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Avoid Calling the Plumber with These 6 Tips and Tricks

While the team at Guin Services in Birmingham, AL, will happily come out to your residence for any plumbing issue, we know there are many people out there who’d rather take care of the problem themselves, if at all possible. From clogged drains to not having any hot water, there are a variety of issues we come across that not always, but sometimes, have an incredibly simple solution.

If you want to reduce your chances of having to call the plumber, check out these six tips and tricks that just might help you solve your plumbing problem all by yourself.

  1. Grab the plunger. People seem to think that it’s just for a commode, but when the kitchen sink is stopped up, there’s nothing better to use than a plunger. To unclog a sink with a plunger, just use it the same way you would on a toilet. Hit the plunger three or four times, and it’ll wash on through. Then get you a Clorox wipe to wipe down the sink, and you’re good to go.
  2. Use a coat hanger. On the other hand, if it’s hair that’s clogging up your sink, a coat hanger works great. Just remove the plug or drain cover and grab a wire coat hanger. Use needle-nose pliers to straighten the hanger out while leaving the hook. Be sure to make yourself a small loop or handle at the other end. Stick the hook into the drain and rotate the hanger as you push it down. Then pull it out, and just like that, you’ll have a hair-free drain.
  3. Try a vinegar solution. Many people also aren’t aware that you can use a vinegar solution to remove calcium deposits from shower heads and faucets. By removing these deposits, you can restore water pressure while also reducing the chances of them getting clogged in the future. While this tip works great, if you’re having to do it more than once a year, you should talk to your plumber about getting a whole house water purifier.
  4. Check your pilot light. Before you call a plumber to come out and see why you don’t have any hot water, check your pilot light. Or if your water heater is electric, make sure the gas is on, and all your breakers are working properly. You wouldn’t believe how many times we come out, flip a breaker panel, and the water heater is back on. We also recommend you check to see when you last paid your gas bill, as you wouldn’t be the first to accidentally miss a payment.
  5. Be careful with drain cleaners. Liquid drain cleaners can undoubtedly work wonders when it comes to unclogging drains, but if you find yourself using it more than once a year, it’s probably time to call a plumber. While it may be a convenient solution at the time, if it’s used too much or too often, it can actually eat through your pipes, especially if you live in an older home. This obviously creates a much bigger problem than a clogged sink.  
  6. Think twice before flushing. Just because something says its flushable, doesn’t mean it is. Whether wipes, hygiene products, or cotton swabs, just be aware that unless it’s toilet paper or coming from your body, it may not be the best thing for your plumbing. Simply being weary about what you flush down the toilet can greatly reduce your chances of having to call a plumber.

If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person and want to at least try to fix your plumbing issue yourself before calling the plumber, use the tips and tricks above. These can not only help you fix a problem you’re having right now but can also help you avoid calls in the future. Of course, sometimes calling the plumber is unavoidable, and in that case, Guin Services is here for all your plumbing needs.

Why your AC may not need replacing–even if you’re told you HAVE to

Air conditioning repair

Air conditioning repair

By Joseph Braswell, Owner of Guin Services, LLC

Your AC isn’t performing up to par, so you get a technician to come out and see what the problem is. Instead of the simple repair you expected, they tell you that you have no other choice but to replace the unit.

While this may be a good option, the truth is, nothing is beyond fixing. Though sometimes it’s not the best choice economically, leaving you spending more on repairs than replacement, there’s always an alternative solution. That’s why it’s so important to work with a company like Guin Services that’s going to give you options. For various issues, we may be able to find at least a temporary solution until you decide if and when you’re ready to replace.

Should you replace your air conditioner if it has a refrigerant leak?

Refrigerant leaks are the most common reason we replace units nowadays. While the unit doesn’t need to be replaced due to the leak itself, the problem lies in the refrigerant used by the system. Freon, also known as R-22, has been used as a refrigerant for decades, but since it’s not environmentally friendly, it’s being phased out and replaced with a new refrigerant called Puron, or 410A. All new units made since the early 2000’s use this new refrigerant, and in 2020, R22 will be completely banned, which has skyrocketed its price.

If you have a refrigerant leak that you can’t find and repair, you’re going to have to keep putting money into expensive, outdated refrigerant in order for your AC to work properly. In this case, it makes more sense to get a new unit, with new refrigerant, along with a good warranty and maintenance plan.

When should Birmingham residents repair vs. replace their AC unit?

Whenever we run into the question of repairing versus replacing, I always tell the customer to look at cost versus benefit. If you can spend $1,000 and get five more years out of the unit, that makes sense. If it’s going to be $5,000 to fix, and there’s no guarantee the problem won’t continue, then it might be time to consider replacing.

When looking at cost versus benefit, age should also be taken into consideration. If you have a 15-20-year-old AC, and you’re having to spend a great deal of money on repairs, it might be worth spending the extra money a new one.

It’s actually no different when it comes to buying a new car. Let’s say you have a 1995 Honda Civic. You need a new engine and a new transmission, but the car probably isn’t worth $5,000. You may not be able to buy a new car for that much, but if you do – well, you’ll have a new car.

This is a discussion we regularly have with our customers, and it’s not often, if ever, we tell someone that they have no other choice than to replace their AC. You can always fix something; it’s just not always a smart idea.

Contact Guin Service, LLC in Birmingham, AL for AC Repair or Replacement.  We’ve been in business for 60 years because we do what’s right for our customers. You can always trust us to be honest and have your best interest in mind. We’re happy to come out and give you a free second opinion if you’ve been told you have to replace your AC. While we may come out and say that’s not a bad idea, we’ll also give you your options, or repair your unit until you’re ready to make the decision. Just give us a call today at 205.595.4846.