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

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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Lunenburg HVAC Question: What Does the EPA Do for Indoor Air Quality

Monday, July 30th, 2012

There are a number of agencies in the United States dedicated to protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens. What does that mean for you in Lunenburg? It means many of the rules and regulations related to indoor air quality are directly overseen by the EPA and the US government. For a better idea of how this impacts your currently lifestyle, here’s a quick look at what the EPA does.

Formation

The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 by Richard Nixon and the US Congress to oversee the regulation and oversight of air, water, land and hazardous waste. In short, the EPA works to keep our environment clean and safe.

The EPA and Homeowners

While much of what the EPA does relates to corporate pollution, regulations for manufacturing and consumer products, and development of safe methods of production for things like oil, food and water, the EPA has a big hand in ensuring your home stays safe.

Specifically, the EPA started and oversees the Energy Star program to help consumers purchase appliances and HVAC systems that use the least possible energy. Additionally, the EPA oversees the measurements and minimum requirements for home insulation and ventilation. This has as direct impact on indoor air quality.

Current EPA regulations are based on the ASHRAE Standards for low rise buildings and has been revised in the last two decades to ensure proper ventilation and insulation to reduce energy waste and maintain clean, fresh air.

The clean air act has a big impact on how homes are ventilated and maintained and the EPA does a lot of public service work to educate the public on ways to stay safe, including a recent campaign to get your home tested for radon – a potentially life threatening gas that can exist in any home, regardless of age.

Getting to Know the EPA

If you have an indoor air quality problem in Lunenburg, one of the best resources on the Internet is the EPA’s indoor air quality website. It contains laws and regulations that impact your home (if you plan on remodeling or adding on to your home) and dozens of resources for testing and understanding the levels of pollutants in your home. For more information about keeping your indoor air clean, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating!

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Littleton Plumbing Tip: Stop Kitchen Sink Clogs Before They Jam Up Your Sink

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Most homes in the Littleton area have garbage disposals attached to their kitchen sink drains. However, not all garbage disposals are alike. Some have powerful grinding motors that can easily handle large volumes of food scraps and shred them into fragments that quickly move through the drain. Less powerful units may jam or incompletely shred the food scraps, which can build up and eventually clog the drain.

If you have a garbage disposal in your Littleton home,  run plenty of water while operating it and listen to make sure it’s completely finished grinding before you switch it off. If you have an older unit, or a unit rated at 1/3 horsepower, you may want to reduce the volume of scraps you put into the drain, and probably not use it for disposing bones and other tough or stringy scraps.

Don’t Pour Grease Down the Sink

No matter what kind of disposal you have, you should never pour grease down the sink. That applies to sinks without garbage disposals as well. Grease does not mix with water, so it will cling to the interior walls of the drain pipes. Pouring detergent or soap down the drain can loosen some of the grease but not all of it. As it builds up, the grease will collect hair, food fragments, and other debris and eventually become a thick clot that backs up the sink.

Bacon grease is an obvious culprit, but every meat releases a small amount of grease when it cooks. When preparing a meal, if you must pour liquid that might contain grease down the sink, follow it with plenty of hot water and dish detergent. The detergent will help flush away the grease before it builds up.

Other Causes

Even without a grease build up, hair can clog up a sink, particularly when it collects in the trap, which is the U-shaped curve of the drain pipe. Hair makes its way into the sink from washing and cleaning chores. Mopping the floor picks up loose hair. When the cleaning bucket is dumped down the sink, the hair can accumulate in the trap. Buckets of dirty water from cleaning chores should be dumped down the toilet, which has a much larger diameter drain pipe.

Soap, particularly from a bar of soap, and other detergents can clog a drain if they are allowed to accumulate. A bar of soap left in the sink can slowly ooze soap into the drain, causing a buildup that will grab hair and other debris. If dish detergent or other detergent is accidentally spilled into the sink, wash it away with plenty of hot water.

Never pour paint or solvents down the sink or toilet. They don’t mix with water, will leach through septic systems, and cannot easily be removed by municipal waste treatment plants. They can also build up inside your home’s waste pipes.

For any plumbing repair in the Littleton area, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Concord Heating Tip: What to do if Your Heating System Breaks

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

What if the heart of your Concord heating system – the furnace – stops working? The warm air that used to flow from your vents has been replaced by a chilly draft. It isn’t time to panic, but it is time to take action. Before you do anything, determine why the furnace stopped working. It may be something as simple as a tripped circuit breaker in your electrical panel. Check the circuit breakers first.

The pilot light in your furnace may have blown out. It can be re-lit if you follow the directions in your furnace owner’s manual. You can find answers on how to re-light a pilot light on the Internet, too.

If the shutdown has not been caused by an electrical or pilot light failure, there is still no need to panic. But another obvious question is: did you pay your last gas bill? Maybe you had a shutoff notice and either ignored it or forgot about it.

Now that you are convinced that the furnace has failed, here are some things you should do. First, find the name of a qualified Concord heating and cooling professional. If you already use a heating contractor, contact them and schedule a service call.

While you are waiting for help to arrive, ensure that everyone is safe and accounted for. Make sure pets are nearby and protected from the cold, too. What you don’t want to do is use any appliance to keep you warm that is not designed to keep you warm, like a stove. If you have electric space heaters or propane heaters, carefully locate them in a well vented room (windows open a bit or portable fans circulating air). You don’t want any build-up of gases from fossil burning appliances, gases which could contain deadly carbon monoxide.

Huddle up everyone into a room and break out lots of blankets. You may even want to make an “adventure” of this – find a movie to watch and pop up a bunch of popcorn.  If your waiting time is more than 24 hours, you might want to call up a friend or relative and make arrangements to spend the night with them.

The main thing to remember is not to panic. Most qualified Concord heating contractors, knowing the circumstances, will send out a repair person in a matter of minutes or within one or two hours. Just remember to avoid keeping warm by using unvented heating devices.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today if you suspect a problem with your heating system!

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Chelmsford Plumbing Tip: What You Can Do to Prevent Problems in Your Drains

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

When you look at your Chelmsford home’s drain, it seems fairly simple. You pour things down and they disappear into the ether, never to be seen again. Of course, that logic goes out the window the second the drain starts to backup or overflow. There are things you can do to avoid such problems though and most of the time, they cost nothing and take only a few minutes a week.

Simple Household Drain Maintenance

The first step to avoiding a problem is not putting anything down your drain that might cause said problem in the first place. Specifically, avoid grease, food, or other objects that might build up in your drains if not properly disposed.

Food can be broken down by a garbage disposal or, even better, placed in a compost pile. Grease, however, should never enter your sink at all. Pour all old kitchen grease into a coffee pot or bucket and dispose of it carefully. It can be thrown away in some places, or it can be recycled. Whatever you do, though, don’t pour it down the drain.

Another easy tip to keeping those drains clear is to pour a natural compound down every now and then like dishwashing liquid or baking soda and vinegar. Expensive drain cleaners are not only unnecessary – they are unsafe for the person using them and can cause damage to the pipes if you are not careful. To avoid such damage, stick with hot water based compounds and vinegar. The key is to do it preventatively.

If you wait until a full blown clog occurs, baking soda and vinegar may not get the job done and you’ll need to call a Chelmsford plumber who has a snake or other equipment to get the clog out.

Professional Maintenance

While regular flushing of your drain with hot water and vinegar allows you to clear out the vast majority of the stuff that builds up there every week, it’s also a good idea to call a professional for annual maintenance. Such annual maintenance involves visual inspection, professional grade clearing of food and waste products and a full flush. Done properly, this will minimize the cost of future repairs and replacements and keep your Chelmsford plumbing running smoothly for years to come.

For more information about how you can maintain your plumbing, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call today!

 

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Boxborough Plumber’s Guide: How to Shut Off Your Water Supply

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

In the case of a plumbing emergency, the last thing you want to do is watch as more water continues to pour into your Boxborough home through a burst pipe, broken appliance or busted water valve. So, the first step should always be to turn off your main water supply valve. Here are some tips for finding that valve and getting the water supply off as soon as possible.

Finding Your Main Water Supply Valve

The valve is almost always located in one of two places. It will either be outside at the entry point for the water supply to your house or it will be located in your basement or garage between the inlet and the main water line. In some cases, it may be even be under an access panel in basement. However, this is less common than the first two options.

Once you find the main water supply valve, turn it off to immediately stop more water from entering your home. If you notice that water is continuing to enter your home, you have a problem before the entry valve and should call the city immediately because one of their pipes might have burst.

Shutting Off Individual Appliances

In many cases, the problem is related to a single appliance. If this is the case, you don’t necessarily need to turn off the entire water supply – just the supply valve for the specific appliance or fixture. Every major water fixture and appliance in your home should have its own shutoff valve in an easy to reach place. This goes for every sink, toilet, shower, dishwasher, and washing machine in your home – not having those valves can be dangerous.

Once you have turned off your water supply, it’s time to call a plumber. Make sure to keep track of everything you do (take notes if you can) and supply that information to the plumber both on the phone and when they arrive. It will help them diagnose and solve the problem much faster.

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Lunenburg HVAC Tip: DIY Home Maintenance

Friday, January 13th, 2012

If you own a home in Lunenburg, there are a lot of fun ways you can stay on top of regular maintenance without hiring a contractor. Sure, there are some tasks only a Lunenburg contractor should perform, but there are plenty of others you can take care of with a little spare time on the weekend.

  • Fixing Leaks – Unless it’s in a main line or in your sewer, you can usually fix a leak or clog in your pipes by yourself. Replacing a faucet, snaking a line, or taking apart a fixture should still be done with the help of manufacturer’s guidelines, but as long as you turn the water supply off correctly, you should be okay taking things apart and making quick repairs.
  • Yard Installations – Short of digging it up (always have it checked for gas and electricity lines), you can do pretty much anything on your own in the yard. This includes composting, landscaping, adding a barbeque pit or upgrading your back porch.
  • Painting – Feel free to paint anything in or around your home without the help of a pro. Just make sure to use proper ventilation and to ensure that you remove any old paint carefully. If you’re not sure about the age of your paint, it should be tested for lead before you chip it clean, especially if you have children.
  • Replace Appliances – Old appliances can be removed and replaced relatively easily as long as you have someone to help you get rid of the old ones. Also, if you have a gas stove or other appliances that run on gas, always have them checked by a professional. Never unplug gas lines without someone there to ensure the gas supply to your home is off.
  • Tiling – Tiling is something anyone can do, but make sure you’re ready for the time commitment. Especially if you plan on putting tiles on a wall, it’s easy to make a mistake and ruin good tiles or good walls. Also, proper sealing around water fixtures like a bathtub or sink is vital. If you’re not sure, call a plumber to help.

There are a lot of ways you can have fun and fix up your house without paying for a professional’s help. But, remember not to take on jobs that are too much for you. If you aren’t sure how to complete a task or you want a second opinion, never be afraid to call a pro in for some help. Even if they just check your work, it will save you money and you get the satisfaction of having done the work yourself.

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Chelmsford Heating System Preventative Maintenance

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” His famous quotation can apply to many things in life, including the heating system in your Chelmsford home. While heating systems in Ben Franklin’s time consisted of wood burning stove and fireplaces requiring little maintenance, today’s sophisticated furnaces and building controls require a good dose of preventative maintenance in order to avoid mechanical failures and inefficient operation.

For example, a furnace runs better and lasts longer when you maintain a regular schedule of filter cleaning or replacing. A dirty or clogged filter can restrict airflow from the furnace into your home’s ventilation system and cause the furnace to work harder, putting more wear and tear on it and taking months, if not years, off of its useful life. If your furnace uses disposable filters, check them every month and replace them if necessary. If your furnace uses an electronic filter that requires cleaning, check it on a monthly or semi-monthly basis and clean it with soapy water and a hose. Be aware of the change of seasons which could add extra pollutants into the air like pollens, ragweed, and cottonwood. This debris easily finds its way into the filters and creates an unhealthy indoor environment.

You can also perform a simple visual inspection of working components inside your furnace by removing the access cover and checking – with a flashlight – for loose fan belts, frayed electrical wires, or a build-up of dirt and dust. Simple solutions include tightening or replacing belts, repairing wiring, and vacuuming out dirt and dust with a hose attachment. All of these actions will keep your furnace working better and prevent future failures.

You can also do a visual check of your home’s ventilation system, paying close attention to any cracks in duct seams or holes in flex ductwork. Using sealing cement or duct tape can usually fix these problems and allow for better, unrestricted air flow. Again, these actions will help your furnace work more efficiently and avoid premature failures.

Maybe the best advice for preventing heating system breakdowns is to have a regular maintenance schedule with a local qualified heating contractor. Most contractors can set you up with annual furnace and ventilation system inspections. Having a service agreement – as a rule – gives you priority emergency repairs and discounts on parts and services. Besides that, planned maintenance is also preventative maintenance, something that will give you peace of mind in the long run.

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