ABC Blog

Why Is My Toilet Running?

a running toilet

A toilet that constantly runs can cause all sorts of issues for your household. The sound is annoying and concerning, especially when you do not know what is causing the problem. Plus, a running toilet can also cost you a lot of money in excess water bills and waste water in the process. The last thing that any of us wants to pay for is water that we are not using!

Unfortunately, a running toilet is a typical problem that affects people in all kinds of homes. Pretty much any issue that allows water to leak out of some part of the toilet’s system can result in the toilet running. Here are some of the most common reasons this happens.

An Issue With the Lift Wire or Chain

Inside your toilet’s tank is a wire or chain that connects the toilet’s handle to the flush valve. It also controls the water that flows … Read Full Post »

How To Trim a Crepe Myrtle Tree

a large pink crepe myrtle tree

Crepe myrtles can be a gorgeous and relatively low-maintenance tree that will spruce up your yard. Not only are they drought tolerant, but they can also survive through humidity and high temperatures. However, homeowners can accidentally ruin these colorful trees if they are not careful. It is important to follow a few helpful maintenance tips to keep your crepe myrtles healthy and beautiful.

For one, excessive trimming can ruin a crepe myrtle. Only young crepe myrtle trees need pruning, and these saplings should be pruned with great care. Cutting back too many or too few branches when the tree is young can make the tree unhealthy, unattractive and difficult to maintain once it gets older.

The first step is to make sure you are pruning at the right time of year. It is important to wait until late winter or very early spring before new growth begins to cut into your trees. … Read Full Post »

Why Are the Coils Frozen on My AC Unit?

A white kitchen with flowers on the table

If your AC seems to be cycling on and off more often, running longer, blowing warmer air or in general not working well, it’s time to investigate. The sooner an AC problem is fixed, the better. When an AC stops working, it’s not only uncomfortable and inconvenient; it can be downright dangerous. When your AC malfunctions, you may wonder, “Are the coils frozen on my AC unit?” If you fear you have a frozen evaporator coil on your AC unit, it should be diagnosed quickly to avoid bigger and more costly problems.

By now, you might be wondering, what is an evaporator coil and what does it do? The evaporator coil is the part of the air-conditioning system that absorbs heat from the air inside a house. It is a series of U-shaped tubes filled with refrigerant and connected to the indoor components of the AC system.

Depending on the AC system, … Read Full Post »

Is a Water Softener Worth It?

a sink and dishwasher that would benefit from a water softener because hard water is wearing down the appliances

Water softeners are valuable for many different reasons. They can lengthen the lifespan of your home’s appliances and prevent your family’s skin and hair from getting dry and itchy. Water softeners can also help prevent minerals from building up inside your pipes and water fixtures. Plus, they can reduce spots on glassware and soap scum in your sink and tub.

However, not everyone needs a water softener. You really only need one if you have hard water in your home. Otherwise, if your water is already soft, then using a water softener doesn’t have many benefits.

Water softeners work by removing unwanted minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, from the water in your home’s plumbing. Magnesium and calcium are both positive ions. The resin beads in a water softener hold negative sodium ions. As water flows through the softener, the resin beads in the water softener attract the minerals that need to … Read Full Post »

How Much Compost Do I Need?

a shovel in a compost pile

Using compost is a great way to build a solid foundation if you are trying to establish a new lawn or to revitalize an existing yard or garden. The exact amount of compost you will need for your project depends on how you plan to use it. However, in general, if you are mixing compost into soil, then compost should make up no more than 25% to 30% of your mixture.

A basic formula to figure out how much compost you will need to make or buy is to first find the area of your yard by multiplying the length of your space by its width in feet. Next, use the guidance below to find out how deep the compost should be (in inches). Divide the depth by 12 and then multiply this number by the area of your yard. This will give you an estimate of how many one-cubic-foot bags … Read Full Post »

What’s the Best Fall Fertilizer for Grass?

a well kept lawn

Fall is a great time to take care of your grass and prepare it for the cold winter months ahead. So, when spring rolls around, it can thrive once again. Fertilizing your lawn is an important part of fall lawn maintenance. The best fall fertilizer for your grass will contain extra potassium to help your lawn survive the cold.

Is fertilizing your lawn in the early fall really so important? In a word, yes. Applying the right fertilizer to your grass at the right time will help it strengthen and rebuild any roots that were affected by drought or heat over the summer. Fertilizing will also help kill off weeds and feed your grass the nutrients it needs leading up to winter. Furthermore, applying only as much fertilizer as your grass needs and at the right time of year will reduce the risk of fertilizer runoff that could pollute your local … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?

a white dryer that is not heating

Have you started running your clothes through the dryer multiple times? Does it seem like your dryer isn’t even heating at all? If your dryer isn’t drying clothes as well as it used to, there are a number of things that could be causing this problem.

For one, your problem might not have anything to do with the dryer. If your washer isn’t working as it should, then it might not strain enough water out of your clothes before you transfer them to the dryer. When this happens, the dryer might need to run longer to dry out these sopping wet clothes.

Fortunately, there might be some easy fixes you can try on your own to get your dryer working again.

Simple Fixes

You can run into issues if you’re trying to dry different types of items at the same time. For example, towels and clothes. Most clothing items dry quicker than towels. If … Read Full Post »

Yellow Garden Spider: Harmful or Helpful?

yellow garden spider on a web

If you’re out in the yard and you come across a big, black-and-yellow spider, chances are good that it’s a yellow garden spider. This is a very common species of arachnid that’s found across the country. But, their large size and striking appearance can make almost anyone’s heart rate speed up a little. As soon as you see one, your first question might be, is a yellow garden spider harmful or helpful?

The good news is, this spider rarely comes indoors. And, as long as you don’t pick it up and handle it, it’s very unlikely that it will bite you. Even if you are bitten by a yellow garden spider, its venom isn’t harmful to humans—but it is to other pests, including flies and mosquitoes. Since spiders help keep pest populations down, all this puts the yellow garden spider in the “helpful” category. Still, many people aren’t big spider fans—especially … Read Full Post »

Flour Bugs: Identification & Control Tips

a bowl of flour with bugs in them

There’s a wide range of bugs that you might find in the food in your pantry. They might invade food items and dried goods like flour, tea, nuts, seeds, rice, crackers, chocolate, dried fruits, spices, pasta and powdered milk. While most of these bugs won’t bite you or otherwise damage your home, they can ruin the food in your pantry. And, not to mention, they can be tough to get rid of if a population becomes established.

Sometimes, the problem can be dealt with by throwing away the infested package. However, if the infestation grows, the best way to treat these pests is to contact a professional. These pros have the experience needed to best identify what kind of pests are in your pantry. Then, they can help you understand your options for treating the infestation.

If you have found bugs in your flour, you likely have a lot of questions. But … Read Full Post »

What Is a Slab Leak?

a home with a slab leak

Many homeowners have heard the term “slab leak”. But, what does it mean and how would you know if you had one? These types of leaks can be quite a concern, as they can end up costing a pretty penny.

For starters, the term slab refers to the concrete slab that many homes are built on. If you have a slab leak, it means that there is water leaking under your home’s foundation. This can happen if you have pipes running under or through your foundation that burst or crack.

Slab leaks often happen when plumbing gets older and wears down over time. However, pipes can also break due to other factors. For example, leaks can occur if your pipes were not installed correctly or were damaged during the construction of your home. This can also happen if minerals in your water have corroded your pipes.

It’s important to detect and fix slab … Read Full Post »