Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog

When Repairs Aren’t Enough: Time to Replace Your AC

May 21st, 2018

air-conditioner-cabinetsWarm weather is here, hotter weather is on the way. If your home’s air conditioning system needs help to get it through the coming summer, right now is one of the last convenient times to arrange for it before the temperatures spike. Make sure your AC has gotten its regular maintenance as well as any necessary repairs to ensure it works its best.

But what if repairs are no longer the answer? At some point, any cooling system will cost far more to continue to patch-up than it’s worth. This year may be when you stop sinking money into an over the hill AC and have it replaced with a new one. Call on our service professionals to find out more about a new air conditioning installation in Sacramento, CA. We can help you make the right choice when it comes to the great “repair vs. replace” debate.

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We Recommend Regular Drain Cleaning for Your Home

May 7th, 2018

bubbling-drainDrain cleaning sounds like a job you need when you’ve got a clogged or slow drain. This is one of the important reasons that plumbers do drain cleaning. After all, there is no plumbing trouble that’s more common than a clogged drain or toilet. Professional plumbers can take care of any clog without doing damage to the pipes the way chemical drain cleaners can.

But drain cleaning is more than an emergency fix-it solution. It’s also a long-term plumbing care job, a regular preventive maintenance task. We recommend homeowners make drain cleaning a service they schedule every year. If you’ve never had routine drain cleaning done before, right now is the best time to get started.

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Why Isn’t My Thermostat Changing the Temperature?

April 23rd, 2018

thermostat-adustmentYou expect that when you go to the thermostat on the wall in your home (or one of the thermostats if you have a zone control system) you can alter the general indoor climate. You won’t notice results immediately since it takes time for cooled or heated air to reach the rooms, but you should hear a reaction from the HVAC system such as a blower fan coming on or a compressor starting.

But what happens if … nothing happens? You make an adjustment on the thermostat to set it to 78°F on a warm day (a great energy-saving setting) and the house doesn’t cool down. You don’t even feel air blowing from the vents. Is the thermostat broken—or is something else wrong?

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How to Do a Water Heater Flush

April 9th, 2018

plumbing-toolsWater heaters suffer from wear and tear over time, just like any other machine. A specific issue that starts to build up in water heaters is sediment inside the tank. As water from the municipal system enters the tank, heavier particles and minerals gradually settle along the bottom of the tank. This creates problems: the sediment forms an insulation layer against the burners, making the burner work harder to heat up the water. Too much sediment can also cause water pressure inside the tank to rise.

The solution is to do a regular water heater flush every few years. Flushing out the water and replacing it will remove most of the sediment, giving the water heater a fresh start and better performance.

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When a Water Heater Repair Is No Longer Worth It

March 26th, 2018


Your home’s water heater does more work than either your air conditioner or furnace during the year. After all, it has to work every day of the year (except perhaps on days when you’re on vacation and have the system shut down). It’s hard to imagine getting through a single day without using hot water in some way.

You’ll want your water heater to last for as long as possible before you have to replace it. You can expect to need repairs now and then in order to keep it going. For example, sediment often builds up on the bottom of the tank, which impedes energy efficiency. No problem—call our plumbers and they’ll flush out the tank, and everything should be back to normal. The circulator pump, one of the few mechanical parts on a water heater, may break, in which case we’ll handle repairing or replacing it—and everything will be back to normal.

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Sign Up for Maintenance to Prep Your AC for Hot Weather

March 12th, 2018

service-reminderThe change in the seasons is coming. We may not hit the sweltering heat for another month or two, but this is the time of the year to prepare for it. The most important preparation is seeing that the air conditioner that keeps you and your family cool through the summer is in tip-top shape. No lingering repair problems, no efficiency issues, no looming breakdowns.

So how do you get your AC ready for summer? You can do a few things on your own: clean the outside cabinet, change the air filter, and make sure none of the vents around the house are covered up or blocked in any way. The rest of the prep work must be left to HVAC professionals. You can sign up for our maintenance plan to arrange for your AC’s spring inspection and tune-up.

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5 Signs You May Need Water Heater Repair

February 26th, 2018

water-heater-under-repairWater heaters are not supposed to be temperamental pieces of machinery. Today’s water heating units are built to run reliably for many years, sending a steady flow of hot water to the taps and appliances around a house.

But any water heater will suffer from the effects of aging and wear. Annual maintenance can limit this, but repairs are still a possibility. It’s important to move fast to call for professional repair experts when you suspect you have a faulty water heater. Some signs of trouble are obvious—such as when you aren’t getting hot water anywhere in your home. In this post, we’re looking at the less blatant indications you have a water heater in need of expert care.

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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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