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Fall 2014

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Common Plumbing Problems to Look for in Your Home

There are probably very few tasks that you perform in your home that don’t require you to utilize your plumbing system. From cleaning and showering to laundry and eating, your plumbing system safely and efficiently disposes of your waste water and provides you with potable drinking water. That can cause a number of different problems, and we wanted to share a few of the most common ones with you. Keep a close eye and ear out for these signs and then call for repair immediately—waiting will only make the problem worse.

  • Leaks. Water is one of the most destructive things on the planet: just look at the damage that floods do in just a short amount of time. Because your plumbing system handles so much water, leaks are inevitable. Things like water spots on the ground or dripping water from your faucets are both obvious signs that you have a leak. But there are a couple less noticeable ones to watch for. If none of your appliances or fixtures are running but you hear the sound of running water, it could signal that you have a slow water leak somewhere.
  • Clogs. Another very common problem is clogs. Waste water from your kitchen and bathrooms can often form clogs in the drain lines as well as in your sewer main. Watch for multiple drains clogging simultaneously: this can indicate a clog deep in the sewer line. If some of your drains just can’t keep up anymore, it could indicate a slowly developing clog. Tree roots are actually one of the most common causes of clogs in sewer mains so if you have trees on your property, be prepared for this.
  • Corrosion. Corrosion can happen between different metals and between your pipes and the water or soil. It is the small exchange of electrons that causes your pipes to start to break down. If you’ve recently replaced sections of your old steel pipes with new, copper pipes, you may start to notice some corrosion because of the difference between the two metals.

When you notice any problems with your plumbing system, make sure that you call for professional repair immediately. Your plumbing system doesn’t have an "auto–fix" button and any problems that you see will likely just get more serious and costly with time.

Five Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

For many people, the sound of a furnace kicking on reminds them of the winter and a warm home. But while furnaces are regarded as one of the most efficient and consistent heating systems on the market, they will eventually break down and need to be replaced. Knowing when that time has come for your furnace can be difficult though. Take a look below to see some of the signs that indicate a need to replace your furnace rather than just repairing it.

  • Rattling. If your furnace makes a rattling noise, it could just be a loose part. But it could also be a cracked heat exchanger allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. (Your furnace’s heat exchanger is a long tube of metal that gets heated by the burner and warms the air coming into your home.) The exchanger is also responsible for removing all of the dangerous combustion gases from your home. If it gets cracked, it almost always needs to be replaced instead of repaired.
  • Rust. If your furnace is coupled with an air conditioner system, condensation from the AC can actually drip down onto the furnace. This usually happens when the condensate drain system gets clogged and overflows. The water often drips onto the heat exchanger and rusts it until a hole develops in the heat exchanger, necessitating replacement.
  • Inefficiency. As your furnace ages, it will start to deteriorate. Even if you get it serviced twice a year, time marches on and your furnace won’t be able to heat your home as well. If you start to notice an increase in your utility bill, you should probably call for repair or replacement. Your heating technician can tell you whether he or she can repair the system and improve its efficiency or if it’s time to start thinking about replacing it.
  • Frequent repair. Your furnace shouldn’t require that much professional attention except for some maintenance visits each year. If you have to call for repairs on a regular basis, you may be better off spending that money on a new system.
  • Age. Age can be a very important determining factor in whether or not you decide to replace your furnace. You don’t always have to wait until your furnace is completely dead in order to consider replacing it. As your furnace ages, it will likely develop several of the issues listed above. You could save yourself a lot of headaches by replacing it early.

Whenever you detect any problems with your furnace, make sure that a professional performs any replacements and installations. Also, be sure to call early when you notice any problems so that you can keep them from developing into larger, more costly issues.

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