frozen pipe

How Homeowners Can Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

Three Things to Know About Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes have a way of sneaking up on homeowners. One day, it’s bright and sunny. The next, it’s so cold that water freezes inside the home’s pipes. This does more than cause low water pressure; it can also lead to burst pipes, which can lead to flooding, which can lead to mold growth and property damage.

Homeowners don’t have to accept frozen pipes as inevitable when fall and winter roll around. They can read this short article and learn three need-to-know facts.

burst pipeFrozen Pipes Can Prove Dangerous

As noted, frozen pipes can cause a domino effect. If a homeowner is unfortunate enough to have a frozen pipe burst, they could deal with the following:

  • Mold and mildew growth. Both substances can impair homeowners’ health, leading to respiratory problems, dizziness, and a general feeling of malaise. These growths can eat away at a home’s drywall, exposing the home’s foundation to the elements.
  • Flooding. Flooding can prove disastrous if a frozen pipe leaks or bursts. Flooding does more than threaten homeowners’ safety; it can also affect their financial stability. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) notes that just one inch of standing water can cause $25,000 in damage.
  • Electrical hazards. Water and electricity don’t mix. A homeowner risks a nasty shock if a frozen pipe bursts and water touches an exposed wire.

pipe insulationPipe Insulation Works Wonders in Preventing Frozen Pipes

Homeowners don’t have to cross their fingers and hope for the best when preventing frozen pipes; they can rely on a professional to insulate them. A plumber can help pipes retain their temperature and stop freezing using a material like foam, cloth, or plastic.

Aside from preventing frozen pipes, insulating pipes can:

  • Save homeowners money. Water can lose heat as it travels through a cold pipe. With insulation, water retains heat as it travels from the water heater to the faucet.
  • Prevent water damage and unexpected repairs. Nobody wants to get slapped with a repair bill around the holidays. Insulation is a small investment with a long-term payoff.
  • Promote homeowners’ comfort. Just like nobody wants to pay a costly repair bill, nobody wants to wait five minutes for the shower to heat up. Pipe insulation, as noted, keeps water hotter for longer.

A plumber will likely suggest insulating pipes outside the home, such as connectors to the sprinkler system or house. They may suggest insulating indoor pipes for houses that don’t have great protection from the elements, such as old farmhouses.

Other Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Aside from insulating the plumbing system, other considerations that can prevent frozen pipes include:

  • Keeping the home at a consistent indoor temperature. Turning off the heater to save money could cause pipes to freeze. The home should remain above 50 degrees to prevent this from happening.
  • Letting water trickle from the pipes. Turn on the faucet and let water slowly trickle out. The flow of water will prevent ice from forming inside the plumbing system.
  • Consulting a trained professional. Plumbers rely on their experience and training to advise homeowners on prevention methods. It’s a good idea to have a plumber check the home’s system at least once a year––preferably before the holidays start and appointment slots fill up.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning offers the resources of a big-city service with a small-town feel. They offer reliable service coupled with transparent pricing options. Don’t stress about a frozen pipe––and don’t assume that Odessa, TX, will have a mild winter. Schedule an appointment with these professionals now for plumbing service!

heating system

Getting the Heating System Ready for Fall

What Goes into Winterizing the Heater?

The weather in Odessa, TX seldom gets cooler than 70 degrees. But, homeowners want to be prepared and have their heaters in working order when it does. After all, no Texan wants to spend the holiday season shivering under a Cowboys blanket.

The good news is that heating maintenance is fairly simple once homeowners know what to do. To prevent problems and ensure maximum efficiency, one should:

Schedule a Heating Maintenance Tune-Up

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that homeowners should schedule a heater maintenance appointment at least once a year––preferably before it gets too cold and technicians get booked. When evaluating the heater, a professional may:

  • Check the air ducts for any leaks
  • Seal any leaks or perforations they find
  • Check the home’s insulation levels and replace them where necessary
  • Clean the evaporator and condenser coils

In-home heaters generally last 10 to 15 years. If a home has an old unit, a professional may recommend replacing it. Newer units on today’s market conserve more energy without sacrificing efficiency. Also, getting an EnergyStar-branded is now affordable under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

air filter replacementBeing Mindful About Air Filter Replacement

A well-functioning heater uses an air filter to cleanse the air from pollutants and other contaminants. However, these devices don’t last forever, and once they become too clogged, the heater risks short-cycling and overheating.

EnergyStar notes that homeowners should replace their heaters’ air filters once every three months. They should do even more often if:

  • The home has dogs and cats that shed
  • More than three people inhabit the household
  • The heater/AC system remains on all-day

A new air filter ensures the HVAC system can “breathe.” It also helps regulate indoor air quality.

smart thermostatMonitor the Home’s Energy Usage

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average Texas household spends about $132 a month on energy bills. A household should monitor their energy usage if it spends more than that. Not only could this save money, but it could also reveal any AC system problems that need addressing.

Homeowners can monitor their heating costs by:

  • Keeping track of energy bills. Many residents of Ector County pay their energy bills through the City of Odessa. Through this platform, one can check for unexpected increases that could point to heating loss.
  • Getting a smart home thermostat. These devices pair with smart homes and offer a wealth of information, including how much energy the home uses. They also estimate how much a homeowner may spend on a single month to power their home and appliances.

If a homeowner finds that they’re spending too much money on their heating costs, they should consider weatherstripping. This is where a professional locates gaps between windows, doors, and other portals. Then, they apply caulk or rubber to seal the gaps, preventing heat loss. One could do this on their own, or they can partner with a trained professional.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

When Odessa, TX residents call City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, these professionals come running. These reliable experts offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and online quotes. There’s a reason why Texans have called on these HVAC specialists time and time again since 1967. Call today for heating services!

3 Tips to Prevent Sewer Line Clogs

No More Drain Clogs

If a sewer line clogs, it can leave homeowners with a mess they likely don’t want to deal with. From sewage leaks to slow drains, foul odors, and more, blockages in sewer lines can have major implications on a property. If these are not repaired quickly, they can cause inconveniences in the house and lead to potential health issues for a family.

Homeowners can avoid these issues by following expert advice from plumbers, including scheduling professional drain cleaning services, installing mesh drain screens, and knowing what foods cannot go down the sink.

Professional Drain Cleaning

One way households can prevent sewer line blockages is to schedule professional drain cleaning services. During these routine services, experts can perform sewer line cleanouts to remove buildup that can lead to later clogs. This also lets plumbers inspect the lines and address and repair any issues early before it leads to larger problems later.

These services also let experts:

  • Identify if there are large blockages, like tree roots. These can be removed using specialized tools.
  • Determine if hydrojet drain cleaning is needed to remove large clogs that normal cleaning tools cannot eliminate.
  • Recommend video camera inspections if experts feel a defect in the line needs to be identified and addressed.
  • Educate homeowners on proper drain usage and maintenance techniques.

Mesh Drain Screens

Another way homeowners can avoid clogged sewer lines is by installing mesh screens over their drains. These devices help catch items that commonly go down the drain and cause blockages. This can include collecting hair in the shower and bathtub drains, soap scum, and food particles.

These screens are easy to install and clean, making them good household options.

Avoid Putting Food Waste Down the Kitchen Sink Drain

One of the easiest ways for homeowners to avoid clogged sewer lines is to avoid putting the wrong types of foods down the drain. Even if households have a garbage disposal, food particles should still be disposed of in the trash and not down the sink.

It’s especially important to avoid putting these types of foods and particles down the drain:

  • Grease, fats, and cooking oils. These can cause blockages when they solidify.
  • Coffee grounds. These can accumulate and cause clogs.
  • Eggshells. These can stick to the pipes and lead to clogs.
  • Pasta and rice. Starchy foods can expand when they get wet, leading to potential blockages.
  • Fruit peels. Orange peels, banana peels, and others can get stuck in the pipes.
  • Stringy vegetables. Celery, asparagus, and other fibrous vegetables can wrap around the garbage disposal blades.
  • Bones and meat. These should never be put down the drain or the garbage disposal, as they can lead to clogs.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

Since 1967, City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning has provided quality services to Odessa. They provide reliable, on-time services, and offer straightforward pricing. Call them today for plumbing services in Odessa, TX.

National Wellness Month: Improve Indoor Air Quality

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?

If a household has been experiencing ongoing respiratory issues, it might not just be a bug circulating through a family. It could be due to the home’s indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality is the air quality in a home. It can include the humidity, ventilation, temperature of the house and any exposure to mold or chemicals. If the air quality is low, it can impact a family’s overall health. It can increase allergy and asthma symptoms, leading to respiratory illnesses.

August is National Wellness Month. Homeowners should take this time to focus on themselves and their households. They can take steps to schedule indoor air quality services to improve their family’s health.

Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact a household’s health. If exposed to poor indoor air quality, some symptoms family members might experience can include:

  • Respiratory Problems: Exposure to pollutants and irritants in the air can lead to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.
  • Allergies: Poor indoor air quality can trigger or worsen allergies. Common indoor allergens are dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, and pollen. This can cause sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes.
  • Asthma: Indoor air pollutants like dust, smoke, mold, and chemicals can trigger asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.
  • Respiratory Infections: Contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the indoor air can increase the risk of respiratory infections, such as the common cold, flu, pneumonia, and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Eye, Nose, and Throat Irritation: Exposure to pollutants, chemicals, and irritants indoors can cause irritation and inflammation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Symptoms may include redness, itching, burning sensation, nasal congestion, sore throat, and hoarseness.
  • Headaches and Fatigue: Poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

Air Filter Replacement and Maintenance

Homeowners have options to improve their indoor air quality. Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance and frequently changing their air filters can help.

Experts suggest changing an HVAC system’s air filters at least every three months. These should be changed more frequently if they have pets or people with allergies or asthma. Filters collect dust, debris, and allergens. They cannot properly remove particles from the home’s air if clogged, leading to health problems.

Scheduling yearly tune-ups and maintenance services on air conditioners can also improve indoor air quality. During these routine services, technicians can clean the system and look for any leaks that could cause contaminants to enter the air.

Air Cleaners and Filtration Systems

Another way homeowners can improve their indoor air quality is by installing an air cleaner or a filtration system. These can include air purifiers or UV sanitizers.Both work to improve indoor air quality, but they also have key differences:

  • Air Purifiers: These units remove dust, allergens, and other particles from the air. They commonly use HEPA and ionic filters.
  • UV Air Sanitizers: These destroy pathogens and bacteria to eliminate illnesses in a home.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

Since 1967, City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning has provided quality services to Odessa. They provide reliable, on-time services and offer straightforward pricing. Call them today for HVAC services in Odessa, TX.

Repiping: Signs You Need New Pipes

When Repiping Is Needed

If a household has had leaky pipes repaired repeatedly, it can signal a larger problem than a recurring leak. It can indicate they need repiping services.

Plumbing experts recommend property owners schedule whole-home repiping if they experience frequent leaks, low water pressure, or discolored water in their homes.

Frequent Leaks and Pipe Repairs

Frequent leaks and needed pipe repairs can indicate homeowners need to repipe their homes.

While some leaking pipes can occur from time to time, frequent leaks can require repiping services. This can indicate a problem with the pipe itself, especially if there are signs of rust, corrosion, or flaking. If there are multiple leaks throughout a piping line, it means there is a problem and repiping is required.

If a homeowner experiences frequent leaks in their pipes, it can be more cost-effective for them to replace the pipe rather than keep paying for services.

Poor Water Pressure

Reducing water pressure can indicate a problem with a home’s piping, and repiping a house may be necessary. Some signs homeowners can watch for are:

  • Corrosion: Deteriorating pipes can cause reduced water flow, lowering water pressure. Pipes made of galvanized steel or iron can experience more corrosion and may need to be replaced with copper or PEX pipes.
  • Leaks: A leak in a pipe can lead to low water pressure. The pipe may need to be replaced.
  • Clogs: Clogged pipes can lead to water pressure issues. If the blockage cannot be removed, the pipe may need to be replaced.
  • Wear and tear: Aging pipes may need to be replaced if they show signs of wear and tear and start to erode.

The Color or Smell of the Water Has Changed

Another sign that a house may need home repiping services is if the water is discolored or has an odd smell.

When there are rust particles in water due to pipe corrosion, it can cause the water to have a brown or yellow tint. To resolve the discoloration and remove the rust, homeowners may need to replace the pipes.

If an odd smell comes from a home’s water, it can indicate bacteria or other contaminants in the water. Repiping may need to be performed to make the water safe for the household to consume.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

Since 1967, City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning has provided quality services to Odessa. They provide reliable, on-time services and offer straightforward pricing. Call them today for plumbing services in Odessa, TX.

3 Tips to Slash Cooling Costs This Summer

Spend Less While Staying Cool

When summer weather arrives in Odessa, TX, residents should stay cool in their homes. However, beating the heat and humidity can be costly as utility bills soar. Instead, homeowners need to explore ways to trim expenses while still staying comfortable.

Air conditioning contractors provide tips on how property owners can stay cool without running up their utility bills, from installing smart thermostats to adding weatherstripping to using fans to circulate the air.

Programmable and Smart Thermostats

Homeowners can reduce their energy bills this summer by installing a Wifi thermostat to replace their nonprogrammable thermostat. These digital devices give households more control over the indoor temperature in their home.

Smart thermostats let residents set different temperature settings for various times of the day. They can set the temperature higher when no one is home and lower when residents return. This allows the system to run and keep the house cool when needed and save energy by not keeping the house at an ideal temperature when no one is home.

These units also let residents achieve a consistent temperature throughout the day. This can improve the property’s energy efficiency. By avoiding large fluctuations in temperature, the system doesn’t need to overwork to cool the house.

Programmable thermostats also allow households to change the temperature through an app on their phone. This lets them control the temperature even when they are not home.


Homeowners can reduce their AC bill this summer by installing weatherstripping around their doors and windows. This prevents hot air from entering and cold air from escaping.

Air leaks can account for a significant portion of a home’s energy loss – especially in older homes with drafty windows and doors. By sealing the gaps around these areas, outside air won’t enter, making the house hotter and causing the air conditioner to work harder to keep the property cool.

Use the AC Less and Fans More

Air conditioning technicians recommend using your AC system less and turning on your fans more to reduce energy costs. An air conditioner requires a lot of energy to run and to properly cool your home. Turning that off and instead turning on ceiling fans and other fans around the house can allow homeowners to save money on their energy bills.

Ceiling fans – which should be counterclockwise when setting the ceiling fan direction – can keep the air circulating in a house, making rooms feel cooler and relieving residents.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning can do it all for the residents of Odessa. They provide 24/7 services to ensure they can repair their neighbors’ problems quickly and restore comfort to their homes. Call them today for HVAC services in Odessa, TX.

Tree Growth in the Spring Can Wreak Havoc on the Underground Plumbing

Is Your Growing Garden Hurting Your Underground Plumbing?

Signs of spring can be welcoming. The beautiful flowers add color to the yard, and the budding trees signal growth and a new season. But what makes a yard pretty can jeopardize the plumbing system. As trees grow, their roots can cause problems underground with the water and sewer lines. This blog will share why tree growth can cause plumbing issues, problems tree roots can cause, and solutions.

Intruding Tree Roots

intruding tree rootsSpring is a time for growth throughout the yard. But as trees grow, their roots extend farther and farther through the yard, including in places where people don’t want them, like the underground plumbing. When they reach the underground piping, many issues can occur.

To thrive, trees must find water and nutrients in the soil, wherever possible. Water and nutrients can be found in the underground pipes, meaning the tree roots might intrude on the plumbing to get the necessary elements to grow. That can cause issues for the water and sewer lines.

Problems From Intruding Tree Roots

problems from intruding rootsWhen tree roots invade the plumbing system, they can cause cracks and leaks in pipes by forcing their way inside and can form clogs when they grow inside the lines. When this occurs, homeowners might notice problems caused by leaks or clogs inside or outside their houses.

One of the first signs someone might notice is slow draining. If the water takes longer to drain from the sink or tub, it can indicate a clog from tree roots. Someone might also notice water pressure problems or signs of a leak. If the water pressure is weaker than usual, or if there are signs of water damage or puddles in the yard, it might indicate tree roots in underground piping.

Solutions to Tree Root Obstruction

If someone notices signs indicating tree root invasion, they should call a plumber immediately. Plumbers have the tools and experience to identify the presence of roots and repair the plumbing system. The first step a plumber will take is to assess the situation and determine if there is a tree root in the system. After their inspection and identifying the tree root’s location and the damage’s severity, the technician will work to remove the roots.

There are different methods they can use, but one of the most common is hydrojetting. This is frequently used because of its effectiveness. The heavy, powerful stream of water will break up and remove the roots and other residue or debris that can cause blockages. Once the root is removed, the plumber will focus on leak repairs.

Finally, the technician can explain how to prevent issues from tree roots invading the piping system again. One option is to install root barriers to keep roots out of water and sewer lines. Also, specific kinds of trees are more likely to damage underground plumbing, so those should not be planted near piping. Another option – which should be done even if root barriers are installed – is to schedule yearly inspections and cleanings of the lines. This will let plumbers identify signs of tree roots in the pipes and other issues early and let them make the repairs before the problems get too large.

About City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning

City Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning have over 50 years of experience serving Odessa, TX, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, on-time service, and the latest technology. Call them today for water or sewer line repairs in Odessa, TX.

Properly Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

Properly Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

Most modern homes are equipped with garbage disposals. Garbage disposals are a great way to grind up and dispose of small bits of food that may get washed down the drain. When used properly, they are very convenient to have. However, problems with your garbage disposal are a very common reason that many homeowners will call a plumber. In this post, we’ll try to troubleshoot a few common issues to prevent them from arising.


There are various reasons a garbage disposal may make you think about calling a plumber. Here are just a few of the most common:

  • Unusually loud
  • Turns on, but you don’t hear the grinding noise
  • Water not draining properly
  • Water leaking under the sink
  • Foul smell/odor from disposal
  • The disposal won’t turn on

In many of these cases, the chances are high that something is stuck in the gears or the pipes. The question is, what is it and how long has it been down there?


There are a variety of things that may have accidentally gone down the train and are causing a jam. This could include:

  • Silverware or plasticware
  • Lids from cans or jars
  • Chunky or hardened food pieces
    • Fruit pits
    • Bones
    • Potato or other vegetable skins
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Toys
  • Pacifiers/bottle parts

Important safety tips:

  • If you’re going to try to reach down the drain to retrieve the spoon, child’s toy, or whatever else is causing the gears to jam, make sure the disposal is turned completely off.
  • Do not stick anything down the drain, such as a wooden spoon or screwdriver to try to remove the jam.


Your garbage disposal runs off of electricity, and there are a couple of places you can check to make sure it’s getting the power it needs. Most garbage disposals are powered on by a switch on the wall just like a light switch. You can check the circuit breaker to make sure that switch is getting power. Your disposal may also have an on/off switch that needs to be flipped. Electrical issues beyond the basics probably require assistance from a licensed electrician.


Fortunately for you, City Plumbing has a solution for your plumbing problems and projects! Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!


RO vs Water Softeners - What's The Differnence?

RO vs Water Softeners – What’s The Difference?

Hard water is an unfortunate reality for many people living in the Odessa and Midland area. If you don’t know whether you have hard water, there are plenty of signs. Things like soap scum, stained sinks, buildup on faucets, stiff laundry, scaly skin… these are all telltale signs of hard water. Not only can it taste and smell funny, but hard water is also hard on your appliances, plumbing, and fixtures. The good news is that there are solutions. In this post, we’ll talk about a couple of common fixes for hard water: reverse osmosis and water softeners.


In order to explain the differences between reverse osmosis and water softeners, we need to explain exactly how each system functions to provide cleaner water.

Reverse Osmosis, commonly called “R.O.” for short, basically works as a filter. The filter is able to eliminate contaminants such as mineral deposits and bacteria. That includes things that make your water taste or smell bad, and leave stains around your kitchen and bathroom. R.O. systems are installed for a single faucet, which is usually under the kitchen sink, though you do have the option of placing R.O. systems throughout your home.


By contrast, water softeners don’t filter contaminants out of your water. Instead, they add to the water to neutralize the impact of those contaminants. Ionized sodium helps break down those unwanted chemicals, so they don’t cause the problems they would if left untreated. Water softeners are usually added to your water heater’s tank, so they provide the treated water to your entire home.


If you really want to create the freshest, cleanest possible water for drinking, bathing, and cooking, many of our customers opt to use both RO and water softeners together! Lucky for you, City Plumbing carries both of these products. For a free consultation about which option is right for you, make an appointment online or call us today at (432) 366-2401.

The Importance of Regular A/C Tune-ups

The Importance of Regular A/C Tune-ups

Like many household appliances, most people don’t notice their air conditioning much until something goes wrong. The secret to longevity and comfort is regular and thorough maintenance. In this post, we’ll discuss why it’s always a good idea to have your A/C checked out, and what it will mean for you, your family, and your wallet.


Sometimes, it’s obvious when you need to call a repairman. If your HVAC isn’t running properly, you want relief! Or maybe your power bills seem to be skyrocketing for no obvious reason. The key to avoiding these often expensive repairs is by investing in regular tune-ups. We recommend twice a year, once for the A/C and once for the heat.


City Plumbing offers a variety of HVAC units in various brands and styles. Many come with manufacturer warranties. But that doesn’t mean you should just ignore the unit until it’s time to be replaced. The warranty may be void if the unit wasn’t maintained properly. Not only will a tune-up ensure the warranty, but it will also keep the system running strong so you won’t need to replace it any sooner than needed.


That brings us to our next point. An HVAC that’s neglected will likely need to be replaced by its 10th birthday. However, a twice-a-year checkup should make it last 15 years or longer. This is because maintenance will prevent harmful wear and tear that will eventually take its toll.


Your HVAC is designed to keep the air at a comfortable temperature in your home – but it has another purpose as well: keeping the air clean. The air is filtered each time it runs through your system, which removes particles like dust and other harmful contaminants. Regular tune-ups will not only keep you comfortable, but they’ll also keep you healthy by providing clean air!


In Odessa and Midland, we still have a lot of summer before the temperature will finally start to cool off. That means it’s not too late to get your A/C checked out. Our HVAC technicians at City Plumbing can provide a thorough check of your system to make sure it keeps running strong for the remainder of the summer and for years to come. Make an appointment online or call us today at (432) 366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!