Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog

The Dangers of Store-Bought Drain Cleaners

February 12th, 2018

water-down-drainIt’s easy to find liquid drain cleaners: you can purchase bottled of them in any grocery store in the same aisle with mops and other cleaning solutions. The big companies who produce these chemical cleaners sink millions of dollars into advertising so customers believe they are the standard for approaching clogged and slow drains.

They are anything but that, and you only have to ask any plumber to find it out. No experienced and trained plumber uses these cleaners and they actively discourage customers from using them. The plumbers aren’t trying to drum up more work for themselves: store-bought drain cleaners are not effective, harmful to plumbing, highly toxic, and terrible for the environment. There’s pretty much no upside to them.

We’ll break down the reasons store-bought drain cleaners can be a real danger for your plumbing and you.

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Hard Water vs. Your Water Heater: Why It’s a Problem

January 29th, 2018

water-heater-tankYou may have heard alarming news reports about water contamination issues in cities and the health concerns they cause. But the most common issue with the fresh water entering homes doesn’t pose any health worries—but it can cause plenty of other troubles. It’s hard water, and it may be affecting your home right now.

Hard water is water with high levels of different minerals suspended it, mostly calcium and magnesium. These minerals aren’t dangerous to drink. You consume plenty of both in most of the food you eat. (Remember those commercials advertising “essential vitamins and minerals” in children’s cereals? Those minerals include the ones found in hard water.) But too high a concentration of these minerals creates limescale within a house’s plumbing. Limescale builds up along pipe walls and starts to increase water pressure in the piping, leading to leaks. If the buildup gets large enough, it will cause clogging. Hard water has other negative effects, such as making it hard to work up soap lather, bleaching colors from clothing, and creating an unpleasant residue on fixtures and surfaces.

The most expensive trouble hard water can cause, however, is to a vital piece of home equipment: the water heater!

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Why Water Heater Repairs Are More Common in Winter

January 15th, 2018

water-heater-tankYou expect the heating system in your house to work hard during the winter, but then take a long break through the middle of the year. But there’s another heating system in your household that doesn’t go on vacation when the weather warms up, and that’s the water heater. Your home depends on the water heater 365 days of the year for cooking, cleaning, bathing, and more.

Because a water heater is a constant, people often assume that it does the same amount of work for a house no matter the season. However, a water heater does more work over the winter, and this can pose some special problems for it, regardless of whether it’s a standard storage tank water heater or a high-efficiency tankless water heater. This additional stress can lead to the system needing professional repair work. Keep a close watch on your hot water supply this winter so you can quickly catch when the water heater starts losing power.

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Why Hydro-Jetting Works Great for Drain Cleaning

January 1st, 2018

hydro-jetting-cleaning-pipe-diagramWhy should you consider professional drain cleaning? The reason most people think of first is to clear out a clogged up drain in the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the shower, the tub, the toilet, etc. A simple plunger or hand-cranked drain snake can’t always do the job, and chemical “drain cleaners” are often ineffective, only eating a small hole through the clog, and potentially harmful to the pipes themselves. Calling on a professional plumber to clean out the drain will fully get rid of the clog, no matter how tough that clog is.

Drain cleaning is also a preventive measure, like sending your drains to the dentist once a year for a cleaning to prevent further problems. We recommend scheduling drain cleaning once a year, and January is an excellent time to do it. Professional hydro-jetting is the best method.

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An Indirect Water Heater Is Great for Winter: Here’s Why

December 18th, 2017

showerhead-hot-waterWe work with many types of water heaters, and we’re glad to be able to offer our customers service for standard storage tank water heaters as well as tankless and heat pump models. One type of water heater that we install and service that you may be unaware of is the indirect water heater. This is a type of water heating system that works especially well for winter, as we’ll explain.

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Replacing the Air Filter for Your Heater

December 4th, 2017

air-fliter-cuWe’re getting into the winter, and that means it’s time to take a close look at your home’s heating system to make sure it is ready for the season. The most important step is to arrange for professional maintenance with our team. This helps a heater avoid 95% of breakdowns over the winter and helps keep it working at the highest possible efficiency. Maintenance is a job for HVAC professionals only. It requires training and special equipment.

However, there is one vital maintenance task that you’ll have to do on your own after the maintenance is over, and that’s regularly changing the HVAC system’s air filter.

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Thanksgiving Tips to Protect Kitchen Plumbing

November 20th, 2017

thanksgiving-cornucopiaIt’s almost Thanksgiving Day, and you’re probably busy with plans for a large feast for your family and friends. If you are doing the hosting job at your house, this means a busy kitchen. It can also mean a kitchen busy with repair work being done. The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest days of the year for emergency plumbing calls, usually because of clogged up sinks and broken garbage disposals. Service calls can almost double.

We are glad to come to your assistance during the holiday season when you need kitchen plumbing repair in Rocklin, CA. This is why we have 24/7 availability. However, we know that you’d much rather spend time with your guests and enjoy the holiday than deal with a plumbing issue, so we have some advice about how to keep your disposal and drains healthy during Thanksgiving. Just a few simple steps and you can save yourself enormous future headaches.

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Why Timely Furnace Repair Is Critical

November 6th, 2017

burners-in-furnaceCool weather is starting to arrive and furnaces around Sacramento will soon go to work. If you’ve had your furnace professionally maintained it should be well prepped for the coming winter. However, malfunctions can still happen, so keep an eye out for indications of furnace repair needs, such as strange noises, drops in airflow from the room vents, the furnace turning on and off rapidly, and acrid smells.

When you need furnace repair in Citrus Heights, CA or the surrounding areas, it’s vital you don’t wait on it but call our experts right away. We have 24-hour emergency service available to deal with important situations like this.

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How Long Should I Wait to Call for Seasonal Heating Maintenance?

October 23rd, 2017

furnace-repair-technicianThe answer to this one is simple: if you are signed up for one of our maintenance plans, we’ll call you! We have a long history in the HVAC business as well as extensive professional training, so we know when it’s the right time to get serious about having your home heating system in good shape to tackle the upcoming winter.

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How to Tell It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning System

October 9th, 2017

ac-unit-from-the-topThe fall is an unusual season for the HVAC industry, balanced between the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Air conditioning systems do less work—although they may still have some to do—and most heaters aren’t ready to come on yet. This means fewer emergency calls, and instead people thinking about the future. This means scheduling heating maintenance, which is an essential part of ensuring a house has reliable warmth through the coming winter and bills are kept under control. It can also mean arranging for major changes to the HVAC system. For example, if a home’s air conditioner showed signs over the previous summer that it’s too old to do its job, fall is the time to arrange for the installation of a new central air conditioner in Auburn, CA.

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