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A common problem affecting home plumbing is shower valve issues. These problems leave people frustrated and unsure what to do about poor-performing shower valves. Before you call for shower plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA, keep reading to learn more about the signs that you need shower valve repair or replacement services.

The Water Turns to Ice

Have you stepped under a nice warm stream of water in your shower only to have it turn cold almost instantly? Before you jump to the conclusion that this is a water heater issue, turn your attention to the shower valve. Natural wear and tear on the valve can make it slow to react when another faucet is using hot water in the house. As frustrating as this problem is, it’s common because these valves get used a lot, sometimes multiple times a day. If you’re struggling with this problem at your home, it’s time to replace the valve. Contact a local plumbing service company in Pittsburgh, PA, to help you with this replacement job.

Water Pressure Changes

Another problem resulting from normal wear and tear is a change in water pressure. Have you noticed the water pressure diminishes the longer you stay in the shower? When you experience fluctuating water pressure in the shower, call for plumbing services in Pittsburgh, PA. Get that shower valve replaced and get back to warm, steady showers.

Leaky Valves

Leaky valves are another problem that are quite common in households. Over time, seals break down in the valve. This leads to water leaks. While a leak doesn’t affect the quality of your shower, it’s not great for your shower walls. A valve that continuously leaks wastes water and causes moisture issues that can lead to mold development. Also, leaks get into the grout in wall tiles and cause water damage. Repairing a leaky valve isn’t expensive, but fixing water damage is. Fix that leak fast to prevent more costly repairs down the line.

Lime Buildup

After years of usage, limescale buildup can affect your shower valve, especially if you have hard water. Clean the valve well using a calcium and lime cleaner to see if this stops the leak. If it doesn’t, call a plumber to have them check out the problem. Also, if you do have hard water, there could be other related problems affecting your pipes and water-using appliances in the home. Consider looking into reducing the hard water in your home. Your plumber can help you with this too.

How to Avoid Premature Shower Valve Replacement

While it’s expected that you’ll need to replace a shower valve at some point due to wear and tear, the last thing you want to do is need replacement services shortly after you install a new valve. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you get professional shower plumbing installation in Pittsburgh, PA. Licensed plumbers who install new fixtures know what they’re doing.

If you need to replace your shower valve or need any type of plumbing repair in Pittsburgh, PA, call Stahl Plumbing today.

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If there is one thing you do to prevent expensive hvac repairs in Pittsburgh, PA, let it be changing your filter. Replacing your air filter matters so much in terms of how well your system runs and getting as many years out of it as you can. Continue reading to learn all the reasons filter replacement is something you need to be doing regularly.

A Dirty Air Filter Equals an Inefficient System

You want your HVAC system to run as efficiently as possible to keep your energy bills low and prevent the system from working twice as hard to heat your home. The easiest way to do this is to switch out dirty filters with clean ones. Replacing a dirty filter isn’t hard, and anyone can do it. So, make sure you’re doing it. If you don’t know where your system’s filter is located, schedule maintenance service with a local HVAC repair company in Pittsburgh, PA, and have the experts show you.

Clogged Air Filters Aren’t Good for Your Health

Your home should be a place where you feel good. However, if your filter is clogged, this makes asthma and allergy symptoms worse. A dirty filter can even cause respiratory issues in healthy people with no previous issues. You deserve to have clean air in your home and to breathe easy. When your furnace or AC system has a dirty filter, more dander, dust, and even mold spores move through the home.

Dirty Filters Wear Your System Down

The last thing you want is to call for emergency HVAC repair in Pittsburgh, PA, on the hottest day of the year. When temperatures soar, you need to rely on your AC system. If you’re not keeping up with filter changes, the likelihood of problems increases. It means you spend more money on repairs than on the things you really want to spend your money on.

Regular Filter Changes Improve Your System’s Longevity

You want to get as many years out of your HVAC system as possible. With regular filter changes, you keep your system running well and keep it from being overworked. The average air conditioning unit lasts 12-16 years when filters are changed regularly and other maintenance services are performed.

Air Filters and Maintenance Costs

Speaking of maintenance, changing your filter keeps maintenance costs low too. If you’ve noticed your HVAC service repair cost in Pittsburgh, PA, going up, ask your technician what you need to do. Sometimes filter changes aren’t enough. In some cases, you need to change the type of filter to get better results. Upgrading to better filters might cost a few more dollars, but you’ll end up with cleaner air, fewer problems, and you won’t have to change the filter as often.

Do you have questions about filter replacement or need air conditioning repair service in Pittsburgh, PA? Contact Stahl Plumbing to schedule a service call.

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Programmable thermostats are becoming more popular in homes across the country. In fact, one of the most common questions asked during central heating installation in Pittsburgh, PA, is “What are the benefits of programmable thermostats?” If you’re considering installing a programmable thermostat, here is a brief overview of how this technology benefits your home and your bank account.

Save Money

People don’t just want to learn how to save money on central heating installation costs in Pittsburgh, PA. They also want to know how to keep the savings going after their new system is installed. Using a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest and straightforward ways to combat high energy bills. With this technology, you can adjust the thermostat to follow your household’s routine and even turn the heat or air conditioning off when you’re not at home. These thermostats give you control over how you use the energy in your home, which is the ultimate money-saver.

Consistent Comfort

Another benefit that homeowners love is the ability to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature in the house regardless of the time of day. For example, are there parts of your home that get hot during the day when the morning sun shines through the window? Programmable devices adjust to changing conditions to make sure you’re never uncomfortable in your home. They also allow you to maximize zoned heating and cooling. Homeowners enjoy how they can customize their heating and cooling options throughout the home.

Smart Adjustments

A programmable thermostat also means you spend less time adjusting the temperature. Manual thermostats require you to spend time in front of the device messing around with the unit to get the right temperature. Today’s smart devices learn your routine and make adjustments accordingly. Ask your heating repair company in Pittsburgh, PA, to recommend a programmable version that learns quickly and starts managing the temperature in your home for optimal performance and energy efficiency.

Home Efficiency

Speaking of efficiency, it’s important to make sure your HVAC runs well year-round. Programmable systems require less maintenance, which means you only have to worry about finding the best cooling and heating installation services. In Pittsburgh, PA, this is an easy task. You also don’t contribute to environmental hazards and energy wastefulness. If you’re interested in learning more about how to run your HVAC more efficiently, start with a programmable thermostat. It’s an inexpensive way to make a positive impact on your carbon footprint.

Spending a small amount of money upfront to install a programmable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make for your home. If you’re looking for ways to maximize your energy usage for less, why not consider adding this technology to your home? To learn more about how to use smart thermostat technology, contact the professionals at Stahl Plumbing today!

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If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how important the grease trap is to how well the kitchen runs. You’ve also probably experienced the bad odors and other issues that occur when a grease trap isn’t cleaned. When grease traps aren’t cleaned well, not only does this lead to expensive commercial plumbing repair in Pittsburgh, PA,but it also can lead to sanctions from the city. Keep reading to learn more about why grease trap cleaning is so important.

Grease and Sewer Problems

Have you needed more bathroom plumbing repair in Pittsburgh, PA, lately? Are you experiencing problems with clogged sewer lines? While there are plenty of reasons why these problems happen, if you run a restaurant and haven’t had your grease traps cleaned in a while, start there. Grease traps are part of your building’s drainage system. If too much time lapses between cleanings, the grease starts to leak into the drainage system. This causes sewer pipes to overflow with cooking fat, oil, and grease (FOG). Not only does this damage your business, but the mess also can overflow onto streets and affect other businesses in the area. If this happens, the city will hold your restaurant financially responsible.

Dirty Grease Traps Pollute the Environment

Where do you think all that grease goes when it gets into the system? If you have a grease trap that’s outside and not covered, all it takes is a little rainfall for the grease to spill over. Once this happens, you have grease and other substances flowing into storm drains. Unlike sewer pipes, storm drains redirect the water that flows through them into nearby streams, lakes, and other water sources. Wildlife drink from these water sources, and grease is harmful to them. Grease trap cleaning from commercial companies that provide all-service plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, stops this from happening.

How to Reduce Grease Buildup

Some restaurants forgo grease trap cleaning because they can’t find affordable plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA. Nothing you do in the kitchen replaces the need for regular cleaning services. However, there are steps your kitchen staff can take to reduce how often you need grease trap cleaning.

When you’re cleaning dishes, avoid rinsing grease down the drain. Wipe down cooled pots and pans with paper towels before putting them in the dishwasher or sink. Also, make it a habit to wipe out the interceptors and clean the grease machines after each shift. These simple changes go a long way toward keeping grease buildup in check.

Do need grease trap cleaning? Has it been a while since you’ve called a plumber? Are you unsure how often you need this service? Every restaurant and commercial kitchen has different needs. Contact Stahl Plumbing for full-service plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, and get these questions answered today.

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You expect to have good water pressure every time you turn on a faucet, but when there is a drop in pressure, you need to find out why. There are several reasons for low water pressure. Some water problems might be able to be fixed by you, but in most cases, a plumber should be called to fix the problem.

Faulty Water Fixtures

Not all water fixtures are created equal. A showerhead is notorious for getting clogged with lime from hard water. As the nozzles get narrower, the water pressure is lowered. It might be time to replace the showerhead with a new one that’s less likely to clog up. If a faucet spout is clogged, check the screen to see if it’s clogged with sand or lime. If the hot or cold water faucet runs slow, check to make sure the valve under the sink is completely open. If the valves are wide open and the pressure is too low, there is a problem elsewhere that probably needs a call to a 24-hour emergency plumbing service.

Water Valve and Pressure Regulator

The water valve has a shutoff that is located where the water line comes into your house. Make sure this valve is fully open. If the problem is on the city side of the meter, you might need to call your water utility to see if there was maintenance done and they overlooked opening the water valve all the way. Some homes are equipped with pressure regulators that keep the water pressure from damaging your pipes and fixtures. If the regulator is causing low water pressure, hiring a professional 24-hour emergency plumber in Pittsburgh, PA, is the safest way to have the regulator changed.

Clogged or Corroded Water Pipes

If a plumbing service has eliminated low water pressure caused by fixtures, valves, or regulators, then the next possibility is a clogged pipe. Plunging a plugged toilet is done every day by the homeowners, but there could be danger in trying to unclog a potable water pipe yourself. Contamination of your drinking water could happen if it’s not done properly.

A licensed plumber can determine if you have a single clogged pipe, or if the pipes are corroded. If your house is 50 or more years old, the galvanized pipes could have begun to deteriorate and corrode inside. If this is the problem, it is not an easy fix. Your water pipes will all need to replaced. Newer houses are plumbed using copper pipes or PVC and CPVC, depending on local building codes. The copper won’t corrode like galvanized pipe. Copper pipes are easier to bend and work with, and copper doesn’t rust or grow bacteria, making it ideal for drinking water. Call Stahl Plumbing, your 24/7 emergency plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA, for a complete examination of your water pipes and a quote to replace any corroded pipes with new copper or PVC pipes.

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Stahl Plumbing - Plumbing Service Blog by Stahlplumbingheatingairconditioning - 3M ago

If you are in a home long enough, sooner or later you will have to replace your furnace. You can string it along, fix things that break, be hyper-diligent in maintenance, and make emergency repairs, but eventually, you will reach diminishing returns. When that happens, you will need to get a replacement. If you are in this position and are looking for heating service and repair in Pittsburgh, PA, keep the following in mind as you make your selection.

Efficiency

Efficiency in a furnace is a measurement of how much energy it takes for the furnace to heat your home. It is measured in a ratio called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The minimum metric is 80 percent and it goes all the way up to the high 90s (no furnace system is 100 percent efficient). For your heating system installation, you want to get the highest percentage of AFUE as you can afford.

System Type

Heating systems primarily come in two different forms: split or packaged. A split system has a combo heat and air conditioning function and comes with a condenser, furnace, and coil that sit on top of your system unit. They are used mainly by people who have basements and can afford a fairly bulky, space-consuming system component.

For people with limited space or no basement, a packaged unit is generally the answer. Packaged systems provide the same cooling and heating capabilities but come in a compact, outdoor unit. Many people who want more space will opt to go with a packaged system. Your heating service contractor can help you decide which type is best suited to your home.

Fuel

There are three main fuel options for furnaces: gas, electric, and oil. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Gas furnaces are the most economical way to heat a house when temperatures are below freezing. If you have gas lines going into your home, a gas furnace is usually the best choice. An oil furnace provides a ton of heat, too, but requires those massive oil tanks you see in basements; they can also be very expensive if oil prices spike.

Electric furnaces are expensive because they convert electrical energy into heat; they are not recommended unless you live in an area that only requires occasional heating. One variation of the electric furnace is the heat pump. This type of heating system provides heat via air streams and can function as an air conditioner. These are generally less expensive than an electric furnace.

Your heating system repair company can help you decide which fuel type is right for you. 

Zones

Many homes have varying needs for heating depending on where you go in the home and during which time of day. For these, there are zoning options that allow each section to be controlled by a separate thermostat. This type of system usually requires significant modifications to your home by your heating system repair service to allow for accommodation of new system components.

Choosing a new furnace is a necessary component of home ownership if you own your home long enough. Check out Stahl Plumbing to get started today.

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Most people forget about their home heating system when winter is over as they start to enjoy their summer. However, summer is the ideal time of the year to give your heating system more thought about updating it. Once you’re ready to replace or upgrade the heating system in your home, it’s time to decide which system could be more suitable for you: a furnace or boiler. The following is an insight into the two systems to help you make an informed decision.

What Is a Furnace?

A furnace heats the air and distributes the warm air in the entire house with the help of air ducts and a blower motor.

Furnace Pros
  • Furnaces are more common than boilers because they are more affordable. Even emergency furnace repair is also relatively less costly compared to boilers.
  • The leak hazard isn’t as severe as boilers because air leakage can’t cause as much damage as water leakage.
  • As opposed to boilers, where the heating pipes can freeze and burst, if the temperatures get too low, furnaces don’t have such risks as there is no water to freeze.
  • Furnaces are easier to install unlike boilers, and you can get affordable furnace repair services in Pittsburgh, PA.
Furnace Cons
  • Furnace heating is less efficient as it consumes more fuel more quickly compared to a boiler.
  • Furnaces produce a lot of noise as they blow air.
  • The heat distributed may not be consistent as the air is forced. Some rooms may be hotter or cooler than others.
  • The air quality is also affected as the blowing of hot air also spreads allergens and dust.
What Is a Boiler?

A boiler is a closed tank used to heat water under pressure to provide steam or hot water for heating. After the water turns into steam or hot water, it moves through pipes to the entire house or building with the help of radiators, providing heat in the entire house.

Boiler Pros
  • Generally, boilers are more energy efficient as they use less fuel for heating. This automatically translates to lower energy costs.
  • They also provide more consistent heating compared to furnaces. With furnaces, some rooms may be too cool or too hot because of forced air.
  • With boilers, you’ll experience less operational noise as there is no sound of hot air being blown.
  • They require less maintenance; for instance, there are no filters to be cleaned.
  • With a boiler, you’ll experience better air quality since no air is blown to spread allergens.
Boiler Cons
  • Boilers are slower to react as they take more time to adjust to temperature changes. This means that it may take longer to feel any temperature changes after turning it up or down.
  • They’re harder to install compared to furnaces, and the cost of repair is higher compared to electric furnace repair.
  • It’s difficult or almost impossible to switch from a boiler to a furnace.
  • A boiler is susceptible to water damage which could cause damage to your house.

When it comes to choosing between a boiler and a furnace, it all depends on personal needs and preferences. For those with furnaces, you can get cheap furnace repair in Pittsburgh, PA. Also, furnaces are cheaper. However, for energy efficiency, boilers would be the ultimate choice. Regardless of your choice, you can always count on Stahl Plumbing for all your boiler and furnace repair needs in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact us today for more details.

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Everyone finds that unsightly buildup on their faucets from time to time. Not only are they icky, but calcium deposits can even start to deteriorate metallic fixtures until they become brittle or even leaky. So what can you do about them? Ordinary bathroom surface cleaners and disinfectants won’t do the trick. Is there any other way to make sure you don’t lose your valuable faucets to these minerals?

Here are the best recommendations from all-service plumbing experts. Follow these tips to make your faucets look brand new again.

The Culprit

First, it’s important to know why this phenomenon happens. What could cause stony minerals to build up in your bathrooms? Some people believe that it is a side effect of rust, as if you’re seeing the effects of moisture and humidity breaking down metallic fixtures or porcelain sinks, but this isn’t the case. Your tap water is actually to blame.

Unfiltered tap water is full of minerals like calcium. Over time, as water splashes onto your faucets and dries, the minerals will be left behind, and water spots will form. As they continue to build up, specks of calcium will form large deposits that bond together in corners, in joints, and on the edges of your faucets. You’re more likely to see calcium in these areas because water collects there, doesn’t run off as easily, and evaporates more slowly.

Clean the Surface

Onto the solutions. You might want to wear gloves and protective eyewear to prevent irritants from getting onto your skin or in your eyes.

First, use a damp and soapy rag to clean your faucets. Focus on the areas where you see white or greenish calcium deposits. Then, rinse and wipe the area dry. Don’t leave it wet! This will just add to the problem. Remember that calcium isn’t fungus, so disinfecting cleaners and soaps won’t solve the problem. However, they’re a start. Commercial plumbing repair experts always recommend working on clean surfaces for best results. 

Remove Calcium

Next, use an acidic substance like white vinegar or lemon juice to break down the high-pH calcium. Dampen a cloth and wipe it across the surface. For extreme buildup, leave a soaked rag to dry against the surface of the faucet for several hours.

Then, rinse the faucet thoroughly and dry it with a clean cloth. If necessary, scrub the deposits with a toothbrush. The combination of all-purpose cleaner and an acidic treatment may have loosened the calcium, so you can then brush it away. If you follow this step, use an all-purpose cleaner again to remove all traces of the calcium. Rinse and dry the surface.

If the aerator has buildup, you’ll need to twist off the small faucet insert and flush it out. Follow the above steps, and make sure to use a toothbrush here. Aerators can trap buildup — once the chalky white material is gone, you can replace the aerator.

For more recommendations, contact Stahl Plumbing. Offering bathroom plumbing repair to residential and commercial properties, Stahl Plumbing is your best resource for installing water softeners and other helpful services. Contact them today for full service plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Stahl Plumbing - Plumbing Service Blog by Stahlplumbingheatingairconditioning - 3M ago

While it’s not unusual for a home to experience water leaks, nothing is as frustrating as dealing with a slab leak. This type of plumbing leak is destructive and expensive to repair. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to stay alert for signs of a slab leak and call a 24 hour emergency plumber in Pittsburgh, PA at the first sign of trouble.

Old Plumbing

The leading causes of slab leaks are old pipes. As pipes age, they become corroded and brittle. They become susceptible to pinhole leaks. When this happens, it doesn’t take long for water to drip from the pipe beneath your home’s slab. If you have an older home, you’re at an increased risk of developing a slab leak. Have your pipes checked before you need a 24 hour emergency plumber in Pittsburgh, PA. 

High Water Pressure

All homes are at risk of developing slab leaks when there are water pressure issues. While most people won’t complain about high water pressure, it’s something that needs addressing. When water comes into your home at rates above 50 PSI, this puts a strain on your pipes. Over time, the high water pressure wears down the inside of the pipes. This could cause a slow leak to develop or a burst pipe that requires emergency repair. Neither situation is ideal.

If you’re not sure what your home’s water pressure is like, install a pressure gauge on the water line where water comes into the house from the main line. If you have consistent pressure problems, call a plumber. Ask them to install a pressure regulator to keep water flowing through your pipes at a consistent rate to prevent burst pipes and other problems.

Bad Installation

Poor installation practices also lead to slab leaks. Whether you’re remodeling your home or building a brand-new home, if underground pipes aren’t installed right, you’ll have problems. Make sure the people working on your plumbing are licensed and experienced. There’s too much at stake to cut corners.

How to Detect a Slab Leak

Now that you know a little about what causes slab leaks, it’s also a good idea to know how to tell if you have one. These leaks are sneaky, and they don’t always make themselves known until a lot of damage has already been done. That doesn’t mean there aren’t signs to pay attention to.  Pay close attention to your water bill for sudden, inexplicable spikes in water usage. Listen for sounds of running water when you know the water isn’t being used. Also, have professional electronic leak detection done once a year. 

Sometimes you can’t prevent plumbing problems from happening. If you’re in a situation like this, call Stahl Plumbing for 24 hour emergency plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA.

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If an underground water pipe breaks, or has a significant leak, it’ll eventually cause minor and even major problems. Knowing what to look for when there is a broken underground water pipe will enable you to stop a real disaster that could damage your yard, driveway, foundation of your house, or even your neighbor’s adjacent property. If you notice signs that things aren’t quite right in your yard, it’s important to call a local emergency plumber to find and fix the problem before it gets worse.

Signs of Underground Water Leaks

If your lawn is irrigated and you notice areas that aren’t getting enough water, check the sprinkler heads to make sure they aren’t damaged. If it’s a broken water pipe underground, plumbing installation services will be able to track down where the leak is and repair it.

Standing Water in Your Yard

If you notice an area in your landscape that is unusually wet or spongy or has standing water in a low area, there’s probably a broken underground water pipe. You should notify your utility provider immediately so they can turn off your water at the meter. This will shut off all the water to your house, so you also need to call the local emergency plumbing services to repair the pipe as soon as possible.

Moldy or Mossy Areas

The landscape around your house can silently alert a diligent person about water problems. If you notice an area in the lawn that is moldy, or mossy, with dryer conditions in the surrounding area, odds are you have a broken underground water pipe. You should call a plumber to find where the broken pipe is and fix it before it causes major problems, such as a pothole or sinkhole. If the soft ground caves in near your house it could cause major damage to your foundation. If the area is near a paved driveway, it could cause the pavement to heave or crack, causing a separate expense for that repair. 

Drop in Water Pressure

There can be many reasons for a drop in water pressure. If the low water pressure is isolated to one faucet, you might be able to figure it out on your own, but if water pressure is low at every fixture, it can be tracked down more easily by a plumbing installation contractor.

Other Signs of Water Problems

If water is entering your basement or crawl space, there is probably a broken water pipe near your foundation. Another problem might be dirt or air coming out of your faucets. This can also be caused by problems other than a broken water pipe, but a professional plumber is your best bet for a quick solution. Some underground broken water pipes that are under pressure can make sounds that you might not hear if you don’t spend much time in your yard. If you hear a hiss in the grass, it might be a snake, but it could be a cracked water pipe letting off pressure. Splashing sounds might be heard if the pipe isn’t buried too deep, and the leak has made a cavity around the broken pipe. For plumbing installation in Pittsburgh, PA, call Stahl Plumbing for emergency services, repairs, or new heating and cooling service.

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