Aurora Plumbing Company Blog: Archive for July, 2014

How Plumbers Find Leaks in Your Home

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Unless leaks spring from underneath your sink or from a pipe in the garage, they are often difficult to see. Most of your plumbing remains hidden behind walls and floors so your house looks attractive. This does have the disadvantage of making it harder to find where leaks are occurring, or to even know they are happening until you notice water stains, warped floorboards, and high water bills.

However, professional plumbers are skilled and equipped to find all the hidden leaks inside your house. Plumbers use leak detection to pinpoint where they need to work, and they help ensure that the minimal amount of damage (if any) will need to be done to your home’s building material to reach the problematic pipe.

APC Plumbing & Heating has taken care of household water leaks since 1984, and we have the tools and the training necessary to get rid of the breaches in your plumbing. Call for our Denver, CO plumbers today! (And we mean today: don’t let leaks continue a second longer than they have to!)

How Leak Detection Works

Leak detection is a combination of plumbing know-how and high-end equipment operation. It’s an ideal merger of training and technology.

When plumbers first come to a home to s for leaks, they will hunt for visual clues that narrow down the search area and their knowledge of plumbing layout. Once they have found the general region of a leaking pipe, there are a number of tools they can use to make a more precise determination.

The first are acoustical devices, such as listening discs and ground microphones. These enhance sound and allow plumbers to hear the escape of water from a pipe buried even beneath concrete. The plumbers’ trained listening will assist them with finding the leaking spot.

The set of tools are scanners that look for high pressure areas and temperature changes. Water escaping from a pipe within a wall or under a slab will cause an increase in pressure as well as temperature changes, and these scanners can locate them with near pinpoint accuracy.

The final tool is video inspection equipment. A miniaturized camera mounted on fiber-optic cables snakes down drainpipes and sends back a video feed of the pipe interior to a monitor. Using this equipment, plumbers will not only locate the leak but discover its size and how best to fix it. These cameras remove much of the guesswork from pipe repairs.

Leak detection equipment is not consumer grade. Not only do the devices cost too much, but they require training to properly operate and interpret the results. It’s far simpler for you to pick up the phone and call APC Plumbing & Heating and our team of plumbers in Denver, CO. Don’t procrastinate about those leaks: call us and we’ll come to the rescue on the double.

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Items That You Should Never Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Garbage disposals are one of the great convenience devices of the modern kitchen. If you’ve spent most of your life in homes that have garbage disposals installed in their kitchens, it may be hard to imagine getting along without one.

Garbage disposals don’t just make like simpler for you when it comes to eliminating food waste in the sink. The disposal protects your plumbing by chopping down food particles so the wastewater system can better handle them. But garbage disposals are not invincible, nor are they magical devices. There are some items, including food product, that you should never place down a garbage disposal.

If you need help from Denver plumbers with a malfunctioning garbage disposal or any other plumbing problem, call APC Plumbing & Heating. We’ve helped keep plumbing in the community healthy since 1984.

Here are items that should NEVER go down the disposal

  • Your hand: We want to make this 100% crystal clear: do not attempt to fix a jam in your disposal by placing your hand down into it! This is potentially dangerous. When you have mechanical issues with a kitchen garbage disposal, call for professionals to handle it. That’s why we’re here.
  • Liquid fat, oil, and grease: These seem harmless when in hot liquid form, but all three turn into waxy and tough solids once they dry. Few things will jam up the works of a garbage disposal faster than fat, oil, or grease buildup. Remove these liquids to a separate receptacle, like a metal coffee can, to deposit in the trash.
  • Popcorn kernels, bones, and other solid food product: Here’s a good rule to live by when it comes to your garbage disposal: “If you can’t chew it with your teeth, than your garbage disposal can’t chew it either.” Place all these items in the trash.
  • Rice and pasta: These items surprise people, since it seems that a disposal should have no trouble cutting these down. However, both rice and pasta will continue to absorb water and swell up, which makes them serious problems if they get stuck inside a disposal.
  • Coffee grounds: Although these seem innocent enough, the many tiny particles of coffee grounds can easily gather inside plumbing like sediment, and start to build up into blockage.
  • Actual garbage: The name “garbage” may be in the title, but you should never place items that belong in trash receptacle—like paper or plastic—into a garbage disposal. They can lead to a rapid mechanical breakdown and create tough clogs.

If you treat your garbage disposal properly, it will reward you with many years of trouble-free service and clean drainpipes. If you eventually need repairs or replacement for your kitchen disposal, you can count on the experienced Denver plumbers at APC Plumbing & Heating to take care of all your needs.


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Why Do I Need a Humidifier in Colorado?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Our average humidity levels in Denver, CO stay pretty low. This can be a good thing, especially during the summer months, but when humidity goes too low, it can be uncomfortable and at its worse, cause damage. Room humidifiers can add some moisture to dry air, but a more effective approach is a whole-home humidifier.

How Does a Humidifier Work?

A whole-home humidifier is installed directly onto your heating and cooling system and adds moisture into the air. You can set the exact level of humidity you want, giving you excellent control over the comfort level in your home. The moisture can be added in a few ways, depending on what type of humidifier you choose from APC Plumbing & Heating.

What Are the Benefits of a Humidifier?

Whole-home humidifiers can offer you several benefits:

  • Retention of air temperature – having the correct amount of moisture in the air helps keep it comfortable, particularly during the winter months. Dry air will always feel cooler because humidity holds heat. This may be great in the summer, but not so much during winter.
  • Energy efficiency – because humidity holds heat and makes the air feel warmer, you may be able to lower your thermostat a couple of degrees during the winter. According to the EPA, you can save up to 4% per year on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
  • Good for wood products and furnishings – furniture, your walls, cabinets and wood flooring can crack, shrink and splinter from lack of moisture; wall and ceiling paint can crack and peel, too. By keeping the right amount of humidity in the air, you can sustain the life of your wood products and furnishings and your painted surfaces.
  • Better health – dry air can contribute to illness and allergy attacks by drying out the mucous membranes of your body. It is not uncommon for people to suffer from nose bleeds, dry skin, itchy eyes and frequent colds due to a lack of humidity.

Keep Your Air Healthy with a Humidifier

Since 1984, APC Plumbing & Heating has helped numerous customers in Denver, CO increase the quality of their indoor air. If you are seeing evidence that the humidity in your home is too low, call us today and schedule an appointment to discuss how a whole-home humidifier might help you.

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Why Scraping The Ice Off Your Air Conditioner Won’t Fix The Problem

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

It is a strange sight: we have summertime temperatures, maybe even over 90 degrees, and there’s ice on your air conditioner. It may seem like this is just a surface problem, so you scrape it off, and several hours later, the ice is back.

Icing is not a normal operational condition for your air conditioner, and is actually a symptom of a bigger problem, which is why removing the ice won’t fix anything when it comes to your air conditioner. There are a few reasons that icing can occur, so if you are seeing ice build-up on your AC, call APC Plumbing & Heating today.

Reasons for Icing on Your Air Conditioner

There are 3 common reasons for ice developing on your air conditioner:

  • Outdoor temperatures are too low – your air conditioning system does not operate well below 60 degrees. While this may not be a problem during the day, the nighttime temperatures in your area may dip below 60, causing icing to occur overnight. If you need to run your air conditioner during the day to cool your property, try to shut the air off at night to avoid icing.
  • Decreased air flow – when the air flow in your air conditioning system decreases, it directly affects the heat release and cooling process, particularly where the coils are concerned. Without the proper air flow, the parts that need to be cooled don’t get cooled, and the parts that need to get warmer don’t get warmer. The disparate temperatures cause the development of condensation that quickly freezes on the cold parts of the system in the form of ice. Decreased air flow can be caused by several things, including fan issues, bent fins, dirty air filters and blockages in the system, all issues that are best handled by a trained professional.
  • Refrigerant issues – the refrigerant in your system helps with the heat release and cooling process in your air conditioning system. The refrigerant stays at a steady level for the life of your air conditioner, but it can run low if your air conditioner develops a leak. Low refrigerant in your air conditioner creates an imbalance in the heat release/cooling process that can lead to the development of ice.

Don’t Keep Scraping – Call a Professional AC Technician

Removing the ice from your system only provides temporary relief – once your system cycles a few times, it will begin to develop ice all over again if the underlying problem isn’t addressed. There is a simple solution when it comes to cool outdoor temperatures, but decreased air flow and refrigerant issues with air conditioners are best left to professionals. If you are seeing ice develop on your air conditioner, call APC Plumbing & Heating today and schedule service for your air conditioner in Denver with one of our technicians.

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Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at APC Plumbing & Heating hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

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