Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln’

Arlington, MA Plumber’s Tip: Common Plumbing Clogs

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Maintaining the drain lines in your Arlington, MA area home is one way to avoid common plumbing clogs. This includes regular drain cleanings and avoiding flushing or washing anything down your drains that could cause a clog. It helps to know what these common clogs are and how to prevent from from occurring.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating any time if you have further questions or need plumbing repairs.

Toilet Clogs

Toilet clogs could be temporary or an indication that you may have a larger plumbing problem. While there could be a clog deeper in the drain line, you could have something caught near the base of the toilet. The only way to know is to call a plumber, since plunging it is only temporary. Toilets that are backing up often usually means there’s a larger issue. You don’t want to be left with a leaking sewer line at a joint where a clog is located.

Sink Clogs

Grease clogs are one of the most common kitchen sink clogs. Avoid putting grease or cooking oil down your drains or in your garbage disposal. Also avoid using conventional drain cleaners since they have chemicals that can hurt your pipes. Call for a professional drain cleaning service or use natural cleaning products.

Shower Drains

Hair, dirt, and soap scum can cause slow shower drains or clogs, so get a hair trap to avoid this. However, it is important to clean these out often so that the hair and other debris don’t cause slow drains or get backed up in the drain.

Call the Arlington, MA plumbers at Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you would like to know more about common plumbing clogs and how to prevent them.

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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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MetroWest Boston Heating Tip: How to Get My Furnace Ready for Winter

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Being cold in the winter is normal – as long as you are outside. But you shouldn’t be cold inside your MetroWest home. If that happens, the first place to look to is your furnace, which may not be working correctly. Furnaces are like any other piece of mechanical equipment. They need to be maintained and serviced on a regular basis to ensure they are working at peak efficiency and warming your entire home at your desired comfort level.

First of all, check and see when you last had your furnace serviced. If it has been over one year ago, you should schedule a maintenance inspection from your local MetroWest heating and cooling professional. And when you make that appointment, ask about service agreements and getting on a regular maintenance schedule. Most heating and cooling contractors offer service agreement plans which include furnace and air conditioning check-ups on an annual basis.

Okay, so you know who to call for maintenance but what can you do yourself? First of all, give your furnace a little “help” by checking the vents and returns throughout the house. Ensure that there are no obstructions or blockages such as rugs, clothing, furniture, etc. You need to have unobstructed paths for your heated and return air to flow. The more congested the path, the harder your furnace will have to work. And while you’re at it, make sure your vents are open or closed, depending on how much you use your rooms. For example, if you have an extra bedroom that doesn’t need to be heated, closed off the vent or close the damper in the ductwork. The heated air will be diverted to other parts of your home where it is needed.

You can also help the airflow by vacuuming the vent cover or removing it and vacuuming any of the ductwork that you can easily get to. For a more thorough job consider calling a qualified and professional duct cleaning contractor. Many heating and cooling contractors also offer duct cleaning service, too.

Another maintenance function that you can perform is cleaning or replacing the furnace filter. Depending on the size of your home and its air quality (occupants, pets, etc.), you may want to clean or replace your air filter every one to three months. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and can put contaminants like dirt and dust right back into your air system. If you don’t know how to replace your air filter, consult the furnace owner’s manual or go online to learn more. If your furnace uses an electrostatic air filter, it will need to be removed and cleaned, either by using a hose or with soapy water and a hose. Make sure you let it dry before re-installing it.

You may also want to inspect any electrical wires around your furnace to ensure none are broken or frayed. A visual inspection should be good enough.

Once you have done what you can, let your MetroWest heating and cooling professional take over from there. Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today!

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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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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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Still River Heating Tips: Simple Steps to Prevent Heat Loss

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

There are two fundamental ways to make your Still River house warmer. One is to generate heat, which is the job of your furnace or boiler. The second is to keep the warm air in — and thereby keep cold air out — which is the job of your system of insulation.

The idea that the physical structure of a home can be a component of the HVAC system is one that is often overlooked, but when you think about it, it makes sense. The insulation, windows, doors and building materials that comprise your home are designed to keep the place warm against the cold and vice versa.

So, when bolstering your HVAC system to promote efficient heating, it is important to also consider heat loss and how to prevent it. This is a process that can get out of hand if you go overboard, so it is important to prioritize. Let’s look at the top 3 places to start when trying to prevent heat loss.

  1. Doors and Windows:  If you have older doors and windows, they could be a source of heat loss in your house, even if they are always closed. Replacing your windows and door with Energy Star rated ones will make sure that you are not losing heat to the outside AND still getting all the heat energy from the sun. Installing storm windows or putting up heavy curtains in winter can also help cut down on your heat loss.
  1. Seal off drafts. If any opening to your house, such as windows and doors, is improperly sealed, improperly installed or if the surrounding construction is deteriorating, you can lose a lot of heat. Check any drafts that you notice that might indicate a problem, and also if your vents and air ducts are leaky.
  1. Start at the top. If you want to go farther in sealing your house up against the cold, it is time to work on the insulation. When installing new insulation, remember that heat rises, so you get the most bang for your buck by starting at the top. If you only have the budget or time to insulate one space, make it the attic. You can work down from there.

These areas should be your top three priorities on your mission to prevent heat loss in your Still River home. If you start here, you will get the best gains with the least effort. If you have any questions about how to keep your home warm this winter, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Boiler Tips from Reading: Basic Boiler Maintenance

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The boiler in your Reading home is a sensitive piece of equipment that needs routine maintenance and repairs. Regularly maintaining your boiler is especially important for safety reasons. Many boiler malfunctions and accidents are due to neglecting some of these basic tasks.

Even if you’ve just installed a new boiler, the safety valves and settings should be checked by a professional on a regular basis to prevent a breakdown or hazard. We recommend that you schedule a boiler inspection and cleaning at least once a year. Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you have any questions about boiler maintenance.

A service technician will measure the pressure, drain and remove sediment buildup, test the efficiency ratings, and make sure your boiler is set at the right temperatures. Regular maintenance can also help you determine whether or not you need a boiler replacement. By keeping track of performance levels, you will be able to tell when it’s time for an upgrade.

Other tasks performed during an annual maintenance visit include cleaning and lubricating all the components, checking for any leaks or clogs, and testing gas boilers for any carbon monoxide intrusion. If you have any gas appliances in your home, you should always have carbon monoxide detectors and test them once a month.

Boiler pressure is something that you can check often on your own. If you aren’t sure how to read the pressure gauge, or if you aren’t sure what the right pressure should be, just call one of our technicians to walk you through this process.

Always call Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you have any problems with the boiler in your Reading home. We are here to help and answer any questions you may have.

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Downflow Gas Furnace Tips from Lincoln

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Proper care of your Lincoln home’s downflow gas furnace starts with proper installation and continues through routine cleaning and maintenance. But before you can even have a downflow gas furnace installed, you need to make sure it’s the right fit for your home.

Downflow gas furnaces are so named because of the direction that air flows through them. The cooler air is taken in at the top and directed downward, heating up as it travels, and then is expelled through the bottom of the furnace into ducts that feed the rest of the house. Because of this configuration, downflow  gas furnaces are typically installed in attics as opposed to basements.

If you have a basement and you’d rather install your furnace there, then an upflow furnace is probably the better choice for you. However, as many newer homes don’t have basements at all, downflow gas furnaces are growing in popularity and usefulness.

As with any other furnace, it’s important to have a downflow gas furnace professionally installed. This will ensure that the venting system is properly in place and that your house will be heated as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Of course, there are some other things you can do to help your furnace heat your home and keep your energy bills down. For instance, make sure you have proper insulation everywhere, particularly in the attic and crawlspaces where much of the normal heat loss in a home occurs.

You can also make your home more airtight in the winter by sealing up any unused windows and doors with plastic and making sure all storm windows are in place. Basically anyplace that a draft could develop, you could be losing heat and that costs you money. So to ensure that all of the money you’re spending to heat your house is actually going to that purpose, check periodically to make sure your home is still sealed up tight.

Also, just like any other type of furnace, a downflow gas furnace will require regular maintenance to make sure it continues to run efficiently and to replace any parts that may have worn out over time. Having a Lincoln HVAC technician come out once a year to carry out this type of service will wind up saving you a bunch of money and can help catch problems before they are able to get out of hand.

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A Question from Boxborough: What Is Forced Air Heating?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Chances are that you’ve heard the term forced air heating in Boxborough before, particularly if you’re in the market for a new home heating system. But what does that actually mean? The truth is that if you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. There are so many types of home heating systems out there that it’s common to be a bit confused and overwhelmed by it all.

The truth is that a forced air heating system is simply a heating system that distributes heat throughout your house using air to carry it. In this type of system, heated air travels through a system of ducts and is expelled through vents into the different rooms and areas of your home in order to maintain a particular temperature. That temperature, of course, is whatever you set your thermostat to, and when the desired temperature is reached, the heat will shut off until the temperature drops down again.

The main difference between the different types of forced air heating systems is the type of equipment that heats the air. For instance, you could have a gas furnace, an electric furnace, a heat pump or a hydronic coil. All of these are capable of heating air, and when paired with a fan, blower or air handler, can distribute heated air throughout your home.

Many forced air heating systems are remarkably energy efficient and can effectively keep you home comfortable all winter long. Additionally, they are generally made to be incorporated with central air conditioning systems for year round temperature control. Heat pumps are especially convenient in this way, as they’re able to both heat and cool your home depending on the season and your home comfort needs.

Particularly if you already have ductwork in place or if you’re choosing a heating system for a new construction home, it can make a lot of sense to opt for some type of forced air heating. However, if you’re looking to replace an existing heating system in a house that doesn’t already have ductwork in place, the need to put it in can add a lot to the overall installation costs of the system.

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