Cleaning A Dishwasher Is Easy

Face it, when it comes to cleaning our dishes, our dishwashing machines are a lifesaver.  That is because we ask a lot from our dishwashers.  Considering the amount of work we have them do. It is no surprise that occasionally all that working results in unpleasant smells and odors.  Once that smell can be noticed in the living room however, you know that your next step is cleaning a dishwasher.

Luckily, a few quick steps and your favorite home remedy will eliminate the bad smells. Before you know it, your favorite cleaning appliance will be back up and running in no time.

Problem Signs of a Dirty Dishwasher

A number of issues will alert you to the need for cleaning a dishwasher.  You will probably first notice performance problems.  Dishes that once emerged spotless after the cleaning cycle will remain spotted and dirty regardless of how many times you run them through the rinse cycle.

Another problem sign might be leftover dirty water at the bottom of your machine following the drainage cycle.  This suggests that there might be a clog that must be cleared out.  Finally, once funky smells begin to waft throughout the house, you will know that cleaning a dishwasher is in your near future.

Cleaning a Dishwasher

Luckily, cleaning a dishwasher is not rocket science.  That said however, it can get yucky and icky.  The simple scientific reason for this yuck-factor is that food particles, once wet, get only grosser after sitting around in water.

The first step in cleaning a dishwasher begins by scrubbing the outside of the machine with a sponge and hot soapy water.

Inside, you want to focus on clearing out the drain unit.  Most new dishwashers use a manual clean filter that might get clogged if you don’t regularly rinse off and clean your plates before putting them in the dishwasher.

Once every couple of weeks you will want to pull out the bottom rack to get to the filter system.  Look for a central cylinder filter that can be unscrewed and lifted from the unit.  Once that is done, place the filter in hot and soapy water to soak.

Clean each part and remove any pieces of food that you might find inside the machine. Also, pull out the spray arm and search for clogged holes that can be rinsed out in the kitchen sink.  Once this is cleaned out, your next task is to tackle that nasty smell that grabbed your attention in the first place.

Getting rid of bad odors is easy at this point.  Simply place a clean bowl filled with white vinegar on the bottom rack before running a normal wash cycle.  Once the machine is running, the white vinegar will spread around the machine and get rid of the horrible small.

Seeking Out Professional Help

Cleaning a dishwasher is easy.  Should you be against handling pieces of soggy food however, you can always look for help in cleaning your dishwasher.  Here in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, reach out to the expert team of technicians at Forrest Anderson for the help you need in reclaiming the fresh smell in your house.  Don’t let cleaning a dishwasher get in the way of your clean kitchen.

Converting an Electric Stove to Gas

Besides the favorable cost of natural gas, there are good reasons for converting an electric stove to gas in the Phoenix area. Homeowners who convert, do so to save money on energy or may prefer cooking with gas.

The good news is that it’s possible to make the switch from electric to gas without a lot of hassle. If you have gas appliances already or the homebuilder stubbed out a gas line behind your electric stove, time and expenses will be minimal.

Considerations

Before rushing out to buy a gas stove, determine whether you have gas in your home or near your property. If you don’t have either, call Southwest Gas at 877-860-6020. They’ll be able to tell you whether you have service to your home or neighborhood.

When it’s available within a reasonable distance of your home, Southwest Gas will be able to run a gas line to your property. They will charge a fee based on the distance from the closest available line to your yard.

If Southwest Gas doesn’t provide services to your neighborhood or masterplanned community, converting an electric stove to gas is still possible within the realm of financial feasibility. Natural gas and propane are related fuels, and propane is widely available in the Phoenix area. You’ll need a propane conversion kit, a tank and line to the stove.

How It’s Done

You’ll need an electrician and a licensed plumber for converting an electric stove to gas. The electrician has to change the electrical outlet behind the stove from 240 volts to 110 volts. All gas stoves require some electricity and their plugs won’t fit into a 240-volt outlet.

A licensed plumber knows how to handle gas lines so that they don’t pose any risk for leakage. Besides selecting the right pipe based on building codes, the plumber has to make flawless connections.

If gas isn’t nearby, you can use propane in lieu of natural gas. You’ll probably need a permit from the city or county, and a licensed plumber to install the tank and run the line. All jurisdictions have requirements for tank placement and line installation. Your contractor will be able to help you with all of the details.

Reasons for Converting an Electric Stove to Gas

  • Gas costs much less per unit of energy it provides than electricity, so much so that APS and SRP use gas to generate electricity.
  • The price of gas doesn’t change from one season to another. SRP and APS raise the electric rates for six of the hottest months here. Cooking with gas in the summer costs less than cooking with electricity.
  • Gas stoves cool down instantly. The last thing homeowners want in their homes in the summer is more heat to pay to get rid of. An electric stove burner takes time to heat up and time to cool down. Converting an electric stove to gas gives you instant heat when you need it. The moment the burner is off, it stops creating heat.
  • Even though it costs to convert, over time, the lower cooling costs and the incentive to cook at home will offset the switch from electric to gas.
  • Foodies know the benefits of converting an electric stove to gas. Temperature control is instant and precise with gas, which gives you the ability to master any recipe. You can also expand your cooking repertoire with a gas stove because it uses flames and has a wide heat range.

In the Phoenix area, converting an electric stove to gas can make personal and financial sense. If you’re ready to run a gas line to your new kitchen or stove, contact Forrest Anderson today.

What You Need to Know About an Ice Maker Water Line

If you want cold water and ice from your fridge and you don’t have an ice maker water line behind it, you’ll need one installed. This is especially true if you have an RO System (reverse osmosis). Before you go ahead and order your fridge, consider some basic information about having an ice maker water line installed in your home.

Considerations when running an ice maker water line

  • Beware of kinks and bends in the line itself. An improperly installed line with kinks in it can cause your water flow to be diminished. A bent or kinked line can occur with a plastic as well as with a copper line.
  • Avoid sharp edges anywhere near your water line. This is especially true when using a plastic water line. If a sharp object ever does puncture your line, you’ll have to run the line again.
  • Run a properly-sized water line. Sometimes it pays to leave a little slack on the ice maker water line. This will allow you to fully slide the refrigerator away from the wall without having to disconnect your line.
  • If your water pressure is low you may need to install a pump. Expect to pay between $150 and $250 for the pump itself, plus labor if this part is necessary.

How will your kitchen be affected?

In most cases, holes will be drilled. The question is whether they’re drilled in cabinets, walls, floors, a combination of these — or all of the above. In any case, don’t be alarmed when your plumbing contractor begins drilling a half inch hole inside your kitchen cabinets. Aside from some carefully placed holes to feed the new ice maker water line, your kitchen shouldn’t be drastically altered in any other way you’d easily notice.

Old fridge? Give it a good cleaning

If you’re moving an existing fridge to a new location or into a new home, give it a good cleaning before hooking up your new ice maker water line. A simple flushing with vinegar will do the trick. Ask your home contractor if they’re willing to do this for you while they’re working on your line. It’s also a good idea to do a cleaning if you’re buying and installing a used refrigerator.

One and done

Your refrigerator fits snugly into its predesignated space. The last thing you want is to be constantly wiggling your fridge out of its spot for an ice maker water line repair. To avoid this, make sure the job is done properly the first time. Thankfully, as home improvement projects go, an ice maker water line installation is actually rather straight-forward.

Can I do it myself?

While there are DIY ice maker water line installation kits available at your local home improvement store, you may want to consider your level of experience. The project will involve drilling, running pipes, and occasionally having to respond to leaks in real time.

DIY ice maker water line kits are affordable and many do claim to be “all you need” to do the job. However, what doesn’t come in the box is plumbing experience. A qualified plumber will avoid common mistakes and adhere to best practices. If plumbing isn’t your forté, definitely bring a professional in for this project.

If you’re ready to run an ice maker water line and want the expertise of the professionals, call Forrest Anderson’s team of qualified water line installation specialists. We’ll ensure your water line is properly installed so you can enjoy cold water and ice for years to come!

4 Things to Think About Before a Kitchen Remodel

When you first think about doing a kitchen remodel, there is a lot to consider.

How will you use the kitchen?

What kind of space are you working with?

Will you be able to change the space itself?

How many people will be using the kitchen?

Finally, is the reason for your kitchen remodel one of personal enjoyment, or will money be your primary motivator?

Intended Usage

How do you intend to use your kitchen space after your kitchen remodel?

Do you intend for this to be a “grab and go” type of kitchen, or do you intend to spend a lot of time cooking intricate meals there?

Will you be eating in the kitchen, or shifting to another space in the home to enjoy your meals?

Your kitchen remodel needs to begin and end with the way you use the space as the primary decision-making component. Otherwise, you may end up adding something unnecessary and not investing your time and money where it really belongs.

The Space Itself

How large is the space in which your kitchen remodel is going to take place?

If it is a smaller space, sometimes space-saving additions such as extra shelving and cabinets can steal the show. Even the right combination of colors can seem to open up the space itself and make it seem larger than it really is.

If you already have a fairly large kitchen space, you may only be rearranging elements and putting in a new color scheme. No matter how large your kitchen remodel may be physically, every kitchen remodel requires you to think through the space itself.

Another consideration that may come into play is how large the space itself can become. If you have walls that are not load-bearing, it may be possible to cut out either a portion of the wall or the whole thing. While this goes beyond the scope many people work within their kitchen remodel, it is important to consider if you can. If you have an adjacent room and the means to do so, significantly increasing your kitchen’s size can do amazing things for your home.

How Much to Change

Tearing down walls may be too much for your kitchen remodel, but it may also be just a portion of what you end up doing to the space.

Are you going to update your appliances with something new and different?

How much painting do you intend to do?

Will you be removing, adding or repurposing the existing countertops and cabinets?

Sometimes a very small change, such as painting the walls a new color or putting in a new sink and counter top, can make a surprising amount of difference. On the other hand, sometimes making very large changes is just what the doctor ordered. Before you pick up a paintbrush, a hammer or an appliance dolly, it is important to think carefully. Think through what your budget will allow you to change, and whether you want to keep some things from before your kitchen remodel.

Love or List?

Are you going to sell your home, rent it out or live in it yourself?

If you are not intending to sell or rent the home for more than a year, you should do your kitchen remodel according to your individual tastes.

If a profitable sale or a cash flowing rental is your goal, you would be wise to pay attention to current trends.

Will you have to live with your kitchen remodel, or are you going to expect your real estate agent to wow other people with it?

Work With Professionals

There are so many things to consider when doing a kitchen remodel that it often makes sense to work with professionals. Moving drains and gas lines should only be handled by a professional.

The team at Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning knows how to work within your budget to get the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with remodeling your home.

Maintaining a Water Heater

So there you are at the end of a long day. You’re all set to take a nice relaxing shower and go to bed. Maintaining a water heater is essential to making your nightly plan a reality. Proper care will prolong the life of the unit and take away any unwanted surprises. Take some time to make sure your water heater runs like new. Here is a helpful guide to maintaining a water heater to save both time and money.

Maintaining a Water Heater Step 1: Drain Your Hot Water Tank

One of the best ways to make sure your water heater stays at peak efficiency is to drain and flush the tank annually. By doing this you will be able to remove any sediments that have built up over the year.

  1. Before you get started with this essential step to maintaining a water heater, you need to make sure your heater is off. For electric heaters, you need to shut off the electricity, and for gas heaters, you need to turn the gas valve to the off position.
  2. Before draining the water to the tank, you first need to turn off the cold water supply. Next, attach a piece of garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Finally, open the pressure release valve and let the tank drain.
  3. Once your water tank is empty, turn on the cold water supply. This will flush out any remaining sediment. Once it is all gone, close the drain valve and allow the tank to fill back up.
  4. Before turning the power back on, make sure the tank is completely full. Turning electricity on too early might force you to replace your upper heating element. With a gas heater, you need to remember to re-light the pilot.

Maintaining a water heater is essential to keeping your home in tip-top shape. This important step will demonstrate how smoothly this piece of equipment can run when taken care of properly.

Maintaining a Water Heater Step 2: Adjust the Temperature

The right temperature for your water heater is often a matter of preference. However, when setting the temperature of your water heater keep in mind that hot water can burn or scold you. This is especially important if there are children in your home.

There is a temperature dial on the side of your water heater. This dial should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for the best performance. To adjust the setting, all you need is a flathead screwdriver. Remove the cover to the temperature gauge and turn the screw until it indicates the correct setting. You also want to remember to turn the heat off if you are going to be away from your home for more than three days. This will save you energy costs as well as prolong the life of your heater.

Maintaining a Water Heater Step 3: When to Call a Professional

Maintaining your water heater is great for the well-being of your home. In addition to learning what you can do on your own, it is also essential to know when you need to call a professional. Your water heater is an expensive appliance and you should never attempt to fix something that needs an expert’s touch. Here is a list of warning signs you should look for.

  • Leaks from the tank or valves
  • Odd smells or odors
  • No hot water

Maintaining a hot water heater does not have to be stressful. As long as you know what to do and look for, this is one appliance that will last you a very long time. If you find yourself with any questions or concerns, contact us. We are always happy to help.