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Tips on Water Heater Maintenance

By Drain Cleaners, Gas Water Heaters, Plumbing, Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX, Water Heaters

Maintaining your water heater is crucial for ensuring it operates efficiently, lasts as long as possible, and provides your home with consistent, hot water. Neglecting your water heater can lead to inefficiencies, higher energy bills, and premature failure. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you maintain your water heater and keep it in top condition.

Understand Your Water Heater

Firstly, identify the type of water heater you have. The most common types are tankless (on-demand) and storage tank water heaters, powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, or solar energy. Understanding your type will dictate specific maintenance requirements.

Regular Inspections

Visual Inspection: Regularly inspect your water heater for any signs of leaks or corrosion on the tank and in the surrounding area. Check for water pooling, which can indicate a leak.

Pressure Relief Valve Check: The pressure relief valve is a safety feature that prevents your water heater from becoming too pressurized. Test it annually by lifting the valve’s lever and letting it snap back. You should hear a gurgling sound as water is released into the drain tube. If it doesn’t, the valve may need to be replaced.

Flush the Tank

Sediment build-up can reduce your water heater’s efficiency and damage the tank. Annually flushing the tank can help:
– Turn off the power (for electric heaters) or the gas supply (for gas heaters).
– Connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve and run it outside or into a bucket.
– Open the drain valve, allowing the water to flow until it’s clear. If the water remains cloudy, briefly turn on the cold water supply to stir up remaining sediment, and drain again.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod protects your tank from corrosion. It should be checked every three years, or more frequently if you have hard water:
– Shut off the power or gas and water supply.
– Unscrew the anode rod from the top of the tank.
– If it’s less than ½ inch thick or coated with calcium, replace it.

Adjust the Temperature

Setting the temperature to 120°F can reduce energy consumption and prevent scalding. This setting is adequate for most needs and helps to slow sediment buildup and corrosion.

Insulate the Water Heater

Insulating older tanks can improve efficiency. You can insulate the tank with special blankets made for water heaters. Also, insulating the hot water pipes reduces heat loss as water travels through your home.

Annual Professional Inspection

Even with diligent maintenance, having a professional inspect your water heater annually is wise. They can check for issues you might miss, including checking the burner (for gas heaters), inspecting the heating elements (for electric heaters), and ensuring the system is operating safely and efficiently.

Be Proactive with Replacements

Water heaters typically last between 8 to 12 years. If yours is approaching this age range and experiencing frequent issues, consider replacing it before it fails. Newer models are more energy-efficient and can save you money in the long run.

Regular maintenance of your water heater can significantly extend its lifespan, improve its efficiency, and save you money. By following these steps, you can ensure that your water heater remains in good working condition for years to come. Remember, while many of these tasks are DIY-friendly, don’t hesitate to call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning if you’re uncomfortable performing any maintenance or if your water heater shows signs of serious problems.

Drain Cleaning Services

By Drain Cleaners, Drain Cleaning, Drain Clog, Plumbing, Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX

Discovering a blocked drain can swiftly turn an ordinary day into a frustrating one, whether it’s a kitchen sink or a bathroom issue. For residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning offers expert drain cleaning services to tackle any blockage, ensuring your plumbing remains intact.

Curious about the origins of clogs, their signs, and the benefits of professional drain cleaning? Let’s delve into these aspects.

Root Causes of Drain Blockages

Often, drains are mistakenly treated as all-consuming disposals, leading to the need for professional cleaning. The substance of the clog varies by location:

– Toilet drains may suffer from non-flushable items like wipes or feminine products. Remember, if it’s not labeled flushable, it shouldn’t be flushed.
– Kitchen drains can become clogged with excessive grease or fibrous materials, whereas bathtub drains might accumulate hair or soap residue.

Identifying a Clogged Drain

Watch for these warning signs in your home:

– Bubbling toilets
– Slow drainage
– Water backing up into other fixtures
– Leaks at the toilet’s base
– Unpleasant odors from sinks, toilets, or tubs
– Puddles around plumbing fixtures

Commercial drain cleaners may offer a temporary fix but can damage your plumbing over time, often leading to recurring clogs. Opting for a professional drain cleaning service, like Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, is a safer and more effective solution.

Our Professional Drain Cleaning Process

Our team comprises highly skilled and certified technicians familiar with the plumbing systems in your area. We avoid harsh chemicals, instead employing advanced tools like motorized drain augers and hydro-jetters to precisely target and eliminate clogs.

The motorized drain snake efficiently breaks down stubborn blockages without harming your pipes, while hydro-jetting cleans the interior of your plumbing, preventing future clogs.

Advantages of Professional Drain Cleaning

Attempting to clear a clog on your own may seem tempting, but professional cleaning offers numerous benefits:

– Provides a long-term solution, eliminating the need for frequent fixes
– Removes unpleasant odors and slow drainage
– Prevents water damage, which can cause allergies or respiratory issues
– Saves money by avoiding ineffective DIY methods

Choose Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning

While searching for “drain cleaning near me” might yield many options, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning stands out in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We treat your home as our own, offering the level of service we’d provide to our friends or family. Don’t let a clogged drain stress you—contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a swift and thorough cleaning.

5 Things to Prepare for Freezing Weather

By Plumbing, Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX, Slab Leak

Preventing your pipes from freezing is important to avoid the potential damage and inconvenience associated with frozen or burst pipes during cold weather. Here are some steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing in your home:

Insulate your pipes:

    • Add insulation sleeves or foam pipe insulation to exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, basements, attics, and exterior walls.
    • Pay extra attention to pipes located in areas prone to colder temperatures.

Seal gaps and cracks:

    • Seal any gaps or cracks in the walls, floors, and foundation of your home to prevent cold air from entering and affecting the pipes.
    • Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal windows and doors to reduce drafts.

Keep the heat on:

    • Maintain a consistent and reasonable indoor temperature, even when you’re not at home. A minimum temperature of 55°F (13°C) is generally recommended.
    • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

Allow faucets to drip:

    • During extremely cold weather, let faucets (both hot and cold) drip slightly to keep water flowing through the pipes, which can help prevent freezing.
    • This especially applies to faucets on exterior walls or in unheated areas.

Use heat tape or cables:

    • Install heat tape or electric heating cables on vulnerable pipes, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • These can be especially useful for preventing pipe freezing in areas that are difficult to insulate or heat.

Add extra insulation:

    • Insulate attics, basements, and crawl spaces to help maintain warmer temperatures around your pipes.
    • Make sure your home is properly insulated to reduce heat loss.

Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses:

    • Before the cold weather hits, disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and close the inside valves supplying outdoor faucets.

Keep the garage door closed:

    • If you have water supply lines running through your garage, make sure to keep the garage door closed during cold spells to retain heat.

Monitor weather forecasts:

    • Stay informed about upcoming cold weather conditions and take extra precautions when temperatures are expected to drop significantly.

Install a temperature alarm:

    • Consider installing a temperature alarm system that can alert you if the temperature in your home drops below a certain threshold.

By taking these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your pipes freezing during cold weather. It’s important to be proactive, especially in regions with harsh winters, to protect your home’s plumbing system. If you’re unsure about any of these steps or need assistance, consider consulting a professional plumber or contractor for guidance and assistance in insulating and protecting your pipes.

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.

Protect Drains and Pipes from Damage

How to Protect Your Frisco Drains and Pipes from Damage

By Plumbing

There are many old homes in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and they come with all the plumbing problems familiar to homes built long ago: Bad repairs by previous owners, antiquated pipes, and shifting foundations and drains. All of these factors can lead to frequent drain clogging.

Drain clogs are one of those messy, unpleasant home problems that no one wants to handle. Most kitchen sink or dishwasher drain clogs result from foreign objects, grease, or food. For bathroom clogs, the culprit is usually dirt, skin flakes, or hair that binds to soap scum in your pipes. In either instance, clearing these clogs up is an urgent yet unwelcome task. 

Ways to Protect Your Pipes

One of the best ways to avoid clearing a clog is to prevent it in the first place. Consider some of these ways to keep your pipes clear.

Keep the Junk Out

One of the simplest ways to prevent a drain clog is to keep the garbage out of your pipes in the first place. 

Remove as much grease and oil as possible from your dishes before putting them in the sink or dishwasher. Make sure the barbecue plates have been scraped thoroughly of those beef drippings and sauce. Remember scrape grease and large chunks of food into the garbage can, not the sink! 

As for your bathroom drains, practice regular drain cleaning to remove hair and other debris from your drain. That way, the buildup won’t go down the pipe and affect your plumbing.

Hot Water Treatment

Pour boiling water down your pipes periodically to help loosen the buildup of any scum or debris. Then run hot tap water to rinse away whatever debris you loosened. Boiling water can also break up and clear away some minor clogs. 

Drain Covers

If you don’t have drain covers, think about getting them. They can prevent the need for drain cleaning when used properly. You can usually find different cover sizes and styles at any hardware store. Those little wire nets that fit most drains will keep a tremendous amount of hair and other junk out of your plumbing, preventing a severe clog for a minimal investment.

Keep Drain Covers Clean

Once you’ve invested in those drain protectors, make sure you keep them clean. Don’t let gunk build up in the drain covers! Occasionally, you may want to pull the drain covers off the drains and run them through a dishwasher cycle. Washing them will make sure they’re free of any slime, oil, or grease buildup.

Ways to Clear Your Drains

If you haven’t kept up with your drain cleaning or some other drain-related disaster has occurred, you may want to try some of these standard drain cleaning remedies before calling the professionals.

Remove a Visible Clog

If you can see the debris causing the clog, try to remove it by hand. Put on rubber gloves, then use tweezers or a wire coat hanger so that you’re not directly touching whatever gunky mess there is. Both of these utensils make excellent clog removal tools.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

One of the simplest methods of drain cleaning involves standard household supplies. Mix one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Pour that mixture down the drain and let it sit for at least three hours. Next, pour boiling water down the drain. You can repeat this several times if necessary. 

Some people pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of table salt and a cup of white vinegar. If you choose this technique, let the mixture sit for ten minutes, then flush the drain with boiling water.

Drain Snake

If you have a drain snake (also known as a plumber’s snake), you can run it down the drain to break up or displace the clog. Drain snakes are great for drain cleaning, and they come as reusable or disposable. If yours is reusable, make sure to wash it after the job is done.


Plungers work on any drain where you can create suction. They may be a challenge to use if your drain has an overflow valve (also known as a relief valve) because this device will prevent you from generating suction. Still, plungers are a valuable tool if you can cover the drain and get the power you need to pull out or push forward the clog.

Boiling Water

Sometimes, the most straightforward drain cleaning remedy is the best. Try pouring boiling water down your clogged drain. If the clog results from grease or soap scum, the water may well melt through it. You can repeat this strategy as many times as necessary.

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Chemical caustic or acidic drain cleaners may work well on your clog, but they have many downsides. These drain cleaning agents can damage your pipes, and if misused, can cause gusher-like backup and chemical burns or blisters on your bathroom fixtures. 

Drain cleaners also put poisonous chemicals into the water supply and can create toxic fumes in their efforts to de-clog your drain.

Enzymatic Drain Cleaners

Today, there are also enzymatic drain cleaners that consist of bacteria used to feed on your clogs. You can use these cleaners periodically as a preventative measure as well as a cleanser. Monthly treatment with this type of product can keep your drains running clean. 

Clean the Drain Trap

If you’re confident and somewhat skilled, you can remove the U-shaped portion of your pipe (also known as a P-trap) at the bottom of your drain and clean it out. Most plumbers recommend you leave this task to the professionals, as an error can cost you money in repairs. 

Bring in the Experts

Sometimes, no matter how hard you work to keep your drains clean or how hard you’ve tried to clear a problem on your own, you are still stuck with a stubbornly clogged drain. In that case, you’ll wonder, “how do I  find someone to do a plumbing repair near me?” That’s when you should call a skilled plumbing professional who can diagnose your clog and use the appropriate tools to fix it promptly, safely, and expertly.

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’re just those professionals! Give us a call if you need assistance with drain cleaning or de-clogging.

Myths About Plumbing

Common Myths About Plumbing in Plano

By Plumbing

Plumbing is one area of home maintenance where people are quick to try their solutions instead of calling in professionals. Some home remedies have merit to them, but many are based on myths and misconceptions.

Don’t throw sound judgment down the drain. Let Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning dispel the most common myths about plumbing for you so that you can make the right decision the first time.

“Flushable” Wipes

Some homeowners see their toilets as a handy way to dispose of just about anything. That is a big mistake, and we’re sure that many readers have already learned this the hard way. Many items have no business going down the toilet.

Baby wipes are one such item. These wipes do not break down like toilet paper, so they can cause major clogs and blockages if flushed. Anything vaguely similar to these products—such as make-up removal wipes and wet wipes—shouldn’t go down the pipes, either. Even wipes advertised as flushable can create disastrous clogs and other issues once they reach municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Faucet Drips Are Nothing to Worry About

Many people think it’s best to learn to live with leaky faucets. They don’t consider it a big deal and assume repairs are more trouble than they’re worth. In reality, leaky faucets are a primary source of wasted water across the entire country.

Not only do leaky faucets contribute to water shortages, but they’re also bad for your fixture. Leaving leaks unfixed can damage your equipment over time, and the constant dripping and depositing of minerals can leave unsightly marks in your sink bowl.

Tightening Faucets Can Fix Any Leaks

The average person’s response to a leaky faucet is to turn the tap as far as to the right as it can go. Some homeowners even take a wrench to it, almost always damaging the tap beyond repair. Leaky taps aren’t a major undertaking like slab leak repair, so bigger tools won’t help.

People do everything they can to avoid what they consider a drastic response—googling “plumbers near me” and calling in the professionals. However, tightening any plumbing fixture too much will strip threads and make leaks worse, possibly damaging more parts in the process. After that, you’ll definitely need to call for help.

Emergency Water Heater Repairs for Any Bump or Clank

Water heaters contain a lot of hot water, leading many homeowners to become overly fearful of explosions. They hear strange sounds and assume the worst-case scenario is about to happen. There’s no particular need to worry when you hear the following:

  • Popping
  • Rumbling
  • Clunking
  • Ticking
  • Knocking

These sounds are typically just air bubbles escaping from sediment on the bottom of the tank. Simple annual flushing of your unit will prevent these noises, which are a symptom of a relatively minor problem. You could also consider a tankless water heater installation, which can have numerous benefits. Still, concern over exploding tanks shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Boiling Water to Break Up Stubborn Clogs

Boiling water has been a drain cleaning method for centuries, but it doesn’t really have a solid basis. It works under the same principle as chemical drain cleaning agents—that they should soften and break up any clogs.

However, boiling water rarely does the trick. If a clog isn’t dissolvable in water, the temperature of the water won’t make a difference. And that’s essentially the end of this myth! Time to bring in a professional for drain snaking.

The Safety of Liquid Drain Cleaners

Drano and other liquid drain cleaners are often the go-to solutions for major clogs. However, homeowners are likely doing more harm than good since these chemicals can be just as harsh on your plumbing as they are on clogs.

That fact is especially true for toilets, where chemicals can eventually damage and crack the porcelain. As a result, you’re going to need a toilet replacement, not a toilet repair. The substances can eventually corrode both metal and PVC plumbing over time, as well.

Ice Cubes for Garbage Disposal Repair

This is one of the strangest plumbing myths because it doesn’t seem to have any grounds in logic or common sense. Most other myths at least seem plausible, but why would ice ever sharpen steel blades? There’s no question that ice cubes will dull your blades, not hone them.

Ice is harder than most things you put down your garbage disposal; therefore, it will damage your equipment more than regular food waste. Sharpening or replacing blades are simple garbage disposal repairs that any professional can handle. Using ice is just a waste of your time and may have you sinking more money into your disposal in the end.

Running Water Helps Maintain Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are versatile tools for disposing of food waste. People often think that they can get better performance out of their equipment by running water whenever they use it. However, doing this merely wastes water and for no noticeable benefit.

You might think that running water would help sweep food along or push big chunks through the drain. The truth is that the water running doesn’t provide much pressure or current to help food along. The water from your tap certainly doesn’t carry enough force to dislodge jammed chunks of food.

Lemon Peels for Managing Garbage Disposal Smells

One of the most common complaints about garbage disposals is foul odors. When chunks or juices from food waste are left behind, they can give off unpleasant smells. One of the traditional methods for handling these smells is sending lemon peels into the disposal.

Lemos may smell nice, but they’re not good for your garbage disposal blades. The rinds are highly acidic and will corrode both your disposal blades and your plumbing. The real solution to a stinky garbage disposal is using a mixture of white vinegar with baking soda.

Leaving Plumbing Work to Amateurs

Plenty of people try fixing their own plumbing issues, leading to disaster most of the time. Even those who know better often go with unlicensed tradespeople instead of tracking down an actually certified plumber for the job.

Plumbing is a trade that requires expertise and knowledge. When you go with an amateur, you’re risking significant damage not just to your equipment but to your entire home. These workers are often uninsured as well, meaning you’ll be in real trouble if something goes wrong.

Reliable Plumbers Near Me with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning provide the residents of Plano and the surrounding areas with reliable plumbing repairs and installations. From clogged drains to tankless water heater installations, we handle it all. Contact us today to choose professional and licensed plumbers you can trust.