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Mark King

You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Sink Drain

You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Sink Drain, and Here’s Why

By Blog

You’ve just sauteed up a beautiful meal in Plano, TX, and all you can think about is sinking your teeth in. But there’s all this cooking oil left over, and you’re not sure what to do with it. Well, the sink is right there; it wouldn’t hurt to pour the leftover cooking oil down the drain, would it?

If you’re thinking about pouring oil down the drain: Stop right there! While it seems like the most convenient option at the time, it’s actually quite the opposite. Pouring cooking oil down your drain can cause a host of problems that will cost you time and money to fix.

In the end, you’ll wind up frantically searching for “plumbers near me” or “plumbing repair near me,” and you’ll have a big service bill to handle as well. Save yourself time, money, and hassle by disposing of your hot grease the right way the first time. 

What Happens When You Pour Hot Oil Down the Drain?

When you pour hot oil down your drain, it will flow out easily as a liquid. However, hot oil and grease don’t stay in liquid form. Instead, they solidify as they cool, and this is where the problem lies.

As the grease solidifies in your pipes, it will cause a blockage. If you only do it once, or if you only pour a small amount of oil down your drain, you may be blissfully unaware of how much damage it can cause.

However, if you pour enough oil or have older pipes, one time may be all it takes to wind up in an emergency plumbing situation that leaves you in desperate need of professional drain cleaning services.

You see, hot oil can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. As it makes its way through your pipes, this oil can solidify and cause a blockage. Even if you only pour down a little hot oil, it can still fuse with residue, hair, and food particles to create a massive blockage.

Eventually, this blockage will keep clean water from flowing, sending dirty water back up through your pipes. This could render your sink unusable until you call a professional for drain cleaning services.

Issues with one drain in your home can also cause other plumbing equipment to malfunction around your house. You may end up needing toilet repairs or garbage disposal repairs as well! 

Rather than wasting time searching for “plumbing repair near me” and shelling out money for repairs, it’s best to just avoid pouring any oil down your drain in the first place. 

Further Consequences of Pouring Hot Oil Down the Drain

Not only will hot oil cause damage to your home’s plumbing system, but it can have a detrimental effect on the community water supply as well. Sometimes hot oil doesn’t build up directly in your pipes, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause problems elsewhere. 

 

Improperly-disposed grease and oil can also flow into the sewers, and that’s where it becomes a problem for everyone in the area. Over time, all this unused grease and oil combine together in the water supply. The grease formations naturally break down into fatty acids and glycerol and then combine with calcium in the sewers.

As these materials combine, they become what’s known as “fatbergs,” or soap-like compounds. As the sewer levels rise, the existing fatbergs attach to sewer ceilings and grow in size.

As they get bigger and bigger, fatbergs will start to block the entire sewer pipe. This affects the entire community, and it’s a common problem all over the world. To help take care of your local water supply, it’s imperative to never pour hot oil or grease down your drain. 

How to Properly Dispose of Hot Oil

Luckily, it’s very easy to dispose of your hot oil the right way. It may take a little more time than pouring it directly down the drain, but you’ll be doing your part to keep your community clean, and you’ll also avoid a high plumbing bill in the process.

Here’s how to take care of leftover oil:

Reuse It

First, remember that you can reuse cooking oil if you’re so inclined. Used cooking oil can be ideal for fried foods or for adding flavor to other meals. To store your used cooking oil, wait until it’s cooled a bit but is still in liquid form.

Then, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any bits of food. Finally, place it in an airtight container and store it in a dark place until you’re ready to use it. You should only use it once or twice more before disposing of it completely. 

Throw It Away

If you want to get rid of your oil completely, just wait until it’s cooled but still in liquid form. Then, you can pour it into a non-recyclable container and throw it directly into the garbage. Old milk containers make the perfect container for your used oil.

You can also place your hot oil in the refrigerator and let it harden completely. Once it’s hard, it’s fine to just throw the whole lump of hardened oil into the garbage. A really easy way to do this is to place your pan or whatever you were using to cook directly in the refrigerator when you’re done until it’s cooled down enough.

Once the oil has hardened inside the pan, just scoop it out with a spoon into your garbage. Washing your pan afterward will be a little tricky, so wipe it with a paper towel first to remove all of the remaining grease before you wash it in the sink. 

Call Plumbers Near Me in Plano, Texas

If you’ve poured hot oil down your drain, call the trusted team of professionals at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

We offer expert drain cleaning services to remove your blockage and keep your water running smoothly. We also offer a full range of plumbing services, including toilet repair and garbage disposal repair, so if any of your appliances have been affected, we will get them back in working order. 

Rely on your experts in Plano, TX, and call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for all of your plumbing needs.

How Gas Furnaces Are Becoming More Efficient

How Gas Furnaces Are Becoming More Efficient

By Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces are the most popular type of heating system throughout America. They’re used in Plano, TX, homes, and houses all over the country. However, gas furnaces haven’t always been energy-efficient. 

Gas furnaces all have AFUE ratings or “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” ratings. These ratings showcase the energy efficiency of the unit. 

The average rating was between 56% and 70% in previous years. These numbers mean that the furnace would essentially waste the remainder of their fuel source, so about 30%-44%. Most of the fuel source is lost as exhaust out of the flue or from a heat bleed in the combustion chamber. 

However, nowadays, gas furnaces are more efficient than ever. Modern options can have an AFUE rating from 80% to a whopping 98.5%. 

This rating means modern furnaces may only end up wasting less than 2% of their fuel supply in some cases. These days, to earn an ENERGY STAR rating, natural gas furnaces must have an AFUE of at least 90%.

A failing furnace may have you searching the internet for things like “furnace repair near me.” However, if your furnace is over ten years old or if you’ve needed frequent repairs, it may be time to upgrade your heating system. 

A new energy-efficient furnace could be the perfect option, as it will not only heat your Plano, TX, home, but it could save you money on your monthly energy bills as well. 

Advancements in Gas Furnaces that Create High Efficiency

Gas furnaces are now not only a great way to heat your home quickly, but they can also be an incredibly energy-efficient heating option. If you’re considering a furnace replacement for your home, a new gas furnace should be one of your top contenders. 

There are many new technologies that have contributed to these highly-efficient gas furnaces, including:

Eclectic Ignitions

Many modern furnaces feature electronic ignitions instead of pilot lights, and this is one of the ways they preserve energy. Pilot lights need to stay constantly lit, which means they are always using gas throughout the heating season. Because the pilot light is always on, it is constantly draining fuel.

However, new furnaces use electronic ignitions, which only come on when needed. This approach eliminates a major power drain on your furnace, saving energy and money in the process. Additionally, electronic ignitions are more reliable, so you’ll gain more peace of mind with this new advancement as well.

Condensing Technology

The most energy-efficient furnaces score AFUE ratings of 98.5%, and they’re known as “condensing furnaces.” These furnaces feature a second heat exchanger that removes the exhaust vapor from the first one and condenses it. This condensed vapor can then be released as even more heat for your home. 

As you can see, a condensing furnace makes the most out of the available heating power. In fact, they squeeze the highest amount of heating power from the fuel supply compared with any other gas furnace on the market. 

Sealed Combustion Chambers

Many older furnaces have open combustion chambers. These chambers lay wide open to the rest of the house, so they naturally lose heat from the burners as it escapes. However, modern, energy-efficient furnaces often feature sealed combustion chambers that prevent this from happening. 

Air currents are still required for combustion in these sealed chamber furnaces, which is made possible through a PVC pipe that runs outdoors. Sealed combustion furnaces also offer other benefits. For example, they’ll help keep your home from becoming too dry while your furnace is in use. 

Replacing Your Old Furnace

If you have a failing furnace in your home, you’re probably looking for repair options, and you might even be conducting frantic internet searches like “furnace repair near me.” However, repairing your furnace may not be the right option. 

Furnace repairs are effective, but over time, they add up. Not only are repairs expensive, but older furnaces are simply not as efficient as new ones, so you’re probably wasting money each month on your energy bill as well. 

Upgrading to a new energy-efficient furnace could save you money each month, and you also won’t have to keep shelling out money for repairs. 

If you’re looking for a furnace replacement, newer gas furnaces should be at the top of the list. However, keep in mind that even though these new furnaces are very efficient, they will still need annual furnace tune-ups to keep working smoothly over the years. 

During your furnace tune-up appointment, a professional will clean the internal components and lubricate moving parts. They’ll also replace your air filters if necessary to keep your heating system running smoothly and to decrease the number of pollutants in your home. 

Annual furnace tune-ups are an essential part of supporting your furnace throughout its lifespan. Without tune-ups, small issues can become major problems, so you may need frequent and expensive repairs or a preemptive furnace replacement.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for Your Plano, TX, Furnace Needs

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we proudly offer expert furnace installation services, as well as furnace repairs and tune-ups. We also feature top-of-the-line energy-efficient furnaces at the best prices, and we even offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your new furnace. We’re happy to provide you with all of the necessary information you need to pick the perfect heating system for your home. When you’re ready, we’ll complete your new furnace installation quickly and efficiently, leaving you to enjoy your home in comfort.

You can also rely on our trusted furnace repair services if anything goes wrong, and you won’t need to waste time searching for “furnace repair near me.” Instead, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We offer quick scheduling, so even if you need emergency repairs, we can handle your job in the time needed to get you back on track.

Trust the experts when it comes to your furnace repair, and rely on your friends in the business. Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning is here for all of your Plano, TX, heating system needs, large or small.

Where Do Gas Leaks Come From

Where Do Gas Leaks Come From?

By Gas Leaks

Natural gas is one of the most common sources of energy in the country. It is used every day to heat homes and buildings, cook, and even fuel power plants. While it is a reliable source of energy, it can also be hazardous. Natural gas is flammable and can also displace oxygen, creating a risk of oxygen deprivation for those around it.

Gas is generally considered to be a safe energy source, but it can quickly become dangerous when there is a gas leak. Most leaks occur at utility pipelines, but leaks occasionally happen in residential areas, including in-home leaks.

The best thing you can do to keep your home safe from in-home leaks is to maintain your gas-powered appliances well and call for repairs right away. If you are near Frisco, TX, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning should be your go-to service provider. Whether you need maintenance, repairs, or furnace replacement, if you are searching “furnace repair near me,” look no further.

What Causes a Gas Leak

Gas leaks can happen any time, anywhere, any season. It is important to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings to take action in the event of a leak. The most common gas leak causes are corrosion, poor piping, and human error.

Corrosion

Gas is responsible for powering high-use appliances, like stoves and HVAC units. Over time, parts naturally wear out and corrode. Sometimes, appliance seals wear away and can allow gas to escape. This usually happens slowly over time but worsens, so a tiny leak can eventually become a big one.

The best way to avoid a gas leak due to corrosion is to inspect your appliances regularly. Scheduling a yearly furnace tune-up or air conditioning tune-up will ensure that any leaks or potential leaks are caught early on.

Faulty Piping

The piping in your home is a complicated maze of pipes that is responsible for carrying gas and liquids from one place to another. Even the best quality pipes can erode due to natural wear and tear. In some cases, the pipes can even become disconnected, allowing gas to escape into your home.

Unfortunately, not every home is built with quality piping work. Sometimes builders cut corners and install pipes incorrectly. Pipes installed improperly can experience premature wear and tear or just come apart over time.

If you notice your gas furnace or AC system isn’t working properly, it could be an issue with the piping. If you are in the Frisco, TX, area, call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning right away for furnace or AC repair. We can detect if there is a leak and fix it right away.

Human Error

Gas leaks are not always the results of wear and tear or appliance-related issues. Another common cause of gas leaks is human error. Humans cause gas leaks when they dig into the ground and accidentally hit a gas line. This is why you’ve probably seen the signs that say “call before you dig.”

Gas leaks can also be caused by work on appliances. When you schedule an air conditioning repair or furnace replacement, the technician will have to contact your gas lines. Accidents occasionally happen, and the line or pipe can become compromised, causing a leak.

Signs of a Gas Leak

Recognizing the signs of a gas leak can avoid damage to your home and get you and your family out of a potentially dangerous situation. 

Smell

The most common way that gas leaks are detected is the smell. If you smell gas in your home, call a professional immediately. 

Whistling Sound Coming from Gas Lines

You won’t always smell gas in the event of a leak. Another tell-tale sign is a whistling sound coming from a gas pipe or gas line. Whistling is almost always the sound of gas escaping the line, indicating a leak.

This is why you should always pay attention to the sounds that your appliances make. Furnaces and air conditioners are easy to check on, but one appliance that people often forget about is their gas-powered water heater. If you notice a whistling noise near your water heater, call for water heater repairs right away.

Elevated Gas Bill

If you don’t see or smell the sign of a gas leak, another indication is a higher-than-normal gas bill. Unless you are hosting guests, out of town, or breaking some other way from your normal routine, your gas bill should stay relatively consistent all season.

If you notice that suddenly there’s been a jump in your bill, you should first call your utility company. If the utility company indicates that everything is normal, you should consider calling a professional to check for a gas leak. 

How to Prevent a Gas Leak

While gas leaks are not 100% avoidable, you can lessen the chances of one occurring in your home. The best and most effective thing you can do is schedule regular maintenance for all of your gas-powered appliances. This includes furnaces, AC units, and water heaters.

Maintenance appointments are affordable and have other benefits aside from detecting gas leaks. Appliance tune-ups will detect other underlying issues and make your appliance run more efficiently, ultimately saving you money.

Don’t wait for a gas leak to happen that could put you or your family at risk. Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a tune-up today.

Choose Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning has over two decades of experience in the industry. We proudly serve the Frisco, TX, area, and we’ve prioritized customer satisfaction since day one. In addition to maintenance and repair services, we also provide installation services, including air conditioning installation, tankless water heater installation, and more.

Don’t just search “furnace repair near me” when you need plumbing and HVAC services. Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today!

Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad

Why Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad (and What’s Better)

By Drain Cleaners

If you’re a homeowner in Frisco, TX, or if you’re living anywhere with toilets and drains, you’re likely going to encounter a clog at some point. Over time, hair, food particles, and other debris can build up in your plumbing system, leading to a clogged drain.

When you notice a clogged drain or a backed-up toilet, your first instinct probably isn’t to call for professional drain cleaning services or toilet repair. Most homeowners decide to go with a quick chemical solution to handle the issue, you can find these products in almost every supermarket around the country.

However, while harsh chemical drain cleaners are a popular option, it’s actually horrible for your plumbing system. In fact, professional plumbers hate these products, and for good reason. They can cause serious damage to your pipes over time, which can leave you searching for “plumbing repair near me.”

You’ll likely end up with costly repairs if you use chemical drain cleaners repeatedly, including toilet repairs or even garbage disposal repairs, depending on where you’ve used them. 

How Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work?

You’re probably feeling a bit confused. After all, how could a product be so popular and yet so harmful? The quick answer is that chemical cleaners can be effective at removing blockages, but the way it does so can also be damaging to your pipes, as well.

You see, most chemical drain cleaners are made up of aluminum, salt, sodium nitrate, bleach, and lye. You might be familiar with these chemicals, and when they’re joined together, several chemical reactions will happen simultaneously.

First, the lye will decompose any physical matter in your pipes. Next, the aluminum comes in to react with the lye. This reaction creates a near-boiling temperature, which helps to speed up the decomposition process.

The lye will then react with the grease in your drain to form a soapy substance that serves to dissolve your clog. This creates enough room for hot water to wash away the rest of the clog, which is why you always follow a chemical drain cleaner with a flush of hot water.

These chemical reactions effectively remove blockages, but they’re also way more than most residential drains can handle. Prolonged use of chemical cleaners can cause damage to your pipes, and you will probably end up searching for “plumbers near me” before too long. 

Why You Should Not Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

There are many reasons to avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners. Here are some of the top problems you may encounter after using this product or anything with a similar chemical makeup:

Damage to Your Plumbing

One of the biggest problems with chemical cleaners is that they are corrosive to your household pipes. The same chemical reactions that remove your blockage can also eat away at your pipes, causing cracks, leaks, and other issues.

These products can also melt the glue that holds your pipes together, causing a host of issues. In the end, you may need to replace your pipes, or at best, you could end up needing repairs. 

Potential Health Risks

As we explained, these cleaners are made up of dangerous chemicals. As you use it in your drain, you will undoubtedly inhale some of the fumes, which can be very bad for your health.

Fumes from these products can also cause your eyes to burn, and it may be difficult to take a breath unless the area is well-ventilated. If you use enough chemical drain cleaners, over time, you could experience health complications, and even one exposure isn’t good for your body. 

Unpredictable Results

These products are also unpredictable, and it may not even clear your clog in the first place. Even if your water starts running smoothly again for a short while, that doesn’t mean it will continue doing so. In fact, this is only considered to be a temporary fix, which is another reason why professional plumbers never use it.

Though a chemical cleaner may temporarily restore water flow, part of the blockage likely remains. This serves as an easy target for more buildup, so over time, your blockage will probably return, leaving you in the same situation as before.

Not only that, but products like these can react in unpredictable ways depending on how you use it. There may be other chemicals in your drains you’re unaware of that could react poorly with the ones in the drain cleaning product. The result can be disastrous, so it’s best to avoid using it in the first place. 

Environmental Damage

Even if your cleaning experience goes smoothly, that doesn’t mean it can’t have negative consequences elsewhere. These products are full of chemicals that are terrible for the environment, and when you pour it down your household drain, those chemicals are eventually released into the community water supply.

While wastewater treatment facilities can remove these chemicals, they still need to travel all of the way there. Along the way, the chemicals can seep into the ground, harming all plants and wildlife in the area. 

Call Professionals Instead of Using Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you have a blockage in your plumbing system, hold off on using a chemical product. Chemical drain cleaners can be detrimental to your pipes, health, and the environment. Instead, you’re better off searching for “plumbing repair near me” because professional plumbers can remove your blockage without using harsh chemicals.

Professionals will use specialized equipment that’s designed not to cause damage to your drain. While it will cost slightly more than a bottle of drain cleaner, these professional services will be more effective, so you won’t need to keep clearing the same blockage over and over. 

Additionally, since these products can actually cause significant damage to your pipes, you’ll avoid the need for more expensive plumbing repair by going with a professional the first time around. 

The Experts: Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning 

The next time you need expert plumbing services due to a blockage, don’t waste your time searching for “plumbers near me.” Instead, call the team of experts at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Frisco, TX. We offer trusted and timely drain cleaning services to clear your blockage and get your water flowing smoothly again.

Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions

Which Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions?

By Heaters

While Frisco certainly has less demand for home heating than many other areas in the USA, houses here still need a reliable heat source during the winter months. In general, heating costs can account for around 30% of utility bills on average. That means a lot of energy is used to heat your home, and that energy has to come from somewhere.

While there are many different types of heaters today, chances are your Frisco home uses either a gas furnace or electric heat. Both have their upsides and downsides, and it isn’t always obvious which is best for your home. There’s more to consider than one might think when it comes to emissions.

How Your Home’s Heating System Works

While heating systems all work towards a common goal, they accomplish it differently. If you have gas heating in your home, you’ll have either a furnace or a boiler. These two appliances serve the same purpose in different ways, with both making it possible to circulate heat throughout your home.

A furnace exchanges heat from burning gas to air that flows through heat exchangers in the furnace. This heated air is then directed through the ductwork in your home, providing warmth throughout.

A boiler, on the other hand, heats the water. This heated water then circulates through pipes running through your walls. While the distribution method is different, both solutions rely on burning natural gas to heat your home.

Electric heating is different, relying on electricity to heat your home. In some cases, an electric boiler can distribute heat as a gas boiler does. In other cases, a home might rely on electric baseboard heaters. These contain thin wires that heat up and directly heat the air in the room, working on the same principle that lets a toaster generate heat.

Emissions from Your Home’s Furnace

The fuel burned in your furnace is natural gas, also known as methane. This abundant resource is relatively easy to handle, being distributed through pipelines. Of course, this means it’s only an option in regions that have natural gas pipeline networks. However, its low cost has led to gas networks being everywhere.

Natural gas does create emissions. It doesn’t simply disappear when burned. It makes combustion products that must be released into the atmosphere. Like any other fuel source, the carbon in natural gas is turned into carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when burned.

While carbon dioxide emissions are a primary concern for being environmentally unfriendly, natural gas doesn’t cause many other emissions. 

Fuels like oil, diesel, gasoline, and even wood have chemicals that lead to sulfur and nitrogen compound emissions. Natural gas, on the other hand, produces essentially just carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

While natural gas is in many ways a better option when it comes to the environment, it is still consuming resources and putting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air. In theory, a solution that provides heating without the need to extract natural gas or other fossil fuels would be much better, but can that theory be put into action today?

The Problem with Electric Heaters

You might think that an electric heater produces zero emissions at a casual glance. The baseboard heaters or electric boilers in your home aren’t giving off carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide or any other emissions, but there’s far more to consider than what’s going on in your home.

The electricity that you use to heat your home comes from somewhere. It has to be generated at some kind of power plant. To accurately measure the emissions from electrical heaters, we need to look at the generating stations that produce the electricity.

While renewable energy production is on the rise, electricity in the USA is still derived mainly from fossil fuels. In fact, one-third of US electricity is generated from burning coal, producing carbon dioxide and a wide variety of other harmful emissions.

Over two-thirds of electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels in general, including natural gas, oil, and coal. What this means is that, despite not producing any emissions in your own home, your electric heaters are still contributing to overall emissions.

It’s also important to consider the waste generated by all of the extra steps required for electrical heating. While a gas furnace simply burns gas and transfers the heat to air inside your home, electrical heat relies on electrical transmission systems and the initial generation of electricity.

Essentially, the process turns fuel into heat into electricity and then back into heat, adding another potential step where energy loss can occur. While a move towards an electrical grid that relies less on fossil fuels and more on renewable resources could see the net emissions from electrical power improve, this simply hasn’t happened yet.

Other Methods that Really Can Reduce Your Heating Emissions

While switching from a gas furnace to an electric heater probably isn’t going to improve emissions, there are some innovative steps that you can take to reduce emissions. In fact, simply improving the efficiency of your furnace helps in the long run. If you have an older furnace, newer models work more efficiently and reduce your overall emissions.

People interested in truly optimizing their emissions can look into geothermal heating. This approach involves burying pipes underneath the ground to take advantage of the steady temperature there.

During the winter, it’s warmer underground than above ground, and it’s cooler underground in the summer. Geothermal heating lets you take advantage of that difference to pre-heat or pre-cool your HVAC intake air.

Active solar heating is another method to reduce heating emissions. Basically, a fluid runs through flat-plate collectors on your roof, absorbing heat from sunlight and transferring it inside, more efficiently gathering heat than electric solar panels.

Making Your Furnace or Heater as Efficient as Possible

Of course, you don’t need to undergo some significant installation to reduce your emissions right away. Instead, you can reach out to Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a heating system tune-up in Frisco.

No matter what type of heating system you use, the increased efficiency that a tune-up provides translates into less power used and fewer emissions generated, so give us a call today.

Hot Water Comes Out Cloudy

What Does It Mean When Hot Water Comes Out Cloudy?

By Water Heaters

There’s nothing like pouring a nice clear glass of water, but what if the water is not as clear as you’d hoped? Cloudy water is not an uncommon occurrence, especially if it’s hot water. 

Since it’s the hot water that’s mainly affected, you may blame the water heater first, and although the water heater may be to blame, there are also other possibilities. Read on to find out what causes cloudy water and some simple ways to fix it.

What Causes Cloudy Water?

Water molecules consist of hydrogen and oxygen. When heated, they expand. During expansion, other molecules and smaller particles are trapped, which causes the water to look cloudy. Essentially, bubbles created during the expansion are what cause the cloudy look. So why doesn’t the water always look cloudy? Pressure.

The buildup – and sudden release – of pressure is what causes the separation of molecules, which in turn creates bubbles. Note that air bubbles created this way are not the same thing as air in your hot water lines. Also, pressure isn’t the only culprit. 

Here are some common causes:

Dirty Aerator

The aerator is found at the tip of the faucet. You can usually twist it off easily. When sediment builds up and blocks the path of flowing water, it creates unwanted pressure. This pressure creates more bubbles and makes the cloudy look in the water.

Sediment Buildup in the Water Heater

Sediment will build up in your water heater, and the only way to limit this is by flushing the hot water heater or using a water filtration system. Sediment gathers on the anode – or element – and limits its potential. 

Eventually, the sediment flakes off and settles to the bottom of your water heater. It continues to accumulate over the years until it’s flushed or it eats through the bottom of your water heater.

Heating Up the Water

Heating the water will likely produce cloudiness. If you look into a pot of water on the stove, you’ll see it cloud over from the bubbles. Depending on how hot you have your hot water heater set, it could produce the same effect from your faucet.

The Rare Winter Effect

It’s not common, but water on the verge of freezing can cause cloudiness. There aren’t many freezing days in Plano, but it does happen. If you look at the cloudiness in a piece of ice, you can see the effect cold has on water. Cloudiness in cold water may be a sign of something serious or that you need to insulate your pipes better.

Outside Sources

You may not have cloudy water, but instead, it may look tinted or even muddy. If your municipality is doing work to the outside pipes, there is a chance you may get some ugly-looking water, but it shouldn’t last for more than a couple of hours. 

If you notice irregularities after heavy rain, then there may be something wrong with your pipes, and you should call a professional plumber immediately.

How to Determine if Your Cloudy Water Is a Concern

Cloudy water could be nothing, but it could also be serious. Luckily, there is a simple method to determine whether your cloudy water is a concern.

  1. Get a see-through container. This container can be a glass, bowl, or Mason jar.
  2. Turn on your water till it’s hot.
  3. Fill the container to at least three-quarters of the way full.
  4. Set the container on a flat surface and watch it.

Air is lighter than water and will rise to the top. If the cloudiness is primarily air, you will notice the bottom of the container clears, and the rest of the container will be void of cloudiness within a couple of minutes.

Sediment is heavier than water and will settle to the bottom of the container. With sediment, the top of the container will clear first. It will also take much longer for the container to clear since the hot water makes it difficult for the sediment to reach the bottom.

How You Can Fix Cloudy Water in Your Plano Home

Though it’s easy to blame the water heater, it’s actually the aerator that’s to blame in many cases. One of the simplest ways to find out and possibly even fix the problem is by removing and cleaning the aerator. To do this: 

Remove The Aerator From The Faucet

The aerator should unscrew from the faucet by turning clockwise. You may need to use a wrench if it won’t come off easily using your hands. If you can’t remove it by hand, it’s best to contact a professional plumber, as they can remove it without causing damage. 

Clean The Aerator

After you’ve removed the aerator, give it a thorough visual inspection for any dirt and debris that may be caked onto it. Use a washcloth to remove the loose gunk.

There are small mesh holes inside the aerator where sediment deposits can get lodged. Use a toothpick, paper clip, or small needle to dig them out. If they aren’t coming out easily, or you want to be thorough, soak the aerator in white vinegar overnight to loosen the debris. 

Rinse It Out

Once the aerator is cleaned out, give it a good rinsing before placing it back onto the faucet. Hold the aerator under running water to rinse away any lingering debris that became loosened and may be trapped within it. 

Replace The Aerator

When it’s clean and all ready to go, simply screw the aerator counterclockwise back onto the faucet using your hands to get it as tight as it will go. 

Test The Water

It’s time to see if your efforts paid off. Turn on the hot water and allow it to run for a minute to see if the water is still cloudy. If it is, it means there’s a bigger issue at hand, likely something to do with your hot water heater. A plumbing professional will need to come in and inspect the hot water heater to help diagnose the problem. 

Plano’s Plumbing Experts 

Tired of dealing with cloudy water in your Plano, TX, home? The plumbing specialists at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning are standing by, ready to take your call.

With a “Fixed Right and Left Better Than We Found it Guarantee” and a “100% money-back guarantee on all heating, plumbing, and air conditioning issues, you can trust that the job will be handled right the first time, every time. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!

Shop for Your Heater Online

Should You Shop for Your Heater Online?

By Heaters

If you live in the Carrollton area, you know how important it is to have a quality furnace in the wintertime. It is one of the essential appliances in your home, so if you are in the market for a new heater, then chances are you’ll probably at least look online. 

These days, you can do just about everything through your computer or smartphone. Yes, that includes making a big appliance purchase! Most major retailers allow you to schedule an installation and buy 100% online. It is a convenient option, no doubt. But remember, shopping online does also have downsides.

Pros

Online shopping for any item comes with its advantages, including convenience, price comparison, and selection. Here are some of the main reasons people like their shopping carts to be digital.

Online Convenience

There’s nothing more convenient than shopping online. Most of us make lots of online purchases every year. There is no need to go to the store, worry about inventory, and transport your heater. Most online marketplaces list all of the specifications you need to know, as well as manufacturing and warranty information.

You can compare models, see photos, and make the purchase all in one afternoon. Then the furnace just shows up at your door! When it comes to convenience, there’s no question online shopping is the best option.

Price Comparison

Online shopping for your heater makes it easier than ever to price shop. You can compare the cost of many different furnaces across different manufacturers and online marketplaces. You’d be surprised with the cost difference between manufacturers with similar furnace models.

You can also take advantage of online sales and even set up price alerts that notify you when the price drops on a device you like. There’s no doubt that price shopping online is easy, straightforward, and time-efficient.

Selection

Most major retailers will have a decent selection of furnaces available for purchase in person. However, it doesn’t compare to the number of choices you’ll find online. When you shop with your computer or smartphone, you can find nearly every manufacturer, every model, and every upgrade you could ever want.

If you are looking for a standard model, you’ll be able to find dozens of options. And if you are looking for something more specialized, you’ll be able to find a selection for that, as well. You can compare all of the devices in one place, making it easier to compare and settle on the model that’s right for you.

Cons

While shopping online for a heater is certainly convenient, it comes with drawbacks, including shipping costs and installation or warranty issues.

Shipping

There’s no way around it—shipping large objects is expensive. Companies charge based on size and weight. Unfortunately, furnaces are large and heavy. In addition, new heaters require accessories like electrical cords that also affect the shipping cost.

Some online vendors will cover the cost of shipping on occasion. Other times, you’ll be responsible for paying, and that can drive up the total cost significantly.

In addition, shipping large objects can take time. Oftentimes, online companies won’t pay to fly large appliances, so they transport them by ground, which can easily take a week or more. If you’ve had a breakdown and need a new furnace fast, online shopping may not be the best option.

Questionable Installation

The installation of your new heater is incredibly important. The quality of the install will directly affect your system’s performance, efficiency, and reliability. If the install is not completed correctly, you may end up dealing with repair bills sooner than you should. Incorrect installation can also significantly shorten the lifespan of your system.

Companies that sell units online sometimes don’t offer installation, meaning you’ll be left to find an installer yourself. On the other hand, some online companies that do offer installation services sell thousands of furnaces a year and focus on quantity, not quality. In other words, you never really know what you are getting with their installation services.

Warranty Issues

One of the best things you can do when you purchase a new heater is to make sure it comes with a solid warranty. If you purchase a new system through a local HVAC company, you can likely get a warranty through the manufacturer in addition to the local company, so you’ll be totally covered in the event that something happens.

Online retailers aren’t so straightforward. Many manufacturers don’t offer warranties on online HVAC purchases. When they do, it is usually limited, and it can be hard to get covered when it comes time for repairs or a breakdown. 

Misleading Advertisements

If you’ve ever shopped for anything online, you know that marketing companies are talented at selling products. They write perfect descriptions that make it seem like you are purchasing the best product on the market. But how do you know what you are really getting and if it is right for you?

If you aren’t familiar with furnaces, you are really just hoping for the best when you order online. There are dozens and dozens of options, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. 

On the other hand, if you purchase through a local Carrolton company, they’ll be able to share their expertise and help you make a selection.

Local companies have years of experience in the community, know all of the manufacturers, and can make honest recommendations that fit your needs.

Choose Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for Your Heating Needs

If you are ready to order a new heater, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning have you covered. With over two decades of industry experience in Carrollton, we always have one goal in mind: to treat customers like family.

We can help make honest recommendations so that you have peace of mind knowing you have a quality furnace that fits your needs. You can also rest easy knowing that our professionals installed it the right way. We’re standing by ready to help. Give us a call today!

Tankless Water Heaters

A Buyer’s Guide: Tankless Water Heaters

By Tankless Water Heaters

There’s no doubt about it; tankless water heaters are becoming more popular in homes every day. Running out of hot water will never be a problem with a compact, ultra-efficient tankless water heater that heats water as you need it.

With as many benefits as they come with, tankless water heaters can be a significant investment, so it’s important to be informed before you buy.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Tankless water heaters use an electric element or gas burner to warm the water as it travels through the unit. This design means that the heater is only heating the water that you are signaling you need through your faucets and showerheads.

Unlike traditional water heaters, the hot water is not stored in the tank, so there is far less waste and no risk of running out of hot water.

The Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters offer lots of benefits to homeowners in Carrollton, like energy efficiency and an unlimited hot water supply. However, they do come with some downsides, including upfront costs and sensitivity.

Pro: Space

Tankless water heaters are significantly smaller than traditional water heaters. They are compact and can fit in more spaces in your home, like in the attic. With conventional water heaters, the tank size can be a real problem and can leave you with only a couple of location options. This problem is solved with tankless water heaters.

Pro: Instant Hot Water

If you’ve used a traditional water heater, you know that it can take a while for the water to get warm. With a tankless water heater, once the cold water is flushed from the pipes, you’ll get hot water almost instantly. Not only does this save you time, but it saves a significant amount of water.

Pro: Lifespan

A major advantage of tankless units is their lifespan. The average tankless water heater will last 20 years. Compare this to a high-quality traditional water heater which only lasts about 10.

While it can be tempting to save costs upfront by installing a traditional heater, you should seriously consider the long-term savings that come with the long lifespan of a tankless heater.

Pro: Energy Efficiency

Old water heaters are not known for efficiency. In fact, they can be downright wasteful.

Traditional heaters fill up a large tank with water then use energy 24/7 to make sure you have hot water on demand. Because tankless water heaters heat on demand, they are as much as 25% more efficient than standard models. Not only is the energy efficiency more environmentally friendly, but it will result in savings in your monthly energy bill. 

Pro: Safety

If a traditional water heater leaks, it will spill gallons of water which can easily flood a basement. Tankless water heaters are less prone to leaks, and there is far less water when they do happen.

Additionally, tankless water heaters are installed with the air supply and exhaust vents sealed. This approach means that carbon monoxide can’t leak into your house, a safety feature that you won’t have with traditional water heaters.

Pro: Easy to Winterize

If you are the owner of a vacation home in the Carrollton area, a tankless water heater can offer significant convenience when it comes to winterizing your home. It takes a big-time investment to drain a traditional water heater before locking up for the winter. With a tankless water heater, you can drain it in just a few seconds, then unplug it. 

Con: Trouble Keeping Up

Tankless water heaters can supply an unlimited stream of hot water to a faucet, but they may have trouble keeping up with multiple hot water demands at once. For example, if someone in the home is running the dishwasher while another is taking a shower, a tankless water heater may have trouble keeping up.

Compare this with a traditional water heater that can store up to 80 gallons of hot water at once and easily provide hot water to multiple outlets.

Con: Ongoing Maintenance

While any water heating system will require maintenance, tankless water heaters often require slightly more maintenance than a traditional hot water system. To keep the manufacturer warranty valid, homeowners should perform annual maintenance and, in some cases, may be required to install a water softener.

It is also a good idea for owners to flush out their systems every year. Flushing the system prevents mineral build-up in the water line or the heater itself. There are costs associated with this maintenance, so it is something to factor into your overall budget. 

Con: Higher Upfront Cost

No matter what water heating system you choose, the installation process can be a significant investment in your home. Tankless water heaters are almost always more expensive than traditional systems.

Additionally, the labor required to install tankless water heaters is also higher than for traditional systems. While the energy savings and longer lifespan usually offset these costs, the upfront expense is certainly something to consider. 

Con: Inconsistent Temperatures

Even though traditional water heaters are inefficient, they are consistent. You can expect the same temperature every time you adjust your faucet to the same setting. Tankless water heaters have historically not had the same performance when it comes to consistency.

Consumers have complained about inconsistent water temperatures, which is likely the result of the limitations of sending hot water to multiple locations.

Another thing to be aware of is the tankless water heater may not always come on if enough water isn’t flowing. For example, if the faucet is only slightly open, the tankless water heater may not start heating the water, so the water will never warm up.

Conclusion

Each homeowner’s situation is different, and a tankless water heater may make more sense for some families than others. Before making this investment, make sure you consider all of the factors to make the right decision for you.

If you are ready to move forward with your tankless water heater installation in Carrollton, trust Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We have over two decades of experience in the industry, and we treat our customers like family. Contact us today.

How to Prevent Rust on Your Water Heater

How to Prevent Rust on Your Water Heater

By Water Heaters

A rusty water heater can equal major problems for your home. Rusty heaters are more prone to leaks, and no one wants to take a shower with rusty water coming from the showerhead. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent rust on your water heater.

For ideas on better maintaining your water heater, this article will look at five tips to help you keep rust at bay.

Inspect the Anode Rod

One of the most important water heater services that a professional can provide for you is an annual inspection of your anode rod. This rod is located inside the water tank, away from view for the average homeowner. This important component is responsible for drawing out all of the sediment and minerals in the water.

Of course, these particles still affect your water heater. They will eventually erode the anode rod instead of your tank. As the anode rod begins to deteriorate, these other particles are more likely to cause corrosion to the inside lining of your water heater.

Annually inspecting this piece ensures that it is in proper working order. It may even need to be replaced yearly, depending on the water quality in your home.

Flushing the Tank

No matter what type of water you have, chances are that some of it will be filled with sediment. As these particles enter the water heater, they will eventually settle on the bottom of the tank. Sediment combined with water is likely to lead to rust on the inside of your heater.

Wellwater or other sources of hard water can cause this issue to occur much faster. This type of water often contains iron, leading to rusty standing water at the bottom of the tank. If left untreated for too long, it will compromise the entire water heater.

 You will need to flush this sediment out regularly. It is recommended to call professionals at least once a year for this water heater service in Frisco. If you have many people in the home, you may even want to do this twice a year or quarterly.

Eliminate Standing Water

Most homeowners already know that standing water is a major issue for almost any appliance. Even though your water heater handles hundreds of gallons daily, standing water can still spell trouble. A unit that has been exposed to any type of standing water must be inspected regularly for corrosion.

While many of the top tips for maintenance and water heater repair relate to the inside of the unit, standing water spells problems for the unit’s exterior. Rust on the outside of the heater is a sure sign that it may be time to look into a newer model.

Be Mindful of Location for Water Heater Service

Where is your water heater located? You should always be mindful of the location of your unit and the role that it can play in developing rust. Some areas of the home, including the basement, will be more prone to moisture than others. In turn, this can lead to premature rusting all around the unit.

If your unit is located in an area with high moisture levels, you should always opt for regular professional water heater maintenance. You should have someone come out and inspect it for potential damages at least once a year.

New Water Heater Installation

A rusty water heater is a potential hazard for your home. As the metal begins to rust and break down, all parts of the heater get significantly weaker. They are more prone to develop leaks and cracks that can cause serious damage to your home.

When you notice rust or rusty water starts coming from your faucets, it may be time to consider replacing your unit. Most water heaters will last anywhere from 6 to 13 years. If your heater is older than this, it may be time to talk to the professionals about a new water heater installation instead of a major repair.

Here are a few signs that it may be time to replace your water heater:

  • Old age (typically above the ten-year mark)
  • Strange noises like banging or rumbling
  • Rusty water
  • Insufficient hot water
  • Standing water around the water heater

If you are paying careful attention, you should quickly spot the signs of something wrong with your water heater.

A new water heater installation can be a great way to lower your monthly bills, as modern units can be far more energy-efficient.

Rusty Water Heaters and Professional Help

Make sure to give the professionals a call to see what they recommend for your specific unit. They might repair it with an anode rod replacement, or you may need a whole new heater. If you need water heater maintenance or repair, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Frisco can help. Contact us today to schedule your service!

Replacing Old Furnace

Should I Replace My 20-Year-Old Furnace?

By Plumbing

The typical furnace can last decades before needing replacement, and the better condition it’s in, the longer you can safely use it. However, once it reaches the 20-year mark, you may start to be concerned about whether it will last another winter. 

Furnaces 20 years old or older become increasingly inefficient over time and can crack and leak, putting you and your family in danger. If your furnace is between 16 and 20 years old and constantly breaking down, then you should strongly consider having it replaced. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through why you should consider replacing your 20-year-old furnace and how to do so. Read on to learn more.

Why Consider Replacing Your 20-Year-Old Furnace?

A furnace is a heating appliance that uses hot air rather than heated water to warm your home. The most common types are electric, propane, oil, and natural gas. Like any appliance, when a furnace ages, it will sustain more wear and tear and require repair more often. 

The general life expectancy for a furnace is between 16 and 20 years. When it reaches this age, there’s a high chance that it will become less and less efficient and eventually stop working altogether. 

Before this happens, we recommend having it replaced by a reputable HVAC company. A few reasons why you should replace your 20-year-old furnace include: 

Avoiding Unexpected Costs

The older your furnace is, the higher the likelihood of it breaking down. To avoid the cost of repairs or furnace replacement when you least expect it, you should be proactive and consider replacing it as soon as possible. 

While dealing with a broken furnace in the middle of a cold winter night in Frisco is not the best time to make sound decisions about your heating needs. By being proactive, you can take your time to make the best choices for your home, saving you time and money in the long run.

Increasing Indoor Air Quality 

Old furnaces have a much harder time filtering the air in your home. This difficulty can cause them to collect and circulate contaminants throughout the house, polluting the air in the process. 

Malfunctioning furnaces can also increase the moisture content in the air and provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow. These air pollutants drastically reduce your home’s air quality, aggravating existing medical issues and reducing your quality of life.

When you switch out your old furnace for a new one, you’ll immediately feel the effects of the cleaner air. 

Saving on Monthly Energy Bills

The fact is older furnaces do not perform nearly as well as newer ones. When your furnace has reached the 20-year mark, it will begin to use much more energy to deliver the same amount of heat in your home. 

As a result, your energy bills will skyrocket, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat setting. Investing in a new furnace will decrease your energy bills by increasing your home’s energy efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint.

Keeping Your Family Safe

Older furnaces can develop cracks in the heat exchanger. When this happens, you run the risk of having a carbon monoxide leak into your home. Since carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, it can go undetected, posing potentially fatal hazards to your family. 

Keeping an old furnace around is never worth risking your or your family’s health. A Frisco HVAC company can help you safely replace your old furnace.

How to Replace Your Old Furnace

When you’re ready to trade in your old furnace for a new, more improved model, you should partner with an experienced HVAC company. Not only is installing a new furnace a complicated task, but it can also be incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

An experienced HVAC company can offer you comprehensive furnace repair and replacement services. Furnace replacement involves:

  • Carefully removing the old appliance 
  • Discarding the old parts
  • Installing a new furnace  

When you hire an HVAC company for your replacement, you can get much-needed help locating the best options for your home. You’ll get access to individuals who are experienced in heating and cooling to help you make informed decisions about your heating needs. 

Furnace Services in Frisco, Texas

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we have decades of experience offering unbeatable HVAC services to communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. 

Our Frisco clients trust us because we don’t compromise on the quality of our work. You can expect high-quality gas furnace replacement and oil furnace replacement services, on-time work, and friendly staff when you hire us. 

We’ll make your furnace installation a breeze by talking over the process and ensuring that you’re in the know every step of the way. Kick your old furnace to the curb and schedule a new installation today.