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Fall 2021 Maintenance Hints, Tips and Reminders

Fall is almost here! With it comes crisp days, long nights, and the beginning of the holiday season. While getting caught up in the pumpkin spice and fun-filled events of the season are easy, it is also essential to make sure your home appliances, plumbing, heating, and electrical systems are all ready to withstand the cold of winter. Luckily, we here at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric have you covered. Follow this simple list of recommended fall maintenance and home preparation hints, tips, and reminders to ensure your property is ready for winter!

Fall Home Preparation Hints, Tips and Reminders

More Pre-Winter Hints, Tips, and Reminders

In addition to the hints, tips, and reminders listed above, our home experts recommend you perform the following tasks as well:

  • Turn Down Your Water Heater
    Turning down your water heater will help to reduce your monthly energy bill during the winter.
  • Winterize Plumbing Lines
    Merely pouring a small Dixie cup (around 1.5oz) of antifreeze down each of your drains and toilets will help keep your plumbing and water lines from freezing during the winter.
  • Contact Us
    For anything more complicated, we recommend you give our company a call to come out and give you a hand.

Get In Touch With Us To Schedule Any Services You Need

Some of the hints above are difficult or impossible to perform if you are not a trained professional. Luckily our team of Brothers Plumbing, Heating, and Electric home experts is always standing by to help make sure you are ready for winter. Get in touch with us by calling 303-468-2294 or visiting our Contact Us page today!

Improve Your Water Heater’s Energy Efficiency and Save Money!

Improve your water heater's energy efficiency and save money featured blog image

Learn how to improve your water heater’s efficiency and perhaps even lower your utility bills.

There are a few ways to help prolong your water heater’s life and keep it in top working order. Following these six tips each year may help you have a longer tank life expectancy, lower energy bills, and minimize damage due to water leakage.

1. Know where your water heater is located

Not only should you know where the water heater is, but you should also have clear access to it, as sometimes it’s tucked away in an attic or basement. The plumbing is not easy to reach.

2. Know what type of water heater you have

You should know whether your water heater is natural gas, electric, or propane, or whether it’s a storage tank type or a tankless type water heater. Please write down the model number and the serial number of your water heater or know where this information is on the tank. It has the age and gallon capacity coded into it.

3. Know how to turn off the water

It’s a good idea to know how to shut off the water and the fuel or power supply to the water heater before you’re facing a water heater dilemma. This is important in an emergency or if your water heater is leaking or you smell gas. There should be a gas valve or a disconnect switch within a few feet of the water heater. It’s also a good idea to know where your main gas shut-off valve is or which breaker is used for the water heater.

As for the water shut-off, most shut-off valves are located above the water heater on the cold side piping. It would help if you also located your water shut-off valve coming into your home. Suppose you need any special tools to turn any of the valves off or open the breaker box. Keep those nearby and in clear sight. This will make all the difference when you have water leaking all over or smell gas, and time is of the essence.

4. Clear the area around your water heater

There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to give your water heater some space.

  • A gas-fired unit needs a good supply of oxygen to burn the gas. If a water heater is smothered and can’t get enough oxygen, it can affect the efficiency of the unit as well as cause damage to the burner chamber and other water heater parts. It can even cause carbon monoxide leaks.
  • If the unit starts to leak, you may not catch it as soon if the area is hidden from view. This can cause severe water damage and even waste energy as the water heater has to reheat the water more often.
  • Storing items too close to the water heater can be a fire hazard.

5. Drain or flush your water heater

It is always a good idea to have a Brother’s plumbing professional drain and flush your water heater at least once a year. If we notice a lot of sediment or debris, then a full flush is recommended.

Nobody thinks that a hot water tank could be a safety concern in their homes. Still, we at Brothers Plumbing, Heating, & Electric know better. Our water heater repair service and water heater replacement service are your solution. We also recommend that once your water heater repair or water heater replacement is completed, your hot water should not exceed 125 degrees F. Exceeding this temperature poses a serious risk of burns, particularly to younger children.

Your water heater is a major energy consumer in your home. If your water heater is more than a few years old, you may consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model.

Smelly Drains – What Causes Them?

Drain odor? Get a drain cleaning from the Brothers!

Your Drains Aren’t As Clean As You Might Think!

If you’ve ever had a terrible smell emanating from your drain, don’t worry; you’re not alone. While you may know that your drains and lines aren’t the cleanest, no one ever expects the stench that sometimes rises out of their drain. After all, your drain constantly has water and detergents running through it, so why is it producing such an ungodly stench? Well, the truth is that not everything you put down the drain leaves your home.

Food Waste Often Rots In Your Lines!

Food scraps inevitably make their way into your kitchen drain lines. This process usually happens without much trouble, but occasionally these food scraps get stuck. Once stuck, they start to decompose and may even attract flies! Once this mixture of food begins to rot, the odor produced can plague your drain until you have this minor clog cleaned.

Worse still, if you wash fats and oils down your drain, they can coat the walls of your pipes and begin to turn rancid. This unsanitary situation can also produce an odor that is difficult to remove. However, that’s still not the worst smell that can waft through your home.

The Smell of Sewage Backups Can Fill A Home

If the smell running through your home is, say, a little worse than rotting food, you might be dealing with a sewage backup. If your lines find that they have no outlet, either because your sewer lines are clogged or broken, all of that waste will still need to find a way out. Often, the only way out is through your drains. Before this happens, though, you’ll find an unbearable odor floating through your home. If you notice this smell (yes, that smell), then call a plumber immediately. If treated in time, you can avoid a disastrous backup as well as get rid of the awful smell.

Get Rid Of Drain Odors!

No matter what plagues your drains, you can be sure that a professional plumber like Brothers Plumbing, Heating & Electric will have the tools to eliminate the problem. Our team has the experience and tools to help you eliminate the strongest drain odors, from drain line cleanings to trenchless sewer repair. We’ll even deal with the mess, so you don’t have to! Go ahead and give us a call at (303) 468-2294 and we’ll take care of the rest.

You could also contract the reliable plumbers at Done Plumbing & Heating if you happen to live in Colorado. Done provides excellent Aurora drain cleaning services that their community has come to rely on.

Is it Time to Kick Your AC to the Curb?

We rely on a few essential things during a Colorado summer – sunscreen, a hat, and at home, our air conditioning unit.

An air conditioner can make life comfortable when temperatures climb… however, how do you know when you can no longer rely on your AC system. It is time to “kick it to the curb”? Maybe you’ve noticed it doesn’t seem to cool or run as efficiently as it used to. Like all appliances, your air conditioner won’t last forever. However, you will get a good life out of a well-maintained system. However, a regularly serviced air conditioner will last much longer than one that is not.

Even a well-maintained air conditioner of a certain age might run into problems. So we’ve prepared a list of the top 7 telltale signs that indicate you need to kick your air conditioner to the curb.

1. Unit is blowing hot or cold air, which is inconsistent with temperature settings

One of the most common problems in an older air conditioning unit is that it just doesn’t cool or heat. It may still produce normal air levels, but the air isn’t coming out cold or hot as per its settings. From time to time, you may experience some warm air in a cool environment during regular use. However, if your unit stops producing cold air entirely, it’s time to investigate and vice versa for heating. It may mean low refrigerant levels. However, when cooling, warm air production can indicate a severe problem, such as a damaged compressor.

Inconsistent temperatures are a sign of trouble too. Your air conditioner is supposed to provide a consistent air temperature at the setting you’ve chosen. When individual rooms become cold zones and others don’t seem to get any cold air at all, it could mean your air conditioning unit is on the way out. If your unit produces hot (or inconsistent) air, inspect the filters, valves, condensation drains, and coils for airflow obstructions. However, be prepared. A replacement unit may be on the cards.

2. Your unit has diminished airflow

During operation, there is little or no cold air coming out of the vents. A significant decrease in airflow could be another sign that your air conditioner’s compressor is on its last leg. If your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature and your home is still too warm. Your air conditioning system is not working at its optimum level. Again, check filters first, but it might be time for a new unit.

3. It’s emitting strange noises or strange smells

A fully functioning air conditioning system should operate almost silently. If you know your unit well, you’ll be familiar with any little sounds it makes as it cycles. In fact, those noises will be a regular part of your life’s sound symphony. So, when you hear noises different from the norm, it’s time to act. Minor noise changes could indicate the need for some repairs. Perhaps the fan isn’t working correctly. One of the parts inside the unit has become loose, or an internal mechanism has become clogged with dirt. However, if the noise is a little stranger – such as screeching, grinding, grating, rattling, buzzing, or ticking, this could indicate a serious problem that means unit replacement!

The same goes for unusual odors! If your unit is giving off a bad smell, it’s not just a nuisance; it indicates a problem you need to address right away. Foul odors can mean that your air conditioner’s insulation has become damaged or that the ductwork has become moldy. Dirt, mold, or mildew inside your unit can circulate contaminated air through your home and cause health issues for your family. So, don’t ignore those bad smells. Strange smells may be caused by a filter that needs replacing. So, check them first, but if your unit is still smelly, it could be time to replace it.

4. Your unit is leaking or producing excess moisture

Depending on the type of air conditioner you have, a small amount of condensation or water dripping outside your unit (i.e., outside the house) is reasonable. However, for the most part, your air conditioning unit should stay dry whether or not it’s in use. If you notice moisture inside the house, a sudden increase in condensation, or a leak, it may be time to replace your air conditioner. First of all, ask a Brothers air conditioning technician to inspect it right away for safety reasons (electrical components and water are not a good combination). Some units may spring refrigerant leaks; refrigerant should only ever be handled by a professional due to the health risks it poses. Your air conditioning specialist will locate the source of the leak and let you know if a new unit is the most cost-effective course of action.

5. Your unit is short cycling

It’s entirely reasonable for your air conditioner to cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature throughout your home. However, has your unit developed a tendency to switch itself off randomly? Alternatively, does it sometimes have difficulty getting started? If you notice that it is turning on and off more frequently than usual, your unit may be malfunctioning. Short cycling puts extra stress on your air conditioner and will cause it to fail if not handled quickly. Call a Brothers, and with any luck, it may just be a blown a fuse. However, it may mean it’s time for a new unit.

6. Your energy bills have dramatically increased

Even if your unit appears to be functioning ‘normally,’ one of the most prominent telltale signs, there may be a significant problem that can be found on your energy bill. Has it spiked suddenly, and you aren’t sure why? Undertake an ‘energy audit’ and consider other factors that may have caused your energy bill to increase. This will help you work out whether your air conditioning is the culprit behind a surge in energy costs. If all roads lead to your unit being the source of the extra power, you need to determine why it has become significantly less efficient. Perhaps your air conditioning system is overworking? Diminished cooling capacity will raise energy costs as your unit struggles to maintain the desired temperature ineffectively. Try cleaning the air vents, replacing the filters, and then check for any lumps or knots in the condensing coil. Finally, it may be an energy drain only because it has become sluggish and is reaching the end of its working life.

7. Your unit requires frequent repairs (and is out of warranty)

Has your trusty air conditioning unit become more trouble (and expense) than its worth? Your unit should be serviced every year to keep it well maintained, clean, and in tip-top shape in an ideal world. Occasionally, you may need an extra service or repair. However, if your air conditioning system is always in need of mending and repairing multiple times per year, then you may have to Kick it to the curb. In those situations, replacing your air conditioner may be the more economical and efficient option. Usually, you can factor in one major repair or part replacement. However, if dangerous repairs occur later in the unit’s life, they warn of future issues. If your unit needs a complicated repair after the warranty expires, that’s a sure sign to start shopping around for a new unit instead of pouring money into an old one with a limited shelf life.

So, do you recognize any of these signs? Don’t wait.

If you detect any of these seven signs that your air conditioning is malfunctioning, it’s time to call Brothers. To stay comfortable during the summer months, it’s vital to carry out any necessary repairs. If it proves to be more cost-effective, it may be time to part ways with your unit and invest in a brand spanking new one with a warranty. Acting now will let you get back to enjoying a trouble-free, noise-free, leak-free, energy-efficient Colorado summer.

Call 303.451.5057 or visit www.BrothersPlumbing.com to schedule today!

4th of July Plumbing Hints and Tips

The 4th of July (Independence Day for the United States) is right around the corner! Now is the time for barbecues, family gatherings, fireworks, and other holiday festivities! However, just because you’re ready to celebrate our freedom, that doesn’t mean that your home plumbing system is up for the task. That’s why the expert plumbers here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric have put together the following 4th of July plumbing hints and tips for a successful, safe, and fun holiday!

Get Your Drains Cleaned

One of the most overlooked aspects of home plumbing systems is the drains. So many people go their entire lives without ever hiring a professional plumbing company to come out and clean out their drains professionally, opting, instead, to use over-the-counter chemical drain cleaners. Don’t be “that person.”

Before you have any guests over this 4th of July, contact us here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric. Have us come out and perform a thorough drain cleaning for you. Remember, no one wants to deal with a clogged drain or backed-up toilet during their 4th of July festivities! Having us out to clean your drains beforehand can go a long way towards preventing any plumbing emergencies during your celebrations.

Have Your Bathroom Plumbing Inspected and Repaired

Before you have guests over this 4th of July, the expert plumbers here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric recommend that you have your bathroom plumbing fixtures inspected. You’d be surprised just how often we get called out on July 5th to help unclog someone’s toilet after they had a big party! To help prevent any issues, have your bathroom plumbing system inspected (and repaired, if necessary) before the big day arrives. So contact us today to schedule a bathroom plumbing inspection.

Check All Your Home Plumbing Appliances for Issues

Another wise thing to do before having a party for the 4th of July is to have your entire home plumbing system inspected. An inspection can let you know of any existing problems before you exacerbate them during your festivities. It also provides you with the information needed to make any necessary repairs before your guests arrive.

Contact Us and Let Us Prepare Your Plumbing for the 4th of July Instead!

Instead of worrying about your plumbing system for the 4th of July, why not just contact the expert plumbers here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric? We’d be more than happy to do your pre-party plumbing preparation for you. So, don’t hesitate! Contact us and schedule a plumbing inspection and/or drain cleaning today! Remember, the 4th of July is right around the corner, so act now!