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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Closer Look at Low Water Pressure Problems

Water pressure refers to the force with which water moves through the pipes of your home. Low water pressure is a common plumbing problem with many potential causes that can affect your comfort while bathing and the convenience of using plumbing fixtures or appliances. If you’ve had problems with low water pressure that have negatively impacted your daily lifestyle, your professional plumber can quickly evaluate your plumbing to find the cause of your low water pressure and develop an effective solution to eliminate it.

Possible Causes of Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure affects the amount of water flowing from faucets and showerheads; it may also reduce the efficacy of your toilets each time you flush. Because there are many possible causes of low water pressure in your home, it’s important to identify the reason behind your water pressure problems to ensure the solution your plumber implements is the correct one. When low water pressure affects a single faucet, fixture, or appliance, the problem is likely associated with the plumbing feature experiencing the issue. Similarly, low water pressure that affects only your hot water likely indicates a problem within your water heater, rather than your plumbing at large. However, low water pressure that occurs throughout your home and regardless of whether you are using hot or cold water is likely caused by a more widespread issue, such as mineral buildup inside your pipes, multiple leaks, damaged or malfunctioning valves, or low incoming water pressure from your municipal water supplier.

Solutions for Low Water Pressure
During his initial evaluation, your plumber will check all the components of your plumbing to find the cause of your low water pressure. Once he has diagnosed the cause, he can suggest one or more solutions that will address the issue so you can enjoy the water pressure you want once more. If the problem causing your low water pressure is related to a valve or appliance, such as your water heater, your plumber can perform repairs that will restore normal water pressure to your home. Similarly, leaks that cause your plumbing to lose water—and water pressure—as the flow travels from your water main to your fixtures can be repaired to eliminate lost water and pressure. If your plumbing suffers from widespread leaks or deterioration, pipe relining or repiping may be the best solution to restore the full function of aging plumbing pipes. Mineral buildup inside your pipes indicates that hard water is a problem for your home; your plumber may use hydro-jetting to scour away existing buildup, then suggest installing a water softener to prevent future buildup from occurring. If the low water pressure inside your home is not due to a plumbing problem, but rather naturally low water pressure from your municipal water supplier, your plumber can install a pressure boost system to increase the water pressure you receive throughout your home. Alternatively, in homes with aging plumbing, repiping with plumbing pipes of a larger diameter could also solve your problem over the long term.

Our Orem plumbers are here to help you achieve maximum comfort and efficiency with plumbing solutions that include low water pressure fixes, water heater repair, and water softener system installation and maintenance. You can learn more about our plumbing services and how to get better performance from your plumbing on our website and our blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Smart Budgeting for Your Home Appliances

Many homeowners consider the cost of their home’s appliances as simply the purchase price of each item. However, the true cost of an appliance isn’t only its price tag—this cost also includes the electricity required to power the appliance, as well as the cost of maintenance and repair in terms of both money and time. Keeping up with appliance maintenance and scheduling repairs as soon as they’re needed are two of the best ways to keep your appliances running efficiently for longer, allowing you to gain the most return on each valuable investment.

Your refrigerator is typically the most expensive appliance in your kitchen; it is also one of the most frequently-used appliances in your home. Cleaning your refrigerator regularly consists of wiping down the interior, cleaning off the rubber gasket around the door, and vacuuming underneath and behind the appliance. You can expect professional refrigerator maintenance to cost approximately $120 per year, which may include a professional inspection and replacement of the rubber gasket and other parts as they become worn. Keep in mind that some years, your refrigerator may need no repairs or replacements, while more systems may begin to fair or require attention as the appliance ages. The average lifetime of a refrigerator is 6-15 years; addressing issues and calling for repairs quickly will help your appliance reach the end of this range. Most refrigerator repairs will cost an average of $100; technicians recommend considering replacement once the cost of refrigerator repairs exceeds $400-$700.

Washer and Dryer
Washers and dryers are also some of the home’s most frequently-used appliances. Keeping these appliances clean means wiping out the drums and emptying your dryer’s lint trap after every load to prevent buildup that affects the appliance’s efficiency or presents a fire hazard. If possible, you should also clean your dryer’s exhaust vent regularly; your appliance repair and maintenance service can also perform this task for you. Regular maintenance of your washer also includes checking and replacing the water inlet hoses, which are the most common trouble area for this appliance. Replacing your hoses typically costs $50 or less every four to five years; this is a valuable step toward protecting your home from flooding. Average repairs for washers and dryers fall into the range of $100-$200; you need only consider replacing your appliances if repair costs exceed $400-$500. Most washers and dryers will last at least 8-12 years with regular maintenance and cleaning.

Dishwashers make cleanup after meals easier and more convenient. These appliances have little to no annual maintenance costs involved, as you can keep your dishwasher clean and maintained on your own. Check the inside of the appliance regularly and wipe away any food or debris; you can prevent drain line clogs by washing away food residue from plates before you put them in the dishwasher. Clean the door’s rubber gasket regularly and have it replaced whenever you notice wear and tear or leaking. Typical dishwasher repairs run around $100, but with proper care, this appliance will last eight to ten years. You’ll only need to consider replacing the appliance when the cost of repairs totals more than half the cost of a new unit.

In the vast majority of cases, appliance repairs are all you’ll need to keep your appliances running efficiently for years. You can find out more about our appliance repair solutions when you visit us on the web, or read through our blog articles for more information about appliance maintenance, care, and troubleshooting.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spotlight on Frigidaire Appliances

Originally founded in 1918 as the Guardian Frigerator Company, Frigidaire (as it was renamed one year later) is responsible for the first self-contained refrigerator, the first home food freezer, the first 30” electric range, and the first room air conditioner. Throughout the years, Frigidaire has become a household name associated with a variety of home appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, ranges, and microwaves. In addition to receiving praise as one of the most reliable appliance brands in America, Frigidaire has also demonstrated a passion for innovation, energy-efficiency, convenience, and aesthetics.

Frigidaire is perhaps best known for its line of home refrigerators. The company produces a variety of refrigerator styles, including French door, side-by-side, single door, top-freezer, and even compact and beverage-only refrigeration appliances. Furthermore, Frigidaire allows consumers to customize their refrigerator door’s interior layout, providing flexible and personalized solutions to improve storage and convenience. Other appealing features of modern-day Frigidaire refrigerators include counter depth design to preserve kitchen floor space, smudge-proof stainless steel finishes for easy cleaning, and PureSource Ultra water filtration systems for clean, fresh water right from the refrigerator door.

Washers and Dryers
In the laundry room, Frigidaire washing machines and dryers make cleaning clothes a snap. Laundry appliances are available in both front-loading and top-loading models, as well as combined laundry centers for homes with more limited space. Frigidaire design hinges on increased capacity regardless of appliance size, allowing homeowners to wash and dry more laundry in less time for improved convenience. The company’s new Quick Wash feature can complete a single load of laundry in just 20 minutes, while high-efficiency washers and dryers use less water and power than ever before to finish the job. Frigidaire’s unique Timewise Technology feature matches wash and dry times, eliminating the need to wait for a previous load of clothing to dry before the next load can be removed from the washing machine.

Ranges and Stoves
Frigidaire offers a full line of ranges and stoves, including induction cooktops, gas ranges, electric ranges, and dual-fuel appliances that offer a gas cooktop coupled with an electric oven. Some of Frigidaire’s most popular range and stove features include one-touch buttons for maximum convenience and ease of use, heavy-duty accessories such as knobs and grates for improved performance and simpler cleaning, and My Favorite setting options that remember your preferred cooking temperatures and times to make creating your favorite meals even easier. Frigidaire kitchen appliances are geared toward improving meal preparation time as well as ease—induction cooktop technology is capable of boiling water in two minutes or less, while Frigidaire ovens’ Quick Preheat warms your oven to the proper temperature for baking in just minutes.

At Mr. Appliance of Portland, we specialize in repair and maintenance of Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Amana, Electrolux, and many more popular appliance brands throughout the Portland area. Our experienced appliance technicians are here to help you get the most from every appliance in your home, from your washer and dryer to your freezer, ice machine, and oven. Please visit our website to learn more about our appliance repair options, schedule service online using our convenient web contact form, or click through our informative blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cleaning and Care Tips for Your Stove

Your kitchen’s stove is one of its main workhorses, providing the controllable heat you need to cook meals on a daily basis. Taking good care of your stove or cooktop will protect your investment and ensure it is always ready for use when you need it. While most simple cleaning tasks are easy to perform, if you encounter problems with your range, contact an appliance repair specialist for additional assistance to restore your appliance to working condition quickly and safely.

Ceramic Cooktops
Ceramic cooktops provide an appealing, smooth surface for a streamlined kitchen. Keeping your ceramic cooktop in good shape requires regular cleaning with the right products. Avoid using heavy or cast iron cookware with a ceramic cooktop, as they can leave scratches on the surface. Never use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing sponges to remove spills or stains; instead, use a cleaning solution made from water and mild dish soap or a product made for use specifically with ceramic cooktops. Scrub only with a soft cloth or sponge and try to address up spills or messes soon after they occur to prevent them from hardening on the surface—however, always wait until your stove’s surface is cool before cleaning.

Electric Stove Coils
Electric stove coils can smoke or emit odors when they become dirty, so it’s important to keep your burners clean. Before cleaning, wait for your burners to cool completely and remove them from the stove. Rinse the burner coils with warm water and mild soap; if you must scrub, use only a soft cloth and avoid immersing the burners, as this could damage the electrical connections. For tougher stains or buildup, try a solution of baking soda and water; let the baking soda paste sit on the burner for at least 20 minutes before gently scrubbing and rinsing it away. Next, address any messes on the stove itself by laying a cloth soaked in hot water over hard residue and letting it soak for a few minutes—this will make even caked-on splatters easier to remove. Wipe down the entire surface, including the reflector bowls, with a soft, soapy sponge, then follow with a cloth soaked in clean water. Dry the bowls to prevent water spots, then replace the electric coils.

Gas Stoves
Caring for a gas stove is similar to caring for an electric coil stove. Remove all grates, griddles, and other attachments periodically for cleaning with hot water and mild soap. If your grates aren’t coated, you can scrub them with a scouring pad; otherwise, use a soft sponge to protect your grates’ coating. Tough buildup can be addressed with a spray made for use on gas stove grates; follow the instructions on the product and place grates on newspaper or spray them outside to protect your home’s other surfaces. Clean the stovetop following the same process as for the electric stove, using hot water and a soft sponge to clean up spills and rinse with clean water when you’re through.

These simple steps will keep your stovetop clean, safe, and looking its best. If you’re experiencing trouble with your stove, our qualified appliance repair experts can diagnose and solve your problem quickly for minimal impact on your busy schedule. Visit our website to find out more about our comprehensive appliance repair services in Portland, including stoves, ovens, refrigerators, disposals, washers, and dryers. You can also find more care tips and appliance troubleshooting advice on our blog.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Looking for a New Home? Check the Roof Using These Simple Tips!

Purchasing a new home is an exciting prospect, but it can also be a stressful one. You want to make sure your new home is in good shape and will protect your family, keeping you comfortable and safe from the wind and weather. Whenever you visit a home for sale, keeping an eye out for a few details can help you assess the condition of the roof before you make any further decisions. Understanding the signs of major and minor roof damage can help you assess any potential home’s needs and whether it could be the right home for you.

Look for Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common—and potentially costly—types of damage that affects residential roofs. While you’re making an outdoor inspection of any potential home, take a moment to look up at the roof. Keep in mind that you may need to step back to the edge of the property to get a clear view. Look for signs of water damage that include dark streaks or stains, peeling or curling shingles, visible rot, moss, or corrosion, bowed or clogged gutters, and pooling water on the roof or around the home if it has recently rained. If the roof is made from clay tile, look for deposits of dirt and debris, which signal poor water flow and drainage from the roof and could be the cause of leaks or other trouble later on.

Look for Signs of Age
An older roof doesn’t necessarily spell trouble, but a roof that’s showing clear and abundant signs of its age should be a cause of concern. Check asphalt roofing for signs of excessive granule depletion; when the coating of asphalt granules has washed or worn away, the shingles are left vulnerable to further wear, while granule runoff can clog or damage the gutters. Split, cracked, curling, or missing shingles are another clear sign of age, especially if you notice a large number of damaged areas over the entirety of the roof. Check clay tile roofing for cracked or missing tiles as well, which could let water inside and affect the weather-tightness of the roof. If the home has a metal roof, look for loose panels, signs of corrosion, or missing fastenings; check a foam roof for holes in the membrane or widespread discoloration or changes in texture.

Talk to the Roofer
One of the simplest ways to evaluate a roof’s quality is to talk to the roofing company responsible for installing the roof. If you are seriously considering a home for purchase, ask the current homeowners when the roof was last repaired or replaced and which company was hired for the work. Even if the roof looks fine to you—and your home inspector—it’s still worthwhile to perform a little research on the reputation of the company responsible for the home’s roof. Talking with the roofers themselves about the job they performed will also give you a clear picture of the roof’s current condition and whether there may be any potential roofing concerns in the short or long term.

Working with a trusted roofing contractor can make the purchase of your new home a smooth and stress-free process. You can find out more about our residential and commercial roof inspection, maintenance, repair, and replacement services in Alexandria when you visit us on the web.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Maintaining and Protecting Your Metal Roof

Metal roofing continues to gain popularity as a commercial and residential roofing option, with up to 30% of American homes currently incorporating metal roofs. Today, there are a variety of metal roofing materials and options available, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper; metal roofing can help to keep your home cooler in the summer and can even mimic the outward appearance of tile or shingles. With the right care and maintenance, your metal roof will last as long as the structure of your home, providing the water- and weatherproofing you need to remain safe and comfortable inside.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly
Just like any other roofing system, metal roofs require regular inspections to look for signs of trouble. You can inspect your roof on your own by walking around your home periodically to look at your roof from all angles. Make note of any areas that appear damaged, rusted, or corroded, and contact your roofing contractor with this information to discuss whether action should be taken. You should also look for loose panels or fastenings, which could lead to leaks if not repaired. Additionally, you should have your metal roof inspected professionally once a year; your roofing contractor knows how to spot even the smallest signs of trouble and address them before they grow, making the cost of a professional visit well worth it in terms of the longevity of your roof. A roofing contractor can also check your roof safely and thoroughly from above, which is especially important if you do not have the means to access your roof or don’t feel comfortable doing so. If your roof does need repairs, always go through your roofing contractor for service—any repairs made on your own may void your roofing warranty and cause further damage if not performed correctly.

Address Rust and Corrosion
Rust and corrosion are two of the most common problems homeowners encounter with metal roofing. These conditions occur when moisture or debris is trapped against your roof and damage can compound over time if not treated promptly. White rust can be cleaned away with a plastic brush; you can prevent further rust by painting your roof with a corrosion-resistant paint. Red rust, which is common on zinc, aluminum, and galvanized steel roofing, is a sign of runoff from other materials on your roof, such as wood, glass, or lead flashing. In some cases, positioning elements of your home made from one type of metal near your metal roofing can cause a reaction that leads to corrosion and rust. If your home has a swimming pool or is located near other potentially corrosive environmental factors, this may also cause your roof to rust as well. Red rust can be cleaned away, but will return if the source isn’t found and corrected. Rust-resistant coatings can be applied to prevent further corrosion from occurring, particularly on roofs situated near corrosive environments. You should also have your metal roof cleaned periodically to remove any sand, grit, grime, or other debris that could potentially cause rust or corrosion over time. Your roofing contractor can discuss the right cleaning schedule for your needs and provide you with tips you can use to clean your roof on your own between professional visits.

Taking care of your roof will protect this valuable investment, as well as the quality of your home and the belongings within. If you need help maintaining or repairing your roof in Alexandria, click over to our website to read through our full list of services or request a next-day estimate online.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Diagnosing Your Freezer Problems

Freezers make the long-term storage of many foods and drinks simple and safe. If your freezer is experiencing problems, however, you may feel at a loss as to how to find a solution. Thanks to today’s modern technology, most freezers require very little care—however, there is often very little a homeowner can do on their own to address problems, as well. Learning how to diagnose your freezer problems will let you know when it’s time to call in an appliance repair specialist to get your freezer back up and running properly.

Checking the Thermostat
If your freezer isn’t maintaining a cold enough temperature, your food will not be kept properly frozen. The first thing to check if you’re experiencing this problem is the freezer’s thermostat; if your freezer is part of a refrigerator-freezer appliance, the thermostat for the freezer may be located just inside the door of the refrigerator portion of the appliance. You can test the function of the compressor by waiting until the compressor is currently running, then turning the temperature up by several degrees on your freezer’s thermostat. The compressor should stop running at the higher temperature set point; similarly, if you begin to lower the temperature, the compressor should start up again. If the compressor does not appear to be responding properly to the thermostat settings, your thermostat may be the problem.

Checking the Seal
Your freezer door is equipped with a rubber seal to prevent air exchange and keep the system closed for more efficient cooling. If this seal is damaged or broken, cold air can begin leaking out of your freezer, reducing its efficiency and causing your food to thaw. You can check the seal on your freezer door easily; start with the door open and inspect the seal visually. Make sure it is clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth and use your vacuum’s hose attachment to remove any debris that may prevent the seal from sitting tightly against the appliance. Also check for areas of damage, such as cracks or crumbling rubber, which indicate that the seal should be replaced. Finally, close the freezer door and use your hand to feel for any areas that might be leaking air, which also indicate that replacement of the seal is needed.

Checking the Coils
If your freezer runs constantly, ice can build up on the freezer coils. This ice perpetuates the problem by affecting your freezer’s efficiency, thus causing it to run more often and resulting in additional ice buildup. To inspect the coils for ice, unplug the appliance and move it away from the wall so you can see the coils on the back of the unit. If you see ice buildup on the coils, you can use a hair dryer to melt the ice away. Wipe the coils clean with a damp cloth, then rub them dry and plug the appliance back in. Because ice on your freezer coils is caused by a constantly-running condenser fan, you’ll need to address the cause of this situation to prevent ice from recurring.

If you’re experiencing freezer problems, an experienced appliance repair specialist can help—visit our website to contact an appliance repair technician in Portland and request service for your freezer, refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal, or washer and dryer online. We also invite you to read through our blog to learn more about maintaining your appliances and spotting trouble quickly.