Common Plumbing Myths That Cost You Money

Common Plumbing Myths That Cost You Money

There are plumbing “tricks” that could cost you more money and damage to your home. Some plumbing myths are harmless but nonetheless spread incorrect information. Hobson Plumbing and Heating experts are here to put a few myths to rest. To schedule an appointment, or for more information about these myths, contact us today!

PLUNGERS ARE ALL-POWERFUL PLUMBING TOOLS

Plungers are ideal for removing small and loose debris from pipes. Unfortunately, they’re not designed for stubborn clogs, mineral buildup, or major blockages. When dealing with something other than a bit of food or bathroom tissue, consider a more heavy-duty plumbing tool. The plunger is a good place to start, or you may want to try these tips:

  • Water ram that will blow out the blockage: great for sediment buildup.
  • Drain auger that will break up a blockage: good for stubborn and dense clogs.
  • Hobson Plumbing and Heating: Calling us is ideal when the blockage is too large, too far in the pipes, or if you don’t know what the problem is.

NOTHING CAN SWIM UP YOUR PIPES

Pesky little rodents such as rats are capable of making their way from the sewer, your pipes, and into your home. The rats smell food in the drains, follow the smell, and find their way to the toilet. To avoid this, never flush food down your toilet and little food down the drains in whiich case, use a garbage disposal.

A LEAKING FAUCET ISN’T WORTH YOUR TIME

If you value your water and your money, then a leaky faucet is definitely worth fixing. A minor drip could waste around 500 gallons of water per year. Fixing a leak like this could save you money on your water bill, and usually, all you have to do is check a few things such as the connections, gaskets, and washers. If you’re unable to find the culprit, Hobson Plumbing and Heating is here to help.

ONLY STOPPED UP DRAINS ARE CLOGGED

You could have a drain or toilet that seems to be running or flushing normally, and there’s still a clog in the line. This could be a partial clog, sediment buildup on the wall of the pipes, or another issue with your plumbing. If you flush a toilet and find water coming up from a sink or bathtub, this is a clear indication of a clog.

THE WATER HEATER IS INDESTRUCTIBLE

Water heaters contain water that’s heated up to a very high temperature, and this creates a great deal of pressure. All modern water heaters are outfitted with a TPR (temperature and pressure relief) valve, but if this malfunctions, the water heater can explode.

You can prevent such an occurrence by testing the TPR valve regularly, and following the manufacturer’s instructions regarding safe temperatures. If you think it was installed incorrectly, call Hobson Plumbing and Heating at 630-761-3400.

These plumbing myths could cost you money because they could lead to major problems with your plumbing. To schedule an appointment with a qualified professional, or for more information about these myths, contact us today!

HVAC System Changes

HVAC System Changes

The concept of living in a “smart” home was once an idea limited to those more fortunate, or so it seemed. As with many suggestions that seem unattainable at first, home automation is really taking off.  

Products with remote connectivity have become increasingly popular in homes and businesses these days. For instance, the ability to control via mobile devices. This advancing technology is changing HVAC systems for the better by providing homeowners with self-learning thermostats, mobile or voice control options, and self-diagnosing equipment.

When it comes to home automaton or making your home, office, business, warehouse, or any facility more efficient, Hobson Plumbing and Heating will find the best solution that fits your needs.

BENEFITS OF HVAC AUTOMATION

The benefits of smart HVAC systems are:

  • Improved indoor comfort, due to automated HVAC settings and the ability to make changes anytime using a mobile device.
  • Lower energy bills and maintenance costs, made possible by self-learning thermostats and HVAC systems with predictive diagnostics.
  • Smaller environmental footprint resulting from lower energy use.
  • Greater control with options to change settings on a mobile device or voice commands.
  • Enhanced safety due to alerts or notifications that can be sent to the user’s mobile device when something is wrong with the equipment.

TYPES OF HVAC AUTOMATION

With interconnectivity at an all-time high, it’s easier than ever to automate household appliances. A few of the most in-demand devices and features that bring automated technology to HVAC systems are covered.

Smart Thermostats

One of the first automated home devices was the thermostat. Advancements in designs and user interfaces have only improved the performance and popularity of smart thermostats. They learn what temperatures homeowners prefer and when, and should soon anticipate the homeowner’s preferences and implement them automatically.

Mobile Control

Self-learning thermostats feature Wi-Fi, allowing homeowners to monitor, change, and receive notifications about their HVAC system. Imagine heating the bathroom before getting out of bed or putting the thermostat in recovery mode on the way home from work. Mobile control is all about improving comfort when you need it and reducing energy usage when you don’t. Wi-Fi thermostats also keep homeowners in the know if something goes wrong with their home comfort systems while they’re gone.

Voice Control

Homeowners want their automated systems to work without much effort, but voice control is a trendy way to make changes. When a thermostat or ceiling fan connects to a Siri, Google Home, or an Alexa-enabled device, it’s possible for homeowners to change settings with a voice command. This may not seem more convenient than controlling home comfort equipment with a keypad, but certainly pays off in the long run in the convenience department.

Self-Diagnostic and Performance Rating Capabilities

Homeowners want to know they’re getting the most from their HVAC equipment. Predictive diagnostics and insights on system performance are satisfying and deliver peace of mind. Systems with these features can even recommend ways to improve efficiency, providing an entirely new level of long-term performance.

In a few short years, automated technology has already drastically changed HVAC systems for the better. And with our whole house approach to HVAC installation, we focus on what will get you the most savings and convenience. If you’re interested in home automation, call a Hobson Plumbing and Heating expert at 630-761-3400. We’re available 24/7/365!

Sleep Temperature for the Winter

Sleep Temperature for the Winter

  1. Keep Cool – your sleep rhythm follows your body temp rhythm. In order to allow your body to regulate temperature easily, consider silk pajamas, which are warm when you want them to be and cool as well.
  2. Clean air for clean sleep – better air quality promotes better sleep. Make sure you have the right temperature, humidity, and air quality to catch those much needed ZZZ’s. Indoor quality monitors are available that track these factors and displays them in an easy to understand way.
  3. Stockings are not just for the fireplace – Warm feet can help with sleep. Data shows that getting your feet toasty before bed helps you fall asleep – so sock it up! Or, soak the day away in a nice warm bath just before bedtime.
  4. Bed partners – Kids can disrupt sleep. “Mommy, I’m cold” at the wee hours of the morning is probably the last thing you want to hear. If you experience this, consider making a new set of rules to keep the disturbance to a minimum. Consider keeping a folded blanket at the end of your child’s bed.
If you need any assistance with your heating or cooling needs, Hobson Heating & Plumbing is here to help. Call us at 630-761-3400.
Hobson Plumbing and Heating Has Moved!

Hobson Plumbing and Heating Has Moved!

We are excited to announce that our team has moved to a new location in North Aurora.  We spent our previous years a few miles away from our new location — our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space.

The new office is not a retail storefront, however, allows us to store all the right equipment in order for the team to provide the best possible experience for our customers. The team will also conduct meetings and some training out of this facility. The picture above was taken at the new Hobson Plumbing and Heating location. We’re excited about the change.

While we were happy with our space, there were several motivating factors to make a move:

Space

When we first moved into our last office, it left no room for any inventory or meeting space.  The new office will offer more square footage, but more importantly, allows us to provide even better service.

Visibility

In our last office, we were working out of our busy home, as well as a heated and secure storage unit in North Aurora. While we really like our neighbors and the convenience, we live a pretty anonymous existence.  There was no way for anyone in the community outside of our home to know we existed, and we’re hoping our new location will help bolster our visibility in the area and help us more quickly come to mind when local residents require a trusted plumbing or HVAC technician.

Location

North Aurora is where we have always called home for our business. We’re all huge advocates for this community, and we’re excited that our office location now furthers that commitment. Our location will have an easily accessible dropbox for payments if you prefer to hand deliver it.

It has been an exciting two-plus years for Hobson Plumbing and Heating and we look at this new location as the start of another chapter in our history.  We’re still working on getting settled in, but we’re incredibly excited to be in this new space.

Thanks for everyone’s support throughout the years and with the move.

Our new address is 197 Poplar Place #2 North Aurora, IL 60542.

Pet-proof Your Home’s Plumbing

Pet-proof Your Home’s Plumbing

Here are four tips you should consider to pet-proof your home’s plumbing. Keeping up with each one of these best practices means you should never have to worry about pet plumbing issues again.

According to the American Pet Product Association, approximately 68% of US households have a pet. Nearly one 100 million households have to account for the potential problems that come with having pets. Pets tend to put wreak havoc on plumbing.

Cover up exposed pipes

It’s the same concept as childproofing a home. Just like children love to open cabinet doors, pets love to chew on things. Avoid an unnecessary trip to the vet by covering up exposed pipes and wires.

If a pet chews through a pipe, fixing the potential burst could be a pricey problem. It might also damage the home or, worst of all, harm your pet! You’ll protect your home, your plumbing, and your pet all at once.

Keep plenty of water out

Pets, especially dogs, drink out of the toilet because they’re thirsty. If you make sure they always have water to drink, they generally stay out of toilet water. As a general rule, check your pet’s water bowl at least twice a day. Make sure they always have a drinking option that isn’t your toilet water.

Rinse dirty pets off outside

Rolling around in the mud is common for dog’s, but it can also be a plumbing disaster. When you wash a muddy dog off in the bath, it’s guaranteed to lose tons of muddy and matted fur. Nothing can create a clog quite as quickly or reliably as a muddy dog bath. To avoid the worst of the drain-clogging potential, we recommend stages of dog bathing. Pre-rinse your dog while you’re still outside to remove the worst of the mess. Once you’ve removed enough mud to see the fur, take them inside to the tub, shower, or slop sink.

Keep cleaning chemicals out of reach

If pets get into your bathroom cleaning supplies, they could make themselves extremely sick. Make sure your bathroom cleaners are out of reach or behind locked doors. Avoid having chemical drain cleaners in the first place. Not only are chemical drain cleaners poisonous to pets, they’re actually damaging to the pipes, too.

If your beloved family pet has caused a plumbing problem, don’t worry. Just call the professionals at Hobson Plumbing & Heating. No matter how difficult the clog or bad the burst is, we have just what you need to fix it. Call us today at 630-761-3400

Shower or tub, rub a dub dub

Shower or tub, rub a dub dub

According to recent trends, the popularity of bathtubs is on the wane.

When it comes to remodeling, about one in four households that have bathtubs are replacing them, usually with a larger shower. At the same time, households that are hanging on to their bathtubs can now indulge their senses by converting a strictly functional room into a personal spa oasis.

For those opting to indulge in a nice, hot soak the leading choice for a replacement is a freestanding design. Freestanding designs come in two versions, partial and full. A partial freestanding tub hooks up to a conventional in the wall faucet and filler, while a full freestanding uses a floor-mounted filler and faucet. If you’re considering a freestanding tub, here’s what to look for in terms of design and construction.

Your Tub Choices Are Nearly Limitless

Even though bathtub use is declining, the variety of tubs available in the marketplace is growing, in large part due to new materials and improved manufacturing methods. New materials now cover everything from carbon fiber to acrylic, while still supporting an extensive range of options in wood, marble, and stone.

Improvements in modern manufacturing techniques mean higher quality steel tubs and extended finishes on traditional cast iron. The pros and cons of nine popular materials include cost, heat retention, surface, scratch resistance, weight, etc.

From Marble to Plastic, Materials Free The Imagination

Acrylic’s advantages include a wide range of colors and an infinite choice of shapes. Large slabs of plastic are molded to the desired shape using heat to soften the acrylic sheets. The process results in a non-porous smooth surface that retains heat, although the plastic is subject to scratching.

Fiberglass is another material that’s been adapted to the bathing scene, which isn’t that far removed from a boat or a pool. Compared to steel or cast iron, lighter weight is a real benefit when it comes to ease of installation and structural requirements, especially on a second floor or higher which might need additional re-enforcement to support the weight.

Acrylic and cast iron both have excellent heat retention qualities, and depending on how much bathing is done that feature alone could result in considerable energy savings over the lifetime of the tubs. In the case of cast iron, that lifetime lasts forever.

If you’re thinking about remodeling or updating your bathroom and in need of plumbing assistance, Hobson Plumbing and Heating is here for you! Contact us today at 630-761-3400.

May is National Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month

When it comes to electrical and water, they just don’t mix. Protect your family with these simple tips and guidelines to share with your kids about what not to do.

For Kids: Keep children safe by sharing these tips.

  • Only plugs go into electrical outlets.
  • Never put your fingers or anything else into an electrical outlet.
  • Never pull out a plug by its cord.
  • Keep electricity and water far apart.
  • Don’t touch light switches or electric appliances when wet!
  • Don’t use or plug-in electrical devices near a bathtub, sink or pool.
  • If you see broken cords or plugs, ask an adult to have them fixed.
  • Don’t swim or play outside during a thunderstorm.
Whole House Plumbing Inspections

Whole House Plumbing Inspections

Save Yourself The Trouble

For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your lifetime so be sure that you have the plumbing inspected in the entire home.

After all, there’s nothing worse than buying a new home and then discovering unexpected problems, such as leaky pipes or a toilet that doesn’t work properly when flushed. Therefore, before you decide to sign on the dotted line and buy the house of your dreams, make sure you get a professional plumbing inspection that will undoubtedly discover any potential problems you may be facing.

If there is one part of a home plumbing system that needs to be closely inspected prior to closing the deal on your new home, it’s the water heater. Because this is an appliance that lasts for 10-20 years, most homes have water heaters that are old and outdated. Therefore, you should make sure you find out just how old the water heater is.

If it’s approaching 10 years old, chances are it’s time the home had a new one. In some cases, the seller of the home may agree to buy a new water heater in order to ensure the deal gets done. If you’re in a seller’s market, concessions for a new water heater might be off the table.

If you think the water heater’s age is not an issue, then there are a few other factors to take into consideration. If you have a Hobson Plumbing and Heating plumber doing the inspection, they will look for such things as mineral deposits, corrosion around the bottom of the tank, or other signs of damage.

Sniff the Septic Tan

If you are planning to buy a home in the countryside, chances are it may have a septic tank to handle the home’s sewage needs. If this is the case with your potential new home, make sure you have one of our experts give it a thorough inspection. Important things to find out include where the septic tank is located, how big it is, its age, and the last time it was serviced or emptied.

Once the plumber begins an inspection, he will look for things such as standing water and bad odors. If either are found, it could indicate the septic system needs a major overhaul. If this happens, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on the project.

In some cases, the home’s seller may be willing to either replace the septic system or knock several thousand dollars off their asking price in order to complete the transaction. The worst the seller can say is no. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid a situation that could turn smelly, disgusting, and expensive in a hurry.

The Problems with Discolored Water

When touring a home, it’s important to turn on the faucets to see if the water is clear. If it’s discolored, that could be a sign of trouble. If the home is older, discolored water could be a sign of iron in the water, which can result in hard water that could cause damage to sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.

It could also be an indicator the home has very old pipes, which can corrode from the inside over the years and allow rust to get into the water. Thus, it’s important to have a plumber take a close look at the pipes to check their age and condition.

If it turns out the home is going to need a new plumbing system, you may want to look elsewhere for another home. However, if the seller is very anxious to sell the home and it’s one you have your heart set on, you may be able to negotiate a deal to get new pipes in the home before you move in.

Look at the Shut-Off Valve

Another item to check is the shut-off valve. Since this shuts off the home’s main water supply, it should be in excellent working order.

Otherwise, you could be in for quite a few problems. If the valve is turned off completely and water is still coming out of faucet taps, you’ll probably need to add this to the list of things to be replaced.

To determine if the shut-off valve works properly, have a plumber inspect it and then turn it off. Once it’s off, the plumber can then go around and see if water is still coming out of the taps. If so, another repair bill may be coming your way.

Inspecting the Toilet

Along with the water heater, it’s important to make sure the home’s toilet is in good working order. To make sure this is the case, a plumber will look at a number of things in the bathroom.

For example, one sign of trouble around the toilet will be water around the floor, which could indicate the toilet may be leaking and rotting the floor in the process. Also, if the tank appears to be sweating heavily, that could also indicate a problem.

Surprisingly, when many people take a tour of a home they are considering to purchase, they rarely bother to flush the toilet to see if it works, and that could be a mistake. In many cases, toilets in homes are older and in need of being replaced.

If a plumber flushes the toilet and it fails to fill up completely or is slow to empty, chances are there may be a problem in the home’s sewage line. Therefore, make sure a thorough inspection of any potential problems is done before buying the home, or you may be facing a large repair bill shortly after buying your home.

Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spring is a time for a lot of things, and most of them have to do with fresh starts, new beginnings, and rejuvenation.

Where Hobson Plumbing and Heating can be helpful is to provide you with some timely tips to help make sure your household plumbing is ready for the spring. By doing a little work now, you’ll have much more time to enjoy the beautiful weather that surely lies just around the corner.

For starters, spring is that time of year when the ground completely thaws, all the snow finally melts, “April showers” roll in and many local basements get flooded as a result. We’d hate to see yours become one of them, so here’s how to make sure it doesn’t:

Check Your Sump Pump

Check your sump pump to see if it’s working properly by pouring a bucket of water in the pit and then activating the switch. Also, be sure the discharge line is clear of leaves or other debris.

Consider A Backup Sump Pump

These turn on either when your main sump pump fails or your home loses power. At Hobson Plumbing and Heating, we offer both battery and water-powered backup sump pumps, each with its own unique set of advantages.

No Sump Pump? Act Now Before It’s Too Late

Don’t have a sump pump at all or maybe an older unit and your home or other homes in your neighborhood are prone to basement flooding? This might be the time to join the club and get one or have your existing unit inspected by one of our experts.

More Plumbing Tips To Consider

Leaky faucets also deserve prompt attention.

Leaky faucets and leaks in general can cause structural damage before you even realize something’s wrong. Keep a sharp lookout for water under your refrigerator,  damp spots or water stains on your walls or ceilings, and the smell of must or mold.

Give a quick visual inspection for areas that are more prone to bulges such as an ice maker supply line, washing machine hose, and outdoor hose faucets.

How can you find out if your toilet is running?

Pour a teaspoon of food coloring in the tank and then, about a half hour later, check your toilet bowl. If the water is tinged that same color… yep, you guessed it, a leaking toilet tank!

Do you experience low water pressure?

While there are many possible causes, these are the ones we discover most often: a problem with your water heater, the need to have your water softener serviced, a hidden water leak, or, if you have one, a problem with your PRV (pressure reducing valve).

Once you’ve checked these items off of your list, call us to take care of any plumbing issues you find. We’re available 24x7x365!

Hiring HVAC Technicians

Hiring HVAC Technicians

It’s time to schedule a maintenance visit for your heating and cooling unit and before hiring, be prepared to ask a few simple questions to avoid getting scammed.

As a homeowner, you’re doing everything right to maintain your heating and cooling system and keep it in working order. Now, it’s time to hire an HVAC technician to do the job. How do you know WHO to hire for the job? Here’s what you should be looking for or asking every HVAC technician before hiring them to work on your system:

“Are you licensed and insured?”

Almost every state requires HVAC technicians to be licensed (Hobson License# 058-179219). If they’re not, you probably shouldn’t hire them to work on your system. Make sure to ask your technician if they are licensed or look on their website in order to get the license number from them — you can then look it up through your state contractor licensing board.

Additionally, it’s good to make sure the licensed HVAC technician is insured, just in case something goes wrong while they’re working in your home.

“How much experience do you have in the industry?”

Have they been working in the HVAC industry for a long time? Are they relatively new? Knowing how much experience an HVAC technician has can help you feel more comfortable about hiring them.

In addition, consider asking how they learned their skills. If you have a specific brand or type of system, determine if they have experience with that as well.

“What are the ratings and reviews from past customers?”

Almost every HVAC technician will give you a written estimate explaining what work will be done and how much it will cost. However, it’s important to get references, too. Your first thought might be to ask a family member, neighbor, friend, or to post on social media that you’re looking for a technician. Any of these options would be a good place to start. However, it’s good to talk to a few different contractors before making any decisions so it’s strongly advised that you take the extra step to look into the businesses’ authentic reviews and ratings to help you make a decision. Trusted ratings and reviews can be found on Hobson Plumbing and Heating’s Facebook page, Google, Home Advisor or Better Business Bureau.

“How do refunds, warranties, and guarantees work?”

Your current system may be under warranty, and a good HVAC technician will follow the terms of the warranty. Or, you may be past warranty, in which case they should give you a new guarantee in writing. Hobson Plumbing and Heating has a 100% satisfaction guarantee with our work.

It’s also good to ask about how refunds work. Make sure that you are hiring a reputable company that installs the equipment properly and fully discloses their policy. In most cases you can’t get your money back should the repair not last, however, a reputable company will work with you to find a solution.

In addition, energy and cost efficiency are also important to many homeowners. If it’s something important to you and you want to know more, or if you feel your system isn’t working as efficiently as it should, bring it up with the technician to find out their recommendations.

You don’t have to be an expert on HVAC systems to find a good technician. With these tips, you can hire the best person for the job and ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently, keeping your home comfortable and saving you money.

If you need to schedule an appointment to service your HVAC unit, please contact us or call 630-761-3400.

Archives