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

Littleton, MA Plumbing Question: What Is a Sewage Ejector Pump?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

In some homes in Littleton, MA, sewage ejector pumps are a critical part of the plumbing system. There are a couple of different applications for this kind of equipment. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we’ve been working with customers throughout the Littleton, MA area for many years to make sure that their plumbing system works well. We thought that it would be helpful if we put together a basic explanation of what a sewer ejector pump is and how it is used.

How Sewage Flows

Many homes in Littleton, MA are designed so that gravity will pull the waste water from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas down into your septic tank or sewage system. This is not always possible.

The Sump Pump of Sewage

In homes that have fixtures below the grade of the sewer or septic lines, the sewage won’t flow up and out of the house on its own—it needs some help. The sewage ejector pump is installed in the lowest point of the home, typically in the basement. The sewage from the fixtures will drain into a basin, which is capable of holding about 40 gallons of liquid. The sewage ejector pump is activated by a float, similar to the one in the tank of your toilet. The pump will push the sewage up a pipe that meets the normal sewer line of your home so that it can drain out into your septic tank or sewer system.

When to Install a Sewage Ejector Pump

If you’ve just started to notice that your plumbing system is having trouble draining out of your home, it could be that you need an ejector pump. Sometimes this can be the result of a clog, but if you’ve had your pipes inspected, you may want to ask your plumber in Littleton, MA about the possibility of putting in an ejector pump.

Of course, the best time to put one in is if you’re getting ready to do a new construction project. It is an intensive job that requires a lot of digging and jackhammering through concrete.

If you have any questions about the plumbing in your home, call the expert plumbers at Basnett Plumbing. We have years of experience offering top quality plumbing services in the Littleton, MA area. Give us a call today.

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When to Schedule Heating Repair in Weston, MA

Monday, November 19th, 2012

If you are a homeowner, you have probably been told time and time again that you should call for professional heating repair service as soon as you notice a problem with your home heating system in Weston, MA. Of course in order to do this you must first be aware of that problem. Many homeowners do not understand the warning signs that their home heating system is in need of repair. Unfortunately, the longer that necessary repairs are put off, the more serious the damage to your heating system is likely to be and the more expensive those necessary repairs become. Don’t let minor, common problems with the heating system in your Weston, MA home worsen to the point that they cause serious damage to your heater. Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating the moment that you are made aware of a problem with your heating system.

Here are some warning signs that your heater may be in need of repair service from a local, professional service provider.

As a basic rule, you should consider any irregularities or inconsistencies that develop with your home heating system to be cause enough for a call to the professionals. There are a number of common changes you may notice with your heater that justify a maintenance visit and may require repairs. If, for instance, you have made no changes to your home heating habits yet notice an increase in heating costs, you have an efficiency problem. There are a number of causes that could be behind this inefficiency, such as leaky ducts, a faulty thermostat or insufficient or damaged installation. Whatever the cause, professional repair service is necessary get your heater working efficiently again.

You may also notice that your heater simply is not providing the consistent heating performance that it once did. This is one of the most common warning signs that there is a problem with your heater requiring professional repair service. As your heater ages it will lose some of its efficiency, but most modern heaters have long life expectancies and the loss should not be substantial over a short amount of time. If you notice uneven heating or the development of cold spots throughout your home call for professional repairs immediately.

Even something as simple as odd odors emanating from your air registers or unfamiliar noises developing during the operation of your heating system may indicate a more serious problem that will require professional repair service to rectify. The only way to be sure is to call your  Weston, MA heating contractor. Only then can you be sure that your heater is in good working condition.

If you notice any of these situations in your Weston, MA home, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating for the service you need to get your heater back on track. Our repair services will ensure your comfort this winter. Call today to schedule a visit.

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Common Boiler Problems in Lancaster, MA

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Boilers have long been a favorite home heating option, and it is easy to understand why. They are durable, require little maintenance and have a very long life expectancy. They are also a very efficient way to heat your Lancaster, MA home. This does not mean, though, that you will never experience a problem with your boiler. Every home heating system is going to need some sort of repair service eventually, and your boiler is no exception. As with any heater the most important thing to remember is to call a professional heating service provider immediately upon realizing there is a problem with your boiler. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating we know that heater problems can be a serious inconvenience, and that is why we work hard to ensure that all repairs are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here are some of the more common boiler problems that you may face in your home.

One of the most alarming problems that your boiler may suffer from is a failure to produce any heat or hot water at all. The good news is that this is a very common issue as far as these problems go, and that there are a number of relatively minor problems that could be the cause. Problems with your thermostat, air locks or motorized valves may be the cause, and all can be quickly and affordably repaired or replaced.

A common issue with any unit storing is water is leaking. Your boiler system may leak water from a number of different areas. Sometimes it is as simple as an improper seal at a joint, while other times corrosion or other damages may be the cause. Either way it is important to have the problem addressed and repaired as quickly as possible.

Don’t ignore the development of strange noises in your home heating system. If you hear banging, gurgling or other unusual sounds call Basnett right away. It may be as simple as air in your pipes, or you may have a buildup of lime scales in your boiler’s components which is known as kittling. A professional heating technician can determine the exact cause of the issue.

Uneven heating in your home may be a problem with your boiler system, but there are a number of other problems that could be the cause. Having a professional assess the problem will rule out other common problems, including poorly calibrated thermostats. Seeking professional assistance is the only way to ensure that your boiler problem is being solved correctly and completely.

When you have problems with your boiler in Lancaster, MA, call the boiler repair professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We have years of experience with boiler service, and we’ll make sure that your problem is resolved reliably.

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Littleton Furnace Repair Question: What Causes Cracks in a Heat Exchanger?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Furnaces are designed so that the heat – and the combustion byproduct produced inside – doesn’t interact directly with the outside air. This design is to ensure you have a safer furnace in your Littleton home that won’t inadvertently affect your family’s health.

The metal piece that separates the furnace heat from the outside air stream is called the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger performs a very important function, and if it is broken or cracked, it can’t work properly.

A cracked heat exchanger is very common problem with heating systems, as well as one that should be repaired as soon as possible. But what causes a heat exchanger to crack? Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • A long period of normal use. A furnace heat exchanger naturally expands and contracts with the heat of the furnace, over and over again as the furnace is turned off and on to heat the home. Over several years, this stress can crack the metal.
  • Poor air flow, often caused by dirty or obstructed vents, can result in poor air flow through the furnace. This overworks the furnace, which can crack the heat exchanger prematurely.
  • Poor, incomplete or improper combustion can also cause a heat exchanger to crack. When the combustion process is less efficient – which can also be a result of poor air flow — your furnace’s burners have to run hotter and longer to heat your home, which means extra stress on the heat exchanger.

Essentially, if a furnace is running at less than optimal efficiency for an extended period of time, the heat exchanger is put under additional stress beyond the usual and can crack prematurely. Therefore, the best way to prevent a cracked heat exchanger is proper maintenance, particularly keeping all vents clean and unobstructed and getting an annual maintenance inspection.

If your heat exchanger does crack, do not hesitate to call a Littleton furnace repair professional like Basnett Plumbing & Heating and get it repaired. The crack can allow potentially dangerous combustion gases to seep into your home, which can have a negative impact on your family’s health.

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