Central Air Conditioning Buyers Guide

Now that summer is in full swing in Vancouver, it may be time to start thinking about upgrading the air conditioning system in your home to a central air unit. A properly installed and adequately sized central A/C unit can keep your entire home a cool and comfortable temperature throughout the entire summer. To get the most out of your central A/C unit in terms of overall efficiency, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you buy and install a brand unit.

Size Matters

The first and most important thing to keep in mind when looking to buy a central A/C unit is finding the right sized unit for your living space. In many cases, people tend to install central air conditioning units that are actually inadequate for the size of home they live in. This can quickly lead to a number of costly problems, the first of which is a significant increase in the cost of hydro. A central A/C unit that is too small for your house will be constantly working to replace the warm air in your house with cool air which will also likely lead to expensive maintenance costs that would otherwise not occur with an appropriately sized A/C unit. On the other hand, it is also inadvisable to install a central air unit that is designed for a space bigger that your house’s square footage. A bigger A/C unit can often lead to uncomfortably cool temperatures throughout your home, making it just as impractical as a unit that is too small.

Existing Ducts

Most houses are outfitted with a furnace that features heat ducts installed throughout the house. If your home is already equipped with air ducts, this will likely save you a lot of money on the installation of a new central A/C unit, since the air conditioner will use the same ventilation system as your furnace does during the winter. It should be noted however, that this is not always the case, as some heating duct systems are incompatible with central A/C units. Before choosing an A/C unit to install, it is a good idea to check with your HVAC expert to determine whether or not you need additional air ducts, and what that will cost to install.

Energy Efficient Models

Not too long ago, a central A/C unit was seen by many as a costly appliance due to its high consumption of energy. While this was true about most central A/C units years ago, it is simply not the case any longer, as new, highly efficient models are becoming widely available for houses of different sizes. When searching for a high efficiency unit, you can consult what is known as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) listed on the energy guide tag attached to the unit. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit will run, which will save you a lot of money on your hydro bill in the future.
To find out more about the benefits of central air conditioning, and how to find the right unit for your home, feel free to contact us, or check out our website for more info. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates from JJ’s Plumbing.

Summer Plumbing & Heating Tips For Homeowners

The summer is a great time to perform any outstanding maintenance on the plumbing and heating in your home. With the furnace largely inactive, it is a great time to repair any problem spots that can cause cold areas in your house during the winter time. It is also a good idea to fix any pipes that have been causing issues either inside or outside of your house. Here are a few tips to help you get a start on keeping your home’s plumbing and heating running smoothly all year round.

Get an Inspection

A good place to start with your home repairs is to get a professional to perform a complete inspection of your house’s plumbing and heating systems. By doing so, you will be able to pinpoint the particular points in your house that are in need of heating or plumbing repairs. This can also help you save money in the long run, as a thorough inspection will reveal any points in your house that are venting warm air in the winter, causing you to pay more on your heating bill.

Repair or Replace Now

Should you find any specific area of your home that requires attention, it is a good idea to take care of the issue immediately. Plumbing and heating repairs are especially important to the overall well-being of your home, mainly due to the fact that these systems can potentially be drastically affected by the cold winter weather. For example, a crack in your foundation or a pipe leading to or under your house is something to be tended to right away, particularly in a place like Vancouver that has a wet climate. It is also a good idea to replace any faulty equipment, such as a boiler or water heater that is acting up. These pieces of equipment tend to work harder during the winter, which is why it’s important to replace them well before they break down.

Get Winter-Ready

The cold weather has a funny way of sneaking up on you, and can be potentially devastating to your house’s plumbing. It is vital that you ensure all the pipes in your home that will be exposed to the cold, such as the pipes in the attic, are well insulated. You will also want to make sure your heating ducts or the heater itself is in proper working order. There is nothing worse than waking up to a cold house on that first frigid day of the year. By double checking to make sure everything is in working order, you will have nothing to worry about come winter time.

For more tips on how you can take advantage of the warm weather and get your home’s plumbing and heating systems running perfectly, feel free to check out our website or contact us to schedule an inspection. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter if you would like to receive current updates about the work we’ve done in the Vancouver area.

Which Types of Air Conditioning Are Best for Your Home?

Knowing which type of air conditioner will suit the needs of your home may seem like a simple issue, but in many cases people end up choosing a cooling system that costs them more money than they first expected. In order to avoid unnecessarily high energy and repair costs in the future, it is a good idea to become familiar with the different types of air conditioning systems before making a final decision on what to install in your home.

Window Mounted Units

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep a single room in your house cool, the window mounted A/C unit is an ideal choice. The unit is self-contained and is available in a number of different sizes designed to fit in most windows, with some units as small as 14”. They can also be mounted on the wall should you decide to cut out a hole leading to the outside of your home, but the real convenience of this unit is the ease with which it can be moved from room to room and mounted in a window.

Portable Units

Another convenient option for cooling a single room in your home is the portable A/C unit. Like the window mounted unit, the portable unit’s components are all self-contained. The portable unit gets its name due to the fact that, unlike the window mounted air conditioner, the unit can be moved around a room to any desired area, as long as the air duct attached to the unit that moves the hot air outside remains connected to a window or outdoor vent.

Ductless or Split Units

These units are often seen in apartments and hotels due to the fact that they are compact and more efficient than a window mounted or portable unit in a larger space. Like the name says, these units do not require an air duct system to distribute cool air throughout your home. They are similar to a central air system in some respects however, since the unit is split into two components located inside and outside. The indoor component contains a fan and evaporator coil to move cool air in and hot air out. The outdoor component, connected by refrigeration tubes, contains the compressor and condenser fan.

Central Air Units

This is probably the best option for cooling an entire house. Central air systems consist of two main components; the compressor located outside your home, and the evaporative unit which is usually connected to the same air duct system as your furnace. If you decide this type of air conditioner is right for your home, it is important to remember to choose a unit that is adequate enough to cool your entire home as efficiently as possible without costing you too much on your energy bill.

The expert technicians at JJ’s Plumbing, Heating and Drainage are qualified to repair all types of air conditioning units. For more information about the best way to keep your home cool this summer, feel free to check out or website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Summer Plumbing Tips for Homeowners!

Summer is a great time for bike rides, trips to the beach, hiking, road trips and all sorts of other fun ways to enjoy the nice weather. The warmer weather also makes it easier to take care of chores around the house, which should include making sure the plumbing in your home is in proper working order. Here are a few simple summer plumbing checks you can do to confirm everything is working properly.

• Check Under the Sink

One of the first things you can do to make sure there are no leaks in any of your sinks is to check in the cupboards under the sink. If you notice and warping or water damage, it is likely a leak has recently formed in either the supply tubes or the trap.

• Check the Washing Machine

You may find that you tend to use your washing machine a little more often in the summer than any other time of year. With this in mind, it is a good idea to check the hoses attached to your washer for any bulges or cracks that may turn into leaks. Most hardware or plumbing supply stores carry replacement washing machine hoses should you need to install a new one.

• Check the Basement and Foundation

Over the winter months, cracks can start to form in your foundation due to the cold weather and potential ice build ups. Now that the weather is warmer and groundwater flows more easily, you may want to check your basement for any signs of leaks, especially after a rainstorm. Should you discover any sign of a leak, be sure to get it taken care of, as these types of leaks can lead to major damage if not sufficiently waterproofed.

• Check the Water Heater

If you have a water heater that is over ten years old it may be a good idea to start looking for a replacement. To determine how old your water heater is, check the serial number printed on the tank. The first four digits represent the month and year your water heater was made. Now is also a good time to drain a few litres of water from the tank in order to reduce the amount of sediment that can build up and cause your heater to work harder than it normally should.

• Check your Toilet

While you’re performing all of these checks, it is a good idea to make sure there are no issues with any of the toilets in your home. A quick way to make sure your toilet base is properly sealed is to make sure the floor around the toilet doesn’t feel spongy when you step on it. If you notice any areas where the floor feels weaker or tiles feel loose, you may need to replace the seal on your toilet.

Should any of your inspections reveal a plumbing problem that needs fixing, don’t hesitate to contact us at JJ’s Plumbing. Our plumbing experts are ready to provide you with top quality repairs to get your house back to normal as quickly as possible. For more tips on how to keep the plumbing in your house running smoothly this summer check out our website, or join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Do You Know How To Properly Use A Plumbing Snake?

Sometimes Drano or Liquid Plumber is just not enough to completely clear that stubborn clog that has been building up in your drain. Before you give up and call a plumber, there is one more highly effective method of clog removal you might want to try. It’s actually a very simple and inexpensive way to keep all of your pipes clear and running smoothly (even the toilet!). A plumbing snake is a long metallic cord that can be extended down your drain and rotated in the pipe to remove clogs. They vary in size, being anywhere from 8 to 20 feet long, and are available at your local plumbing or hardware store. Knowing how to properly use the plumbing snake is a very useful skill to have when dealing with troublesome clogs throughout your house. Simply follow these steps and you’ll have clear drains in no time!

 

Wear Work Gloves

This may not seem like a job that requires work gloves, but it can actually save you some grief when trying to grip the snake as it is extended down the drain. You may also want the gloves regardless, since cleaning a drain can be a pretty messy job.

 

Extend the Plumbing Snake

Be sure to have a clear working space before you start to lower the snake into the drain. You want to hold the snake straight over the drain, and lower the end with the metal coil down into the pipe. Keep lowering until you hit some resistance. If you meet no resistance, but the drain is still clogged, you may need a longer pluming snake.

 

Spin the Plumbing Snake

Now that the snake has been lowered and is touching the clog in the pipe, use the handle at the top of the snake to turn the metal coil in the pipe. This will act as an auger which digs out the clog and loosens any other material that has built up. You may want to pour some water down the drain while you turn the handle to monitor how much the clog has been broken up.

 

Remove the Plumbing Snake and Clean Up

Once the water is draining steadily from the sink or toilet, slowly pull up the snake from the drain. Make sure not to do this too fast, as you can damage the inside of your pipes, or splash some dirt from the drain onto a clean surface in your house. Be sure to clean up any dirt that does emerge with the plumbing snake and put the tool back in its case.

There you have it. Now that you know how to properly use a plumbing snake, taking care of any clog in your house will be a cinch! For more helpful tips or information, visit our website or check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Have You Updated To More Efficient Plumbing Fixtures Yet?

There is very little downside when it comes to having high efficiency plumbing fixtures installed in your home. These fixtures not only save you money on your water bill after a short period of time, they also have proven to be extremely effective when it comes to saving water in the community. Low flow fixtures are certainly not a new product to arrive on the market, but recent improvements to the technology has resulted in the development of Ultra Low Flow fixtures, which provide the same performance as a regular fixture while at the same time conserving even more water than their predecessors. If you are in the market for a new toilet, shower or faucet fixtures, be sure to check out some high efficiency products.

Low Flow Toilets

For the average Canadian, a toilet makes up about 1/3rd of our daily water usage. With that in mind, changing your toilet to a high efficiency model is a good way to start lowering your water consumption. If your toilet is over 20 years old, you will definitely want to replace it, as a toilet from before 1994 is extremely inefficient and wasteful. The best option to replace you toilet is what’s called a dual flush toilet. This type of toilet is by far the most efficient as it gives you the option to flush a smaller amount of water for liquid waste, as opposed to the full tank each time.

Ultra Low Flow Showerheads

An ultra-low flow showerhead from today saves up to 18 times more water than an older model without compromising water pressure. Most ultra-low flow showerheads use only about 8 litres of water per minute, as opposed to other showerheads on the market today such as the “rain showerheads” that use up to 40 litres of water per minute. In addition to saving you money on water, the more efficient showerhead will reduce the amount of hot water you end up using, which in turn saves money on your electric bill.

High Efficiency Faucets

The high efficiency faucets of today can reduce the amount of water used in your house by up to 70 percent. Before you run out and buy a whole new set of fixtures, you may want to consider simply adding an aerator on to your faucet. For a fraction of the cost of new fixtures, an easy to install aerator can also reduce your water consumption significantly. Many municipalities also offer rebates for installing aerators in your home.

Water is a precious commodity that we often take for granted in this part of the world. Saving water in your home today will not only help you reduce your water and electrical bill, but will also go a long way towards preserving clean water for future generations around the world. To learn more about these high efficiency plumbing fixtures, visit us online, or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

Springtime Plumbing Services You Should Consider

 

With the warm weather approaching the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam areas, now is a good time to catch up on some maintenance on your home’s plumbing systems. Here are a few tips to help you get ahead of any major problems that might arise. For some of these tips, getting a plumbing contractor to provide expert service now can help you avoid high repair costs in the future.

 

Check Your Drains

Floor drains and any other drains that get used infrequently may require some attention. To avoid any unpleasant odours from occurring in the drain, pour a gallon (4L) of water down the drain to fill the trap. This will also help prevent any sewer gases from getting into your home.

 

Inspect Your Water Heater

The first and most obvious thing to check is the bottom of the tank for any leaks. Even a slow leak can lead to an increase in your water bill. Next, you may want to check the serial number on your water heater to see how old it is. The first four numbers represent the month and year it was manufactured. If it’s over 15 years, consider replacing it. Finally, to increase the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater, flush some water out of the tank to get rid of any sediment that can build up and cause corrosion.

 

Fix Any Running Toilets

Just like a leaking water heater, even a slow running toilet can lead to an increase in your water bill. While in most cases a running toilet can be repaired with replacement parts you find at your local hardware store, if you are unsure of what is causing the leak you may want to contact your local plumber for assistance.

 

Exterior Plumbing Maintenance

You can visually inspect any outdoor pipes or faucets for leaks or erosion that may have been caused by changing temperatures and ice buildup over the winter. With the rain and storms on their way it is also important to make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and intact. While you’re up checking the gutters, it is also a good idea to make sure your roof vents are clear of debris.

 

Test Your Sump Pump

To make sure your sump pump is draining properly, pour a few buckets of water into it. If your sump pump does not begin to drain the water right away, you should contact a plumbing contractor to inspect and replace a damaged unit.

 

Have Your Pipes Inspected

Most of the tips listed here are things you can do on your own. For peace of mind and to avoid bigger costs down the road however, it is a good idea to have the pipes and plumbing systems in your home checked by a professional plumber once a year.

Following these tips will keep the water in and outside of your home flowing properly, and will prevent any plumbing systems in your home from causing inconvenience in the future. Call JJ’s Plumbing experts before you run into any problems!

Picture Quotes are the newest time and hassle saver for our customers!

Have you ever tried explaining a drainage problem or plumbing issue over the phone?

Is it safe to say you were even more irritated and frustrated when you hung up than when you started?

Did you hang up with any idea how what it would cost to get the problem solved?

At JJ’s Plumbing, we know precisely how maddening that process can be… or used to be and we’ve built our business on making it as easy as possible for Vancouver home and business owners to deal with plumbing issues.

That’s why we’ve created a brand new way to get your issues fixed FAST.

With our new Picture Quoting service, all you have to do is snap a pic of what’s going on, send it to us, and we’ll put together an estimate ASAP.

We’re bringing plumbing into the 21st century… and we’re taking Vancouver along for the ride.

It’s all part of our commitment to offering the highest quality service in Vancouver. It really can be as simple as…

1. Snap a picture.

2. Send it to the experts at JJ’s Plumbing.

3. Get an estimate, right over the phone.

Once we’ve seen for ourselves what you’re dealing with, we’ll give you a cost estimate and set up the most convenient time for one of our trusted plumbing professionals to come out to your home or office and take a closer look.

Keep in mind, the number we give you over the phone is an estimate. We need to see the problem in person before we can give you a quote, but you can rest assured it’ll be the most competitive price in Vancouver.

At JJ’s Plumbing, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality maintenance and customer service in Vancouver. We want to make it easy to deal with your heating, plumbing, furnace repair, and polyb repairs.

As easy as 1, 2, 3.

That’s our guarantee.

JJ’s Plumbing is offering $40 off of drain cleaning services until April 3rd, 2015.

 

Drainage is a very important aspect of owning your home, doing proper maintenance and repairs can save you costly plumbing bills in the future.

 

Our services range from cleaning and repair, to replacement of broken or clogged pipes, as well as sewer connections/replacements and perimeter drain installation. While JJ’s Plumbing can you help you with in-home or outdoor drain cleaning, you should keep in mind that your outdoor drain tiles should be cleaned every 12-18 months. We will do everything we can to help you avoid seeing ‘Phil The Flood’!

Call JJ’s Plumbing before you have a monster problem!

When there’s something strange in your Coquitlam home or business…

Who you gonna call?

Call JJ’s Plumbing!

Monsters are on the loose in Coquitlam!

Phil the Flood, Hairball Hannah, and Chillin’ Chad are wreaking havoc and terrifying Coquitlam residents far and wide!

But never fear, Coquitlam, the expert monster hunters at JJ’s Plumbing are here!

Beware of the monsters! Here’s what to look for…

  • Phil the Flood comes on strong. He can appear out of nowhere! Just when you think your hot water heater is safe… Phil the Flood brings a plumbing nightmare, filling up your home, business, or basement with his terrible tide!
  • Hairball Hannah takes a while to invade your home, but when she does she definitely makes up for lost time. You may think you don’t need a top-quality drain cleaning… until Hannah the Hairball takes root and begins to grow, clogging up your drainage system.
  • Chillin’ Chad may sound like a cool dude, but he’s really no fun to be around. In fact, he can suck the warmth out of just about any Coquitlam home or business before you know it. He’s a cool customer, but he’s certainly hard to like and only an expert heating contractor can shoo him off for good.

Is your Coquitlam home or business under attack from these gruesome ghouls? If so, don’t wait to call the trusted team at JJ’s Plumbing. We’re ready to believe you and kick those unwelcome monsters to the curb.

We’ve even re-branded so that Coquitlam home and business owners know exactly who to call when they need service with a smile.

And, with our new Picture Quoting service, all you have to do is snap a pic of the monster plaguing your home. We’re not afraid to take a look and give you an estimate on what sort of evasive maneuvers are needed to give Phil the Flood, Hairball Hannah, and Chillin’ Chad the fright of their misbegotten lives.

When you have a monster, don’t delay. Call JJ’s Plumbing that very day!