Common Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid in 2023

Practice Good Plumbing Habits

The new year is a time of new commitments. It presents a great opportunity for those that are wishing to adopt new habits and better care for things that are their responsibility. A great example of this is the resolution to take better care of the home, and setting realistic goals and expectations can help. 

One concrete goal homeowners can set to improve their homes in the coming year is protecting the plumbing. The cause of unreliable plumbing can often be traced back to harmful habits. This year, make an effort to replace bad habits with good habits. Here is some advice from local experts to help homeowners turn back the clock on their home’s plumbing and keep it running smoothly. 

Avoid Chemical Clog Removers

clogsOne of a homeowner’s first impulses to take better care of their plumbing may be to use a chemical drain cleaner to remove clogs and keep wastewater running smoothly down the drain. Unfortunately, even though this tactic is well-intentioned, it often causes more harm than good. 

Chemical drain cleaners are powerful chemicals used to dissolve stubborn clogs composed of things like hair, grease, and soap scum. These materials can make nasty clogs that can completely back up a drain. The downside of using chemical drain cleaners is that the chemical action that dissolves clogs can also damage piping and septic systems. 

Instead, homeowners should choose a safe method. Professional drain cleaning is always preferred because plumbers have the knowledge and the right tools, like drain snakes and hydro jets, to eliminate clogs safely and without damage. For homeowners looking to get rid of clogs or prevent them altogether, professional drain cleaning services are always available on short notice to help. 

Remember Water Heater Maintenance maintenance

A neglected water heater is one of the biggest liabilities in a home’s plumbing system. Being a liability means it is the source of a lot of inconvenience and cost when problems arise. Luckily, there is something that homeowners can do to make sure the water heater isn’t neglected and stays reliable and efficient. 

Scheduling water heater maintenance with a professional every year can prevent damage to the water heater and ensure that the unit lasts longer. Routine maintenance also improves the water heater’s efficiency and lowers utility bills. To accomplish this, water heater maintenance technicians perform tasks like:

  • Draining and flushing the water heater tank
  • Checking electrical connections
  • Checking the anode rod and replacing it if needed
  • Looking for damage, leaks, and corrosion

With annual water heater maintenance, homeowners can expect greater reliability and lower operating costs for their water heater. 

Always Hire Professional Plumbing Services

The final recommendation for protecting the plumbing in the home has to do with who does the repairs. With some research, homeowners may feel like they can do some plumbing repairs themselves. Unfortunately, this is often the source of more problems. Without the right experience and tools, homeowners can make costly mistakes, worsen existing problems, or make new ones.

Plumbers are licensed and insured to do their jobs. They are also highly trained and qualified to make repairs safely and efficiently. When homeowners hire professional plumbers, they gain the satisfaction of knowing that things will be done right the first time. Instead of taking risks with amateur repairs, always hire professionals and save the headache of having something go wrong. 

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned plumbing, heating, and cooling company serving Apple Valley, MN, and the surrounding areas. They provide competitive pricing, 24/7 services, and financing programs. Call them today for plumbing, drain cleaning, or water heater services in Apple Valley, MN.

A Cheaper Way to Heat the Home During the Winter

Heat the Home Easier With Heat Pumps 

Everyone is looking for a better way to heat the home that won’t break the bank. Heat pumps are a relatively new technology that is gaining popularity for heating and cooling. Heat pumps use the same principles as air conditioners but are reversed. This allows them to provide heat that can be 400% more efficient than fossil fuel furnaces. Here is a quick guide to help homeowners understand more about these useful comfort control systems. 

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

pumpUnderstanding heat as a perception of comfort or a certain temperature isn’t the most scientific way of describing heat. Heat is actually a measure of energy stored in any given medium. This means that even things perceived as cold, like a cold winter morning, still contain heat energy. 

A heat pump can tap into the heat energy outside, even during frigid weather. The refrigerant in the heat pump has the unique capacity to absorb the heat energy outside so that it can be “pumped” indoors. The outdoor heat energy is transported inside as the refrigerant goes through a compression and evaporation cycle. 

The main difference between types of heat pumps is where the heat energy is drawn from. There are three main types of heat pumps for consumers to choose from: 

Benefits of Installing Ductless Heat Pump Systems 

One of the most popular ways to take advantage of heat pump technology is with ductless heat pump systems. They are installed without ductwork, so they can be cost-effective options for homes with aging air ducts or ones that never had ductwork. Given this, ductless heat pumps are a popular choice for heating and cooling renovations or add-ons in a home or climate-controlling a finished garage or basement. 

Ductless heat pump systems offer many advantages over traditional heating and cooling systems. One of the biggest benefits is energy efficiency. Ductless systems are very efficient at converting energy into heating or cooling, which can significantly reduce energy costs. Additionally, installation is much less complicated than with a standard system because they don’t require ductwork. 

Ductless systems are also incredibly quiet, making them ideal for people who want a peaceful living environment. Finally, ductless systems provide greater flexibility. Homeowners can control the temperature in each room separately and adjust settings as needed for optimal comfort. 

Energy Efficiency Means Cheaper Heat 

savingsHeat pumps are a much more energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. By using the existing heat from outside, the system takes advantage of lower temperatures to help reduce energy consumption. This ultimately leads to cost savings for homeowners in their monthly utility bills. 

Additionally, because these systems don’t use fuel like the traditional heating and cooling options, they are better for the environment. Heat pumps can also help improve indoor air quality in homes since they don’t release pollutants like other HVAC systems. All of this makes them an ideal choice for those looking to save money and reduce their environmental impact. Many heat pump models also offer additional features such as zone control and humidity control, making them even more efficient. 

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned company serving Lakeville, MN, and the surrounding areas. They provide competitive pricing, 24/7 services, and financing. Call them today for heat pump services in Lakeville, MN.

Easily Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter

Winterize Pipes Like a Professional

Plumbing professionals understand that the plumbing system is usually the last thing on homeowners’ minds at the end of the fall or the beginning of winter. If this sounds familiar, let this article be a reminder that as the weather continues to get colder, homeowners need to start thinking about ways to protect their pipes.  

Frozen Pipes Are Asking For Trouble!pipes

Frozen pipes pose a danger to the home because frozen pipes increase the risk of burst pipes. Burst pipes pose an enormous threat to the house for many reasons. Firstly, burst pipes jeopardize the integrity of the rest of the plumbing system. When there is one burst pipe, more will soon follow. Second, the water damage to the home’s structural integrity due to the burst pipe is why it is essential to have burst pipes fixed as soon as possible—the more water that leaks from the line, the more extensive the water damage. 

Additional risks of a burst pipe are: 

  • The water bill will increase from wasted water pouring from the burst pipe.
  • The wasted water is bad for the planet.
  • Water escaping from the pipes makes them more susceptible to rust and corrosion.

The last thing anyone wants is to be forced to re-do their home’s piping system because they fell victim to frozen and burst pipes. Winterizing the plumbing system is more than just preventative maintenance. It can save the homeowner lots of money in repairs. 

The Advantages of Pipe Insulationinsulation

Pipe insulation is the best way to protect pipes from frigid temperatures this winter. It typically doesn’t have to be redone unless it’s too old or the foam gets ripped or damaged. Pipe insulation helps prevent frozen pipes, in turn, preventing burst pipes. 

Other benefits of pipe insulation include the following: 

  • Maintains warm water temperatures longer, so there is less strain on the water heater in the winter
  • Saves on utility costs because the water stays at a warmer temperature longer
  • Protects the homeowner from plumbing breakdowns due to frozen pipes

 

Here Are a Few Other Tips to Remember!

Aside from insulating the pipes, there are other things homeowners can do to help prevent their pipes from freezing. Some simple tips include:

  • Sealing any cracks or openings around doors and windows to help keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
  • During periods of freezing weather, let the water drip from faucets. Running water is less likely to freeze than stagnant water.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during both day and night. Sudden temperature changes can cause pipes to freeze.
  • If homeowners will be away from home for an extended period, make sure to shut off the water to the house and drain all the pipes.

If someone thinks their pipes have frozen, turn on the faucet and wait for them to thaw. Never try to thaw pipes with a blow torch or other open flame, as this can cause severe damage. By taking some simple precautions, homeowners can help prevent their pipes from freezing during the winter. 

About Veteran Services 

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned company serving Apple Valley, MN, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide competitive pricing, prompt services, and financing. Call them today for plumbing services or burst pipe repair in Apple Valley, MN

3 Scary Problems That Can Occur With the HVAC System This Halloween

Beware of These Frightening HVAC Problems!

Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s time to get into the spirit of the spooky season with scary movies, ghoulish decorations, and creepy costumes. But while it can be lots of fun to revel in the scares that come from TV screens and rubber masks, most will agree that real-life scares aren’t quite as enjoyable. And as it turns out, some of the scariest things homeowners can face may be coming from the heart of their own house – the heating system.

This article will discuss three problems that can occur with heating and cooling systems that are scarier than any fictional boogeyman and their signs to help homeowners stay safe this Halloween and beyond.

Carbon Monoxide Leak

detectorsA carbon monoxide leak is arguably the most insidious and dangerous problem that can occur with a heating system. CO leaks are often caused by an incorrectly calibrated pilot light, faulty burner, leaky exhaust chimney, or other malfunctions with a gas or oil-burning furnace. However, they can also be caused by other fuel-burning appliances like gas ranges or water heaters.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that results from burning fuel, be it gas, wood, coal, or oil. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly, particularly in high doses or over a prolonged period. Since it is virtually undetectable by the senses, it has earned the monicker, “the silent killer.”

Fortunately, homeowners can take steps to protect themselves and their families against carbon monoxide leaks. The first step is to install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home and test them regularly to ensure proper function. Next, homeowners should have their furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances routinely serviced by a qualified professional. 

And finally, homeowners must be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and shortness of breath. If anyone in the house has these symptoms, everyone (including pets) should evacuate immediately and call their local emergency services. They should also seek medical attention if the symptoms persist after leaving the house.

Mold Infestation

moldThe next HVAC issue to be on the lookout for is mold growth. Mold can take hold inside the home if the system isn’t properly removing moisture from the indoor air. But mold can also develop inside the HVAC unit itself. Air conditioners and some types of furnaces extract water vapor from the air by condensing it into liquid and draining it away. This can cause mold to grow in the condensate drain pan, drain line, or evaporator coils (particularly if they’re dirty). The moisture inside the units can also spread into the air ducts causing mold contamination and sending spores into the home.

While not quite as dangerous as carbon monoxide, mold can cause both acute and long-term illnesses, from respiratory irritation and allergy symptoms to infections in the lungs, so it is a very real threat to the health of everyone in the home. Fortunately, it’s much easier to detect than CO. If homeowners notice a persistent musty odor in the house, they likely have a mold infestation.

To prevent mold growth, homeowners can have their HVAC system inspected and cleaned as part of annual maintenance to ensure that the condensate is draining properly and moisture isn’t clinging to dirty coils or ducts. In some homes, investing in a whole-home dehumidifier may also be a good idea to keep moisture levels down.

Overheating Furnace

Another frightening problem that’s all too common is an overheating furnace. A furnace can overheat due to poor airflow, like from a clogged air filter, dirt and dust on internal components such as coils or the blower motor, and mechanical or electrical malfunctions. These issues hinder the unit’s ability to properly ventilate heat, resulting in overheating.

There are several dangers of an overheating furnace. Apart from damaging the unit to the point that it may need to be replaced, overheating can cause stress cracks in the heat exchanger, which may allow carbon monoxide to leak out into the home. Overheating can also cause a furnace fire, which can spread quickly to the rest of the house or release smoke and toxic fumes into the air ducts.

The best ways to prevent furnace fires and the other risks associated with an overheating furnace are to replace their air filters regularly (every three months is a good baseline for most homes) and to schedule regular furnace maintenance with a professional. 

It also pays to know the signs of an overheating furnace. A slight burning smell is normal when the system is first turned on for the season, but if it persists, it likely indicates overheating. A humming noise from the unit usually means the blower motor is straining against poor airflow or a mechanical fault. If the system frequently turns off or trips the breaker, it may be a thermocouple or limit switch shutting off the unit due to overheating. If homeowners notice these signs, they should immediately turn off the system and call their preferred HVAC service provider.

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned company serving Lakeville, MN residents and the surrounding areas for over 40 years. They offer financing, competitive pricing, and 24/7 emergency service. Call them today for furnace repair and tune-up services in Lakeville, MN.

Why Should You Get a Water Filtration System?

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

The most popular type of water filtration system is a reverse osmosis system. Reverse osmosis water filters push the water through a membrane that removes pollutants, corrosive materials, and chemicals. Water filtration systems improve water’s taste and safety by purifying it through reverse osmosis. 

By installing a whole home water filtration system, homeowners can have deliciously clean and safe water directly from their tap. Some tap water contains harmful pollutants that can negatively impact health. Water filtration systems can help protect homeowners, their families, and the environment. 

Improve Taste and Remove Pollutants

save One of the main reasons people decide to get a water filtration system is that they don’t like the taste of their tap water. Many people notice that the chlorine used in the water processing plant can make water taste sour. A filtration system can be installed that neutralizes the taste of chemicals or metal to improve the taste of the water. 

A whole home water filtration system is not just beneficial for drinking. Bathing in purified water is also great for hair, nails, and skin. Homeowners can enjoy healthier skin, nails, hair, and great-tasting water by investing in a whole home water filtration system. 

Save Money

water Purchasing plastic water bottles is a waste of money, with clean and safe drinking water available at home with a water filtration system. By installing a water filtration system, homeowners can have delicious, safe water and save tons of money because they don’t have to buy bottled water anymore.  

Another benefit of filtering water is that it removes particles of contaminants in the water, such as heavy metals. Heavy metals and minerals found in the water could corrode the inside of the water pipes and lead to plumbing problems as well. Whole home water filtration systems protect the home’s plumbing. Less wear and tear on the plumbing appliances and pipes from corrosive materials found in tap water will save homeowners money in the long run. Cleaner water leads to more efficient plumbing performance and longer-lasting hardware because there is less of a risk of corrosion

It’s Better for the Environment

Not only does a water filtration system help save homeowners money, but it also helps the environment. Plastic bottles are one of the items that are amassing in landfills and polluting the oceans at an astronomical rate. As plastic water bottles break down in the water, microplastics are consumed by marine life. Switching from bottled water to a home water filtration system can save wildlife and help the environment. 

One more reason homeowners should ditch bottled water for good is that plastic bottles contain chemicals that are harmful if swallowed. When water bottles are heated up during the transportation process by sitting on hot trucks, the plastic can release harmful compounds into the water. Drinking water from plastic bottles can cause numerous health problems due to the inorganic compounds in the water from the plastic. 

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned plumbing, heating, and AC company serving Apple Valley, MN, and the surrounding areas. They provide competitive pricing, 24/7 services, and financing. Call them today for whole-home water filtration system installation and repair in Apple Valley, MN.

Is Central AC or Ductless Cooling a Better Fit?

Central AC vs. Ductless AC Units

The most common type of air conditioning system in modern homes is central air conditioning. Central AC uses a network of air ducts in the walls to distribute temperature-controlled air throughout the house. However, air duct installation is not possible for every home. Ductless AC units, such as window AC units and ductless mini-split systems, are alternative options to central AC.

How can homeowners choose which air conditioning system is best for them? They can start by assessing the pros and cons of central AC and ductless mini-split AC units. Homeowners can also work with a trusted local HVAC company to determine which air conditioning system is best for their home.

Pros of Central AC

central AC

  • Consistent Temperatures – Central AC can quickly and efficiently cool the entire house to an exact temperature setting.
  • Quiet Performance – Window AC units can be extremely noisy. Central AC is generally quieter than ductless cooling.
  • Out of Sight – Most of the ugly hardware for central air conditioning is hidden away out of sight. There is no need to take up wall or window space for central air conditioning.

Central AC is the most common air conditioning system for a reason! Most of the hardware is hidden behind the ceiling and in the walls, making it an aesthetically pleasing option compared to ductless systems. One of the only downsides is that homeowners must maintain the ductwork in addition to their HVAC unit. And because of the energy losses that occur in air ducts, they generally have higher cooling costs compared to mini splits.

Pros of Ductless Mini Split Systems

ductless mini split

  • Zoned Heating and Cooling – Ductless mini-split systems are a type of zoned temperature control. This means that each room or zone can be temperature controlled separately rather than having the entire home be at one temperature all the time.
  • Energy Savings – Zone air conditioning can help homeowners save on energy bills in a few ways. First, because they don’t require air ducts, they don’t experience the energy loss that occurs when air travels through ductwork. Also, instead of cooling the entire home like with central AC, with ductless mini-split systems, homeowners can cool just the rooms being used at the time. For example, by only cooling the bedrooms at night rather than the entire house.

When installing AC in a home without air ducts or room for them, ductless mini-split systems are often the best choice. Ductless mini-split systems are more efficient than central air conditioning but are typically more expensive to install and are more visible inside the house.

Other Air Conditioning Systems

Central AC and ductless mini-split systems are the most popular and efficient options for cooling a home, but they are not the only options. Window AC units are another option to cool a space and are convenient to install. The downside to window units is that they are often noisy, and their performance is inefficient.

Portable air conditioners are a great option for rental properties or non-traditional spaces that need cooling. They can be used to add air conditioning to a new addition to the home that isn’t connected to the AC system or a detached garage that gets too hot to work in. Portable air conditioners can offer efficient performance and can be moved around to different areas of the home. When moving houses, the portable air conditioner can also come along.

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned company serving Lakeville, MN, and the surrounding areas with reliable plumbing and HVAC services from trustworthy and highly skilled technicians. They offer competitive pricing, financing, and 24/7 emergency services. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Lakeville, MN.

Signs of a Failing Hot Water Heater

Is Your Home Affected by a Faulty Water Heater?

A water heater is a vital part of any household. It works to provide hot water throughout a home by transferring energy into the water so homeowners can take showers, wash clothes, and wash dishes. Without a working water heater, a home’s water would not keep warm and would be cold. That’s why homeowners should learn the signs of a faulty water heater so they can call a plumber before the heater dies completely.

Some of the most common symptoms of a faulty water heater include a water heater that frequently requires repairs, a water heater that produces inconsistent temperatures, and a water heater that runs out of hot water too fast. Additionally, if a water heater is over ten years old and is exhibiting issues, it may be time for a water heater replacement.

If homeowners notice any of the above signs, they should reach out to a professional. Keep reading to learn less obvious signs that the water heater isn’t working properly.

Strange Noises

noisesA water heater that produces weird noises, such as rumbling, may indicate a faulty water heater. These noises happen when sediment buildup occurs in the tank. Sediment occurs when the tank builds up natural minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Not only does this produce strange noises, but it can also produce fluctuating water temperatures and rising electricity bills.

With regular maintenance, this sediment will not cause a faulty water heater. However, if homeowners neglect maintenance, the tank can become irreversibly corroded. It’s suggested that homeowners flush their hot water tanks once or twice a year to combat sediment buildup from occurring and damaging the tank. Also, anode rods should be checked during maintenance and replaced when necessary to combat corrosion.

Weird Colors & Smells

discolored waterCorroded units and pipes can often lead to water that smells or looks weird. Smells such as rust, must, and rotten food can all point to a faulty heater. Additionally, unclear, discolored, musty, or rusty-looking water can indicate problems with the water heater.

Typically, these issues are caused when the anode rod of a water heater tank goes bad. The anode rod helps to attract corrosive materials, and when it stops working, those materials are free to corrode the tank because they are no longer being drawn to it. The anode rod will require a replacement when the wear and tear is too great.

Leaking Pipes

Homeowners that notice a leak from their hot water tank should consult a professional immediately to figure out the source of the leak and the best way to move forward. Leaks are normally very easy for professionals to repair. However, if the water heater tank has a crack or has suffered too much corrosion, the hot water tank may need to be replaced.

If homeowners notice any signs of a faulty water heater, they should call a professional as soon as possible before the damage worsens and more extensive repairs or replacements are necessary.

About Veteran Services

Veteran Services is a veteran-owned company with over 40 years of experience serving the community of Apple Valley, MN, and the surrounding areas. They provide competitive pricing, 24/7 services, and financing options. Call them today for water heater services in Apple Valley, MN.