Tips for the Homeowner
On this page you will find some helpful hints and tips to help you maintain your plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems.
The CPSC (U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commision) recommends that the yearly professional inspection include checking chimneys, flues and vents for leakage, blockage by debris, and to make sure they are not loose or disconnected. Birds, other animals and insects can build nests in vents over spring and summer, resulting in blockages that cause deadly exhaust to enter the home. The inspector should also check appliance operation to ensure proper fuel input rate, gas pressure, and operating temperatures.
In addition, the inspector should check appliances for gas leaks and adequate ventilation. A supply of fresh air is important to help carry pollutants up the chimney, stovepipe or flue, and fresh air is necessary for the complete combustion of any fuel. Never block ventilation air openings and check the appliance filter to ensure it is clean. Make sure the appliance is operating on the fuel that it is designed to use. To convert an appliance to burn propane, hire a professional to do the modification.
"CPSC recommends that every home have a CO alarm in the hallway near bedrooms in each sleeping area," said Chairman Stratton. "A CO alarm can wake you up and give you time to save your family." The CO alarm should meet one of these standards: Canadian Standards Association 6.19-01, 2001; Underwriters Laboratories Inc. 2034, Second Edition, October 1998; or the International Approval Services 6-96, Second Edition, June 1, 1998. Check batteries monthly and replace them annually.
CPSC worked with the furnace and boiler industry and the manufacturers of high-temperature plastic vent (HTPV) pipes to conduct a vent pipe recall program. The program's purpose is to replace, free, an estimated 250,000 HTPV pipe systems attached to gas or propane furnaces or boilers in consumers' homes. The HTPV pipes could crack or separate at the joints and leak CO. Consumers should call their heating and plumbing professional or the HTPV pipe recall Hotline toll-free at (800) 758-3688, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week, to verify whether their appliance venting systems are subject to this program. Most people never give their water heater a second thought until it stops working. One thing you can do to extend the life of your water heater is to drain the tank regularly to remove any sediment that may have built up inside it. Sediment build up in the tank can reduce your water heater's energy efficiency and also clog your water lines.
Drain maintenance is a key factor in keeping your drains clog free and keeping those stinky drain smells away. We recommend and sell Bio-Clean. It is a combination of anerobic bacteria and natural enzymes that digests dead organic waste found in your drain lines including: grease, hair, soap scum, food particles, paper and cotton.
The first signs of root clogs and other sewer clogs include slow-flowing drains, toilets that make gurgling noises when flushed, and wet areas around floor drains that appear after you do the laundry. If you take action when you see these signs, you might be able to avoid a complete sewer-line blockage. We recommend and Sell RootX root treatment
It is wise to have your plumbing and heating system winterized by a professional unless you are well-informed on the procedures necessary.
If you or someone you know has a vacant home or vacation property, careful decisions need to be made to prevent expensive repairs from frozen plumbing. In the spring of 2008 we inspected an unusually high number of homes with damaged plumbing (or worse) due to lack of or improperly performed winterization. One customer spent well over $5,000 on plumbing repairs, and then more to repair the walls, ceiling, and flooring that were damaged by water and the process of replacing the pipes.
Seven Things to Consider When Choosing a Contractor
- Reputation for quality and dependability: Contractors should be able to provide names of satisfied customers in your neighborhood. They should also be licensed, insured and code-compliant.
- Prompt, courteous and professional service: Some Contractors provide an extra measure of convenience with extended hours, emergency service, financing packages and year-round maintenance programs.
- Commitment to your satisfaction: Contractors with a solid reputation are committed to 100% customer satisfaction. They realize that actions speak louder than words. So instead of just talking about quality, they practice it through listening, learning and responding to your needs.
- Innovative product offerings: Contractors should offer a variety of innovative products and services that make your home more comfortable. They should also be able to provide suggestions for saving money on your utility bills and improving the quality of your home or business.
- Solutions customized to match your needs: The best Contractors recognize that one solution does not fit all homes. After going over what you want, and taking a look at your home, the contractor should be able to develop a proposal customized to your specific needs.
- Technical expertise and certification: Contractors should have technicians on hand that can select the right size equipment for your home, install it properly and keep it in good working order. One sign of qualification is membership in professional organizations.
- Clearly stated repair and service policies: The warranty and other service policies should be clearly stated for equipment, materials, and labor. They should also indicate who is responsible for honoring the warranty.
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