Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Archive for October, 2013

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Monday, October 28th, 2013

One of the major menaces to your home’s plumbing during the winter is frozen pipes. When water freezes in a pipe, it does more than just clog up the flow. It can cause the pipe to crack and break. The reason this occurs is because water changes when it becomes ice. As the motion of the molecules in H20 slows down, the molecules move farther away from each other. Because of this, ice takes up more volume than its liquid form. If you’ve ever accidentally left a glass of water in the freezer overnight, you’ll have seen how this works: the expansion of the ice cracks the glass.

No matter what your pipes are made from, they can break because of freezing. It’s important to take steps to prevent this from occurring during the coming winter. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has some tips to help your Havertown, PA plumbing get through the cold months without damage.

The best step to take to prevent frozen pipes is to have them insulated so they lose less heat. You might hear advice about doing this yourself with newspapers, but this is not a smart solution. Professional insulation, such as pipe sleeves and UL-listed heat tape, are superior. Because many of the pipes in your home are difficult to access, you should rely on a trained plumber to handle  the insulation installation.

Relocating pipes that are more exposed to cold temperatures is often one of the best preventive moves. An experienced plumber can identify plumbing that might benefit from getting moved and will perform the work for you.

To help stop pipes under sinks from freezing, open up the cabinet doors occasionally to let the warmer air from the house circulate around them. Make sure you keep the garage doors closed if you have plumbing inside there—as many homes do.

If you have to leave your house for an extended time during the winter, don’t turn your home heating completely off; leave it at least above 55°F to prevent the cold from affecting the pipes. Also, make sure to run each of the faucets in your house for a few minutes each week to prevent stagnant water from freezing.

Should your pipes freeze, get professional help to deal with any breaks that may occur. But to prevent this from happening in the first place, have experts insulate your pipes. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has taken care of plumbing in Havertown, PA for over 36 years, and we know how to keep your pipes warm this winter.

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Thanks for Voting for WM Henderson! Talk of the Town 2013

Friday, October 25th, 2013

talkofthetownsmallWe are proud to announce that we were awarded the Talk of the Town Awards for both Plumbing and HVAC for 2013! Thank you to all that voted for us, we can’t thank the local community enough for their support and patronage!

Call us today for all of your plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs!

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Heating FAQ: How to Fix Uneven Heating

Monday, October 21st, 2013

During a Pennsylvania winter, you don’t just want good heating in your home; you want good, even heating in your home. It’s not much fun to stroll through your house during the morning and find that you have to cross through cold zones. (It isn’t much fun at night, either.) For maximum comfort, you need to discover why this uneven heating occurs and find a way to fix it.

There are a number of different reasons why uneven heating might start to afflict your home, and they range from issues you can fix with only a few changes to serious problems with your heating system that might require replacing it. We’ll run down the problems and what needs to be done in each case. If any of these issues require professional work, look to the Havertown, PA heating experts at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to help you.

  • Blocked vents: If you use a forced air heater, like a furnace, it’s possible that some of the room vents are either closed or blocked. Furniture might have gotten moved in front of a vent opening. Go through the cold rooms and make sure the vents have room to release warm air.
  • Thermostat issues: If you have a zone controlled heating system that runs with multiple thermostats, make sure they are all set and programmed correctly. With more than one thermostat, you can easily make a mistake with programming one. A thermostat may be malfunctioning, in which case you’ll need professional repairs.
  • Insulation problems: Check the seals around windows and doors in those cold rooms to find places heat might be escaping through. Make sure the chimney damper is shut. The wall insulation may be the source of the problem, in which case you should have new insulation put in.
  • An improperly sized heater: If your heating system is new, then this uneven heating pattern may point to a major problem: the heater is too small to get the entire house warm. Get in a professional to look over your house and do a heat load calculation to find out if you should get a new heating system. Make sure that for any installation you go to a dependable company so you won’t end up with an improperly sized heater.

You don’t want to spend the winter avoiding certain rooms in your home because they’ve developed Antarctic chills. If you notice uneven heating, take all the steps you can to find the cause, and then summon the experts at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to take advantage of our 36 years of experience. Make heating in Havertown, PA easy with just one phone call to Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

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3 Ways to Protect Your Plumbing

Friday, October 18th, 2013

You want to make sure that your plumbing functioning smoothly all through the year. Here are three ways you can protect your plumbing from debilitating damage that will lead to costly repairs and unpleasant days and nights. For professional assistance keeping your plumbing in Springfield, PA safe, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. From clogged drains to complete pipe replacements, we can handle it all.

1. Insulate your pipes

Winter is almost here, and a Pennsylvania winter offers a major threat against your plumbing: frozen pipes. Not only will a frozen pipe block water flow, but it could crack and break (water volume expands when it freezes). The best way to protect your pipes from this problem is to cover them with insulation that will keep them from losing heat. Although people have used crude insulation on pipes before, like newspapers, it’s better to trust professional plumbers to find ways to insulate your plumbing against the ravages of sub-freezing temperatures.

2. Don’t treat drains like trash cans

You probably have many drains in your home: in bathroom and kitchen sinks, in showers, in bathtubs, in the floors in the laundry room. It’s easy to imagine that you can toss anything down them and it will vanish. But drains are not designed to carry away just anything you put in them. A drain can rapidly become clogged as large debris gets caught in the p-trap (the curved pipe below the drain). A particular hazard to watch out for is blockages from grease and fat, which congeals as they cool down and become waxy plugs.

3. Never ignore leaks, no matter how small

There is no such thing as an unimportant leak in your plumbing. Small leaks, even the tiniest ones called “pinhole leaks,” pose serious threats to your home. A small amount of water will start to destroy drywall and insulation, and trigger mold and mildew growth that will cause further damage. Small leaks will also expand into bigger leaks, and the pressure changes throughout your pipes can lead to drastic problems. Get pipe leaks repair with a plumber’s aid as soon as you can.

Although your residential plumbing is a complex system, it doesn’t have to be complex to take good care of it. No matter the troubles that arise with your plumbing in Springfield, PA, a reliable plumber can resolve issues for you fast and accurately. For top-notch plumbers, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

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Benefits of Heating Your Home with a Boiler

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Boilers have a long legacy as home heating systems; they are among the oldest types of heaters that are still used regularly throughout the world, with new models and advances coming out every year. Although they run on a simple principle—heated water passed through pipes to points where they radiate heat into a home—they boast numerous advantages that make then enduringly popular. If you are considering installing a new heating system in your home, a boiler should be near the top of your list of options. We’ll present a few reasons why.

For additional help with boilers, as well as experts who can install one for you, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today.

  • Boilers won’t reduce your indoor air quality: The main competition for boilers in the longevity department is furnaces. Furnaces use forced air to heat homes, and they can blow around dust, dirt, and debris through the ducts. The ducts can even develop bacterial growth, further harming air quality. But boilers don’t blow around heated air: they produce warmer temperatures by heating objects, like baseboards or radiators, which then heat the room in your home. If you have concerns about air quality, or if you live with people who have allergies, a boiler won’t contribute to the problem.
  • Boilers have long lifespans: Because they have few moving parts that can wear down, boilers tend to last longer than other heating systems. They require fewer repairs, and with regular maintenance they will outlast almost any other option for heating your home.
  • Boilers are energy efficient: Aside from saving you money in the long run from fewer repair needs or an early replacement, boilers use energy more efficiently than furnaces, especially if they are gas-powered.

However, no matter how attractive these benefits make boilers sound, they aren’t the best option for everyone. It depends on your home, your access to fuel, and the presence of ducts from a previous system. There are also many types, models, and brands of boilers on the market, and getting the wrong one will eliminate many of these above advantages.

Making a fast and uninformed choice for any heating system can lead to problems in getting adequate comfort for your house. Start off your new installation right: consult with specialists in HVAC technology. Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. does some of the finest work repairing and installing heating in Newton Square, PA. If you think a boiler will get you the best comfort this winter, call us to get the process started.

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Heating Installation in Drexel Hill: Sizing a Heating System

Monday, October 7th, 2013

When you want a new heating system in your Drexel Hill, PA home, you’ll probably be most concerned about what type of heater to get. There are many options today because of advances in home comfort technology, and the technicians at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. are available to help you choose which one is the best for your home.

While picking the right type of heater for your home is crucial, you may not realize how important it is to get the right size heater. This might seem like a secondary consideration; after all, wouldn’t it be fine to go for a larger heater just to be on the safe side? And if the heater is a bit smaller so it fits into the available space, that can’t affect performance too much, can it?

However, sizing your heater is important enough that if done incorrectly, any advantages of getting the right type of system will vanish. An undersized heater will not be capable of getting you an even level of heating, which will leave many rooms in your home cold. For adequate heating, you will have to have the heater pushed up to its highest setting, which will show up on your energy bills.

An oversized heater presents problems just as serious. A heater that is too large will reach its target temperature so fast that it will “short cycle,” shutting off before completing its normal heating cycle. A heater that short cycles will wear down rapidly and soon require repairs. Eventually, it will need to get replaced earlier than it should.

Sizing a heater goes beyond simply looking at how large your house is and how many rooms you have. To get the proper sized system, you’ll need to hire experts to gauge your home’s needs.

The most important part of sizing a system is the heat load calculation: a complex equation that requires the services of an HVAC professional. The technician factors in various data about your house to understand how it needs to be heated. This includes the square footage of your home, the number of people living there, the size and position of all windows, how much heat other appliances produce, and many other aspects. The final result will provide a guide that determines the best size heater to get—as well as if the type of heater you’ve selected is right for you.

Avoid the costly mistake of guessing when it comes to sizing your heater. Heating installation in Drexel Hill, PA needs the services of highly-trained technicians to guide you through all the steps, from system selection to getting regular maintenance. Our certified professionals at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. will make certain you get the right sized heater to keep you warm this winter.

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