Common Water Heater Repairs

November 18th, 2014

There are few more unpleasant daily inconveniences you may encounter in your home than to discover that you have insufficient hot water for your morning shower. Loss of hot water to your household will cause numerous problems, making normal tasks like cooking and cleaning difficult and sometimes impossible.

You need to call professional water heater technicians whenever your hot water supply appears to be in jeopardy. It is a simple task to find excellent water heater repair in Dunstable, MA and the surrounding areas: just call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and we will send one of our trained and experienced repair technicians to take care of your troubled water heater.

Some common water heater repairs you may need

Although water heater manufacturers build their products to last, they cannot make a water heater that is 100% malfunction-proof. Here are repairs that water heaters need the most often and that our technicians can handle for you.

  • Replacing a broken dip tube: The dip tube carries fresh water into the water heater tank and deposits it at the bottom of the tank near the heat exchanger or heating elements. If the dip tube breaks, it will begin to leave the cold water the top of the tank, where it mixes with the heated water and ends up pumped out of the tank. This is the most frequent cause for losing the normal volume of hot water people you from the water heater. Technicians will replace the dip tube to restore normal operation.
  • Repairing the pump: The main mechanical part in a water heater is the pump that moves the heated water out of the tank and into the hot water pipes. The pump can wear down and eventually cease working, which will mean no hot water at all to your home. Regular maintenance will help prevent emergency pump repair issues.
  • Flushing the tank: The tank of the water heater can pick up minerals and other deposits from the municipal water supply, which will start to gather at the bottom of the tank. If this accumulation continues, it can lead to the tank overheating and contamination of the water supply, or even corrosion. Technicians will flush out the tank to reduce these dangers. They will sometimes do this as part of regular maintenance.
  • Fixing leaks: Leaking pipes are one of the most common troubles for water heaters (as well as any part of a plumbing system). There are various causes for leaking to start—corrosion, high water pressure, poor soldering—and the repair technicians will track down the cause and provide the long-term solution.

Only call for professionals when you need water heater repair in Dunstable, MA or other parts of MetroWest.

You can depend on Basnett Plumbing & Heating for high quality service. We also offer regular maintenance that will help keep emergency repair calls out of your future.

Why Oil Boilers Are Becoming Popular Heating Options Once More

November 17th, 2014

The most common types of boilers found in homes in the U.S. today are gas-powered and electric models. The extension of natural gas lines to more and more areas has made these efficient systems available to a larger number of households, and this has caused a decline in oil boilers that use stored heating oil as their fuel source.

But oil boilers are starting to make a comeback. Homes that would normally use an electric-powered boiler when natural gas is unavailable have instead made the choice to have an oil boiler installed. Not all heating companies provide service for oil boilers in Wayland, MA, but you will find the installation, repair, and maintenance services you require at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We have worked on boilers since 1987 in the MetroWest Area.

The advantages of oil boilers

So why this upsurge in popularity for oil boilers, when for many years homeowners without natural gas connection were encouraged to use electrical boilers instead?

One of the main reasons for the return of oil boilers as excellent home heating choices is the development of blends of standard heating oil with renewable biodiesel fuels. This blend lowers two of the principal drawbacks of oil boilers: that they increase dependence on foreign oil and that they create higher levels of pollution. These biodiesel fuels are domestically produced, and they are far much more environmentally friendly than standard oil, making boilers that use them attractive alternatives to electric boilers, which are often expensive to run.

With the effects of these two main problems with oil boilers reduced, homeowners can enjoy many of their benefits. Oil boilers generate powerful heating levels that can overcome the most intense colds we experience in the Northeast. Heating oil is also a safer fuel than natural gas because it is not explosive and does not generate deadly carbon monoxide gas. Compared to electricity, oil is a much less expensive form of energy.

With an oil boiler, you do need to take a few precautions, specifically planning ahead to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of oil to run your heater when you need it. However, it is a simple job to arrange for convenient oil delivery so your home is always prepared for long stretches of cold.

If you live in an area that does not have access to natural gas lines, we recommend that you consider an oil boiler as your home’s heating system. We also handle quality repairs and regular maintenance that you will need to get the most from your new oil boiler.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and arrange an appointment to see if oil boilers in Wayland, MA are the ideal option for your home comfort.

What Is an Indirect Fired Water Heater?

November 11th, 2014

Water heater technology has continued to evolve over the years, moving away from the traditional storage tank models to newer innovations such as the tankless water heater, which delivers hot water on demand and will never run out of its supply. There are also options for high-efficiency condensing water heaters.

One excellent choice that we offer at Basnett Plumbing & Heating is the indirect fired water heater, which has superior energy efficiency compared to storage tank water heaters. To find out more about indirect fired water heaters in Boston, MA, call up our water heater specialists on staff and they will be happy to share with you what one of these home appliances can do for you.

How does an indirect fired water heater work?

What makes an indirect fired water heater stand out as a water heating option is that it is integrated into an already existing heating system instead of standing on its own. An indirect fired water heater is connected to the boiler that provides heat for a home. The water heater does not have its own energy supply; instead, it uses the heat supply from the boiler and applies it to the water that goes to your taps. Because this type of water heater consumes far less energy—you only use a single energy source where normally you would use two—it costs far less to run.

An indirect fired water heater is also more durable than a storage water heater and you can anticipate it to last as long as the boiler (and boilers are the most long-lived of all standard heating systems). You can expect excellent performance from the system for many years without it requiring major repairs.

You can choose to have an indirect fired water heater installed as either tank model, which applies the energy from the boiler directly to a tank of water, or as tankless model that heats the water you want as you want it. When you call for installation of a water heater, ask your technician about the options so you can find the unit that will provide you with the best combination of efficiency and effectiveness.

We can help you with all your water heater needs. We install and service indirect fired water heaters in Boston, MA as well as a variety of other kinds of models.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today and get started toward the best water heater possible for your home in the Metro West Area.

Benefits of Installing a Humidifier for Your Home

November 10th, 2014

“It’s a dry heat” is usually a way to say that a hot day doesn’t feel as awful as it could. However, dry air can create as many problems as humid air, and if your home is suffering from issues with low humidity, you will need to find a way to fix it… especially during the winter, when dry air puts an edge on the cold, the exact reverse of the feeling of a “dry heat.”

The best method to cope with low humidity is installation of a whole-house humidifier. Small portable humidifiers are fine for taking care of a single room, but you can only deal with the full scope of the problem with professional installation of a whole-house unit into your HVAC system. Call the indoor air quality experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating and ask about our services for humidifiers in Middlesex County. We will help your home achieve a comfortable and healthy balance of indoor humidity.

How a whole-house humidifier benefits you

  • Increased comfort: The reason that heat is more difficult to tolerate with high humidity is because the moisture in the air makes it harder for your body to release heat through perspiration. The opposite occurs in cold air, where the low moisture draws heat rapidly out of your body, making cold temperatures seem worse. This can create a problem during winters, making a house feel extra chilly to everyone in it. A humidifier will provide a comforting balance of air moisture.
  • Energy efficiency: Going hand-in-hand with better comfort, a humidifier will require you to run your heating system less frequently during the winter.
  • Fewer health issues: Dry air causes cracked and irritated skin and itchy eyes. It will also dry up sinuses and mucus membranes, which is not only uncomfortable, but also lowers the body’s defense against the spread of illness. In low humidity, flus and colds will become much more common. A number of viruses also thrive in dry climates. A humidifier will reduce these problems.
  • Protection for building material and valuables: Low humidity sucks moisture out of surfaces in your home as well, which will cause a number of problems. Wood is most susceptible to damage, and will crack in low humidity. This can create severe damage for precision musical instruments and valuable antiques. It will also peel wallpaper and painted surfaces. Balanced humidity thanks to a whole-house humidifier will help to protect your home.

Come to us for all the services necessary for humidifiers in Middlesex County. (And if your air is too humid, we offer dehumidifiers as well.)

The professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating will help you locate the right humidifier for your home and install it so that it does that job you need.

Why You May Need Condensate Pump Installation

November 4th, 2014

Development of excess condensate build-up is a standard part of the operation of central air conditioners, heat exchangers, and high efficiency furnaces. This condensation needs to be removed from the inside of a home, and the component that takes care of this function is called the condensate pump.

Not all homes require a condensate pump; it depends on the type of heating and cooling system the house uses and its configuration. If you have an air conditioning system with an indoor unit, or you use a high efficiency furnace, then you definitely need to have a condensate pump to remove the vapor and other condensate that will accumulate when the system runs.

If you think your home needs a condensate pump, or if you need a broken pump replaced, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating for condensate pump installation in Marlborough, MA today. We handle many types of heating installations, replacements, and repairs. We will see that your home is protected, your family kept safe, and your heating system working efficiently.

Signs you need a condensate pump

Although condensate contains water, it consists of more than that. The condensation that comes from the coils of an air conditioner can also contain dust and chemicals, possibly acidic ones. The condensate from the heat exchanger of a furnace is vapor from combustion gas. Neither of these are healthy to allow into a home, so if you notice a condensate leak in the system and damp spots around the AC or heater, you may have a broken condensate pump that needs replacement. If you do not already have a condensate pump, you should have one put in at the first indication that condensate is overflowing from the system.

When professionals install a condensate pump for an HVAC system, they measure how much condensate the component must deal with and then put in a correctly sized system to handle it. Some pumps contain a tank, others deposit the condensate directly into a drip pain where it is drained away. Do not attempt to replace or install a condensate pump on your own, since this can lead to serious leaking and even worse problems than before.

We are experienced with condensate pump installation in Marlborough, MA and throughout the Metro West Area.

Call on the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating whether you need a new condensate pump or you suspect it’s time to replace the old one.

Some of the Benefits of Direct Vent Heaters

November 3rd, 2014

Fireplaces are a pleasant luxury for a house, offering immediate heating for a room and creating a pleasing and cozy environment unmatched in residential comfort and style. But if your house doesn’t have a chimney or access to a venting chimney is limited, a fireplace was once an impossibility.

However, that’s no longer true today, thanks to direct vent fireplaces. These are gas fireplaces that require no chimney at all. And this technology applies not only to fireplaces, but also to furnaces, a heating system that normally would require a chimney to release exhaust gases.

What are direct vent heaters?

Direct vent fireplaces and furnaces are heating systems that do not require exhaust chimneys in order to work. Conventional furnaces and fireplaces must draw air into them from inside a home and then exhaust the fumes to the outside. A direct vent heater pulls its air from the outside and then vents it back outside again, directly through the wall behind the heater—no need for a complex system of exhaust ducts or a chimney to carry the fumes to the roof.

What are the advantages of a direct vent heater?

The first advantage of direct vent heaters is their flexibility of placement. You don’t need to construct or remodel a massive chimney in your house to allow the presence of a fireplace. You can put in a direct vent fireplace right into a second-story bedroom without any extensive remodeling work. The outdoor vent that draws and exhausts air is small and discreet. The same applies to furnaces: you can put in a furnace unit into a room that vents to the outside. It doesn’t even need to attach to an outside wall; extension kits are available to allow more placement freedom.

The second advantage of these systems is their energy efficiency. Because direct vent fireplaces and heaters do not create a draft in your house (they pull the air from outside, not inside) they will not drain away indoor heat. This makes a home easier to keep warm, and it takes the pressure off the heating system.

Finally, direct vent heaters do not require the use of ductwork for heat distribution. A direct vent furnace sends its heat straight into the room. If you want the power of a gas or propane furnace to heat your home, but don’t have the ductwork to support it, then you should look into installation of a direct vent heater in Lexington, MA.

Basnett Plumbing & Heating handles numerous types of heating installations in the MetroWest area, including direct vent heaters and fireplaces. Look to us for the efficient and effective comfort you need each winter.

If you wish to know more about these systems and if a direct vent heater in Lexington, MA is ideal for your home, call the heating professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

Heating Services to Consider before Winter Arrives

October 28th, 2014

Another winter season in Massachusetts is approaching and will be upon us before we realize it. Before the temperature drops too far, make sure that your home is properly winterized to keep your family comfortable and your heating bills under control.

Here is some advice for heating services that will help you prepare for the chilly season. We have helped homeowners stay comfortable with heating services in MetroWest since 1987

Consider these heating services for winter preparation

  • Heating system maintenance: This isn’t a suggestion, actually. Annual maintenance is essential for a home heater to work its best, conserve energy, avoid emergency breakdowns, and achieve the longest possible service lifetime. You can arrange with a professional heating contractor to provide your heater with a complete inspection and tune-up so that it’s ready to handle the winter cold. The process requires about an hour of work, but it will pay off with excellent performance from the system and increased peace of mind for you. No matter what type or model of heater you have—boiler, furnace, heat pump, radiant floor heating—you need to schedule professional maintenance for it.
  • Thermostat upgrade: A new thermostat can make a tremendous difference for your home’s winter heating, especially if you have an old manual dial-and-sliders system. With a digital programmable model, you will have more precision temperature settings. You can also control when the heater comes on and off, so it can prepare the house before you come home in the evening without it needing to remain on all day. Also investigate the convenience of wireless thermostats.
  • Heating system replacement: If a heating system is many years old, it might be time to replace it—and you definitely want to have this job finished before winter arrives. Look over your heating bills for the last few years to check if they have started to climb steeply, and also examine the amount of repairs needed to keep the system running. If repair costs are greater than $500 a year, you should consider a replacement. A maintenance technician will help you with this choice during a regular visit. Make sure you schedule any replacement service soon so you won’t get caught with a old heater that dies during a cold winter night.

You can contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today to arrange for maintenance by signing one of our excellent service agreements. During maintenance, our technicians can give you advice on other heating services in MetroWest you may need to have a worry-free, comfortable, and economical winter.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating, and let our experienced technicians assist you with getting energy-saving performance that will prevent your bills from soaring.

Why Should I Consider Steam Boilers in Chelmsford?

October 27th, 2014

The name “boiler” is often a bit of a misnomer when it comes to heating homes today. Boilers originally did boil the water in their tanks, creating steam which then traveled through pipes to radiators where the heat entered the rooms. However, the majority of residential boilers constructed and installed today only heat the water, they do not create steam. The efficiency of these hot water boilers makes them effective for keeping homes warm.

Nonetheless, the steam boiler still exists, and sometimes it is the ideal option for keeping a home cozy during a tough winter. To find out more about installation and other services for steam boilers in Chelmsford, MA, call the heating experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We install, replace, maintain, and repair steam boilers throughout the MetroWest Area.

The advantages of a steam boiler

In general, a boiler that heats up water will provide a sufficient amount of warmth to keep a home comfortable through a cold Massachusetts winter. However, steam boilers can provide far higher levels of heat, and for some homes they are a necessity to create the level of warmth necessary make it through a harsh winters. They are especially beneficial for older homes that have insulation issues that make it harder to trap heat.

Because steam is a more effective heat transfer fluid than liquid water, it is extremely efficient at delivering heat. It also provides heat faster and with a high upper limit: most steam boilers can produce 300+ MBH of heat, far greater than a standard hot water boiler.

But it is extremely important for steam boilers to receive professional installation as well as regular service. Danger from escaping steam is significant because of the high temperature of the steam. These boilers have special safety systems such as limit switches to prevent damage to your family or home, but it requires annual maintenance from a professional technician to see that a boiler continues to work safely. Only qualified technicians familiar with steam boilers can deliver the maintenance and repairs you need to enjoy all the benefits of steam heating for your home.

Call us for steam boiler services

Not all heating companies have the equipment and training to handle service for steam boilers. Call our friendly staff today for answers to all your questions regarding steam boilers, whether you want one installed or need your current one serviced.

You will find all the expertise you need at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, where we specialize in installing steam boilers in Chelmsford, MA and throughout the MetroWest Area.

Should You Replace Your Heating before Winter?

October 21st, 2014

With winter coming up, you want to make sure that your home is prepared. It’s time to evaluate your current heating system and decide if you think it will make it through the coming season, or if it is too costly to continue to run. If you have any doubts about the continuing operation of an older furnace, heat pump, or boiler, then you should call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and talk to our specialists in heating replacement in Maynard, MA about installing a new heating system. We can replace your current system with a similar one, or we can see if making a switch to a new kind of heater—such as going from a furnace to a heat pump—is the better option.

How are your heating bills?

One of the first things you should think about when you are considering a replacement heater is how much you are paying each winter season to keep your home pleasant. When a heater approaches the end of its service life, it will start to drop in energy efficiency and cost more to run. Look over your bills for the last few years: if you notice a significant rise, check on the heater’s age. If it is near to the close of its manufacturer’s estimated service life, then call on heating professionals to look over the system, because chances are high it is time to retire it.

Is the heating system performing up to its old standards?

Consider your comfort last winter. Did people in your home start complaining about cold spots, or feeling the house was generally too cold? If you scheduled repairs to deal with the problem, but still have not noticed a significant difference in comfort, your heater may be failing and you should consider replacing it.

What does it cost you in repairs to keep the heater running?

Most of the repairs that a heating system will need occur during the last two years of its service. When you start needing to call for repairs more than you used to, it’s a strong warning that the system is approaching a full breakdown. A good measuring stick to use is that if a heating system requires more than $500 a year in repairs to keep it operating, it is no longer cost-effective to keep it around. Also, any single repair that costs half the price of replacing the unit is too expensive, and you should opt for replacement.

We offer many kinds of heating installations, and we will help you decide if it is time to replace your heater so you can enjoy a worry-free winter in comfort.

If you have any doubts about whether it is time for heating replacement in Maynard, MA for not, get in touch with Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

How a Baseboard Heater Works with Radiant Heating

October 20th, 2014

Using radiant heat to warm up a room—that is, heating up an object in the room so it sends out waves of warmth that raise the temperature of other objects in the room is one of the more efficient and cozy home heating methods. For many decades, the standard form of radiant heating was sending hot water (and in some cases, steam) to a cast iron radiator. However, the most common way to provide radiant heating today is to circulate the hot water to a baseboard heater, which work as effectively as a radiator while taking up much less space. In many homes, a baseboard heater will provide a more even distribution of warmth than a radiator.

Is installation of radiant heating part of your future plans for home comfort? Or would you like to change your boiler from using radiators to using baseboard heaters? In either case, call our experts in radiant heating in Bedford, MA at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. You want professionals for this installation job, and with our team taking care of it, you will have your new baseboard heaters keeping your family warm in no time at all.

What baseboard heaters actually do

A baseboard heater is placed against the wall of a room down near the floor. Hot water circulates into the unit, but instead of working strictly through the radiant heat coming from the unit—as a radiator does—baseboard heaters also use convection.

Inside the baseboard heater is a series of metal fins that are heated by water. Cold air drops down the wall (usually from a window, which is why baseboard heaters are often positioned under windows) and into a vent in the baseboard heater. Once this air is warmed, it rises up from the baseboard heater and creates a curtain of warm air between the wall and the room. The air then cools down and falls, creating a convection current. This combination of radiant heating and convection heating is one of the fastest and most energy-efficient ways to heat a room. Like other hydronic radiant systems, it requires no ductwork at all, and it runs with very little noise.

There are also electric baseboard heaters unconnected to any central system. However, these systems are very inefficient and are usually only used to assist homes that already have another heating system installed. A baseboard heater connected to a hydronic system like a boiler is, on the other hand, a full-house solution for warmth.

To find out if using a baseboard heater for radiant heating in Bedford, MA is the optimal choice for your home, give our team at Basnett Plumbing & Heating at call today!