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!


How To Properly Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

How To Properly Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

Some people think their garbage disposal is part of a magician’s act. Just take any food (or possibly other household items) you can find, stuff it all down the disposal, and – abracadabra, it disappears! Unfortunately, using a garbage disposal is a little more refined than that. In this post, we’ll discuss which things are and aren’t safe to go down your drain.


There are some foods that most people know should not be put down in the garbage disposal. This includes anything that is hard or would be difficult to chop – things that contain bones such as turkey or chicken remains.

The other major thing to avoid putting down your kitchen sink may not be so obvious: things that may harden after they go down. The best example of this is grease. Never pour grease down the drain – with or without garbage disposal! As it dries, it will harden, and lead to a sticky, gummy mess!

Other items that should not be run through the garbage disposal:

  • Any sort of oil
  • Butter or other dairy products
  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Celery or other tough vegetables
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grease and greasy foods
  • Pasta, including rice (it can expand in your pipes and cause problems)
  • Non-food items


Many of the items listed above cause different types of issues. For example, the stringy fibers from celery can get wrapped around the gears, rice and pasta can expand in your pipes, and coffee grounds can just accumulate without ever making it to the disposal itself.

Here are a few tips that will help keep your garbage disposal functioning:

  • Scrape excess food and bones/scraps from plates straight into the trash.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe thick, greasy foods into the trash. Things like gravy and similar foods can easily clog sinks.
  • Boil water and pour it down the sink about once a month. It will help loosen up the slime and gunk that finds its way down the drain.
  • Three or four times a year, pour some vinegar down the drain – this is good for routine maintenance as the vinegar can dissolve substances that boiling water may not.


If you do discover that your drain is stopped, or maybe the disposal just isn’t running as it should, City Plumbing can help with any of your plumbing needs! Make an appointment online or call us today at (432) 366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!

More Hot Water With a Rheem Water Heater

More Hot Water With a Rheem Water Heater

Access to hot water at the flip of a switch is a luxury most of human history can’t relate to – but these days we take it for granted. But as your family, and your needs, grow, you may find your plumbing system has a tough time handling the volume of hot water that’s asked of it. Try running multiple showers, the dishwasher, and the washer all at the same time, and you’ll soon see what we mean. In this post, we’ll discuss a few ways to help increase the amount of hot water available to your household.


Nobody likes a cold shower, so in that sense, we all like it hot. There are some alternatives to getting your entire hot water heater replaced. Rheem water heaters offer an auto booster that can be attached to a gas or electric tank. This addition can help increase water output by up to 45%.

Another add-on is the Rheem Mixing Valve. This allows you to increase the temperature inside the tank, then mix it with cooler water as it leaves the tank, thus increasing the overall amount of hot water that’s available.


If you’ve done all you can with your current water heater, and it’s just not making the cut, it may be time to upgrade. The Rheem ProTerra Hybrid model is the most energy-efficient water heater on the market today. This model uses about the same electricity as a 100-watt incandescent light bulb!

If hot water is your top priority, you might consider going completely tankless. New tankless heaters actually heat the water as it comes into your system, meaning you never run out of hot water. The systems are more efficient as well because they aren’t always working to keep the water in the tank warm. Rheem tankless heaters also take up much less space than a traditional water tank.


City Plumbing is proud to carry a full line of Rheem products. In fact, we’re the only Rheem Pro Plumber within 150 miles of Odessa! Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 366-2401 and let us help you decide which product is right for you! Give us a call, and we’ll come running!

Heat Pump vs Furnace vs Boiler - What to Use?

Heat Pump vs Furnace vs Boiler – What to Use?

The winter chill has finally arrived in Odessa and Midland. When those temps drop, you rely on your heater to keep you warm! In this post, we’ll discuss the different types of heaters you may use to heat your home or business, including some pros and cons for each.


Heat pumps are common because they are dependable and efficient. A heat pump system can be utilized in both the winter and summer because it offers both heating and air conditioning for your home.

Air-source heat pumps work by removing hot air from your home to keep it cool in the summer, and then doing the reverse in the winter. Ground-source, or geothermal, heat pumps derive warmth from the ground. These are less common, especially in West Texas, where winters are relatively mild, however, they do offer increased efficiency.


Overall, furnaces are the most common heating source nationwide. A gas-powered furnace provides on-demand heat which is distributed throughout your home. They are typically gas-powered, but can also be fueled by electricity, natural gas, or oil. Oil and gas furnaces burn fuel to create warm air in a heat exchanger, which then distributes the air.

Furnaces are typically controlled by a single thermostat to help guarantee efficiency. Furnaces are a great way to help keep your home toasty, especially when the outside temperature is well below freezing.


A final option for home heating is a boiler. This process actually boils water, then uses that hot water to distribute the heat by passing through radiators to create warm air. The water circulates throughout the system and is reheated and reused.

Fuel for the boiler is derived from heating oil or natural gas. Steam boilers are still used in some older buildings, but they are not common in newer construction. Boilers are also considered very efficient for home heating.


If you’re feeling the chill this winter, City Plumbing has the solution for you. We are proud to provide heating systems by Bryant and Mitsubishi Electric. Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!

What Kind of Water is Best For House Plants?

What Kind of Water is Best For House Plants?

If you read our posts often, you know that water purification systems are a hot topic! That’s because in the Midland and Odessa area, hard water is a common problem, and many homeowners want purer water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing – anything. But one angle we don’t usually discuss is the impact of treated water on plants. In this post, we’ll discuss a few options to keep your indoor and outdoor gardens blooming!


We all have options for the water we use to water our yards and plants. These are the most common:

In West Texas, both city and well water are likely to be untreated hard water, meaning it contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. This is what causes that chalky buildup around your faucet heads.

Soft water has been run through a water softener which adds ions in the form of sodium (salt) that neutralize the minerals that cause the hardness of the water.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are basically high-tech filters that remove any impurities in your water. This leaves it fresh and clean, and as close to pure H2O as you can get!

A final option for watering plants is rainwater, which usually lacks minerals and is considered soft. However, if you are relying on rainwater to keep your garden green in West Texas, good luck!


So which is preferred for watering plants? Obviously, that calcium buildup that shows up on faucets and bathtubs is equally bad for plants. In fact, the buildup can get so bad, that it actually rejects the nutrients that are normally present in clean water! However, for outdoor watering, a normal amount of hardness, or excess minerals, is typically not enough to cause a problem. It’s those delicate indoor plants that need special care and protection from the minerals in hard water.

But there’s one more thing to consider – the tiny amount of sodium used in water softeners could create a salty buildup for your indoor plants. That’s why water from a reverse osmosis system (or rainwater, if you can find it) is the most ideal water to use when watering indoor plants. If you do use hard/untreated or softened water on your indoor plants, it’s a good idea to use RO water occasionally,  just to keep them healthy.


Despite our dry climate, there are plenty of gardeners, both indoor and out, here in West Texas. If you want the best indoor water for your plants, let City Plumbing install one of our state-of-the-art reverse osmosis systems. Make an appointment online, or call us today at (432) 366-2401 and one of our experts can explain your options and what an RO system would mean for you, your home, your family, and your plants! Give us a call, and we’ll come running!

RO and Water Softener Rentals

RO and Water Softener Rentals

Hard water is a fact of life if you live in the Odessa and Midland areas. Soap scum, stained sinks, buildup on faucets, stiff laundry, and scaly skin are all results of hard water. It’s a common problem with most water systems. But there are solutions. Many of our posts discuss common solutions offered by City Plumbing like reverse osmosis (R.O.) and water softeners.

We often recommend that these two water solutions be used together to create the cleanest possible water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. We are proud to offer an additional option for families and businesses: these systems can be purchased or rented! This gives our customers the flexibility to pick the solution that best works for them.


We can’t do a post about R.O. and water softeners without explaining what they are, how they work, and the difference between the two.

Reverse Osmosis basically works as a filter. It takes the bad water stuff (bacteria, mineral deposits, etc.) out of your water. That includes things that make your water taste or smell bad, and the minerals that leave stains around your kitchen and bathroom surfaces. R.O. systems are installed for a single faucet, which is usually under the kitchen sink.

By contrast, water softeners aren’t filters – they actually add to your water source to neutralize the minerals that make it hard. Softeners add ionized sodium that helps break down those chemicals, so they don’t cause problems like they do if left untreated. Water softeners are usually added to your tank, so they provide treated water to your entire home.


City Plumbing offers R.O. systems for rent and maintenance are included! Water softeners can be rented as well, with maintenance also included! To make an appointment and see what works for you, schedule one online or call City Plumbing today at 432-366-2401. Give us a call, and we’ll come running!