How a Water Softener Protects Your Plumbing

October 22nd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Your plumbing is central to many of the daily tasks in your home. So when there’s a problem that stops you from receiving any water at all, you know to call a plumber right away. Similarly, leaks and clogs are a mess in your home and lead you to call a plumbing professional as soon as possible. But what if there is a hidden problem that could damage your pipes and cause problems with the major appliances and fixtures you use daily? This guide explains the use of water softeners to prevent plumbing damages and treat hard water, a common affliction for many home plumbing systems.

What Is “Hard Water?”

More than 80% of homes in the United States are affected by hard water. Hard water is a problem with the water supply marked by high levels of minerals, most commonly magnesium and calcium. These minerals are harmless for most people, besides some with compromised immune systems. However, hard water can have consequences for many of the most important components of your home.

Some people recognize the signs of hard water because of the markings left behind around faucets. White or greenish-yellow deposits may form an unsightly ring around the faucets and fixtures in your home, but the larger issue is that this same buildup can also gather in the pipes until the water pressure is severely reduced. Furthermore, these minerals may stop the flow of water to some of the appliances in your home, such as the washing machine or dishwasher, leading to a costly premature replacement. Hard water also keeps soap from lathering, which leads to scum in the pipes and could perpetuate drain clogs.

How Does a Water Softener Help?

A water softener is installed at the water supply of your home in order to soften all of the water that enters your home. To soften water, water softeners replace the problematic minerals with another type of substance, usually with sodium ions. Although these use a very small amount of sodium, you may be able to find a system that employs potassium instead if you or a family member are sensitive to salt.

To speak with a professional trained in installing and testing water softeners in Wayne, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

3 Common Ductless Heating Repairs

October 20th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

A ductless mini split is one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems out there. Ducted systems encounter a lot of issues due to air leaks in the ducts that force air conditioning and heating systems to work too hard and become overworked. Luckily, ductless systems have indoor units with individual blower fans, so air does not need to travel through any ducts that may eventually tear or collapse.

While ductless heating units are fairly durable and may need fewer repairs over time than other forced air systems, there are still some problems they may eventually come across. For ductless heating repair in Media, be sure to call the folks at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

  • Replacing the Reversing Valve: Ductless heating systems are heat pumps, meaning they move heat from one place to another. Just like central air conditioners, ductless systems use refrigerant to move heat from the indoor unit to the outside unit in the summer in order to blow air over the evaporator coil and keep your home cool. In the winter, a ductless heat pump can also move heat from the outdoors to the inside, even in cooler temperatures. The reversing valve is the component that allows refrigerant to reverse directions. But if you notice that your system won’t switch to heating mode, it may be because of a faulty reversing valve, which could just need replacement.
  • Reinstalling of the Indoor Air Handler: Another repair unique to ductless heating systems is if the indoor air handler begins to move away from the wall. This could be a result of faulty installation, and a contractor can securely reaffix the blower unit.
  • Sealing Refrigerant Leaks: While ductless systems will never fall victim to duct leaks, they are just as prone to refrigerant leaks as ducted heat pumps and air conditioners. A refrigerant line connects the indoor units to the outside compressor, and may leak anywhere along the line, at the compressor, or from the reversing valve. This requires immediate repairs, as it could cause parts to break down prematurely.

Be sure to call technicians with the proper skills and equipment to repair any ductless heating issue. For ductless heating repairs in Media, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

What Equipment is Used During Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

October 13th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

When you need to replace your plumbing, it’s never an ideal situation, but with trenchless pipe replacement, the process may go more smoothly than you expect. Trenchless pipe replacement involves very little digging, so you won’t have to get rid of important components of your landscaping, sidewalks, or driveways, or deal with the eyesore of trenches in the yard.

Using a contractor for trenchless pipe replacement is simply the best option for many homes. If you’re worried about the process, the expert plumbers at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. are here to help. Here is a quick guide to the process of trenchless pipe replacement as well as what types of equipment is used for trenchless pipe replacement in Wynnewood.

Tools of the Trade

Although trenchless technology is sometimes referred to as “no dig” technology, it does involve some digging. However, this is quite minimal compared to any other method used today. First, experts locate the area where the water or sewer line underneath your property connects to the water or sewer main, and they dig a hole at this point in addition to where the pipe ends at your home. Plumbers detach a portion of the pipe on either end and use special equipment to send a new deflated pipe through the old one.

First, they attach a hydraulic pulling device to one end of the pipe. Then, the new pipe is inserted in the old pipe, but this new pipe is in a deflated state so that it can easily fit into the old one. The hydraulic device pulls the new pipe through to the other end. From here, there are two basic methods a plumber may employ. A “pipe burster” with an expander head may be used so that the new pipe expands and the old pipe bursts in the ground. Alternatively, some pipes used during trenchless replacement are covered with adhesive. This method is known as pipe lining, in which a bladder is fed through the new pipe, causing it to expand and adhere to the old one. Which method is used for your home will likely depend on the state of your pipes.

If you need trenchless pipe replacement in Wynnewood, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

The Steps of Heating Maintenance

September 29th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

“Maintenance” can be a very general term. When it comes to performing heating maintenance in Havertown, you may envision a technician with a flashlight completing a quick once-over of your system. The truth is, a number of tasks are performed during a maintenance visit, which is part of the reason it is so worthwhile to schedule maintenance for your heating system. Let the professionals at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., get your heating system in great shape for this winter – call us today!

Steps of Heating Maintenance

Here is a general overview of what to expect when your technician arrives to perform routine maintenance:

Thorough Inspection

The first step your technician will take is to thoroughly inspect your system. This allows the technician to check for dirt and dust build-up, debris, and any other visible problems.

Cleaning and Adjusting

A number of components will need cleaning and adjusting, such as the burner assembly, ignition/pilot assembly, fan assembly, blower motor and drive mechanism. The firebox will be vacuumed along with any soot buildup. The air filter will be changed if needed.

Testing

Electrical components will be checked and tested for amperage, and safety controls and gas pressure will be tested and adjusted if needed. The flue gas drafting will be inspected and tested, too.

Lubrication

All fan motors and moving parts will be lubricated.

Benefits of Performing Maintenance

There are several benefits you can gain from heating maintenance:

  • Prevents repairs – the thorough inspection conducted by your technician allows he/she to detect any existing or developing problems and to repair them before they can become large and possibly expensive.
  • Increases energy efficiency – a heating system that is dirty and worn will not run well, and as a result, will need more energy to achieve the set temperature. Maintenance helps your system to run optimally, so it doesn’t need extra energy to operate.
  • Extends life of the system – a system that runs for a long period of time under stress can prematurely age; maintenance keeps your system in good working order so that it doesn’t operate under stressful conditions.

It’s recommended that you schedule heating maintenance at least once a year. Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., and schedule heating maintenance in Havertown today!

When Is It Time to Replace Your Chimney Liner?

September 24th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Without an effective liner in the flue of your chimney, your home could face serious fire hazards. The liner protects the chimney itself from the combustion fumes that vent out through it from the gas furnace, gas boiler, or fireplace, and also stops those gases from escaping into the living spaces of the house. The liner also prevents heat from the combustion gas radiating through the chimney and reaching flammable material surrounding it.

We install and replace stainless steel and aluminum chimney liners to help homeowners receive safe and effective venting with their heating system. Contact us today.

Times when you should replace your chimney liner

  • When you change the heating system: When you replace your heating system for an upgrade to a high-efficiency model, or to a type of heater that you haven’t used before, it is a good idea to replace the chimney liner as well. The older chimney liner is likely inadequate for proper ventilation for the new system. This also applies to installing a new water heater if it vents through the same chimney.
  • You haven’t had a chimney inspection in years: If you can’t remember the last time you had qualified technicians inspect your chimney, then it has been too long. You should arrange for a safety inspection, and don’t be surprised if the technician discovers that your chimney is overdue for having its liner taken out and replaced.
  • The chimney liner is broken or poorly installed: Older chimney liners made of clay will start to crack apart after time, and should be replaced as soon as possible. If you have always experienced problems with venting through the chimney, you may perhaps have a liner that received bad installation. Call for inspections to see if the liner should be replaced.

Stainless steel and aluminum liners

Our chimney experts replace old chimney liners with stainless steel or aluminum ones. Steel is the preferred metal, and can be made of more flexible material for unusually-shaped chimneys. However, the local codes in some areas prohibit using stainless steel for certain applications. In these cases, you can have an aluminum liner installed instead.

You can trust the more than three and a half decades of experience at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We can inspect your home’s chimney if you think you need a new liner in Newtown Square, PA, and then handle the installation work.

If it is time to replace your chimney liner in Newtown Square, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Some Benefits of Installing a New Furnace

September 22nd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The fall is the best time of the year to arrange for new heating installation for your home. During the lull between the summer heat and the winter cold, you can take the time to research the best new heating system for your household, work with technicians to size the unit properly, and allow the installers the time to place the system in your house so that it works at its best—and will keep working that way for many years.

Do you have an old furnace in your home? Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive from choosing to install a new one for the winter. Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to arrange your new heating installation in Broomhall, PA and the surrounding areas, no matter what kind of heater you need.

The benefits of new furnace installation

  • Higher fuel efficiency: The technology behind gas and electric furnaces has advanced significantly during the last 10 years—probably a shorter time than you’ve had your current furnace. Even if your furnace still works near to its original efficiency, a new furnace will have an improved AFUE rating that was almost impossible back when you had the current furnace installed. You can pay about the same for a new furnace as you did for the old (with inflation adjusted) and receive better energy efficiency than before.
  • Increased safety: Older gas-powered furnaces can start to develop corrosion that may lead to carbon monoxide leaks, and eventually repairs will not do much good. New furnaces will not only lack these safety problems from age, but they are manufactured with a larger number of safety features than ever before.
  • More powerful heating: Along with higher efficiency and safer operation, newer furnaces have more heating power than older ones. If your current furnace has encountered trouble beating back the coldest winter weather, then a new furnace is exactly what you need.
  • Fewer breakdown concerns: The last thing you want to happen during an icy winter night is for an aging furnace to finally decide to “give up the ghost.” Regular maintenance and targeted repairs can help stave this off, but if your furnace is at or beyond its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, the chance of it failing when you need it the most will start to rise—and that’s not good for your peace of mind. Starting over with a new furnace will keep you warm and without worry through the winter.

We offer quality heating installation in Broomhall, PA. If you still wish to continue with repairs, we can handle those as well. We are here when you need us!

For furnace professionals who can help you find the right type and size of system to replace your old furnace, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today.

When Is the Best Time to Schedule Commercial Heating Maintenance?

September 15th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

We hear this question a lot, and there are two answers. The first answer is that if you haven’t scheduled maintenance for your commercial heating in Delaware County in over 12 months, you should schedule maintenance as soon as possible. If you do schedule regular maintenance, and haven’t done so yet this year, fall is an ideal time to call for an appointment.

What Happens During a Regular Maintenance Appointment?

Here is a general overview of what happens during a commercial heating maintenance appointment with a Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., technician:

  • Inspect and tighten all electrical connections and terminals.
  • Clean and adjust main gas burners.
  • Clean and adjust ignition/pilot assembly.
  • Thoroughly brush and vacuum clean the heat–exchanger(s) and combustion chambers.
  • Visual inspection of heat–exchanger(s) & combustion chambers for cracks, rusting, or problem areas.
  • Vacuum out blower compartment, return airdrop, and surrounding area. (No duct cleaning)
  • Inspect the flue assembly and test flue gas drafting mechanism.
  • Test and inspect all furnace safety controls.
  • Test and adjust gas pressure.
  • Replace or clean standard air filters.
  • Clean blower motor, drive mechanism and fan assembly.
  • Lubricate all fan motors and all moving parts.
  • Adjust all dampers and set proper blower speed(s).
  • Clean, level, test, and calibrate thermostat.
  • Measure and record heating system output.
  • Measure electrical voltage and amperage.
  • Inspect and test all system transformers, relays, contactors, and controls.
  • Perform a complete and thorough electronic carbon monoxide check.
  • Advise you on other ways to reduce energy consumption, improve safety and enhance comfort.

Benefits of Heating Maintenance

Heating maintenance offers several benefits that are important for you and your business:

  • Better energy efficiency – dirt and wear-and-tear can reduce the energy efficiency of your heating system. With annual maintenance, your system is cleaned and adjusted so that it runs optimally; a heating system that runs optimally uses less energy.
  • Helps prevent repairs – during maintenance, your heating system is thoroughly inspected, and existing or developing problems are caught before they can blossom into large, costly ones. Additionally, small issues, like frayed wiring or worn components can be adjusted and replaced as needed.
  • Safety – during an inspection, the technician will check for cracks in the heat exchanger, which can be a serious hazard.

The cooler temperatures of fall offer a window of time to conduct maintenance on your commercial heating in Delaware County.

No business owner wants to discover on a chilly fall day that the heat isn’t working, so get ahead of the cool weather and call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. today.

 

Saving Money with Low-Flow Fixtures

September 8th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

In the U.S., we flush nearly 5 billion gallons of water down the toilet each day. While this drains our natural resources, it’s also tough on our water bills. About two-thirds of indoor water use in the U.S. comes from the toilets, sinks, and faucets in homes, but there is a way to significantly reduce water use. When you call a professional for plumbing replacement to replace your existing fixtures with low-flow models, you’ll greatly reduce your water usage, saving money every month.

One of the best ways to save money on your water bills is by calling a professional to replace your toilets with low-flow toilets. While this is a bit of an investment, the money you save every month, and your reduced environmental impact, will be well worth the cost. While some toilets flush down as many as 5 gallons per flush, a low-flow toilet uses only about 1.5, And while many homeowners worry about low-flow toilets clogging, this is no longer a concern with modern models.

In fact, you can also cut back on a lot of water use without making a major investment on plumbing replacement. Spending just a little bit to replace your showerhead with a low-flow fixture can save thousands of gallons of water per year. And while you may want to replace your inefficient faucets, you may choose instead to add aerators onto your existing faucets which may cut the water flow in half. New showerheads and aerators also help you cut back on hot water use, saving on energy costs.

Installing these fixtures is a great way to conserve resources and reduce spending without sacrificing your comfort. There are many other ways to save money on your water bills, including installing energy-efficient dishwashers and clothes washing machines, but calling for professional installation of low-flow fixtures is one of the most vital steps to take toward a more efficient home.

When you want a professional to help you with any bathroom remodeling such as replacing your existing fixtures with low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads.

Call the team of plumbing professionals at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. for plumbing replacement in Drexel Hill.

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by Michael Henderson

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Wm Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Video Camera Technology and Drain Repair in Wynnewood

August 27th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The equipment that plumbers use to clear drains and other repair jobs has come a long way. Professionals still use tried-and-true tools like plungers and wrenches, but technological advances have put power into their hands that allows them to perform jobs faster and better than ever before. One of the greatest advances now in regular use is the video camera inspection equipment, which has made drain repair work much easier and more effective.

Remember that equipment, no matter how advanced, is still only as good as the person who uses it. When you need drain repair in Wynnewood, PA, call up the most experienced team of plumbers you can find. You will be in skilled hands with Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., where we have almost four decades of work with plumbing, heating, and cooling. We have top-level equipment and the people who know how to put it to work for you.

Video camera technology: how it benefits work on drains

The standard video inspection kit consists of a long, flexible fiber optic cable on which a miniaturized video camera and powerful LED light are mounted. Plumbers feed the camera end down into a drain (or other plumbing access point) and send it down into the pipes. The other end of the cable attaches to a monitoring system that allows the plumbers to see in real-time what the camera is observing. The cable is usually long enough to reach all the way from a drain through the full sewer line out to the street: there’s almost no area of the drainage system the plumbers cannot access using the video camera.

The plumbers use the information sent from the video camera for a variety of purposes. If they are seeking for a hidden leak, the camera will show them not only the exact location of the leak, but also its size and what may have caused it. This makes it simple for the plumbers to access the leak with the least amount of disruption to your home’s building material or landscaping possible, and then to fix the leak quickly.

Another way the plumbers can use the video camera’s information is to diagnose drain clogging issues and problems from deposits along the inside of the pipes. Plumbers can see if the pipes are suffering from a build-up of organic material, developing corrosion, or if hard water deposits are interfering with flow. The plumbers will then have a definite idea of the problems they need to address and how to go about fixing them.

Whatever trouble you are experiencing with your plumbing, you can count on the skill of the employees at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to handle it.

Call us, and we will bring the video camera equipment necessary to provide you with the best drain repair in Wynnewood, PA possible.