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The Pros and Cons of Hydro-Jetting

Hydro-jetting (high pressure water jetting) services are fast, affordable, and do a wonderful job of clearing drain and sewer lines of clogs and obstructions. However, just like with any other type of plumbing service, hydro-jetting is not without its pros and cons. Let’s talk about what hydro-jetting is, and what the pros and cons of the service are in a little more detail.

What is Hydro-Jetting?

Hydro-jetting (high pressure water jetting) is a method of cleaning out drain and sewer lines from clogs and obstructions using pressurized water. Plumbers often perform hydro-jetting procedures during drain cleaning jobs and before they do any kind of sewer repair or replacement.

To more easily understand hydro-jetting, we can compare it to pressure washing. Both tools use water under high pressure to clean messes and clear debris. However, hydro-jetting machines utilize water that is under much, much greater pressures than the pressure washers that you can rent/purchase at your local hardware store.

The Pros of Hydro-Jetting (High Pressure Water Jetting)

The pros of hydro-jetting services include:

  • Hydro-jetting clears stubborn clogs with just water
  • Hydro-jetting can be done to both commercial and residential drain lines
  • It can also cut through tree roots that have invaded your sewer line
  • Hydro-jetting is environmentally safe and green
  • High pressure water jetting services will clear the entire drain line rather than just a small section of it (rooter services will only clear an opening as large as the diameter of the rooter augur)

The Cons of Hydro-Jetting

The cons of hydro-jetting services include:

  • Hydro-jetting can be less effective at removing extra serious drain obstructions than rooter or auger drain cleaning services
  • Hydro-jetting can be too much for older and weaker pipelines to handle
  • It can’t help clear drain lines that have been obstructed by serious damage like a bellied line

Contact Us for Hydro-Jetting Services Today!

If you think that hydro-jetting services will solve your drainage or sewer problems, then you’ve come to the right place! Here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric, we pride ourselves on being the go-to company for hydro-jetting services in the area! So, what are you waiting for? Contact us to schedule high pressure water jetting services today!

Memorial Day Party Plumbing Problems

Memorial Day is this weekend! If you’re having a party, then there are some common plumbing problems that we here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric think you should keep an eye out for. They are:

  • Clogged Garbage Disposals
  • Clogged Drains
  • Backed Up Toilets

Let’s talk about how you can prevent these problems this Memorial Day Weekend!

Acoiding Clogged Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are extremely useful tools for waste disposal. However, it isn’t wise to put any and every scrap of food waste into a garbage disposal. Some things to keep your Memorial Day party guests from putting down your garbage disposal are:

  • Eggshells
  • Fat or grease
  • Non-food-related garbage
  • Ice
  • Raw vegetables

Putting any of the aforementioned items in your garbage disposal can result in clogs and damage to the unit itself.

Preventing Clogged Sinks and Drains

Drains and sinks are also often clogged during Memorial Day parties. To prevent clogging your drains this weekend, have your guests refrain from putting the following things down your drain or in your sink:

  • Garbage
  • Food waste (unless you have a garbage disposal
  • Vomit (we know it’s weird and gross, but you’d be surprised how many people think that vomit can go down the drain)

Avoiding Backed Up Toilets

Probably the most common plumbing problem associated with Memorial Day parties is a backed up toilet. There are a couple of different ways to mitigate this problem. You can open up more bathrooms to your guests (if you have more than one that is). You can also rent a portable toilet for the party. Or, you can always just ask that your party guests avoid putting the following items down the toilet:

  • Paper towels
  • Food
  • Wet wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Garbage

Call Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric if You Have Plumbing Problems this Memorial Day Weekend

If even after following the aforementioned tips and tricks you still wind up facing plumbing problems after your Memorial Day party this weekend, then don’t fret! You can always contact the team of professional plumbers here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric!

How Does Your Air Conditioner Work?

Almost everyone has an air conditioning system these days. However, most people that own an AC system have no idea how it functions. And, knowing a little bit about how air conditioners work can really help you know when to call in the Brothers Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric HVAC professionals for service, repair, or replacement work. So, let’s explore just how your home air conditioning system keeps you cool all summer.

The Air Conditioning Process

The air conditioning process is relatively simple. Basically, air conditioners pull the heat out of the air to help cool a space. They do this iin a two-cycle process. The two cycles of air conditioner functionality are:

  • Evaporation
  • Compresssion

The Evaporation Cycle in Modern Air Conditioning

The evaporation cycle in modern air conditioning systems is the cycle in which the actual cooling of the air takes place. To accomplish this, your air conditioner passes inside air through a coil filled with supercooled liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant pulls the heat from the air and then fans distribute the air through your ductwork (or directly into your space if you have a ductless split air conditioning system). After the air has been cooled, your air conditioning system sends the now gaseous refrigerant to the compression side of the system.

The Compression Cycle in Modern Air Conditioning

The compression cycle is the second main operation cycle in modern air conditioning systems. It works in almost the exact opposite way that the evaporation cycle does.

During this cycle, two things happen. The first thing that happens is that your system will pull outside air through what is known as the condensing coil. This coil contains the gaseous refrigerant from the evaporation cycle. When the outside air is pulled through the coil, the heat from the gaseous refrigerant is transferred to the air. This begins transforming the gaseous refrigerant back to its original liquid form.

However, the coil itself is not enough to fully compress the refrigerant. That is why modern air conditioning systems also use a device known as a compressor to finish the job of transforming the refrigerant back to a supercooled liquid. Then, once the compression cycle is complete, the refrigerant is transported back to the evaporator side of the machine to start the process all over again.

Air Conditioning Duct Leaks

Air conditioning duct leaks can cost you money by both increasing your energy bill and by forcing you to run your system longer to keep rooms at your desired temperature. But don’t worry! The experts here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric are always here to help you solve your leaky air duct problems.

The Signs of Air Conditoining Duct Leaks

The hardest part of resolving a leaky ductwork problem is simply knowing when you have one. There are several signs that point towards leaking air ducts that include:

  • Sign 1 – Increased utility bills
  • Sign 2 – Hot or cold spots (hard to cool rooms)
  • Sign 3 – Visibly Damaged Ductwork

Sign 1 – Increased Utility Bills

The first sign of an air conditioning duct leak is definitely not the most obvious thing in the world. If you have noticed your utility bills increasing each month and you’re certain that you haven’t increased your use of energy-hungry appliances, then an air conditioning duct leak may be the culprit. When ducts leak, your HVAC system has to work harder to deliver the cold (or hot) air to the desired location. This increase in workload increases the amount of energy that your HVAC system consumes, which in turn increases your utility bills. If you have noticed spiking energy bills at your home or business, then give the HVAC professionals here at Brothers a call right away.

Sign 2 – Hot or Cold Spots

The second sign of leaking ductwork is hot/cold spots in your home or business. When you notice that certain rooms/locations in your building are significantly harder to keep cool, then leaky ductwork may be the problem. The ductwork delivers climate controlled air to the various supply vents in your building. If a section of that duct is leaking, then the supply air is not reaching its final destination and you will notice hot and cold spots when running your system. In addition to being a sign of leaking ductwork, hot and cold spots can also signify a poorly done air balance. Either way, if you have hot or cold spots in your building, then get in touch with the Brothers team of air conditioning experts as soon as you can.

Sign 3 – Visibly Damaged Ductwork

The third and most obvious sign of leaking ductwork is visibly damaged or collapsed ducting. If you have peaked your head into your attic or crawlspace lately and noticed collapsed or otherwise visibly damaged ductwork, then leaks are basically guaranteed. If you see damaged ductwork, then please contact the team of experts here at Brothers for service.

Pre-Season Air Conditioning Start-Up Hints and Tips

Summer is almost here! And, even here Colorado, that means warmer temperatures and an increase in the usage demand of your home or business’ air conditioning system! If you haven’t used your AC in the last few months, then please follow these hints and tips before you start it up this Spring. Doing so can save you quite a few headaches (and potentially quite a few dollars as well)! And, if these hints and tips seem too technical to you, then please do not hesitate to contact the air conditioning experts here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric!

Step 1: Always Check and Change Your Air Filters

One of the most important pre-season tips we can give you is to make sure that your air filters are changed/cleaned when necessary. These filters help keep the air you circulate through your home free of debris, and they also help make sure that your air conditioning system does not get clogged or ruined by stray dust and dander. To check/change your filters, just follow the following steps:

  • Find the Filter(s)
    Obviously you should find the filter(s) in your system before you can do anything else about them. Most of the time, air filters for air conditioning systems can be found at the return vent closest to your air handler.
  • Change Disposable Filters
    If your filter is of the disposable type, simply remove it and throw it away. But, before you toss the old filter, write down the dimensions found on the filter housing itself. These dimensions will help you find the exact match filter at your local hardware store. Also, pay attention to the arrows on your filters. These arrows are there to help you see which direction to place your new filter. The arrows always point in the direction of airflow through the system.
  • Clean Reusable Filters
    If your filter is of the reusable variety, then simply remove it and run it under clean water until the color of the discharged water is as clear as the water coming into the filter. Once the filter is clean and has dried for about 3 hours, simply put it back in your system and you’re done!

Step 2: Check Coils

There are two coils in every air conditioning system: the evaporative coil and the condensing coil. Each coil does a different job in the system.

The Evaporative Coil
The evaporative coil’s job is to turn low-pressure liquid refrigerant to a gaseous form by passing outside air over itself. This is the primary coil on the cooling side of your air conditioning system. These coils are almost always located right next to the air handler and should only be cleaned by a professional.

The Condensing Coil
This coil is always located outside. Its primary function is to take the gaseous refrigerant provided by the evaporative coil and to help transform it back into a low-pressure liquid. This works by forcing outside air over the coil to help cool the refrigerant. Then the compressor itself takes said refrigerant and finishes the job of transforming it back to a liquid before it starts the cycle all over again. To clean a condensing coil, simply turn the power off to the system and run hose water over the entire unit until it comes off clean.

Step 3: Check the Fan Blades and Belts

There are a couple of different fans on your home or business’ HVAC system. One fan moves air throughout your home and is located at the air handler. The other fan is the one we talked about in the coil cleaning step of the process (see above paragraph).

Each of these fans needs to be checked for balance and be cleaned. To clean the condenser fan, just run water over it while power is turned off to the unit. To clean the air handler fan, simply turn the power off to the unit and wipe the fan blades down with a damp towel or cloth.

Checking for balance is relatively simple. Just listen to the fan in operation. If it makes any strange noises or if it looks like it has a significant wobble, then the fan is out of balance. Never try to balance a fan yourself, always leave it to the professionals here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric.

To check the fan belts (if your fans are belt driven, that is), just turn off power to the system and run your fingers along the inside of the belts. If there is any fraying or the belts feel a little too loose, then simply replace them with belts of the exact same size and width.

Step 4: Check Refrigerant Levels

This step should always be performed by an air conditioning service technician, and no one else. Never attempt to check refrigerant levels on your own. Checking levels requires specialized gauges and knowledge. It is also very dangerous for you and potentially for the environment.

When a professional HVAC service technician checks refrigerant levels, they attach special gauges to the refrigerant lines. If they find that the balance of gaseous and liquid refrigerant is too high or low, then they will add/subtract refrigerant as necessary.

REMEMBER: Never attempt to check or fix refrigerant levels on your own. Always leave it to a professional!

Step 5: Program Your Thermostat for Summer

After you have made sure that your air conditioning system is up to snuff, then it is time to finally program your thermostat for summer conditions. Here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric, we recommend the following settings for your average Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM work day and schedule:

Thermostat Schedule

Too Much To Handle? Call Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric Instead

Does all this sound too technical and complicated for you? Don’t fret! We can help! Simply give us here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric a call today and we’ll make sure that your pre-season air conditioning start-up goes as smoothly as humanly possible. So, don’t hesitate! Give us a call today!