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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition


Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

7 tips you need to know before installing an outdoor fire pit

Warm evenings are great for gathering around an outdoor fire pit for quality time with family and friends. Whether you want to unwind with friends at the end of a long week or sing campfire songs and roast s’mores with your family, a gas line fire pit offers a convenient way to do so. Before you have one installed, keep the following information in mind about outdoor fire pits.

Consider Your Budget

You don’t want to go over your budget for your outdoor fire pit. To avoid spending too much, compare costs and decide what features your fire pit should have. Keep in mind that size and material can affect the overall cost. Adding seating to your fire pit setting will also cost you more, so factor that in as well.

Think About Location

If you plan on having a permanent outdoor fire pit installed, rather than a portable one, decide where it should go. You’ll need to keep it a reasonable distance away from your home and other flammable places, such as storage sheds. A gas line outdoor fire pit needs to be in a location that allows it to be easily connected to a natural gas source.

Decide Between Gas or Wood

Wood and gas are common types of outdoor fire pits. Which one should you go with? Wood fire pits give off a more campfire-like smell, but they are also more dangerous. Some logs can spark or smoke easily, resulting in a fire hazard. A gas line outdoor fire pit offers a more convenient and safer way to have a fire burning in your yard.

Choose a Surface for It

What kind of surface should your outdoor fire pit go on? There are several options to consider, such as brick, concrete and slate. Permanent fire pits are sometimes placed on gravel if you’re looking for a simple setup. You should avoid having your fire pit placed on a wood surface, such as a wood deck, since this creates a higher risk of a fire.

Determine the Size You Need

How big does your outdoor fire pit need to be? This depends on how many people are likely to be sitting around it on a regular basis. You’ll need a larger one if you have a bigger family or if you plan on having a bunch of friends over regularly during the summer. Otherwise, you can plan on having a smaller one installed. No matter what size you need, gas line fire pits are available in a wide range.

Consider Convenience

If you’ll be using your outdoor fire pit often, make sure it won’t be difficult or inconvenient to do so. Wood fire pits require you to store a steady supply of wood in your yard. Gas line fire pits provide greater convenience for regular use since you just have to switch your fire pit on when you want to use it.

Think About the Installation Process

How difficult is it to have a fire pit installed? If you choose to have a gas line outdoor fire pit installed, leave this to the professionals. This ensures that your fire pit’s gas line is connected safely and properly.

If you’re thinking of having a gas line outdoor fire pit installed at your Arizona home, contact Forrest Anderson for more information.

Charcoal vs. Gas vs. Propane grill

When it comes to grilling, every backyard expert has an opinion on which fuel is best. Ask enough people, however, and you’ll soon learn that there is truly not a definitive answer. Whether it’s natural gas, charcoal or a propane grill, each method has its loyal legion. It’s an argument almost as old as time.

Charcoal aficionados will tell you there’s no way they’d ever cook with gas. Propane and gas cookers scoff at the perception of wasted effort by charcoal grillers. The truth is, both are right. There’s no right or wrong way to cook with fire, just different methods.

Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal grillers rest their argument on one main principle: the increased taste from the smoke that charcoal imparts on the meat. Meat drippings are also vaporized and re-introduced to the meat’s surface when hitting flame; something that doesn’t happen with natural gas or propane.

Those that prefer cooking with a different fuel point to a couple big differences between charcoal grilling and gas or propane grilling. Controlling the heat of a charcoal grill presents something of a learning curve. It can be done, but it takes time to master 2-zone grilling and dial in the dampers to control the flame just right. Do that, and you’ll have a fire that burns hotter than propane or natural gas.

It’s also important to perfect the technique of getting the coals going. Relying on starter fluid to get a stack of briquets going can be tricky. Use too much fluid, and your food will develop an unpleasant taste.

Propane Grilling

Grilling with propane may not impart the same flavor profile as a charcoal grill, but it offers a number of other advantages that some grillers go for.

Propane grilling is a much quicker process for a number of reasons. It gets hotter quicker, allowing you to spend less time tending the grill. It’s also much easier to control heat levels accurately.

Propane grills offer a bit more portability than natural gas grills and therefore are a bit more popular. Propane grills come with more features like side burners.

Natural Gas Grilling

While natural gas grills are not as common, it’s becoming more and more popular. Matters of convenience, cost and environmental impact lead many homeowners to install natural gas grills in their backyard.

Natural gas grills are typically attached to a fixed gas line that’s installed by a professional. Portability is not a factor with natural gas grills. Since a natural gas grill has an always-on, always-accessible fuel source, however, it offers a distinct advantage over propane grills, which run off tanks that need to be refilled. Natural gas grills can also be used to cook over a large area, just like propane, giving both gasses an advantage over charcoal.

Recently, natural gas grills have been gaining popularity for another reason. It’s a cleaner-burning fuel than propane, meaning it’s better for the environment. Natural gas is also a cheaper fuel.

For those who would like to experience a streamlined, no-hassle backyard grilling experience, natural gas grills are truly the way to go. When you decide to make the move to natural gas, call on our professional team at Forrest Anderson to install your gas line. We’ve been servicing the heating, cooling and plumbing needs of the greater Phoenix area since 1961.

5 important parts of your HVAC system

Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the different parts of an HVAC system. Although you should let HVAC professionals handle problems with your system, it’s helpful to know some of the most important parts. This can help you understand what’s going on if you have issues with your heating and cooling system.

Blower Motor

The blower motor in your HVAC system is the part that blows heated or cooled air into your home. When this motor kicks in, it pushes this air through your ductwork, which allows it to reach all parts of your home. Blower motors are available in conventional and variable speed models.

Blower motors can run into problems that affect how well your HVAC system heats or cools your home. Problems with the blower motor include having it run too often or having it not start at all. HVAC technicians should check this part of your HVAC system to make repairs or replace it if needed.


A compressor, or condenser coil, is an HVAC component that helps keep your home cool. Heat pumps and central air conditioning systems have these outdoor units. Compressors send heat into the air outside and cool homes by condensing refrigerant.

Compressors are prone to having problems when airflow through these units is obstructed. This can happen when you have leaves or other vegetation around the unit. Shrubs or bushes can also obstruct compressors. Have HVAC technicians do maintenance on your compressor to keep it in good condition.

Evaporator Coil

Evaporator coils are important components inside heat pumps and central air conditioning systems. This coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat and sends it back into your home as cooled air. This component also helps lower the humidity in your home.

Evaporator coils can have too much moisture on them, resulting in mold growth. These coils can also become frozen if you have any refrigerant leaks. Mold and ice can lower your air quality and even cause your HVAC system to break down. Have these coils cleaned and maintained to prevent this.

Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber in a furnace is also known as a burner. Gas and air enter this part of your furnace, which causes a pilot or electronic ignition to start. In some furnaces, there is also another combustion chamber. This chamber catches and compresses unburned fuel and carbon monoxide. The result is a furnace with better efficiency.

Problems with the combustion chamber usually involve the way it ignites. Electronic ignition systems can be damaged or may malfunction. Pilot lights can go out or end up letting carbon monoxide into your home. It’s important to have an HVAC technician check and repair any problems you have with the combustion chamber in your HVAC system.

Heat Exchanger

Furnaces, including electric and gas models, have a heat exchanger that is used for warming up cooler air. This part of your HVAC system is what generates heated air to keep your home warm in winter.

Heat exchangers are made to be durable. However, they can develop cracks that could cause a carbon monoxide leak inside your home. Regular HVAC exchanger inspections can help prevent cracks and leaks.

Whether your HVAC system is louder than usual or just won’t start, contact Forrest Anderson today for service.

5 mistakes to avoid when installing a grill gas line

Having your own backyard grill means you can enjoy barbecued meals whenever you want. Installing your dream grill is an opportunity that usually only comes once in a lifetime, so it’s important to make sure you get everything right. While the convenience of a gas line grill means you don’t have to run out to the store to buy charcoal or a propane tank, there are some details to consider before installing one. Keep the following mistakes in mind while planning for your gas line.

Mistake #1: Going Over Budget

When planning for your gas grill, stick to your budget. Compared to a charcoal grill, a gas line adds additional expenses for installation, parts, and equipment. This is in addition to the cost of the actual grill. Once you start using your gas line grill, you may notice a slight increase in your gas bill if you use it frequently. However, you won’t need to buy charcoal or propane. Making a note of all of these expenses can help you stay within your budget.

Mistake #2: Incorrect Grill Positioning

You want your new grill to be accessible and make sense with the flow of your backyard. However, you may be limited by the location of the gas line and other concerns. For safety reasons, your grill should be a good distance away from the exterior of your home. Gas line requirements may vary and should be reviewed carefully.

In order to work safely and efficiently, the line needs to be properly installed. An experienced professional will be able to review your yard and suggest the best location.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Permit Requirements

In some areas, homeowners need to have a permit to install gas lines. If you skip this step, you could end up with fines and project delays. You may also need to schedule an inspection to make sure your installation was done safely and up to code.

Mistake #4: Failing to Review Local Restrictions

Local building codes and homeowners’ associations (HOA) sometimes have rules and restrictions regarding gas line installations. It’s common to have rules about the distance a line is from structures. Additionally, some HOAs may prohibit certain types of grills. Failing to adhere to the codes and restrictions is dangerous and could lead to fines or delay the future sale of your home.

Reviewing local codes and HOA rules helps ensure your grill set up is safe for your family, neighbors, and anyone visiting your home. This helps keep you and your community protected from natural gas accidents.

Mistake #5: Installing the Grill Gas Line Yourself

While it’s possible to install grill gas lines on your own, this is not recommended. Making mistakes with natural gas can lead to serious risks, such as explosions. Even a simple error can end up costing you more money if it needs to be corrected. Connecting gas lines requires special tools, parts, and supplies to successfully install your grill. Accepting expert help is critical to the safety of your loved ones and your home.

Licensed and professional plumbers have the knowledge needed and the right equipment to install grill gas lines. This helps to ensure you have a gas connection that is properly installed for your grill, which lowers the risk of injuries or damage.

In order to save you time, money, and nerves, leave gas line work to the professionals. Contact Forrest Anderson to discuss your backyard gas grill BBQ dreams.

3 reasons to call an emergency plumber

Imagine coming home from a long day at work to find your bathroom flooded. Unfortunately, plumbing problems don’t wait for the ideal time to give you grief. While some issues can wait until morning, there are a few that require the immediate attention of an emergency plumber.

Knowing the difference between a plumbing problem and a plumbing emergency is critical for homeowners. Plumbing problems rise to an emergency level when they threaten the integrity of your home or put your family at risk. These are situations when paying a premium for immediate plumbing expertise is in your best interest.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

A general rule to remember is: if there’s a risk of flooding or a lack of running water for an extended period of time, call an emergency plumber. At Forrest Anderson, we offer 24/7 Emergency Plumbing Repair. We know plumbing emergencies happen outside of business hours and we’re standing by to resolve your plumbing issues.

The following three examples are reasons that may require you to call an emergency plumber. This list doesn’t include every plumbing emergency.

Sewer Backups

If you’ve ever had a sewer line backup, you know this is the very definition of a plumbing emergency. When this emergency happens, raw sewage sits at the backup point and can cause physical damage to your home. Backed up sewage can be a health problem for your family as well. If you have a sewer backup, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is another plumbing problem that no homeowner wants to deal with. In addition to flooding your bathroom, the dirty water can pose a sanitary issue for you and your family.

Often, a clog in the toilet or pipe leads to an overflowing toilet. The first step to fixing it is to shut off the water to the toilet. If you aren’t sure what to do next or you can’t stop your toilet from overflowing, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Even if you suspect the problem may simply be too much toilet paper, it’s still a good idea to have a plumber come out and assess the situation. You may think you can just shut off the water and wait for normal business hours, but if you’ve misdiagnosed the issue and things take a turn, you may find yourself in a worse situation.

Burst Pipes

Another plumbing issue that can lead to physical damage to your home is a burst pipe. Unlike the first two issues, the water flowing from the pipe is clean and most likely not a health risk. However, repairing a burst pipe is a significant project and requires the expertise of a professional emergency plumber. Once they arrive, they can inspect the scene and quickly fix your pipe, allowing you to get your home’s water running as soon as possible.

Although there aren’t too many nights below freezing in the Valley, pipes do occasionally freeze. Sometimes, this leads to a burst pipe. If you suspect your pipes may be frozen, call a plumber to schedule an inspection. Even if the water is thawed, the damage may lead to cracks and leaks.

Call a Trusted Emergency Plumber

Whether it’s your home or business, a plumbing emergency can be a dirty, dangerous, and unhealthy problem. If you have a plumbing emergency, day or night, you can trust that Forrest Anderson’s team of experienced plumbers will be there to fix the problem quickly and thoroughly.

If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, stop reading and call Forrest Anderson right away!

5 simple ways to prevent plumbing emergencies this winter

Although Phoenix winters aren’t as extreme as the northern states, there are usually a few nights each year when the temperature drops below freezing. Do you know how to prevent plumbing emergencies this winter? If you aren’t prepared for this, the freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing, possibly leading to an emergency.

Of course, frozen pipes aren’t the only plumbing problems that can happen in your home. From greasy leftovers down the garbage disposal to worn out hoses, plumbing care doesn’t stop just because the weather cools down. Read on to learn about five of the top ways to protect yourself and your home.

1. Insulate Exposed Pipes

Although there aren’t many days with below freezing temperatures in the Valley, frozen pipes can expose you to unnecessary plumbing emergencies. Before temperatures start to dip, take the time to insulate any exposed pipes around your home and in your basement, if you have one. This will help prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing and possibly cracking.

2. Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

Winter is a time of celebration for many families. After a long day of cooking and enjoying time with family, it can be tempting to put everything down your garbage disposal. Wait! This handy tool can’t handle everything.

Cooking grease is notorious for clogging pipes, which can cause leaks, burst pipes, or lead to other plumbing emergencies. Always dispose of leftover fat and grease in the trash, not in your sink, to prevent buildup from forming inside your pipes. Avoid putting bones and other hard items down your garbage disposal as well. These items can damage the blades or break the machine entirely, resulting in even more plumbing problems.

3. Watch What You Flush

Holiday parties and overnight guests mean more wear and tear on your toilets. Just like your garbage disposal, your toilet isn’t designed to flush everything.

Toilets can handle toilet paper, but beyond that be careful. So-called “flushable” wipes aren’t as safe as you might think, so put them in the trash instead of in the toilet. Avoid flushing feminine care products as well, as they can block your pipes and cause plumbing emergencies. Make sure children know the toilet is not a toy and they shouldn’t flush anything down it other than bodily functions and small amounts of toilet paper.

4. Upgrade the Hoses on Your Washing Machine

Many washing machines, particularly older models, come with rubber hoses to connect to your plumbing system. These hoses wear out over time, potentially tearing or bursting. If this happens to you, you may come home to standing water.

Switch to stainless steel hoses instead, as they’re far more durable than rubber. You won’t need to replace them as frequently either.

5. Disconnect Your Garden Hose

Toward the end of fall, go around your yard and disconnect any hoses you use for watering your garden. Just like exposed pipes, hoses and the water inside can freeze. If you need to use a hose, reconnect it temporarily.

For Current and Future Plumbing Emergencies

If you experience a plumbing emergency this winter, call the plumbers at Forrest Anderson. No matter the day or time, we’re ready to fix your plumbing emergencies.

If everything seems to be working as expected, our preventative plumbing maintenance service plan can alert you of any potential issues before they become bigger and messier problems.

Everything you need to know about home heating systems

Although Phoenix is known for its hot summers, the chilly desert nights leave people in the Valley appreciating their home heating systems each winter. Having a reliable home heating system is important so you can stay comfortable throughout the season. Before choosing a new system for your home, consider the pros and cons of some of the top options.


Furnaces are a common type of home heating system. They’re available with different heat sources, including electricity and gas.

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces use an electrical element, such as heating strips, to warm up your home. These furnaces can be a good option if you don’t have a gas line running to your property.

  • Pro: Electric furnaces typically have lower installation costs than heat pumps.
  • Pro: Electric furnaces don’t have the potential safety issues that gas furnaces have. This can make them a safer option for Phoenix homeowners.
  • Pro: Electric furnaces are generally more energy-efficient than gas furnaces.
  • Con: These furnaces can cost more to operate due to the higher cost of electricity compared to gas costs.
  • Con: Electric furnaces can have a difficult time keeping homes well-heated if temperatures drop below freezing.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces are home heating systems that use a heat exchanger to warm up air. The air is then circulated throughout your home.

  • Pro: These furnaces generally cost less to install than other types of home heating systems.
  • Pro: Gas furnaces tend to last longer than heat pumps and other heating systems.
  • Con: These furnaces depend on fossil fuels to operate, making them less environmentally friendly.
  • Con: Gas furnaces can create safety hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks.

Heat Pumps

Many Phoenix area homeowners use heat pumps to warm their homes in the winter. This system works by transferring warm area from one area to another. If needed, these systems can warm up the air more before having it circulate to different parts of your home.

  • Pro: Heat pumps don’t rely on fossil fuels, such as gas, which makes them a cleaner source of energy.
  • Pro: These home heating systems do double duty by acting as air conditioners during the summer. In this case, the process switches and they pull hot air from inside your home and move it outside to cool off the interior.
  • Pro: Heat pumps generally use less electricity than electric furnaces.
  • Con: Heat pumps don’t usually last as long as furnaces since they run more often in order to heat and cool homes.
  • Con: Heat pumps aren’t as efficient at heating homes when temperatures drop too low. A backup source of heat, such as electrical strips, can kick in to warm up homes. This can raise energy bills.

Other Types of Home Heating Systems

Furnaces and heat pumps aren’t the only types of home heating systems available. Phoenix homeowners can also have radiant baseboard heat or radiant floor heating systems installed. These systems use electrical or water sources to heat homes. While these home heating systems are less noisy than furnaces and heat pumps, they also typically cost more to run and are quite rare in the Valley.

Rely on the Professionals

When choosing your next home heating system, consider the cost of fuel and the efficiency of the unit to help determine which option will be more cost-effective. The team of trained technicians at Forrest Anderson will work with you to understand your needs and create a solution that’s right for you.

Whether you need to replace an outdated system or you’re looking to increase your energy efficiency, we’re here to help. By understanding how you use your heat today, we can recommend a replacement system that’s energy efficient and offers you the comfort you desire.

Are you thinking of replacing or upgrading your HVAC system? Contact Forrest Anderson to discuss which home heating system would be best for you.