintenance and repairs? The answer is quite simple. If your AC isn’t working properly and none of the three DIY maintenance steps listed above yield any results, you should call a professional. Chances are, your air conditioning system is experiencing more complicated problems that require a professional’s expertise to address. Today’s air conditioners have a number of specialized components — including fans, moving belts and wheels, coolant, compressors condensers, and more — that are better handled by a trained professional.

Learn More and Schedule AC Service With Us at 1-800-anytyme!

Want to learn more about AC repairs and maintenance? While we service any and all central air conditioning systems, we specialize in Rheem, Lennox, and Goodman. Ready to keep your AC working optimally with an appointment with our team here at 1-800-anytyme? Contact us via our contact form or call (760) 477-2222 to speak with our professionals directly and schedule your residential or cooling appointment today!

The Real Solution to Your Smelly Garbage Disposal

Does your garbage disposal smell like, well, garbage? This relatively common issue is one that no homeowner should have to put up with. Garbage disposals are supposed to do away with food and other organic materials. They are not, however, supposed to retain the smell of refuse or sewage.

Read on to learn more about what causes a smelly garbage disposal, and what you can do to solve and prevent it from happening again in the future.

What Does a Garbage Disposal Do?

A garbage disposal unit is a small machine typically found between the drain and the piping in a kitchen sink. Garbage disposals garbage disposalare designed to shred food waste and other organic matter into super small pieces. Doing so enables these disposal materials to easily flow through pipes, thus greatly reducing the risk of clogs.

Though garbage disposals are used to break food and other organic materials homeowners should not intentionally throw these materials down their garbage disposals. Contrary to popular belief, garbage disposals are not made for this purpose. Instead, they are designed as a last line of defense to prevent clogging due to materials that may have accidentally gone down the drain.

To ensure that your garbage disposal is working the way it’s supposed to, we recommend running it regularly and avoid intentionally throwing food or other organic matter down it. You’ll also want to run your disposal with running cold water. Cold water solidifies any grease or oils, enabling your garbage disposal to grind them into smaller bits.

What Causes a Smelly Garbage Disposal?

Even with proper maintenance, garbage disposals can have issues. One of the most common and frustrating of these issues is odor. Often, an unpleasant (and seemingly inexplicable) smell will emanate from a kitchen garbage disposal. This smell can have several sources, all of which can be dealt with relatively easily.

Here are the three primary causes of a smelly garbage disposal:

  • A Garbage Disposal Clog: While many homeowners may have clogs pinned as the primary culprits for garbage disposal odor, the fact is that clogged disposals are rarely to blame for that mystery smell emanating from the sink. Clogs simply don’t occur that often, and when they do, they are easily identifiable—thus, no mystery smell.
  • Biofilm Buildup on Pipes: Beneath your drain, your garbage disposal is connected to a series of pipes that send water through your septic system and out into the municipal sewer. Often, biofilm (residue from organic matter) can build up on the insides of these pipes. When an unpleasant smell starts to emanate from a garbage disposal, it’s often due to biofilm buildup on the pipe directly below garbage disposal itself. This pipe connects the garbage disposal to the p-trap. The p-trap serves to block odor from reaching the drain, but it can’t block odor on a pipe that’s located between it and the drain, which is why biofilm buildup on this specific pipe is a common problem.
  • P-Trap Problems: If biofilm buildup is not to blame for a smelly garbage disposal, then there is likely a p-trap problem at play. The p-trap is a curved pipe underneath a kitchen sink that traps water once the tap stops running. This water serves as a barrier to block odor and gas from sewer pipes from reaching the drain. However, p-traps have leaks or haven’t had water cycled through them in awhile won’t perform this function properly. To stop the smell, the p-trap must be filled with water.

To identify which of these problems may be the source of your smelly garbage disposal, we recommend using the solutions provided in the sections below. Begin by exploring the possibility of a clog, then move to biofilm buildup, and finally to potential p-trap problems. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to hire a professional in your area.

Solving Your Smelly Garbage Disposal: What Works and What Doesn’t

Never fear: The culprits behind garbage disposal odor are all fairly easy to take care of. In this section, we explore solutions to the three most common sources of garbage disposal odor mentioned above.

  • Clearing a Garbage Disposal Clog: If you’ve determined that a simple garbage disposal clog is to blame for the unpleasant smell coming from your drain, you’ll first want to turn off the disposal and shut off the power. Use a flashlight to inspect the clog, and then use pliers, a long dowel, or another appropriate tool to dislodge the clog. Don’t use common drain-cleaning chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal, as many of these are highly corrosive and may damage rubber or plastic parts. Wait 15 minutes for the motor of your garbage disposal to cool, then run your disposal with flowing water.
  • Eliminating Biofilm Buildup on Pipes: Is biofilm buildup on the pipe below your drain to blame for your smelly garbage disposal? Follow these steps to get rid of this odor-causing intruder:
    1. Take the cover off of the sink drain so you can clearly see into the drain pipe.
    2. Use a non-corrosive bacteria waste eliminator to eat away the biofilm buildup on your pipe. Follow directions on packaging clearly.
    3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water until the entire drain is perfectly clean.smelly garbage disposal
  • Solving P-Trap Problems: If unclogging and cleaning with a non-corrosive bacteria waste eliminator don’t solve your garbage disposal odor problem, there’s only one place left to turn: the p-trap. If your p-trap isn’t holding water, it isn’t blocking odor. Sometimes, this occurs simply because you haven’t used your faucet in a while. Run the water for a minute or two and see if the odor goes away. If that doesn’t work, you’ll want to inspect your p-trap for a leak. If there is no leak to be found, there may be a vacuum caused by other pipes in your home that is sucking water out of your p-trap. In this case (and in other cases where the source of the odor cannot be identified), it’s time to hire a professional.

“Solutions” to Avoid

There are a number of DIY “solutions” that many homeowners use to get rid of garbage disposal odor or fix clogs. The vast majority of these “solutions” are ineffective, or worse, damaging. As mentioned above, using common drain-cleaning chemicals to unclog your garbage disposal is a bad idea, as these chemicals can corrode your garbage disposal’s hardware. Another garbage disposal cleaning “solution” to avoid include is the use of citrus fruit to clean blades. The highly acidic juice of citrus fruits may dissolve some buildup, but it will also corrode your blades.

Professional Plumbing Solutions at 1-800-anytyme

If you have a smelly garbage disposal that you just can’t fix, it’s a good idea to hire a plumber to help you find a solution. Professional plumbing teams like ours here at 1-800-anytyme use advanced tools and technology to inspect plumbing systems and stop unwanted odors at their source. We have decades of experience dealing with garbage disposals and plumbing configurations of all shapes and sizes. In addition to our troubleshooting and cleaning services, we also offer garbage disposal repairs and full-scale garbage disposal replacements to properties across the greater San Diego area. I’ve you’ve got a garbage disposal problem, there is no better team to call.

Call Our Plumbers for Fast and Reliable 24/7 Service

Dealing with a smelly garbage disposal? Don’t wait — contact our plumbing professionals here at 1-800-anytyme for fast and effective garbage disposal servicing. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners across San Diego solve their smelly garbage disposal problems in just minutes. Let us help you with yours. For San Diego’s best 24/7 plumbing service, contact our team today!

What You Can Flush Down the Toilet — And Lavatory Lies We Have All Believed

The toilet: a porcelain throne designed for one purpose, yet used for many. For some, the toilet is a small but necessary part of the day: a quick pit-stop in the middle of a busy routine. For others, the toilet is a place of comfort and relaxation: a seat on which to linger, located inside a room that is sometimes the best option for peace and quiet. While both of these toilet treatments are acceptable, there is one that is not. The time has come to spread the message: the toilet is not a trashcan.

Our plumbing experts here at 1-800-anytyme know it’s important to discuss the toilet and how to use it properly. Toilet users should know which items should and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, helping you save money and the environment! Read on to learn more about your toilet, and contact our team to schedule professional toilet repairs today!

Flushing Your Toilet: Where Does the Waste Water Go?

Once a toilet is flushed, toilet water (and everything else in it) is sent through pipes on a property that are connected to the city’s municipal sewer system. Once in the sewer, toilet waste water is sent to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. There, wastewater from homes, along with wastewater from businesses, industries, and other properties, is treated by a variety of processes to reduce or remove pollutants.

Wastewater treatment facilities use a number of methods to reduce and remove pollutants from water. These methods include primary treatments, which involve screening and settling out large particles. All municipal water treatment facilities also employ secondary treatment methods, which use bacteria to remove microscopic organic materials, as well as chlorine to kill off bacteria and disinfect water. Some municipal treatment facilities take things a step further and employ a final, advanced treatment process to reduce the presence of pollutants that are of special concern to the local waterbody (such as nitrogen or phosphorus). Once treatment is concluded, the water is piped back into the local water supply.

Bringing it All Together: Water Treatment, Plumbing, and What Goes Down the Toilet

With modern municipal water treatment facilities in place, it would seem that virtually anything could be flushed down the toilet — after all, it would just be filtered out, right? Wrong. Even the most advanced water treatment facilities can only filter certain materials out of water. There are other materials, such as many inorganic substances, that will remain in water even after filtration. Further, some substances are simply difficult for water treatment facilities filter out of water—if they even make it that far. Many large, solid objects flushed down toilets can damage plumbing and get stuck in pipes, leading expensive repairs and replacements for private property owners.

To keep your local water supply clean and protect your plumbing from unwanted damages, it’s vital that you flush only permissible items down the toilet. In the following sections, we cover which items should be flushed down the toilet, and which items should be saved for disposal by alternate means.

Things You Should Flush Down the Toilet

It may surprise the average property owner to read that the list of things you should flush down the toilet is surprisingly small. However, if given just a moment of thought, the “toilet shortlist” makes perfect sense. After all, toilets are designed to do away with human excrement and nothing else —flushing other items down these bathroom fixtures just doesn’t make sense (and can, in fact, cause significant damage in a number of ways). The list of things you should flush down the toilet includes:

Human excrement. The true purpose of a toilet—to do away with human excrement. (This includes both number 1 and number 2.)
Toilet paper. Toilet paper is a necessary item for many toilet-related duties. It is also fairly easy to filter and is best disposed of by being flushed down the toilet.

Things You Should Not Flush Down the Toilet

The above list covers all of the things that should be flushed down the toilet. As you can see, it is quite short. All items not on the above list should not be flushed down the toilet. This includes all other and liquids and solids — including a vast list of things that may disappear after being flushed.

Do not be fooled: if it disappears down your toilet, it can still cause damage down the line. Below is a list of common items that should not be flushed down the toilet (as well as reasons why they should not be flushed).

Household products such as cleansers, beauty products, medicine, auto fluids, paint, and lawn care products. Wastewater treatment facilities are designed to treat organic materials, not inorganic hazardous chemicals. Flushing these chemicals down the drain can lead to the contamination of your local rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
Excess household grease (such as meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter and margarine), diapers, condoms, and personal hygiene products. These materials can clog pipes and lead to costly plumbing repairs. In some cases, they can cause raw sewage to overflow in your home or yard, or in public areas, which can in turn lead to contaminated waterways.
Motor oil and photographic chemicals. These chemicals are hazardous and cannot be completely filtered by municipal water treatment facilities. Their presence in the water supply can lead to severe water contamination.
Large solid objects. Thinking of flushing your trash down the toilet? Think twice. Large solid objects can often et caught in pipes, which can lead to costly plumbing repairs and replacements for you.

Other Toilet and Bathroom Myths

To conclude this guide, we’ll spend a bit of space discussing and debunking several toilet-related myths. Ranging from the weird to the downright dangerous. Believing them could lead to environmental degradation, property damage, and money out of your pocket.

Myth #1: “Flushable” toilet wipes are okay to flush down the toilet. These wipes may be marketed as “flushable,” but most of them aren’t nearly as biodegradable as toilet paper. They can clog pipes and contaminate waterways.
Myth #2: A brick placed in the back of a toilet tank will save water. Bricks may take up space —but they’ll also deteriorate over time and cause other things in your toilet to break. The intended effect can also backfire, leading to too much water displacement and a necessity to flush twice.
Myth #3: Toilet bowl tablets that contain bleach will keep the toilet clean. Cleaning your toilet bowl with bleach may seem like a good idea, but it’s really quite the opposite. If the tablet contains bleach and is designed to sit in the tank, it will destroy the working parts of a toilet within months. Nobody wants to have to buy a new toilet.

Toilet repairs and replacements From 1-800-anytyme

Even with the best toilet etiquette, accidents still happen. If you have a busted toilet in your home or business, it’s best to contact a professional in your area to address the problem efficiently and effectively. Here at 1-800-anytyme, we are proud to offer toilet repairs and toilet replacements to homes and businesses across the greater San Diego, CA area. Follow links above to learn more about our professional services, and head over to our Blog to read helpful posts on leaky toilets and more. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact our team today!

Sources

What Can You Do to Protect Local Waterways? Where Does the Dirty Water Go? United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). December 2002. https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/centralized_brochure.pdf

Things Are Heating Up This Summer! 5 Tips to Ensure Your Air Conditioning System Can Cool You Down

With the impressively hot southern California summer approaching, make the most of your air conditioning with these 5 tips on air conditioning efficiency.  Air conditioning systems circulate refrigerant through your system that transfers heat by converting from gas to liquid. Air conditioning is essential for home owners and business owners looking to maximize the comfort of all those under their roofs. However, if improperly maintained, air conditioning systems will perform at much lower levels, expending more energy to cool your space, resulting in higher energy costs. In this guide, our experts here at 1-800-anytyme provide 5 tips to help you keep your air conditioning system is functioning optimally this summer. Read on to learn more, and contact our team to schedule an appointment with our HVAC professionals today!

Tip #1: Regularly Check and Change Your Filter

The air filter in your conditioning system helps ensure that the cool air blown into your home or business is clean and debris-free. Regularly changing or cleaning your air filter will keep the air flowing freely without blockage. Once the filter is too dirty to easily filter clean air through your system, your A/C system will use more energy to push the air through, making your air conditioning system inefficient. Not only will it take longer for your space to cool down—it also means your energy bills will increase markedly. By cleaning and changing your filters regularly, you can keep costs low and ensure that your air conditioning system will cool your space in as little time as possible.

Tip #2: Keep Your Outdoor Compressor and Condenser Unit Clean

Your air conditioning system runs through a system of cooling your air by continually absorbing heat from indoors and transferring it outdoors. The outdoor unit of your system consists of a compressor and condenser unit. By cleaning these two parts of your outdoor unit, you reduce the chance of obstructions trapping heat, therefore keeping your system as efficient as possible.

Tip #3: Insulate Any Exposed Ductwork

Your air conditioning system sends air to each of its components and rooms in your home or business through pipe-like structures called ducts. Ducts should be insulated to prevent heat transfer, which will warm your climate-controlled air and make it harder for your air conditioning system to cool your space.

Tip #4: Know What to Close and What to Open

In many cases, the effectiveness of your air conditioning has nothing to do with the performance of your air conditioning system itself. There are several steps you can take around your home or business to help contain and circulate the cool air.

When trying to cool down your entire property, closed interior doors can make it difficult for climate-controlled air to circulate. By keeping doorways open from room to room, you can help cool down your indoor spaces quicker and help your air conditioning system work more efficiently. Also, blocking the heat from the outdoors by keeping exterior doors and windows closed. Additionally, invest in window blinds and door sweeps to further insulate the cooler indoor spaces from the days heat.

Tip #5: Hire a Professional

To truly get the most out of your air conditioning system in any season, you’ll want to enlist the help of a professional. By hiring a trained and experienced A/C technician to inspect your air conditioning system, you can gain valuable information on all of the places where you can improve energy efficiency and overall A/C performance. At 1-800-anytyme, we are proud to offer an inspection and A/C tune-up for just $49.99 per residential A/C Unit, across the greater San Diego region. During your appointment, our technicians will investigate your air conditioning system and optimizing the components contributing to inefficiency. We’ll also make recommendations for further improvements to help you get the most out of your A/C during any season.

Learn More and Schedule a San Diego Air Conditioning Maintenance Appointment

Want to learn more about how you can improve the performance of your air conditioning system this summer? Ready to schedule your A/C tune-up for just $49.99? Contact our trusted team here at 1-800-anytyme to speak with our professionals and schedule today! This discount offer of $49.99 will last until June 30th, 2018.

Sources

How Does Air Conditioning Work? Howard Air. https://howardair.com/how-does-air-conditioning-work/

Is My Indoor Air Quality Worse Than My Outdoor Air Quality?

With the rise of industrialization and urbanization, air quality has become an ever-growing concern across the world. Outside, emissions from manufacturing plants, automobiles and other manmade sources have contributed to small but significant changes in the chemical composition of the air in many developed and developing regions. However, air quality is not just an outdoor issue, your indoor air quality is likely significantly worse than the outdoor air quality. Indoors, a number of factors can contribute to poor air quality, which can in turn contribute to a number of human health issues. In this guide, our experts at 1-800-anytyme discuss indoor quality — how it’s affected and contaminated, the risks it can pose to your health, and steps property owners can take to mitigate that risk. We use also provide information on our very own professional indoor air quality services available to homes and businesses in the greater San Diego, CA area. Read on to learn more, and contact our team today!

Is My Indoor Air Quality Worse Than My Outdoor Air Quality?

Indoor Air Quality: The Truth

While we often think of air quality as an outdoor issue, the truth is that the air inside our buildings can be just as bad, if not worse than the air outside. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” Furthermore, as most people spend the bulk of their time indoors, it is indoor quality, not outdoor quality, that has the larger influence on human health. Keep reading to learn about the many factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality in the following section.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Poor indoor air quality is the result of microscopic contaminants in an indoor air supply. These contaminants include a host of synthetic chemicals, molds, bacteria, dust, burnt material, and many other substances. They can come from a number of sources, including:

  • Fuel-burning combustion appliances, such as stoves, grills, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings—including asbestos insulation, newly installed flooring, carpet, or upholstery; and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Chemical products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; namely those that are not regularly cleaned
  • Excess moisture
  • Outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and general outdoor air pollution

Can I Measure My Own Indoor Air Quality?

When inside your own home or workplace, it can be difficult to determine the quality of your air with no mechanical assistance. In fact, many families and business go years without realizing that the air inside their buildings is contaminated to a degree that can cause health problems. In recent years, technology has been designed so that we can track our indoor air quality for a reasonably priced device and an easily accessible app. For $130 – $260, you can purchase an air quality monitor, this small device is placed in the environment you wish to measure. Accurate, live data is then transmitted to your phone, allowing you to keep track of the air quality, particulate matter, temperature, humidity and chemical pollutants in your home or business.

How Can I Improve My Indoor Air Quality?

Now that you know the quality of your air, what can you do to improve your indoor air quality? Whether you have received less-than-desirable results from your air quality monitor or you are simply trying to preserve your indoor air, there are a number steps you can take to ensure that you have the highest indoor air quality possible.

What you need:

  • An electronic air filter
  • An air scrubber
  • A clean duct system

The electronic air filter, in addition to catching particulates too large to pass through the filter material, the filter media is also electronically charged attracting smaller particulates to stick to it, making the whole system even more effective.

The air scrubber uses a process called photo-catalytic-oxidation to clump smaller particulates together. This means that the microscopic particulates which got through the electronic filter, once they reach the air scrubber are clumped together, becoming larger particulates, allowing the particulates to get caught in the electronic air filter the second time they cycle through your environment.

Furthermore, the air scrubber will render the remaining air contaminants inactive, killing mold, odors and other harmful substances. Not only will clean air be returned to your environment, but it will also transform the contaminants into oxidizers which are returned to the air

to seek out contaminants, destroying and sanitizing the surfaces in your home or business.

For the electronic air filter and air scrubber to be most effective, you need a clean duct system. The commonly used flexible duct systems today are structured in a way that is not very accessible for cleaning purposes. Therefore, the best solution is installing a new closed duct system with the electronic air filter and air scrubber so that the duct system never gets contaminated in the first place.

Together, these three components can create a significant positive change to the indoor air quality of your environment. Call us today to discuss improving the air quality in your home or business. Here at 1-800-anytyme, we proudly offer fast, affordable, and effective installation and replacement services for air filters, air scrubbers and duct systems. If you live in the greater San Diego, CA, there is no better indoor air quality team to call. You can check out all of our cooling services.

Learn More and Contact Us

Want to learn more about indoor air quality? Ready to schedule installation or replacement services with our team here at 1-800-anytyme?

Contact us here to get in touch with our professionals and schedule an appointment today!

Tanked Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

In today’s homes and businesses, there are two types of water heaters primarily used: tanked water heaters and tankless water heaters. Tanked Water Heaters are the older and more common form of water heating system which have the benefits of lower installation costs and no natural gas or circuitry changes upon installation. Tankless water heaters are a newer type of water heater that does not utilize a storage tank, giving it the benefits of energy efficiency, space efficiency, and faster water heating times. In this guide, our heating and plumbing experts here at 1-800-Anytyme provide overviews for both types of water heating systems. Read on to learn more about tanked water heaters and tankless water heaters, and contact us at 1-800-anytyme  for comprehensive water heater maintenance and installation services today!

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An Introduction to Hard Water: Facts and Treatment Options

If you live in San Diego or Southern California in general, you’ve likely heard about hard water. Virtually omnipresent in our region of the world, hard water is a substance that’s still mysterious to many homeowners and business owners. Most know that it can be damaging, but few know what hard water actually is, how it’s caused, or how it can be treated. In this guide, our water experts at 1-800-Anytyme are here to clear the air (or water). Below, you’ll find a general overview of hard water—what it is, how to spot it, and whether or not it is safe for your property. You’ll also find information on several treatment options, including the eco-friendly and highly-effective Enviro Whole-House Filtration process, which is offered by our very own San Diego, CA service team. Read on to learn more, and contact our professionals at 760-477-2222 today! Continue reading

All About Indoor Air Quality: Information on Your Indoor Air and How to Improve It

Air: it’s everywhere on this planet. It has to be — otherwise we wouldn’t be here at all. Vital for all living things, the Earth’s air (a mixture of mostly oxygen and trace amounts of a few other gases) is one of our most important natural resources. Unfortunately, just like other natural resources, such as water and food, air can be contaminated. This is a fact most of us know too well. Those who live in densely populated cities or inversion-prone zones have likely viewed smoggy skylines from their windows. Others still have inhaled contaminated air from commercial emissions or natural disasters such as forest fires. But contaminated air isn’t something isolated to the great outdoors. It can happen indoors too. Continue reading

How to Lower Your Heating Bill This Winter

In the cold winter months, our heaters have to work overtime to keep our properties climate controlled — and in many cases, they work harder than they should have to. Improper insulation, irregular system maintenance, and general inattentiveness to cracks, corrosion, and broken fixtures on your property can all contribute increased energy costs and heightened heat bills over the winter. By taking extra steps to keep your home or business insulated and energy-efficient, you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars on energy costs. In this guide, our heating professionals at 1-800-Anytyme will show you how. Read for tips and advice on your can lower your heating bill this winter, and contact our San Diego, CA residential and commercial heating team at 760-477-2222 today!

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Everything You Need to Know About 1-800-Anytyme’s Plumbing Services

At 1-800-Anytyme, we offer a host of high-quality services designed to help homeowners and business owners get the most out of their properties. From comprehensive HVAC repair and installations to emergency drain cleaning, we do it all — and all at affordable rates. Our master plumbers have decades of experience and utilize the industry’s latest tools and technology to bring our clients incredible results with each and every plumbing service we perform. Whether you need a small leak repaired or an all-new water heater installed on your property, our team has you covered. On this page, we’ve put together an outline on everything you need to know about our high-quality plumbing services here at 1-800-Anytyme. Read on to learn more, and contact our San Diego, CA plumbing team at 1-760-477-2222 today!

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Plumber Terms: A to Z

Plumber terms every Homeowner should know

Plumber terms a to zPlumber terms can be confusing to many property owners. However, having some understanding of these and the associated concepts will help you maintain your home’s plumbing better and even gain insights into the various tasks that plumbers do. Here are the ABCs of plumbing that you need to know.

Absorption system

This system’s primary purpose is to boost the efficiency of a septic tank in catching/collecting solid waste.

Aerotor

Also known as baggles, aerators are used to mix both air and water in a faucet in order to reduce splashing.

Apron

This refers to the side of the bathtub that goes from the floor to the top rim.

Backflow

Backflow occurs when water from one system contaminates other parts of the main distribution system.

Backflow preventer

This refers to the device that helps prevent contamination of water between different systems.

Balancing valve

This refers to the valve connected to water heaters. It controls water flow and balances heat.

Bathroom fixtures

These refer to different devices that either supply or dispose water. These include your sink, toilets, faucets and bathtubs.

Bidet

A bidet is a bathroom fixture that is used to cleanse the body by spraying water.

Catch basin

The primary purpose of this grated container is to catch storm water run-off and prevent debris from going to natural bodies of water.

Cistern

Cisterns are storage tanks that are typically buried underground. Their main function is to collect rain water.

Corroded pipes

Pipes corrode when the water in a household has low pH.

Cross-connection

This refers to a connection that facilitates the entry of water between systems.

Cross-connection control system

This system acts as a barrier against wastewater which can contaminate other systems.

Face plate

This device can either be decorative or functional and is used in various bathroom fixtures.

Fiberglass

This refers to glass that has been ground to create fibers. It is typically used in bathtubs and shower stalls.

Flapper

Also known as flush ball, it refers to the rubber disc or ball found inside a toilet tank. It facilitates the flushing of water to the toilet tank.

HVAC

HVAC refers to heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

HDPE pipes

HDPE or high-density polyethylene pipes are used in trenchless sewer technology.

Hydro-jetting

This is a device that is used to clear blockages in pipes by using high pressure water.

Low-flow toilet

This is a type of toilet that has been built to help save water.

Pipe inspection

This system uses video in order to record the condition of drains and pipes. In turn, this allows plumbers to know the best solution to a plumbing problem.

Potable water

This refers to safe and clean water that is fit for human consumption.

PVC

PVC means poly vinyl chloride, a type of plastic often used for plumbing and drains.

Risers

These refer to metal or plastic tubes that are connected to supply stop valves.

Septic tank

This is a tank that is used to hold waste when sewer lines and distribution systems connected to treatment facilities are not readily available.

Slab leak

This condition occurs when water leaks beneath either the floor or slab foundation. It may be caused by leaks in the water line or in the sewer.

Snaking

This refers to a method used to clear blockages using a metal wire or coil.

Tankless water heater

In this type of water heater, the need for a storage tank is eliminated. Instead, water is heated as it passes through pipes.

Trenchless sewer

This is a type of plumbing technology which eliminates the need to dig up foundations or landscape when upgrading existing water or sewer lines.

Vitreous China

This is a type of ceramic material that has been treated to become non-porous. It is often used in tiles and bathroom fixtures.

Water leak

This condition occurs when water leaks from one pipe or several pipes in a plumbing system.

Other Plumbing Resources

We are just scratching the surface on common plumbing terminology. Below are some of the best resources on the web for plumbing terminology that you may need to know about.

Safe Plumbing Glossary 

PDF – Safe Water Resources 

Vista Plumbers Cite the Most Common House Calls

Vista Plumbers expose most common plumbing problems

Vista PlumbersWhile most professional plumbers are trained to resolve all kinds of gas and plumbing issues, Vista plumbers say most of the jobs they take care of are rather repetitive. The same issues are tackled over and over again, especially from residential areas. As such, they become more established experts in solving this particular set of problems and can get the job done quickly.

The most common house calls plumbers in Vista, CA take are for the following:

  1. Leaky pipes – These can create massive amounts of damage around the house, but most homeowners do not really want to get into those tight spaces where the pipes are so they always seek the aid of local plumbers.
  2. Dripping faucets – These are easy enough to fix, but most folks do not really have an organized system of remedying the situation and would prefer not to deal with the mess and extra wetness that may ensue.
  3. Clogged toilets – These are nasty problems and no homeowner really wants to deal with these directly.
  4. Running toilets – These waste a lot of water and require the technical knowledge and skills of the pros. Repair has to be carried out in a systematic way and it’s always smartest to have the experts perform the task.
  5. Clogged drains – Ones that cannot be remedied by all sorts of powerful drain liquids and are already flooding up certain parts of the house need special equipment and even repair skills of highly experienced plumbers.
  6. Low water pressure – The root cause of this can only be determined and solved by real plumbers.
  7. Ineffective water heaters – These are such an inconvenience for homes. The problem is that most homeowners usually have limited knowledge about the complete functionality of these implements. Plumbers are called in to determine the reason why a heater doesn’t heat up as expected – and usually, it’s because it is not big enough for the needs of the household. Plumbers can then help improve the functionality of the current system and provide sound advice on usage if homeowners do not want to replace the system with a new one.
  8. Installation of new plumbing implements – This job is completed much faster with the services of plumbers. In an hour (or even less), everything from heaters, to new faucets, to additional pipes can be in complete working order.

So, if your home has any of these problems, don’t hesitate to call the Vista plumbers at 1-800-anytyme right away; they’ll take care of it easily so you will be inconvenienced no more.

Driveway Leaking Water?

Driveway Leaking Water? Call an Emergency Plumber ASAP!

Driveway leaking water can be the sign of a big plumbing problemWater service lines can suddenly leak due to a wide variety of factors. These include age, change in temperature, the type of pipe material used, shifting of the ground, soil conditions and even the growth of the roots of a tree.

If a water service line suddenly leaks, who will be responsible for the repair?

If the leak occurs between the house and the property line, it’s the responsibility of the homeowner. That will include leaks occurring in the driveways. Beyond that, it’s the responsibility of the water utility company.

If your driveway leaking water is causing concern, get an inspection from a reputable San Diego Plumber.

You have to ensure that the problem is immediately addressed by qualified professionals, including an emergency plumber. Otherwise, the longer you wait makes for more water waste. But apart from that, you will also have to set aside enough money for the repaving of your driveway or even the reseeding of your lawn if you wait too long to address the issue.

The key thing to remember about plumbing emergencies, including leaking water lines buried beneath driveways, is that time is of the essence and prompt action is a must.

The first thing that you need to determine is whether you actually have a leak or you have a different problem. For this, you need to locate your external meter which is commonly found in gardens and driveways. After locating the water meter, ask everyone in the household to stop using water. Also, make sure that appliances that use water are shut off, including dishwashers and washing machines.

Locate and turn off the inside stop valve. This is commonly found beneath the kitchen sink. Now, turn on the faucet in the kitchen sink. If your stop valve is working properly, no water should come out.

Next, make one more check inside and outside your home, making sure that nobody is using water. Afterwards, make an initial reading of the water meter and then come back after half an hour for another reading. If you notice that the meter has changed, you have a leak on your property.

Next, you need to call in a Master Plumber in San Diego to pinpoint the actual location of the leak in your driveway. There are some firms that specialize in this specific service while there are other plumbers that can perform all the services you need to remedy your problem, from locating the source of the leak to digging beneath the driveway and patching up or replacing the leaking pipe.

Drain Clearing Home Remedies for slow drains

Drain Clearing

Home Remedies for Slow-Drains from a San Diego Plumbing Service

Drain Cleaning in San DiegoPlumbing problems around the home never just happen instantaneously. They usually occur over time due to neglect or, in most cases, a lack of knowledge on how to maintain the system. One of the more frustrating problems you might encounter is the clogged drain. Home remedies for slow drains are likely solved with household supplies you have lying around.

A clogged drain, especially in a bathtub, is a pain in the neck. It will force you to move at a slow pace when you’re getting ready for work in the morning — about as slow as the water takes its sweet time to drain out of the tub. The snail’s pace drain happens because dirt and other elements, like hair, have accumulated, giving water insufficient amount of space to clear down.

Drain clearing, San Diego plumbing services point out, can be easy. As long as you resolve the problem early on, there is no need to worry about the cost of getting your plumbing checked and/or repaired. Older homes, on the other hand, may need the skills and experience of a plumbing service when it comes to clogged drains; older houses tend to have greater build up in pipes, and special tools may be required to clear the system.

On your own, and where simple slow-draining tubs are concerned, the following home remedies may work:

Clear Away Debris

One of the most simple home remedies for slow drains is to just get in and see what is clogging your tub’s drain. You can usually pull out clumps of hair without using any special tool. But use gloves if you’re not too crazy about pulling out slimy hair.

The Plunger

You should have one in your bathroom because it is pretty handy, and it doesn’t cost a lot for what it can do. Just put the plunger over the drain, and pump around 10 times. When you hear pressure being released, this indicates that air is passing through the pipe and your drains should be OK.

The Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

One of the oldest home remedies for slow drains is baking soda and white vinegar contain individual chemicals that produce carbon dioxide gas. This can scrub anything it touches, like clogged drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar, down your bathtub drain. Allow five minutes for the foam to loosen the blockage. Turn your hot water on and let it run for 30 seconds. Test your tub if the water starts draining better.

You can also use a plunger for added pressure, which should clear the blockage.

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Another option is to buy drain cleaners. But find one that doesn’t contain too many harsh chemicals. For stubborn bathtub drains, call professional plumbing services in San Diego. Don’t wait for the slow pace to manifest in different plumbing issues around your home. And get your slow drains fixed today. 

Drain Cleaning in San Diego

A Brief Overview of Drain Cleaning in San Diego

drain clearing in san diegoClogged drains are one of the more common plumbing problems encountered by households in San Diego and are caused by a variety of reasons.

The accumulation of grease, soap and other materials can cause blockages in kitchen drains while hair and soap buildup in the trap and drainpipe can result in blockages in showers and tubs. In bathroom sinks, clogging is often caused by the accumulation of hair, soap and toothpaste. Toilet drains become clogged due to toilet paper. Floor drains in laundry areas, garages and basements are clogged due to the accumulation of debris.

But how do you know that your drain is clogged and you need to call in professionals who clean drains

For the un-clogging of your home’s sewer drain, one sure sign that you have a problem is when two or more fixtures back up at the same time. For example, if you flush the toilet and water backs up to another fixture, like the shower, it is highly possible that your sewer drain is clogged. Other signs to watch out for are odors coming from the drains and water spots, especially in the basement.

Drain cleaning in San Diego

Drain cleaning is often classified as a plumbing emergency because clogged drains can be one big hassle that needs immediate attention. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent this problem.

For example, you can slow down the accumulation of grease and debris in kitchen drains by regularly throwing away the garbage, food debris and grease. It would also be beneficial to use screens and drain gates to minimize the accumulation of hair and soap in drains found in the bathroom and the kitchen. Running hot water through the sink will also help prevent the buildup of grease in drains.

When the blockage is confined to one area, homeowners can easily solve the problem. However, when multiple drains are affected, that means that you have a problem with the main drain and you need to call in professionals to help you resolve the problem.

Also, if you live in an old home which probably used fired clay for the sewer lines, you might want to consult a plumber. Due to the properties of the material and their age, fired clay can become susceptible to tree roots. Plumbers can help clear the drain and assess whether your old drainage system will still hold up or if you are better off upgrading.

Also, take note that that your responsibility to clean and maintain the sewer line begins with its connection point to the main sewer system of the city.