Plumber checking list for water heater problems

Common Gas and Electric Water Heater Problems

No matter the season or time of year, your water heater functioning properly is essential. Summer or winter, your clothes need to be washed, your shower needs to be warm, and your sink needs to sanitize those dishes.

 

How do you know if your water heater is experiencing problems and affecting usage and efficiency, or causing damage to your home?

 

Let’s break down the most common problems homeowners experience with gas and electric water heater systems. (And how to fix them!)

 

Common Gas Water Heater Issues

Gas water heaters utilize a burner to heat water, located at the bottom of the water heater. Gas water heaters have a tank and require airflow. The temperature of the water heater can be set based on the size of the home and the number of hot water users living there.

 

Heat is transferred by the combustion of propane gas, ignited by a pilot light. Gas water heaters require an exhaust system funneled outside so as to remove dangerous carbon dioxide fumes from the home.

 

Gas water heaters should be handled with caution and expertise, especially when dealing with a number of system problems.

 

1. Not Enough Hot Water

One of the most common problems encountered with gas water heaters is that there doesn’t seem to be enough hot water to go around. Thankfully, this is fairly easy to fix; simply turn up the water temperature on your water heater. Be cautious not to turn it up too high, as this can be a burning hazard.

 

If the problem persists, it may be due to an improper thermostat setting or a malfunctioning gas valve. Both of these circumstances require the intervention of a professional plumber.

 

2. No Hot Water

If your home has a gas water heater and there is no hot water accessible from any sources in your home, it may have something to do with the pilot light or flow of gas. You may be able to reignite the pilot light using an ignitor or following the specific instructions found in your water heater manual.

 

3. Water Heater Clicking/Making Noise

If your water heater is making unfamiliar noises, it’s a sign of something potentially dangerous. It’s likely that your water heater is “clicking” because there is a build-up of sediment at the bottom of the machine, preventing the water from being heated properly. This can result in overheating, and therefore should be addressed by a professional.

 

For prevention, your water heater should be flushed, inspected, cleaned, and maintained by a plumbing expert at least once per year.

 

4. Leaking Water Heater

If you observe a leak coming from your water heater, call a trained plumbing professional immediately. The water heater either needs to be repaired or replaced, and will cause further damage if not properly attended to. After placing the call to your plumber, follow these steps:

 

  • Locate the source of the leak
  • Turn off power to your water heater
  • Turn off water supply
  • Remove valuables from the flow of water and ensure the area is clear of pets, children, etc

 

5. Smelly Hot Water

If you’re smelling something resembling rotten eggs coming from your water heater, or from your hot water tap, it’s likely that there is bacterial growth occurring in your water heater. The solution is fairly simple (flushing with a cleaning solution), but if you’re not trained to do this, it’s time to call the pros (a plumber).

 

Common Electric Water Heater Problems

While gas and electric water heaters look similar, the main difference between the two is that an electric water heater is powered by electric upper and lower heating elements which protrude into the tank to heat the water.

 

If your electric water heater is showcasing any of the above water heater problems, the solution will likely look different than that of a gas water heater issue.

 

Before proceeding with any diagnosis or investigation of your electric water heater problems, be advised to turn off the power to your electric heater using your home’s breaker system.

 

1. No Hot Water

If your electric water heater isn’t producing hot water in your home, it’s likely not receiving power or a failed heating element. To troubleshoot, check the heater’s circuit breaker to ensure power is still flowing. Try switching it off and on again.

 

If there is a malfunctioning heating element, it may be time to call in the pros for repair or complete replacement.

 

2. Not Enough Hot Water

If your home’s hot water supply doesn’t seem to be meeting the demand of those living inside, it may be that the unit isn’t large enough to satisfy the water needs of your family. You can mitigate this by limiting the length of hot showers and spreading out other hot water uses (dishwasher, laundry, etc) throughout the day.

 

If the issue persists, there may be one or more heating elements beginning to lose efficiency, in which case it’s best to schedule an appointment with a water heater repair expert.

 

3. Water Temperature is Too Hot

While one wouldn’t assume this is a problem, water temperature that is unbearably hot can be just as frustrating as no or not enough hot water. It’s possible that a setting on your electric water heater isn’t set properly. Follow the instructions specific to your unit and adjust one or more of the water heater’s thermostats.

 

4. Leaking Water Heater

As with a gas water heater, this is a highly problematic situation. If you notice water coming from your water heater, call a professional right away. The leak could be due to tank corrosion or a loose heating element. After calling your local emergency plumber, do the following:

 

  • Turn off power to your electric water heater
  • Turn off water supply
  • Locate the source of the leak
  • Evacuate the area
  • If knowledgeable and confident enough, you may begin draining the tank

 

5. Colored Water, Bad Odor, Or Noisy Tank

The procedures for addressing these issues in an electric water heater are the same as mitigating them for a gas water heater. It’s time to tap in your local professional plumbing team!

 

NoCo’s Team of HVAC and Plumbing Experts

If you’re in need of professional plumbing services, be sure to call the team that will provide you with individualized solutions and excellent customer service.

 

Good Guys Home Services is fully equipped and trained to mitigate any problem your gas or electric water heater might throw our way. We can handle leaks, malfunctioning heating elements, build-up, bacteria in your tank, and more! Whether your home is in need of maintenance, repairs, replacement, or an inspection, you need a team of plumbing experts!

When you need heating, plumbing, and air conditioning services, be sure to call a business that allows you to talk to find the solution right now. Enjoy quality, speedy service and 24/7 availability every time you call Good Guys Home Services. Reach out today!

Couple sitting in front of a fan in a hot house

What Temperature Should You Keep Your Thermostat at Year-Round?

Are you always too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? It may be because your thermostat isn’t set at the ideal temperature.

 

There is a fine line between being cost-effective and comfortable when setting the temperature for your thermostat.

 

Turning on and off your heating or air conditioning is not efficient and can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the machine. 

 

However, there is no need for your air conditioner to stay at that breezy 65 degrees when you’re out at work all day either. Many thermostats today allow you to program the temperature depending on the time of day, allowing you the freedom to keep costs down when you’re not at home. 

 

The best way to combat the dramatic hot and cold temperatures throughout the day and throughout each season is to set it to a comfortable temperature when you are home, and then either raise it or lower it depending on the season and whether or not you are home.

 

This isn’t suggesting, however, to completely turn off your air conditioner or heat while you are gone. That can cause major issues in the wintertime when your pipes are at risk of freezing.

Optimal Temperature for Your Home

To optimally utilize your thermostat, it is recommended that you keep your home at 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 60 degrees when you’re not. 

 

In the summer, the recommended guideline for energy use and efficiency is to keep your day time temperature at about 78 degrees, and lowering it to 75 when you sleep. 

 

Some suggest that the coolest temperature you should keep your thermostat at, is 78 degrees in the summer.

 

That number may seem staggeringly high, however, it is based off efficiency not necessarily personal comfort.  

 

According to Consumer Reports, their suggestion is to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re home, 85 degrees when you’re at work, and 82 degrees when sleeping (during the summer). 

 

However, most people tend to sleep better and find it more comfortable to sleep in a cooler home. 

 

If you get hot easily or cold easily, increasing your preferred temperature setting 4 degrees when you’re asleep, and 7 degrees when no one is home. 

 

The important thing to note is to not continuously turn your system on and off throughout the day, or just let it run at the same temperature all day. If you turn off your air conditioner while away and then turn it back on when you get home, the system will run continuously for an hour until it reaches that temperature.

 

This is very inefficient when compared to having a steady, but higher (or lower), temperature throughout the day to maintain a sense of airflow. 

 

A fan can also help to circulate air throughout the home. Ceiling fans are useful during the winter months as well since hot air rises and fans have the ability to rotate counter-clockwise which pulls the hot air down. 

If you’re unsatisfied with your heating and cooling system, don’t go another season being miserable and call the Good Guys today! We’re the professionals when it comes to all your heating and cooling needs.

HVAC contractor fixing ductless mini-split system

Questions to Ask an HVAC Contractor

Finding the right HVAC contractor for your home can feel like a confusing, frustrating process. How do you know where to look? Once you find a specialist, how can you be sure they’re professional and experienced?

Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place.

One of the quickest ways to determine an HVAC contractor’s credibility is to ask him or her the following questions.

Where Can I Find Your Reviews and References?

If they have none, time to walk away. Today’s relevant and most trustworthy HVAC companies have an online presence because they know the value of meeting customer expectations online. If you’re doing research on your own, you should be able to search for the company by name in Google, and their business listing, along with all relevant information (contact information, website, any posted ratings and reviews), should appear.

If there’s no evidence of satisfied customer reviews, it might be a good idea to continue your search for an HVAC contractor.

What Services Do You Provide?

Ideally, your HVAC contractor will be well-versed in a wide range of techniques and services. If they are experts in only one facet of HVAC, working with their agency may result in frustration and inflated service costs, since other tasks will take up unnecessary paid time, or will require another contractor to step in and help.

Which Certifications Have Your Technicians Earned?

In a perfect world, you’d like to have someone working with the internal wiring of your home who actually knows what they’re doing, right? We thought so. Asking about a company’s requirements for training and licensure for their employees is a completely appropriate thing to do, and may save you a disaster in both home and wallet.

It goes without saying: you’re much more likely to get top-notch service from HVAC technicians who are certified and trained.

Additionally, you might ask a follow-up question: “How long have you been in business?”

This will allow you to gauge the expertise and longevity of experience your contractor is bringing to the table. Most likely, if you’re seeking out an HVAC contractor, your home might have been on the block for a few years (or decades). You want to be sure your technician is familiar with the fragile components of an older home, as well as proficient in understanding new HVAC systems in newer builds. Experience is vital.

What Maintenance Programs Do You Offer?

Every home is unique, so every home’s HVAC needs will be different. Knowing what your HVAC company protects, guarantees, and maintains is an essential part of creating a partnership. Ask about the company’s agreements and policies, and whether they’re flexible depending on the home’s needs. Ensure everything is in the open before signing on the dotted line.

Essentially, this question could be phrased as, “What happens after installation?” Does your HVAC technician leave you hanging high and dry, or will they commit to tune-ups and maintenance if need be?

How Can I Be Sure Your Recommendations Will Address My Home’s Air Needs?

This is not your average “business check-in” question. Too many HVAC contracting companies take short cuts and aren’t privy to the latest technologies and developments in the world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The bolder you are able to be with your question asking of potential HVAC contractors, the more clarity you will have regarding their fit for your needs.

HVAC companies should be methodical, thoughtful, and intentional in their approach to giving quotes, assessing home air problems, and fixing/replacing any dysfunctional mechanisms. If you sense any theme of being rushed, abrupt, or insincere in diagnosing your HVAC issues and concerns, it may be a sign to keep searching.

What is Included in Your Service Quote?

This question seems like a silly one, but it is a surefire way to guarantee that there won’t be any hidden fees that arise later; after you’ve signed and services are in progress. Specifically, be warned that in the installation of a new HVAC system, the quote may not ensure that the old parts of the previous system also be replaced (fittings, valves, pipes, connectors, etc.). Ask your HVAC contractor about their policies regarding this.

Good Guys Home Services: The Answer to Your Questions

Locally owned and operated Good Guys Home Services is the most trusted source for all your HVAC needs in the Fort Collins, CO area. We take our commitment to excellence very seriously and accomplish this by providing customers with services that surpass their expectations.

Our goal is to give you complete confidence in hiring our team of licensed technicians. As a family-owned business, we know how important it is for you to feel comfortable in your home. Having professional HVAC services allows you to have the amenities you need, such as a temperature-controlled home environment. With 15 years of experience, our certified technicians have the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and complete any furnace repair or installation.

When you call Good Guys Home Services, you’ll receive prompt service and a transparent, straightforward quote. Maintain a comfortable temperature and healthy air quality by reaching out to our team.

In fact, we believe that a home should offer a high level of comfort, which is why we offer pre-season maintenance, complete system upgrades, 24-hour emergency services, and quick and honest communication. Good Guys is reliable, credible, and professional. The search is over; reach out today!

Woman testing an old thermostat

How to Test an Old Thermostat

Is your home suffering from an inconsistent indoor climate, but your wallet seems to suffer from a consistent decrease in funds going toward your heating and A/C bill? It might be time to check the functionality of your home’s thermostat. Keep reading for the DIY step-by-step.

Northern Colorado homes in Fort Collins, Denver, and across the Front Range get a lot of quick weather changes. The overall comfort of your home shouldn’t be compromised by something as simple as an old thermostat.

Before implementing the following steps, first, determine if your thermostat is attempting to control the temperature inside your home at all. This can be completed quite simply: turn on the heat function of your home’s thermostat until it reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Then, switch your system to A/C, and set it to run until it reaches 66 or so. If you do not hear your HVAC system activate and begin to cool your home, this is a sign of a potential thermostat problem.

Step 1: Turn off HVAC power

This can be done by switching the furnace to the off position if your system has an on/off switch. If not, you may need to cut off power by locating your home’s breaker box and switching off the circuit lever labeled “HVAC” or “furnace.”

Step 2: Remove thermostat cover

Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the main plate of the thermostat so that you are able to see inside. Depending on your thermostat model, you may have to remove the entire body of the device. This should expose the wires inside.

Step 3: Remove wires from terminals

The wires located inside your thermostat should be screwed to terminals marked R (red), W (white), G (green), Y (yellow), and C (common). Some thermostats have only two wires: either Red and White or Red and Green. Make note of these labels, or simply snap a photo with your phone. 

Unscrew and remove the wires from their various terminals. Be careful not to let them fall back into the hole in the wall. You can wrap the wires around a pencil if this is a concern. If there are more than two wires, pick only Red and White (standard colors for power and heat).

Twist the bare ends of the two wires (heat and power) together. Ensure that no other wires are making contact with each other or with these two.

Step 4: Turn the HVAC power back on

Return power to the furnace via the HVAC circuit breaker or furnace switch. If the blower turns on without the connection to the thermostat and the furnace burner ignites, the thermostat is defective or not connected properly.

Turn off the HVAC unit circuit breaker and untwist the R and W wires.

Step 5: Test other wires

If your system has all wires previously described, you may complete this test with the following wire combinations in addition to the R and W test.

Twist the R and Y wires together and turn on the HVAC power. Check to see if the air conditioning system ignites. Then, flip the HVAC switch back off.

Twist the R and G wires together and turn the HVAC breaker back on. The fan should now be working. After the test, turn off the HVAC power and untwist the wires.

If the HVAC passed all of these tests, the thermostat is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Time to Replace Your Thermostat

If you’ve determined your thermostat is non-functional and you’re tired of wasting money on a heating or cooling system that isn’t getting the job done, it may be time for a thermostat repair or a complete replacement. It’s time to call the professionals.

Don’t get left cold inside your home with an empty wallet. Call Good Guys Home Services in Fort Collins today and let us make it right!

A new smart thermostat installation

How to Replace Your Thermostat With a New One

Think it’s time to install a new thermostat?

 

There are a variety of signs that your old thermostat is going caput. If you have a failing or broken thermostat, it’s definitely time for a replacement. Or maybe you’re just sick of having high energy bills from your HVAC systems and want a fancy new smart thermostat.

 

No matter the reason for a new install of a thermostat, we’re laying out the steps of how to remove the old and install the new! Follow these steps in order for safety and to have a fully functional thermostat.

 

1. Choose Your New Thermostat

This is obvious but also necessary. You don’t want to remove an old thermostat that wasn’t working and replace it with a new one that is known to go bad after a couple of years. You also want to ensure that your thermostat will work properly throughout your home.

 

Research the type of thermostat that you want in your home and decide based on a few factors:

  1. Is the new thermostat compatible with my current HVAC systems?
  2. Will the thermostat provide the right comfort for my home?
  3. Are the reviews of the new thermostat positive?
  4. Does the thermostat meet manufacturer-specified voltage?
  5. Do I want wireless connectivity?

 

Smart/learning thermostats have wireless connectivity to devices such as your smartphone. They also don’t require much attention as they are programmed to learn as you use them. They are a terrific solution for the comfort of homes.

 

2. Turn Off the Electricity

Before starting on your new thermostat installation, turn the power off to your HVAC systems. Anything that’s connected to your current thermostat should be switched off. You can do this by going to your home’s breaker system and finding your air conditioning unit, furnace, and anything else related to the heating and cooling of your home.

 

If you are entirely uncomfortable with trying to find the breaker switches to your HVAC systems, you can turn off the main breaker to shut everything down.

 

You’ll be dealing with loose wires, so it’s better to be safe and turn the power off. You may also turn the power off to your air conditioning and heating units by directly flipping the switches on the units to “off”.

 

3. Remove the Old Thermostat

This is a 3-part process for removing the old thermostat.

 

  1. Remove the face (control unit) to the old thermostat, exposing the wires inside. It should come off fairly easily. If your thermostat runs off of batteries, this is how you’d normally remove the face for battery replacement.

 

  1. Disconnect the wires. Remember the placement of the connected wires as you’ll need to reconnect them later on. It’s easier to just take a photo of the wires to save yourself a headache.

 

  1. Unscrew and remove the thermostat mounts connected to the base of the thermostat. Remove the base from the wall entirely.

 

4. Install the New Thermostat

When you install the new thermostat, ensure that you are following the manufacturer’s diagram appropriately for wiring and other specifications.

 

  1. Put the base on the wall and thread the circuit wires through the appropriate opening specified on the thermostat base. Make sure the wires are tightened.

 

  1. Mount the thermostat base on the wall using the respective screws. Ensure that there are no openings. If there are any openings, plug the hole with appropriate materials that are fire-resistant.

 

  1. If necessary, install the batteries to the thermostat’s base.

 

  1. Secure the control unit to the base after the base is fully mounted.

 

5. Turn on the Electricity

Now that you’ve fully secured the thermostat, turn the electricity back on. At this point, everything should be operational. Reset the thermostat to its default settings and ensure that the power is working.

 

To test your new thermostat, program it to the comfort of your home and turn on the heating or air conditioning unit. If the units aren’t functioning, check the breakers again to ensure they are on. If they still aren’t functioning with the new thermostat, refer to the thermostat instructions from the manufacturer.

 

It is rare, but sometimes, things can go array when you replace a thermostat. If your newly installed thermostat isn’t working as it should, consult the manufacturer or hire a local HVAC contractor to come out to inspect the situation.

A local HVAC contractor will have much more experience in configuring thermostat installations due to their extensive knowledge of servicing homes in your area. If you’re in Northern Colorado, Good Guys Home Services is always here to help. Contact us today if you need assistance with the installation of your thermostat or any HVAC needs. We’re here to ensure you are always comfortable in your home.

Woman wrapped in blanket in a cold home

How to Heat Up a Cold Room

Is it freezing in your house?

 

Your thermostat says it’s a comfortable 73 degrees but there you are sitting in your living room in a sweater with a blanket wrapped around you like it’s 43 degrees. Is the thermostat lying?

 

There are plenty of things that can lead to a single room or an entire house getting colder when it shouldn’t. Weather is the main contributor to a colder home, but shouldn’t your rooms be a consistently comfortable temperature? Shouldn’t your heater kick in and solve the problem?

 

Maybe your heating system is on and it’s just not able to get rid of the cold in one room.

 

Colorado homes can get quite cold during the majority of the year, but we rely on our HVAC systems and the sun to heat up the house. Unfortunately, many residents still find themselves with a cold, uncomfortable living space. Your central heating system can only work so hard to keep the entire house warm, but if there is another issue occurring, the HVAC won’t be able to fix the problem.

 

Not all rooms are going to be at the same temperature. Uneven temperatures run throughout most homes. What’s really annoying is when a room is just too cold. So, what could the problem be?

 

Lots of things.

 

Check for Drafts and Air Leaks

If the room is colder than usual and recently became cold there could be cold air leaking in. Check your vents, air ducts, doors, and windows for air drafts. Wind and cold outside air can be trickling into your home through old/bad seals, cracks, or slits. Your home is built to withstand the cold air that tries to find its way indoors, but an old or damaged seal creating exposed openings will let air in.

 

This cold air will eventually find its way into the rest of the house. If it’s in one room, check all sealed areas that could be exposed.

 

Is the AC System Running?

As simple as it sounds, the AC unit could be turned on. Buttons get pushed unintentionally and “cold air” might be selected on your AC system. Double-check to ensure that the AC isn’t on, because that will only kick out cold air. If it is on, turn it back to your intended settings… off. If it’s on and it isn’t selected to run in the settings, then you could be dealing with a bigger problem that requires a professional HVAC contractor to come and take a look.

 

Check the HVAC Thermostat Settings

The thermostat could just be set to the wrong settings, like the AC running. You’ll need to check your thermostat to see if it’s holding the right temperature, running the correct program, and the heater is set to “on”. If you have multiple thermostats, check each one, but especially the thermostat in charge of the cold room. Sometimes, a thermostat could be old or wires have loosened.

 

Check the Furnace Pilot Light

If your furnace is gas-based, the pilot light could be out. The pilot let is a flame in charge of lighting the gas to the furnace. Your furnace’s pilot light will automatically ignite when the furnace is turned on. A dimmed or unlit pilot light could be a simple fix or something bigger. Since the flame relies on gas, if the spark is out, the gas could still be leaking. If the gas is out and the spark works, then the gas source needs to be inspected.

 

Look for Closed Vents

Vents are used to pump air into a room. If a vent is closed, that means the warm air can’t enter the room through the source. The only other way that the warm air can enter the room is through other rooms, which isn’t very reliable to keep another room warm.

 

If you notice that any of the vents are closed, open the latch all the way to let that cozy air in.

 

Insulation Could Be Faulty

Faulty insulation can occur and it’s difficult for the heating appliances to help the room if the insulation isn’t working. Poorly installed insulation can let the cold air in through the walls. If it is the insulation that is causing the problem, you’ll need to replace it. This can be costly and timely to fix, but it needs to be done if you want a warm room while keeping your energy bills low.

 

Get an Electric Space Heater

If everything in your house is running and you just can’t get the room to heat up, get an electric space heater. Many of them are very inexpensive to buy and get the job done. However, they use plenty of electricity, so your bill may be higher than usual. Since these appliances run on a lot of electricity, it’s wise to not have any other devices plugged into the same circuit. Doing so could trip the breaker or blow the fuse.

 

Hire a Colorado HVAC Company

You can troubleshoot to find out what the problem is, or you can hire a professional HVAC contractor who has experience with heating issues. Good Guys Home Services inspects, repairs, and installs furnaces, boilers, thermostats, heat pumps, and ductless systems. We do full inspections to understand exactly what the problem is, instead of fixing something that isn’t broken.

Contact us today to heat up your home so you can be comfortable again!

Old Honeywell home thermostat on wall

Signs You Need a Thermostat Replacement

Are you having problems with your home thermostat system? It’s alright, many people neglect their thermostat and naturally assume it’s running just fine.

It’s typically at the point you notice a significant temperature difference or a higher energy bill that you start your detective work for finding the problem to your HVAC problems. Most likely, it’s just time for a new thermostat.

The home or apartment’s thermostat is the brain of the HVAC system. If it’s having some technical issues or is just old, you’ll notice some differences in your electric bill and air comfort.

Do yourself a favor and check your thermostat(s) every now and again to make sure it’s functioning properly. There are many signs that your thermostat is failing you and a replacement is necessary. Use this checklist to discover if your thermostat is the problem for your HVAC ailments.

8 Warning Signs of Your Thermostat Failing

  1. The HVAC system isn’t running: Typically, you’ll notice a temperature difference in the home or apartment if the HVAC system isn’t on. This indicates that something might be wrong with the thermostat itself and requires you to look at your settings to make sure the heating or air conditioning unit is supposed to be running. You can also check the AC unit or furnace to see if the systems are running by intaking or outputting air through the vents.
  2. The HVAC system won’t stop running: Another indication that your thermostat might be having problems is that the heater or air conditioning won’t turn off after you’ve set it to turn off.
  3. Your home is too hot or too cold: You set the temperature in your home via the thermostat. If the thermostat is faulty, you’ll notice that the temperature in the living space is moving in the opposite direction of your comfort.
  4. Inaccurate thermostat display: Every thermostat has a display (excluding non-programmable thermostats). When the display is blank, missing regular information such as the current temperature, or is reading the wrong temperature, this could mean it needs to be replaced.
  5. Thermostat buttons aren’t working: If your thermostat has buttons for programming (not like one of those fancy Nest thermostats) that aren’t working when you push them, it might be that the buttons have loose wires. Instead of trying to fix these buttons, it might be best to just replace the thermostat.
  6. Deficient cycling: When your HVAC system is randomly turning on without your request, shuts off early or doesn’t finish its cycle to bring the living space to the right temperature, this could also mean you have a failing thermostat.
  7. You receive a high energy bill: No one likes it when you have to leave the HVAC system on for longer than normal due to the change in weather, but it can be a necessity. What indicates that the thermostat might be overworking the AC or heater is when you receive a higher energy bill than you’re used to for that season.
  8. Thermostat is outdated: There are a variety of thermostats on the market nowadays, but anything with a needle is definitely considered old. Typically, thermostats are meant to last 10 years or longer. After the decade passes, your thermostat may start to malfunction. Check the model of the thermostat to see how old it is before you make the diagnosis that it’s just outdated so “it must not be working properly”.

How to Troubleshoot a Bad Thermostat

  1. Replace the batteries: Sometimes, when a thermostat is acting out, all it might need is new batteries. If the thermostat runs on batteries, replace the batteries it needs to run with new batteries and see if that does the trick.
  2. Flip the circuit breakers: Every now and again, circuit breakers need to be flipped to restore power to certain parts of the home or apartment. Try flipping the breaker, wait 30 seconds, then turn the power back on.
  3. Check and adjust the thermostat settings: Your thermostat might revert back to factory settings if there is a power outage or the flip of a circuit breaker. It’s quite obvious, but maybe the thermostat unit just isn’t switched to ‘on’ or ‘hold’? Play around with the settings a bit to make sure the thermostat is on the settings you want, on the time periods you want. You should also adjust the settings to either 5 degrees lower in the summer or 5 degrees higher in the winter to see if it kicks on. You’ll hear a ‘click’ for when the HVAC system is adjusting to the new temperature.
  4. Check the wiring: Wiring can become loose, old, or dirty from dust. Electronics are notorious for attracting loads of dust. If you plan on touching the wiring, it might be best to turn the circuit breaker off to ensure you don’t get electrocuted.

Hire an HVAC Contractor for Thermostat Replacements

If none of the above troubleshooting options work for you, there could be another issue wrong with the thermostat, AC unit, or furnace. A professional HVAC contractor should be contacted to inspect the issue so you stay safe, the wiring still works, and no other problems arise. Contact us at Good Guys Homes Services in Colorado. We take care of all of your HVAC needs, including inspecting thermostats and replacing them.

Call us today to fix your thermostat!

Plumber fixing piping in ground

What Do Plumbers Do? The Heroes of Unwanted Projects

Have you ever wondered what it is that plumbers really do? Interestingly enough, they wear a lot of hats!

Plumbers aren’t only known for the “plumber’s crack”. 

They don’t just run Drano to unclog your pipes. Plumbers also don’t just clean out your garbage disposal after someone decided to throw the chicken bones down the drain. There are many other services plumbers deal with on a day-to-day basis, which is what makes them a valuable asset for your home or business.

Being a plumber is a very physically taxing job as they have to deal with staying on their knees for hours, holding equipment, and working with tools that you sometimes won’t recognize. Plumbers offer personal home and business services to make your life easier and less messy. There are three main categories that plumbers work in and each requires a lot of experience and skill.

1. Plumbers Install and Fix Water Piping Systems

Commercial water piping system

This is the most obvious service that plumbers offer. The fixing of water piping systems is the common category of work that plumbers are requested to perform. Plumbers are hired to fix pipes that could cause damages to the rest of the home or building. Pipes may be backing up, causing flooding or bursting from intense pressure or build up.

There are many reasons why a plumber may be hired to fix your piping system. Here is a list of the most common requests for a plumber to fix piping systems.

  1. Unclogging toilets, showers, and kitchen drains
  2. Fixing dripping faucets
  3. Fixing leaky pipes
  4. Adjusting water pressure
  5. Fixing pipes that have burst
  6. Installing new piping and draining systems
  7. Fixing previous work from inexperienced plumbers
  8. Installing water heaters
  9. Fixing water heaters and boilers
  10. Installing appliances
  11. Draining and unclogging pools, ponds, and other man-made bodies of water
  12. Sewage clean up

You’ll call on a plumber to fix any problems you may be facing with your water piping systems. Plumbers are also useful for the installation process of new piping systems and the removal of old piping systems.

If you have a new house or business build, a plumber would also be the go-to hire for the installation of piping for any part of the home or building’s structure.

5 Things Plumbers Don’t Want You to Do

To make your life easier and to make the piping system project less complicated for the plumber, here are a few tips for what plumbers recommend you don’t do.

  1. Don’t dump large amounts of food in your kitchen drain all at once. This can clog the drain and stop the disposal from working.
  2. Don’t flush plastics or other non-decomposable materials in the toilet. If they can’t decompose, they will get stuck without reaching the septic tank.
  3. Don’t flush large amounts of hair down the shower drain. This will inevitably clog the drain and could cause flooding in your bathtub.
  4. Don’t perform DIY projects to your piping system unless you know what you’re doing. YouTube can be a great resource for homeowners, but that doesn’t mean each piping system is the same. You may have a simple problem that can turn into a complicated problem if you try “fixing” the piping issue. Rely on the professionals to fix the problem.
  5. Don’t freeze your pipes! Pipes will typically freeze if the heater is left off in the house or building. To avoid freezing your pipes, keep the temperature of each room at a minimum of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. If pipes freeze, they can burst, which can leak water into other parts of the foundation causing a worse issue.

2. Plumbers Work on Garbage Waste Disposal

Kitchen sink garbage disposal with running water

Plumbers are experienced in working on waste disposal systems. Your garbage disposal can become clogged, overused, and aged. Plumbers can fix the garbage disposal for missing blades, piping issues, and the removal of substances causing clogging. They can also remove and install a new garbage disposal system if your current garbage disposal is old or burned out. 

Garbage disposals can become damaged if non-food and liquid items are put in the drain. For example, you wouldn’t want to leave forks in the sink because they can fall down the drain. If a utensil is hidden from your view and you turn the garbage disposal on, the metal can dull the blades or the fork could become jammed.

Other food items can cause damages as well! Bones, rice, grease, and other dense foods can lead to clogging and damages. It’s best to hire a plumber to deal with the removal of waste stuck in the garbage disposal since they have the proper equipment for the job.

3. Plumbers Assist with HVAC Systems

Commercial building HVAC air conditioning units

Did you know that your local HVAC guy is a plumber? HVAC systems refer to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units in your house and business. Plumbers who have experience with HVAC systems are your real service experts! They work to fix, repair, and install furnaces, boilers, air conditioning units, and other ventilation systems.

If you’re wondering why it’s so hot in your home, your air conditioning unit could be out of commission. Or if it’s not warm enough in your commercial building during the winter season, then maybe your furnace is failing. Plumbers are unique in knowing most things about your house and business construct. If you don’t know where the problem is, a plumber will find it!

What Are the Qualifications to Become a Plumber?

You can’t just put a shirt and hat on to call yourself a plumber. Holding a toolbox full of wrenches and pipe parts also doesn’t qualify you as a plumber. In order to become a plumber, there are certain qualifications you must acquire.

First, you need a have experience in understanding math, physics, and drafting or blueprinting. Piping can be super complex depending on the building or local region. If a plumber doesn’t have a foundation in physics, it would be very difficult to find where the source of damage is located and where it could have spread to. If they can’t read a blueprint, how are they supposed to know where to find the piping in the home or building?

Next, you need to attend vocational classes specific to the plumbing expertise. Plumbers need to know how to work with the city’s water supply and drainage systems. They also need to know what the appropriate tools are to deal with each unique situation.

Finally, a plumber must acquire licensing to work in a state. This isn’t just important for them to understand how the water supply and drainage systems work in your state and region, it provides you safety. If you hire a plumber that doesn’t have a license, they become a huge liability due to inadequate experience that can lead to negligence and possibly more damages. Never hire a plumber that doesn’t have proof of licensing.

Why Should I Hire a Plumber Instead of Doing the Job Myself?

Let’s address the question as to why a plumber is your best solution to your home and business service needs. If the above information about how a plumber must be very experienced to work on piping and HVAC systems doesn’t prove their worth, then let’s lay it all out here.

When an amateur works on a piping system, garbage waste disposal, or HVAC system, the chances are much higher for further problems to occur. What if the issue that was “fixed” was only just a small part of the great scheme of things?

Just because one part of the piping system is leaking, doesn’t mean there isn’t a larger leak somewhere else. If further damages occur, this could affect much more of the house or building than just the pipes. It could cause molding, electrical shortages, insulation problems, corrosion, rusting, and other foundational problems.

If you’re thinking about trusting yourself to perform a DIY plumbing-related project, we implore you to think first about all of the information listed above. Is it just a dripping faucet or is there loose equipment causing faulty water pressure? You might think you can accomplish the job “good enough”, but a professional plumber will make sure your fixes and repairs are long-lasting solutions.

Good Guys Home Services offers inspections to review the plumbing problem, run diagnostics, and find the solution your home or business needs. We are Colorado’s best plumbing service company with years of experience in dealing with piping, water supply, waste disposal, and HVAC systems.

If you need a plumber you can trust to get the job done without lying to you about pricing or scheming you to pay for more than the necessary installations or fixes, then give us a call today at (970) 818-8008. We are licensed emergency plumbers ready for any project!

Local plumber fixing piping in home

Best Tips for How to Choose a Local Plumber

A pipe bursts in your kitchen and now your house is flooding! What do you do? Call the right hero for the job, a plumber!

 

But wait, how do you know which plumber to choose? Should you go for a national plumbing company or a local neighborhood plumber? That pipe isn’t going to fix itself, so let’s go over the tips that will help you choose a plumber you can trust for the job.

 

Search For “plumber near me” Online

The internet has introduced us to a new form of research that makes choosing a plumber much easier than it used to be. No more looking through big books of numbers or driving past billboards noting the plumber as “best in town”. Search engines like Google are designed to provide you the best results when searching for literally any service!

 

One of the best ways to find a trustworthy plumber fast is by performing a search online!

 

On your computer or phone, head over to your search browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Safari, too many, etc) and type in “plumber near me” or “plumbing repair near me” or “plumber (my city)”. Typing in these searches will provide you with a list of results for plumbers that are near your area and are close enough to respond to your plumbing problem!

 

For example, type in “plumber fort collins” and you’ll be provided with a list of the top plumber services based on proximity.

 

Local plumber in Fort Collins on Google Maps

 

These are plumbers that either have offices near you or service the area you live in. If you aren’t keen on the choices that are provided to you first thing in your search, you can click on “more businesses” to see more choices of local plumbers in your area!

 

Plumber Fort Collins on Google Map Pack results

 

Check the Plumber’s Reviews

Once you’ve conducted your search online, you can see a list of all reviews for that plumber or plumbing company. Reviews are a great indicator of a plumber’s credibility, trustworthiness, and work experience. The higher the review score, the better! A good rating for finding the best plumber near you starts at 4 stars.

 

If a plumber is rated 4 stars and up, that means they’ve generally had good experiences with the jobs they’ve completed. However, don’t just choose a plumber based on only the better reviews. It’s a good idea to take a look at both positive and negative reviews to see what other customers are saying about the plumber. There is typically a reason for a lower score.

 

Another good way to look at reviews is by checking the number of reviews a plumber has received. The number of reviews tells you if the plumber has been around for a long time, building their portfolio of plumbing experience. Sometimes, the reviews will include pictures of the plumber’s work after the job!

 

Ask Family and Friends

Some of your family and friends have most likely used a plumber’s services before. Like the online reviews, testimonials from family and friends can help you in deciding on choosing a plumber for the project at hand. If, however, the plumbing project is an emergency, then contacting a family member or a friend probably won’t be fast enough. Online reviews are instant and can provide you with enough valuable information about the plumber. Think about how quickly you’ll need to hire a plumber first before you go about calling people you know for their plumber service experiences.

 

Ask the Plumber Questions

Once you’ve found a plumber that you think can get the job done, go ahead and give them a call! Use this line of questioning to gather the answers you need to ensure they’re the right plumber for you.

 

1. Are You a Licensed Plumber?

Depending on which state you live in, plumbers must be licensed. Each state will have different requirements for plumbers licensing, but a licensed plumber is an experienced plumber. Having a license means they are legally credentialed to work in your state and neighborhood as a plumber. The reason plumbers need to be licensed by the state they service out of is because of the piping, gas, or other systems they need to work with.

 

States (not all) have different piping, water, and sewer systems. These systems are crucial to work on with accuracy to ensure your pipe repairs or installs follow your state’s best and safe practices. Your kitchen sink should be easy enough to work with, but what if the problem is further within the foundation? A licensed plumber will know where to check and how to repair it without further complications.

 

2. Are You an Insured and Bonded Plumber?

Simply put, plumbers that aren’t insured are huge risk factors. Just because a plumber might be licensed, one mistake can cause property damage to the surrounding areas. Plumbing contractors should be both insured and bonded for overall efficiency and safety. However, just having insurance can be a powerful shield for you and your house in case the plumber did a horrible job or didn’t properly fix your issue.

 

Never hire a contractor that doesn’t have insurance. Save yourself from a major headache.

 

Liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance are two forms of insurance that the plumbing contractor should have. At the very least, they need to have liability insurance. If your property gets damaged, you can be reimbursed for the plumber’s negligence. Worker’s compensation is for the plumber in case of an injury they incur on your property. A good company will have this type of insurance for their contractors.

 

Bonding refers to a plumbing contractor who has acquired a surety bond. This bond helps in the case that the insurance they have doesn’t completely reimburse you for property damages or the contractor’s negligence. It can even help for stolen items from you and lost wages to the contractor.

 

3. Is the Plumbing Cost Fixed?

Depending on the plumber and their business, payment options differ. For example, some plumbing contractors may charge by the project type, hour, or other projections. You want to ask them right off the bat what their contractor costs are and what their estimation for the project will be.

 

Some plumbing companies, such as Good Guys Home Services, offer free estimations. If this is offered, take advantage of this part of the service to acquire an accurate price for the project. Also, ask them how long the project will take since they might be paid hourly.

 

Depending on the project, plumber costs can be anywhere from $175 to $450. However, this could be drastically higher for installing utilities such as water heaters.

 

4. How Much Experience Do You Have as a Plumber?

Asking how much experience the plumber has as servicing as a plumber and being in business can be crucial for complicated plumbing issues. An experienced plumber will know where to find the issue within the piping zone and what could have caused it. An inexperienced plumber could waste a lot of time trying to find the issue and fixing it, which can lead to more money out of your pocket.

 

5. Do You Have Emergency Plumbing Services?

A pipe bursting is an emergency. You can’t just wait 5 hours for the plumber to show up at your door if your house is flooding. Ask if the plumber has round-the-clock, 24/7 emergency services in case an urgent plumbing problem occurs. You’ll thank yourself later if there is a gas leak at 2 in the morning on a Saturday and you have their number on speed dial.

 

Hire a Local Plumber

If you want to be treated as a valued customer and want the best services in your area, hire a local plumber. Locally owned plumbing businesses will typically care more about how they handle your plumbing issue from the first point of contact to the last. While larger companies have the numbers to serve you, there’s nothing better than knowing your project means a lot to a local plumber. You’ll gain a relationship with a locally owned plumbing business and will receive the best treatment and service for your dollar.

 

If you ever find your pipes busted or need a plumber for any plumbing project, give Good Guys a call! We’ve got a great staff in Loveland, CO that services the Denver and Northern Colorado area for all your plumbing needs!

 

Now, let’s get that kitchen pipe fixed!

Plumber inspecting residential water heater

How to Choose a Water Heater Repair Contractor

When your water heater stops working, has a leak, making strange noises, or has an odd smell, it’s time to either get it repaired or to buy a new one. In either case, a water heater repair contractor can help you pinpoint the issue with your water heater, acquire the correct parts, install the parts accurately and safely, and can recommend the type of water heater you might need to purchase if all else fails.

However, finding a water heater repair contractor might be more difficult than you think. You want someone who is experienced and competent with water heaters so your repair or installation goes smoothly. After years of experience of dealing with water heaters and seeing what other contractors charge for their services, we’ve gathered a list of answers to help you find the right water heater repair contractor for the job. Read on to see our list of qualifications.

1. Is the Contractor Close to My House?

Hiring a local water heater repair contractor should be the first thing you consider. Plumbers are the most qualified and knowledgeable when it comes to water heater issues because of the piping involved.

Someone who is located close to your house will know the area well and can understand all of the problematic elements that come with a water heater in your home. For instance, if you are living in Fort Collins, Colorado, then a plumber that is located out of that city would know if the weather or environment is effecting your water heater or if it’s a problem directly with the water heater. Hire a plumber who is close enough to you so they can quickly arrive at the scene to get started.

The best way to locate a local plumber is to go directly to Google or another search engine and type in “water heater repair near me” and you’ll be provided with a huge list of plumbers that you can pick from.

Water heater repair near me Fort Collins Colorado Google search

2. What is the Plumber’s Reputation?

Good Guys Home Services Google My Business search on Google Maps

When hiring a plumber to come to your house, you’ll want to know if they can be trusted and if they have the right type of experience for your water heater’s problem(s). There are several ways to find out if the plumber is reputable.

  1. You can talk to family and friends and ask which plumbers they’ve used (if any) for their water heater.
  2. Search Google to find a nearby plumber that has a list of high-rated reviews.
  3. Go on Yelp, Angie’s List, or Home Advisor and search for “water repair services” in your area. Again, you’ll want to go with one of the higher-rated plumbing companies/plumbers.

3. Choose a Plumber With Experience

Plumber inspecting residential water heater

The more experience the plumber has, the better the repair/installation of your water heater. Give them a call to inquire about their experience and list the problem(s) you’re having with your water heater. Ask them questions like:

  • Have you worked with water heaters in my area before?
  • What do you think the issue could be?
  • How long do you think it will take you to repair/install my water heater?
  • What should I do with my water heater right now?

Write down the answers to these questions and acquire the name of the contractor you speak with so you know who to talk to later on. An experienced plumber should be able to provide you with their approximations for your water heater issues based on their professional experience in the field.

4. Is the Plumber Licensed?

Plumber fixing a sink faucet

A licensed plumber means that they are legally allowed to work as a plumber within your state. The only states that don’t currently require a plumber to carry a license are Kansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.

Why should a plumber have a license? Having a license means that the plumber who is working on your water heater has been approved by the state for understanding that state’s plumbing infrastructure and the complications of liability if an accident were to happen. The plumber most likely doesn’t carry insurance if they don’t hold a plumber’s license. This means that if anything happens to them while they are working on your repairs/installs, they could look to sue you.

At Good Guys Home Services, we ensure that our plumbers are licensed and insured because we know how important it is for you to have a trusted relationship with your plumber.

5. Is the Plumber Insured?

Three stacks of coins with plants

Insured plumbers are the best viable option in case of a mishap during your water heater’s repair/installation. If a plumber advertises that they are insured, this typically means they have obtained General Liability insurance (GL insurance).

What this means for you is that you’ll be reimbursed for any negligence on the plumber’s part during the repair or installation. If they didn’t repair or install the water heater accurately and there is a leak or a worse problem than before, then you can count on GL insurance to cover the new damages.

6. Look at the Plumber’s Appearance

Good Guys Home Services professional plumber

As funny as this may seem, a plumber’s appearance says a lot about how they handle themselves and their work. It’s understandable if they recently finished a project and have stains on their uniform/clothing, but they should still respectably carry themselves.

You’re allowing a stranger to come into your home, try finding some pictures online about what they should be wearing by visiting their website (if they have one) or searching for them on Google. If they are wearing old, dirty, tattered clothing that doesn’t resemble what’s in the photos, then you should be questioning if they are the right person for the job at hand.

A real water heater repair plumber cares about how they appear to their clients.

7. Get an Estimate

Woman talking on the phone with a plumber

A lot of plumbers offer free estimates if you call them. We at Good Guys Home Services offer a free estimation quote so you can be aware of the cost that you might be charged for the repair/installation. It can be difficult to acquire an accurate estimation depending on where your water heater is located. Don’t be surprised if you end up getting quoted one price and ending up with another that’s either higher or lower than the original quote.

To better understand how much you might be charged, you should talk to a couple of plumbers that are experienced with water heater repairs. Doing this will save you the hassle of potentially getting settled on a price that might be overestimated or worse, a scam.

An accurate quote comes from the inspection stage once you choose a plumber to come out and see your water heater’s issue, where it’s located, what parts are needed, and how much time it will take them. The average cost for an inspection is $165, however, this is dependent on factors such as location and if other project inspections are necessary upon your request.

Conclusion

Hiring a plumber to come and fix your water heater doesn’t need to be complicated. But you should do your homework before you end up regretting choosing the wrong person for the job. Hire someone with experience, integrity, honesty, and good work ethics. Cheaper doesn’t mean simpler.

By following these tips, we hope you understand how important it is to have an experienced plumber come into your home to work on your water heater. When installed or repaired improperly, water heaters can be extremely dangerous. Don’t let your life be put in jeopardy by choosing the wrong plumber.

If you’re living within the Fort Collins, Colorado area or in the surrounding cities such as Greeley, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, or Ault, our experienced plumbers are available to help you with the necessary repairs for your water heater. Give us a call today at (970) 818-8008 for your free quote.