Archive for the ‘plumbing’ Category

Cool Your Pets Off Without AC

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Maybe you don’t have central air conditioning or your AC is temporarily out, or maybe you keep your pets outdoors. What are some ways to keep your fur babies cool without central air? After all, that fur makes them feel pretty toasty!

For outside pets, make sure they have access to plenty of shade. Keep in mind that the sun moves throughout the day, so look for areas that have the most shade during all hours of the day. Give them plenty of fresh water and place water containers where your pet can’t tip them over.

Spill proof bowls are a good idea. Some bowls are even made to connect directly to a garden hose, and a pressure valve controls the amount of water in the bowl, refilling when it is low! Lastly, a “kiddie pool” kept in the shade and filled with just enough water to wet your pet’s belly is a fun idea to cool him or her off.

Indoors, use fans. Pedestal fans are great because they’re up away from the pets, and they can oscillate to distribute air around an entire room. However some pets do enjoy sitting in front of a heavy-duty floor fan that won’t tip over!

Window fans can be set so they are blowing out in order to help circulate air throughout a house. Close all of the windows except for one. Lastly, keep curtains and window shades closed during the middle of the day to keep the sun out.

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 Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Prevent a Failing Water Heater

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It is a crucial part of your home and often completely forgotten about until a major issue comes up—the water heater. The main cause of water heater failure is age. The seam on the back of most water heaters rusts and deterioration happened generally between about 9 and 11 years.

What does this lead to? Typically, flooding. However it isn’t always a sudden burst—sometimes it is a slow leak that might be easy to miss if you’re out of town, not home much, or simply don’t go in the area where you water heater is very often (such as a basement.) It is a good rule of thumb to get a new water heater every 9 years or so.

While repairs and installations are best left to a professional, there are some steps you can take to help out this important piece in your house:

Get your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping inspected once a year. Signs of broken valves as well as wet or loose joints and rust will be some signs that more severe damage is likely to come.

Getting your water heater flushed to remove the sediment once a year will help as well. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before flushing the tank since the heated water may be 140 degrees or more!

If you live in an area with hard water, installing a water softener can also extend the life of your water heater.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Get A Bathroom Upgrade With New Toilet Seats

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

It might be the last piece in your home that you even think about, let alone care to upgrade… but the latest and greatest toilet seats can make your bathroom seem like it’s part of a five-star hotel. What are some of the trendy items for an easy bathroom upgrade?

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical, and Plumbing bathroom upgrade tips.

Heated toilet seats can start as low as about $80. You know the drill—you go to the bathroom in the middle of a cold night and it can be quite a rude awakening. If that’s ever the case at your house, this might be the perfect toilet for you. Simpler models have only one heating setting, but more expensive models can have several options. Some also have a glow to act as an extra light for your restroom. These seats are easy to install, but you’ll need an electrical outlet nearby.

Bidet toilet seats start at about $250 and give you a cleaning with a stream of fresh water. They are very common in many places outside of the U.S. Not only does it seem very clean, but also think about how much money you can save in toilet paper costs! They do need a water source, so they are a bit harder to install than the heated seats.

Lastly, you already have a smart phone and possibly other smart technology… so how about a smart toilet seat? These can start around $600, but are worth the cost! This type of toilet seat often includes a bidet and a heating element, and you can customize it. Some allow you to make changes per person. Some spray air freshener into the air and cleaner into the bowl before and after each use. Some can raise and lower. Some even spray warm air!! Of course, don’t forget the music, temperature and white noise machine—all part of some models. Professional installation is recommended.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Building Your Own Outdoor Shower

Posted on: May 3rd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaIf you haven’t already, you’re probably planning—or at least dreaming of – your next beach vacation. How about bringing a little taste of the tropics to your home with an outdoor shower? A simple version can cost less than $1,000. Here is what you need to know to get started.

First check that an outdoor showers is allowed in your area or if you need a permit for it. Next, think about location. You’ll want a place that is not under a roof or tree and has direct sunlight for warmth as well as drying the walls and floor. You’ll also want a private area!

If you choose to install the shower right up against your house with one of the walls being your siding, keep in mind that the material may not be designed to withstand that much water. You’d want to add a waterproof membrane underneath, and also use a material such as teak or cedar.

Plan out what type of draining you’ll use.  The shower will need to drain into the household system or a French drain. If you go with a French drain, you’ll likely need to replace the gravel every few years. Obviously, you’ll want to drain away from the home and if you care about your garden, away from those plants as well, as soap can affect them.

You’ll likely want to hire a professional plumber to do the plumbing, unless you go the very simplistic route of using a garden hose as the shower head. If you do want to tackle the plumbing yourself, you’ll have to assemble the pipes, drill an opening into the floor, push the garden hose through and attach it to the threaded pipe, secure it to the wall and attach the shower fixture.

Remember, in the winter you’ll want to shut off the water valve and have the pipes blown out before temperatures drop to freezing.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Going Green Around Your Home

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

This month’s Earth Day reminds us that we as Americans generate a huge amount of trash—an average of 4.4 pounds per person each day. So what can we do to reduce waste to not only help the environment, but help us save money too? Frankly, start questioning everything you own and everything you regularly buy:

  • Limit or cancel paper subscriptions. If you have subscriptions, then magazines, catalogs and newspapers can stack up quickly.
  • Reduce and reuse packaging. When you do buy things, try to buy in bulk and buy things with as little packaging as possible. Also, use reusable grocery bags. Lastly, buy recycled items. Glass, paper, metal and plastic items are often recycled materials.
  • Recycle. Give things away to charity and make use of your regular recycling service. Books, clothing and kitchen ware are great items to donate.
  • Maintain and repair your appliances. The goal is to get as much life out of these items as possible and maintaining them will make a big difference in their longevity.
  • Reuse things as much as possible. Wear clothes again, use the same towel all week, and reuse jars, old rags, etc. for other purposes around the house.
  • Monitor energy use. Turn off lights when you can, unplug things, adjust the thermostat up or down, and consider energy-efficient items and solar energy if you’re looking for even bigger long-term changes.
  • Be aware of water use. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and wear things more often before washing. It takes energy as well as wear and tear on your pipes and system to pump water through the home and down the drain. It also takes energy to heat it and treat it to make it drinkable.

It starts with simple, small changes. Once you start taking a critical look at your home and your lifestyle, you’ll see there is plenty you can do.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Avoiding Tree-Planting Disasters

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Planting pretty trees can spruce up your yard and allow for privacy in certain areas. Before you get started on this project, here are a few things to think about:

  • Take the location that you want to plant the tree(s) into strong consideration. Choosing the wrong spot can lead to issues not only with your land, but your power lines, plumbing/sewer lines and your home’s foundation, driveway and sidewalk. Think about how large your tree will eventually grow.
  • Plant trees away from overhead power lines, other large trees, and the house’s foundation, driveway and sidewalks. Growing trees can make concrete crack. A four-foot distance or more is usually a good rule of thumb. You might be tempted to plant trees near the home for shade, but consider how large it will grow.

 

  • Call 811 to schedule an underground utility inspection. This is free for homeowners. It will prevent you from digging through an underground utility line, which could knock out power to not only your home, but your neighbors’ homes as well! This is also a great service to use if you want to put up a fence.
  • Don’t forget the lateral—the underground sewer line that connects to your home—is filled with water. Tree roots naturally grow towards this line and then thrive on the sewer line’s contents. Furthermore, soil shifts and can crack sewer lines. Damage can ultimately lead to sewage backups in your house.*
  • Stay atleast 10 feet from lateral and 20 feet from under ground pipes and utility lines when planting.
  • You can get your home surveyed (or check the survey documents if it has already been done) to find the sewer lateral on your property. You can help protect your sewer line with a root barrier. Types include: growth inhibitors (chemicals which stop further root growth), deflectors (physical barriers), and traps (screens and sheets.) It is best to consult a plumber before using these.
  • Keep in mind that some types of trees have less aggressive roots than others and water your trees well so roots don’t need to grow out in search of water.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Sprinkler Tune Up

Posted on: April 8th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Get your lawn off to a great start this spring by making sure your sprinkler is in good shape after the long winter. Furthermore, an efficient sprinkler will save you time and money over the long, hot months.

First, check the irrigation controls and programs. Check the time and date on the timer and the settings to make sure they are what you want for your lawn. Generally 3/4 inch of water per irrigation cycle is recommended, which moistens the soil around 8-9 inches deep. Replace the battery in the timer if needed (it is a good idea to do this every year.)

Make sure the sprinkler heads are free of dirt, rocks or any other type of debris. Try to keep obstacles out of the way. All of that debris can disrupt the flow of water, which cannot only mean an uneven flow, but also wasted water— and money.

If the sprinkler heads or nozzles, valves or pipes are worn out, cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged, replace them. Valves are especially important because if not working properly, they can lead to a lot of wasted water. If you notice any muddy areas or too-wet areas when testing the system, it probably means you have a leaky valve.

Turn on the water and do a test run. Open the water valve slowly to let pipes fill gradually to prevent a big surge of pressure and thus, damage. Too much pressure can lead to cracked pipes, broken valves, leaks and watering that is not even or efficient. A water pressure gauge can measure your pressure in your house and your yard. You connect it to a hose faucet and if the pressure is above 40-65 PSI, you may need to install a pressure regulator or to fix any damage that you think may be causing it.
Think about additions to help your system. A rain sensor can keep you from over-watering. It will prevent your system from watering right after a heavy rain.


Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Septic Myths 

Posted on: March 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

A home’s plumbing system and septic tank are so important, and yet so often overlooked until there is a major problem. Here are some common myths about septic systems (and the pipes leading to them) that many homeowners believe:

Myth #1: You don’t have to get your septic tank pumped (or at least not very often)

Truth: You should get your septic tank pumped and inspected every one to three years, depending on its size and how many people live in your home.

Myth #2: Slow draining showers, sinks, tubs, washing machines, and toilets aren’t a big deal. 

Truth: This could be a sign that your tank needs to be pumped, or some other type of major plumbing issue. If you have gotten your tank pumped recently and know that is not the issue, you still shouldn’t wait to have a professional plumber come and look.

 

Myth #3: My well water doesn’t need any maintenance

Truth: If you have a septic system and a well, get the water tested once a year to see if nitrate levels are not too high, which could mean that waste water is overflowing your system and leaching into your water.

Myth #4: I need to use additives in my septic system

Truth: Additives will not prevent backup, properly break down solids, or prevent you from needing to pump and needing to be careful with your system. (In other words, it wouldn’t be a pass to allow you to suddenly start putting everything down the kitchen sink.)

Myth #5: Putting food, chemicals, medicines, etc. down the drain won’t harm the septic system.

Truth: If this is all new to you because you’re coming from a house or apartment without a septic system (especially with a garbage disposal), it may take some getting used to. It’s always best to not put anything except safe liquids such as water or drinks and septic-safe toilet paper and designated septic-safe products down the drain. Not only will this be good for your septic system, but your pipes and plumbing as well.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Walter Filtration For Your Shower

Posted on: March 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

While you may already have a water filtration system in your kitchen for drinking and cooking water, have you ever thought about filtering your shower water? It may sound strange at first, since you probably don’t stand under the shower and drink all your water for the day, but it is actually a smart thing to think about.

Water contains chemicals such as chlorine, which is not healthy to put into our bodies in high quantities. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and absorbs what it comes into contact with. Furthermore, since we typically take warm—even hot—showers, (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a long shower to decompress?) the absorption of the chlorine into our skin is easy.

In addition to the high levels of chlorine, we may also be exposing ourselves to harmful trihalomethanes (THMs), which come from chlorine reacting with other products in the water. Because of the warm air, inhaling the chemicals occurs easily as well. The chemicals can also lead to dry skin, irritation and eczema.

There are many types of shower filters that will help prevent your exposure to all of these things. Filters use charcoal/carbon, Vitamin C or KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion). Carbon filters remove chlorine well but don’t work as well at warm temperatures. The good news is, they are inexpensive. KDF filters are also inexpensive and a pretty effective option. Vitamin C filters create a chemical reaction that changes chlorine and other chemicals, making them harmless.

Most filters are easy to install but you will need to replace them every few months. If you take many baths, there are also filters for that as well. If you want to go a much more expensive but thorough route, consider a whole house filter, typically installed by a professional.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Types of Water Filtration Systems

Posted on: February 16th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

We all need water. We all want clean water. So if you want to be sure your family has the cleanest water, what type of water filtration system should you purchase? It depends on how much you want to spend, what contaminants you want to remove, and how much work you’re willing to commit. Here are some of the primary choices:

Carbon/Activated Carbon: There is a wide range of carbon filters. Some only remove chlorine and improve taste and odor. Some remove a wide range of contaminants, including asbestos, lead, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Keep in mind, though, that activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate.

Ceramic: Ceramic filters have small holes throughout the material that block solid contaminants such as cysts and sediments. They do not remove any chemical contaminants.

Deionization: These kinds of filters remove mineral salts and other electrically charged molecules (ions) from water. They cannot remove non-ionic contaminants (including trihalomethanes and other common VOCs) or microorganisms.

Reverse Osmosis: This process pushes water through a membrane that blocks particles larger than water molecules. It can remove many contaminants not removed by activated carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium and nitrates but doesn’t remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or VOCs. Many systems do include an activated carbon component. Reverse osmosis filters use 3-to-20 times more water than they produce, so they are only used for drinking and cooking water.

Water Softeners: These devices typically use an ion exchange process to lower levels of calcium and magnesium. They do not remove most other contaminants.

When shopping, if you’re looking to remove a particular contaminant, verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.

Also, read the fine print. Some filters are labeled “NSF certified.” This is a reputable company, but its certifications are not all the same.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!