Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Will Drain Cleaning Get Rid of Odors in My Drains?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

It’s that unidentifiable smell around your sink. You clean the sink, wash dirty dishes, and yet, it hangs there. You finally bend down to take a good whiff, and realize that the smell permeating your nose is coming from your kitchen drain. What do you do now?

Smells from your drains are unpleasant but they aren’t permanent. Unless the source of the smell is from a sewer or septic problem, which most times it isn’t, the smells in your drain are caused by build-up that needs to be removed. So what’s the best way to remove the build-up? Schedule a drain cleaning appointment for your home in Newtown Square.

What Is Drain Cleaning?

Drain cleaning is the process a professional plumber uses to carefully remove build-up from the inside of your pipes. Typical build-up culprits are fats, oils and grease (FOG), soap scum, food particles and human hair, but many other things can get stuck in your drains. Food and FOG tend to create the most issues with foul smells because they can spoil, but slow-draining wastewater can cause odors, too. Removing build-up and thoroughly cleaning out the drain not only eliminates the odors, it has other benefits, too.

Benefits of Drain Cleaning

Here are some other benefits you can see from a professional drain cleaning:

  • Removal without damage – professionals know how to properly manage the tools used for drain cleaning, which ensures that they’ll get the gunk out of your drains without breaking anything.
  • No more slow drains – if you were seeing slow water drainage in a tub or sink, you won’t after a professional drain cleaning. Excessive build-up in your pipes can cause slow draining or clogging, so removing it allows your wastewater to flow freely.
  • Prevent clogs – removing build-up gets you ahead of potential clog development.
  • Helps maintain your plumbing – drain cleaning keeps your plumbing in good working order.

Wondering where those bad smells may be coming from? If you find they are from your drain, don’t wait for a clog;

Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today and schedule a drain cleaning for your Newtown Square home.

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Repair Your Commercial Rooftop Unit

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

As the manager of a large commercial property, chances are that you’re quite busy. When a customer, client, employee, and/or tenant informs you of trouble with the heating in the building, it may seem as though you can wait a little while for repairs. After all, the heat is still working to some level, so the temperatures in your building are bearable. While it’s sometimes tempting to wait for commercial heating repairs until they fit a little bit more soundly into your monthly budget, this type of thinking is potentially harmful to your system and to the people who rely on you commercial rooftop unit for heating and AC.

Rooftop units are the most common HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems installed on commercial buildings today because they offer many benefits for property owners and employees alike. Rooftop units have a cabinet which encloses every portion of your heating and air conditioning system. When a technician visits the property to maintain or repair the unit, this is beneficial because they stay out of your way and the repair moves a bit faster than it may have otherwise because all of the parts are centrally located. As long as your unit is professionally maintained twice a year, you should run into very little unexpected trouble over time.

When someone in your building notices that there is a potential problem, it may be that you only have a minor repair need. Sometimes, heating is reduced because of a dirty burner or a bent fan blade. But this small problem can develop into something much worse. All of the other components have to work harder, and this extra strain on the system can lead to overworked parts and an eventual breakdown. Why wait for a sudden failure when you can pay less for a repair today? The people in your building count on you to keep everything running as needed, and it’s vital that you keep everyone in the property comfortable for increased productivity and to keep customers and clients coming back.

For Commercial Rooftop Unit Repair call the expert team at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today.

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When Is the Right Time for Heating Maintenance?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

When it comes to maintaining your heating system, most people don’t think of scheduling maintenance in the middle of winter. But if your system hasn’t been maintained in twelve months or more, any time is the right time to schedule a heating maintenance appointment in Drexel. While most people like to schedule maintenance for their heaters in the fall, the bigger priority is to schedule the appointment, not wait for the perfect time of year to do it. The experts at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., are available for maintenance, repairs and even replacement, so if it’s been a while since we’ve seen your heating system, call us today.

Why Is Maintenance Important?

Your heater works really hard all winter to provide your home with heat, and then it sits for several months and accumulates dirt and dust. Then, it turns back on again and has to work with last year’s wear and tear and this year’s dirt and dust: it’s not a good combination for your or your heater. During a maintenance appointment, one of the main tasks is to thoroughly inspect your system for wear and tear. If any is found, like frayed wiring or a worn fan belt, these things are repaired. Dust and dirt can make operation of components difficult, so another important task performed during a maintenance appointment is cleaning. Performance and safety tests are run to ensure the system is operating at the efficiency level it should be and that it does so safely. Other benefits include:

  • Better energy efficiency – a system that is clean, adjusted and properly lubricated is one that runs well and can achieve the energy efficiency it’s supposed to.
  • Better comfort – there’s no worry that your heater can’t reach your set temperature because it has gotten a full tune-up and is ready to go.
  • Lubrication – depending on your heating system there may be multiple moving parts that need lubrication in order to work correctly; during maintenance, all parts that need lubrication are serviced.
  • Prevents repair – the thorough inspection your system receives allows the technician to detect any developing or existing problems, which helps get you ahead of repair problems.

Fall is a great time to schedule repair, but maintenance is an ongoing thing.

If your heating system in Drexel hasn’t had maintenance yet this season, contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today.

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Problems that May Occur with a Commercial Boiler

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Commercial boilers are powerful heating systems, with the ability to keep an entire office building warm no matter what the outdoor temperature. Boilers are built tough because they often handle a large heating load. Even though these units are meant to last for many years, there’s always a chance that a problem can surface with any electro-mechanical system. When you notice any of the following problems with your commercial boiler, it’s important to call for commercial HVAC repair in Wynnewood as soon as possible.

  • Little Heating: If you’re not getting the heating power you desire from your commercial boiler, it can mean a major problem, or the repair may be as simple as cleaning off a few parts. Dirty burners can cause limited heating, but so can a major repair need like a leak or an imbalance in pressure. Even if the lack of heat seems bearable, you should call an expert for service as soon as possible to keep the issue from worsening.
  • Uneven Heating in One Area: If there is not enough heating in one office, a single floor, or any particular area of the building, it’s likely a problem with the zone control system. A technician should adjust the settings of any zone according to that floor’s particular needs, but sometimes the structure of the room requires higher or lower settings for whatever reason. If, for example, an office on the second floor has carpeting, while other areas have tile or hardwood floors, the settings may need to be adjusted so that more heat moves into that room only.
  • Leaks: This problem is rare, but it’s definitely one to look out for. If you notice water leaks from your boiler, it indicates a pretty serious problem that should be addressed immediately. This could have to do with the expansion tank, the pressure relief valve, or it could be a sign of rust and corrosion, an unfortunate possibility with older boilers that almost always results in replacement.

We have enough experience to diagnose and repair any heating problem that interferes with the way you do business.

Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. for boiler maintenance to help prevent problems such as these from occurring, or to schedule commercial HVAC repair in Wynnewood.

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Isn’t the City Responsible for Replacing the Sewer Line?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

It’s one of those home repair nightmares you hope you don’t have to deal with: sewer line replacement. Not only is it serious work, it can be fairly costly. But as the homeowner, are you liable for the replacement of a faulty sewer line? Most of the time, yes, you are. Utility company responsibility typically ends once the lateral or side sewer line begins on a particular property, but to be sure about your town’s guidelines, it’s important to make a call to your area’s Public Works Department or Sewer Department. Should you need sewer replacement, call the experts you can count on: Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

So how do you know if you are having problems with your sewer line? Here are some telltale signs:

  • Slow drainage/no flushing – the sewer line serves as the exit pipe for all the wastewater from your home. If there is a break, you may see slow drainage from all the drains in your home or your toilet may stop flushing.
  • Sewer odor – a broken sewer line can release foul odors, which you may smell in the air around your home or even coming from drains.
  • Yard puddles – as the wastewater escapes from your sewer line, it makes its way to the surface and can create sogginess and/or puddles in your yard.
  • Gurgling from drains and toilets – if you find that toilets and drains are gurgling after using a water appliance like a dishwasher, this can be indicative of a clog or break in the sewer line.

Causes of Sewer Line Breaks

There are a number of reasons your sewer line can break:

  • Tree roots – one of the most common reasons a sewer line breaks is from tree roots. Tree roots are very strong and can crush a sewer pipe, particularly if it is an aging pipe.
  • Paper hygiene products – maxi pads, tampons, diapers – all of these products create large clogs that can cause the piping to break because they do not break down. Disposing of paper hygiene products in your garbage can save you money in the long run.
  • Age – sewer lines are durable, but they do not last forever. If you live in or are purchasing an older home, you may want to ask about the sewer line to find out how old the piping is.

A sewer line break is a serious repair and should only be handled by experts who understand and know the work.

If you suspect you may have a broken sewer line, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today to ensure that the issue is properly addressed. 

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The Importance of Replacing an Older Chimney Liner

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The chimney of your home helps to vent combustion gases to the outside so that they do not enter the house and contaminate the air that you breathe. But the material used to construct masonry chimneys is generally ineffective in doing so alone. Most local fire codes mandate the use of chimney liners in homes in order to provide proper ventilation and protect the chimney construction materials as well as your safety. Additionally, if you have an older liner, a technician may recommend replacement upon inspection.

Older chimney liners may develop cracks and holes that allow the masonry chimney to wear down, or worse. A masonry chimney may wear down rather quickly as combustion materials cause it to corrode, leading to costly home renovations. But a more dangerous possibility is if these combustion fuels leak into your home, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning and other potential health risks. Furthermore, an unlined chimney or a worn down chimney liner can be a major fire hazard.

This is a more likely possibility if you have an older tile liner. Ceramic tiles are perhaps the most popular form of chimney liners used in existing homes, but are not recommended for new installation. That’s because ceramic tile is not effective at absorbing heat and may not be able to contain and distribute it throughout the chimney. This causes the tile to crack and split apart. With proper maintenance, it may be possible to prevent this or detect problems early on, but many installers prefer a more durable chimney liner made of aluminum or stainless steel.

Another possible reason to replace a chimney liner is if it is the wrong size for your home. Chimney liners must be properly sized to the heating system and your home in order to make sure gases vent efficiently and completely. The benefit of a well-built chimney liner is that it can meet any venting needs, so long as a technician makes plenty of measurements to size it for your home. If a technician determines your current system is not properly venting gases, they’ll likely recommend a new one. Furthermore, a new one may be necessary if you upgrade your heating system in any way and the venting requirements change.

New stainless steel or aluminum chimney liners in Havertown installed by Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. can help to ensure your safety and comfort at home for many years to come. Give us a call today!

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12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at WM Henderson Plumbing and Heating Inc. hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

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