Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for the ‘Home Maintenance’ Category

Kevin J. Carney September 30, 1949-February 1, 2019

Friday, February 8th, 2019

It is with heavy hearts that the Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling family shares the news of the passing of Kevin J. Carney, the founder of our company. Although he retired several years ago, he remained in close touch with the company that he founded in 1976 until his final days.
To the man who started everything that eventually made Carney what it is today, We Thank You.

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I Haven’t Gotten a New Heater in a Long Time—What Do I Need to Know?

Monday, January 7th, 2019

furnace-oldYou’ve finally reached that point—after years of service, your home’s heating system needs to be retired and replaced. Or maybe you have a new home that doesn’t yet have a heating system. Either way, you’re in a position you haven’t been in for many years: purchasing a central heating system. Although not as extreme as the first time buying a house, some of the same stresses come with it: “I haven’t had to get one of these in a long time—what do I need to know?”

The good news is you can find great help through this whole process if you work with a licensed HVAC contractor in Blue Bell, PA. We have a few things for you to think about as you start on this journey.

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Why It’s a Good Idea to Avoid Store-Bought Drain Cleaners

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Drain-CleaningWhen one of your drains develops a clog, what’s the first thing you do? Do you reach under your sink for a bottle of store-bought drain cleaner? If so, stop doing that! Store-bought drain cleaners are actually terrible for the health of your drain and sewer system. They’ll resolve the clog, but at a very high cost for your pipes.

Instead, you should always trust a professional to clean out your drains for you when you need it. Our plumbers are the ones for the job. Read on to find out more about why professional drain cleaning services are always preferable to using your own drain cleaners.

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Winter Storm Tips: Snow and your HVAC System

Monday, March 13th, 2017

During periods of heavy snowfall, snow accumulation can block the fresh air intake and/or exhaust systems for some gas furnaces and water heaters, including tankless water heaters.  The pictures below show common configurations of PVC exhaust piping for such equipment.  It is imperative that these pipes do not become blocked by snow.

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Problems That can Lead to Furnace Replacement

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Furnaces can last a fair few years, provided you take proper care of them. That means scheduling preventive maintenance at least once a year, but it also means calling for repairs as soon as you suspect that something is wrong with the system. Even seemingly minor issues can actually cause serious damage in some cases, so it’s never a good idea to ignore a problem once it presents itself. Let’s take a look at some of the more dire furnace issues, and how to identify them.

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What You Need to Know About Your Water Heater Anode Rod

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Water heaters deal with water more or less constantly, from the time they are installed to the time they are replaced. One issue that any system dealing with water will eventually encounter is rust. If water is in contact with steel, the steel will eventually oxidize. Why is it that water heater tanks seem so resistant to rust, then? The answer lies in a small part called the anode rod. Let’s take a look at what the anode rod does for your water heater system.

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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 Carney Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

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Choosing a Sink with Bathroom Remodeling

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

The bathroom sink is the place that your day truly begins. It’s where you brush your teeth, wash your face, style your hair, and become prepared for the day ahead of you. That’s why selecting a new bathroom sink is one of the most important parts of bathroom remodeling, and why you should work with a contractor to help make your design plan come to life. A skilled contractor will modify the plumbing to help you realize your vision, but first you’ll have to choose from a number of different options for new sink designs.

The number of options you have when choosing a new sink is simply astounding. First, you may want to choose the design of the fixture itself. Do you want a standalone pedestal sink? Or would you prefer a vanity with lots of cabinet space? The design of the sink sets the tone for the style and functionality of the entire room. You should also have a plumber help you to decide how high up you want your new sink installed. Do you want it fairly low to make it more accessible to some members of your household? Or would you rather raise the sink a bit so that you can have more storage space underneath? Pipes may need to be lengthened, shortened, or moved around to suit your needs.

You’ll also want to choose the style of the bowl. You may decide on a vessel sink, a stylish option in which the bowl sits atop the countertop. Or you can choose a traditional bowl style with a drop-in sink design. In any case, you’ll want to choose a material that’s durable and decorative. Typically, you can choose between materials like laminate, tile, marble, and granite.

Finally, the faucet should be functional, and you will probably try to make sure it complements the design of the rest of the room. You may choose from center-set faucets with one or two handles, vessel faucets, and wall-mounted faucets. You’ll have to choose a finish such as stainless steel, brushed nickel, copper, or chrome. You can even decide to install a joystick design handle or a touchless sensor.

At Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, we’ll help you with every step of the remodeling process. Call us today to discuss your new bathroom remodeling in Eagleville.

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Are Foul Odors from a Drain a Sign that I Need Sewer Repair?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The sewer line is the pipe that runs from your drains underneath your property to carry wastewater from your home into the municipal sewer. When there’s a problem with the sewer line that helps to evacuate sewage into the sewer, you’re responsible for handling any repairs up until your sewer line meets the sewer main. This means that, unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with finding a solution for the foul odors that sometimes go along with sewer repair.

A sewer line in need of repair will often, sadly, bring unpleasant smells along with it. But is this always the case? And are foul odors always a sign of a sewage line issue? We’ll address these questions on today’s guide to drainage problems and sewer repair in Lower Gwynedd.

Sometimes, odors are a sign that your sewer line has sprung a leak. However, if the leak is underneath your property, it’s unlikely that you’ll smell it in the drains. Rather, sewage will leak outside, possibly causing your yard to smell instead. If the leak occurs in a drain line behind the walls, an odor is likely to penetrate your home. If there is a major clog in your sewer line, sewage may backup into the drains, a probable source of unpleasant drain odors. Smells may also be contributed to sewer lines that are improperly vented, which means your plumber will have to install new vents.

Here’s something to ask yourself when you notice a smell from only one of the drains: when was the last time you used it? If it’s been a while since you’ve turned on the faucet or fixture that empties into that drain, there may be a very simple solution. Try simply running the water. The P-trap underneath a drain, the curved section of pipe that fills with water to prevent you from smelling the odors emitting deep from the sewer pipes, can dry out if left unused for a long time. Simply running the water can restore the amount of water necessary to block out the smell.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to learn whether drain cleaning, leak detection, or sewer repair in Lower Gwynedd can keep away foul odors and any additional plumbing system unpleasantness.

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How Do Electronic Air Cleaners Work?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The air that you breathe in your home every day may not be as clean as you think it is. Sure, you vacuum and dust whenever you can, but this sometimes just kicks up dust and sends it back into the air. But what about your home air conditioning and heating system’s filter? Most ducted HVAC units contain a filter that can eliminate particles from the air as it passes into your unit. But this filter is only effective at straining out larger particles. A typical home air filter can only remove particles about 5 micrometers in length, while more efficient home air filters with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating may remove particles of 1 micrometer.

This means that your filter may miss hazardous particles in the air that can aggravate allergies or other respiratory symptoms, such as mold spores, smoke residue, and bacteria like legionella. An electronic air cleaner, when installed by a professional in conjunction with your HVAC system, can help to eliminate over 99% of the contaminants that would otherwise pass by. So how do these highly effective systems work?

Electronic air cleaners depend on an ionization process to give a charge to particles in the air. There are two basic types of electronic air cleaners to help improve indoor air quality in Quakertown: electrostatic precipitators and ion generators. It can be difficult to tell whether these systems are operating properly due to their quiet operation, so you’ll want to have a professional install and test it first.

Electrostatic precipitators charge particles as the air is sucked into the unit. Particles are given an electrical charge from ions moving back and forth in the system, and these particles then accumulate on two flat plates in the unit which have the opposite charge. You usually have to clean these plates every month to three months, depending on usage.

Ion generators are a little different, instead sending out ions to charge particles all around a room. Particles receive a charge so that they can cling to surfaces around the room such as a curtain or the walls. This way you won’t have to worry about breathing in contaminants, and they’ll likely be taken care of during your next home cleaning spree.

The professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you make sure you’ve gotten the right type of unit to protect your indoor air quality in Quakertown.

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