ABC Blog

Need Some Extra Cash? Take a Look at Your Tank

Don’t let your hot water heater drain you out of house and home

How much hot water do you use each day? You’re probably not running your tap nonstop, so what is your water heater doing the rest of the time?

If it’s the normal, tank-type variety, it’s probably pretty busy. Nobody puts in a requisition for hot water. With no idea of when you’re going to want it, your heater must stand at the ready, keeping the water continually toasty in case you make a request.

It does this by making steady demands on your energy supply. If it didn’t keep working around the clock, the water in the tank would not remain hot for long.

What if you never had to waste energy keeping your water hot? What if you could heat it on demand at the moment you need it?

With a tankless water heater, that’s exactly what you can do.

The Workings … Read Full Post »

End the Hard Water Nightmare with a Water Softener

Have you spent half the day washing dishes by hand after they went through your dishwasher? If you’re struggling with hard water, you’re not alone. Most people don’t realize how much water quality can affect routine activities. Many products are available to manage the symptoms, but installing a water softener will take care of multiple problems at once.

Hard Water: The Symptoms

If you have hard water, you may experience one or many of the following symptoms in your home.

• Soap, shampoo and other cleansing products don’t lather well
• Reduced water flow through pipes
• Scale buildup in coffee makers, teapots and other items that have frequent water contact
• Residue in pet water bowls
• Spots and streaks on dishes
• Greasy, grimy residue in tubs and sinks
• Dingy-looking laundry
• Rough-feeling, stiff fabrics
• Lifeless, dull hair
• Dry, itchy or irritated skin

What Causes Hard Water?

According to Texas A&M University, these water problems are related to the … Read Full Post »

Is There a Way to Prevent Clogged Drains?

Do your drains become clogged so often that you’re on a first-name basis with folks at the Plumbing Contractor’s Association? Life doesn’t have to be so hard. You might just need to tweak your water-related habits. Here are some great tips to help you keep clogged drains from slowing you down.

Simple Ways to Keep Clogs at Bay

1. Run hot water down your drains regularly. It helps to loosen clogs and melt grease, soap and other debris. If you make it a habit to run hot very water for several minutes each time you wash dishes, you may experience fewer clogs in your kitchen sink.

2. Avoid putting grease in your drain. It coats the sides of your pipes and causes other debris to get stuck. Drain and store grease in a metal can or other container instead.

3. Don’t put sticky, gummy or fibrous food waste in sink or garbage disposal. Foods … Read Full Post »

Plumbing Problems Best Left to the Professionals

Are you having plumbing issues in your Austin home? Are you the type of person who either doesn’t know how to fix plumbing problems or who simply doesn’t want to fix them? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, a local plumber can help. In fact, there are many plumbing issues that are best left to professionals.

Leaky Pipes

Not only can water leaks cost you a whole lot of money, but they can also cause a significant amount of damage to your home. While some of these leaks may be easy to detect, others are often hidden under your house or deep within your walls. These problems can lead to such issues as mold, mildew or damage to your floors, walls and ceiling.

Broken Hot Water Heaters

If your hot water doesn’t seem to be lasting as long as it did before, it’s best to have a professional check … Read Full Post »

Could You Have a Worst-Case Plumbing Scenario On Your Hands?

What happens in the plumbing lines should stay in there. Any unscheduled surface incursion of materials that flow through those hidden pipes, whether clean or waste water, is cause for alarm for homeowners. Plumbers in San Antonio will tell you that problems can quickly turn from minor annoyance to horrifying nightmare, costing serious money to resolve.

As a homeowner, you need to pay attention to little things such as leaky faucets and groaning pipes in the walls because these could be symptoms of bigger problems.

The Toilet Runneth Over

The bathroom can present plumbing problem red flags. Leaky faucets could be the result of a worn out gasket or improper installation. Water running nonstop in a toilet may be a defective flapper. Both cases result in clean water being wasted, higher water bills and rust damage to fixtures.

A clogged toilet can flood your bathroom and render the toilet unusable, which can spell disaster … Read Full Post »

5 Famous & Unexpected Plumbers

If someone asked you to name famous plumbers, you’d probably think of Super Mario and his brother Luigi, the duo who defined video games in the 80s. Desperate Housewives’ hunky plumber Mike Delfino, played by James Denton, might also come to mind. Not all famous plumbers are fictional. Some celebrities quietly worked in the plumbing trade before their rise to fame, so most people have no idea they started out in such non-glamorous roles. Here are five examples that might surprise you.

 

1. Ozzy Osborne

Before Black Sabbath, Ozzfest, reality shows and a diet of bat heads, John Michael “Ozzy” Osborne wielded a totally different kind of snake than the one he famously wore around his neck. The English heavy metal singer and songwriter left school at 15 and worked as a plumber. With his net worth exceeding 140 million, few people remember his expertise with clogged drains.

2. Michael Flatley

In a true … Read Full Post »

The History of Toilets: How Modern Features Can Transform Your Bathroom

history of toilets timeline

You probably take your toilet for granted—that is, until you have a problem. How have toilets evolved over time, and what recent advances have changed the way you spend time in your bathroom?

The History of Toilets Timeline

Before the invention of flushing toilets and sophisticated plumbing, many people used chamber pots or simply used the restroom in the streets. Obviously, people of this age weren’t very sensitive to odors. The Saxons created pits in the streets with wooden seats over them. People in some countries built drains under their homes that led to rivers or primitive sewer systems. Ancient Egyptians used limestone or wooden seats with sand-filled containers under them. These primitive toilets had to be emptied by hand. People in the Indus Valley civilization built grid-patterned streets with sewers underneath. Their toilets were flushed with water.

Who Invented the Modern Toilet?

Although the invention of the modern flush toilet is sometimes attributed to … Read Full Post »

DIY Plumbing: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Did you ever wake from a sound sleep because of an annoying drip coming from the next room? You probably know that if you don’t fix a leaky faucet, you won’t get a good night’s sleep until you stop the drip. Even if you have the tools and expertise to fix a minor plumbing problem, you may be too busy to tackle the job until the weekend, and by then, you’re likely to be exhausted from lack of sleep. A San Antonio plumber can take care of minor plumbing problems as well as major troubles quickly and efficiently and help get your life back to normal again.

If you’re handy with tools and have plenty of time, you may want to replace a faucet, repair a small leak or unclog a drain without getting help from an expert. If you’re confident about your ability, you may save money by doing those … Read Full Post »

Five Ways a Hidden Rodent Infestation Can Impact Your Home—and Your Pocketbook!

damage caused by rats

Of all the unexpected costs that homeowners face, pest control is often the most unwelcome. Pests enter your property looking for food and shelter, and can often stay hidden for long periods of time. Rodents, in particular, are experts in squeezing through small openings, and just one female rat can have up to 15,000 babies in just one year! If you have an infestation, damage caused by rats and mice could cost you thousands of dollars or more to fix, not to mention the time and hassle to take care of the problem.

Damage Caused By Rats and Mice

Rodent dens that go unnoticed are more expensive and dangerous to remove than infestations that are uncovered quickly. Crawl spaces, attics and voids surrounding water pipes are prime real estate for rodents seeking a new home. Places that homeowners don’t inspect often are more likely to harbor unnoticed residents. Here are a few costly … Read Full Post »

The Relationship Between Plumbing and Pests

Most homeowners are unaware of the association between plumbing and pests, but the fact is that the two are intertwined. Problems with a home’s plumbing can attract certain types of pests. Not to mention, the presence of pests in the plumbing of a home can cause some serious plumbing issues. Lowe’s notes that pests ranging from rodents to snakes can find their way into the plumbing of a building and wreak havoc.

How Do Plumbing Problems Attract Pests?

When a home has leaky plumbing, pests may move in because they detect a water source and are attracted to the area where the leak originates. Homeowners should be aware that standing water attracts pests including mosquitoes, so having a simple leak can lead to a serious pest problem in your home.

Pests that eat wood are particularly interested in moist wood because it is easier for them to chew, and they rely on moisture … Read Full Post »