Month: May 2020

Everything You Need to Know About AC Maintenance Contracts

If you’ve ever had an air conditioning service in Pittsburgh, PA, your technician might have suggested you purchase an AC maintenance contract. Often, people turn down AC contracts because they think they’re an upsell or a waste of money. In actuality, a maintenance contract saves homeowners money because the services provided as part of the contract extend the life expectancy of your AC system. 

 

Technician Repairing ACOther benefits of an air conditioning maintenance contract include: 

  • Lower operating costs due to adjusting and cleaning important parts of the system that affect efficiency
  • Fewer air conditioning repair services because problems are spotted early on and fixed quickly
  • Cleaner air with fewer allergens and other pollutants settling in your home and causing respiratory issues

 

While all these benefits are attractive, a maintenance contract is only as good as the benefits it offers. In the following sections, you’ll learn more about what a maintenance contract should offer and how to make sure you enter into an agreement that’s beneficial to you for many years. 

Company Information

Have you ever entered into a contract with a company for a lifetime guarantee or service only to discover the company goes out of business, and you’re left with a broken promise? Fortunately, this doesn’t have to happen to you. 

When entering into a maintenance contract with a local AC company in Pittsburgh, make sure they have a long-standing reputation in the community. Does the contract have specific language that details what happens if the company goes out of business or mergers with another company? Read the fine print so that you know your rights.

Contract Specifics

You also want to learn the specific benefits your service contract offers. Things to look for include the number of inspections allowed each year, what each inspection includes, and the cost of the contract renewal. If the contract doesn’t include specific details, it’s too general. Ask for more details so that you know exactly what you’re paying for. 

Contract Perks

One reason AC maintenance contracts make so much sense from a financial standpoint is that they offer additional perks. These benefits include things such as preferred pricing, no trip charges, priority service, and discounts on labor, parts, and service work. A perk like priority service is especially beneficial if you should have problems and need AC repair between visits and need a technician during a busy time like a heatwave. AC maintenance contract holders get priority scheduling. 

Refunds

This is important information to know if you plan to sell your home in the next couple of years. If you purchase a multi-year service contract, will you be able to get your money back for unused service calls? Or, does the company let you transfer the contract to your new home? Make sure you understand these fine details because they add value to the contract. 

Customization

Most AC contracts offer the same general services. However, if you have a specialty system with unusual equipment setup, you might need specialized maintenance services. In a case like this, customization is important to ensure you get what you need from the maintenance contract. 

The best way to save on AC service in Pittsburgh, PA, is to take care of your system. To learn more about AC maintenance contracts and other HVAC services, contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today at 412-273-1000.

The post Everything You Need to Know About AC Maintenance Contracts appeared first on Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

The Importance of Plumbing During a Pandemic

The importance of personal hygiene has come into the forefront with the COVID-19 pandemic. The constantly-repeated mantra, “wash your hands,” emphasizes this simple act as essential to stopping the spread of the virus. But without plumbing in good working order, washing your hands – as well as performing other vital hygienic practices – is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Now more than ever, people are thinking about the many ways in which modern plumbing promotes good health, both on the personal level and for society in general.  

How modern plumbing helps prevent the spread of disease

The rampage of infectious diseases during the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to innovations in the design and technology of bathrooms in American homes. Writing for CityLab, journalist Elizabeth Yuko notes, “The modern bathroom developed alongside outbreaks of tuberculosis, cholera and influenza; its standard fixtures, wallcoverings, floorings, and finishes were implemented, in part, to promote health and hygiene in the home at a time of widespread public health concerns.”

As a result, the wood paneling and furniture-like plumbing fixtures common in Victorian-era bathrooms were replaced with easy-to-clean tile and linoleum flooring, and porcelain fixtures. But even before materials that lent themselves to being effectively sanitized were used, municipal plumbing systems themselves made possible the sanitary living and work environments we take for granted (until something goes wrong, that is). We depend on fresh water entering and waste water draining or flushing out with no effort on our part other than turning a tap or pushing down a lever.

However, many municipalities throughout the world do not have well-engineered plumbing systems. The SARS outbreak of 2003 spread through Amory Gardens – a large apartment complex in Hong Kong – because of poor plumbing. According to reports, high concentrations of viral aerosols in building plumbing were drawn into apartment bathrooms through floor drains. The initial exposures occurred in these bathrooms. More than 300 residents were infected; 42 died.

Plumbing is also suspected to have played a role in the initial spread of COVID-19. Plumbing industry veteran Charles Lee Clifton provides his insights in Building Safety Journal. Referring to Wuhan, China – recognized as the source of the outbreak – Clifton writes, “Although investigations are still ongoing, according to news reports there are indications that the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus may have spread through a defective plumbing system.

“It is unlikely that the COVID-19 coronavirus would spread in a high-rise building in the United States especially with a modern plumbing code being used, such as the International Plumbing Code (IPC). The intent of the IPC is to establish minimum standards to provide a reasonable level of safety, health, property protection and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance or use of plumbing equipment and systems. That’s why it is also important to maintain our buildings with well-trained craftsmen and certified inspectors.”

While many now question the safety of certain resources and foods, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reassures the public that drinking water supplies in the United States are safe from COVID-19, and people can use and drink tap water as usual. You can also safely use tap water to wash your hands, which is one of the best methods to keep the virus at bay.

Saving money while sheltering in place

Stay-at-home orders have been lifted, and businesses are starting to reopen. For those still at home, our California colleagues at Mike Diamond offer the following advice for keeping your water bill low. After all, the more you and other members of your household are home, the more water you use.

Turn off the water while washing your hands – Following the CDC’s advice by washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds is a good thing. To avoid higher water bills, turn the faucet off while washing. You should only run the water twice while washing your hands: once when you first lather up, and again when you rinse. Only run the water for as long as both of those actions take – which should be only two seconds.

Mike Diamond’s article on the topic breaks it down as follows:

“Let’s say you wash your hands an average of 8 times per day. If you leave your water running for the additional, unnecessary 18 seconds every time you wash, then you’re wasting 144 seconds, or 2 minutes and 22 seconds, worth of water. An average bathroom sink faucet uses 1-3 gallons of water per minute while running. Therefore, by leaving your water running while you wash your hands, you’re wasting 2 to 6 gallons of water per day.”

Get leaks repaired – Issues that go unnoticed while you’re at work all day may be more obvious now – like that dripping faucet in the guest bathroom. Like leaving the water run while you’re washing your hands, steady leaks drive up the water bill. Depending on the leak’s location, it can eventually damage drywall and flooring, and create conditions for mold growth.

Plumbers need to stay safe

Just like everyone else, we professional plumbers are taking all necessary precautions on a daily basis to stay healthy. By doing so, we not only keep ourselves and our families safe, we’re also protecting our clients and community. We follow CDC guidelines and practice enhanced safety measures during service calls to our residential and commercial clients.

Just as Central Floridians have trusted our Adams and Son Plumbing family for full-service plumbing since 1958, you can trust us to keep the health and well-being of your family first and foremost. A state-certified plumbing contractor, we have over three generations of master plumbing experience. Contact us for dependable top-quality repair, installation and emergency services.

 

The post The Importance of Plumbing During a Pandemic appeared first on Adams and Son Plumbing Services.

How Damaged Condensate Array Can Cause Your AC to Leak

Your air conditioner is an integral part of your home. In spring and summer, it’s vital for keeping you and your family comfortable. However, your air conditioner is a complex system and does require maintenance, upkeep, and repair. Most air conditioners are traditional split systems. This means you have an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The outdoor unit includes the condenser, condenser fan, and compressor. Your indoor unit houses the blower and evaporator coils. Technicians who handle air conditioning in Pittsburgh, PA, have to be concerned with both. Unfortunately, air conditioners don’t always operate as intended. If a problem occurs, leaking and water damage are possible.

Condensate Array

Four AC Units OutsideAs your air conditioner pulls in air and dehumidifies, the resulting moisture has to go somewhere. The condensate array ensures that the moisture gets transmitted to your sewer line. Your condensate array is comprised of two components. These are the condensate tray (or pan) and the condensate drain line. The condensate tray is located underneath the evaporator coils. This is where it’s used to catch any dripping water falling from the evaporator coils. The tray features a slanted bottom, which allows the water to flow more easily into the drain line. Your condensate drain line connects to your outflow plumbing pipe. This is how the water is discharged. It flows to your sewer.

Shift

The tray isn’t always stable. Over time, it can shift. If it does shift, there are two ways it could easily cause leakage. Depending on how it shifts, the water may not all land within the tray. This allows water to build up without being directed into the drain line and flowing out properly. Otherwise, shifting could mean that the tray disconnects from your drain line entirely. In this instance, none of the water is flowing through the drain line. If this happens, water will build up even faster.

Corrosion

Over the years, your condensate tray can develop corrosion. This typically results in holes or cracks developing. These holes or cracks allow water to escape out of the tray and build up in your attic or wherever your indoor AC unit is located. Over time the corrosion will likely get worse, and the problem could become more severe.

Clog

Your condensate line isn’t immune to becoming clogged. Dirt, debris, and other contaminants tend to accumulate. Mold could also develop inside the line. If your drain line becomes clogged, water will back up and spill out. The tray can only hold so much, so the excess water will inevitably escape.

Quick Response

A leak may seem like a minor issue at first. However, if it isn’t dealt with quickly, water damage can occur. This could damage the area around your air conditioner, and it can become severe if left untreated. With a quick response, it should be easy enough for a technician to assess the issue and correct the problem.

It’s important to remember that any difficulties you’re having with your air conditioner could get worse if not addressed. Your air conditioner is composed of sensitive machinery that’s susceptible to corrosion, clogs, and malfunctioning components. While minor issues might be handled swiftly and with minimal difficulty, ignoring any problems may allow your air conditioner to become even more damaged.

Your air conditioner repair in Pittsburgh, PA, should always be handled by an experienced technician. Contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 412-273-1000 if you require assistance or have any questions concerning your air conditioner.

The post How Damaged Condensate Array Can Cause Your AC to Leak appeared first on Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Why Does a Water Heater Need a Regular Flush?

We recommend our customers have routine maintenance for their water heaters done every year. We include water heater service as part of our Ultimate Savings Agreement Plan, which provides you with excellent plumbing maintenance service each year.

One of the steps we perform to care for your water heater is a water heater flush and fill. The flush is one of the most vital maintenance tasks for a water heater. In fact, you’ve probably heard advice about having it done separately from other maintenance jobs. You may have even read advice on how you can do it yourself.

Before we go further to explain the water heater flush and why it’s important, please keep this in mind: don’t try to flush the water heater on your own. It’s simply too difficult and requires too many extra tools and training. Leave the job to us—we can do it fast and effectively.

What a Water Heater Flush Does

Flushing the water heater means our plumbers drain all the water from the tank, leaving it empty. Afterwards, we refill the tank with water from the standard water lines. The purpose of this is to remove the sediment in the tank. Any water heater with a tank will gradually accumulate sediment found in the water from the freshwater supply. The amount of sediment is higher in areas that have hard water (which is common in the Phoenix area).

Why the Tank Flush Is Beneficial

There will be some level of sediment in the tank, no matter if the water supply has hard water or not. Flushing out this sediment is important because of these benefits:

  • It extends the service life of the water heater. Sediment can cause a water heater to overheat, and this is especially true in the case of hard water, which allows limescale to develop along the walls of the tank, trapping heat inside. It also encourages corrosion, which will bring an end to a water heater’s lifespan years early.
  • It improves water heater energy efficiency. A layer of sediment along the bottom of the tank forms an insulating layer between the burners and the water. This makes it harder for the burners to raise the temperature of the water and instead expends extra energy to do the job.
  • It prevents repair issues. You can’t stop all repair problems thanks to a tank flush, but you’ll stop many that come from spikes in pressure, temperature, and general overwork that sediment causes.
  • It keeps water volume at its maximum. Sediment takes up space that should go to hot water. the more that builds up, the less hot water you’ll have at any given time.
  • It makes the water heater run quieter. Rumbling and popping sounds from a water heater tank are usually due to sediment issues.

When it comes to water heaters in Sun City, AZ, we’re the experts you can trust. If you haven’t arranged for your regular tank maintenance and flush for a while, put your trust in the Trusted Plumber team!

The Trusted Plumber serves Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas. Call today to schedule plumbing maintenance to care for your water heater.

This post first appeared on https://www.thetrustedplumber.com

Why You Need a Sump Pump for Your Home

If you have a basement or your home is located in an area that may be prone to flooding, you may have considered installing a sump pump in your home’s lowest point. A sump pump is simply a passive device that remains unused until the space in which it is located begins to flood. A sump pump is usually placed in a purpose-built pit, or sump, in the lowest spot in the home. The concept behind the device is that when water floods the pit and triggers a float or pressure sensor, the pump is activated. The sump pump draws the water out of the space and pumps it away where it can do no harm to the structure. Sump pumps and the accompanying plumbing installation in Pittsburgh, PA, may represent a significant cost for homeowners, but it can save a great deal of money when flooding occurs by preventing substantial structural damage.

While it’s clear that a sump pump can help homeowners by pumping floodwater out of the home, there are some other secondary benefits that a sump pump can provide. For example, the presence of a sump pump can alert you to an undetected plumbing leak, which will allow you to call a 24-hour emergency plumbing service for a timely repair. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of installing a sump pump in your home.

Protects Your Property from Damage

2 Green and Black Sump PumpsWhen a flooding event occurs, the presence of water in the home can result in significant and expensive damage to your residence. After only a short period of exposure to water, building materials can be impacted in a way that can immediately undermine your home’s structural integrity. Wood that is consistently damp can begin to rot and lose its load-bearing capability. It can also warp and pull apart at joints and junctions and undermine your home’s foundation. Even more durable materials such as concrete and brick can be negatively affected by constant contact with moisture. The sump pump can help keep everything dry and structurally sound.

Reduces Mold Growth

Mold can flourish anywhere that it encounters the right conditions for growth, namely damp organic surfaces and darkness. In other words, the basement or crawlspace of your home is the perfect place for mold to thrive if there is no mechanism for controlling the moisture in the space. Mold can be an irritant to many people with sensitivities to it, but some species of mold can be dangerous for everyone. Fortunately, a sump pump can help you keep mold growth in check in basements and crawlspaces by removing any water that enters the space. Water is pumped out and away so that it won’t encourage the growth of mold in your living spaces or the areas beneath them.

Saves Money on Repairs

Even one flooding event can create a significant expense for the homeowner in terms of remediation costs. Water damage can be pervasive after a flooding episode, as structural elements such as wood and concrete can be impacted. Therefore, to preserve the integrity of the structure, substantial repairs must be made after a flooding event to remove the damaged material and replace it. Of course, both the material and labor for flood restoration can be expensive, even when the home is insured. You can save yourself that expense and hassle by installing a sump pump that will prevent floods from causing considerable damage to your home.

Increases Property Value

Because of the inherent benefits of sump pump installation, there is an immediate bump in property value if your home has a sump pump in place. Even if the home isn’t found in a flood-prone area, prospective buyers may consider the presence of a sump pump as a considerable benefit that can make your property more valuable.

With the help of affordable plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA, you too can enjoy the many advantages of installing a sump pump in your home. To learn more about the benefits of installing a sump pump at your residence, contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at (412) 273-1000. 

 

The post Why You Need a Sump Pump for Your Home appeared first on Stahl Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Last Call for AC Maintenance!

So, springtime has come and almost gone, but while we’ve got a few weeks left of beautiful mild temperatures, we’d ask you to seriously consider signing up for AC maintenance. It’s one of the most beneficial and proactive services we offer, and it’s really something that homeowners don’t take advantage of enough. AC maintenance is absolutely vital for the longevity and perseverance of your system into old age—and if you care at all about the condition your system is in, you’d schedule it for this spring.

Trust us, AC maintenance in Clifton, NJ is going to be the least of your worries when temperatures become unbearable in the summer and your system will be on the verge of breaking down due to neglect. These are problems that are avoidable, which is why maintenance exists in the first place!

The Benefits of AC Maintenance

Before we sell you on the fact that AC maintenance is preferable in the spring, it’s important that we tell you about what AC maintenance actually does, and why it’s so beneficial. A routine maintenance appointment involves a seasoned professional coming to your home to provide minor repairs and adjustments, lubricating ball bearings, and making a full diagnostic check-up on the system to tell you the exact condition it’s in. This is helpful for many reasons.

  • Extend the lifespan. Maintenance appointments extend the lifespan of the system, allowing it to work well into its second decade of service. We’re not just talking about a long-lasting AC here, but a long-lasting AC that can still effectively cool your home at a low cost.
  • Lower energy bills. An aging or problematic air conditioner has one huge red flag that’s easy to notice. When it starts to develop problems or lacks maintenance, your energy bills can skyrocket due to inefficiencies developing in the system. Only a professional has the tools and expertise to fine-tune your system into being an efficient machine.
  • Fewer repairs. While a repair every now and again is to be expected, an air conditioner that’s constantly needing attention from an HVAC technician is not a very good one. Each maintenance appointment that’s scheduled is a moment for a technician to provide minor repairs and adjustments, allowing the small repairs to never turn major as much as they can help it!
  • Peace of mind. Now that summer is quickly approaching, you’d hate to be surprised by a sudden system breakdown, right? With a maintenance visit, your trusted technician can tell you exactly what’s wrong with your system, or if they think it will be fine throughout the next season. You can take their word for it and feel better knowing you’re in good hands.

Don’t deal with a system that’s constantly giving you problems. There’s already too much to worry about these days! Take your air conditioner off of the worry-list by signing up for professional routine maintenance today! With our expertise and equipment, we can give you a thorough reading as to how well your system is holding up and the condition it might be in when summer hits.

Call the team at MarGo Plumbing Heating Cooling Inc. for comprehensive AC maintenance!

This post first appeared on https://margoplumbing.com

This is What You Need to Know About Hard Water

showerhead-waterWhen you think about all the things that could possibly go wrong with your plumbing system, hard water is not likely something comes to mind. Why? Well for one, things like burst pipes, clogged toilets, and leaky faucets often take precedent. And secondly, many of us are just accustomed to having hard water in our homes.

Hard water is something to take seriously — if it’s left untreated, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your plumbing system! So below, we have explained some things we think you should know about hard water, that way you can decide if you want to do something about it. All you’ve got to do is keep reading to find out more, and of course, remember to call our team when you need a plumber in Orlando.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is basically just water with high concentrations of magnesium and calcium particles. Though these minerals are not harmful to you, they can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, as mineral deposits will start to accumulate on the walls of your pipes. This kind of build-up is often referred to as limescale, which you are likely familiar with.

The Impact of Limescale

There are plenty of reasons to worry about limescale: unsightly drains and faucets, not-so-shiny dishes, and most importantly, damage to your plumbing system. The more limescale builds up inside your pipes, the more it restricts the flow of water through them. This reduces the water pressure in your system and makes it much more difficult for the system to operate effectively. And if the issue isn’t caught right away, the minerals will eventually harden, making it nearly impossible to remove. When this happens, it is quite likely that you’ll end up having to replace some, if not a majority, of the pipes in your home.

What Can Be Done About It?

The best way to address hard water in your home is to have a water treatment system installed, specifically a water softener. A water softener is a kind of water treatment system designed to treat hard water. There are a number of different kinds of water softeners, but they all operate by neutralizing the magnesium and calcium particles in some way.

There are a number of ways to tell if you need a water softener in your home:

  • Limescale on faucets and drains
  • Watermarks on dishes
  • Dry skin
  • Faded clothes
  • Clogged showerheads

If you’re sick and tired of dealing with hard water in your home, be sure to hire a professional plumber. Only a professional plumber has tools, training, and experience to match you with the water softener that best meets your unique needs and install it accordingly. Yes, there are going to be plenty of amateurs willing to perform these services for a fairly cheap price, but remember, sometimes an attempt to save money could end up costing you much more in the long run. Trust us, when it comes to your comfort, you don’t want to take any risks!

To learn more about our water treatment system services, contact the team at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. today.

This post first appeared on https://www.modernpi.com

Summer Check List for Your Florida Home

Summer check list for Florida homes

Summer in Florida means time spent outside enjoying the hot weather, along with the almost daily summer storms. As a homeowner, you need to take a few precautions to ensure your home is properly maintained and ready to handle the summer weather and activities. With a little bit of attention before summer comes in full, you can be confident that your home is going to serve you well all summer long.

Florida Home Maintenance Summer Checklist

How can you prepare your Florida home for summer? Here’s a checklist of maintenance tasks to tackle:

  1. Prepare and inspect your deck – Look for weather damage, water damage, rotting boards or signs of termites.
  2. Schedule an AC maintenance check – Have a pro ensure it’s ready for the challenges of summer.
  3. Change your AC air filters – Make your air conditioner more efficient and your home’s air cleaner with new air filters.
  4. Test the smoke alarms – Replace batteries as needed.
  5. Clean the Garage – Take advantage of the warmer weather and spend some time cleaning out the garage.
  6. Check and clean the dryer vent – Make sure it’s not clogged, which is a fire hazard.
  7. Test your sump pump – For Florida homes with basements, a sump pump is critical to preventing flooding during summer storms. Make sure it’s working properly, and clean it to remove soil buildup from the well at the start of summer.

Preparing Your Home for Summer? Don’t Forget to Clean the Storm Drains

Summer storms are a way of life in Florida, and they can dump a lot of water in very little time. A properly functioning storm drain is essential to channel that water safely away from your business and/or parking lot. Unfortunately, storm drain catch basins can get plugged up with leaves, soil and other debris, preventing them from properly draining water away from your business and into a safe place. Storm drain cleaning requires a qualified sewer and drainage professional who utilizes dedicated equipment to deliver high water pressure into the storm drain to blast away the blockage, while using commercial vacuum technology to ensure proper function.

A to Z Statewide Plumbing offers a full list of storm drain services, including professional storm drain cleaning.

As you’re preparing your home for Florida’s summer, give A to Z Statewide Plumbing a call at 954-981-2133 to discuss your storm drain needs.

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Aaron Atkins

Delivering exceptional customer service is first and foremost, but, when he is not focused on supplying your home or business with the highest level of customer support, Aaron prefers to lace up the running shoes and pound pavement for hours on end. Originally hailing from the snowbelt of Pennsylvania, Aaron currently resides in sunny South Florida with his wife and three children.

This post first appeared on http://www.atozstatewideplumbing.com

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