It Isn’t Too Late for Heater Maintenance

November 28th, 2022

Maintenance can be the thing that makes a huge difference in keeping your home comfortable for a reasonable price this season. But maintenance is usually something that you want to think about for the fall season. So, now that we are headed into winter, you may think that it is too late to get this task done and you just have to hope your heater will make it until spring.

We are going to give you some good news: it isn’t too late to schedule maintenance! Heating maintenance in Worcester and Middlesex County can be done anytime in fall or winter as long as your heater is still in working order. So, as long as your heater is functional, you can still schedule that tune-up. Here’s why late maintenance is still very much worth your time and money.

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Welcome to Our New Website

November 16th, 2022

iMarket Solutions has launched Landry Mechanical’s new custom website. To learn more about how iMarket Solutions can expand your presence on the web visit: www.imarketsolutions.com

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Check Out Our Blog for Advice on All Things HVAC

November 11th, 2022

Be sure to bookmark the Landry Mechanical’s blog to start learning the ins and outs of HVAC.

We’ll regularly post energy saving tips, how-to’s on troubleshooting your systems, and breakdowns on even the most complex industry related terms and concepts.

Need help now? Send us a message or get in touch today.

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What a Plumber Does To Restore a Plumbing Vent to Like-new Condition

September 19th, 2022

Although they haven’t changed much in the last 100 years or so, residential plumbing systems are still complex. The pipes you see exposed that lead to sinks and toilets are just a small part of a much larger system that provides clean water and removes waste from your Sutton home. One crucial part of every plumbing system is the plumbing vent. Although you may not know what a plumbing vent does, you’ll certainly notice if one or more vents in your home become clogged. That’s why, if you’re having plumbing problems, it’s important to call [company_name] to see if a clogged vent might be the culprit. Here is a basic outline of what a plumber does when they discover a clogged plumbing vent at your home.

What Is a Plumbing Vent?

Water is obviously an important ingredient in your home’s plumbing system. You might be surprised to learn that another important ingredient is air. Without proper airflow, the various plumbing fixtures in your home can’t drain properly. Providing adequate airflow is one purpose of a plumbing vent. Typically, the plumbing fixtures in your home will be arranged so that they can all tie into one or two main plumbing vents. These vents, also called “stacks,” start at the lowest level of your home and continue on through the roof. Since they’re open to the air, air can flow into the vent when you drain a sink or flush a toilet to provide the correct air pressure needed to move water to the drain.

Removing Gases

The most important purpose of a plumbing vent is to remove harmful sewer gases from your home and release them into the outside air. As long as each individual plumbing fixture has a functioning P-trap, sewer gases from the main drain line shouldn’t be able to find their way into your home. However, without a plumbing vent, gases from the main drain line will build up in your home’s plumbing and could potentially explode if the concentration of methane becomes high enough. With a plumbing vent in place, though, the methane will rise harmlessly into the air so that you don’t have to face a major catastrophe.

Signs of a Clogged Plumbing Vent

If your home has a clogged plumbing vent, you’ll notice at least one of these symptoms to let you know it’s time to call [company_name]. First, if any of your plumbing fixtures are having trouble draining, it could be due to a clogged plumbing vent. While you may instead have a clogged drain, a plumbing vent can cause drains to slow down even if the drains are perfectly clear.

Another sure sign of a clogged plumbing vent is the smell of sewer gases in your home. As the concentration of methane increases in the clogged vent, the gas can become dissolved in the water in your P-traps and eventually come into your home. Remember that methane is flammable, so if you smell sewer gases, make sure to open some windows to reduce the concentration of methane. A final symptom to look for is gurgling plumbing fixtures. If your home’s toilets, sinks, and other fixtures can’t get enough air when they’re draining, they will gurgle as the drains struggle to find adequate air. If you’ve tried to clean your home’s drains with no reduction in gurgling, a clogged vent could be to blame.

Identifying the Clog

When a plumber from [company_name] arrives at your home, their first order of business will be to identify the location and composition of the clog. They will access your plumbing vent from the roof, and using a sewer camera, they will inspect your plumbing vent until they locate the clog. They may also use a probe of some kind to help remove small portions of the clog so that they can inspect its composition. Understanding the location and composition of the clog will help the plumber determine the best method to use to remove the clog.

Accessing the Clog

Depending on the location of the clog, a plumber may access and remove it in a few different ways. A clog that’s only a few feet from the top of the vent may be able to be reached using a simple electrician’s hook. Clogs that are further down the vent will likely require a plumber’s snake for removal. In many cases, a simple garden hose can also provide good access to the clog. Plus, the water that the hose ejects can be useful in softening and removing the clog.

Removing the Clog

Given the active nature of a plumbing vent, most vent clogs take years to form and do so in several layers. Thus, removing a clog from a plumbing vent can be a little more tricky than, for example, removing a small clump of hair from a shower drain. In some cases, the plumber may need to soften the clog with water or special chemicals before proceeding with removal. Although the clog can be allowed to fall down the stack, some plumbers prefer to try and capture the bulk of the materials in the clog to prevent a clog in the main drain line. Doing so requires careful planning using a tool with an extended reach and strong pinchers on the end to grasp the debris causing the clog.

Cleaning the Vent

After a plumber from [company_name] removes a clog, they will typically inspect the vent and clean it to make it harder for clogs to form in the future. If the vent pipe has mineral deposits or other debris along its walls, more debris could adhere to these obstructions and create another clog. For especially dirty plumbing vents, hydro-jetting may be useful. This process uses a powerful stream of water to blast debris from the walls of the pipe. A long-handled brush on the end of a drill can also be used for shorter plumbing vents. After a final cleaning and inspection, the plumber will test your home’s plumbing fixtures to ensure they’re working properly.

Protecting the Vent

In many cases, a clog in a plumbing vent forms when leaves, sticks, and other debris fall into the vent from outside. To help protect your plumbing vent from this problem, your plumber should install one of a wide variety of plumbing vent caps. Some caps are simple screens that prevent large pieces of debris from going inside the vent. Other caps are more complex and feature smaller holes to filter out nearly all types of debris. No matter which cap your plumber uses, it’s crucial that they install it correctly so that they don’t reduce the airflow in and out of the vent.

Helping You Maintain Your Home’s Plumbing System

At [company_name], we believe in helping our customers maintain their plumbing systems so that they always work as designed. That’s why we offer a complete lineup of plumbing services, including plumbing vent cleaning, water heater installation and repair, drain cleaning, water filter system installation, and more. We can also install air conditioners, repair furnaces, and perform a wide variety of electrical work. With over 10 years of experience, we’ve built a reputation for excellent service and quality results, earning many five-star reviews along the way. To learn more about maintaining your home’s plumbing system, contact us at [company_name] today.

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How a Professional Replaces an Electrical Panel

September 14th, 2022

The heart of every residential electrical system in Sutton is the electrical panel. Most of the time, electrical panels operate smoothly without any need for human interaction. Sometimes, though, you’ll experience a problem with your panel that will require it to be replaced. When that happens, it’s good to know the steps the pros take to swap out your old electrical panel for a new one. It’s worth mentioning here that replacing an electrical panel is absolutely not a do-it-yourself project. Here is a basic guide to the process that the electricians at [company_name] follow when they replace an electrical panel.

Understanding Electrical Panels

Your home’s electrical panel serves two primary functions. One purpose of the panel is to distribute the power supply coming into your home. Stepping down from the large supply wire into individual circuits, the electrical panel sends electricity to the different switches and outlets in your home. This prevents you from having to run a thick electrical supply line to each outlet. Instead, you can run a relatively thin wire that’s easy to handle. The other purpose of an electrical panel is to house the circuit breakers. Circuit breaks can stop the flow of electricity to a circuit if an electrical overload occurs. This greatly reduces the risk of death due to electrocution.

Electrical Panel Problems

Two big problems often require a new electrical panel to be installed: The first is when your panel becomes more than 25 years old. After this point, the circuit breakers, insulators and other components in the panel tend to break down to the point that they can no longer safely carry electricity. The second is any type of damage to the electrical panel. If the panel becomes exceptionally rusty, hot to the touch, or if you notice that multiple breakers are tripping frequently, it’s a good time to consider having [company_name] replace your electrical panel. It’s always important to consult an electrician regarding panel replacement because the electrician may be able to replace individual components without replacing the entire panel.

Panel Upgrades

Additionally, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical panel if your current panel can no longer supply sufficient amperage to power your home. This occurs most frequently if you add another room to your home or put in a pool or other outdoor feature that consumes a lot of electricity. Trying to run excess electrical devices on an undersized panel is a serious fire risk that’s not worth taking. When upgrading, it’s important to talk to your electrician about the size of the panel. It’s a good idea to install a panel that’s large enough to accommodate your current needs as well as any future growth.

Turn Off the Power

Before replacing the electrical panel, either you or your electrician will need to call your local utility company to shut off the power to your home. Since replacing an electrical panel requires working past the point where any breakers can interrupt the flow of power, this step is an absolute must. With complicated wire routings and large amounts of electricity involved in the project, it would be easy to cause injury to yourself or damage to your home if you’re not a well-trained electrician.

Remove Electrical Connections

After the power is off, our electricians can begin removing the electrical connections. First, they will remove the main connection from the utility company to your home. If your home has above-ground power lines, this is done at the top of a riser, which is a metal conduit through which the main electrical supply cables pass. Underground service lines must be disconnected at their termination point underground. Typically, the utility company will have to locate the termination point to avoid slicing into the main service line. With the main electrical connection broken, our electricians will then remove the connections in the meter box and the individual connections on the breaker panel.

Take Down Existing Equipment

With every electrical connection broken, our electricians will then proceed to remove the existing riser, meter box and breaker panel. When removing the breaker panel, they will pay special attention to protecting the electrical wires so that these wires can be used again on the new electrical panel. After the old equipment is down, the electricians will fill in any holes that won’t be covered by the new equipment and take any necessary measurements in case you need your panel moved to a new location.

Attach New Equipment

When installing the new equipment, our electricians will make sure that the equipment is level before attaching it to the wall. They must also make sure to screw into studs so that the heavy equipment doesn’t come loose over time. If you have above-ground utilities, most locales require that the access point for the main electrical supply line is at least 10 feet off the ground to prevent accidental contact with the exposed wire. Another important step in the installation process is making sure that proper stress-relief couplings are in place so that the metal in the panel and conduit doesn’t wear through the insulation on the wires.

Install Main Supply Lines

The main electrical supply lines are thick and can be unwieldy. [company_name] takes time to carefully route these wires to provide a neat and organized finished product. The lines have to be routed through the meter box and attached to the correct terminals in the box. The electrician has to pay careful attention to the arrangement of the positive, negative, and neutral wires so that the utility company can correctly connect the supply wires to the power line.

Make Circuit Connections

After attaching the main electrical supply lines to the main breaker, our team can make connections to the individual circuits. In some cases, the lines running to the outlets and switches in your home may not be long enough to reach the correct circuit breakers. An electrician from [company_name] will carefully study your specific situation to determine whether new wires are needed or if spliced wires will suffice. In some cases, by carefully routing the neutral wires, an electrician can find enough slack to overcome the problem of short wires.

Finishing the Project

Once all of the electrical connections are made, one of our electricians then has to install the front cover of the electrical panel and meter box. These covers prevent accidental electrocution caused by touching bare electrical wires. The final step in the process is to test the individual circuits to figure out which switches and outlets they control. After figuring out which circuits go where, our electricians will label each circuit going into the electrical panel to allow for easy circuit identification.

Your Electrical Experts

At [company_name], we take pride in every job we do. Whether we’re installing new electrical panels, repairing or maintaining air conditioners and furnaces, repairing sewer pipes or performing one of our other services, you can be sure that we won’t stop until the job is completed correctly. For over 10 years, we’ve been serving the Sutton area with top-notch home maintenance and repair services, earning countless five-star customer reviews along the way. To learn more about upgrading your home’s electrical system, contact us today.

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A Guide to Professional AC Motor Replacement

September 3rd, 2022

If you are like most homeowners, you probably give little thought to the parts that keep your AC running until something goes wrong. Whether you’re dealing with weak airflow, no airflow, or an AC that isn’t turning on at all, the problem could be caused by an issue with an AC motor. In fact, your air conditioner has several motors that must all be working to ensure proper functioning.

Although some motor issues are easier to fix than others, finding the source of the problem and getting it repaired requires extensive HVAC knowledge and training and is not a task for a DIYer. At [company_name] in Sutton, MA we are available to repair and replace AC motors. The following covers the different types of AC motors, what motor replacement and repair entail, and why you should always leave the task up to the pros.

Condenser Motor

Regardless of which motor appears to be the offender, a professional will always follow a specific diagnostic process to determine the problem. Performing an electrical diagnosis can help a technician find the cause of the issue and decide whether a repair or replacement is necessary. For suspected condenser motor issues, we will electrically test both the capacitors and the motor.

Your condenser motor sits outside year-round, so it is exposed to the elements and can get very hot. Often, a capacitor that has overheated and failed is the cause of condenser motor issues. If the condenser motor and capacitor need to be replaced, our technician will take note of several things, including the motor’s:

  • RPM
  • Mount
  • Voltage and horsepower
  • Shaft size
  • Motor diameter
  • Proper fan rotation direction

It’s important that the replacement motor matches these specifications or the AC will not function properly and other issues could occur. To replace the motor, the technician will first shut down all electricity to the AC for safety. Then, they can remove wiring, supporting bolts and screws, and fan blades, taking note of the placement of all components so that they can be properly connected to the replacement motor. Once the motor is removed, its replacement can be installed by simply reversing the removal process. After installing the new motor, the technician will restore power and check to ensure that the AC is operating correctly.

Blower Motor

The blower motor is another crucial AC component that must be operating correctly for the AC unit to function. During the diagnostics phase, the technician will check for issues that commonly lead to blower motor failures. One of the main causes is overheating due to clogged motor vent holes. A capacitor failure can also cause the fan to turn backward and eventually fail.

Regardless of the issue, the motor replacement process is largely the same and typically involves capacitor replacement as well. As with all replacement jobs, the first step is to shut off power to the AC. Then, the technician will discharge the capacitor and sketch a diagram or take a picture of wiring connections and placement before disconnecting the motor wires. To remove the motor, the technician will remove the nuts connecting the blower motor to the fan guard grille and then loosen the set screw securing the fan blade to the condenser motor. At this point, the blower motor can be removed and replaced by reversing the steps above. Once in place, the system will be tested for proper operation.

ECM Motor

ECM motors run blowers in higher-end air conditioning units with variable-speed motors. Because they are located in the same place as a traditional blower motor, physical replacement typically involves the same steps listed in the previous section. However, ECM motors have a computer that controls the fan speed, and the computer requires proper programming. At times, HVAC companies must send out to a supply house to have a new ECM motor programmed, but some can be programmed by a smartphone with a corresponding app. Due to the technical aspects of proper ECM programming and the cost of these motors, specialized training is needed to work on them, so more experience HVAC techs typically perform these replacements.

Compressor Motor

The compressor motor, which is actually two motors in one, is the most difficult of all the AC motors to diagnose and replace. First, it’s in a sealed housing, so it isn’t possible to simply determine visually if it is operating. There are three terminals sticking out of the motor that the technician will check using a voltmeter to ensure that each one is within the proper range and sending a charge to the ground. If there isn’t any power, it could mean that the motor has failed. However, compressor motors have an internal safety switch that cuts off power to the motor if it overheats, so it’s important that the technician checks to see if the switch has been activated before moving on with a replacement.

Replacement involves removing the refrigerant from the system, cutting refrigerant lines, disconnecting electrical connectors, and unbolting the motor from the unit. Because the process is somewhat complicated and compressor motors are quite expensive, the technician may recommend having the entire AC unit replaced instead of just the compressor motor, especially if the AC is 10 years old or older.

Why Leave AC Motor Replacement to the Professionals

While you may be tempted to watch a few YouTube videos and read some guides online and then replace an AC motor yourself, this is never a good idea. First of all, DIY replacements put your safety at risk. In addition to significant amounts of electricity, AC units use refrigerants that can cause severe respiratory issues if inhaled. Saving a few bucks is not worth risking injury or even death.

Without the proper knowledge and training, it’s also highly likely that you will cause more damage. This means that you’ll end up having to pay for professional repairs anyway, and they’ll likely be much more expensive than they would have been if you had called a pro in the first place. Reaching out to a professional for motor replacement also ensures that your system gets the proper diagnosis and that the root cause of the issue is addressed. Often, a professional will find other minor issues that can be fixed before they turn into costly repairs.

Air Conditioning Repair in Worchester County and the MetroWest Area

At [company_name] in Sutton, we are your local experts for air conditioning repair in Worchester County and the MetroWest area. We provide heating and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. We also provide a full range of heating, plumbing, and electrical services. We have been serving our local community since 2008, and we’re proud to have a reputation for exceeding our customers’ expectations. The Better Business Bureau has accredited us and given us their highest rating due to our top-notch services. We offer installation financing on approved credit, and we also work with you to help you get rebates, especially ones offered here in Massachusetts.

Call us at [company_name] in Sutton for all of your air conditioning repair needs.

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7 Reasons to Service Your AC Unit More Often

August 18th, 2022

Even the best air conditioning units need maintenance from time to time. Lack of maintenance will make your AC struggle to function, leading to durability and energy efficiency problems. Cooling experts recommend servicing your home’s air conditioner at least once a year during spring. This way, you’ll ensure the unit is clean, all its parts are in great shape, and it’s operating optimally. During the fall season, your HVAC technician will mainly focus on your furnace or heater to ensure it’s ready for the cold season. Therefore, you should schedule AC maintenance when the weather warms up in the spring. During maintenance calls, your HVAC contractor will service your air conditioner, so it’s as ready as possible for the summer heat and humidity.

If your air conditioning unit gets serviced regularly, it’ll operate optimally and keep your living space comfortable. Even if the unit works properly, getting the service done annually is important. Your AC accumulates dirt and dust, which impacts its efficiency. During maintenance, the HVAC technicians will inspect, clean, and service all your air conditioning system parts. Here are reasons why servicing your air conditioner is important.

1. Better Energy Efficiency

Servicing your air conditioner will ensure it runs more efficiently. Dirty condenser coils, clogged air filters, and other problems will force your AC unit to work harder to cool your living space. As a result, the unit will use more energy during the process. Having an inefficient air conditioner will only increase your monthly electricity bills. According to statistics, your air conditioner can lose up to 5% of its efficiency yearly if you skip regular maintenance or fail to service it properly. Scheduling routine maintenance will boost AC efficiency, so your unit will consume less energy and perform better. Besides, it’ll also warm or cool your space much quicker.

2. Identify AC Problems in Time

You need to know that it’s not easy to identify air conditioner problems by looking at the system. During maintenance calls, your AC contractor will open up your system and perform a comprehensive inspection. This way, they’ll easily identify any internal issues before they worsen and cause more major and expensive AC repairs. Better still, by performing maintenance on the AC, there will be little to no room for problems to occur.

3. Improved Air Quality

AC air filters accumulate dirt, dust particles, and other air pollutants over time. Humidity issues can also encourage mold growth inside your AC unit, leading to the circulation of contaminated air in your living space. Poor air quality and allergens can lead to health problems, especially if some of your family members are asthmatic or suffer from allergic reactions. A well-maintained air conditioner will keep your house more comfortable and safer by maximizing cooling and controlling humidity. Get your unit serviced annually to eliminate impurities in your indoor air. This way, you’ll ensure your family breathes fresh air free of bacteria and other pollutants.

4. Enhanced Performance

There’s no point in investing in the best AC unit on the market if it’ll not run at maximum capacity. But regardless of the type of AC you have, it needs regular servicing. Performance and efficiency go hand in hand with minimizing your energy expenditure. The fewer problems your system has, the better it’ll work. Investing in a maintenance plan will enable your AC technician to identify and resolve minor problems, enabling your system to run at its full capacity. This way, you’ll increase system efficiency and lower energy expenses while cooling your home effectively.

5. Longer Lifespan

Like any other home appliance, regular maintenance will extend the service life of your air conditioner. The average lifespan of a good home AC unit is between 10 and 15 years. However, you must schedule regular maintenance to get the unit checked, cleaned, and serviced to get the most out of your system. Remember that one malfunctioning or faulty part in your AC can lead to stress on the other components. A qualified HVAC technician will help check your air conditioner, replace the damaged parts, make the necessary repairs, and lubricate the unit. This way, you’ll ensure the AC is running in good condition, extending its service life.

6. Saves the Environment

Air conditioner problems such as refrigerant leaks can create greenhouse gases or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), which destroy the ozone layer. These gases are extremely dangerous to the environment and contribute significantly to global warming. HVAC technicians can help recycle such gases from your machine. However, in most cases, some people are unaware that their air conditioners are leaking refrigerant if they don’t have air conditioner maintenance plans. Such leakage problems rarely happen when your air conditioning unit is timely and properly serviced. Besides, maintaining your AC system more often will minimize your carbon footprint.

7. Saves You Money and Time

While you may think cleaning and servicing your air conditioner is costly, you don’t know how costly it can get if you don’t identify and solve problems in time. Minor damages can become big problems if you fail to service your AC and replace or repair components soon enough. These issues will cost you a lot of money in the future. Therefore, invest in a good AC maintenance plan if you want to save money. Remember that preventive AC maintenance minimizes the need for unit repairs in the long run. It can help you avoid permanent AC damage that would cost you more since you’ll replace the entire unit.

Additionally, AC manufacturers and technicians require you to enroll in an AC maintenance program to keep your warranty valid. Therefore, you must schedule maintenance yearly to have your unit checked and well-maintained. Failure to comply will only void your warranty, which means more costs if your air conditioner fails or experiences performance issues due to a manufacturing flaw.

Lastly, an air conditioner consumes more power than other mechanical appliances in a home. When not serviced, air conditioning units can draw more power, increasing utility bills. Scheduling regular maintenance will go a long way in reducing your unit’s energy consumption. According to statistics, you can save up to 25% on monthly energy costs with an efficiently serviced unit.

Partner With the Cooling Experts Today!

Make sure you get your air conditioner serviced at least once a year. Servicing your AC can help you avoid operational problems and premature breakdowns. However, the frequency at which your cooling system is maintained will depend on many factors, including its age, model, environment, and how often you use the unit. A properly serviced unit will enhance your air quality, increase efficiency, improve AC performance, and save money and time. Contact our cooling experts at [company_name] if you are looking for an AC maintenance plan that will keep your unit in good working condition while keeping your living space comfortable. These professionals have the training, expertise, tools, and industry experience to conduct a comprehensive inspection and service your AC to ensure it runs optimally and efficiently.

We are also known for exceptional heating, electrical, ductless, and plumbing services throughout Worcester, MA, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to learn more about how often you need to service your AC or schedule your appointment.

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Five Reasons Why Air Conditioners Squeak and What to Do About Them

August 8th, 2022

The air conditioner in your Sutton, Massachusetts home should never be so noisy that it becomes disruptive. A well-designed and well-maintained AC unit really shouldn’t produce more than a gentle humming sound. Thus, if your cooling equipment starts to squeak and squeal when you turn it on, it’s important to identify the source of the problem. Following are five reasons why air conditioners squeak along with strategies for troubleshooting them.

1. Acclimating to the Summer Season

Although air conditioners in some areas are subjected to year-round demand, residents of Worcester County typically use their cooling systems from late spring to early autumn and then turn them off. This means that this equipment lies dormant for months at a time. As a result, it’s not uncommon for air conditioners to make a few surprising noises when they’re first turned on.

When they’re both moderate and short-lived, squeaking noises aren’t a cause for major concern. They’re an indication that your cooling equipment is waking up and getting into gear. After just 10 to 15 minutes of air conditioner use, these sounds should disappear on their own. However, if they last much longer or if they increase in volume and intensity, turn your air conditioner off and call a licensed HVAC technician in. Loud squeals are an indication of distress and they may mean that your air conditioner has a serious and potentially progressive problem.

2. The Fan Belt Has Slipped

In some AC units, the motor and fan are connected by a belt. This belt is subjected to constant friction during AC operation and thus, it has a tendency to wear down faster than other components. This is especially true in times of high humidity. As temperature and humidity levels rise and fall, fan belts naturally expand and contract. Excess humidity and heat can cause an already well-worn fan belt to slip or snap.

You may have an issue with a slipped or worn fan belt on your hands if you have an older air conditioner or a low-cost, newer model. However, before tampering with this component, be mindful of your manufacturer’s warranty. Although there are a few minor maintenance-related issues that homeowners can handle on their own, attempting to repair or replace moving components can instantly void your warranty agreement.

When scheduling a service to have a worn belt replaced, take some time to consider the age of your air conditioner and the length of its remaining lifespan. Although your air conditioner might be rated to last as long as 20 years, its fan belt will likely wear out long before this time. For most models, this happens after the 10-year mark when much of a unit’s efficiency has already been lost and other areas of performance have already started to decline. If your energy bills are rising and your air conditioner isn’t quite able to cool your home like it used to, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the entire unit instead. This is all the more true if you’ve already paid for other parts replacements or repairs within recent months or years, or if you’ve fan belt has already been replaced before.

3. The Condenser Fan Needs New Bearings

If you’ve got a newer air conditioner that doesn’t have a belt connecting its fan to its motor, the condenser fan is connected with bearings instead. Just like fan belts, these components can get worn out over time. As their integrity is lost, worn bearings will make increasingly loud noises whenever the air conditioner is on. Unlike the mild squeaking sounds that your air conditioner might produce during its first cooling cycle of the summer season, the sounds of worn bearings are virtually impossible to ignore. They can be heard both inside and outside of the home.

It’s important to note that an air conditioner with worn bearings or a slipped fan belt may continue cooling the home at an acceptable rate despite the noise it’s producing. However, continuing to use your cooling equipment in spite of squealing sounds is always a bad idea. Worn bearings that aren’t dealt with right away will eventually damage the air conditioner motor. It’s far cheaper to fix this problem than it is to ignore it.

4. Pest Problems

Sometimes squeaking noises from AC units has a far more distressing cause. If these noises are intermittent and occur whether or not your air conditioner is on, it may be that rodents or other small-sized animals have found their way into your HVAC system. Whenever pests have a way into central HVAC systems, they take advantage of it. For small animals, these spaces offer shelter, warmth, and protection. As with all other possible causes of strange air conditioner noises, it’s best to leave this issue in the hands of trained professionals.

The likelihood of pest problems being the source of your air conditioner’s squeaking is high if you’ve already been dealing with infestations of rodents or other small animals on your property. You can call either a pest control service or a licensed HVAC technician. Although pest control companies can remove small animals from HVAC ducting and other areas of these systems, only an HVAC company can make sure that all possible points of ingress are sealed off so that the problem doesn’t recur.

5. You Need HVAC Duct Repair or Cleaning Services

Most problems with squeaky air conditioners are the result of worn bearings or fan belts. These are the most common causes of high-pitched squeaking sounds and they’re usually age-related. However, there are rare instances in which squeaky ducts can be attributed to excess stress within the cooling system or insufficient HVAC maintenance. Pest problems aren’t the only source of squeaking noises at the interior of HVAC ductwork. If you haven’t had your ducting inspected or cleaned in a while, it may be time to have this portion of your home heating and cooling system professionally assessed and maintained.

With air conditioning and heating equipment, different sounds typically indicate specific problems. To the trained ear, squeaks and squeals are a sign that things have gone awry at the fan motor. Banging and clanging noises are commonly associated with damaged ductwork or loose components that are rattling around within the AC condenser. Although you might define the noises that you’re hearing as squeaks, a licensed HVAC technician may describe them differently. As such, having an HVAC company check the problem out is always far better than trying to both diagnose and repair it yourself.

Scheduling annual AC maintenance is one of the easiest ways to catch and correct problems like these before they wind up causing serious damage. During your air conditioner’s yearly inspection and tune-up service, your technician can swap out worn components, make sure that the fan belt is in position, and determine whether or not the service life of your cooling unit is at its end.

[Company_name] is proud to serve residents of Sutton, MA, and the surrounding area. We offer fast and friendly heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing service. We’re always working hard to help our clients save money and enjoy optimum levels of home comfort. If your air conditioner is making strange sounds, we can find out why and solve the problem. Get in touch with us today to schedule service.

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How Do I Flush My Water Heater’s Tank?

August 1st, 2022

Taking a long, hot shower after a hard day of work is one of life’s finest luxuries. However, have you ever stopped to consider where it’s coming from? The hot water tank is an essential piece of your home’s plumbing system, but it can fall into malfunction over time. Performing routine maintenance like flushing the water tank is important in order to get the most out of it. Fortunately, water heaters are relatively easy to care for as far as household appliances go. That means flushing the tank a task that many homeowners can comfortably do on their own. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step checklist for how to flush the water tank.

Why You Should Flush Your Water Tank

Flushing the water tank yields a variety of benefits for everything from the tank itself to your pocketbook. As minerals collect inside the tank, they gradually decrease the system’s performance and lifespan. Gas-powered units may experience uneven heating that can lead to cracks forming along the wall of the tank. For electric heaters, the lower heating element may burn out as sediment accumulates along the bottom of the tank. Both types of heaters may develop clogged drain valves as a direct result of mineralization.

Letting the sediment sit for a long period of time will allow it to calcify and harden, making it extremely difficult to remove. If the problem gets bad enough, you may have to have the entire unit replaced. Luckily, you can prevent these problems and more by periodically flushing the tank. If you notice your water heater making popping or rumbling sounds, then your tank is most likely suffering from some serious mineral build-up. This telltale sound is produced by gas bubbles struggling to rise through the layer of gunk. These bubbles can create something called “hot pockets” inside gas-powered units, which can eventually cause serious damage or even premature failure.

When Should My Water Tank Be Flushed?

Plumbers recommend flushing the water tank once per year. If you live in an area with hard water, you may need to do it more often. There are a few signs to look out for when your water heater is ready to be flushed. The one homeowners usually notice most often is that they’re getting less and less hot water from the tank before it runs out. If you’ve noticed a gradual drop in hot water quantity, there’s a good chance that mineral build-up is to blame. The second sign requires a bit of investigation work. You’ll need to take a closer look at the water coming out of the tank’s drain valve. If it’s cloudy or white, that means it contains a high level of sediment.

If you haven’t had your water heater flushed in years, it’s best to leave the job to a licensed plumber. This is because sediment can create small cracks along the bottom of the water tank. You won’t notice any water leaking out as long as the sediment remains in place, but once it’s removed via flushing, those cracks will open up and are free to leak water. A leaky water heater can be a crisis situation for a homeowner on their own, but a plumber can patch up the problem before serious damage occurs.

If you do decide to flush your water heater’s tank on your own, we recommend following these steps:

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you start tinkering with the machine, you’ll want to make sure it’s not actively receiving water. You can do this by turning off the cold-water supply valve located on top of the heater. If you live in an older home, you may have to do this by turning off the water where the main supply line enters your house. Once this is done, you have one more step: powering down the unit. To turn off an electrically powered unit, you need to flip the switch on your home’s circuit breaker. For a gas-powered unit, you’ll have to locate the thermostat and switch it to “pilot” mode. Give the unit a while to cool down before you start handling it to minimize the chances of being burned.

2. Attach a Garden Hose to the Drain Valve

Now it’s time to grab a clean garden hose. A ton of water is going to flow out via the hose, so you’ll want to place one end in a floor drain or outdoors if it reaches. Once your hose is in position, attach the receiving end to the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater.

3. Open the Drain Valve

This step has two parts. First, you’ll need to open a nearby hot water tap to help the tank drain faster. Next, you need to open the drain valve to allow the water to flow from the tank. Keep in mind that this step requires some patience since most hot water tanks hold between forty and sixty gallons. Sediment build-up can slow this process down even further, so be prepared to wait a bit.

4. Turn the Water Supply Back On

Once the tank is fully emptied, it’s time to flush it. You can accomplish this by keeping the drain valve open and turning the cold water back valve back on. As the cold water filters through the tank, it will remove any leftover sediment. Keep repeating this step until the water running out of the garden hose is clean and clear.

5. Close the Valve and Restore the Heat

After the tank has been fully flushed, you should close the drain valve, remove the garden hose and turn off the hot water tap. Next, power the unit back on. For gas heaters, you’ll have to turn the natural gas valve back on. Electrical units can be powered up by flipping the circuit breaker back into the “on” position. After everything is up and running again, be sure to check for leaks and tighten the valve if needed.

What About Tankless Water Heaters?

Despite not having water tanks, tankless water heaters can also suffer from mineral build-up and scaling. Due to their unique architecture, the process of flushing a tankless water heater is totally unlike flushing a traditional unit. Most hardware stores carry tankless water heater flush kits that are relatively easy to use.

Quality Water Heater Services

Although flushing a water heater is relatively simple, not all homeowners are comfortable doing it on their own, and that’s okay. [company_name] has a team of licensed plumbers who would be more than happy to provide expert maintenance. We’ve been in business since 2008 and are proud to have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. In addition to water heater service, we also provide a range of plumbing solutions like drain cleaning and plumbing repair as well as electrical services. Visit our website to learn more about financing and our partner plan! Give us a call to schedule water heater maintenance in Worcester County or learn about our additional service offerings!

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Do Flushable Wipes Damage Plumbing Systems?

July 20th, 2022

Although flushable wipes are labeled and marketed as being safe for toilets, they easily rank among the worst things that you can send down your commodes. If you or anyone else in your Sutton, Massachusetts home has been using flushable wipes, now is the time to stop. Even if you haven’t had any problems with these products moving through your plumbing system before, you may be on track for major plumbing issues in the future.

Why Are Flushable Wipes Marketed as Being Flushable if They Really Aren’t?

Just as their manufacturers suggest, flushable wipes can indeed be flushed. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Although these products will successfully go down your commodes more often than not, they aren’t guaranteed to pass through the entire length of your plumbing system without causing issues. Moreover, when flushable wipes do pass through residential plumbing systems unimpeded, they can still cause trouble once they enter the sewer. The cumulative effects of ongoing and widespread use of flushable wipes have been incredibly detrimental in this respect. Currently, they are the only flushable product on the market that doesn’t decompose. That’s because unlike toilet paper, these wipes aren’t actually made from just paper.

What Flushable Wipes Are Really Made Of

Like toilet paper, wood pulp serves as the basis of moist wipes. This, however, is where the similarity ends. To ensure that these products stand up to heavy use without breaking down, they’re reinforced with synthetic, petroleum-based products. Many flushable wipes are reinforced with polyethylene, polyester, and other like plastics. Moreover, they’re also coated in micro-plastics. These micro-plastics add additional reinforcement, and some even come in the form of cleaning agents.

When you flush toilet paper, moving water breaks it into small-sized pieces in virtually no time. When you send flushable wipes down the commode, these products maintain their integrity indefinitely. This means that they have a higher likelihood of getting caught up on snags on their way out of your plumbing system. Over time, these wipes and the solid wastes that adhere to them can create major blockages.

How Flushable Wipes Affect the Environment

If you’re thinking about using flushable wipes in your home or have been already, it’s also important to note how these products affect the environment. Not only are they marketed as being flushable when they really shouldn’t be sent down into plumbing systems, but they’re also labeled as “biodegradeable.” This places consumers under the mistaken assumption that flushable wipes really do break down over time. However, there’s a big difference between being biodegradeable and being able to decompose.

Natural products that aren’t reinforced with synthetic, petroleum-based materials break down completely. Flushable wipes simply shed small fibers over time. These polyethylene and polyester fibers remain intact for decades. More importantly, the micro-plastics that coat them continue to contaminate public water supplies long after they’ve been sent into plumbing systems. As such, not using flushable wipes as part of your personal care is better for both your plumbing and the environment.

What Plumbing Problems Can Flushable Wipes Cause?

There’s really no limit to the amount of problems that flushable wipes can cause. These products can cause issues even before they’ve successfully cleared the toilet. For instance, if you send them down with lots of human waste, toilet paper, or other flushable wipes, you could be dealing with a messy overflow in no time. Flushable wipes can also:

  • Create blockages in plumbing systems that lead to burst pipes
  • Cause whole-house back-ups that flood the home with black water
  • Create problems at residential plumbing-to-sewer connections

They’re also capable of creating something known as fatbergs. Once wipes are introduced into plumbing systems, any fats that are present in the surrounding waste will adhere to them. These fats attract more fat and more flushable wipes until a large, solid mass is formed. This process is expedited in the alkaline environment of sewer systems, but if you’ve got dirty, grease-covered drains, you run the likelihood of developing fatbergs directly inside of your plumbing system.

Are Flushable Wipes Safe for Septic Tanks?

Flushable wipes are just as bad for septic tanks as they are for residential plumbing systems that connect to municipal sewer systems. In fact, they may be even more so. Just as fatbergs are prone to forming in sewers, septic tanks offer the ideal environment for fatberg formation, too.

Are There Easy Alternatives to Flushable Wipes?

Flushable wipes are easy to use and they help people feel fresh. However, the drawbacks of using and flushing these products far outweigh their benefits. One easy way to get the same clean feeling that flushable wipes provide is by investing in low-cost toilet paper sprays. These are gentle cleansing products that turn standard toilet paper into a comfortable, cleansing cloth. They don’t contain any plastics or micro-plastics, and they don’t affect toilet paper’s ability to break down. You can find options that include soothing aloe and other non-irritating, skin-supporting ingredients. When you think about it, this is far preferable to cleaning up with solutions made from micro-plastics.

There are also low-cost bidets that can be installed directly in standard toilets. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a luxury toilet in order to get the functionality of a bidet. These products are offered at home and hardware stores at a fairly nominal cost. Best of all, installing them is simple enough that many homeowners can do it themselves. If you want to install bidets in your home toilets, you can also outsource this job to a trusted plumber.

Finally, if you’re looking for a way to both treat yourself and enhance the value and marketability of your home, you can always opt for a toilet upgrade. A reputable plumber can help you learn more about the best options at your targeted price point. Many products offer bidet functionality, music, heated seats, and lights.

Why It’s Important to Get Everyone in the Home on Board

Flushable wipes may be lurking in more areas of your home than you think. Given that these products are handy, people tend to use them all the time. Moreover, nearly all of them are clearly labeled as being “flushable” and thus, people who aren’t in the know will continue sending them down your commodes. You may have people in your home who are using these or similar products as makeup removal cloths or household cleaning tools.

The best way to avoid backups is to let everyone in your home know the truth about flushable wipes. Sure, they can be flushed, but they probably shouldn’t be. Unless wet, flushable wipes are used to clean bottoms and human waste, it is both safe and sanitary to dispose of them in the trash. Rather than using flushable wipes for personal care after visiting the commode, purchase toilet paper spray or a bidet. You don’t have to subject your plumbing system to extra wear and tear just to feel good about yourself after leaving the bathroom.

At [company_name], we’re committed to helping residents of Sutton, MA and the surrounding area keep their residential plumbing in top condition. We’ve been providing reliable HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services since 2008. If you’ve got plumbing problems, we’ve got solutions. Call us today to schedule an appointment for service.

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