Why You Should Consider Installing a Water Softener in Your Home

April 20th, 2015

Before the water that you use every day is piped into your home, it is put through a rigorous treatment procedure by the city. Harmful chemicals and minerals are removed, after which the clean water is piped into your home to be used. This treatment process, while effective for making your water safe to drink, is unfortunately ineffective at preventing one big problem: hard water. Let’s take a look at what hard water is, what it can do to your plumbing system, and how you can stop it. Continue Reading

3 Air Conditioning Problems That Require Immediate Repair

April 13th, 2015

As a general rule, you don’t want to ignore any problems that might crop up with your air conditioner. The faster you get problems taken care of by a professional, the healthier your system will be. There are some problems, however, which absolutely cannot wait for repairs. When these emergency problems occur, you need to be able to recognize them and take action as quickly as possible. The following are 3 common air conditioning problems that require immediate repair. Continue Reading

Do I Need to Schedule Whole-House Repiping?

April 6th, 2015

The material of the pipes in home plumbing has undergone significant changes over the last century. At the turn of the last century, the dominant metal for pipes was cast iron. Eventually, more durable galvanized steel replaced it. After 1970, copper became the most common type of metal. Then different kinds of plastic (PVC, PEX, CPVC) joined with copper piping to form the basis of most contemporary residential plumbing systems.

If you live in an older home, you may need to think about arranging for a whole-house repiping job to replace aging and outdated plumbing. This is a large task, but if you call on experienced plumbers, like those at Rentmeister Total Home Service in Salt Lake City, UT, the work will go smoothly and get done in the shortest time possible. After that, you can enjoy hardy new piping that will provide you with few problems for decades to come.

When whole-house repiping is necessary

Was your home built pre-World War II? Then it almost certainly has either galvanized steel or cast iron plumbing (unless a previous owner had it repiped). If this is the case, then you shouldn’t hesitate with arranging for whole-house repiping. Even if you aren’t currently experiencing serious plumbing issues, the pipes are likely already suffering from corrosion damage that will one day put all of the plumbing at risk. If you are in doubt about the condition of the plumbing for a house of this vintage, please call a professional plumber to inspect the piping and tell you what work needs to be done.

If your home was built after the war but before 1970, you should take a tally of how often you have needed to schedule plumbing repairs during the last few years. Are clogs becoming more common? Do you need to have leaks fixed on a regular basis? Have you experienced drops in water pressure? These problems are all signs of decaying plumbing. A skilled plumber will tell you if you need only a few pipes replaced or if it is time to invest in a full repiping.

If you have any questions about repiping and what it involves, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our skilled plumbers have many years of experience with whole-house repiping as well as smaller plumbing repairs, and they can guide you toward the best solution to meet your needs.

Call Rentmeister Total Home Service, where we have provided high quality plumbing installation, replacement, and reapirs for more than 60 years.

How a Clogged Air Filter can lead to Furnace Repair

March 30th, 2015

Many of the problems that can afflict your furnace are obvious in nature. If your air handler stops working, for example, you’ll know because you won’t get any heat. One of the most dangerous problems for your furnace, however, also happens to be the most subtle. If you don’t know what signs to look for, you may not even notice it until it’s far too late.

Let’s take a look at how a clogged air filter can lead to furnace repair.

The Air Filter

The air filter itself is designed to shield the furnace from any dust and debris that might blow in from the ducts. It’s pretty good at this role, capturing any particles that are blown into it, while allowing air to pass through it unobstructed. The problem is that once the air filter collects these problems, it has no way to get rid of them. In order for the air filter to keep working properly, it has to be cleaned or replaced every few months. If this isn’t done, the air filter can become so clogged with debris that it starts to obstruct the flow of air into the furnace. That’s when the problems start.

Short-Cycling

When the air flow into the furnace is restricted, it causes the temperature inside the system to rise. Eventually, the furnace will overheat, activating the limit switch and causing an emergency shutdown. Though this will temporarily protect the system from damage, it won’t address the source of the problem. As long as the air filter remains clogged, the system will overheat again as soon as it starts up. This locks the furnace into an endless start/stop cycle, which puts it under far more stress than it was designed to handle. If not fixed quickly, the entire furnace might break down and need to be replaced.

Short-cycling is one of the most damaging issues to afflict furnaces, though it is often one of the easiest to fix. If you haven’t been changing your air filter every few months, we highly recommend that you start doing so now.

If you’d like to know more about air filters and short-cycling, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We provide furnaces throughout Salt Lake City.

When is a Good Time to Replace My Water Heater?

March 24th, 2015

The older your water heater gets, the more efficiency it’s going to lose to accumulated wear and tear. There’s nothing you can really do about this, it’s just a reality we have to accept. Parts wear out, and when enough parts wear out in the same system it becomes easier and cheaper to replace the system than to replace the parts.

So, how do you know when the time to replace your water heater has arrived?

There are a few different criteria that you can use to decide whether your water heater needs replacing. Let’s take a look at some of the more pertinent ones.

Repair Increases

As mentioned above, there’s really nothing to be done about simple wear and tear on your water heater. As with all things, water heaters eventually just wear out. Parts start to lose effectiveness, and eventually they fail. When enough of those parts start failing in rapid succession, it’s a good sign that your water heater is reaching the end of its life. If it seems like you need to have a professional out to service your water heater every few months, talk to them about the possibility of replacing it.

Age

The lifespan of each individual water heater is dictated by its own circumstances. However, it is still possible to estimate approximately how long the average water heater will live. If your water heater is 15 years old or older, then you will probably have to replace it pretty soon. There are, of course, cases where the water heater will last significantly longer. However, 15 years is a good benchmark.

Before the Rules Change

As of April 16th, 2015, new rules will be implemented by the Department of Energy concerning water heater efficiency. These new rules will require that all water heaters manufactured be held to a higher standard of energy efficiency. While a good thing in the long run, water heater prices are expected to spike soon after the rules go into effect. If you’re thinking about replacing your water heater, it would be a good idea to do it before the rules change causes a price increase.

If you need to replace your water heater, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We provide water heaters throughout the Salt Lake City area.

Which Water Heater Type is Better: Tank or Tankless?

March 18th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that your choice for a new or replacement water heater was pretty simple. These days, there are a number of choices when it comes to hot water heaters, and the main question every homeowner has to ask is, do I want a storage tank type of water heater, or do I go tankless?

Each type of hot water heater has its own benefits, so deciding between the tank vs. tankless water heater debate isn’t as easy as it may seem. One of the best ways to help determine which type of system will work best in your home is to work with a trained expert.

The water heater specialists at Rentmeister Total Home Service can help you decide which type of water heaters will best fit your home. Call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Tankless Water Heaters

One of the most asked about items regarding tankless water heaters is how they work. It’s actually pretty simple: tankless water heaters use a heat exchanger to heat water very quickly when hot water is needed. This is why tankless water heaters are also called “on-demand.” Tankless water heaters offer a number of benefits to homeowners, including endless hot water, very good energy efficiency and a longer life span (about 20 years). Homeowners can use electricity or natural gas to power a tankless system. However, tankless water heaters have higher initial costs, and gas tankless systems have a complicated installation process.

Tank Water Heaters

Storage tank hot water heaters have been a staple in homes for years, and with new regulations coming this spring, they will be more energy efficient than ever before. Tank water heaters have lower initial costs and wide variety of sizes. As with any home appliance, there are some drawbacks to utilizing tank water heaters. Some of these include significant standby heat loss and a shorter lifespan that ranges from 8-12 years.

If you need to install a new water heater and are confused by the tank vs. tankless water heater debate, call the people who can help: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Signs That You Have a Drain Problem

March 10th, 2015

There are few home maintenance problems that are more frustrating than plumbing problems, and one of the most common of those is drain problems. Most homeowners don’t really think about the drain cleaning in their homes until they become clogged or develop some other issue.

While a clog is a pretty obvious sign that you need plumbing repair, there are other signs that you’ve got a drain problem. Let’s take a look at some of the other signs that you have a drain problem.

Slow Drainage

Contrary to what a lot of homeowners believe, clogs are not things that suddenly occur without warning. In fact, the debris that causes clogs tends to build up slowly, first accumulating on the inner walls of the pipe and then building towards the center. If you want to cut down on the number of clogs you have to deal with, pay attention to the rate at which your drains work. If you notice a drain start to work more slowly than it usually does, that’s a good sign that a clog is forming in the pipe. You should then take steps to get rid of the clog before it can completely form. Pouring boiling water down the drain often does the trick.

Sewer Smells

You plumbing system is designed to prevent anything from the sewer from coming back up the pipes and into your house. This includes sewer gases, which are actually vented through the house and out into the air. On occasion, however, a portion of this venting system can fail, causing horrible smells to come up through your drain and into your home. If you notice terrible smells coming from your drain, it is likely caused by a venting failure. This could be because of a vent valve becoming stuck, or even the exhaust pipe becoming blocked by something. Either way, if you notice bad smells coming out of your drain, you should call a plumber as soon as possible.

If you think you may have a drain problem, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. Our plumbers serve all of Salt Lake City.

Join Us at the Standard Examiner Home and Garden Show

March 6th, 2015

Rentmeister home show boothJoin us March 13-15, 2015 at the Standard Examiner Home & Garden Show at the Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden. Stop by Booth #71 to find out about our current specials, the latest water heater regulation changes and what this means for you, or for more information on how we can help make your home as efficient and comfortable as possible. We look forward to seeing you there!

Event Hours:

Friday & Saturday – 10AM-9PM

Sunday – 10AM-6PM

 

Admission Coupon Small Blue

What are Pinhole Leaks?

February 27th, 2015

When we see plumbing leaks on the news, in movies, or in TV shows, the effect is often dramatic. Water shoots out of the ground, through exposed pipes, or up through the sink faucet, flooding the area quickly. But in real life, leaks are often much smaller, which can often carry even worse consequences. If a leak is noticeable, you can shut off the water and schedule service right away. However, if a tiny pinhole leak affects your plumbing, you may not notice it until it has already damaged multiple parts of your property.

Detecting Pinhole Leaks

Prevent and detect pinhole leaks in your home by scheduling regular plumbing maintenance in Farmington, UT with the technicians at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We will thoroughly inspect your entire plumbing system, so you can find out about such issues before they lead to big trouble.

Pinhole leaking describes a phenomenon in which copper pipes, which are normally resistant to corrosion, begin to corrode. In fact, scientists have no solid explanation for why this occurs. It can happen without warning, even in areas where the pipes are not particularly old. Luckily, it’s rather rare, but sometimes it can affect an entire community, and experts are still unsure of what contaminants or elements in the chemistry of the water supply cause the pipes to react in that way.

The Consequences

Pinhole leaks are sometimes worse than burst pipes because you may not notice their presence for an extended period of time. Pinhole leaks may cause a drop in the water pressure, but this pressure reduction may not always be so obvious. Water can slowly leak out onto foundational beams, floorboards, walls, and ceilings until the damage is past repair. You may need to renovate an entire room just to alleviate the damages caused by a tiny leak.

You can find out whether pinhole leaking is a potential problem on your property with regular inspections. A plumbing maintenance visit includes a thorough inspection as well as a tuneup of some of your most important plumbing equipment.

Call on the experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service at the first sign of leaking or to schedule complete plumbing maintenance in Farmington, UT.

Why You Should Have Your Air Conditioner Cleaned Annually

February 20th, 2015

Air conditioners, like all home heating and cooling systems, occasionally develop a need for repair. Everyone knows that this is more or less unavoidable. However, that knowledge has led a lot of people to simply ignore air conditioner maintenance until something starts obviously affecting the system in a negative way. If you want your air conditioner to last as long as possible, this is a really bad habit to get into. Air conditioners should actually be cleaned and inspected at least once a year, regardless of whether or not it actually has any obvious problems.

Let’s take a look at why you should have your air conditioner cleaned annually.

Dust can be a Serious Problem

It may sound silly, but dust can pose a serious problem for your air conditioning system. Specifically, it can interfere with the condenser coil that your air conditioner uses to remove heat from your home. Your air conditioner operates by evaporating refrigerant in a coil located in the inside unit. The refrigerant gas draws heat out of the air and into itself, cooling the home. Then, the refrigerant gas travels to the outside unit and is converted back into liquid. This vents the heat outside the home.

However, a dirty condenser coil is unable to release the heat from the refrigerant gas as effectively. This causes a significant drop in your air conditioner’s cooling ability, and traps heat inside the system. Needless to say, this isn’t good for the health of your air conditioner at all. Annual cleaning ensures that your condenser coil operates at peak efficiency.

Early Detection

Having your air conditioner cleaned at least once a year also allows your HVAC technician to examine the system for developing problems. Any developing issues that are found can be solved long before they reach full strength and cause problems for the rest of the system. This is much better for the health of your system than waiting for a problem to occur before calling for a professional.

If you haven’t had your air conditioner cleaned in a while, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We provide air conditioning services throughout Salt Lake City.