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

What You Need to Know About Maintaining Drain Health

Monday, May 15th, 2017

waterThe plumbing system in the average home gets a pretty raw deal, in terms of how much care it gets. Plumbing systems are responsible for all kinds of vital functions, including providing people with fresh drinking water on-demand. Yet, they are all-too-often neglected when it comes to professional services. The drain and sewer portion of a home plumbing system has it even worse, mainly because most of us tend to treat that area with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. If you want to keep your drains in good health, though, you should have a look at our tips below.

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Be Sure to Schedule Annual Video Pipe Inspection

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to find a plumbing problem when you can’t see the majority of the system? Prior to the invention of modern techniques, the only way to actually isolate and solve an issue in the plumbing or sewer system was to exhume the pipes. That meant tearing up floors and walls in the general area the problem was thought to be. Fortunately, now we can find pipe issues without demolishing parts of your house. Read on to find out why you should schedule annual video pipe inspection.

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What Is a Sump Pump?

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

In your home, you may have never experienced a single problem with flooding before. But when a sudden flood does catch you off-guard, you may wish you had taken preventive action sooner. A flood can force you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs, mold remediation, seeking alternative shelter, and replacing lost items. But installing a sump pump keeps you from worrying about the unexpected costs of a flood, whether you’re no stranger to flooding or you’re just trying to protect yourself from future trouble.

For sump pumps or any other installations for your plumbing in Oreland, call on the professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

Two types of sump pumps

A sump pump is a component that is typically installed in a basement or the lowest point in your home. These are recommended for homes in areas with low water tables, but they’re useful additions to nearly any home. If your basement begins to fill up with water, your sump pump should turn on and begin draining this water to the outdoors. And flooding may occur due to a storm or even if a neighbor’s pipe were to burst.

There are basically three major parts to a sump pump. There’s the pump that uses an impeller to pull in water. There’s the drainage system that allows it to drain to the outside. And then there’s the “sump” portion, the pit in which the pump is set. Sump pump installation should always involve a professional plumber to properly install the system, size it for your home, and to choose from the two types of sump pumps: submersible and pedestal.

The difference between the two is in how the pump is set up. A submersible unit is set into the pump in a waterproof encasing. A pedestal pump perches above the sump instead. Your technician will select the sump pump based on the size and shape of the sump, but there are a couple of other considerations that may come into play as well. For example, while a submersible pump is usually safer for children and pets, a pedestal pump won’t need as many repairs.

Calling the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is a great way to ensure your new sump pump works properly, especially when you include sump pump maintenance as part of yearly maintenance for your plumbing in Oreland. Contact our team today!

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How Video Pipe Inspection Helps with Drain Cleaning

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

For taking care of the simple sink clogs that hassle you during a typical day, the old-fashioned plunger will often do the job. But the technology used for modern professional drain cleaning has moved into the realms of miniaturization and fiber-optics. When you need serious cleansing for major clogs or other troubles with your drains, call on technicians with the latest in video pipe inspection equipment to handle the job.

For work on your plumbing in Radnor, PA that will keep your water flowing, contact Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today. We offer same-day service and satisfaction guaranteed.

Video pipe inspection

For drain cleaning, plumbers usually start with motorized drain augers (a.k.a. drain snakes) and hydro-jetting equipment. Video pipe inspection moves to the next level, and allows plumbers to investigate trickier issues with drain cleaning and discover what sort of damages and clogs they are dealing with, and where exactly they are located. Video pipe inspection removes the guesswork and much of the trial-and-error that were once necessary parts of drain cleaning.

Video pipe inspection equipment consists of a miniaturized camera and a powerful LED light mounted on the end of a long, flexible fiber optic cable. The inspector sends the cable down into a drain and guides it deep into the plumbing. The camera feeds its signal back to a video monitor, where the plumber can observe conditions within the pipe interior.

The knowledge a plumber gleans from the video camera feed will help him or her determine the best approach to cleaning the drain or fixing the damage. This information is especially helpful if it locates places where the plumber will need to access the pipe itself to repair or replace it; with the location pinpointed, the plumber will not need to tear out building material or cabinets to try to find the issue, but can apply a surgical repair.

Video pipe inspection will also inform a plumber about the type of build-up developing inside pipes. This will not only assist with cleaning the pipes, it will help you avoid clogs in the future: you’ll know exactly what you shouldn’t be putting down your drains.

Using video inspection equipment requires training: make sure you hire a plumber with the experience and technical knowledge necessary. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has helped homeowners for over 30 years keep their plumbing in Radnor, PA clean. Trust our skilled technicians to use all the resources available to them, from drain snakes to video inspection equipment, to solve your drain troubles.

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Ways to Prevent Drain Problems

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Slow drains and clogged drains are something that most homeowners accept as inevitable, unavoidable hassles. They keep a plunger on hand and maybe a bottle of acidic drain cleaner to fix the occasional plugged-up kitchen sink or shower drain, groan at the inconvenience, and then simply go on with their normal routine. Sometimes, they can’t fix the clog and have to call a plumber to take care of it.

It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Although there’s no way to completely avoid drain troubles, you can reduce them to rare occurrences with a few precautions. For drain cleaning in Blue Bell, PA to help you eliminate most clogs, call up Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.

Methods that will reduce your drain troubles

  • Don’t pour F.O.G. down the drains: “F.O.G.” stands for “fat, oil, and grease,” three common products of cooking that people often pour down kitchen drains. Although liquid when hot, all three will transform in waxy solids when they cool down, leaving a coating inside drainpipes. This build-up will eventually cause clogging and slow drains. Deposit all F.O.G. into a separate container and remove it to the trash.
  • Don’t pour liquid cleaners down the drains: It sounds like a solution to the problem, but it actually creates more problems. Commercial liquid cleaners are acidic and will damage the interior lining of pipes and can cause drain problems worse than clogs. If you can’t clear a clogged drain with a plunger, call a plumber.
  • Use drain covers on bathroom drains: One of the common troubles that bathroom sinks and showers face is clogging from hair and soap scum. You can reduce this with drain covers that prevent unwanted debris from going down the drain.
  • Have regular professional drain cleaning: Drain cleaning services done either every one or two years, or as necessary, will keep your drains in excellent condition and free from the debris that can build up along the drainpipe walls. Professional plumbers use video inspection equipment to target cleaning and ecologically safe (and non-acidic) additives to help keep the pipes clean in the future. Special hydro-jetting safely washes out the insides of drain pipes with blasts of high pressure water.

You’ll need experts in drain cleaning in Blue Bell, PA to handle the drain cleaning because of the precision equipment required.  Call up Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and talk to our plumbers about scheduling a drain cleaning visit to help you make clogs a “Once in a Blue Moon” hassle.

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What an Acid Neutralizer Water Treatment System Does

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The water our homes receive from the municipal supply can sometimes bring with it some problems. Although you can combat some of these issues with filters on faucets, the best way to deal with low quality water is to have professionals install a whole-house water treatment system that takes care of all the water that flows into your home.

There is no single type of water treatment system, because there are numerous types of problems that can afflict your water. With the help of professional plumbers who specialize in water treatment, you can find out what needs to address in your water supply. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has technicians who can help you determine the water treatment system in New Hope, PA that will give you the purest water possible.

One water treatment system we often install is the acid neutralizer.

The basics of an acid neutralizer water treatment system

High levels of acid entering your plumbing can turn into a serious problem. Although usually not dangerous to drink, high acid content water can cause corrosion in copper plumbing, a metal resistant to normal forms of corrosion, and pinhole leaks. Acidity will also cause ugly green and blue stains to form on your fixtures.

High levels of acid in your water can be detected with a pH test (ask your plumber to do this). A low pH number indicates too much acidity. To counteract this, a whole-house acid neutralizer can be installed. There are a number of different types of neutralizers. The most common is the calcite acid neutralizer tank. A calcite system injects reactive magnesium oxide into the water supply which dissolves into the water and neutralizes the acid. The calcite in the tank must be replaced routinely, although this is a simple task.

Using a calcite acid neutralizer may cause an increase in the hardness of your water (increased levels of calcium and magnesium), and some homeowners will also opt to have a water softener, which raises the sodium level of the water, installed to help balance the water.

Have professional water testing done

If you aren’t sure if you need an acid neutralizer, bring in plumbers with experience with water testing. Using samples of water taken from around the house, these water tests will tell you what sort of water treatment system will help you have the best water, whether it’s a water softener, an acid neutralizer, or some other system like a chemical feed pump.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers many different types of water treatment systems for New Hope, PA homes. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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Signs of a Sewer Line Break

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The wastewater in your home moves through various pipes to a central sewer line, which runs underneath your home and out to the center of the street to connect to the municipal sewer system. And for the most part, that’s all you really need to know about your sewer line—until a break occurs in it and threatens your home with sewer odors, numerous drain clogs, basement flooding, and foundation damage.

Sewer line breaks can occur because of corrosion (a problem for older homes with galvanized steel plumbing), shifting of the ground due to construction or natural disasters, and the pressure from growing tree roots. Whatever the cause, sewer line breaks require professionals to excavate the sewer trenches and replace the damages lines as soon as possible. Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can deliver fast and dependable sewer repair in Lansdale, PA when you have problems with a broken sewer line.

Here are warning signs of sewer line break:

  • Sewage odors from drains: One of the earliest signs you’ll encounter if the sewer line breaks are foul smells coming from your drains. If the smells are accompanied by gurgling in your drains, it means that sewage gases are being forced up through the water plugs in the p-trap (the curved pipe below a sink) of your drainpipes.
  • Persistent clogs: Along with the sewer odor, you will start finding clogs in drains around the house, none of which react to a plunger or other kinds of clog removal.
  • Foul-smelling lawn: When the sewer line breaks, the sewage will seep into the ground and rise up into your lawn. If you lawn has a similar sewage smell to the drains, it almost definitely points toward a damaged sewer line.
  • Water stains in the basement: If you have a basement, water damage from sewage backflow will start to appear here first. If you notice water stains around drains in the basement, call for professional plumbers.
  • Rats and other pests: The sewer odors will begin to attract pests such as rats. If you begin to notice vermin in your basement or in your yard, look for other signs that you may have a broken sewer line.

You’ll need the best professional help you can find

Sewer line replacement requires extensive digging; it is something you should never delegate to amateurs. The potential for even greater damage to the sewer line is high unless you have professionals handle the task.

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has years of experience with sewer repair in Lansdale, PA. Our plumbers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you with sewer line emergencies.

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How Plumbers Use Snakes for Drain Cleaning

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The drain snake, also called a drain auger, is one of a plumber’s best friends. These devices, based on simple principles, are powerful at clearing out some of the toughest clogs that can afflict drains. The only tool more effective at eliminating heavy drainpipe clogs is the hydro-jetter, a more complex machine that blasts out high pressure water to clear away clogs.

If you cannot clear a drain clog on your own with a plunger, then you need to call up a professional plumber to address the problem with a drain snake. Don’t reach for liquid cleaners: they are acidic and can cause damage to the interior lining of your pipes. Let the experienced plumbers at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling take care of your drain cleaning in Doylestown, PA.

How the Drain Snake Works

Drain snakes come in two basic types: manual and powered. The only difference between the two is the power source; otherwise they use the same mechanics to remove clogs.

The drain snake is made up of a long coil of metal wires that attaches to a crank on one end. The wires are flexible and can easily “snake” down the curved pipes of drains. A plumber runs the end of the drain snake down into the clogged drainpipe until it contacts the plug. The plumber then turns the crank (either by hand or with the motor), and the coil of wires screws into the clog. The action is similar to a corkscrew going into the cork of a wine bottle. Once the coil is imbedded into the clog, the plumber can either pull it back up through the drain to remove it, or move the wires around to break up the clog so it will wash down the drain.

Some drain snakes have multiple attachments for different kind of clogs. A plumber can determine which type will work best, as well as deciding if the job requires a motorized auger rather than a manual auger.

Call For Professional Drain Cleaning Service

Manual drain snakes are available in some hardware stores as well as online. (Motorized models are also available, but are usually too expensive for consumer use.) However, we don’t advise that you attempt to use a drain snake without training because you can potentially damage the pipe interior. Let a skilled plumber do the job, and it will be over fast with no problems.

A drain snake is only part of effective drain cleaning in Doylestown, PA. For comprehensive cleaning of all the build-up in your drains, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We offer complete drain cleaning services that will restore your plumbing to like-new condition.

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Look for These Warnings You Need Water Heater Repair

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Running hot water isn’t something people are willing to negotiate. Like indoor plumbing and electricity, it’s an essential for daily life, keeping you clean and helping with cooking and washing. If your water heater begins to show signs that it requires professional attention, you need to act on the knowledge fast and call a technician for repairs. We’ll list some of the warnings you may receive that your water heater is failing.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is “The Plumber That Other Plumbers Recommend.” We’ve served Bucks and Montgomery Counties with excellent plumbing services since 1976. Give us a call when you notice any of these signs that indicate it’s time for water heater repair in New Hope, PA.

  • A drop in hot water levels: If you notice that you’re receiving less hot water during the day than you are accustomed to (such as the hot water stopping early during your morning shower), don’t shrug it off as a temporary issue that will fix itself. This is often a sign of a disruption in the power source for the heater, whether electric or gas, and a professional will need to look into the cause and find a way to fix it.
  • A heating bill increase: If your water heater is working ineffectively because of a malfunction, it will draw a larger amount of power to provide you with the same level of hot water. A sudden increase in your power bills that you can’t account for because of a problem with your HVAC system may stem from a broken heater.
  • Rust-colored water from the taps: Rusty water is a common sight if you turn on a faucet after it hasn’t been used for a few weeks. But if you spot this same reddish-brown coloration in your hot water during normal use, then rust has started to infiltrate the hot water tank. This needs to be investigated right away before the corrosion damages the tank enough that it needs replacement.
  • Leaks: If you notice water pools around the water heater’s tank, you definitely have a problem. Any leaking from a water heater is a serious concern that needs attention right away.

You can avoid a “cold water surprise” during a morning shower if you have repairs on your water heater done as soon as possible. With Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, we always have actual people answering our phones 24-hours a day to send technicians when you need them. There’s no reason to delay your water heater repair in New Hope, PA!

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What Causes Bad Smells from Your Drains

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Having bad odors enter your home is unpleasant and potentially embarrassing. If you detect a sewer-like odor emanating from your drains, it’s something you will want eliminated as soon as possible. Sometimes the fix is simple. At other times, it will require calling for plumbers to resolve the trouble.

Here are some reasons for those bad drain odors. For any assistance you need with plumbing in Wayne, PA, contact Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We offer same-day service, satisfaction guaranteed.

Reasons for bad-smelling drains

  • Dry p-trap: This is the simplest problem, and easy to fix. If you only notice a sewage smell coming from one of your drains, the trouble might be a dry p-trap. The p-trap is the curved section of the drainpipe underneath the sink. It is responsible for capturing water to form a plug against sewer gases coming back up the pipe. If the bad-smelling sink is one that hasn’t been used in a while (for example, in an unused guest bedroom), this is probably the reason for the smell. The solution is to pour water down the sink to restore the plug against the sewer gas. Try to regularly run water down sinks that don’t see much use.
  • Sewer line issues: If the odors are coming up from sinks all around the house, the trouble might be a break or block in the sewer line that carries wastewater out to the municipal sewer system. The odors will probably be accompanied by clogs and gurgling sounds from the drains. This is a major repair issue that needs professionals to take care of right away, since it can lead to sewage flooding into your home’s basement or foundations.
  • Venting problems: Along with the p-trap, your plumbing probably has another method of preventing sewer gas from entering your house: venting pipes. These pipes remove back-flowing sewer gases and run them up to the roof of the house. They can become clogged from debris, animal nests, and snow, and this will force the sewer gases back down and up through your drains. Don’t try to clear the roof yourself; call for assistance.

A dry p-trap is an easy fix, but sewer line breaks and blocked vents are work for professionals. If you can’t stop the problems with your drains using simple methods, you will need to call for expert plumbing in Wayne, PA. Turn to Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, “The Plumber that Other Plumbers Recommend.” We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured so you know you are getting quality service.

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