Ways to Tell You Need Water Line Replacement in Lansdale, PA

Posted by Kevin Carney on August 20th, 2014

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Perhaps the most important part of your home’s plumbing is the water line. Your plumbing system is all about moving water from one place to another, but without the water line from the municipal supply you wouldn’t have any water in your plumbing at all.

Water lines are durable and should last for many decades. But sometimes they can wear down, corrode (especially for pipes made from older galvanized steel instead of copper), suffer damage, or have tree roots infiltrate and block them. Repairs can sometimes restore the water line, but there are situations when you should have the line replaced in whole or part.

Below are some of the signs to look for that it’s time to consider water line replacement in Lansdale, PA.

Call the dependable staff at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling when you need the work done; we can take care of it fast, and we’ll provide a free estimate for the replacement.

Signs you may need water line replacement

  • Drop in water pressure: If the water pressure coming from all taps and fixtures shows a decline that you cannot explain, it may be due to a water line that is blocked or leaking. Make sure that it is not a municipal problem (see if a neighbor is encountering similar difficulties) and then call for plumbers to investigate.
  • Discolored water: When a water line starts to corrode, it will change the color of the water from the taps to a rusty-brown, similar to what you might see when turning on a tap after a few weeks. This could also come from a municipal supply issue, but have a professional plumber look into it to see if the water line is at fault.
  • Water coming up through the yard or sidewalk: Should a section of the water line break, a large amount of water will start to rise to the surface. This will result in damp areas and pools on your yard that don’t come from rain or sprinklers. Sometimes the water will start rising up through the sidewalk. Don’t hesitate when you see this evidence for a severely damaged water line: call for plumbing help immediately.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers same-day service for your plumbing needs. When you require water line replacement in Lansdale, PA, make us your first call. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded, and we perform line replacement in accordance with the PA-adopted International Residential Code.

Some of Your Options for Better Indoor Air Quality in Quakertown, PA

Posted by Kevin Carney on August 18th, 2014

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The quality of the air you breathe is intrinsic to your health and comfort. While you may not have a lot of control over the air outside, you certainly have control over your indoor air quality in Quakertown, particularly when you install a whole-home air cleaning solution. There can be multiple reasons for needing to improve the quality of your indoor air, from allergies to asthma to generally better health, and Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has a variety of products that can assist you with your needs.

Options Available for Better Indoor Air

Choosing the right whole-home product for your indoor air quality depends in large part on your needs. It’s best to work with a professional to determine what the best choice will be, but here are a few products to give you a preliminary overview of what is available:

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical air filters are square-framed filters that fit into the space in which your standard filter fits. Mechanical filters are made to improve your indoor air quality, whereas the standard mechanical filter is made to reduce the dirt and dust in your system. Mechanical air filters can include HEPA filters, and come in a range of MERV ratings that can help you determine what particles a particular filter will help remove. Mechanical filters typically need to be replaced (some can be cleaned) every 3 months.

Electronic Air Cleaners

There are two types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electronic precipitators
  • Ion generators

Electronic precipitators create a space known as an ionization section; they do this by charging the air around them, creating a charged section of air. As particles move into this space, they become electronically charged. Electronic precipitators have oppositely-charged, metal plates that collect these charged particles.

Ion generators work in a similar way, but with two distinct differences: one, they do not create an ion section; instead, they send ions into the air, and particles that come into contact with the ions become charged. Two, they do not have collection plates; the charged particles collect on the surfaces of your home instead.

UV Germicidal Lights

UV germicidal lights are air purifiers that kill biological contaminants with over 99% efficiency. UV lights achieve this by killing the DNA of biological cells with the radiation from UV-C light rays. UV lights can be installed over coils and in vent work. One thing to note about UV germicidal lights is that they do not filter anything, so to achieve the best level of indoor quality, it’s advisable to pair UV lights with an air filter.

Wondering How to Improve Your Indoor Air? Call Us!

Better air quality helps keep you, your family and your air conditioner healthy.

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help you choose and install the right product to improve your indoor air quality in Quakertown. Call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

 

Which Air Conditioning Services Do I Need? A Question from Radnor

Posted by Kevin Carney on August 11th, 2014

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The modern air conditioner is a complex and intricate appliance. Servicing it requires a technician with special training and professional-grade tools. It isn’t a job you can do on your own, so when you need assistance with air conditioning in Radnor, PA, make sure you call experienced professionals for the job.

But what services should you have for your air conditioning system, aside from the work done to install it in the first place? We’ll go over the two services you should schedule for your air conditioning if you want it to work effectively and efficiently for many years.

To handle all necessary AC services, look to one company: Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We have helped homeowners in Bucks and Montgomery Counties stay cool since 1976.

The 2 key air conditioning services you need

  • Regular maintenance: Similar to car, an air conditioner needs regular “tune-ups” to ameliorate the effects of wear and tear and aging. You need to schedule a maintenance visit from a professional technician once a year. Without this regular work, an AC will start to lose efficiency and be prone to more repairs. A complete inspection and tune-up for an AC should take about an hour, and it will cover all the components of the system: coils, compressor, motors, electrical system, condensate drain, ventilation, thermostat, etc. The technician will handle adjustments and tightening connections, and clean off the coils and the condensate pan. If the technician catches any spots where the system requires repairs, he or she will help you arrange for the necessary repair work.
  • Targeted repairs: Although today’s air conditioners are built to high standards, no machine can ever be 100% repair-free. Eventually, you will need to call for repairs from a specialist. If you have regular maintenance done, the technicians will usually catch the problems in time before they start to cause serious malfunctions. But whenever you sense something amiss with the AC, such as strange noises from the cabinets or a drop in cooling power, you need to call for a repair technician to locate what is wrong and then fix it. Ignoring repair issues will lead to poor performance and likely full system breakdown.

If you combine these two services—maintenance once a year, repairs done promptly as needed—you should have an air conditioner that will exceed its estimated lifespan and deliver you many years of quality cooling.

Call us today to get started with maintenance, and keep our contact information handy for repairs. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers same-day service for repairs as well as maintenance plans for all major brands, makes, and models of air conditioning in Radnor, PA.

3 Types of Well Pumps to Consider

Posted by Kevin Carney on August 4th, 2014

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Not every home can have access to a municipal water system, and these residences will need to access water wells for their plumbing. If your home uses a well for fresh water, one of the essential components of your plumbing is the well pump, an electromechanical appliance to move the water out from the well and into your home. Well pumps need maintenance and occasional repairs like any other hardworking device, and if you need to have a replacement well pump, schedule the work as soon as possible so you don’t get trapped one day with no water in your home at all!

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling provides Doylestown, PA with well pump services, including installation and repairs.

If you need a new well pump, whether as a replacement or for a new home, call our specialists at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling right away and schedule an appointment.

Here are the 3 different types of well pumps to consider:

1. Submersible pumps

As the name implies, these pumps sit down within the well itself. A submersible well pump resembles a long metal cylinder. It draws water from the well through the bottom of the unit using a motor and up through a flow sleeve. The water goes through a grill into a discharge pipe, which pushes the water straight up and out of the pump to a pit-less adaptor, a connector that redirects the water to the horizontal water line that then enters your home. Submersible pumps work best for wells that are several hundred feet, and they can often work for more than 25 years without requiring repairs.

2. Jet pumps (single drop)

Unlike submersible pumps, jet pumps are housed above the well and out of the water, sometimes within your home or in a well house, which makes them easier to service than submersible pumps. Jet pumps use an impeller motor to create suction through a pipe that extends down into the well, and the water passes through a narrow opening, or jet. The constriction of the jet increases the speed of the water and sucks even more water from the well. The “single drop” jet pump, which contains the impeller and jet assembly above ground, is effective for shallow wells (down to 25 feet) since the water does not have a long distance to travel to reach the storage tank.

3. Jet pumps (double drop)

Jet pumps can also work for deeper wells, but the set-up is different. In a “double drop” jet pump, the jet assembly is located down within the well, while the impeller motor is still located above. With the jet down in the well, the pump can draw additional water to assist with the overcoming the distance.

What is the right type of pump for your home’s well? It depends on the depth and location of the well, and how efficiently each type of pump will work. Contact professionals, like those at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, to help you pick and install the right well pump in Doylestown, PA for your home’s steady fresh water supply.

Should I Repair or Replace My Air Conditioner?

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 28th, 2014

215.346.7160

Repair versus replace. It’s a conundrum many property owners face when dealing with an aging and/or malfunctioning air conditioner. There are many factors to consider when purchasing an air conditioner, whether it’s for the first time or a replacement system. As such, choosing whether or not to replace your air conditioning system in Lansdale requires time and consideration, and you can greatly benefit from the help of a trained installation professional like the ones at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Here are some questions to review that may help you decide what is best for you, your air conditioning system and your home:

Better Energy Efficiency

The lifespan of your air conditioner is approximately 10-12 years; past the 12-year point, you may start to see a serious decline in your energy efficiency, which can result in a serious incline of your energy bills. In addition to the age, any air conditioner older than 8 years was purchased when the minimum required SEER number was 10; this changed to 13 in 2006. Odds are, if you purchased more than 8 years ago, you may have an AC that is operating at a lower SEER number than is energy efficient. It is estimated that each SEER point you go up can save you up to 5% in annual energy costs – something to review carefully in regard to your current AC.

Too Many Repairs

As a mechanical and electrical appliance, it is expected that you will need to make repairs to your air conditioner at some point. But if the amount of needed repairs is becoming excessive and costly, it may be time to consider replacing. Why? Repairs can add up quickly, and you may find that what you’ve spent on repairs is equal to, or greater, than the cost of a new system.

Uneven Cooling

Hot and cold spots can be an indicator that your aging system simply cannot keep up with the cooling needs of your home. Pushing your air conditioner to cool more by lowering the thermostat only puts more stress on your system, and raising the thermostat can increase your discomfort. If there are no existing mechanical problems and your AC still can’t cool as it should, it may be time to look for a replacement.

Still Not Sure? Call a Professional

As we mentioned above, making the decision to install a new air conditioner is a big one, and professional help can go a long way toward ensuring you purchase an AC that truly fits your needs.

Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment to discuss your air conditioning system replacement in Lansdale.

Tank vs. Tankless: Which Water Heater Is Best for Me?

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 21st, 2014

215.346.7160

The standard water heater, a storage water heater, uses a large tank filled with water to which energy is applied to keep the water inside at a temperature ready for use. For many decades, this was the only type of water heater available for homes. But now technological advances have brought tankless water heaters into the residential world. Tankless heaters use a heat exchanger (electric- or gas-powered) placed along the plumbing to directly heat water without storing it; the heat exchangers come on to heat the water only when a tap calls for hot water. For this reason, tankless water heaters are also called demand water heaters.

But just because a technology is recent doesn’t mean that you should adopt it immediately. A tankless water heater may make an ideal appliance for your home; but a storage water heater might still be best.

To find out which of the two choices for water heater installation in Allentown, PA will serve your family best, call the professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

The advantages of a storage water heater

The standard storage water heater is a less expensive option, and if short-term budget is important for you, it is probably worth it to stay with a tank system. Although storage water heaters can run out of hot water if you place too much demand on them (such as during the mornings when many people may require showers), they have the advantage of providing hot water quickly once a tap comes on, and this means less water waste. They are also easier to repair.

The advantages of a tankless water heater

The biggest benefit of choosing to go with a tankless water heater is that you won’t run out of hot water. Since a tankless system only heats up water as you need it, there is no stored supply to deplete. For large families, this can be a significant advantage. And even though tankless systems cost more to install, they offer energy savings because they do not remain on constantly to keep a supply of water warm at all times. If your tankless system lasts long enough, it will pay for itself with energy-efficiency. Thankfully, tankless system can often last for many years longer than a storage system, since they do not suffer from the wear of holding large amounts of water.

Call our Allentown, PA water heater installation specialists at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to find out more about where you should fall in the tank vs. tankless debate. We will help you calculate water use and energy use to discover if you should upgrade to a tankless model, or if the tried-and-true storage water heater is the better choice.

What Does a Sump Pump Do?

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 21st, 2014

215.346.7160

For people who live in sections of the country that experience mostly dry weather and land with low-water tables, sump pumps are devices that they never need to learn about. However, here in Pennsylvania, sump pumps are often indispensable aids for protecting homes from flooding, excess moisture in the basment, and water damage. If your home has experienced any of these problems before, for whatever reason, you should call a professional plumbing service and arrange for installation of a sump pump.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has installed sump pumps for many years, and if you think you will benefit from a sump pump in Harleysville, PA, make us your first call. We offer both standard sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps.

The operation of a sump pump

What a sump pump does is remove excess water from a lower area of your house, usually the basement. The device is a water pump that uses an electrically-powered impelled motor to draw water from an excavated collection pit—the “sump” of the name—and then places it either into the wastewater system of the house’s plumbing or into a well. Sump pumps can handle flooding, but they are also useful if you live in an area with a high water table that causes moisture to seep down into the basement.

Sump pumps come in two basic models: pedestal and submersible. A pedestal pump sits above the sump and draws up water through pipes. A submersible pump is a watertight device that sits down within the sump itself and pulls water through intakes and then pumps it up out of the sump. Pedestal pumps are easier to service and less prone to repairs, while submersible pumps are more efficient and effective.

Because sump pumps run on electricity, they will shut off in the event of a power outage—which is a common occurrence during major storms that can send flooding down into a basement. To overcome this flaw, you can choose to have a battery backup sump pump installed, which will activate the battery should they lose power from the house. The standard battery backup sump pump can cycle 8,000 gallons of water before its batteries need recharging.

Sump pumps must have professional installation. The technicians who hook up sump pumps will determine the right type and size of pump to handle a home’s needs, and then excavate a sump that will gather the maximum amount of water to make the pump effective. The installers can also recommend whether a battery backup sump pump is something you should consider.

We can also take care if any repairs or maintenance your pump needs with our same day service.

For installation of a sump pump in Harleysville, PA, rely on the more than 30 years of experience at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

What Does the Thermocouple Do on My Water Heater?

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 14th, 2014

215.346.7160

Without a water heater in your home, the miracle of indoor plumbing (“the best thing since indoor plumbing” is still one of the measuring sticks of progress) will not mean much. You need hot water for many daily activities, so a working water heater is essential.

But you also need a safe working water heater, and that’s where the thermocouple comes in. If you, like many homeowners, use a gas-powered water heater, the thermocouple helps prevent the heater from turning into a danger. But sometimes the thermocouple itself may need repairs and replacement, and for that you’ll need professionals in water heater repair in Doylestown, PA, like those at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We offer same day service, satisfaction guaranteed, so make us your first call for restoring your malfunctioning water heater.

The job of the thermocouple

The thermocouple is a simple safety component made from two strips of different types of metal, joined at one end. The thermocouple is attached near the pilot light along the burner assembly, with the two ends of the metal placed in the flame of the pilot light, and the other end attached to a shut-off valve for the natural gas line that feeds gas to the burner. Should the pilot light fail, the thermocouple will automatically close off the gas line and prevent the combustion chamber from flooding with unburned gas, creating a major hazard of explosion from even the smallest spark.

The way a thermocouple does this task is through a principle known as the “Seebeck Effect.” The Seebeck Effect describes how two different types of metal in proximity to each other will create an electric current when exposed to heat. The higher the heat, the stronger the current. This makes a thermocouple a crude temperature sensor. As long as electric current runs through the thermocouple because of the heat of the pilot light, the current keeps the valve open. If the pilot fails, so does the current, and the valve automatically closes.

Not all water heaters use a thermocouple. Some of the more recent models use a mercury sensor to shut off the gas valve. An electric water heaters don’t use gas at all, and therefore doesn’t need any kind of emergency gas shut off.

Thermocouples can fail and require replacement. To make sure that your water heater remains safe all year long, have a yearly maintenance visit from a professional to detect any troubles such as failing thermocouples.

The experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you with maintenance and any water heater repair in Doylestown, PA that you need. Call us today. 

Upgrades to Think About When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 7th, 2014

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When your AC in Warrington starts to fail, it’s probably time to consider air conditioning replacement. While selecting a new system may seem like an overwhelming task, you may be able to upgrade your new system for increased efficiency and comfort. New AC installation can be a positive experience when you upgrade to a high-efficiency system or invest in zone control.

High-Efficiency Systems

If you’ve had your AC for a long time, you have probably seen your seasonal energy bills increase over time. Luckily, new AC systems are generally far more efficient than they once were. When you purchase your new AC system, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency system that will save you more every month.

Look for a system with a high SEER rating or with the ENERGY STAR label. The SEER rating, which is given to all air conditioners, is a measure of an air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. All air conditioners sold in the U.S. are required to have a SEER rating of at least 13. A system with a higher SEER may cost more initially but will probably save you more every month on your energy bills. Systems with the ENERGY STAR label must have a SEER of 14 or higher.

Zone Control

Another upgrade to consider when replacing your AC unit is zone control. Zone control can be added to any existing system, but replacing your air conditioner gives you the opportunity to consider whether it will be useful in your home. Zone control allows you to adjust the temperature in specific rooms or areas of your home with separate thermostats in each zone. An AC technician will install dampers in the ductwork of your home that open and close to control the temperature in each room. You should consider this upgrade if you have a large home and often experience varied temperatures throughout the house, or if your family members each have different temperature needs.

Replacing your air conditioner can be a positive experience when you upgrade to a system with higher efficiency or add zone control.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers these upgrades and more for your Warrington air conditioning replacement. Contact us today to set up an appointment. 

3 Factors to Consider with Bathroom Remodeling

Posted by Kevin Carney on July 7th, 2014

215.346.7160

The bathroom is a functional room in a house, not a social gathering place like a living room or a kitchen dining room. However, you still spend a good deal of time in this room, so enhancing a stale and lifeless old bathroom with a remodel will provide an enhancement to a part of your life. Remodeling a bathroom can add immensely to the ease of your daily routine, and with the right remodelers working with you, the new bathroom will help you save money as well with efficient appliances.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is your one-stop contractor for comprehensive bathroom remodeling in Montgomery County, PA. We will handle the remodeling from top to bottom so you will end up with the ideal new bathroom to fit your needs and your personal style.

Here are 3 factors to consider for your upcoming remodel:

1. Have complete repiping done during the remodeling work

Remodeling a bathroom can go below the surface of redesigning the look and adding new appliances. It can also involve the more mundane—yet crucial—step of replacing the plumbing. Since the plumbing will be exposed during the remodeling anyway, this is the perfect time to remove any aging pipes (especially important if you have a pre-1970 home) and put in copper or PEX and CPVC pipes instead. Another advantage of repiping is that it gives the remodelers more freedom to design the new bathroom since the pipes will now work with them instead of something they must work around.

2. Install “green” appliances to save water and money

During a remodel is the best time to find ways to save water in your bathroom, so you will not only reduce your water bills, but also benefit the planet. Ask your remodelers about options for low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets. There are many energy-efficient enhancements available that will also provide you with extra comfort (like heated towel racks to keep your towels dry and remove excess moisture).

3. Indulge in a few luxury items

It’s your bathroom and your comfort: make the most of it! You can install a whirlpool spa tub or steam shower unit, multi-bowl sinks and vanities, showers with multiple shower heads and body sprays, and more. When you have the right remodeling contractor working on the job, you’ll have an easy way to combine functionality with an attractive design and luxury features.

You will be amazed at the possibilities we can provide for you when we enhance your home’s bathroom.

There are a lot of options for your remodeling project, so call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and talk to our specialists in bathroom remodeling in Montgomery County, PA today.