Backflow Testing: What You Need to Know

backflow testingAccess to safe, clean water is a top priority for any home or business owner, which is why backflow testing and related services are so important. Trying to learn more about backflow preventer testing and backflow services to protect your water supply from contamination? Keep reading for the facts you need to know.

What Is Backflow Testing?

Backflow testing is a procedure that mitigates the dangerous effects of backflow, which can contaminate the water with fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals. The backflow testing process involves a plumber assessing how the plumbing system’s backflow preventer performs. They check the backflow valves to identify leakage, insufficient gauge movement, and other signs of a malfunctioning device.

If they determine all parts are working correctly during the test, you’ll know your water supply is safe. However, if they identify a problem when backflow testing the equipment, they must perform backflow preventer repair to safeguard your water supply right away.

What Do Backflow Services Include?

Professional backflow services will cover tasks related to the maintenance, repair, and optimal functioning of your backflow preventer. At Hill Plumbing and Air, our experienced technicians provide the following backflow services:

  • Backflow testing
  • Repair
  • Installation
  • Inspections
  • Re-Certifications

We understand that a malfunctioning backflow preventer can spell disaster for your home or business. Count on our technicians to offer the reliable backflow testing and services you need to keep your family members or customers safe. Contact Hill Plumbing and Air today to schedule backflow testing or other backflow services.

2 Ways to Keep Your House Cool This Summer

cool in the summerAs the temperatures outside get steamier, you may be looking for ways to keep the house cool. Is achieving a comfortable home environment possible without blasting the AC nonstop and paying for an outrageous energy bill each month? Yes, it is! Discover the top two tips to keep your house cool so you can escape the summertime heat (without breaking the bank).


#1: Make the Most of Your Ceiling Fans

Using your home’s ceiling fans properly will boost air circulation to create a cooling effect. Many homeowners discover they can use their ceiling fans to cut energy costs by keeping the thermostat setting higher without sacrificing comfort. A refreshing breeze makes the room feel cooler, even if the temperature is a little higher. For best results, ensure the ceiling fan blade direction is running counterclockwise; this creates a cooling downdraft.


#2: Replace Your Air Filter

When was the last time you changed your HVAC air filter? If it is dirty or clogged, the air can’t flow like it should through the system. As a result, the system will have to work harder to reach the setting on your thermostat. In other words, a dirty air filter makes your HVAC work too hard, increases your energy bill, AND leads to a less comfortable environment. The HVAC experts agree–one of the best ideas to keep your house cool is to change the air filter regularly.

If you are looking for more ideas to keep your house cool this summer, turn to your trusted HVAC pros at Hill Plumbing and Air. We have been helping homeowners create optimal indoor climates for several decades. Let us provide preventative maintenance or HVAC system repair to ensure you maximize your climate control all season long. Contact Hill Plumbing and Air to schedule service or for more ways to keep your house cool this summer.

Metallic Tasting Water Could Be a Sign of Rusty Pipes

metallic water tasteSummertime is the best time for a tall glass of cool water, but if you find metallic-tasting water instead of a refreshing drink, it’s cause for concern. There are some common reasons for that off-putting taste, but the most common is rusty pipes. Here’s a breakdown of how and why that happens.


Metal in the Water

When your water tastes like metal, it’s more than likely due to metal coming from your pipes that leaches into your water supply when your pipes are rusty. The type of metal depends on what type of pipes you have. Rusted pipes are most often iron, and that iron taste in the water is what you’ll find when the pipes start to corrode.


Can it Cause Health Issues?

Water that tastes like metal isn’t generally a health concern unless you have lead or zinc pipes. Iron pipes can make the water taste hideous, but you don’t have to worry about being dangerous.


How to Get Rid of the Bad Taste

There are a couple of ways to manage the iron taste in your water. First, you can install a whole-home water filtration system that will filter the water that comes into your home, improving it in all taps. Second, if the rust in your pipes is significant, it could require major pipe repair or re-piping in your home.


If your tap water tastes like metal, you don’t have to start buying bottled water and avoid the tap. Instead, an assessment of your plumbing is essential to determining the cause of the issue and the necessary repairs. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air now to schedule a service call with an experienced plumber.

Why Is My AC Not Turning On?

ac not turning onIs your AC unit not turning on? There isn’t a worse way to spend a summer day than in a house with no air conditioning. The good news is it could be an easy fix. Here are some common reasons your AC unit won’t turn on.


Dirty Air Filter

Air filters trap dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants and prevent damage to the HVAC equipment. However, when the filter is dirty and clogged, the airflow becomes impaired. When that happens, ice can form on the coils, causing the unit to shut down.


Dirty Coils

Dirt anywhere in or on your cooling equipment can lead to poor operation, but dirty coils can stop it in its tracks. The dirt prevents the coils from absorbing heat, so your air conditioner can’t turn on.


Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant is an essential part of your cooling system. It allows the unit to absorb heat and create cooled air that circulates through your home. Unfortunately, if there is a leak and the levels get low, the AC unit won’t turn on.


Malfunctioning Thermostat

The thermostat tells the HVAC system when to turn on and off to bring your home to the desired temperature. A thermostat that’s not functioning properly can lead to an AC unit that won’t turn on. Whether set improperly or simply needs new batteries, the thermostat is one of the most common causes and easiest fixes for an AC that isn’t turning on.


Why is your AC not turning on? There are many possible explanations. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air to schedule service and repair and get your HVAC system back in action so you can enjoy your summer.

My Water Tank is Leaking. What next?

water tank leakDo you have a leaking water tank? Even if it’s just a few drops, it’s nothing to take lightly. A dripping water tank can quickly lead to enormous damage to your home. So here’s what you need to know if your hot water heater isn’t holding its water.


Identifying a Leak


Not every hot water tank leak is visible. Because tanks can leak on the inside, and because they’re often in closets and basements and other areas where you might not spend a lot of time, a leak can go unnoticed. Some telltale signs your tank is leaking include less hot water, rusting tank exterior, puddles near the tank, and a change in the water quality.


What to Do if You Suspect a Leak


You don’t want to ignore a potential leak. Follow these steps if you think your water heater might be losing water:


  • Locate the leak by looking for water, checking the integrity of the tank, and checking the valves
  • Turn off the power to the water heater
  • Drain the tank to access the place where the tank leaks
  • Turn off the water to the tank
  • Repair the leak


What Next? Call in a Plumbing Professional


Most homeowners don’t have training in plumbing and water tank repair. It requires experience dealing with electric or gas tanks, plumbing, and tank repair. Instead of managing a leaking water tank on your own, contact your local plumbing company to diagnose the issues, locate the leak, and complete the repair in less time, with less stress, and with work you can rely on.


If you have a hot water tank leak, reach out to the Hill Plumbing and Air team of experts today.

Changing your home’s air filters: What you need to know.

changing home air filtersWhen was the last time you remember changing your home’s air filters? If you don’t know, your HVAC could be suffering from it. Here’s everything you need to know about changing your air filters.


What Does the Air Filter Do?


Your HVAC air filter is the gatekeeper to your heating and cooling equipment. Its primary job is to protect the equipment from dirt and debris that comes in with the air through the intake vents. Its secondary job is to keep dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants out of the air in your home.


Air Filter Replacement is Critical


Your HVAC technician will tell you that air filter replacement can make or break your HVAC system. If your filter is full, your system must work harder to pull air through the filter for heating and cooling. All of that overtime work will put a huge burden on the equipment, potentially leading to issues, breakdowns, and a shorter life expectancy. Additionally, clogged filters will reduce your energy efficiency because your unit will work harder to do the same job.


How Often Should You Change the Filter?


When it comes to replacing your home’s air filters, every 30-90 days is ideal. Replace them more often if you have pets or live in a dusty location. Most systems have a slot where you can quickly and easily pull out the old filter and slide in the new one.


Changing your home’s air filters is essential to a healthy HVAC system and a healthy household. If you have any questions about your HVAC unit, including the air filters, contact the reliable staff at Hill Plumbing and Air today.

2 Signs You Need a New Garbage Disposal

garbage disposalLike all home appliances, garbage disposals wear out as they age. If yours is getting long in the tooth, some signs indicate it’s time for a replacement. Here are two of them.

Sign #1: The Clogs Keep on Coming

Frequent clogs are a sure sign that your garbage disposal is on its last leg. If you’re spending more time unclogging the disposal than you spend using it, that’s a sure sign a new one is not far down the road. To keep it chugging along a little longer, you could try breaking things up into smaller pieces before putting them down the drain, running cold water when the disposal is on, and keeping sticky, stringy, and hard food out. If you’re doing all these things and still getting frequent clogs, it’s time to consider replacing it.

Sign #2: Leaks Under the Sink

A leaking garbage disposal is the final peg in its coffin. Once a disposal starts leaking, it’s hard to repair effectively. Things like utensils that drop into it and hard fruit pits are enough to cause damage to the interior, causing the unit to crack and then leak. Water damage is no joke, so if you have even a minor leak from your disposal, it’s time to call a plumber to replace it.

It’s hard to imagine a kitchen sink without a disposal, but if yours is on its way out, don’t wait until it goes completely kaput. A professional plumber can give you an estimate on a new unit and installation to get you back in business. Contact the pros at Hill Plumbing and Air today for all your garbage disposal needs.

How Many Times A Year Should I Get My HVAC Inspected?

HVAC inpectionsYour heating and air conditioning system keeps your home comfortable year-round. But, are you doing your part to keep them humming along? HVAC inspection is critical to keep your system running as it should. Here’s what you need to know about what it includes and how often to schedule it.

What Happens During an HVAC Inspection?

Regular service will help your heating and cooling system run as intended, keeping your home comfortable through the seasons, no matter the temperature. It also helps your equipment last longer by reducing friction. Additionally, it fixes issues that come up between service calls, reduces the potential for breakdowns and costly repairs, and helps it run more efficiently, cutting down on your energy bill expenses. Inspection includes:

  • Checking the electrical connections
  • Make sure refrigerant levels are where they should be
  • Testing controls
  • Checking and calibrating the thermostat
  • Inspecting the moving parts and critical components

How Many Times a Year for HVAC Inspection?

HVAC inspection and service should happen twice a year. Spring inspection will ensure your air conditioner is in good shape and that it will keep you and your family cool all summer, even on the hottest days. Fall inspection helps your system switch from cooling to heating and makes sure it’s ready for heating your home when the weather cools off.

When was the last time you had your HVAC system inspected? Ideally, it should happen twice a year, in the spring and the fall. But, if you’ve fallen behind on this critical service call that can keep your home comfortable all year, it’s not too late to get it on the calendar. Contact the HVAC pros at Hill Plumbing and Air today.

Transitioning to Spring: Industry Tips You Need to Know

Spring HVAC Tips

We rely on our heating and air conditioning throughout the year, including during the change of seasons. As we move from winter to spring, there are some things you can do to help your system transition from heating to cooling. Our experts share these two top industry tips you need to know.

Tip #1: Change Your Air Filter

One of the leading causes of HVAC system issues is a dirty, clogged air filter. You can reduce the stress on your entire heating and cooling system, increase its energy efficiency, and improve your indoor air quality by changing your air filter. Especially important as you transition to spring, a clean air filter is an inexpensive way to care for your HVAC unit.

Tip #2: Don’t Neglect Maintenance

Industry insiders will tell you that one of the best ways to get your HVAC from winter to spring is with seasonal maintenance. Prepping your system for the warmer weather and making sure your air conditioning unit is ready to go is one of the best ways to transition to spring. The AC has most likely been sitting idle since the fall, and it needs some TLC to make sure it will run right for you during the spring and summer months.

Relying on tips from the experts in the industry is a great way to make sure you’re taking good care of your HVAC system as you transition to spring. To learn more about how to get the most out of your cooling system this summer, reach out to the team at Hill Plumbing and Air.

How Does Hill Plumbing and Air Palmetto Club Save Me Money?

Maintenance Plan

What do you know about plumbing and HVAC maintenance plans? The maintenance program offered by Hill Plumbing and Air includes one plumbing and two seasonal HVAC inspections per year. These visits help ensure your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning are running as they should. Investing in a good maintenance plan like the Hill Plumbing and Air Palmetto Club can save you money. Here’s how.

Reduced Repair Costs

Having the eyes of a professional on your plumbing and HVAC equipment at regular intervals throughout the year reduces the potential for repair. As a result, small issues are often caught and resolved before they become large and costly problems.

Increased Energy Efficiency

The more smoothly your HVAC system runs, the less energy it will use. Increased energy efficiency means lower utility bills. The same is true of your plumbing, including your water heater. Knowing your systems are working the way they should give you peace of mind knowing you’re not spending more than you should on your energy bill.

Extend the Life of Your Plumbing and HVAC Systems

Replacing things like your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and pipes can cause a significant ding to your budget. However, regular maintenance increases the life expectancy of all these things you rely on to keep you and your family safe and comfortable.

If you’re worried that spending money on a maintenance plan is the opposite of saving money, you just need to look at the benefits of regular plumbing and HVAC inspections. Contact Hill Plumbing and Air today to find out more about the Palmetto Club.

vintage stack

For more than 95 years, Hill Plumbing and Air has built a rock solid reputation by providing the highest quality plumbing services in Sumter, Florence and surrounding areas. We're now pleased to offer Heating and Air services to better serve our customers.

"DREW did a great job on my HVAC SVC!!!!! Many thanks to you DREW !!!! For helping me breathe on the hottest day of 2021!!!!!!! And thanks to MIKE for the great job repair the flooding under my house!!!! Thanks HILL plumbing for the best service my home and I ever had."

Willene D.

"Could not be more pleased with Juan in Sumter area. He is knowledgable and professional and actually fixed our problem for less than the original estimate. Highly recommend Hill Plumbing and Juan."

Michele O.