Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for November, 2014

How Pipe Relining Can Repair Your Sewer Line

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Modern technology has improved our lives in ways many people aren’t even aware of. When you call a plumber for pipe repair, you may feel as though you have to prepare your property to be torn up in some major ways. In the past, plumbers were forced to take apart your walls or dig up an entire yard in order to diagnose the issue and replace pipes that were leaking or otherwise worn down. Your sewer line runs underneath your yard, and you may be afraid that plumbers will damage the landscaping while repairing yours.

These days, however, innovations in plumbing have brought us new ways to fix a sewer line. First, a plumber will inspect the pipes to determine the problem using video camera inspection technology, which will not require the plumber to dig up the yard. Then, any cracks can be fixed with a very efficient pipe relining process. This process works for most leaks and to replace worn down pipes as well.

Pipe Relining: A Safe and Convenient Repair or Replacement Process

So how does it work? The process is fairly simple. A plumber must find a point of entry and exit for the pipes, which usually involves digging two small holes only. Then, the plumber uses a machine to line the inside of the pipes with an adhesive and insert a deflated pipe lining. A machine then inflates the lining so that it becomes pressed to the adhesive, creating a new lining for the pipes. This process is entirely safe for your plumbing and should last for decades to come in most cases.

Know the Signs Your Sewer Line Is in Trouble

Be sure to contact a plumber for pipe relining or other repair and replacement services as soon as you notice your pipes are in trouble. You may sense a problem with the sewer line if there is slow or backed up drainage or strange smells from the drains or in the yard. Otherwise, look for wet spots in the yard or parts of the grass that seem to be greener or growing more quickly than the rest.

When you need drain & sewer repair in Lunenburg, trust in the plumbing experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

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10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Common Water Heater Repairs

Tuesday, 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.

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Why Oil Boilers Are Becoming Popular Heating Options Once More

Monday, 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.

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What Is an Indirect Fired Water Heater?

Tuesday, 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.

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Benefits of Installing a Humidifier for Your Home

Monday, 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.

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Why You May Need Condensate Pump Installation

Tuesday, 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.

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Some of the Benefits of Direct Vent Heaters

Monday, 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.

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