Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

The Different Types of Plastic Pipes Plumbers Use

Monday, August 27th, 2018

worker-cut-PVC-pipes

Indoor plumbing has been around for a long time, and the materials used for the pipes have gone through many changes. For decades, metal and ceramic were the most common pipe materials. Many homes today still have galvanized steel, clay, or even cast iron piping. Starting in the 1970s, copper replaced galvanized steel and is today the most common metal used in plumbing systems.

Plastic pipes, however, have an important part in plumbing. Plastic is easier to work with in general than copper. The first use of plastic pipes was in the 1930s, and with the 1960s they rose in popularity among plumbers thanks to advances in plastic manufacturing that made these pipes more useful in general.

There’s no single type of plastic used to manufacture pipes. For years, a gray plastic called polybutylene was common for plumbing systems, but it’s no longer used because it splits and creates leaks. If you have old polybutylene pipes in your house, we strongly recommend you arrange to have it replaced with a newer type of plastic. Here are the three types of plastic pipes that modern plumbers most commonly used today:

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Helping Generators in Spring with Repair and Maintenance

Monday, April 9th, 2018
home-generator

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.

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Keep Your Generator Ready to Go

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Here in Wayne, PA, Mother Nature always has the final word, and with this winter looking to be colder than ever, it pays to have a generator on-hand to provide power and heat for your households. Generators can be invaluable tools, but sizing and installing them are only part of the overall process. Once your generator is placed, you need to keep it ready to go and ensure that it can do the job the minute you need it to. The last thing you want to do in the middle of a crisis is deal with a problem with your electrical power. The more you can practice these simple tips, the better your generator will respond in a crisis. 

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Signs of an Air Duct Breach

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The air ducts branch out from the centralized air conditioner to the corners of your Springfield, PA home: transporting cool air from your system to every room and cooling the home in a more or less uniform fashion. Ducts are protected from damage most of the time, since they’re located in your walls or your attic. But damage can occur, either from an outside source, problems with repairs elsewhere in your home, or the simple failing of a bolt or screw linking two pieces of duct together. A good air conditioning repair company can seal the breach — either by replacing the faulty bolt, using material like duct mastic or creating a fitted piece to put in place over the hole — but first you need to spot the trouble. The list of symptoms can include, but is not limited to the following:

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Don’t Throw These Foods Down the Garbage Disposal

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

We use our garbage disposals every day, and it’s one of those appliances that most of us take for granted. It does its job without complaint and the only time we seem to notice is when something goes wrong. More often than not, however, what goes wrong is people inadvertently putting food down the garbage disposal that they shouldn’t. The wrong kind of food will clog the pipes, damage the gears and in the worst cases can even force you to replace your disposal. The good news is that there’s a plumbing service that can correct the problem. But we believe that an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. Before you pour anything you shouldn’t down the drain, take a close look at this list of common foods and make sure you get rid of them in some other way.

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Cut Down on Germs with UV Purifiers

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Temperature control is vitally important to residents of Havertown, PA, who have to deal with freezing cold winters and stiflingly hot summers. That means your heating and air conditioning systems need to be top-notch. But they’re not the only things you need to focus on in order to make your home safe and comfortable.  Germs and bacteria in the air can spread illness through your home, as well as creating mold and other health hazards in hidden locations. We usually recommend a UV air purifier to take care of those germs the right way. Here’s a quick primer on how they work.

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What Is a Backflow Prevention Device?

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Indoor plumbing has existed since the Roman times, and like anything else, it has enjoyed numerous technological advancements in the long years since. But in some ways, the principles remain the same. Pipes are used to carry clean water into your Havertown and Springfield, PA home and to take polluted water (from our toilet, for instance) out of your home. The only trouble is that the system works both ways… which means in the right circumstances that polluted water from the sewer can flow back into your home. It’s a cause for concern, though the good news is that a backflow prevention device can stop it. What is a backflow prevention device? Read on for the answers.

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What Is a Chimney Liner?

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Many people have heard of chimney liners, but what they do and why it’s important to have them isn’t always so clear. Chimneys can easily become coated with creosote, soot and ash, especially if you use your fireplace regularly. There is no protection for the masonry inside your chimney and years of use create a level of wear and tear that can make your chimney vulnerable to problems, especially if you don’t have your chimney cleaned annually. While maintaining your chimney is important whether you have a liner or not, a stainless steel chimney liner for your Drexel home offers a level of protection and durability for your chimney that masonry alone can’t provide. The chimney experts at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., have been specializing in chimney liner installation for almost 40 years, so if your chimney needs a liner, call us today!

What Is a Liner?

A chimney liner is a metal or clay pipe that is installed into your chimney from the top down to the bottom. The liner helps expel combustion byproducts while also protecting the inside of your chimney.

Reasons to Install a Chimney Liner

There are three main reasons to install a new chimney liner:

  • You have no chimney liner
  • Your current liner is old and/or damaged
  • Your chimney has damage
  • You are installing a new stove into your fireplace and a liner is required for safety and proper function

There are three categories that delineate the types of chimney liners available: light, high performance light and heavy. Any chimney liner you install should indicate that it meets UL (underwriter laboratories) testing standards, and if you are installing a liner for solid fuel stove going into your fireplace, it is required that the liner be insulated.

The main materials used for lining a chimney are stainless steel, aluminum and clay. Here at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., we install both stainless steel and aluminum chimney liners.

Need a Chimney Liner?

Installing a new chimney liner is not a DIY kind of job for multiple reasons, including safety.

If you have concerns about your home’s chimney, call the experts at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today.

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Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at WM Henderson Inc. hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

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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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