April 10th, 2018
On our blog posts, we like to address the more common issues our consumers may run into with their plumbing systems. Drain and toilet clogs are one of the most common problem—quite possibly the most common—type of plumbing issue. But on this post, we want to do a little something different: list a few of strange and more uncommon reasons for drains to clog. You’ll need a professional plumber to handle these problems.
April 9th, 2018
A home generator that provides electricity during a power outage. It is connected to a propane gas supply.
You may need to have your generator working for you at any time of the year. Most people think of generators leaping in to help because stormy weather has caused a disruption in power. However, even summer can present grid failures when the demand for power (usually from air conditioners) rises too high. You can never be too careful when it comes to a generator, because you want to be able to place your trust in it. Peace of mind is one of the great benefits of a whole-house generator, and that’s all spoiled if you don’t think you can trust it to work when you actually need it to.
March 26th, 2018
April is just about here, and that means rain. Sometimes too much rain—the kind of rain that can end up flooding basements. That’s why we recommend homes have a sump pump installed by a plumber with the professional skill to do the job right. A sump pump automatically removes excess water from a basement by collecting the water in a pit (the sump) and then using the pump action to force the water out and into the drainage system. A well-working sump pump can stop tremendous water damage to your home and prevent the build-up of moisture leading to mold and mildew.
If you already have a sump pump set-up in your home, now is the time to check it and see if it’s ready to work. A sump pump isn’t a device that undergoes a routine amount of use each year like a water heater or an air conditioner. It only works in emergency situations. Testing it is important to ensure that something hasn’t gone wrong during a long stretch of inactivity.
March 13th, 2018
Are you ready to welcome spring and its warmer weather? We can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be! However, it’s still officially winter, and the weather is cold and rainy. If you have a furnace warming your home, it still has a bit more work to put in before it can go on its mid-year vacation (i.e. turn off).
It’s important during the end of winter to act fast whenever you notice a problem with your furnace’s performance. Yes, we know it’s tempting to shrug at a small issue like a drop in heating power or a strange sound from the furnace cabinet. “Oh well, the warm weather’s almost here and I won’t need the furnace. I’ll get to it in fall.”
Procrastinating about scheduling furnace repair or repair for any heating system is a bad idea! Here are some reasons why we recommend you call us ASAP when you believe you have a furnace in need of fixing.
March 12th, 2018
The end of winter doesn’t give a home’s furnace any relief. In fact, after all the work the furnace has done through the previous few months, it’s at a higher risk of a malfunction during this time of year. If you notice something wrong—like low airflow coming from the vents around the house—please take it seriously and call for furnace service from our trained and licensed technicians.
February 26th, 2018
Hard water is the most common water quality issue in homes across the country, and it’s especially prevalent in and around cities. Hard water refers to water that has too high a concentration of minerals dissolved in it, mostly magnesium and calcium. It’s not harmful to drink (these minerals occur naturally in many foods), but it does pose serious problems for plumbing and appliances. It can also create inconveniences around a house. A water softener can solve the problem—but how will you know you need a water softener in the first place?
February 13th, 2018
If you’ve had your furnace for at least one winter season, you know what noises to expect from it. And you know when to expect them. A furnace has a heating cycle it goes through as it reaches the temperature set on the thermostat and then shuts itself off again until it’s needed once more. The cycle isn’t a brief start-and-stop process: when your home’s furnace comes on, you can expect it to stay running for more than fifteen minutes.
If you have a furnace that’s turning on and off a multiple times an hour, it’s going through something called short-cycling. If you’re not concerned about it, you should be—short-cycling puts immense strain on a furnace’s components, leading to it rapidly wear down. It will also raise your heating bills.
February 12th, 2018
We’re halfway through the winter, and those cold temperatures have no intention of letting up anytime soon. Your home heating system has a long way to go before you can shut it down for the season. If you’ve noticed that your heating bills are higher than normal, it’s time to do something about it—or you’ll be paying those higher bills for the next few months. (And there might be other troubles ahead aside from a spike in costs.)
There are steps you can take to lower heating bills, such as putting the thermostat down around 68°F during the day and putting on an extra layer of clothing. But if the rise in heating costs doesn’t seem normal, the issue may be with the heating system itself. Check first on the air filter (if you use a forced-air system like a furnace or heat pump), and change it for a fresh one if it’s clogged. If this doesn’t improve things, then we recommend giving us a call. There are a number of ways we can help you get your home heating costs back under control.
January 29th, 2018
Heat pumps are becoming more common in our area as homeowners discover their advantages. Heat pumps provide two-in-one comfort, with powerful cooling for the summers and energy-efficient heating for the winters. Homes without natural gas connections that can’t use gas furnaces for heat benefit from the cost-saving operation of a heat pump. Compared to the cost of running an electric furnace, a heat pump is a huge annual money-saver.
Even though heat pumps operate similarly to air conditioners (we’ll talk more about this below), there are some important differences. If this is your first winter with a heat pump, you may be in for a few surprises when it runs–like seeing smoke coming off the outdoor unit.
January 16th, 2018
Hidden leaks inside household plumbing are a huge source of water waste across the country. According to the U.S. government’s WaterSense program, household leaks can account for a loss of one trillion gallons annually. That’s equal to the water use in 11 million homes! On the smaller level, an individual homeowner can end up paying hundreds more for water use over a year from undiscovered leaks—and that’s before considering the building damage these leaks can do.
But here’s the problem with hidden leaks, and it’s right in the name: they’re hidden. How can you know to look for leaks in the first place? You’ll need to call a plumber in West Chester, PA to do the actual leak detection and plumbing repair necessary to fix the problem, but we have some advice for figuring out that it’s happening and where it’s happening. With a little detective work, you’ll know when your plumbing is in trouble.