Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Jamison’

Signs Your Water Line Needs Replacement

Friday, March 6th, 2015

All of the plumbing in your home is important to every day function, but there are two major plumbing lines that especially need to be fully functional at all times: your septic or sewer line and your main water line. Without a properly-working main water line, your home won’t get the clean, fresh water it needs, and without a functional septic or sewer line, your home’s wastewater will not be removed properly or safely. Today we’re going to talk about signs that can indicate your main water line in Jamison needs replacement and why it’s important to always hire trained professionals, like the ones at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, to perform all work on your main water line.

Signs of Water Line Problems

Here are some of the more common signs that your main water line needs replacing:

Soggy Spots in the Yard

The water line coming into your home is buried in the ground, so if a leak or leaks have developed, the water will seep into the dirt and head toward the surface. The seeping will eventually create soggy areas and/or puddles around your yard.

Low Water Pressure

When problems develop with your main water line, the pressure inside the line can decrease significantly, which will present itself in your home as low water pressure. Typically all the faucets will display low water pressure when there’s a problem with the main water line, so if you are experiencing this, it’s time to call for an expert.

Discolored Water

Corrosion is one of the causes for a failing water line. If this is the case with yours, you may see a discoloration of your water due rust getting into the water flow. The discoloration would appear from all faucets and would be a part of both your hot and cold water.

Call for a Trained Expert

Water main replacement is a large job that requires adherence to local and state codes; additionally, it takes training and expertise to properly replace a water main line. These are the reasons why it’s so important to call for an expert should you need to replace your water line.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling experts have been providing comprehensive plumbing services since 1976, so if you suspect something is wrong with your water line, call us today!

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Perkasie Heating Installation Guide: Comparing High-Efficiency and Mid-Efficiency Furnaces

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Whenever you are in the market for a new furnace for your Perkasie home, there are many models to choose from.  Many of the furnaces manufactured within the last few years are high-efficiency furnaces with a high AFUE rating (AFUE measures the amount of fuel the furnace converts into heat). When people refer to a mid-efficiency furnace, they are usually talking about older furnaces.

Single-stage furnaces were considered to be an efficient heating system when they were manufactured, but compared to newer furnaces, they use up a lot more energy than they need to. Single-speed furnaces are designed to run at full capacity until the temperature inside the home reaches the thermostat setting. After they shut off, the home not only loses heat, but the furnace will also take longer and burn more fuel when it cycles on again.

Newer, two-speed and multispeed models run consistently at lower speeds, and the ones with variable-speed blowers are even more efficient because they can operate at various levels. These models will also automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature, which saves energy by keeping the home at a consistent temperature so that there’s little heat loss.

When shopping for a new furnace, keep in mind that the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces only determine the efficiency of the actual furnace. If you are upgrading your old, mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace, you should make sure that your Perkasie home is properly insulated and sealed.  You could also consider upgrading any older doors and windows to more efficient double-paned ones, or you can also install storm doors and windows.

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What Is a Gravity Furnace?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

A long time ago, gravity furnaces were a very popular means of heating a home. Instead of pressurizing and blowing air through vents to each room of your Buckingham home, a gravity furnace used gravity to move warm air between rooms.

The operation of these furnaces is pretty simple. When turned on, the furnace, which is located in your basement, burns fuel like gas or oil and produces heat. That heat is vented through ductwork to the top level of your home using the natural properties of gravity (hot air rises). The hot air exits vents as it travels up in the home and releases heat into the room.

Why to Replace a Gravity Furnace

While gravity furnaces can work nearly forever and have very few mechanical problems, they are incredibly expensive to operate and take up a lot of space. Due to the sheer volume of ducts needed to distribute air throughout your home and the cost of heating enough air to ensure it rises properly, you’re dealing with a heating efficiency of 50% or lower.

In fact, about half the energy you consume to heat air in a gravity furnace gets pumped straight out through the chimney. It’s a complete waste of money and a replacement will start saving you money almost immediately.

Newer furnaces have efficiency ratings of up to 95% which makes them nearly twice as efficient as gravity furnaces. Additionally, they take up less space and with modern components, you can install newer devices like zone controls, electronic readout and display and more. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy steady, reliable heat in your home without having to invest a fortune in the fuel needed to operate it.

Comfort Matters

Another thing to consider is the comfort level of your home. Because gravity furnaces release warm air through the middle of the house and cold air comes back down along the walls, homes that have them are rarely comfortable except in the middle of the house. Forced air furnaces with blower fans are much more efficient at distributing heated air and matching the thermostat settings you select.

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5 Ways to Improve IAQ and Reduce Air Pollution in Your Horsham Home

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Your Horsham home may be haven for pollutants that can cause irritation to the upper respiratory system of anyone who comes inside. These allergens and pollutants are easy to remove however by taking some simple steps such as the five listed below:

  1. HEPA Filtration – Step one is to use HEPA filtration to remove as much of what is on the floor as possible through vacuuming. HEPA vacuum cleaners can remove years of cleaners, solvents, dander, mineral build ups and other toxins that tend to accumulate in spaces that normal vacuums cannot reach. It may be a bit of an investment, but a high powered vacuum cleaner can have a tremendously positive impact on your lifestyle and reduce pollutants.
  2. Stop Outside Stuff from Coming In – Some of the worst pollutants your home will face are from outside. So, make sure you have doormats at every door and that your family and friends remove their shoes before coming inside. You can have a second mat inside as a friendly reminder that cleaning the shoes is not an option but a strict necessity.
  3. Humidity Helps – Humidity levels between 30% and 50% reduce the presence of dust mites, molds, bacteria and many other indoor pollutants. Air conditioning in the summer is helpful to reduce humidity, though a dehumidifier is recommended for those days when the temperature doesn’t justify full blown air conditioning. Additionally, look for sources of excess humidity like leaky pipes, standing water, or clothes drying.
  4. Radon Testing – We’ve recently discovered that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States each year and can be present in almost any home. It is not a location specific pollutant, so it’s important to have your indoor air tested for Radon as soon as you move into a new home. Once testing is done, have any problems repaired immediately.
  5. Cut the Chemicals – There are a number of high quality household cleaners that don’t contain chemicals. Avoid ammonia, bleach and other chemical laden cleaners that can inflame allergies and pollute the water supply. Your home will be just as clean and you won’t feel uncomfortable afterwards.

Proper cleaning and careful selection of compounds and what goes into your air will help you avoid creating new air quality problems in the house. Done right, this process will make everyone in your home feel more comfortable.

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Jamison Plumber Tip: How to Replace a Bathroom Vanity

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Because it looks something like a dresser combined with a kitchen counter, you may think of your Jamison home’s bathroom vanity as being a piece of furniture, and therefore that it is simple to replace. Well, there’s good news and bad news there.

The bad news is that because of the sinks and pipes involved, your vanity is part of your plumbing system, so it’s a little trickier than getting a new sofa.

The good news is that it is still something you can do on your own – or at least with a friend – in a few hours or so. After you have measured the space and purchased the new vanity, here is how you can go about replacing the old one:

  1. Shut off the water supply. This is always the first step when undertaking any sort of plumbing work. Put a bucket beneath the sink to catch any water that drips from the supply lines after you disconnect them.
  2. Using a putty or utility knife, loosen the caulk that is sealing the countertop. Gently remove the countertop.
  3. Detach the vanity from the wall. Most vanity units are screwed in place to the wall, so just spot and remove all the screws.
  4. Mark the studs in preparation for positioning the new vanity. Hint: the old one was already drilled into the studs, if it was done properly.
  5. Put the new vanity in place, making sure it is flush to the wall.
  6. Attach the new vanity to the wall, taking care to screw into the wall studs that you marked in step #4.
  7. Put a bead of caulk along the top of the vanity base to hold the countertop in place. Carefully set in the new countertop.
  8. Reconnect the plumbing that you disconnected as part of step #1.
  9. Put down a thin bead of caulk along the edges of the countertop below the lip. Smooth the caulk in place with a damp rag.

Now your new vanity is all set. Allow the caulk to dry before getting moisture near it, and don’t forget to turn the water supply back on! And if you need any help, talk to your local plumber.

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What is a Gas Furnace Draft Hood?

Monday, December 5th, 2011

As any Maple Glen heating contractor knows, a draft hood is a necessary part of any gas burning appliance. For a gas furnace in particular it ensures steady air flow to the burners to avoid flares or the pilot light being put out by fluctuation in temperature and air flow.

What the Draft Hood Does

The draft will change in the chimney as exhaust vents towards it – especially when going from cold air to hot. A draft hood is placed above the upper most part of the gas furnace to draw air into the chimney and makes it possible to draw more or less air through the chimney as necessary to create a constant flow.

This makes it possible for the burner to enjoy consistent air flow without any wind gusts or sudden temperature spikes or drops. Hot air, if not put through a draft hood would create a strong air flow through the burners.

A draft hood cools the air as it is released by the burners from 500 degrees F to between 300 degrees F and 350 degrees F. The cooling needs to be carefully calibrated to avoid condensation build up in the chimney however – a problem that occurs when the temperature gets too low.

Maintaining Pressure

The draft hood is a part of a larger system designed to maintain air flow to the chimney. For every cubic foot of gas burned, the furnace needs to have 15 cubic feet of air for combustion and another 15 cubic feet of air for dilution. A draft hood and the rest of the ventilation system make it possible to put a furnace that has many thousands of BTUs in the basement of your home and still supply it with enough air to burn gas and dilute the exhaust before it enters the chimney.

For all of these reasons, if you see your pilot light flickering irregularly, notice a backflow of exhaust or a burning smell in your furnace room, it’s important to call a professional heating contractor who can inspect and repair the problem before it becomes any worse. Not only can gas burner exhaust contain high levels of carbon monoxide, it can be bad for the device and the chimney if it doesn’t vent properly.

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Common Water Line Problems: A Guide from Abington

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Everyone needs water in Abington. It keeps us clean, provides us with a clean drinking source and helps us cook food and wash clothes. So, when a problem occurs with the water line, it can be disruptive to every aspect of everyday life. Here are some common water line problems and solutions you can implement to solve them as fast as possible:

  • Burst Pipe – The biggest problem you can have is a burst pipe. This is a major problem and one that needs to be solved immediately. If your pipe bursts or starts to leak, turn off the main water supply immediately and call an emergency plumber. You’ll want to have it patched as soon as possible to return normal water service to your home.
  • Noisy Pipes – Noise in the pipes is a slightly less disastrous problem but it can lead to bigger problems down the road if not dealt with. Usually, it is due to air in the pipes which can create a loud banging sound. If your pipes are vibrating or banging, the easiest solution is to turn off the water supply and drain your pipes completely, then fill them back up to remove the air build up.
  • Water Pressure – Low water pressure can be due to a number of problems, from a small leak somewhere to an issue in the incoming water supply. If you notice water pressure dropping in your home, call a professional to inspect the problem and offer potential solutions.
  • Sediment in the Pipes – If suddenly you are seeing excess sediment, rust, or other debris in your water it is probably from an aging pipe. While this doesn’t necessarily signal that your pipe is about to burst, it can be a sign of potential problems in the future. Build up from hard water or erosion can both be major problems if not fixed right away.

Water line problems can range from small nuisances to major disasters that threaten your entire home, but they should all be treated with equal import. If something happens to your water line, don’t waste time trying to track down a solution. Turn off the water supply and call a professional right away.

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Is Your Furnace Making too Much Noise?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The old saying that “It is better to be seen than heard” certainly applies to the mechanical equipment in your Ambler home. If you hear a squeaky noise or loud clattering you automatically suspect that something is wrong. And if that noise is coming from your furnace, you better pay attention to it. A noise is an obvious sign of a problem – minor or major – and it could result in mechanical failure that could leave your home cold and uncomfortable – and affect your home’s indoor air quality.

Today’s newer variable-speed furnaces keep a constant airflow through the ventilation system utilizing a low speed fan that consumes small amounts of electricity. Constant airflow brings in fresh air and keeps the room air from becoming stale or stagnant. Because of this constant operation, it is important to ensure the furnace is running at peak efficiency, which also means that it is running quietly.

Here are some common noises, possible reasons, and suggested repairs. As always, if you are in doubt about how to repair your furnace, call a local qualified heating contractor and schedule a service call.

  • Squealing noise – could be a worn out or slipping blower belt. Check for proper tension of the belt or replace the belt if it is worn out or cracked.
  • Squealing noise – could be worn out motor shaft bearings. Lubricate the blower motor at the proper points.
  • Rumbling noise – often caused by a poorly adjusted pilot light when the burners are turned off. Adjust the pilot as necessary.
  • Rumbling noise – often caused by dirty gas burners when the burners are switched on. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Buzzing noise – often caused when a blower motor mounting come loose. Tighten the mounting screws or use shims to fill gaps.
  • Hissing noise – indicates a possible air leak. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Ticking noise – possibly a leaky gas valve. This problem requires service from a qualified heating technician.
  • Rattling noise – could be a dirty fan blade. Wipe the fan blade or clean with degreaser.
  • Rattling, grinding, or whining – could be resistance to airflow that causes the motor to work harder. Check the vents in each room for dirt, debris, or obstructions and clear them.
  • Vibrating noise – may not be the furnace but loose or cracked seams in the ventilation system. Check the ductwork seams and hangers to ensure everything is tight. You may need duct tape or bracket hardware.

The best way to keep your furnace and ventilation system from making noises is to practice preventative maintenance. Have your furnace checked annually by a qualified heating contractor – and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Warning Signs of a Broken Furnace

Monday, October 10th, 2011

How do you know when your furnace is “on the fritz?” There are warning signs of a broken furnace and some are recognizable – but not all. A broken furnace not only deprives your Blue Bell home of heat and comfort, it also can be deadly, too.

Let’s look at some of the unrecognizable warning signs.

Each year, hundreds of people die and many more are injured from the most common household poison: carbon monoxide. This colorless and odorless poisonous gas comes from several sources and the furnace is the most common source of all; more precisely a broken or malfunctioning furnace. Carbon monoxide is a result of incomplete combustion of a fossil fuel, which is when a fuel does not burn correctly or completely. In a furnace, carbon monoxide gas comes from a poorly operating burner or a cracked heat exchanger. A properly tuned and maintained furnace greatly reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless, it can go undetected. It can make people sleepy and create flu-like symptoms. Sometimes a person may fall asleep and never wake up. But there are warning signs. Drowsiness, vomiting, or flu-like symptoms are a warning sign. Regularly scheduled maintenance of your furnace by a qualified heating and cooling professional and installation of carbon monoxide detectors can reduce the risk of falling ill to carbon monoxide gas.

Another “undetectable” warning sign is a higher energy bill. Sometimes you can’t detect a problem right away because, like carbon monoxide, there may be no obvious signs. Higher utility bills can be a sure sign of a furnace that is working too hard and running more than usual. This may be a result of clogged or dirty air vents, or dirty filters. If your monthly bills are higher than those of the previous year, it may not just be because gas prices are higher.

There are other warning signs of a broken furnace, too. The most obvious is the failure of your furnace to bring your home up to the desired thermostat settings or to maintain an even temperature. Cold or uncomfortable houses are sure signs of a broken furnace. The furnace may cycle on or off, causing an uneven or inconsistent flow of heated air. This can be because of a poor blower or a clogged furnace filter. If you don’t feel any moving heated air or detect any unusual odors or smells coming from your heating vents, that’s a sure sign of a broken or malfunctioning furnace.

A broken or cracked gas line can emit odors and can cause a furnace to malfunction, too.

Don’t take a chance of losing heat and comfort this winter. At the first possible warning sign, call your local heating and professional for a heating system tune-up.

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Water and Energy Saving Tips From Solebury

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

The cost of the heat, air conditioning and water supply to your Solebury home continues to rise – it’s no wonder you want to cut your bills so much. But, how can you do that without cutting into the creature comforts and conveniences you’ve gotten used to over the course of the last few decades? Here are a few simple energy and water saving tips to make your life easier.

  • Patching Leaks – Two of the biggest wasters of water are dripping faucets and leaky pipes. The amount of water wasted by a single drip every second could provide for multiple baths per year – it adds up fast. Not only are leaky faucets and pipes easy to fix; they tend to develop into bigger problems as time passes.
  • Drains and Flushing – If you put a piece of toilet paper in the toilet used to clean an eye or wipe the counter, don’t flush. It’s a waste of water. If you notice some extra toothpaste in the sink, don’t rinse yet. You can always use the water from brushing your teeth or washing your face to clean it out. Multi-task and minimize how much water goes down the drain to save water.
  • Fully Loaded – A partially filled washing machine or dish washer is a huge waster of water. Fill it up and wait to run the device until it’s at the brim – the same amount of water is used no matter how much is in the device.
  • Compost vs. Disposal – A garbage disposal wastes a tremendous amount of water (if you want it to run properly). So, instead of churning the disposal up, create a compost pile and save a great deal of water/energy. If you have a septic tank, a garbage disposal is especially bad for your home as it can fill the tank up quickly with solids.
  • Lower Water Flow – Don’t crank your faucets up to the max just to get a glass of water or to check for hot water. It’s a waste of energy and it’s often unnecessary, especially when waiting for water to hit the right temperature.

If you’re interested in getting the most out of your home’s water supply, there are hundreds of little ways to save water that will add up over time. These are just some of the easiest ways to get started. If you need more tips, contact your plumber.

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