Items to Keep Out of Your Garbage Disposal

September 12th, 2014

Garbage disposals are a huge help for many busy homeowners. Putting food waste into the disposal means one less item will fill up the trash can. Plus, cooking and cleaning move quickly when you can simply toss scraps into the sink. Without a working garbage disposal, you are likely to run into clogs more often and your drains may begin to smell. That’s why you should take care to protect your garbage disposal from damage.

But many people are misinformed about what can and cannot go down a drain. If you want to keep your garbage disposal running as it should, be sure to avoid the following items.

  • Non-Food Items: Sometimes, materials get tossed into the disposal that may seriously harm your unit or your pipes. Your disposal simply cannot handle items like plastic wrappers or cigarette butts. These items may cause your unit to overheat, or they may catch in the drain pipes and cause major clogs.
  • Hard Foods: Your garbage disposal is also incapable of breaking down many hard foods such as meat bones or popcorn kernels. These items may prevent your blades from moving, stopping the motor.
  • Fibrous Items: One type of food that’s surprisingly harmful to your garbage disposal is fibrous foods that may wrap around the blades. These include items such as celery, corn husks, artichokes and onion skins. If you do choose to put these items down the disposal, break them into smaller pieces first to prevent them from catching on the blades and stopping the motor.
  • F.O.G. (Fat, Oil, and Grease): Fats, oils, and grease may seem like innocuous substances to pour down a drain, but these may seriously damage your pipes. These substances solidify as they cool, so when they move down your drain they may line the insides of pipes and create clogs. Furthermore, they may coat the blades of your unit, reducing the effectiveness of your garbage disposal. While running cold water can help your processor break down F.O.G, you should always try to dump these substances down a separate trash receptacle instead.

While these tips can help protect the garbage disposal and your drains, problems may still occur with your unit. If you need repairs for your garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, call the experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service now!

Join us at the Standard Examiner Fall Home Show

September 11th, 2014

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Join Rentmeister Total Home Service at the Standard Examiner Fall Home Show at the Golden Spike Event Center. The home show will be held Friday, September 26 from 12pm – 9pm and Saturday, September 27 from 10am – 4pm. Stop by our booth to say hi, or meet with one of our friendly experts who can answer any questions or help you find the plumbing and heating solutions to meet your family’s needs.

The SE Fall Home Show is the place to be for advice and tips on remodeling, home improvement, home products and services and much more. There will be daily demonstrations and entertainment as well as prizes and giveaways. General admission is $5 at the door, or 2 attendees for $6 with a coupon from the Standard Examiner daily newspaper. Click here for a full list of home show and event details. We hope to see you there!

Rentmeister home show booth

 

Objects You Should Never Put Down a Garbage Disposal

September 5th, 2014

Many homeowners use their garbage disposals daily to dispose of food waste while cooking and preparing meals. But if you put the wrong items down the garbage disposal, you may one day turn on the unit only to discover the motor won’t start at all. To help you avoid this and other problems with your garbage disposal, we’ve put together this handy list of some items you should never put down a garbage disposal.

  • Your Hands: Perhaps most importantly, you should never put your hands down the garbage disposal. If a motor does not restart when you press the reset button underneath the sink, you should always call for professional repairs.
  • Non-Food Items: Never put any item down the drain that your disposal cannot handle. The disposal cannot process most household items, and these may damage the blades, stop the motor, or clog your drains.
  • Hard Foods: Hard food items such as meat bones, fruit pits, and popcorn kernels cannot be processed by your garbage disposal and may wear down the blades. Furthermore, they’ll interfere with the motor’s function, causing it to become overworked.
  • Fibrous Foods: You should also avoid fibrous foods such as corn husks, celery, asparagus, artichokes, or onion skins. These foods may wrap around the blades, preventing it from turning and jamming the motor.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease: Many believe these substances are harmless to pour down the drain, but fats, oils, and grease can damage the blades of your disposal and clog your pipes. Grease may build up on the blades, diminishing their effectiveness. Furthermore, these substances solidify as they cool, and they may line your drains and create a serious clog.
  • Foods that Expand: Foods like pasta and rice that expand with water may also jam your disposal or clog your pipes.

While these tips can help increase the lifespan of your garbage disposal and reduce the need for repairs, you may still run into some problems from time to time. If you need to schedule repairs or replacement for your garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, call the professionals at Rentmeister Total Home Service.

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at Rentmeister Total Home Service wishes your family a happy end of summer.

The Differences Between a Heat Pump and a Central AC

August 22nd, 2014

Homeowners have a number of choices when it comes to choosing an air conditioner. Two of these choices are central air conditioners and heat pumps. While they may sound very different, the truth is that their operation isn’t all that dissimilar, with the exception of a few key details. Rentmeister Total Home Service specializes in the installation and repair of a number of air conditioners, and we can help you with all of your air conditioning needs.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

The best way to illustrate the differences between the two systems is to describe how each works, so we’ll start with how a heat pump works.

Put simply, a heat pump transfers heat from one place to another. It does this with a reversible refrigerant cycle, allowing for year round comfort with just one system. During the summer, it pulls the heat from your home and sends it outside; in the winter, it absorbs heat and blows it inside. Like an air conditioner, heat pumps facilitate this transfer with the use of refrigerant.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

An air conditioner uses the same basic principle, but in a different way, known as a regular vapor compression cycle. Using refrigerant, air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from your home, and return cool, conditioned air to your home. Air conditioners cannot reverse the cycle as heat pumps can, which is one of the main differences between the two systems.

Differences between the Systems

As mentioned above, one of the main differences between the two systems is that heat pumps can offer both heating and cooling. Here are a couple of other differences between the two:

  • Heat pumps have a longer life span – the average heat pump has a lifespan of about 15 years versus the life of an air conditioner, which ranges from 10-12 years.
  • Heat pumps use less electricity – heat pumps use significantly less electricity to run, making them more energy efficient.
  • Heat pumps are more expensive to install – heat pumps are typically more expensive to install than a standard central air conditioning system.
  • Heat pumps may require more repairs – because heat pumps run all year round, rather than just the summer months, it is more likely you’ll spend more money on repairs from natural wear-and-tear.

There are many factors to weigh whenever you choose an air conditioning system for your home, which is why it’s important to work with a trained professional. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule air conditioning service in Ogden, UT with one of our cooling experts.

Why You Should Install Low-Flow Faucets for Your Home

August 15th, 2014

Your water bills account for a large part of your monthly utility bills, and chances are that they are higher than they should be. You can lower your water bills with careful water conservation methods, such as reducing shower times and collecting the lukewarm water from taps while waiting for the hot water to arrive. But one of the best ways to lower water use in your house is to have low-flow faucets installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. These water-conserving fixtures provide a long-term solution that will save you money for many years without requiring a sacrifice in performance.

Professional plumbers must do to the work to install these faucets for your home to make sure that they work the way they should. For a plumber in Salt Lake City, UT who can recommend and then install low-flow faucets, contact the staff at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We’ve provided plumbing assistance to Salt Lake County since 1953.

The Benefits of Low-Flow Faucets

A regular bathroom faucet uses 2.2 gallons per minute while it runs. A WaterSense-labeled faucet lowers that amount to 1.5 gallons per minute, with no loss of quality. (Products with the WaterSense label have gone through an independent certification process to see that they live up to EPA standards for both conservation and performance.) Low-flow kitchen faucets can achieve similar results. The average WaterSense labeled kitchen faucet uses 32% less water.

How much water savings does this add up to each year? The average family can save 700 gallons over a year, which is the equivalent of 40 showers-worth of water.

There’s an additional benefit: energy reduction. If you reduce the amount of hot water you use through a low-flow fixture, you also reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses. The same family that saves enough water for 40 showers would also save enough kilowatts of energy each year to power their whole house for three continuous days.

Find Out More about Low-Flow Installations

Call Rentmeister Total Home Service to learn about our services to install water-conserving fixtures. Along with faucets, you can also install low-flow showerheads and toilets. These installations cost more than standard fixtures, but they will rapidly pay for themselves with the water and energy savings. Get in touch with a plumber in Salt Lake City today to start reducing your water use and lower your bills.

How to Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

August 8th, 2014

The garbage disposal in a home’s kitchen does an enormous amount of work chopping down organic waste to allow it to easily flow into the plumbing that enters the sewage system. But garbage disposals are not invincible; without proper care, your garbage disposal may end up having a short service life and need a replacement earlier than it should.

We have some tips to help make sure that your disposal receives the best care and lasts for many years performing its useful service. Whenever you encounter any troubles with the disposal, call for a professional plumber in Salt Lake City, UT from Rentmeister Total Home Service. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience, and we’ve served homeowners with excellent plumbing since 1953.

Tips for Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

  • Don’t pour oil, grease, or fat down it: This is probably the #1 reason for trouble with garbage disposals. Because oil, grease, and fat are liquid when they are hot, people assume they’re harmless for disposals. However, when these liquids cool down, they change into waxy solids that can jam up the moving components of the disposal like the flywheel, leading to mechanical wear and tear and eventually a breakdown. Place these liquids into a separate receptacle and remove them to the actual garbage.
  • Use cold water with the disposal: It seems logical to run hot water down the disposal, since it helps with cutting through grease when washing dishes. But cold water helps keep the motor, bearings, and flywheel assembly from overheating.
  • Do not attempt to overload the disposal: Let food particles go into the disposal opening a bit at a time, and let the system run and completely clear before you add more food. (Also allow the cold water to continue to run for a few moments after the disposal clears, which will give time to flush out the drainpipe.)
  • Do not turn the disposal on without running water: Running water is important for the lubrication of the moving parts and to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Do not put solids into the disposal: This includes chicken bones, popcorn kernels, banana peels, coffee filters, fruit pits, egg shells, and hard shells from shrimp or crab. Basically, if your teeth can’t chew it, the garbage disposal can’t either.
  • Call for professionals when it needs repairs: Avoid attempting to fix a broken disposal on your own, either by sticking your own hand down into it, or trying to use utensils, tools, or poles to get it unstuck. This can cause damage (to you and the disposal) that will make the situation worse. Rely on plumbers for the work.

A garbage disposal is an essential part of the modern kitchen, and you don’t want to discover how important it is because you suddenly don’t have a working one. Follow the above advice, and turn to Rentmeister Total Home Service and the work of a professional plumber to make sure you receive the longest life possible from your garbage disposal.

How Does Faulty Ductwork Affect Air Conditioning?

August 1st, 2014

The ductwork of your home is fairly out of view, which means detecting problems may not be easy. But ducts are prone to developing problems that may cost you a lot of money every month in energy bills. In fact, ducts are responsible for up to 30% of energy loss in typical homes with central air conditioning. If the ducts in your home are not properly sealed and insulated, or if they are blocked in any way, your monthly bills may be higher than they should be.

You can catch faulty ductwork early on if you schedule regular maintenance with an air conditioning specialist. During a maintenance visit, a technician cleans and inspects your system so that you can schedule repairs early on.

Here are some of the reasons you may need ductwork repair and how faulty ducts affect your air conditioning system.

  • Poor Insulation: Heat moves naturally from warm areas into cooler areas. Heat from outside of the ducts may enter into the cooler space, causing warm air to enter into your home. If your ducts are poorly insulated, you may not get enough cooling power or you may have spots in the home that are warmer or colder than others.
  • Loose Connections and Leaks: Ducts are assembled together in pieces, so it’s common for connections to become loose or break apart. When this happens, the pieces need to be reconnected, and holes need to be sealed.
  • Blockage: The efficiency and performance of your air conditioner may also be affected if dirt or debris obstructs the ducts and restricts airflow. If this happens, your air quality may suffer, or dust may move to the evaporator coil, reducing your air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat and efficiently cool your home.

Ductwork repair is not a job you should attempt on your own. You may not have the equipment of expertise to locate and repair all of the afflicted areas, and you may cause a lot more damage as well. Instead, call the professionals at Rentmeister Total Home Service for any air conditioning service in Salt Lake City. Pick up the phone today!

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioner?

July 25th, 2014

Many homes come equipped with sheet metal ductwork that connects to an air conditioning system to deliver cool air. But what can homeowners do if their older homes or new building extensions are ductless? Many choose to call a technician for duct installation. But this is a big task and can be a hassle for many homeowners as the layout of some homes makes ductwork installation nearly impossible.

Ductless air conditioners are a great solution for those without any ductwork installed in the home. During installation, an air conditioning technician installs an outdoor condenser unit and connects it to a series of indoor air handlers. These air handlers suck in warm air and remove the heat in order to deliver cool air to the home. Your home will likely need multiple air handlers in order to cool evenly. Each outside unit can generally accommodate up to four air handlers, each of which usually comes with its own thermostat.

What are the Benefits of Ductless AC System?

  • No Ducts: For many reasons, the absence of ductwork may be the biggest benefit of ductless air conditioning. Of course, ductless installation eliminates the disturbance caused to your home by adding extensive ductwork. But another benefit is the elimination of air leaks. Ducts often form leaks over time due to loose connections, and these leaks are responsible for a lot of extra spending since homeowners essentially pay to cool an unused area of the home.
  • Zone Control: Multiple air handlers in different areas of the home means your family benefits from zone control. If some areas of your home tend to be warmer or cooler than others, or if you’re fed up with hearing your family members argue about the temperature, you can control each area separately to keep everyone happy.
  • Energy Savings: The money you’ll save every month on your energy bills with ductless air conditioning is rather impressive. Ductless systems tend to have a much higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) than ducted systems, and taking advantage of zone control can save you even more.

Ductless air conditioning in Salt Lake City is a great solution for many homeowners without central air conditioning. To talk to a technician today, call Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Consider Upgrades with Your Air Conditioning Installation

July 18th, 2014

Installing a new air conditioner for your home doesn’t have to be the “same old, same old.” Your replacement AC will almost certainly have greater efficiency than your previous system because of the many advances in home comfort technology, but you don’t have to settle for having everything else about it be just the same. Scheduling a few standard upgrades as part of installation will give you a cooling system that rises far above your old one in comfort, convenience, and energy savings.

At Rentmeister Total Home Service, we don’t just handle air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City. We also offer numerous upgrades to help take cooling and comfort to the next level. Call us today and speak to our experienced installers to learn more about your upgrade options for your next installation.

Here are a Few Popular Upgrade Options to Consider for Your AC

Zone Control Systems

Installing zone control allows you to manipulate the temperature of different areas of your house independent of each other. You no longer have to cool down the entire house each time the AC comes on. This permits you to create more even temperatures throughout a home, adjust cooling to fit the needs of particular rooms and people, and save money on cooling by shutting down cooling to rooms that are not in use, such as guest bedrooms.

Cutting Edge Thermostats

Don’t settle for the same manual thermostat or out-of-date digital thermostat that you’ve been using for years. Have the thermostat replaced along with the air conditioner, and put in a digital programmable model with extra features that will help you with its precision controls and energy-saving settings. There are also wireless models available that permit freer thermostat placement and can come equipped with remote control.

Humidifiers

Low humidity is often a serious problem in Salt Lake City during the summer, and because air conditioners remove extra moisture from the air they can contribute to making the air inside your home uncomfortably dry. Low humidity indoors can cause health problems and damage furnishings. But professional installers can equip your new air conditioning system with a whole-house humidifier that will balance out the humidity in your home to the ideal level, something that smaller portable humidifiers cannot achieve.

There are many other options available to you to upgrade your new air conditioning system, including air filters and air purifiers that can deal with numerous indoor air quality issues your home might encounter. If you hire quality professionals for your air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City, UT, you will learn all about the many possibilities for expanding your comfort and savings.

For reliable AC installation (and numerous other home comfort services), call on the staff at Rentmeister Total Home Service today.