Archive for the ‘plumbing’ Category

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!

Home Hazards Often Overlooked

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

 

Every homeowner knows the list of home repairs and maintenance is never ending. Although it may be daunting to think about everything needed to maintain your home, it is important to remember things that are easy to overlook. Here are some hazards to keep an eye out for that can wreak havoc on your health and your wallet if not addressed.

Improper dryer exhaust venting causes thousands of fires every year. Over the years lint buildup restricts the airflow in your dryer, which leads to increased fire danger. It is a good idea to regularly check your aluminum vent hose to make sure it is not crushed or kinked. Once a year is a good rule of thumb. Also, clean your vent line regularly. If you are not comfortable trying it yourself, call a professional.

An inefficient water heater is another commonly overlooked problem. Not only will it reduce efficiency and lead to higher bills, but a faulty water heater can also be unsafe. It has the potential to explode, damaging your home and possibly hurting people. Inspect it regularly, and again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, call a professional.

Leaky plumbing may not be top of mind, but it wastes a lot of water and leads to unnecessarily high bills.  Furthermore, leaky pipes, or other water-related issues such as clogged gutters, can lead to water damage as well as mold and mildew. A plumber can fix these problems before they get worse.

Lastly, environmental threats such as asbestosradon gas and lead paint can damage your home and your health. You can test for these things on your own with an at-home test and a specialist can direct you towards the course of action you need to take if you need.

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!

How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s the annoying reality of being a homeowner. You will have issues you need to address, and there isn’t a landlord to take care of it for you. Plumbing is a common area in which homeowners see problems — especially, the trusty leak faucet.

So what steps can you take when you have a leaky faucet? First, turn your water off to all parts of the sink and take off any decorative parts of the handles/knobs.

Next, loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. (You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver.) Once you remove the screw, you can use WD-40 if needed to help take the handle off. After that, unscrew the packing nut with a wrench. Then remove the stem. (Some pop off easily while others need to be twisted.)

If everything so far looks good, take a look at the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat, as they are commonly the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put in a replacement. Make sure the replacement washers and O-rings fit exactly. Check to see if the sides fit a flat or cone-shaped washer. It’s not a bad idea to take the old O-ring to the store to make sure you get the right size. Another option is to buy a packaged set that includes many different sizes.

You’ll then put everything back together—washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle. Then test to see if you have fixed the leak. Turn the water back on and turn the knob slowly.

If the faucet is still dripping then it may be corrosion in your valve seat. If time has passed and it has not been cleaned it can lead to leaks near the spout. Other common issues include loose parts or worn-out seals. If you cannot figure out the issue, or even if you can, but know you cannot fix it, call a professional plumber. It is best to not wait too long as these issues only get worse.

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!

Save on Your Water Heating Bill

Posted on: January 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

images-4Heating your water accounts for the second largest part of your electric bill, after space heating and cooling. For most consumers, that amounts to about 12 percent of their monthly bill. But most people love hot showers, particularly when it is cold out! So, how can you reduce your bill?

  • Unfortunately, you may want to give up your weekly bubble bath. Taking a shower — a short one, at that — will save a lot in the long run. You may even consider turning off the water for a minute while lathering up or shaving. (This is also a good idea while brushing your teeth or scrubbing dishes.)
  • If you’re already thinking about buying a new clothes washer or dishwasher, look into ENERGY STAR items. These dishwashers use 31 percent less energy and 33 percent less water. The ENERGY START clothes washers save families on average $135 per year. Look for post-holiday sales at a time when stores are likely not selling as much as they were a month or two ago.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is this safer, especially if you have young children, but it also saves you money. For every 10-degree reduction, you can save up to 5 percent on your water heating costs.
  • If your shower head or faucet is old, it may use twice as much water as newer models. Look into installing low-flow shower heads and faucets.
  • Installing a heat trap on your water heater tank can save you up to $30 on your bill. It is best to get a professional to do this.
  • Insulate your water pipes and your hot water tank.
  • Install a timer to turn off your electric water heater at times when you don’t use it.
  • Use cold water for most of your laundry loads. Wash only full loads in the clothes washer and the dishwasher.

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!

Bathroom Makeover for Less

Posted on: December 27th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

On average, a bathroom remodel costs about $9000, but the range can be significant. Here are some ways to update yours without spending too much.

  • imagesChange your sink faucet. Turn off the water supply (valves are typically under the sink). Next, turn on the faucet to relieve any water pressure. Disconnect the supply lines from
    the faucet and the lift rod, and then remove the nuts from under the faucet. Unscrew the slip nut on the P-trap. Put a bucket underneath to catch water. Disconnect the drain flange from the tailpiece. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the new faucet.
  • Change your tub faucet. Again, turn off the water supply. Open the faucet and drain the water. Unscrew the screws that attach the handles. Pull the handle away from the wall to expose the valve. Unscrew the entire stem from the bathroom pipes. You’ll want to take the whole faucet to the store to pick out a new one.
  • Put in some new hardware—a curved, double-rod shower curtain, towel hooks, or cabinet handles can make a big impact.
  • Add in some storage space to reduce clutter. Look for unused areas on the wall or between things.
  • Paint and/or add crown molding.
  • Change your vanity light fixture.
  • Create a new frame for the mirror.

Remember, if you run into any issues with your plumbing or electricity during the renovation, this will add onto the cost. If, however these are things you’re not comfortable with doing yourself, it’s best to hire a professional from the beginning to avoid further complications once you’re in the middle of a project.

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!

Winterize Your Sprinkler System

Posted on: December 23rd, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

 

images-3Did you know that water can remain in your irrigation system even after you’ve drained it? If that’s the case for your system, that means it could potentially freeze and expand during the cold winter months, then crack the PVC piping. Even with the more flexible polyethylene pipe, it can still expand under pressure and water inside can rupture the pipe walls.

To avoid this happening, implement the winterizing techniques like those listed below. If you don’t know what type of system you have its best to use the blowout method.

Manual Method and Automatic Method: 

  • If manual valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the manual drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply and open all the manual drain valves.
  • If automatic drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the automatic drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply (in the basement) and activate a station to relieve the system pressure.
  • In both methods, after the water has drained, open the boiler drain valve (or the drain cap on the stop and waste valve) and drain all the water that remains. Open the test cocks on the backflow device. If your sprinklers have check valves, pull up on the sprinklers to let water drain out of the bottom of the sprinkler body. When all the water has drained out, close the drain valves.

Blow Out Method: 

This method involves blowing out an irrigation system with compressed air. It is best to hire a professional to perform this type of winterization method as it takes particular knowledge as well as stringent safety precautions.

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!