Author: cumming1

How To Prepare Your Pipes For Winter In The Desert

Winter is a common time for your home’s plumbing pipes to burst due to cold weather. Yes – even in the desert! The best way to prevent this is to prepare your pipes the best you can before the onset of cold weather.

There are several ways to prep your home for the winter, including:

  • Checking for possible leaks
  • Insulating the pipes
  • Turning off outside faucets
  • Keeping a slow drip on inside
  • Keeping the temperature inside of your home above 55°F

Tips To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

It’s important to properly insulate exposed pipes even if the weather condition where you live is not a hard freeze. If pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures for longer than 6 consecutive hours, it increases the chance of the water in the pipes freezing and then eventually causing a burst due to the change in pressure. Even a crack or two can have a severe impact on your property!

To keep exterior pipes from freezing, cover them to keep them well insulated. There are several different methods and materials for insulating your pipes. Any pipes that go through unheated spaces such as storage, mechanical rooms or attics should be covered as well.

Keeping a slow drip going from the faucets inside your home can also help prevent the pipes from freezing over. If cold weather settles in and you notice temperatures beginning to drop, start a small drip of both hot water and cold water in the kitchen, bath, laundry areas. A small water drip can help keep water moving through the system and prevent the water in the pipes from freezing.

How To Know The Pipes In Your Home Are Broken

If you turn on the faucet and only a small drip or nothing comes out, that can mean the pipes did freeze over. There are other reasons why your pipes may break, such as clogs in the drain or corrosion due to rust. Other signs of a broken pipe include loss of water pressure, stains on the wall, discolored water or noises coming from the pipes.

If you see or suspect a leak or a break in the piping anywhere inside or outside of the home, immediately shut off the main water supply to the property and call a professional plumber for assistance.

Not only does a broken pipe mean you will now be in need of a repair, it may also cause water damage to your property. Accidental water damage that occurs as a result of a sudden or unexpected pipe bursting may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance and can become costly. However, water damage can quickly lead to mold so it’s important to remediate any broken pipes and possible water damage as soon as possible. Make sure to document any damage so you can submit it for an insurance claim with your insurance company.

How To Repair A Broken Pipe

Pipes are an essential part of a plumbing structure and their failure can result in a large mess or even possible damage. To minimize damage while waiting for a repair, turn off the water and try to clean up any water if you can. A Professional Plumber will be able to assess the damage to the pipe and the best solution to repair it.

It’s important to hire a certified and experienced plumber when you need to repair a pipe so that it can be fixed quickly, efficiently and correctly. Hiring a plumber will be time-saving and cost-effective rather than attempting trial-and-error or do-it-yourself repair. A plumber will be able to come up with a solution to leave your home plumbing safe and reliable!

A Plumber You Can Trust

If for any reason you find you may have a broken pipe, Cummings Plumbing offers 24/7 assistance. No matter the time of day, we have a team of experienced technicians available to assist you with your plumbing needs. We’ve been serving the Tucson area for over 36 years!

Our technicians are here to help diagnose the problem and help you find a solution every time! We’re dedicated to providing affordable plumbing options to repair your plumbing issues. If you have a pipe break this winter season, contact the experts at Cummings Plumbing!

Benefits of Upgrading Your Thermostat

Many people often look for ways that they can reduce their costly utilities bills. Energy consumption makes up a huge part of those utility bills, which is where the issue of upgrading one’s thermostat comes in. One excellent way of reducing costs without sacrificing comfort is by investing in a thermostat upgrade. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona. Their specialty lies in the repair and installation of both residential and commercial heating, plumbing, and cooling systems. They provide the top four benefits of upgrading your thermostat, from cost savings to the ease and convenience that comes with their installation.

Cost Savings

According to Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling, one of the main benefits of a thermostat upgrade is that doing so can save you money. Many people fail to realize that making the switch from a manual thermostat to one that is programmable is a surefire way to reduce your energy bills. In fact, several studies have found that a thermostat upgrade can reduce your overall energy bill by between 5% and 15%. This is because programmable or smart thermostats can be scheduled or programmed to decrease usage when your home is empty or overnight when you’re sleeping, ensuring your HVAC system is never on unnecessarily. 

Ease and Convenience

Like with a lot of different types of technologies, new thermostats are only getting easier to operate. They are more intuitive than they’ve ever been, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling. This means that even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person, you will likely find it far easier learning how to use a modern, programmable thermostat compared to a manual one. A few features that make modern thermostats easier to use include touch screen controls, digital read outs and lit LED screens that make it possible to read the thermostat even when the lights are off. Some smart thermostats can even be controlled from your mobile phone, an extremely convenient feature for many people. In addition, certain modern thermostats will offer information beyond the temperature, providing the homeowner with alerts if anything is wrong with the system, as well as maintenance reminders, such as when the homeowner should change the filter. Overall, Cummings Plumbing firmly believes that thermostat upgrades make the homeowners life much easier.


A zoning system is the most effective way to heat or cool your home. As the name suggests, it divides your home into zones, allowing you to set different temperatures for each. This way, if there’s a part of the house you never use, you don’t have to waste energy (and money) heating or cooling it. Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, asserts that if you choose to install a zoning system, you will have no option but to purchase a compatible zoning thermostat. However, even if you have an older thermostat in your home, it might be worth upgrading to a zoning thermostat so you can have more control over which areas of your home are being served by your HVAC system.


Yet another benefit to a thermostat upgrade is that modern thermostats are more environmentally friendly than their traditional counterparts, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling. Modern thermostats are mercury free and best of all, actively reduce the amount of energy consumption in your home. This is because they only turn on when there is a need and many are able to detect or be programmed to know when residents will be out of the home and thus it doesn’t need to be turned on.

The Benefits of Upgrading to High Efficiency Air Conditioning Units in Arizona

Are you considering an upgrade to your air conditioning unit? If you live in a place with year-round heat, such as Arizona, then having an efficient air conditioning system is a must. There are so many benefits of high efficiency air conditioning units, compared to their older, less efficient counterparts. Such benefits include cost savings, increased comfort, better air flow, and reducing one’s environmental impact. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling are HVAC specialists based in Tucson, Arizona. They specialize in the repair and installation of both commercial and residential HVAC systems. They outline the top five benefits of upgrading to a high efficiency A/C unit in Arizona.


According to Cummings Plumbing Heat and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, one of the greatest benefits to be derived from upgrading to a high efficiency air conditioning unit is the cost savings. Replacing an older, less efficient air conditioning unit is a surefire way to save money in the long run. For those that don’t know, the efficiency of air conditioning systems is measured by SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Units with a higher SEER number are going to save you more money, as they will run more efficiently. To put it into perspective, older A/C units tend to run between 8 and 10 SEER, while brand new units operate at 25 SEER. Each SEER point increase will save the customer roughly 8% to 10%, which proves that high efficiency units are ultimately more affordable.


The second benefit of upgrading to a high efficiency air conditioning unit in a hot place like Tucson, Arizona, is that such units will create a more comfortable atmosphere within your home. For example, high efficiency units are much quieter than older units that shake and rattle endlessly. Newer systems even have sound absorbing materials built in to prevent the sound from carrying throughout the house. In addition, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling shares that new air conditioning technology produces more even cooling throughout every room of the home. This means that you’re less likely to experience frigid temperatures in the basement, while the top floor is still warm. All of this makes for a more comfortable living experience in your home. 

Air Flow

Air flow is another important factor to consider when debating whether to upgrade to a high efficiency air conditioning unit for your Arizona home. The air flow is undeniably better with a newer unit. This is because high efficiency systems feature variable speed motors that ensure optimal air flow levels throughout your entire home. Such motors also increase the static pressures in your ducts, which will result in more air flowing through each register, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling.

Carbon Footprint

If reducing your environmental impact is a priority for you, then there is no better option than a high efficiency air conditioning system. Research shows that high efficiency air conditioning units use up to one third less fuel than older models to do the same job. This translates to less waste and more conservation of our planet’s precious natural resources. In addition, upgrading and regularly maintaining your air conditioning unit will ensure you can use it for a long time to come, preventing you from having to buy a new one down the line. Overall, Cummings Plumbing recommends switching to a high efficiency A/C unit if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Resale Value

Finally, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, claims that upgrading to a high efficiency air conditioning unit can increase the resale value of your Arizona home. Prospective buyers are always looking for the benefits that come with a home and having a newly installed, high efficiency HVAC system is one such benefit. As A/C systems don’t always come cheap, knowing that a new, high efficiency unit was recently installed will provide peace of mind to buyers that they likely wouldn’t need to replace it soon and that their monthly utilities bill will likely be less than with an older system. 

The Benefits of Installing a Water Softening System

Many people have hard water flowing into their home and don’t even realize it. Hard water is water that contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium, which might not sound like a big deal, but having hard water flowing through your pipes and out your faucet can actually have some serious consequences. For example, hard water makes it more difficult for things like soap or dish detergent to dissolve, which results in a film or build-up in your pipes, sometimes even leading to a clog. In addition, hard water is simply harsher on everything that comes into contact with it, from your skin and hair to your plumbing. Luckily, there is a way to turn your hard water into soft water — a water softening system.

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling are plumbing experts based in Tucson, Arizona, who specialize in the installation of HVAC systems, including water softening systems. They provide their insight into a list of the top benefits to be derived from installing a water softening system in your home.

Healthier Skin

On the personal care side, one of the most noticeable benefits of soft water has to do with your skin. If your home currently relies on hard water, then you may think that dried out skin the moment you step out of the shower is the norm. The reality is that the harsh minerals that hard water contains act as an exfoliant on the skin, which can dry it out. Stripping hard water of these minerals by way of a water softening system will make the water far more gentle on your skin, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling. The result? Healthier, softer skin that doesn’t require insane amounts of moisturizer the moment your shower ends.

Shiny Hair

Another benefit to be derived from the installation of a water softening system in your home is that soft water will leave your hair strong and shiny. Similar to the effects of hard water on your skin, the high content of minerals in the water can also leave your hair dry, dull, and brittle — no matter what shampoo you use. The minerals and ions in hard water can make even the healthiest locks look dried out. That is where a water softening system can help. According to Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, such a system will remove the destructive minerals from the water, allowing your hair to retain more moisture and look its best.

Better Tasting Drinking Water

Third, the plumbing experts at Cummings Plumbing assert that hard water tends to taste “earthier,” which is not something many people enjoy. This earthier flavor is derived from the high contents of minerals and metallics such as iron that the water contains. In contrast, soft water has a much milder, more neutral taste. When drinking soft water, you won’t pick up on any sort of strange aftertaste, unlike hard water, which some claim they can taste traces of fluoride, chloramine, and other minerals in. Cummings Plumbing shares that the installation of a water softening system will result in fresh, filtered drinking water every single time, which ultimately results in a more pleasant tasting glass of water.

Cummings Plumbing on Cleaner Clothing

As established previously, hard water simply isn’t gentle. This means that it is likely to have a harsh reaction to whatever it comes into contact with. If it’s your hair or face, it can dry it out, if it’s your clothing in the laundry, it can result in wear of the clothing. That’s right, another benefit of a water softening system is that it will make your clothes cleaner and softer, preserving them for longer than if you continued using hard water to wash them. In addition to drying out the fabrics the same way hard water dries out your skin, the high concentration of minerals may be more difficult for the laundry detergent to cut through, leaving your clothes dirty. Soft water on the other hand won’t leave any sort of build up or residue and will leave your clothes just as soft as when they were first put in the washing machine.

Clogged Drains: Common Culprits that Cause Household Clogs

Tired of dealing with pesky household clogs? The first step is to learn what’s causing them. The reality is there are a variety of items that could be responsible for clogged drains, but there are a few that are more likely than others. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling, a plumbing and HVAC company located in Tucson, Arizona, provide their insight into the most common culprits of clogged household drains. 



The number one clogged drain culprit? You guessed it — hair! According to Cummings Plumbing, hair is one of the most common causes of a clogged drain, especially a shower or bathtub drain. This is because when hair becomes wet, such as when you’re taking a shower, it is able to attach itself to almost anything — and this includes pipes and drains. Over time, a build up of hair can result in a large back up. In part, this is because not only does the hair build up, but the strands then have the ability to stick to or “catch” other common drain cloggers, such as residue from soap. Luckily, there is a way to avoid hair clogs in the future. You can easily find screens or special filters for the top of the drain to keep the hair out. These drain covers will allow the water through, but keep the hair out, so at the end of your shower you can discard your hair in the garbage or compost, preventing it from getting sucked down the drain.


Grease and Oil

Another common culprit for household clogs is grease. Grease and oil are often responsible for a kitchen sink clog. This is because, similar to hair, grease will stick to anything, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to pipes. The grease or oil will harden as it cools, sticking to the pipe, and on top of that, it will stick to food or other items that end up going down your drain, resulting in a major build up. Unfortunately, there is no magic trick when it comes to grease in a drain, the simplest way to avoid this type of clog is to simply not put grease down the drain. Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, recommends disposing of grease or oil the same way you would household chemicals (i.e. pouring the substance into a disposable container and throwing it in the garbage). 


Non-Degradable Food

Many people fail to realize that not all food is suitable to go down your sink. In fact, there are many foods, even those that are biodegradable, that can cause clogs in your pipes. In addition, any foods that have trouble being ground up in your garbage disposal should not go down your sink. These include eggshells, uncooked pasta, nuts, or other high fiber foods. Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, warns that in addition to clogged pipes, putting non-degradable food down your drain can also lead to some pretty bad odors. They recommend installing a garbage disposal, if you don’t already have one, and generally avoiding putting any large scraps of food down the drain.


Paper Products

When it comes to clogged drains, most people think of their kitchen sink or shower. But there is another drain that frequently gets clogged: the toilet. This is why paper products are listed as one of the most common culprits of household clogs. The pipes on most toilets are only equipped to handle thin paper products, such as toilet paper. However, some people believe that any paper product, ranging from napkins to paper towels to hand wipes, is fair game. This is a myth, shares Cummings Plumbing. If throwing these types of paper products down the drain hasn’t already clogged it, they likely will in the future. Instead, do your best to flush nothing other than toilet paper down the toilet.

Repair or Replace: How to Tell What Your A/C Unit Requires

The air conditioning unit is one of the most important items in a home, especially a home in a warm climate like Arizona. Thus, when your A/C unit is giving you trouble, it can make for a really bad day. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona. They have been in business for nearly 36 years and provide a wide range of services to their clients, including A/C repair, A/C replacement, electric services, HVAC, trenchless pipe repair, and water heater repair and replacement. They share a few telltale signs that your A/C unit is past the point of repair and instead needs to be replaced entirely. 

Telltale Sign #1: The Unit Itself is Old

What exactly is considered “old” when it comes to an A/C unit? According to Cummings Plumbing, any air conditioning unit that is between 10 and 15 years old is considered old and may need to be replaced. This applies to both central and ductless air conditioners. Typically, A/C units have a lifespan of about a decade or a decade and a half, but no more than two decades. So, if you’ve had the same unit for over 10 years, the necessary repairs are likely to start racking up and they generally aren’t cheap with units this old. It’s a good idea to have a technician take a look and give you their opinion on whether it’s time to call it and buy a new unit or it’s worth sticking it out a while longer and dealing with the necessary repairs as they come.

Telltale Sign #2: You’ve Repaired it Multiple Times Already

Another telltale sign that you’re in need of an A/C replacement is if you are frequently having your unit repaired. If you’re experiencing cracks, breaks, and/or regular stoppages, it’s a clear sign that the components inside the unit are wearing down. Occasional repairs are completely normal, but multiple repairs over a short span of time, such as during the summer months, is a sign of something much more serious. Of course, you always have the option of continuing with regular repairs. However, Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling recommends upgrading to an entirely new unit, as at this point, you’ll likely be spending more on repairs than you would on a new unit.

Telltale Sign #3: Your Energy Bills Are Going Up

According to Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, if you notice your energy bills are starting to rise it could be a sign that your A/C unit is in need of repair or replacement. As A/C units age, they may be required to work harder and use much more power to do the same amount of work. That is why you might notice an increase in your bill, yet you’re receiving the same amount of cool air as in the past. In this situation, though upgrading your unit may not be strictly necessary from a functional standpoint, it might be the right decision as in the long run, it could very well save you money. Air conditioners are becoming increasingly energy efficient. Nowadays, A/C units have SEER ratings and the higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. If you decide to buy a new one but aren’t sure which is best for you, consider asking a professional, such as Cummings Plumbing, who would be happy to provide their advice regarding the most energy efficient units on the market today.

Leaky Hot Water Tank? Cummings Plumbing Explains What to do Before the Plumber Gets There

Leaky hot water tanks are a common occurrence in many households. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation, such as when you spot a leak, is important in order to keep your house safe and free from damage. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona. Their specialty lies in repairing and installing residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. They provide a few tips on what to do when you have a leaky hot water tank. 

Figure Out the Source of the Leak

Notice a leak in your hot water tank? The first course of action is to determine the source of the leak. Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, claims that more often than not, it isn’t actually your hot water tank leaking, but something else. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Instead, take the time necessary to figure out where the leak might be coming from and if it is even a leak that you’re dealing with. For example, not all water found at the base of a hot water tank is necessarily a leak. Sometimes condensation can form and as it builds, it causes droplets of water to land on the floor. In addition, something else, such as the water softener discharge lines, furnace drain lines, or another plumbing issue could be the cause of the leak. In order to determine the source, dry the area and then inspect the hot water tank for signs of a leak. If you don’t notice anything obvious, inspect any other possible sources (remember to look up as water will always drip down). If you still aren’t sure, place some paper towels on the floor over the area where you found the original puddle of water. Check back every few hours to see if any water has returned. If the water doesn’t return after a day or two, it was likely just a build up of condensation; however, if it returns and you haven’t found any other obvious leak, then it is more likely your hot water tank.

Turn Off the Power

As soon as you have determined that your hot water tank is responsible for the leak, Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, claims that your next course of action should be to turn off the power supply to the hot water tank. If you have an electric water heater, there should be an “off” switch for your water heater on the circuit breaker box. Alternatively, if you have a gas water heater, you should be able to find an “off” switch or dial on the tank itself, usually towards the bottom. Ideally, you want to avoid turning off the gas shut-off valve, as these can be quite finicky and hard to turn back on.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Cummings Plumbing’s final piece of advice for a DIY repair of your leaky hot water tank is to turn off the water supply. Before a plumber arrives, do your best to turn off the water supply to your house by turning the cold water shut-off valve to “off.” Typically, cold water shut-off valves either have a handle that you will pull down on or a dial that can be turned clockwise. It’s important to note here that Cummings Plumbing does not recommend closing the cold water shut-off valve if you can’t reach it without coming into contact with water. Thus, if you’re unable to turn it off, then your only option will be to turn off the house’s main shut-off valve; however, this will cut off any and all water supply to your house. One benefit to shutting off the main water supply valve is that it should completely stop, or at the very least, slow down the leak. 

Emergency Plumbing: What to Do with a Leaky Pipe

A leaky pipe is one of the most common plumbing issues people face. However, very few people know the proper way to go about fixing one. Worse, in a plumbing emergency, every second counts, which can make matters even more stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling, a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona, provide their expertise on fixing pipes. The company specializes in repairing and installing all types of units, including plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. 

Step One: Turn Off the Water Supply Valve 

According to Cummings Plumbing, the very first step in fixing a leaky or burst pipe should be to turn off the water supply valve. Before starting to fix the problem, you first need to ensure that no water is going to spurt out at you, so locating and switching off the supply water valve is a must. If you aren’t sure which water supply valve supplies the water to the specific pipe that is leaking, then it’s best just to shut off the main supply valve for the time being. From there, you can buy yourself some time until a plumber arrives. 

Step Two: Clean Up the Mess

Whether you have a minor leak with drops of water slowly seeping out or a sudden burst resulting in a small flood in your kitchen, cleaning up the mess should be the second step in fixing your leaky pipe. Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, recommends not only cleaning up the bottom of the cabinet where the water might be concentrated, but also the leaky pipe itself and any surrounding fixtures. Further, you’ll want to mop up the floor if any water has spread there and clear out the cabinet and surrounding areas where your plumber will have to work. 

Step Three: Assess and Smooth Out the Leaky Pipe

Now that the area is clean, it’s time to prepare your leaky pipe for your temporary patch. Before you patch up a leaky pipe, you must take time to assess and properly prepare the area for the patch. This includes checking to make sure there is no rust, limescale, or rough edges on the surface of the pipe, as well as using sandpaper to smooth out any build up on the pipe. This will not only be good for your pipes in the long term, but it will make your temporary patch more effective and give it a better chance of holding up against water flow, should you need to turn your water back on before a plumber can fix it. 

Step Four: Seal the Leak Via a Temporary Patch

The fourth and final step regarding what to do with a leaky pipe is to seal the leak using a temporary patch. If you don’t have time to wait for a plumber and want to take matters into your own hands, Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, recommends temporarily sealing the pipes by using plumber’s epoxy, available at most local hardware stores. All you need to do before applying it to your pipe is to mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Remember to mold the silly putty-like epoxy to fit the gap in your pipe exactly. Then, smooth out the edges and let it dry for however long as the instructions dictate. Applying this seal or patch is a great way to fix the problem temporarily; however, it isn’t a long term solution. While doing the proper research, including reading articles like these, can help you temporarily fix a leaky pipe on your own, it is possible to make things worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thus, if you’re ever unsure of your DIY plumbing skills, it is highly recommended that you call a professional. 

Top DIY Plumbing Mistakes

Who doesn’t love a “do it yourself” project? Most people are intrigued by the idea of taking on a DIY task, especially one that might save them money and help them learn something new along the way. However, when it comes to the complicated art of plumbing, taking a DIY approach can be an unmitigated disaster, especially if you fail to do the necessary research in advance. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona, whose specialty is repairing and installing residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. Cummings Plumbing has been proudly serving their customers for nearly four decades, having first opened their doors in 1983. Needless to say, they know what they’re doing when it comes to all things plumbing. This makes them the perfect company to provide their expertise on the subject of DIY plumbing. The company highlights what they view as the top three DIY plumbing mistakes. 

Overtightening Connections

According to Cummings Plumbing, the top DIY plumbing mistake is when people over tighten connections. Connections, such as pipes, supply tubes, and fittings, need to be watertight in order to function properly. And so, people think that in order to make them watertight, they should tighten them more than necessary. This is a mistake, as often these connections already come with a watertight seal and tightening them more is not only unnecessary but can actually damage the fittings and break the rubber or plastic washers used to create the seal. Further, tightening a pipe too much can also lead to cracked plastic fittings, which makes the entire thing useless. Such a crack may not occur immediately, but the excessive force caused by the tightening can be enough to weaken it until a few weeks later, it cracks and you’re dealing with a flood. 

Over Relying on Drain Cleaner

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, shares the second most common DIY plumbing mistake: over relying on drain cleaner. While chemical drain cleaners can sometimes be effective at eliminating minor clogs, they ultimately do more harm than good when it comes to your pipes. This is because the harsh chemicals drain cleaners contain can significantly damage the pipes and fixtures, especially if you use too much at one time or use it regularly. In addition, if the drain cleaner doesn’t clear up the clog, then it might just be left sitting on top of the drain, which presents a toxic danger to anyone within close contact, even creating a breathing hazard. Instead, when you have a clogged drain, you should either use a drain snake or other barbed drain cleaning tool, or if that isn’t an option, create a concoction out of natural cleaning ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda, salt, and hot water to ease the problem.

Failing to Turn off the Water

Turning off the water might seem like plumbing 101, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this small but crucial step. Tarizurning off the water should be the very first step in any DIY plumbing project. Failure to do so can result in an expensive disaster, where water sprays from a loosened pipe connection or pours freely out of a pipe after a fixture is removed. Not only will this lead to a huge mess, it can also mean more damage to your house that has to be fixed. In addition, you’ll become so preoccupied with fixing the new problem that it’ll take much longer to fix the original problem you were working on. Further, Cummings Plumbing reminds all DIY plumbers to remember that shutting off the water source doesn’t mean there will magically be no water in your pipes all of a sudden. That is why after shutting it off but before you start working on the plumbing, Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, always recommends that you run the kitchen or bathroom faucets for a few seconds to make sure they’re really clear. 

Understanding HVAC Basics in Arizona

Whether you’re a brand new or longtime homeowner, understanding the basics of your home’s HVAC unit is a must. An HVAC system is one of the most important components to a house, especially for households located in extreme climates, such as that of Arizona. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling, a plumbing and HVAC company based out of Tucson, Arizona, are experts on the repair and installation of residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. They know how important it is that homeowners have at least a basic understanding of how HVAC systems work, and more importantly, how to keep them running smoothly. They provide a few basic tips that all Arizona homeowners should know about their HVAC. 

Always Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clean

One of the basic tips relating to HVAC systems is to always keep the outdoor unit clean. It doesn’t take much for an outdoor unit to be covered in dirt, leaves, and other debris, but this can lead to issues in the long term. That is why homeowners should regularly clean their outdoor unit. Beyond simply removing any leaves, weeds, or other build up around the unit, clean it with water via a hose. However, be sure that the power to the outdoor unit has been turned off before doing so. In addition, although you can get away with doing this less frequently, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling advises all homeowners to deep clean the inside of the unit as well, removing the panels and giving them a wash.   

Change Your Filter Regularly

Another HVAC 101 tip? Change out your filter regularly. This is one of the easiest and best tips when it comes to keeping your HVAC unit running smoothly. Professionals recommend all homeowners change out their HVAC filter every three months and replace their filters along with the seasons. So, when Summer turns to Fall, it means it’s time to change your filter. In addition to keeping your system running efficiently, a new filter can drastically improve the air quality inside your home. If you like, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling often advises homeowners to change their filter and clean their outdoor unit simultaneously. They can easily be done at the same time and that way, you don’t have to perform maintenance on your unit all the time.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Maintaining your HVAC system is yet another tip for all Arizona homeowners. If you want your HVAC system to last as long as possible, then regular maintenance is a must. Cummings Plumbing recommends scheduling an annual HVAC check-up with an experienced technician. Not only will the technician make sure everything is running smoothly and fix potential kinks, but they are experts at preventative maintenance. This means that they will perform tasks such as cleaning the condensation drain line, which are not necessarily problems but could turn into problems if not dealt with. 

Know When It Should Be Replaced

Lastly, it is critical all Arizona homeowners are able to identify when their HVAC system needs to be replaced. The average lifespan of an HVAC unit is roughly 15 to 20 years. This means that depending on how old your current unit is, it may be time for a replacement sooner rather than later. Cummings Plumbing recommends all new homeowners find out the age of the HVAC system before buying the house, just so that they have all the information. While time is one of the best indicators regarding when to replace your HVAC unit, routine problems are another indicator. If you’re constantly attempting DIY jobs to fix one thing or another, or calling a professional, it might be time for a replacement. Generally speaking, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, says that once your system is costing you a decent amount of money in repairs every single month, it’s likely going to be more cost-effective (not to mention less stressful) to replace it. No one ever wants to spend more money repairing a unit than it would cost to get a brand new one.

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