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

How to Find the Right HVAC Contractors for Cold Weather

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

snowy-homeSummers can get a bit warm and humid in Southborough, MA, but they are nothing when compared to the chill of our autumns and winters. The winter in Massachusetts is a time to snuggle up at home on the couch with the heater running. That is, until it breaks down and all you have left is a blanket and a warm cup of cocoa. This is not an ideal substitute, and you’ll need a heating contractor fast.

So who are you going to call? We think it’s important to know the name of a heating technician you trust, so that every year, at any time, you have someone you can trust to bring into your home if need be (or for routine maintenance services). We want to help you find the best HVAC technicians (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) for the job this winter—and every year!

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Littleton Plumbing Tip: What to Keep Out of Your Drains

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

You depend on a lot of different systems in your home to make it through your day as comfortably and conveniently as possible. Few, if any, of these systems are as important as your plumbing, though. Needless to say, you want to take every measure possible to ensure that your plumbing system is kept in the great shape. Here are a few tips about items to keep out of your drains from the Littleton, MA plumbing team at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

First of all, make sure that any time you shower there is some sort of trap over the drain. The most effective way possible to keep your drains clear and effective is simply to not allow anything other than wastewater down them. When you shed hair or shave in the shower, those small amounts of hair and whiskers can get stuck in the drain. As time goes on, a full blown clog can develop.

The kitchen sink is one of the most common plumbing trouble spots in many homes. This is because many homeowners are simply careless when cleaning up after meals. If you allow food scraps to make it into the sink, some of those scraps are going to make it down the drain. Even the best drain covers cannot prevent this completely. Make sure that you scrape any scraps into the garbage or compost prior to putting dishes in the sink.

Also, never pour grease or fat down the drain. These substances are only liquids when they are hot. When they cool down in your drains they can cause serious clogs and trap many other items that would otherwise make it through just fine.

To learn more about keeping your drains clean, call the Littleton, MA plumbing professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We want to make sure that your plumbing system gives you the performance you deserve. Schedule service today.

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Groton, MA Air Conditioning Tip: 3 Common Air Conditioning Repairs

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Homeowners throughout the Groton, MA area know about the importance of air conditioning during the cooling season. As you enjoy the moderate sunny days of May, make sure that your AC is up and working well. Check your air filter about once a month during this summer and clean it as needed, so that you can avoid the accumulation and dust on your sensitive mechanical equipment. But even with homeowner and even professional maintenance, over time your AC will undergo enough wear and tear to require repair. Let’s take a look at 3 common AC repair services that we called for. For excellent Groton, MA air conditioning repair services, look no further than the technicians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. Call us today!

  • Overheated compressor: Your compressor is housed in the outdoor unit, typically surrounded by the condenser coils. The compressor does what exactly what its name suggests it does: it compresses the gaseous refrigerant coming from the indoor evaporator coil, making it into a high temperature and high pressure gas, which is then sent to the condenser. If there is something wrong with the airflow, or the refrigerant cycle in general, it can cause the compressor to overheat.
  • Bad capacitor: The capacitor is part of the electrical system of the AC. It stores electrical energy to boost the start-up potential of the outdoor unit. Various things can go wrong with a capacitor, despite its sturdy construction. Moisture, physical damage, and old age can all contribute to a capacitor fault.
  • Frozen evaporator coil: Your evaporator coil is responsible for the cool air. It is housed inside the indoor unit, along with the air handler. As the cool liquid refrigerant enters its coils, it absorbs the heat from your home, causing the refrigerant within to evaporate. This thermal exchange cools the air, which is then sent back indoors by means of the blower motor. If there are any airflow problems, then this can cause cool air to build up inside the air handler, causing the evaporator coil to freeze over.

When you need Groton, MA air conditioning repair services, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today! 

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Sudbury, MA Plumbing Repair Tip: How to Prevent Plumbing Problems

Monday, April 8th, 2013

We often don’t think of our plumbing until something goes wrong with it. But preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid unnecessary plumbing repairs and costly premature repiping. While we often spend time cleaning and maintaining the integrity of most of our other household appliances, our plumbing often gets overlooked. There are a number of simple steps you can take as a homeowner to prevent plumbing problems. While we all know that repairs are often inevitable due to general wear and tear and age, we also want to minimize the damage where we can. In this post, we’ve compiled a short list of some things you can do to prevent plumbing problems. For Sudbury, MA plumbing repair services, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today!

  • Hire a pro: Your home plumbing needs professional attention and servicing for all repair and maintenance tasks. A certified and trained plumber has the skills, knowledge, and years of experience to diagnose a wide range of plumbing problems accurately and quickly, and to recommend the best solution.
  • Clean your drains: We don’t often think about where our wastewater goes or how it gets there, but your drainage system is just as important as your pressurized water supply system. You can prevent a lot of damage and mishaps when it comes to your drain system by routinely hiring a plumber to inspect and clean them. While you may be tempted to use some of the harsh chemicals sold in stores, they can actually damage your plumbing.
  • Install a sump pump: Depending on where you live, and the orientation of your house with respect to the land on which it sits, your home may be more or less inclined to basement flooding. A sump pump is a great solution for homes who suffer from moist, damp, and water in their basements. It’s installed in the lowest part of your basement, away from the sewer and water lines, and it pumps the water outside of your home before it can begin to collect inside.

For more information about what you can do to prevent plumbing problems, call the Sudbury, MA plumbing repair experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today!  

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How to Tell If You Need Repiping: A Boxborough, MA Plumber’s Guide

Monday, February 11th, 2013

The pipes and plumbing system in your home work hard every day to bring fresh water into your home and to dispose of your waste water. Because of that wear and tear, you may eventually have to replace the pipes in your home. When you need repiping in Boxborough, MA, call your local plumber. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we thought it would be a good idea to put together some of the signs that could indicate that you need repiping services.

Low Water Pressure

If you’ve noticed a sudden or gradual drop in water pressure, it could indicate that you have leaks in your piping system. While leaks can often be replaced, if your plumbing system is old it might make more sense to get your home repiped. Older pipes will start to break down more often and replacing sections of it might only be delaying the inevitable.

Rust

When you notice rust in your water it means that you may need to replace your pipes. Rust is a huge problem for any home. While you can sometimes replace rusted sections of pipe it usually means that you have to replace your entire system.

Corrosion and Mineral Deposits

Over time, your pipes can start to corrode. While copper pipes are generally resistant to corrosion, it can still eventually can happen. Mineral deposits can also start to build  up in your pipes because of hard water. While these problems can sometimes just result in leaks and repairs it can also eventually get to the point where you need to replace your whole piping system.

If you need plumbing repairs in Boxborough, MA, call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today. Our expert plumbers have years of experience working with all different types of plumbing problems.

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Lancaster MA Plumber’s Tip: Green Your Plumbing

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

These days, “green plumbing” is getting increasing attention, especially in areas like Lancaster MA.

“Green plumbing” helps the environment by doing one or more of the following:

  • Saving water
  • Saving energy
  • Using environmentally-friendly materials

There are a wide range of green plumbing products that can make a big difference in how much water and energy your Lancaster home uses. They range from simple accessories that cost less than $20 to major home remodels. Here are a few of them, ranging from the simple and immediate to larger investments with a longer-term payback.

  • Low-flow showerheads and faucet accessories (often called “aerators”). Check the side of your current faucet and showerhead to see if they use more than 1.5 GPM and 2.0 GPM, respectively. If they do, you can benefit from an upgrade. Look for the EPA WaterSense label to be sure that your new showerheads and faucet accessories are water-efficient.
  • Hot water heater blankets and pipe insulation.You don’t need to insulate your hot water heater and  pipes to prevent freezing, but doing it will save money, water, and energy, and (as a bonus) you’ll enjoy hotter showers in the winter. This is a simple DIY job and the materials are extremely affordable.
  • Touch-free faucets. When you’re not actively using them, touch-free faucets shut off. According to industry estimates, the result can be a water savings of up to 70%. Touch-free faucet technology has improved greatly in recent years, and sensors are now very reliable. If you like your current faucet and want to keep it, there are also touch-free faucet conversion kits.
  • Dual-flush toilets. As the name suggests, these toilets have two different flushes: a “half-flush” for liquid waste, and a “full flush” for solids. Dual-flush toilets are standard in many European countries and are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. because of their water-saving potential (up to 68% over conventional toilets) and sleek styling.
  • Tankless water heaters. Unlike conventional tank heaters, which use energy constantly to maintain a reserve supply of hot water, tankless heaters only use energy when hot water is needed.  Tankless water heaters are not quite “instantaneous”, as some manufacturers claim, but they provide hot water within a few seconds. Good quality heaters can provide hot water to multiple fixtures simultaneously.
  • Sprinkler system upgrades. Much of the water from spray sprinkler systems evaporates. Trickle and drip irrigation systems can improve water efficiency by delivering smaller amounts of water directly to the base of the plant. Other products, such as pressure regulating spray heads and rotors and automatic rain sensors, can also save thousands of gallons a year.

For more tips on how to improve your Lancaster MA plumbing, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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MetroWest Plumbing Guide: Stop Sink Clogs Before They Start

Monday, July 9th, 2012

A clogged bathroom sink can disrupt your morning routine. A clogged kitchen sink can make preparing dinner a frustrating task. Stop those annoying plumbing problems before they happen in your MetroWest home by understanding how clogs occur. The main culprits are grease, hair, and food.

Hydrophobic and Hydrophyllic

In the world of chemistry, substances that dissolve in water are hydrophyllic. Salt and sugar are the most obvious examples. Substances that don’t dissolve in water, such as grease, oil, and organic solvents, are hydrophobic. They will quickly cling to any available surface that allows them to separate from water. Grease and oil from different sources will clump together rather mix with water.

When grease and oil are poured down a sink, they coat the inside of the drain pipe. Water will not remove them. Soaps and detergents are effective cleaners because they have both hydrophobic and hydrophyllic properties. They can pull some of the grease and oil away from the walls of the drain and into the  water, but the base layer of grease stuck to the pipe will not move. Over time, the grease stuck inside the drain accumulates. Hair and food debris gets caught in the grease. Eventually, the clot becomes large enough to stop the water from moving. No matter how much water you flush down the drain, the grease clot stays put.

Hair and Food

We all know we’re not supposed to flush things down the drain, but when we use a bathroom sink for routine grooming, it’s almost impossible to prevent an occasional hair from falling into the drain. When cleaning the dishes after meals, a small amount of food waste inevitably makes its way into the kitchen sink drain.

Over time, the strands of hair and bits of food accumulate in the U-shaped portion of the drain called the trap. Once an object becomes snagged inside the trap, it becomes an anchor for other objects to grab hold of. A clot of hair,  food particles, and other debris slowly accumulates.

Preventing Clogs

Most MetroWest homeowners know that cooking grease should never be poured down a sink. But they may not realize that many foods, even lean foods like chicken or fish, give off small amounts of grease or fat when they cook. Scraps of food ground up in the garbage disposal can release grease that clings to the walls of the drain. For any busy kitchen, it’s nearly impossible to prevent some grease or oil from making its way into the drain. To help prevent a grease build up in the kitchen sink, add some dish detergent whenever you put cooking liquid, food scraps, or plate scrapings into the sink. Follow up with lots of hot water. For bathroom sinks, when you see a hair fall into the sink, try to wipe it away with tissue before it slides down the drain.

If you do get a clog in your MetroWest  plumbing, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call!

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Southborough Plumber’s Guide: How to Prevent Bathroom Water Damage

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Water damage. Even the mere mention of potential damage from excess water in your Southborough house is enough to send a chill down your spine. However, there are a number of things you can do to avoid such damage, especially in the bathroom.

The Bathtub

The biggest single contributors to water damage are the shower and bathtub, where gallons upon gallons of water are distributed every day. You can minimize damage by doing the following:

  • Tiles – Check for missing or cracked tiles and replace them immediately. Supplement the tiles with grout that is properly sealed and check for any potential leaks.
  • Keep it Dry – There is a lot of water in your bathroom. Keep it off the floor by drying it up after a shower, hair washing or any other moisture producing activity in the bathroom. Make sure you minimize the risk of excess water by placing bathmats on the floor outside your shower.
  • Exhaust Fan – Water builds up in a bathroom because there is no moving air. Humidity can be just as damaging as actual wetness, especially if it settles in cooler temperatures. To avoid this happening, install an exhaust fan attached to the light switch to draw out any moisture after a shower.

Sinks and Fixtures

  • Check Under the Sink – Look under the sink and make sure there are no drips from the faucet and no leaks from the trap. You may simply need to check and clean the trap once every month or so.
  • Seals – Check sink seals on a regular basis for cracks or leaks and replace them when necessary.
  • Speed of Drainage – If the sink drains slowly, the drain may be clogged. Check the trap and if that doesn’t help, pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down weekly.
  • Upgrades – Upgrade your fixtures to save water. Toilets eat water to the tune of 40% of your annual consumption and your shower head can be made almost twice as efficient without cutting into your comfort level. If you notice a drip, crack or leak from any of these devices, simply upgrade them and you’ll save a lot of water (and reduce how much of it could leak if a problem occurs in the future).

There are a lot of ways to avoid water leaks in your bathroom. Keep a close eye on things and it will be much easier than if you waited for a full blown problem to develop. If you suspect that there is a problem with your plumbing, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call today!

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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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Shirley Plumber’s Guide: Plumbing Basics

Monday, December 12th, 2011

There are a lot of pipes, drains, fixtures and appliances in your Shirley home carrying out some pretty incredible tasks. For most people, plumbing is just another system that makes their lives easier. But, if something goes wrong, it’s important that you know exactly what to do and for that, you need to know how your system works.

Fundamental Plumbing

Plumbing is based entirely on the properties of gravity and water pressure. A plumbing system has two basic systems – one that brings water in and one that removes that water once you’ve used it. To bring water into your home, it is pressurized. With enough pressure, it can travel against gravity, rising in the pipes to your fixtures.

Every fixture in your home has a valve on it that allows you to shut off the flow of water when making repairs or if there is an emergency. If the emergency is big enough, you can turn the main water supply valve off outside your home as well.

Drainage Systems

While the water coming into your home is relatively simple – pressurized cold water goes directly to the fixtures and hot water comes from your hot water heater – the drainage system is slightly more complicated.

Once water has exited the faucets in your fixtures, it is no longer pressurized so gravity is needed to remove it. Each drain consists of a few basic parts – the flange, tail piece, trap, and drain extension. When you put water down a drain it goes into the trap and flows into the drain extension, eventually to the sewer line.

The trap is designed to always hold a small amount of water so that sewer gasses cannot back up into your fixtures. Vents are installed in your home as well to ensure there is always air in the plumbing system. That air ensures a vacuum doesn’t generate. If it did, water couldn’t flow out of the house. It’s the same as pouring from a small hole in a can – if you poke a hole in the opposite side, it flows much faster because air enters the can to displace the liquid.

Fixing Your Problems

A plumbing system is surprisingly simple to work on if you understand the basics. But, that doesn’t mean a professional isn’t needed for most major jobs. Because a single fixture or pipe can have an impact on the entire system and because water leakage can be incredibly damaging, it is best to call a plumber whenever you need a second opinion or are unsure you can handle it on your own.

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