How Long Does Trenchless Pipe Replacement Take?

April 18th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Trenchless pipe replacement is rapidly becoming the go-to answer for anyone experiencing sewer line problems. It’s fast, reliable, and doesn’t tear your yard up the way previous forms of pipe repair did.  Best of all, because it goes so comparatively quickly, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as other types of pipe repair. So how long does trenchless pipe replacement take? Frank speaking, the answers vary, but often it takes a day or less.

The secret lies in the title of the process. Before trenchless repair came along, you needed to dig up the entire pipe to get to the source of the problem. That usually involved industrial digging equipment and several days with of work.  On top of that, it turned your yard into a construction site.

Contrast that with trenchless pipe repair. The process starts by running a tiny video camera down the pipe on a line to determine the exact source of the problem. That removes the guesswork from the equation. The technician then needs to dig two small holes, and a hydraulic pump is used to pull a pipe liner or pipe–bursting tool and a new pipe through the damaged pipe. When he’s done either repairing or replacing the pipe, he simply refills the holes and turns the water back on. Your yard is left intact and your pipeline is repaired.

Again, the specific times depend on the job, as wells as the weather. (Even digging small holes is tough in the wintertime.) But generally speaking, most trenchless pipe replacement can be done in well under a weekend. (If it doesn’t, your technician should tell you how long it will take before you agree to any terms.) How long the pipe replacement takes is less important, however, than doing a good job the first time. Sewer line replacement isn’t something you want to “redo,” which is why you should contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to perform the operation for you. Call us today for trenchless pipe replacement in Wayne, PA!

Trenchless “No Dig” Technology and Sewer Replacement

April 14th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

One of the most labor-intensive and time-consuming plumbing repairs is fixing breaks along a sewer line. The sewer line that takes wastewater from a home and runs it underneath property to the municipal sewer system in the street usually lies deep underground; to repair it, professionals must make extensive excavations to reach the broken line and replace it with new piping, sometimes even needing to dig up parts of the sidewalk. Although inconvenient, these repairs are necessary to protect a home from sewage flooding and a loss of all drain lines.

However, digging large trenches to repair sewer lines is no longer the only option. Thanks to trenchless technology, the hassle of extensive and lengthy sewer repairs is no longer necessary. Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to find out about how we can take care of your sewer line replacement in Springfield, PA with “no dig” technology.

Trenchless Pipe Replacement

“Trenchless” is also known a “no dig” technology, which is a succinct explanation of the advantage of this system of repair. To replace pipes no longer requires digging down to to where the pipes are located in their underground trenches. The old method, still in use in many places, is called “trenched” pipe replacement, and it tears a long pit about 1-2 feet wide across a yard from the street where the pipe enters the sewer main all the way to edge of the house. Everything above the water line needs to be torn out.

The amount of damage done to a yard is significantly reduced with “trenchless” pipe replacement. Instead of large-scale digging, the trenchless methods only requires excavating a small pit on your front yard near the termination point of your existing water line along the curb stop. A powerful hydraulic machine then inserts a cable that snakes down into the existing, damaged line. Pressure from the hydraulic machine exerts about 20 lbs. of pressure to break up or drag out the current line, while simultaneously pulling the new pipe down to replace it. The only intrusion onto your lawn is the small pit, which is easily cover over and re-landscaped. Work that used to take days and require digging wide trenches to reach a damaged sewer line now needs only a few hours and requires no more digging than the single hole near the street.

Is it Time for Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

Whenever you have mounting problems with your home’s sewer system, you should consider sewer replacement in Springfield, PA with “no dig” trenchless technology so you can avoid the delays and the damage of standard, “trenched” sewer line replacement. Contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to discuss your sewer line options with our trained and experienced plumbers. In one step, you can replace your old sewer line and have easier repairs in the future.

Consider a New Water Heater with Your Bathroom Remodel

April 7th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

When you have a bathroom remodel done for your home, either to enhance and brighten the room, or because you want to swap out old and worn fixtures, there are a number of other options you can consider to include in the work. Many homeowners who live in older houses take the opportunity to have old, deteriorating pipes replaced with newer plastic pipes. Others install upgrades like whirlpool tubs.

There’s one upgrade people don’t often consider: upgrading the water heater. The bathroom is the place where you will find hot water the most crucial, since it’s important for your comfort and hygiene. If you have an older water heater (over 12 years for most models), you should think about having plumbers install a new one during the remodel.

Our staff at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. specializes in bathroom remodeling and water heater installation. For all your needs for plumbing in Havertown, PA, trust to our 37 years of experience.

Why a new water heater?

The first reason to opt for a new water heater installation is because your current one is past its prime and shown signs of failing (inconsistent heat, running out of hot water quickly, discolored water). With plumbers at work on your hot water pipes already, it’s not difficult for them to take on water heater replacement as well.

The other reason for a replacement is you can take advantage of the many new alternatives for your standard storage water heater. If it’s been over a decade since you current heater was installed, you now have much higher efficiency models available.

  • Tankless: The tankless type of water heater has excellent energy efficiency, since it only heats up water as you need it, instead of keeping it in a tank at constant temperature. Another major advantage is that tankless systems do not run out of hot water: they supply it “on demand,” so there’s never down-time for a tank to heat up more water.
  • Solar: Have you considered making some upgrades in your home to solar, but found the prospect too daunting? Having a solar water heater installed is a great “entry level” way of going solar, since the installation is simpler and the solar cells required take up a small amount of space. Imagine having the energy needed to heat your water costing you nothing! The power from the Sun is 100% free. It’s renewable as well, so you’ll help the environment.

Turn your bathroom remodel into an even larger upgrade for your life with a new water heater. Even if you decide to remain with a storage water heater for your installation, you’ll have superior efficiency and many more years of easy water heating.

Talk to out remodeling specialists today at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., and we’ll find the ideal water heater for your Havertown, PA plumbing.

Steps You Can Take for Safer Furnace Operation

April 4th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Some homeowners might be concerned about installing a gas furnace in their homes, but modern furnace contain safety mechanisms such as mercury sensors, fan load limit switches, and circuit breakers attached to shut-off valves to make sure your gas furnace always runs effectively.

Still, any system that uses natural gas can pose a potential concern. You can help make your furnace as safe as it can be with a few steps. Turn to experienced Havertown, PA heating technicians for the extra help to make your furnace as hazard-free as possible: Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We have served Havertown for 37 years.

Steps for a safer furnace

  • Keep it maintained with yearly maintenance visits: This is the most important part of keeping a furnace working safely. The only truly dangerous type of furnace is one that hasn’t received regular maintenance. During the annual visit (usually done in the fall), a technician will see that the furnace’s components are working correctly and the safety mechanisms are all operating. You will find out about any repair needs so you can leap on them and make sure the furnace operates without any flaws.
  • Never attempt repairs on your own: If you sense something is wrong with your furnace, do not open up the cabinet and attempt to tinker with its components. This is potentially dangerous. Not only do you risk carbon monoxide exposure and possible explosions, but you might misadjust something in the furnace that will cause it to work unsafely. Leave all repairs to trained professionals.
  • Call for repair work as soon as you can: Instead of trying to troubleshoot the furnace on your own, go right to the phone and call for expert repair technicians to come look at the trouble. (It’s also a good idea to shut off the gas to the furnace as a precaution.) Many furnace repairs will not pose any immediate danger, but they can worsen to a point where the system can turn dangerous. Other issues, just as cracks in a heat exchanger, can be hazardous. You don’t want to take any risks, so whenever you think your furnace has a malfunction, don’t hesitate to call for repairs. (Even if a repair isn’t a danger, you still should have it fixed so your system doesn’t break down or drain extra power.)

Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. provides services for all types of heating systems in Havertown, PA. Make us your first call for maintenance and repairs!

Your Options for a Chimney Liner

March 28th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

If you have a gas furnace or boiler keeping your house warm, then you have a chimney. You may not think of it as a “chimney,” but this channel that removes the exhaust fumes left over from the heating process and removes them to the outside of your house serves the same function as the chimney on a fireplace.

An important part of the chimney in a home is its liner, which protects the interior of the chimney, helps the gas vent efficiently, prevents the gas from escaping into the house, and keeps the high temperature from the gas from heating the bricks and igniting the combustible material around it. At times, the liner in the chimney can become cracked, and will need replacement. If you change to a new boiler or furnace, your old liner made from clay or tile may no longer be enough to handle it. In both cases, you’ll need to contact professionals to install a liner. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. can handle installing a new liner that will keep you safe and make sure your gas-powered heating in Springfield, PA is as efficient as it can be.

The different types of chimney liners

  • Clay and tile: These liners were once the most common types of chimney liners, and are still common for fireplaces. However, they are now out-of-date for use with modern gas appliances, and now the two most common choices for chimney liners are stainless steel and aluminum. Whether you go with one or the other will often depend on local codes.
  • Stainless steel: These liners are best suited for wood burning, gas, and oil applications; because of its strength, stainless steel is often required by codes for use over other materials.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a less expensive alternative and works effectively with medium efficiency gas appliances. Aluminum needs sufficient high temperature insulation.

Our staff at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. is here to help you make the decision about what chimney liner to install. We have many years of experience and are familiar with local codes. Call to talk to one of our chimney lining experts and you’ll find out what the best option is.

Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has more than 35 years of experience providing quality heating to Springfield, PA. Whatever your needs for your heater, we can help you out.

Plumbing Repair Question: What Is the U-Shaped Pipe Under a Sink Do?

March 19th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The U-shaped pipe beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks is something that people expect to see but rarely stop to think about. “Why exactly does it have that shape? And why does it seem that every drain pipe has that same shape? It must serve a purpose, but—” And by then you’ve turned your thoughts to something more pressing.

Yes, the U-shaped construction of drainpipes serves a very important purpose, and most of the time it goes about performing it without you needing to worry about it. However, there are times with you’ll need plumbing repair in Springfield, PA because this precaution built into your sinks has encountered trouble. When you have clogs or leaks in your sinks, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. and we’ll provide you a fast and effective remedy.

The P-Trap

The U-shaped bend in your drain pipe is called the p-trap (or sometimes simply the trap, although this can refer to a number of plumbing fixtures that serve similar purposes). The name refers to the shape when viewed at an angle, as there was already a similar fixture called a U-bend.

The p-trap serves the function of capturing a small amount of water inside your drainpipes after the sink is used. This plug prevents sewer gases from coming up the wastewater line and out the sink. It also can trap small objects that fall down the sink, such as jewelry, making it easier to extract them. (Many modern sinks have a valve along the bottom of the p-trap to allow easy access to anything that might have fallen into them.)

P-traps can become trouble spots in some cases. Because they trap water, they can also trap debris inside the water, such as hair and soap scum, and this can eventually cause the p-trap to clog. A plunger might remove the clog, but if it can’t, you’ll probably need a plumber to come out to clear it using a drain snake, hydro-jetter, or by completely removing the p-trap.

The other common trouble with p-traps is when they dry up. If a sink doesn’t see frequent use, the water in the p-trap will evaporate and sewer odors will begin to escape from the drain. If you detect foul odors from around a sink, try running water through it to fill up the p-trap.

The p-trap will quietly do its job for you until something goes wrong with it—and then you’ll need expert plumbers to help. For the plumbing repair in Springfield, PA to keep your drains running, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

How Set-Back Thermostats Work with Your Heating

March 12th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Learning the best way to control the levels on your thermostat will help you save money on your heating bills. (And, when used with your air conditioner, will provide similar savings.) It’s a common misconception that if you leave your heating on all day at a set thermostat level whether you’re home or not, you will save money. Although it’s true that maintaining a steady, lower thermostat level instead of cranking it up to high levels and then dropping it down again will prevent energy waste, you should still drop the thermostat’s level when you leave the house.

But this leads to a comfort quandary: you’ll come home each day to a colder home, and you’ll have to wait for it warm up again. You may also forget to turn the thermostat down before you leave each morning. This is where a set-back thermostat can help with your heating in Havertown, PA, saving you money and raising your comfort. If you want to have a set-back thermostat installed in your house, contact our technicians at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

The Set-Back Thermostat

A set-back thermostat will automate starting and stopping your heater at least twice during a 24-hour period. After you learn the basics of programming the thermostat (which is actually simple, and your installer can teach you how to do it in no time), you program the thermostat to lower the temperature before you go to bed, then raise it about 15 minutes before you get up in the morning. The next set-back temperature comes during the time of day when no one is home, and then it comes on at a time before your return in the evening so you’ll come back to a warm house. How much you should set your thermostat back depends on your heating system, as their are different temperature points for heat pumps, boilers, and furnaces.

All of this applies to your air conditioning as well, since the thermostat will work with both your heating and your cooling systems.

Some models have more complex options, such as settings for seven days of the week, giving you complete control over your system to fit your weekly routine.

How much will you save with a set-back thermostat? It depends on how much you use your heating in the first place, as well as the amount of time you spend at home on average.

Install a Set-Back Thermostat

New homes usually come with a set-back thermostat, but if you live an older home, having one installed is easy with the right professionals on the job. Contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. and schedule an appointment with one of our technicians in heating in Havertown, PA to fix your home with the comfort and energy-savings of a set-back thermostat.

What Is a Furnace Fan Limit Switch?

March 6th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

In this post, we’ll look at one of the important safety devices inside your furnace: the fan limit switch. Whenever you need assistance with your gas furnace, or any other heating system in Media, PA, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We’ve helped keep people warm—and safe—with their furnaces for 37 years

The furnace fan limit switch: keeping your gas furnace safe

The limit switch, along with the thermocouple/mercury sensor, is the main safety mechanism in a furnace. The limit switch takes care of preventing the furnace from overheating. The switch is located on the furnace just below the plenum. Should the plenum grow too hot, the limit switch will shut off the burner.

The switch also turns off the blower when the temperature drops to a certain level after the burner shuts off. After the temperature reaches another low, the switch reactivates the blower. This control of the blower is an essential part of how the limit switch regulates the air temperature inside the furnace chamber.

You can adjust the setting of the fan limit switch to change the point at which it turns the blower on and off, although we don’t advise that you tamper with it from its factory settings. This is best left to a furnace repair specialists when trying to troubleshoot problems. The standard settings for most limit switches are 200°F to shut off the burner, 130°F to turn off the blower, and 100°F to turn the blower back on.

Your furnace needs to have regular maintenance—once a year, usually during the fall—to make sure that the fan limit switch is working properly to keep you safe. Maintenance in general will help keep you safe, since the technician will check other safety mechanisms and check for any gas flow problems or cracks in the heat exchangers that might lead to carbon monoxide leaking.

Contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to sign up for our maintenance plan for heating in Media, PA (and your cooling as well). Our precision furnace tune-up will test and inspect all your furnace’s safety controls, along with providing cleaning and adjustments that will keep the furnace working at its most efficient.

Options for Whole-House Water Treament

March 3rd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Although we’d like to believe that the water that runs from our taps, showerheads, and through our dishwashers and laundry machines is clean, this isn’t often the case: water from the municipal supply can suffer from hardness, acidity, and pollutants. Bottled water is an expensive and ineffectual way to avoid issues in your home’s water: bottled water is rarely more filtered than standard tap water, it contributes to landfill pollution, and doesn’t address the trouble that low-quality water can cause to your plumbing and fixtures.

The best choice for clean water in your house is to have a plumber install a whole-house water treatment system. There are many different types of systems, and the one you have installed will depend on the specific issues in your water. Call in a Springfield, PA plumber from Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. with expertise in water treatment to find out which of these systems will help you get the purest water possible:

Water softeners

Hard water is one of the common problems in water coming from a municipal supply. The excess of calcite minerals in hard water causes deposits in plumbing that will lead to spikes in water pressure and damage to appliances like water heaters and dishwashers. Water softeners add sodium into the water to balance the minerals and eliminate the hardness.

Water filters

If your water contains too many large contaminants, then a whole-house filter can remove them. You can purchase smaller filters for individual sinks and faucets, but these cannot do the thorough job of a professionally installed whole-house system. If you have a water softener installed that puts too much sodium into the water, a special filter can help balance it.

Reverse osmosis systems

These advanced treatment systems use different areas of pressure to force water through a thin, semi-permeable membrane. They can remove much smaller particles than standard water filters. Professionally-done water testing can tell you which kind of filtration system—standard or reverse osmosis—will work ideally for your home.

Acid neutralizers

If your water supply has high acidity, it can cause corrosion in your copper pipes. An acid neutralizer injects calcites into the water that counteract the acidity. Because this can sometimes lead to an increase in water hardness, some homeowners opt to have a water softener installed in combination with an acid neutralizer.

To find out the water treatment system(s) that will give you the clean water you want, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. and make an appointment for water testing from one of our water treatment experts. We can find out what your water supply needs and install the treatment system that will take care of it. You can always put your trust in a Springfield, PA plumber from Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

How Hard Water Can Affect Your Drains

February 24th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Hard water is a problem that crops up commonly in homes. It isn’t the fault of the homeowner: this mineral-heavy water enters a house from the water main connected to the municipal system. The minerals in hard water (mostly magnesium and calcium) are rarely harmful for people to drink, although they can contribute to poor-tasting water. However, hard water poses a problem for plumbing that homeowners should not ignore.

At Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., we are now entering our 37th year serving Delaware County with experienced plumbing solutions. We can help you with your hard water problems, from water treatment installation to drain repair in Springfield, PA. Call us today to find out what we can do for you.

The problems with hard waters and drains

The first signs of hard water you will usually find are white or yellow flakes around your drains and fixtures. These are calcite deposits from hard water, and they are what will affect your drains. As the mineral-heavy water flows through your drainpipes, it leaves behind these calcium deposits on the pipe interiors. Gradually, the deposits will begin to build up and close the reduce the volume inside the pipes.

It’s extremely rare for hard water deposits to completely plug up a pipe, but they will make it much easier for clogs from other substances to occur. Worse, however, is the affect they will have on the pressure inside the pipes. The restriction on the water flow will increase the pressure throughout your plumbing. High water pressure will lead to leaks and damage to appliances hooked up to the plumbing.

How you can deal with hard water

When leaks or other damage occurs to your drains because of hard water, you need to call for professional plumbers to fix the problem. However, repairing an individual leak won’t fix the hard water problem, but there are ways to address this as well. A plumber can install a water softener onto your water main. This treatment system balances out the minerals in hard water with the addition of sodium. (If the water softener adds too much sodium, there is a filtration device that can balance that as well.)

Call for professional plumbers

You may not be able to stop the hard water from coming through the water main, but you can use water treatment to prevent it from getting into your pipes. And with the right plumbers working for you, it should be no problem fixing the problems that hard water can cause to your drain.

Our trained plumbers at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. can install water softeners and other water treatment systems to your plumbing to increase the quality of your water. They can also handle any drain repair in Springfield, PA you need due to hard water. Contact us today.