ABC Blog

Toilet Auger vs. Snake: Which Tool to Use and Why

 

Have you ever walked into your bathroom to find a clogged toilet? If you have, we’re sure you’d prefer not to have to experience that again. If you haven’t, we hate to break it to you, but you probably will at some point. You’ll want to be ready to know what to do when you have to deal with a clogged toilet and which tools are best for the job. Two of the more common tools homeowners use for basic plumbing repairs are toilet augers and snakes.

Toilet Auger vs. Snake

When do you need a toilet auger and in what situations is a snake the right tool for the job? Read on to find out.

The Toilet Auger

One of the most common tools for unclogging a toilet is the toilet auger. Also known as a water closet auger or plumbing snake, this device is designed to move through the drain of the toilet … Read Full Post »

Corpus Christi Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

Corpus Christi Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

Although Corpus is a great place to live year-round, springtime is an especially nice time of year. Flowers are blooming, the beaches are quiet, before peak tourist season hits and the weather is temperate. Spring is a perfect time to take a closer look at your biggest investment—your home—to make sure you are taking the right steps to maintain your property and make any improvements that will allow you to better enjoy it.

Corpus Christi Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

ABC Home & Commercial Services is a family-run company which prides itself on making homeowners’ lives easier with reliable, high-quality services. As a trusted resource in the community, ABC employees go above and beyond to treat your home as we would our own. As a part of this commitment to superior home services, we created a Corpus Christi Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017.

This 9-page Guide includes:

Eggshells in Garbage Disposal and Other Common Questions Answered

eggshells in garbage disposal

One of the kitchen appliances we often take for granted is our garbage disposal. We don’t think much about the mechanics behind the device that allows us to scrape our dinner dishes into the sink without having to worry about clogging up our drains. When’s the last time you thought about what you’re putting down your garbage disposal?

Eggshells in Garbage Disposal and Other Common Questions Answered

Below we’ll take a look at how this workhorse appliance does its job, and how to make sure it keeps working into the future.

How Do Garbage Disposals Work?

To understand the care and “feeding” of our garbage disposals, we need to have a better understanding of how they work. In most cases, the units consist of a metal canister that has rotating blades or impellers. Some have additional grinding mechanisms for additional functionality. When food enters the unit, the blades spin rapidly to crush/grind … Read Full Post »

Common Plumbing Problems

common plumbing problems

Despite it being an essential aspect of your home’s ability to function correctly, plumbing isn’t something that we think about a lot. Each day, we simply expect our toilets to flush, the sink disposal to drain and the shower pressure to remain steady. It’s only when our plumbing system stops working that our home’s pipes become a top priority. 

Common Plumbing Problems: What They Are and How to Fix Them

As a homeowner, it’s best to be prepared for anything—including an unexpected plumbing problem. Below we’ll discuss the most common plumbing problems we see, how to detect the onset of a problem and how to fix it.

Leaky Pipes

Most homes are equipped with an underground plumbing system. If your home has a basement, many pipes can also be found there. And while most pipes last for decades, many begin to leak when that time is up.

If you’re living in an older … Read Full Post »

What to Do if a Pipe Breaks in Your Home

When thinking about pipes breaking, most people worry about their pipes freezing in the winter. But what about in the summer? Did you know that in San Antonio, your plumbing can burst in the middle of hot weather too?

When heat and drought return to San Antonio each summer, the ground dries and shrinks, causing our plumbing to shift. In previous years, extended drought conditions caused a spike in the number of pipe failures in Texas.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your home’s pipes might break, and what you should do if you’re ever unlucky enough to have it happen to you.

Common causes of plumbing failure

Exposure to pressure  If something blocks up a pipe, whether it’s inside your house or in your outgoing sewer line, pressure will build up behind that clog. Common causes of clogged plumbing include pouring cooking grease down the drain and flushing paper towels … Read Full Post »

Does your plumber know his permits?

Your bathtub won’t drain, and you need help fast, but choosing a plumber can be tough. How can you tell if the expert you are talking to knows what he’s doing or if he’s going leave you with more problems and headaches?

It’s tempting to call out some random neighborhood handyman to fix your plumbing woes. After all, he says he’s cheap and can get your drain working in no time. But you risk a lot by going with unpermitted plumbers in Corpus Christi. Here are just five of the many reasons you should hire a licensed plumber to resolve your next plumbing disaster or to install new fixtures.

Licensed Plumbers have appropriate training and credentials.

Be careful of unlicensed contractors! In Corpus Christi, plumbers must be licensed. You should always ensure that the person you hire has a current license to work as a plumber.

A plumbing license means … Read Full Post »

Don’t Be Fooled: Plumbers Without Licenses Aren’t Plumbers

Texas law requires plumbers to be licensed

Don’t waste your money.

So, you called Joe the “Plumber” whose number you found in your mailbox one day. Maybe he worked out, maybe he didn’t. But hey! At least, he offered you a taillight warranty! (That means the warranty expired the moment his taillights disappeared down the road.)

The city of Austin has few regulations in place that protect homeowners from shady workers without licenses. Often, a contractor without a license will do the bare minimum work required, if they even finish the job at all. If their work proves to be insufficient, you’ll never reach them on their phone or hear from them again.

When you hire an unlicensed worker, you take full responsibility for anything that goes wrong. You are liable for any injuries or damages to you, your home, or to the so-called “plumber,” who often isn’t licensed because they haven’t gone through proper training.

Texas requires that plumbers have a … Read Full Post »

How to Protect Plumbing on Exterior Walls in the Winter

While true cold spells – the long-lasting polar fronts that settle on the northern parts of the country – are rare in sunny Texas, even a short burst of arctic weather can do some serious damage to your home’s fragile pipe system. When hit with a sudden chill, unprotected pipes can freeze and burst, causing a flood of water to come pouring into your living room. The good news is that a pipe-related flood can be completely avoided with simple preventative care. Here’s what to put on your to-do list to prep your home’s pipes before the next freeze strikes:

  1. Insulate all unheated pipes. Besides the system that runs along the exterior, you also want to insulate faucets and exposed pipes inside the home. You can find affordable insulation materials at any home improvement store.
  2. Cover the vents around your home’s foundation. While necessary for reducing humidity and maintaining good … Read Full Post »

Is a Water Leak Driving Up Your Monthly Bill?

Tracking down stubborn leaks to save water and money

Hidden leaks around the house or in exterior infrastructure can sap your water supply and jack up your bills. If you suspect a leak, follow these steps to figure out where all that water is going and how to stop it.

Look at the Meter

Your water meter should have a leak detector that moves to indicate unwanted water usage. You can check this or read the meter, wait about an hour without using any water, then read it again. A change could indicate the presence of a leak.

Should you find a problem, shut off the water to your home from the main valve and go have another look at the leak indicator. An exterior leak will cause it to continue to move while no movement suggests a leak inside the house.

Check the Usual Suspects

Faucets and toilets are the most obvious sources of indoor … Read Full Post »

Shower Water Not Hot Enough During Winter

Shower Water Not Hot Enough

Have you ever hopped in the shower on a winter day, only to be greeted by a jet of freezing cold water? Several different factors could explain why your water heater might be having trouble maintaining a consistent temperature during colder weather.

Should You Turn Up Your Water Heater During Winter?

If it starts taking longer for your shower water to warm up, your first instinct might be to turn up the temperature to your hot water heater. Before you take that step, you may want to consider other solutions, and whether the problem with your hot water isn’t linked to the weather outside.

Why Water Temperature Drops

Just as summer weather makes it harder to get cool water in the shower, colder weather means lower temperatures in the air and underground. These conditions chill the water entering your water heater, causing the unit to have to work harder to reach the right temperature. … Read Full Post »