Advanced Home Services Blog

Could You Have a Clog in Your Main Sewer Line?

April 20th, 2015

The plunger is a trusted tool to use during any minor drain clog. If the blockage is near enough to the opening of the drain, the plunger should allow the blockage to become loose enough to move into the sewer line. Some drain clogs, however, are not so simple to deal with. If the clog is far down in the sewer line, there is very little you can do to fix the issue on your own. Calling a professional plumber is your best choice, as this can lead to some unwelcome sewage backup later on. Here’s how you can tell if you have a clog in the main line. Continue Reading

How Hydro Jetting Helps Your Drains

April 13th, 2015

For most homeowners, it’s not a matter of whether they will encounter a drain clog at some point in their homeownership: it’s when. Drain clogs are a near inevitability in plumbing systems, and most people have already dealt with one at some point in time. In many cases, you can dislodge the blockage with a simple home plunger (and perhaps a little bit of strength and skill). But this is only really possible for drain clogs close to the opening of the drain. Continue Reading

3 Water Treatment Systems to Consider

April 6th, 2015

Many homeowners use water pitchers with built-in filtration systems so that their drinking water is clear and fresh. But what about the water you use for other purposes around the house? Every time you shower, cook, rinse dishes, wash vegetables, or brush your teeth, you most likely use the water straight from the tap. Shouldn’t you filter this water as well?

Before water reaches your home, it goes through a municipal water treatment process, which includes thorough treatment processes including coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination. These processes are meant to target the water contaminants most common to your area, but water may continue to pick up pollutants on the way to your home. Furthermore, some homeowners object to the use of chemicals in the water treatment process, and there is likely some amount of sediment in your water that could affect your pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances.

The best way to be sure that none of these contaminants harm your family is by installing a whole-home water filter. These are installed right where the water supply reaches your home, so you can feel confident turning on a tap anywhere in your house.

  • Absorption Filter – This is the filter you probably think about when you think about water filtration systems. An absorbent medium such as charcoal allows water to pass through but traps many of the most common contaminants that affect water supplies.
  • Reverse Osmosis System – A reverse osmosis system is capable of eliminating the contaminants that most water treatment systems miss. While a whole-home filter can target some specific contaminants, it’s likely to miss some bacteria and viruses, as well as any chemicals used in the municipal water treatment process. A reverse osmosis system contains a semi-permeable membrane through which only water can pass.
  • Water Softener – Water softeners remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium. As these move through the pipes, mineral deposits collect inside, and may begin to block the pipes or cause trouble for your fixtures and appliances like dishwashers.

Call the friendly technicians at Advanced Home Services to discuss your water treatment options on Idaho Falls, ID.

Common Sprinkler System Repairs

April 3rd, 2015

When the hot weather arrives in the late spring and summer, your home’s sprinkler system will become invaluable. An effective sprinkler system for your property lowers the amount of work you have to do to maintain an attractive lawn and garden and allow you to head off on a vacation with the confidence that the regular watering will still get done.

Even with the most advanced sprinkler system installed, you may still encounter malfunctions that will require professionals to fix them. Advanced Home Services can deliver the quality repairs for your sprinkler system in Pocatello, ID that you may need this spring and summer. We also install new sprinkler systems and upgrade aging and out of date equipment so that your lawn and property receive the best care possible through the hot months. Call us today for fast and reliable service.

Some of the more common repairs for sprinkler systems

Replacing damaged or broken piping is a frequent repair, although it is more common with older sprinklers that have aging and outdated piping material. Tree roots tend to burrow toward the moisture and warmth around sprinkler pipes, and they can infiltrate and break the piping, leading to leaking. If you notice water pooling on your yard in places where it shouldn’t be, you might need to have a broken sprinkler pipe replaced.

Another component of a sprinkler system that sometimes needs replacement is the sprinkler head. The sprinkler heads can pick up dirt and stones that will block them, although this is usually easy to clean. But if a sprinkler head becomes cracked or begins to spray water in bizarre directions, you will probably need a repair technician to replace it.

Advanced modern sprinkler systems use a control panel to operate and regulate them, and sometimes the trouble with a malfunctioning set of sprinklers originates in malfunctions in the control panel, such as dirty or corroded wiring. A repair technician will find out if the issues you are experiencing come from control panel malfunctions, and then provide the necessary repairs to restore the system.

We suggest that you schedule routine inspections to help maintain your sprinkler system before it starts working each year. Our technicians at Advanced Home Services are glad to help you start off the watering season with some simple checks that will help prevent damage from occurring. Give us a call today and we’ll see that your sprinkler system in Pocatello, ID stays in excellent shape for the rest of the year.

Prepare Your Sprinkler System after Winter

March 25th, 2015

Before the winter starts, it’s important that you properly prepare your home’s sprinkler system to make it through the icy weather. Just a bit of winterization goes a long way toward preventing serious damage to the fittings, valves, pipes, and the sprinklers themselves.

But when spring comes around again, don’t just run to turn the sprinklers right back on: the irrigation system for your home shouldn’t be woken up abruptly after a long winter hibernation—it may be a bit grumpy! You need to take a few steps to see that the system won’t damage itself after a few months of inaction, and that you won’t run into repair problems in the near future.

If you do encounter trouble with your sprinklers this spring, call up Advanced Home Services. We provide comprehensive repair and maintenance for sprinkler systems in Idaho Falls, ID and the surrounding areas. With our help, your sprinklers should keep working for many years with few problems.

Steps to ready your sprinklers for spring

The biggest danger to your sprinkler system if your turn all the zones on abruptly after a long period of inaction is a spike in air pressure. This occurs because water rushes into an empty pipe and the air inside has no chance to escape. The result is often a burst pipe or a sprinkler that gets blown right out of grass, leaving water to geyser all over the lawn. You may have encountered a minor version of this with your indoor plumbing: a knocking sound from the pipes whenever you shut off a tap that’s known as water hammer.

If your sprinkler system has pressure relief valves, you need to open them up and remove the air from the pipes. If the system lacks these valves, the best approach is to remove the sprinkler heads. You don’t have to remove every one, only the ones located at the highest points of each of the zones.

Now that you’ve removed water pressure along the lines, begin to fill the system slowly. Fill the main line first, then go to other zones and fill them one at a time. If you have an automated system, don’t use it yet: do all these steps with the manual valves so you can open them slowly. It can take around a half hour to fill up each of the zones, so don’t attempt to rush.

Once you have filled up the entire sprinkler system with water, give each of the separate zones a test run for a few minutes to see if the spray comes out evenly from each sprinkler head and that they are clearing the ground. This is the time to check if there are any blockages in the fixtures or leaks around the sprinkler heads. If you notice issues like this, it’s best to call for a repair technician to take care of them.

When you are done with the above precautions, you should have a sprinkler system ready to care for your property through spring and summer. Advanced Home Services is here whenever you need additional help with sprinkler systems in Idaho Falls, ID. You can reach us any time for emergency services.

Things You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

March 20th, 2015

Garbage disposals seem like tough devices that can take anything you might be able to dish out (literally dish out!) and grind it down to fit into the wastewater system. But although garbage disposal manufacturers like InSinkErator make their products with durability uppermost in mind, these appliances are still susceptible to damage if the wrong items go down into them.

Advanced Home Services provides excellent garbage disposal repair for home plumbing in Rigby, ID. But we would also like to help you avoid unnecessary issues with the disposal that serves your kitchen. Here are a few items which you should not put down your garbage disposal:

  • Your hand: We hope this would be obvious, but just in case, never stick your hand down into the disposal in an attempt to dislodge something that has become stuck inside it. Call on a professional plumber to fix the problem instead.
  • Solid food waste: This covers such things as bones and un-popped popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb to use when considering what food waste should or shouldn’t go into a garbage disposal is to never put any food product into one that your teeth can’t chew. If you teeth can’t handle it, the disposal can’t either.
  • Liquid fat, oil, and grease: These items are the general enemy of all kitchen drains, not exclusively the disposal. Although seemingly innocuous in liquid form, they solidify as they cool, and can jam up the mechanical parts of the disposal, leading to its motor burning out.
  • Rice and pasta: These items may seem surprising to people, since they look innocent enough as food items that a disposal could handle easily. However, both pasta and rice soak up water and enlarge; should they become caught inside a disposal, they can create major problems as they swell up.

If you take good care of your garbage disposal and keep these items out of it (most you can remove to a separate trash receptacle), it should take good care of you for many years.

However, some repair services will probably be inevitable. When you require repairs for your kitchen plumbing in Rigby, ID, you only need to give Advanced Home Services a call to have it remedied fast and accurately. We have 24-hour emergency service available for when those disposal repairs cannot wait.

Is a Heat Pump a Good Choice for Heating My Home?

March 11th, 2015

A heat pump is a very effective and useful installation for a home, since it works as both an air conditioner and a heater. It isn’t a combination of two separate systems, such as an AC and furnace in the same cabinet, but a single system that uses the same process—heat exchange—to heat and cool. Essentially, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can switch the direction it moves heat so that it can also move heat into a home.

When you are looking for a new residential heating installation, is a heat pump one you should consider? That’s a good question, since heat pumps work well in some situations, and not in others. It’s important that you have professional HVAC technicians assist you with making the optimal choice, and then let the professionals handle the actual work of installing the new heat pump (or whatever system you end up selecting).

For fast service for quality heating in Pocatello, ID, call on Advanced Home Services, and we will see that you receive the best possible comfort for your home.

The key issue to understand about how heat pumps operate is that they remove ambient heat from the air, absorbing it through evaporator coils. The refrigerant in the coils later moves to condensing coils, where its heat is released. When a heat pump switches between heating and cooling mode, the indoor and outdoor coils swap their functions. In heating mode, the outdoor coils are evaporators, absorbing ambient heat from the outside air.

This leads to a common question: “How can the heat pump absorb heat when it’s cold outside?” Since you will use the heat pump in heating mode during cold temperatures, this is an understandable concern. However, there is always heat energy in the air (molecular motion), no matter how cold it gets. During most cool temperatures, a heat pump will experience little difficulty extracting the heat from the outdoors necessary to warm up a house.

But heat pumps may encounter issues with efficiency when the temperature drops too low, usually below freezing. This is why it’s vital that you have a heating technician help you select your home comfort system. A technician will perform a heat load calculation that will determine how much heat output is necessary for comfort. This will help the technician figure out if a heat pump is a good idea or not for your house.

If you have any further questions regarding heat pumps or other kinds of residential heating services we offer in Pocatello, ID, please give our knowledgeable team at Advanced Home Services a call. We are happy to help.

Why Are Furnaces Such a Popular Option for Home Heating?

March 4th, 2015

Throughout the nation, the most common type of heating system found in homes is the gas furnace. And it has remained this way for decades. Even with numerous advances in heating technology that have made such systems as heat pumps and radiant floor heating more common for residential comfort, the furnace remains the number one choice when it comes to installing a new heater.

At Advanced Home Services, we handle many installations of furnaces in Idaho Falls, ID, as well as repairs and maintenance, so we’ve seen firsthand the advantages of using these systems. Although a gas furnace is not always the best choice for a particular home, it should be on the list of possibilities for any household that has access to a natural gas line.

Some reasons furnaces are common choices for residential heating

  • Cost-effective operation: Compared to using electrical resistance heating in an electric furnace or boiler, a natural gas furnace is much less expensive to run. This is because natural gas costs less than electricity. The difference in the bills over a winter when you compare a gas furnace to an electric system can sometimes be staggering.
  • An easily available fuel source: More contemporary homes than ever before have a connection to a municipal natural gas line, which makes gas furnaces even more attractive installation options. You have the necessary fuel sent straight into your home, and you don’t have to worry about taking delivery of propane or oil or running out of fuel.
  • Powerful heating: Perhaps the main reason that gas furnaces come out on top in so many situation is that they can produce a higher output of heat than almost any other type of heater. A gas furnace can overcome the deepest colds, even for a home that lacks powerful insulation. If making sure that you receive effective heat is extremely important to you, than a natural gas heater is one of your best choices.

Before you make any decision regarding a gas furnace or other heating system for your home, consult with professionals. Advanced Home Services knows furnaces in Idaho Falls, ID as well as anybody, so come to us the next time you are considering new heating installation or heating replacement. We are also available to handle your repair needs and the regular maintenance that will make sure that your furnace works for you for many years. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience. Give us a call today.

Indications You Need Drain Cleaning

February 25th, 2015

The drains in your home carry an immense out of wastewater out of your home every day. The means a large amount of wear on the drains as well as a build-up of debris, and without regular drain cleaning, they can start to create regular hassles. It’s important to think of drain cleaning not as something you only call a plumber to do when you have an emergency clogging situation; you should make drain cleaning a part of routine maintenance for your home.

When is a good time to start with regular drain cleaning? There’s nothing wrong with starting right now—but there are some signs to watch for that will indicate it’s past time to call on a professional plumber to get the job done. If you notice any of the problems listed below, give us a ring at Advanced Home Services. We offer excellent drain cleaning in Blackfoot, ID and the surrounding areas.

  • Consistently slow drains: You shouldn’t tolerate slow drains as an inconvenience. When drains no longer draw out water as fast as they should, it means there is major accumulation inside the drain that needs to be cleaned out before it can turn into clogging. Don’t pour chemicals down a slow drain—these products can damage your pipe interiors—but instead call for professionals. If you notice slow drains throughout your home, you may have issues with the sewer line, and this needs a skilled plumber on the double.
  • Bad-smelling drains: Unpleasant odors from drains can have a number of causes, such as a dried p-trap or blocked drain vents. One possibility is high levels of organic build-up inside them. Whether the solution is drain cleaning or another service, you need to have a professional plumber look into it.
  • Reoccurring clogs: It’s almost impossible to avoid some clogging trouble in drains; it only takes one large object tipped over into a sink drain to block it. Put if clogs are becoming an almost ordinary occurrences, you should do something about it right away—and that something is professional drain cleaning.

A simple sink plunger can clear basic clogs, but it won’t cut to the root issue of dirty drains. And, as we mentioned above, chemical drain cleaners can end up creating more problems than they solve. It takes the skill and equipment of a professional plumber to provide the drain cleaning necessary to see that you have a healthy and convenient plumbing system in your home. Call Advanced Home Services today to arrange for excellent drain cleaning in Blackfoot, ID.

Why Your Toilet Won’t Stop Running

February 16th, 2015

Toilets aren’t the most mechanically-complicated products in your home, but they do have to work a certain way. Each component inside your toilet tank has a specific job that allows the toilet to flush and refill, but sometimes certain components can wear out or break, resulting in a leak. When a toilet has a leak, it runs, and a running toilet can waste literally gallons of water. If you hear that familiar constant trickle that indicates your toilet is running, call the experts you can count on for toilet plumbing in Idaho Falls: Advanced Home Services.

Reasons for a Running Toilet

Here are some of the more common reasons why your toilet may start to run:

  • Cracking wax ring – the base of your toilet seals to your bathroom floor with the help of a wax ring. Sometimes the wax can dry out and crack, which can cause leaks to develop around the base of your toilet.
  • Leaks at the back of the tank – at the back of every toilet tank is a slim, slightly flexible metal hose that connects to the tank. This hose is the water supply line, which provides water to your toilet tank. Sometimes the connection between the bottom of the tank and the water supply line can leak, which can cause your toilet to run.
  • Issues with the flapper valve – the flapper is a rubber valve that acts as a gate that allows the water from the tank to rush into your toilet bowl and then stops it when the tank is full. The flapper creates a seal that prohibits excess water from entering the bowl, but sometimes the flapper can be misaligned or broken, and water will continuously run into your toilet bowl.
  • Problems with the float arm – the float arm is the rubber ball that floats at the top of your tank; when the toilet is flushed and the water in the tank drops, the float also drops and as it does, it pulls the lid off the fill valve, allowing water to refill the tank. The float arm has to be positioned correctly in order to work properly; if it isn’t, it can cause the toilet to run.

It can be easy to ignore a running toilet because it still works, but you may be paying for that excess water in your monthly water bill. Don’t let your running toilet take your wallet for a jog; instead, let an expert from Advanced Home Services repair your toilet. We provide quality plumbing repair in the Blackfoot, ID area.