• Shower and Tub Problems: When to Repair and When to Replace

    Replacing your shower or your tub may seem like a daunting task, even if you use a professional plumber that you’ve known for years. Repairing can get the quick fixes done, but how long will it be until you need another repair? Think about how old your fixtures are, and make use of your plumber’s expertise. Here’s how to find out when to repair and when to replace your shower and tub.

    Frequency of Repairs

    Your shower and your bathtub should last for a long time. If you care for them properly and they were installed the right way, you shouldn’t run into too much trouble throughout their working lives. The bad news is that sometimes tubs and showers malfunction even if you do take care of them properly. Clogs, leaks, and water flow issues are common problems that you might encounter, but consider how often these problems happen to you in particular. If you’re calling your plumber to repair your shower or tub on a regular basis, it’s probably time for an overhaul.

    Age of Appliances

    The tub design and showerhead you chose 20 years ago might have seemed like the best choice at the time, but you may have changed your mind over the years. If you’ve noticed problems with your bathroom fixtures and appliances and they’ve only gotten worse, then a replacement might be in order. Showers and tubs don’t last forever, even if you maintain them the right way. Think about how old your bathroom plumbing appliances are when you decide whether you should repair them or replace them.

    Second Opinions

    The best way to determine if you should repair or replace any plumbing appliance is to talk to a qualified plumber. He or she can break down your options and tell you which option is best, as well as give you an idea of what to expect when you make a decision.

    Whether you’re looking to repair or replace your Berkeley plumbing appliances, call Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating at (510) 843-6904. We can save you from water leaks and improve your indoor air quality.

  • Myth: It Doesn’t Matter Where Your Thermostat Is Located

    If you’re dealing with skyrocketing heating bills, one factor you may be overlooking is the location of your thermostat. The placement of your thermostat can dramatically affect how your HVAC functions, so if your bills are through the roof, then consider whether yours could be in a better place.

    Ideally, your thermostat should not be in a place where it can be affected by extreme temperature changes. For instance, it should not be located across from a window that allows the sun to beat on it, as it could make the thermostat read your interior temperature as warmer than it is. Placing the thermostat near a vent or draft can also cause inaccurate readings. To evaluate the placement of your thermostat, call your HVAC repair expert to come out and determine the best location for your home.

    Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating can help you get the maximum efficiency from your heating and AC in Berkeley , with advice about the best HVAC systems and how to use them. Get to the bottom of your HVAC issues today by calling us at (510) 843-6904.

  • Get the Facts About Furnace Energy Efficiency Ratings

    When you’re choosing a furnace , one of the first factors you should consider is its energy efficiency. The efficiency of your furnace will drastically affect your heating costs, and if you are committed to living a green lifestyle, then the efficiency of your furnace plays a major role. The benefits of owning an energy-efficient heating system could make it worthwhile to replace your older furnace. What do the efficiency ratings on furnaces mean, and what should you look for your home? Here are the facts you need to know.

    Furnace efficiency is measured using AFUE.

    To check the efficiency of a furnace, you need to check its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel-utilization efficiency, and it represents the minimum amount of fuel that is used to heat your home. Old furnaces can have AFUE ratings that go as low as 56%, but some new furnaces have ratings of 99%, making them dramatically more efficient.

    AFUE doesn’t account for heat loss.

    Heat loss, through poorly sealed ducts and pipes, also has a significant impact on the efficiency of your heating, though AFUE does not account for this. Even if you have a furnace with a high AFUE rating, heat loss can diminish its efficiency by causing it to run more often than it would otherwise have to. According to the Department of Energy, this kind of heat loss may be responsible for up to 35% of your heating costs , so seal any cracks around ducts and pipes to mitigate this risk.

    Upgrading to a newer furnace could save you money.

    Despite the initial cost of getting a new furnace, upgrading to a model with a better AFUE rating can save you money. If you have an older furnace with a 60% AFUE, you could save $33.33 for every $100 of heating costs. You will also significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    Let the experts at Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating in Berkeley help you select the right furnace for your home, so you can maximize the energy efficiency of your system and save money on your heating costs. For more information, call us today at (510) 843-6904.

  • FAQs and Answers About Video Inspections of Sewer Lines

    Your sewer line may be among the most mysterious components of your plumbing system. In the event that you experience a sewer line emergency , your plumber will need to use sophisticated tools and methods to get to the bottom of the issue. One of the most effective ways that your plumber can diagnose a sewer line problem is through the use of video inspection equipment. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions that customers have about sewer video line inspection.

    What is the sewer line video inspection process?

    Once your plumber has determined that your plumbing problems are occurring in your sewer line, he may suggest that you schedule a video inspection appointment. During the video inspection process, a small camera will be inserted directly into your property’s sewer line. This camera is a flexible reel, which is able to snake down into the inner reaches of your sewer. As your plumber manipulates the camera, he will get an in-person look at what’s going on in your sewer.

    How can sewer line inspections be used to solve my plumbing problems?

    There are several different types of plumbing issues that can be diagnosed using sewer line inspection technology. With the help of the inspection camera, your plumber will be able to locate clogs, cracks, or other problems that are located deep within your sewer. Video inspection can also be used to check on existing repairs.

    What are the signs that I need a video sewer inspection?

    If your sewer line is in need of significant repairs, chances are that it will undergo a video inspection. Some of the signs that your sewer is experiencing troubles include backed-up drains, malfunctioning toilets, or sewage smells in the interior of the home.

    To schedule a video inspection for your sewer line , contact the team at Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating. Whether you are in need of burst pipe repair or other plumbing services, we can dispatch a Berkeley plumber to your home right away. Call us at (510) 843-6904 to hear all about our services.