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Archive for February, 2015

When Does Repiping Become Necessary?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

If the plumbing system in your home has been in place ever since you purchased the house, you may not be very familiar with the age of the pipes. In a newer home, the pipes were likely installed at the time of construction. But with an older home, while it’s possible that the pipes have been in place for several decades, they may have been replaced shortly before you moved in.

At some point, any pipes will need replacement, but how can you tell if your pipes are too outdated? Call the experts at Total Comfort Inc for repiping services in Corona and the surrounding area.

Replacing Galvanized Steel Pipes

Before the 1970s, galvanized steel pipes were the most common type used for plumbing installation. Steel is strong and durable, holding up well against most types of damage—except for rust. Rust results from the combination of iron (steel is an iron alloy), water, and oxygen. Rust results in corrosion, rendering the pipes unusable as leaks threaten to ruin parts of your property. Galvanizing the pipes—adding a protective layer of zinc—was meant to rectify the potential for rust, but this layer eventually wears away.

Many plumbers recommend that their customers replace galvanized steel pipes with copper piping no matter what the age of the pipes. The risk of corrosion is simply too high. Copper pipes and plastic pipes hold up better against corrosion, and should last for many decades.

Replacing Defective Pipes

You should also replace pipes that have begun to cause problems. Leaky connections or faulty pipe design sometimes leads to replacement. Repiping areas affected by root damage is also a good idea, especially for your sewer line. Allow a technician to inspect your pipes from time to time to make sure that there are no problems with your pipe that might need replacing. A plumber can help you to take preventive action or make sure that you take the proper steps toward piping repairs or replacement before a water or sewage leak leads to some major damage.

Call Total Comfort Inc today to discuss repiping with a plumbing expert in Corona.

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The Benefits of Installing a Heat Pump

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Though heat pump technology has been around for a long time, heat pump systems have traditionally been kind of a fringe home heating option. That’s begun to change in recent years, as homeowners have started searching for more and more ways to save money on their homes’ operating costs.

Heat pumps are unique among heating systems, both in their construction and operation. Let’s take a look at what a heat pump system actually does, and the benefits of using one to heat your home.

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a system that doesn’t burn fuel to create heat. Instead, it uses refrigerant to move heat from one space to another. It is actually constructed very much like an air conditioner, with two units connected by a conduit of power and refrigerant lines. One of these units is installed inside, and is responsible for heating and circulating the air throughout the house. The other unit is installed outside the house, and is responsible for collecting the heat the inside unit uses.

When the heat pump turns on, the outside unit begins evaporating refrigerant in a coil connected to the refrigerant line. This process draws thermal energy out of the surrounding air and into the refrigerant gas. The refrigerant gas then moves down the line and into the inside unit, where it is condensed back into a liquid. This releases the thermal energy from the refrigerant, so that it can warm the air being circulated.

Benefits of a Heat Pump

As it is not a combustion-based system, a heat pump is remarkably energy efficient. Most people get heat pumps because they want to save money on their heating bills. However, that’s far from the only benefit of a heat pump. Heat pumps are actually capable of both heating and cooling functions, saving you a ton of money on buying and installing a separate air conditioner. They accomplish this by simply reversing the flow of refrigerant through the system, turning the heat pump into an air conditioner instead of a heater.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of a heat pump, call Total Comfort Inc. We provide heating installation services throughout Anaheim.

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Does Rust on My Water Heater Mean It Must Be Replaced?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The water heater is one of the toughest installations in your home, built to withstand heat, external damage, and even corrosion.

Corrosion occurs when the electrons of a metal are exposed to water and oxygen. Iron is likely to corrode over time, and most water heater tanks—which are made of steel, an iron alloy—will suffer from rust and corrosion eventually, in which case, whole unit replacement is often necessary. However, due to measures in place to keep the tank itself from corroding, rust may not always be a sign that the tank is done for.

Most of the components of your water heater all work together to achieve a common goal: heating the water.

The unit contains a few key components that get this done, namely the dip tube, the burner or electric heating elements, and the hot water outlet. Cold water flows into the tank through the dip tube which leads all the way down to the bottom. This is where the burner or heating element is located. As water heats up, it rises naturally to the top of the tank. Here, it can flow into the faucet through the outlet pipe that goes off toward the various faucets in your home.

A few other components assist in this process.

Thermostats help to monitor the temperature while a pressure relief valve slowly drains water out of the tank in case pressure levels become dangerously high. But the temperature that does not help to heat or monitor the water heater temperature and pressure is the anode rob. The anode rod is a small magnesium or aluminum rod that screws into the top middle portion of the tank. The anodes are more reactive than steel, which means that they’ll corrode before the tank does. The sacrificial anode rod gives its anodes for the good of the water heater, delaying the time it takes for corrosion to begin.

Often, rust in the water heater or when you turn on a hot water tap in your home simply indicates that the anode rod has corroded through. However, sometimes it’s a sign that the tank has started rusting, and corrosion is inevitable.

Cal a Professional

The best way to be certain about the state of your water heater is by calling a professional for water heater maintenance from time to time. The anode rod is a simple part that can be replaced rather easily, and during maintenance a technician inspects the entire unit to decide whether replacement is necessary.

Call the experts at Total Comfort Inc for water heater replacement, repair or regular maintenance in Pasadena today.

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Ways to Avoid Garbage Disposal Repair in Riverside

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

The garbage disposal is a wonderful invention. It has made people’s lives easier for decades by aiding in getting rid of some of the more stubborn remnants of food preparation and consumption. Despite its reputation for being an unstoppable appliance, however, the garbage disposal is quite susceptible to breaking down under certain conditions. Let’s examine the things that can lead to garbage disposal repairs, so that you can avoid them.

Putting Oil or Grease in the Disposal

This one is really common. People do a lot of cooking with oil and grease. When doing the dishes, it can be very tempting to simply wash all that oil and grease down the drain with the rest of the food waste. The problem is that oil, grease, and fat congeal over time, forming a gelatinous layer that sticks to surfaces. When you wash any of those materials down the garbage disposal, they can gum up the blades or block up the drain when they solidify. Once that happens, it often takes a professional to clear out the garbage disposal. So, no putting oil, grease, or fat down the drain.

Fibrous Foods

Another kind of material that can break the garbage disposal is fibrous foods like celery and potato peels. When the garbage disposal starts to shred these materials, the fibers can actually twist around the blades and tangle them up. This can cause the garbage disposal to break very easily. Therefore, avoid putting any particularly tough or fibrous materials down the garbage disposal.

Ice or Hot Water

A lot of people put ice or hot water down the garbage disposal, in the belief that they will help clean out any garbage that might be clinging to the walls. This is incorrect. Ice will cause the blades of the disposal to chip and even break, while hot water will cause the disposal to overheat and burn out. When you run the garbage disposal, you should only use cold water and never put hard objects like ice in there.

If you’d like to know more, call Total Comfort Inc. We provide garbage disposal repair services throughout Riverside.

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