The Sunny Plumber Phoenix Blog : Archive for December, 2014

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from The Sunny Plumber!

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Should I Call a Plumber for a Leaky Faucet?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Everyone experiences a leaky faucet sooner or later. It’s unfortunate, but over time it tends to happen more and more frequently. To a lot of homeowners, this seems like a fairly easy problem to fix. There must simply be a loose seal somewhere, right? Surely if you can find it and set it straight, the leak will stop. If you think it’s that easy, let us remind you that there’s a reason so many sitcoms include scenes where characters try to fix their faucets and only make the problem worse. It’s often exaggerated, but it’s rooted in truth. Leaky faucets are harder to fix than you might think. Read on to find out why you should hire a plumber to fix your leaky faucet.

Why bother to fix it?

Depending on the severity of the leak, a few homeowners may simply let it drip, thinking that it isn’t a big deal. DON’T DO THIS! Even a moderately leaky faucet can waste thousands of gallons a year, enough to fill a good-sized swimming pool. Do not ignore a leaky faucet, or it will waste a ridiculous amount of water.

Why Call a Plumber?

The reason you call any professional instead of attempting something yourself is that they possess expertise that you don’t. You’re essentially paying for the convenience of having the job done right the first time, without having to worry about any subsequent damages or the need to redo the job. In this case, the procedure is simple, but can still have expensive consequences if done wrong.

First, the water supply needs to be turned off, in order to prevent the tap from spewing all over the room and causing water damage. Next, the faucet assembly needs to be taken apart so you can have access to the o-ring and washers. After that, it’s a matter of knowing what you’re looking for, which if often where the plumber expertise comes in handy.

If you don’t feel comfortable taking apart your faucet to fix it, call The Sunny Plumber. We provide quality plumbing services throughout Mesa, AZ.

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Help! My Water Heater Isn’t Supplying Enough Hot Water!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

One of the most common problems with water heaters that can leave homeowners scrambling for professional service is when there is inadequate heating from the unit.

Hot water is vital for many of the tasks you perform around the house on a daily basis. So if you aren’t getting enough hot water or if you notice bursts of hot and cold, you may fear the worst: that your water heater will soon break down and require replacement. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Check out three of the most common reasons water heaters fail to dole out an adequate supply of hot water:

  • Broken Dip Tube: The dip tube is a long bit of pipe that leads to the bottom of the tank and connects to the cold water supply lines. Cold water moves to the bottom, where an electric heating element or gas burner heats it up. Then, the hot water naturally rises over the colder, denser water. If this piece is broken or cracked, cold water will remain around the top of the tank, leading to cold spurts of water or insufficient heating. A technician will usually simply replace this component.
  • Burner Trouble: One of the reasons you may not feel enough hot water is if there is a problem with the burner or electric heating element. The burner may be getting too much gas or not enough gas delivered to the unit, or condensation may drip onto the burner. With electric elements, you may simply not have enough power to the unit.
  • Improper Sizing: Unfortunately, sometimes a water heater acts up because it was not sized properly, which could mean a new system is your best bet. If your water heater is too small for the home, it won’t be able to supply enough hot water to meet higher demands. However, a unit that is too large costs a lot to install and run, which is why it’s important to choose trained professionals for installation. An experienced installer will make sure it’s the proper size for your needs, which involves careful calculations and planning.

When you sense water heater trouble, don’t expect the worst right away.

Call on the technicians at The Sunny Plumber who can help you decide if replacement is ultimately the best option or if your system can be up and running again with professional water heater repair in Gilbert, AZ.

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The Dip Tube and Water Heater Repair

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Your hot water heater provides warm water by heating cold water and storing it for use. One of the components that ensures you have hot water when you turn your hot water tap is the dip tube. Dip tubes are installed into every hot water heater with a tank, but like other components, the dip tube can experience problems. It’s always best to hire a professional for any problems you may experience with your hot water heater, especially those that use natural gas or propane as fuel. The trained and certified plumbing experts at The Sunny Plumber can handle any water heater repair in Gilbert, AZ, so call us today.

What Is a Dip Tube?

A dip tube is a long plastic tube that is attached to the cold water intake valve at the top of your hot water heater. The dip tube extends to 8 inches from the bottom of the water tank. As cold water enters your tank through the dip tube, it is pushed to the bottom so that the hot water can be at the top of the tank. This ensures that only hot water comes through your hot water tap when turned on. If the dip tube were short, the cold water would mix inside the tank, creating tepid water all the time.

Problems with Dip Tubes

The most common problems that develop with a dip tube are cracks and breakage. When a dip tube cracks or breaks, the first thing you may notice is a decrease in the temperature of your hot water. A second and somewhat more noticeable sign is small bits of white plastic in your water or trapped in the mouth of your faucets. These small bits indicate that the dip tube is broken and is disintegrating and will need to be replaced.

Special Note: There is a particular problem with dip tubes manufactured and installed from 1993 to 1997. These dip tubes were not made correctly and as a result, are prone to breakage. To check if your hot water heater was made during this time period, look at the serial number; if the last two digits are 93, 94, 95, 96 or 97, your hot water heater was manufactured during this time.

Without a properly working dip tube, your hot water heater can’t provide the hot water you need. If you are seeing the signs that you may have an issue with your dip tube, call The Sunny Plumber today and schedule an appointment for professional water heater repair in Gilbert, AZ.

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