Simple AC Maintenance Tips to Keep You Cool in Lake Zurich This August

Simple AC Maintenance Tips to Keep You Cool in Lake Zurich This August

  • Plumbing
ac maintenance tips

For the next few weeks, you’ll be getting your money’s worth out of your AC. Temperatures are going to hit annual highs and you’re going to be relying on a reliable, tried and true cooling system to keep things nice and comfortable. It’s basically going to be your best friend until mid-September. And what do we do for our friends? We take care of them where we can. Here are some easy AC maintenance tips on how to maintain and upkeep your AC system this August in Lake Zurich.

AC Maintenance Tip 1: Replace the Filters 

Filters act as a way to clean the air that goes through your home. Clean filter, clean air. Dirty filter, dirty air. It’s all very simple. Replacing your filters is fast, it’s easy, and it’s a fairly important task to ensure the continued effective operation of your unit. Filters last for about 90 days with normal use, so ideally you should be changing your filter about twice this summer; once at the beginning and once toward the end. 

AC Maintenance Tip 2: Monthly Cleaning 

An outdoor air conditioner unit is very liable to get dirty, it’s just a fact. Sticks, leaves, bugs, and anything else you can think of is going to end up in there somehow or another for the sole fact that it’s out there and constantly exposed to the elements. A simple, surface level cleaning on a monthly basis goes a long way towards maintaining a high level of efficiency. By not letting these small bits and pieces of debris get out of control, you’re going to be ahead of the game when it comes time to call in a professional for maintenance and/or tuneup. For this, there’s no need for anything particularly fancy; some wet wipes will do a perfectly good job. Simply take off the outer parts and do a thorough, surface level wipe of the unit.

AC Maintenance Tip 3: Fix Your Fins 

From minisplits to the humble window unit, every AC has little metal sheets on the outside of it. These sheets, or fins, as they’re called, are critical components for the purposes of keeping your system clean and your air cool. These fins, while important, are very fine and prone to becoming malformed by outside forces smacking up into them. One of the easiest and best ways to make sure these fins are always as straight as possible is to invest in a fin comb. It’s a small plastic tool that looks a lot like a hair comb that’s used for ironing out the uneven and deformed fins on your unit. It’s so easy you can have your kids go out and do it for you. 

AC Maintenance Tip 4: Unclog Your Evaporator Drain 

Your evaporator drain allows built up condensation to exit the air conditioner. Over time, it’s possible for this drain to become clogged up allowing condensation to accrue and ultimately damage the greater system. Clearing it is one of the more complicated simple tasks, but it’s still fairly easy and important to do. First, unplug the unit’s power. Then push a long thin brush through the drain line before attaching a wet vac to the drain line to fully suck out any blockage. Afterwards, pour a solution of bleach and water into the drainpipe to fully sanitize it. Wait a half hour, flush it with water, and you’re all set with a clear evaporator drain.

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ac maintenance tips ac maintenance tips

By zachadmachinescom

Signs Your Garbage Disposal is Broken

Signs Your Garbage Disposal is Broken

  • Plumbing
broken garbage disposal

Remember life before your garbage disposal? It makes life so much easier to be able to scrape food off a plate and down the drain. Your garbage disposal gives you peace of mind that you’ll be free of drain clogs, but what happens when it’s broken? Not only does your plumbing instantly become more susceptible to blockages, but the broken disposal itself causes a host of problems on its own. Because it’s so out of sight, it can be hard to determine when exactly your garbage disposal is broken. If you know what you’re looking for, there are a couple of tell tale signs to watch for to let you know when it’s time to call a Lake Cook plumber.

Dead Garbage Disposal

One of the worst sounds to hear when you turn on your disposal is no sound at all. No sound could indicate a simple electrical problem; potentially something as easy to fix as a loose plug or or flipped reset switch. It could also (more troublingly) mean that the motor of the disposal is burnt out. The motor is the most key component in what makes your garbage disposal system operate, so if it’s out of commission,  you need to call in for a replacement.

Garbage Disposal Leaking

If your garbage disposal is broken, you may find amounts of leakage. Disposals can leaks from pretty much anywhere: top, side, bottom, into the dishwasher, and down into your plumbing system itself.  This is most usually the result of an O-Ring in need of replacement, lost putty sealing around the unit, or improper connections with the dishwasher and drain pipe. All of these are easily fixed with a quick visit from a plumber.

Loud Garbage Disposal

Just like with your car, unexpected grinding noises are the last things you want to hear when you flip on your garbage disposal. Thankfully, unlike your car, this is usually a simple, inexpensive fix that shouldn’t be too much of a headache for you. Normally when your garbage disposal is broken in this way, it’s the result of parts grinding together, which itself is usually caused by something stuck between the blades, a missing component, or is a part has been knocked out of place. While this may seem like an easy enough fix to DIY, we have to recommend using a plumber for the safety factor: the last thing you want is for the disposal to turn on unexpectedly while you’re working on it. A broken garbage disposal will be the least of your problems.

Blocked Garbage Disposal

This is probably the first thing you thought of when you found your garbage disposal was broken: something must be stuck in there stopping it up. While they are incredibly handy pieces of hardware, garbage disposals are prone to being jammed when common food items get stuck between the blades.  These include:

  • Eggshells
  • Shellfish shells
  • Celery
  • Fruit Seeds and Pits
  • Pasta/Rice
  • Veggie Peels and Fruit Skins
  • Non-food items (cigarette butts, sponges, plant clippings, silverware)

Fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) also have a tendency to stop up your disposal by coating the blades and limiting their effectiveness overtime. Though these shouldn’t be in the drain to begin with, as they are prone to causing major clogs in pipes as they congeal and solidify over time.

Smoking Garbage Disposal

When is a home appliance smoking ever a good sign? We didn’t think so. Smoke emanating from your garbage disposal is a surefire sign of a catastrophic motor failure. Or a circuit panel issue. either way, it’s not good, and you should call a professional immediately to come out and assess the full extent of the issue.

Garbage Disposal Broken? Call Lake Cook Plumbing today!

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By zachadmachinescom

8 Energy Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

8 Energy Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

  • Plumbing
energy efficient plumbing

There are several benefits of having an energy-efficient home; for the environment and your health and safety, but for your wallet, too. When it comes to energy efficient fixtures, most people don’t think about their plumbing. But old and outdated plumbing fixtures don’t only waste water and energy, they can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over time.

The Pains of a Low-efficiency Plumbing System

The pains of a low-efficiency plumbing system can be many. And while they may all seem small, together they can create a giant headache for homeowners.

Higher utility bills, a larger carbon footprint, and health and safety risks are some of the main issues associated with low-efficient plumbing systems. Older appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, are not only less efficient but are made from outdated technology that can put your and your family’s health at risk.

Older toilets use much more water than newer models to do the same job and this not only wastes water, it can increase your water bill by hundreds of dollars over the life of the toilet. Likewise, new shower heads not only offer more pressure than older models, they use much less water.

Here are eight energy efficient plumbing features that will not only save you money, but reduce your carbon footprint and offer added health and safety benefits:

  1. Fix and upgrade leaky pipes and fixtures: A leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water a day. That’s thousands of gallons and possibly hundreds of dollars literally down the drain every year. Leaky pipes and faucets are also a breeding ground for mold spores, which can have serious health implications. Plus, the water damage caused by leaky fixtures can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars to fix when left untreated.
  2. Low-flow shower heads: Low-flow shower heads have come a long way since they were first introduced more than two decades ago. Twenty years of technological advancements mean more pressure and less water. The shower heads of yesteryear used five to eight gallons of water per minute (gpm). Current standards for today’s units are 2.5 gallons per minute and low-flow shower heads use as little as 2 gallons per minute.
  3. Insulate pipes: When carrying hot water to plumbing fixtures, heat can get lost along the way. Pipe insulation helps to lower the heat loss. By doing so, you can reduce your water heater temperature to 120-degrees or lower. While paying someone to insulate the pipes in your home may not make economic sense, it’s a great option to consider during new construction or a major remodel.
  4. Low-flow faucets: Replacing your current sink faucets with low-flow faucets can save water without reducing water pressure. In fact, these new fixtures can drop water usage from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.5 gallons per minute, saving up to 13,000 gallons of water a year for a typical household. This translates to hundreds of dollars a year in savings. Some kitchen faucets also offer built-in filtered water features that can help you cut down on your bottled water consumption.
  5. High-efficiency toilets (HET): More than 40% of U.S. households use older toilets that use more than 3.5 gallons per flush. Newer toilets use as little as one gallon per flush and even offer dual flushing capabilities, one of the most energy efficient options for homeowners. Look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s “water sense” label, which shows that the toilet has been tested for maximum flushing power all while saving thousands of gallons of water a tear.
  6. Tankless water heaters: Tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, only heat water when needed. While these units can be expensive, their energy-saving capabilities outweigh the upfront cost. A typical water heater keeps 40 to 50 gallons of water hot at all times. As you can imagine, this is incredibly wasteful and inefficient.
  7. Update washer and dryer: Older washing machines have a top-loading feature in which water fills up from the bottom. Newer, front-loading machines use up to 50 percent less water. Modern dryers have more efficient heating units that can dry clothes faster, saving energy. It is also important to note that only washing full loads of laundry can save a lot of money.
  8. Regular maintenance: If you’re concerned about wasting money or energy, proper maintenance on your plumbing fixtures is important. Regular maintenance and plumbing check-ups can help you detect any small problems before they become major, and can help save money down the road.

A well-functioning plumbing system is something most homeowners take for granted. Unfortunately, since you don’t truly realize the value until something goes wrong, it can be hard to prioritize fixes. If saving money is top of your list, focus first on the smaller, less expensive fixes that can make a huge difference.

Call Lake Cook Plumbing today & start learning more about your plumbing system!

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By zachadmachinescom

The Importance of Sump Pumps

The Importance of Sump Pumps

  • Plumbing
Sump Pumps

Sump pumps serve the very important purpose of helping to prevent flooded property. They’re typically installed in the basements or lower levels of a home or business and work to collect water in a pit, or a sump basin. Afterward, the water is safely diverted from the home in order to prevent flooding. While sump pumps are perhaps most common in residential homes, they’re also useful in marine vessels and commercial buildings as well. 

If you are considering installation, doing so before the spring season would be ideal. If you live in temperate areas with seasonal snowfall, rising temperatures melt much of the snow. In tandem, the spring also brings increased rainfall. Because of increased water, basements and other low levels of foundations become oversaturated with water and can potentially lead to leaks. 


There are various different types of sump pumps, but the two most common in residential homes are submersible pumps and pedestal pumps. 

The former sits in sump wells and, fitting to the name, is able to effectively operate while under water. They turn on when a float is activated, which suggests that the water has built up to a point in the basin where it needs to be forced out. Pedestal pumps utilize a float as well, but they operate above the sump well. They’re also typically much louder than submersible pumps. While not as common as submersible pumps, pedestal pumps are still found in homes today. 

Two other types of sump pumps are floor sucker pumps, which basically extract water from a floor’s surface, and water-powered pumps, which integrate with a facility’s plumbing to disperse water.


Good sump pumps come with a variety of features to help keep basements dry. Arguably the most important feature, however, is the battery backup. Sump pumps run on electricity, but during a storm, it’s not unusual for a home to lose power. Battery backups keep the system working during an outage. Other notable features include a water level alarm, which will sound if the water level in the basin exceeds the top of the pump, sump liners that help prevent a sump pit from clogging and a check valve to prevent any water from returning to the pit.

Advantages & Benefits

 A sump pump is a crucial part of any home’s basement waterproofing strategy. A good working sump pump, complete with a battery backup system, can help give homeowners peace of mind, especially during periods of heavy rainfall when flash flood warnings may be issued. Sump pumps work to safely and effectively distribute built up water away from the home’s foundation to prevent the basement from flooding. Having a sump pump can mean the difference between flooded basements, water damage, and contents damage.


It’s recommended that a plumber or similar professional conduct any sump pump installation and/or repair. Sump pump installation can be messy, as drilling into the foundation is often required. What’s more is that the installation must be carried out according to local building codes, something that the average DIY’er may not be familiar with.

Common Parts & Construction Materials 

Sump pumps tend to vary based on the type of pump and manufacturer, but most also have some similar parts and materials. For instance, there’s always a drain line to the exterior of the home, which takes the water that’s being forced out of the pit and pushes it away from the property. There’s also often a liner that houses the pump itself, the float, which helps activate the pump when water levels in the pit reach a certain level, and the electrical line that plugs into the outlet to keep the pump operating. While the actual pump can be made of various materials, cast iron is quickly becoming the industry leading material when it comes to quality.


The most common type of upgrade as it pertains to a sump pump installation is size. Specifically, moving up to a larger sump pump. This may be necessary if it’s seemingly always on during periods of heavy rainfall. Thus, a pump with more horsepower may be necessary. Property owners may also elect to have a secondary sump pump installed for similar reasons as well as to complement the work of the primary sump pump.

Life Expectancy & Timing of the Appliance to Expect Degradation

All appliances have a shelf life, and sump pumps are certainly no exception to this norm. What’s more is that because sump pumps work based on a motor, their shelf life is typically less than what you may imagine. In fact, it’s estimated that the standard lifespan of a sump pump is about 10 years. In order to best gauge how well the sump pump is performing and whether a replacement should be considered, it’s recommended to have the sump pump inspected on an annual basis, particularly before the spring storm season.

Call Lake Cook Plumbing today & start learning more about your plumbing system!

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By zachadmachinescom

5 Benefits of Water Jetting 

5 Benefits of Water Jetting 

  • Plumbing
water jetting

Maintaining your plumbing in Lake Zurich can be hard work, especially when it comes to stubborn clogs. While some clogs are an easy fix thanks to a plunger or drain cleaner, other clogs are hidden deep in your home’s plumbing or main sewer line. Unfortunately, not every clog can be fixed on your own. For the more intense clogs, you’ll need professional help. While a plumber may suggest a few different tricks, water jetting by Lake Cook is your best bet for a quick and painless solution to your drainage clog. 

Why Water Jetting Benefits Your Plumbing

Clogs are a common plumbing problem and, if left untreated, they can cause severe damage to your system. Debris can still accumulate inside your pipes, no matter how well-maintained and accidents will happen from time to time. That’s why you want to use the best method when it comes to cleaning and clearing your drains and plumbing. While it may be tempting to use other methods such as a snake or drain cleaner, they’re not as safe or effective as water jetting. Clean plumbing that’s clear of clogs is a priority all homeowners should strive for. Here’s how water jetting can help:

  • It’s effective at cleaning and clearing pipes. Water jetting uses a high-pressure hose to blast water through your plumbing lines. The combination of high-pressure and water makes for a very effective method at cleaning and clearing any obstructions inside your pipes without causing damages. While other methods such as snaking, may remove the obstruction, water jetting fully removes everything out of the line.
  • It saves you money. While it may cost more money to water jet your plumbing versus other methods, it saves you costs further down the road. Clean and clear plumbing can help prevent other plumbing issues as well such as a cracked pipe or leak, which can be costly to repair.
  • It’s a clean plumbing method. Your plumbing and sewer line are full of toxic contaminants and the more time your plumber spends on your plumbing, the more there’s a chance of coming into contact with them. Water jetting is fast and effective, which means less time the plumber has contact with the sewage inside your plumbing. Water jetting also spares you and your plumber the trouble of digging underground or cutting your walls to access your home’s plumbing.
  • It’s good for the environment. Unlike chemical drain cleaners, which can be an easy fix but are very toxic, water jetting is just highly pressurized water. When using a water jet to remove any clogs, the only things that gets flushed down the pipes are water and whatever is clogging the pipe.
  • It can prevent future problems. Since water jetting thoroughly cleans and clears your plumbing, it can prevent future clogs and other plumbing problems for a longer period of time than other methods. Since plumbers usually do a camera inspection before they water jet your plumbing, they can detect and treat other potential problems before they get worse.

Call Lake Cook Plumbing today & start learning more about your plumbing system!

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By zachadmachinescom

Water Heater Brands and Which One is Right for You?

Water Heater Brands and Which One is Right for You?

  • Plumbing

When buying any product, you want to stop and consider brands. While products are generally all the same in their major functions, different brands prioritize different design philosophies and usually end up offering different benefits based on the brand you choose. Water heater brands are no different. Different products have different pros and cons that you, the consumer, need to weigh before deciding which heater you want to have in your home. 


A long time player in the water heater space, Navien offers some of the most popular tankless water heaters on the market today. Navien prioritizes efficiency in their tankless products, and because tankless models are generally more efficient than their tanked counterparts, they put all of their energy into making sure their offerings are the absolute cream of the crop. Navien offers both condensing and non-condensing tankless models. Condensing heaters use exhaust gasses to contribute to heating. These are more efficient than non-condensing models for this reason. Non-condensing water heaters vent the exhaust gasses outside, which reduces corrosion. Many homeowners are concerned about the switch over to tankless, but a Navien heater will be sure to put their fears to ease. 

Bradford White 

Founded all the way back in 1881, Bradford White is the oldest water heater provider in America. And when you look at their offerings, it’s not hard to see why. They offer a wide variety of tankless and tank units all outfitted with excellent warranties including five and 15 year offers for various parts and components. BEcause of their experience in the industry, they’ve also perfected their tank units to be just as efficient as a tankless product.


Starting in Japan back in the 20’s Rinnai provided excellent service internationally for 50 years before finally opening an office right here in california back in the 70’s. Like other companies, Rinnai values efficiency in their products, but unlike the competition, they have a specialization in hybrid model heaters. Hybrid models offer a traditional storage tank but use a heat pump to warm the water as it flows through the system. They also have a focus on affordability, so they are especially enticing for homeowners looking for high quality products on a budget. 


Rheem is a local company. Started in 1925 by two brothers, Rheem is based out of Emeryville, California. Diversity is the name of the game with this provider: heating, cooling, water heating, pool and spa heating, and commercial refrigeration, Rheem just about does it all. If you have some sort of temperature control needed in your home, Rheem probably has you covered. They also offer the most extensive warranties, making them the go-to choice for homeowners looking to ensure their water heater works in tip-top shape for years to come. 


“But they just make appliances!” No! They do more than just blenders and fridges. In recent years, they broke into the water heater game offering affordable, varied products in addition to their more traditional, home appliance products. 

There are a lot of options out there for water heater brands, and picking the best one is important to ensure the optimal outcomes for your water heating endeavors. If you’re not sure which to pick, it’s always best to call your trusted local plumber and ask some questions. We’re always here and happy to help!

Call Lake Cook Plumbing today & start learning more about your plumbing system!

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By zachadmachinescom