Avoid Unnecessary Repairs
Spring means the greening of the grass, sprouting of leaves and of course as plants begin to grow up their roots continue to grow. For some homes growing plants and tree roots mean more than a greater foundation for growth, it also means issues with sewer lines. Older homes with cast or clay sewer lines it can be fairly common to have root growth make it into the joints and obstruct the drain.
Recently our plumbing department was called for a second opinion on a sewer line. One of our well known competitors tried to convince the homeowner that their sewer line was collapsed in several places and the only fix was to excavate and replace (Although we do not know the price that was quoted, repairs like this can be quite expensive). Our service plumber ran our camera down the pipe to assess any and all damage. In this case we were able to save a homeowner a large amount of money. How? By simply showing them exactly what our plumber saw. The home’s pipes were in pretty good shape, except for some common root grow that routine cabling would resolve.
What should be taken from these events? First of all, if you’re told expensive sewer repairs are necessary insist on having a camera run through the line. Also insist on seeing either the live video of the damage or ask for a copy of the video on the spot. If a company is not willing to provide either, walk away. Secondly, save yourself a major headache and call Bryant! Our plumbers have quality equipment and work every day to turn customers into happy customers, not to sell costly unnecessary services. If major repairs are the only and best option our plumbers can locate the location of the damage, minimizing any excavation necessary.
Spring means warmer weather is in our future, which means landscaping cleanup and sometimes additions. Our service department would like to remind you as you are cleaning up leftover leaves and picking up sticks and other debris make sure you check your air conditioner or heat pump. Remove any debris that may be on or around the condenser. If you’ve covered your outdoor unit make sure to remove your cover and replace the disconnect if it was pulled. Check to make sure the unit and the pad it sits on is still level, depending on where your gutters and downspouts cast your runoff water it can cause erosion around and under the pad causing issues.
When checking off your list inside the home make sure replacing your air filter is on your list along with turning off you humidifier for the season. Make sure your cooling system is fully prepared for cooling season by calling Bryant.
Does service need to be done before you ever turn on your air? Not necessarily, but we do encourage you to test out your air conditioning before you really need it. Once outdoor temperatures climb above 65 degrees consistently turn it on and make sure the unit turns on and cool air is coming from your vents. If you suspect something is wrong with the operation give us a call and we can check things over.
How many electronics do you have in your home? For many the answer has grown significantly in recent years, so much so that you may be lucky to keep track of them all. Think of this, although Lincoln is a growing community and new homes are built every day, there are many homes in Lincoln built before our reliance of electronics was so drastic. How does an increased number of electronics affect older homes? Here are a few common signs issues may be present and what they mean.
Circuit Breakers Tripping
A tripped breaker usually means there’s an excessive load on the circuit. As mentioned above, older homes weren’t wired to handle the large number of electrical devices many homes have today (multiple TV sets, VCRs, phone chargers, etc.). With so many electronics plugged in, simply turning on a vacuum cleaner or hairdryer can cause a breaker to trip. Other possible reasons for a tripped breaker are is the breaker itself is getting weak from use, or worse a more serious problem such as a shorting wire.
What’s the repair? A new circuit may be needed to divide up the load on the existing one, or it may be as simple as replacing the breaker, or locating a short in your wiring. Whatever the solution it’s best to have your panel checked out by a qualified electrician to determine there isn’t an unsafe condition.
“Popping” Light Switches
When turning on a light switch, do you hear a “pop” coming from the switch? That noise is usually caused from a large amount of lighting load. It could also mean that the switch is getting worn out. Fixes for this are usually simple, changing out the switch to a heavier duty one should correct the problem.
If your lights dim while using the vacuum or a space heater it can mean that the circuit isn’t heavy enough to handle the load. It could also mean that there is a problem in the panel such as a bad neutral connection. Again our best suggestion to resolve this issue is to have your panel checked out by a qualified electrician. It’s best to ensure there aren’t any problems with your connections.
Fall Plumbing Check List
Most have welcomed the fall temperatures and many of the activities and traditions that go along with it. Remember as the days’ high temps become milder, the lows begin to creep lower and lower as well. Here are some things we remind you to check off your list as we go through fall and the temperatures inch closer to freezing so your home is protected for winter.
First make sure outside faucets (silcocks) turn off correctly and do not drip. Unhook all hoses from silcocks. Help your garden hoses last longer by storing it out of the winter elements. First make sure outside faucets (silcocks) turn off correctly and do not drip. Unhook all hoses from silcocks. Help your garden hoses last longer by storing it out of the winter elements.
Your faucet may require minor tightening of the packing nut or replacement of deteriorated rubber parts which is much less expensive than the result of leaving the faucet dripping. Now is also a good time to think about changing out old faucets for a frost free silcock. Our Bryant plumbers would be happy to help in any way you need.
Lastly, drain down your sprinkler system and make sure the shutoff valve is working properly. Check these things off your to-do list and you’ll have less worries this winter and next spring.
Does Your Furnace Do More Than Heat?
Although most new homes are all electric by design there are many homes in Lincoln and surrounding areas that rely on gas utilities for heat. If you have a gas furnace in your home, whether it be natural gas or propane, your furnace could be doing more than heating your home. What do we mean? Any time a fossil fuel is burned a byproduct produced by the process is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas which claims the lives of over 400 Americans each year according to the CDC.
This is one reason to have your furnace inspected every year along with ensuring your home is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home.
Bryant’s Service Plans for More Than Efficiency
We strongly suggest servicing your heating and cooling equipment once a year to extend the life of the system and to ensure peak performance. Although a furnace is simpler than your air conditioner or heat pump there are plenty of parts to go bad. Having your system serviced can catch signs of deterioration in those parts, saving your system from failure.
Bryant’s service plan also protects your health checking to ensure carbon monoxide is correctly exhausted out of your home. Bryant technicians are equipped with the tools, like the combustion analyzer, to provide the most accurate scientific way to check the safety of your furnace’s heat exchanger. The result, safer homes and fewer false positive tests.
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