Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for May, 2012

Your Littleton HVAC System and Ventilation

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The vent system in your home is vital to the operation of your Littleton HVAC system. Without successful ventilation, your home won’t have the necessary clean air to keep you and your family healthy. So, what does proper ventilation require and how can you ensure your home has it? Here are some quick tips.

Install the Right Parts from the Start

Proper ventilation should result in even air pressure in your home to avoid problems with gas pilot lights. It should also be as energy efficient as possible and provide clean air through proper filtration and cleaning of the air that comes in. The best way to ensure your home has the ventilation needed to stay comfortable and safe for your entire family is to check the total size of the home and then measure the concentrations of certain pollutants like dander, pollen and smoke. A Littleton HVAC contractor can provide these services for you.

Energy Loss

Another major ventilation issue to keep in mind is energy loss. Ventilation tends to remove heated or cooled air from your home, forcing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder to replace it. As a result, you pay more for energy and it’s never quite comfortable inside.

To avoid this problem, ask about an energy recovery ventilator. These devices are designed to transfer heat from one environment into another. So, in the winter, heated air inside is kept inside and in the summer, cooled air is kept inside. The result is a much lower energy bill without a disruption to your ventilation sources.

Supplements to Ventilation

Proper ventilation should not only provide fresh air, but it should also ensure your home has clean air. The air outside may be fresher, but it can be filled with pollutants like pollen, dander and smoke. These should be removed before they get inside and into the lungs of your loved ones. To do this, you need a full sized air cleaning system that removes particles from the air down to 0.3 microns.

HEPA filters can do this, as will electronic air cleaners which can ionize and remove smoke and gas particles.

If you have any questions about the ventilation in your home, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Acton Plumber’s Tip: How a Storage Water Heater Works

Monday, May 21st, 2012

For decades, millions of Americans have used storage water heaters to heat and store hot water for future use. These tanks are very simple and in many cases have become much more energy efficient, but you probably are wondering how they actually work. Here is a quick overview of a storage water heater tank and how it works.

 The Basics

A storage water heater is exactly as it sounds. A large volume of water is funneled into a storage tank of between 20 and 80 gallons and heated for future use. When you turn on a hot water tap, water from the top of the tank is removed through the hot water outlet and cold water enters the tank through the cold water inlet – replacing the displaced volume and heated by the gas burner beneath the tank.

Your Acton water heater can be electric, gas, propane or oil. When the water temperature falls (as hot water is pulled from the tank), the thermostat opens and the gas burner ignites, heating the water until it reaches the preset temperature of the thermostat and it closes.

 The Tank

When a tank is turned on, it is constantly heating the water supply. As a result, standby heat loss occurs. However, modern tanks are being built with exceptionally high insulation ratings (up to R-25) to minimize the loss of such heat. Additional heat loss occurs in gas and oil water heaters that must vent fumes and gasses through an internal flue. Fan assisted gas tanks and sealed combustion tanks reduce this type of energy loss in gas water heaters.

Determining the Best Water Heater for You

If you want a new water heater for your home, make sure you do your research and learn what types of water heaters will minimize heat and energy loss without reducing your comfort level. Modern tank water heaters are surprisingly efficient, but only certain ones. An Acton plumber can help you determine which option is best for you. For any service on your water heater, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Andover Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

This Saturday May, 19th is Household Hazardous Waste Collection for Andover, MA residents. If you have any of the following hazardous items and would like to dispose of them, please bring them to West Elementary School from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Waste Collection | Andover | Basnett Plumbing and Heating

Mercury items
Lead acid batteries
Rechargeable batteries
Button batteries
Photographic chemicals
Waste oil
Pool chemicals
Oil based paint


Basnett Plumbing & Heating provides heating, cooling, and plumbing services to MetroWest area since 1987.

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Littleton Plumbing Q/A: Why Does My Sink Backup When I Run the Washing Machine?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Every now and then something strange happens to your Littleton plumbing that is simultaneously baffling and frustrating. Gray water from your washing machine backing up into your sink is one such problem and for many homeowners it can be an ongoing source of annoyance.

Why does this happen? To start with, know that your sink and washing machine drain lines tend to run congruent to each other. This means they combine at some point on the way to the main sewer line. So, if there is a problem after they combine, it can affect both systems.

 How to Fix the Problem

First, you must pinpoint the problem. More often than not, a washing machine backup will occur in one or more sinks during or after the drain cycle of your washing machine. This may not happen every time or it may get progressively worse. It depends on why it is happening in the first place.

If the sink doesn’t back up on its own when you do the dishes or run the faucet, the clog is probably deeper in the pipes and only responds to the large volume of water being drained from your washing machine. In either case, you probably have a clog in the drainage pipe after the two combine.

Do NOT use any chemicals to clear the clog. Not only do chemicals cause damage to your pipes, which can lead to cracks and leaks later, they are not always effective at actually removing the problem – they simply minimize it in the short term.

To solve the problem, you’ll either need to plunge the sink and hopefully clear out the clog or have someone snake the line to pull the clog out of the drain pipe. If you cannot clear it on your own, it may be a good time to call a Littleton plumber for a more in-depth attempt to fix the problem.

For any plumbing repairs in the MetroWest Boston area, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Plumbing and Heating Services with Integrity

Friday, May 11th, 2012

At Basnett Plumbing and Heating we maintain the principles of integrity, quality, and reliability. This is proven with each testimonial we receive from our happy customers!

Principles | Littleton | Basnett

“Highly recommend this shop. They added a tricky 3rd floor bath in an old home. Work was done right, on time, and at a reasonable price. Coordinating well with the General Contractor (me 🙂 on the job.”

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Littleton Plumbing Guide: Water Saving in a New Home

Monday, May 7th, 2012

New homes offer many new water saving features which older homes tend not to offer.  Water saving in a new home  in Littleton can be quite simple, considering all the new technologies which are available to home builders.  Make yourself knowledgeable about these options and when you purchase a new home watch for these.  If you are building a home, it is good to communicate to the builder which of these options you want in water efficiency.

Indoor Water Saving Solutions

Up to 70% of water usage in residences happens indoors.  A number of items that new homes tend to provide save water usage and money in the long-run.

  • Fixtures such as toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads offer low-flow options
  • High efficiency and low energy use hot water heaters
  • New appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers
  • Install a tankless water heater close to the most used hot water usage areas
  • Use of an on-demand style recirculation system in combination with a high efficiency water heater
  • Install a solar water heating system to preheat water which enters the tankless water heater
  • Check for leaks regularly to ensure there is no waste

Outdoor Water Conservation

Anywhere from 30% to 70% of water usage of homes is used outdoors for yard landscaping and pool upkeep.  When designing an outdoor space, it is important to keep in mind how much water will be used for upkeep, as well as to ensure that water is saved where possible.


  • Properly plan and design the landscaping
  • Limit grass and lawn to 40% or less of landscaped areas
  • Choose plants and flora which are regionally appropriate
    • Group plants according to similar water usages
    • Use native plants and those which have low water needs
    • Schedule efficient irrigation
    • Use fixed-spray sprinklers on lawn
    • Use drip or micro irrigation on plants, flowers, and bushes
    • Water during cooler times of day to ensure little evaporation due to heat
    • Do not over-water, it can harm plants just as much as not watering enough
    • Use mulch to prevent evaporation of water near plants, and to keep weeds away
    • Keep the yard properly maintained and the soil healthy with fertilizers


  • Use a pool cover when the pool is not in use; this can save 30% to 50% of water which is wasted through evaporation
  • Keep the pool temperature a few degrees lower, the higher the temperature of the water the more evaporation occurs
  • Plant a windbreak of tall foliage to prevent wind from whipping water out of the pool
  • Check and fix leaks regularly
  • Clean pool and pool filters regularly to prevent backwash

Whether indoors or outdoors, water saving in new homes is quite easy, and while some options mean spending some money initially, the long-term savings on water month over month and year over year are quite significant and worthwhile indeed. If you have any questions about upgrades you can make to your Littleton plumbing, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call today!

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Rinnai Tankless Water Heater: Up to $925 in Rebates!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Purchase a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater between May 1st and July 31st, 2012 and receive up to $125 off in rebates. Receive up to $800 in rebates on qualifying water heater from GasNetworks. Get a $125 rebate for any Ultra Series Tankless Water Heater from Rinnai and an $800 rebate from GasNetworks on that same model! Get a $75 rebate on any Luxury Series or Value Series Tankless Water Heater from Rinnai and a $500 rebate from GasNetworks on that same model.

With a tankless model you can enjoy endless hot water, lower energy bills, longevity, space savings, and ENERGY STAR approval. Call Basnett Plumbing and Heating for all your On-Demand Tankless Water Heater needs! Get more information on the Rinnai rebate, and the GasNetworks rebate.

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