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DIY-Tips

It may come as a surprise that a HVAC service company in a commercial business would help its customers and potential customers do there own work but we believe that giving someone tools and tips will in the long run strengthen our business relationship.

Leaks and Things

1.  If you have an inline faucet and it is leaking, you may be able to stop the leak by simply tightening the nut below the hand wheel.  Never tighten more than 1/4 turn to avoid damaging the valve. If the valve needs to be re-soldered, be sure to remove any hand wheels and interior parts, leaving just the base to work on.  Drain down the water supply and re-solder the joint.  It is always best to completely remove the unit when re-soldering.

If you find a leak in a copper pipe, it can be repaired by cutting the pipe after the water is drained down. Using a tubing cutter, cut the pipe at the leak, and use a union or coupling to make the repair.  A union is nothing more than a length of copper pie that has the same interior diameter as the external diameter of the pipe.  It has a ridge in the center which allows the pipe to be slid in and then stop.

2.  How to Unclog a Drain

First try the liquid drain products that are compatible with your home plumbing system. Some drain cleaners can not be used with PVC pipe, so read the label carefully. Never unscrew a trap with chemicals present and never mix different types of chemicals. Many are not compatible with each other.

pipe

Traps: If you have lost a valuable item such as a contact lens or ring, removing the trap, known as a “P” OR “S” trap, will be a perfect way to retrieve the lost item.

Step 1. Place a basin or bucket to catch water from the trap. If chemicals are present use a chemical resistant bucket and wear chemical resistant gloves. Also shield eyes.
Step 2. Loosen the two end nuts of the couplings. Some can be loosened by hand, but a pipe wrench may be needed. The trap will come free and you can get the lost item, or remove the plug.
Step 3. Check the washers for any damage when putting the trap back on. Replacing the damaged washers now may save you a leak later on.

3.  Shower Heads
If your shower head leaks where it meets the arm, you probably need to replace the washer. To reach it, loosen the collar, using tape-wrapped rib-joint pliers. Unscrew the head from the adjusting ring.
Erratic or weak pressure usually indicates mineral buildup. To restore proper flow, clean outlet holes with a pin or unscrew a perforated face plate and soak it overnight in vinegar, then scrub it clean.
If the shower head pivots stiffly, check he washer for wear and coat the swivel ball with petroleum jelly before reassembling

4.  Professional Tips
When loosening connections, avoid slipping with a wrench and cracking the fixture by dousing stubborn connections with penetrating oil.
When trying to detect a tank leak, add food coloring to the tank water if you can’t tell whether your toilet is leaking around the tank bolts or just sweating. Wait an hour; then touch the bolt tips and nuts under the tank with white tissue. If the tissue shows coloring, you have a leak; otherwise, it’s condensation.

5. Winterizing your Window Air Conditioners
If you leave the unit in the window, wrap it with plastic and seal it with duct tape.
You can buy covers for some models, if you prefer.
Remember to close all the vents.
If you take the appliance out of the window, be careful not to bend or damage the cooling fins on the back.
Do not store an air-conditioner on a garage floor where it might come in contact with corrosive deicing salts that can drip off car tires.

6.Thermostats
Modern thermostats for heating or air conditioning systems rarely break down. The only maintenance required is an occasional light cleaning. Don’t attempt to repair a defective thermostat; instead, replace the entire unit with a new one. Be sure the replacement is the correct voltage and type for your system.

7.Leaky Toilets.
If you think that your toilet might be leaking slightly, check to see if the problem is not due to condensation before calling out a plumber. If you have condensation problems they can be solved by improved ventilation when bathing or showering.

8.Showers.
If the water pressure is very poor in your shower it may be due to lime-scale build up. If you live in a hard water area you should clean your shower heads every three months or so.


9.Split Pipes
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If your water pipe has split, a temporary fix you can do while waiting for a qualified plumber is to wrap torn strips of fabric very tightly around the break. Keep a large saucepan or bucket underneath the join to catch any drips.

10. Correct Water Temperature

Each year, thousands of people are seriously burned from ordinary tap water. In most instances it occurs with children under the age of 5 and adults, 65 years and older.

It takes only one second for a third degree burn to occur on children in water of 140 degrees, and 10 seconds in water of 130 degrees. Most water heaters are set between 130 and 140 degrees. Prevent a tragedy:

  • Set water heater to 120 degrees
  • Check bath water temperature before bathing children or letting elders in the tub.
  • Never leave children unattended in the tub.
  • Install an anti-scalding device in the bathroom shower.

11 HOME HEATING ENERGY SAVING TIP
A professional tune-up will lengthen the life of the equipment, guarantee maximum efficiency, and will less the chance of a costly breakdown in the dead of winter.

12  Control the Leak
Shut if off: If you discover a leak, it’s best to shut the water off while waiting for a plumber to arrive, to prevent further damage.

13. Prevent frozen pipes:
Have your plumbing inspected before cold weather hits. Cleaning all lines can help to remove clogs. Clogs cause back ups, which can freeze, then cause the weakening of the pipes and bursting.
If you’re going away for the holidays—or the cold weather months in general—make sure you leave your heat on, set no lower than 55 degrees or your pipes are in danger of freezing or bursting.
Wrap your pipes with insulation designed for plumbing. In many situations, insulation will be all you need to protect your pipes.

Make sure everyone in the house knows where the water shut-off valve is. If nothing comes out when you turn your faucets on, leave them on and immediately call a plumber.
If you suspect your pipes are freezing, wrap towels that have been soaked in hot water around cold pipe sections. Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes and turn on faucets just enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping the water moving will prevent freezing.
Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.
If you have a water softener, water heater or water lines located in the garage, keep the garage door closed.
Have your sump pump maintained. Making sure that your sump pump is working properly can help to defend your basement if your pipes freeze and burst.
Leave a small stream of water running and cabinet door open where sinks are installed on an outside wall (during extreme cold weather).
Make sure you outdoor sprinklers are shut off and check that your outdoor spigots are shut off from the inside an install an insulated cover to help keep the outside faucet from freezing. Keeping areas like this from freezing helps to maintain water flow inside

14. If your windows have curtains, leave them open during sunny days to take advantage of the sun’s heat. At nighttime, close the curtains to insulate your home from the chilly outside air as much as possible.


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. Disconnect outdoor water hoses. If the hoses stay connected and water inside them freezes, it can cause connecting pipes to crack or break.

16. Insulate pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures, like in the basement or garage.

17• You should never run out of hot water with a properly sized water heater. Check with us to see if yours is sufficient

18. A new burner can reduce smoke emissions by as much as 92%. Contact us to replace yours today.

19. Soldering: is a task that many people new to plumbing struggle with. It is not uncommon for soldering to fail to get the pipe exterior and the fitting interior as clean and as shiny as possible. To accomplish this, the plumber should polish the surfaces of both very carefully using a fine emery clot. He should keep polishing until there is a bright shiny look to the fitting and the pipe. When soldering is being done, it is the fitting that should be heated as opposed to the pipe.

Another one of the best plumbing tips involves a common food found in the kitchen. While soldering, if a water line exhibits a tiny drip, the plumber can take a piece of white bread, peel off the crust, and roll it carefully into a tight ball. The ball of bread can then be placed inside the pipe where the drip is coming from, blocking it and absorbing the water. Once the work has been completed and the water turned on, the bread will wash down the drain.

20.Purchase a very handy Plumbing Snake: The plumbing snake is a flexible section of metal that is wound into a spiral format in a manner similar to a spring. The body of the snake is usually very thin, making it possible for the bendable body of the device to fit into just about any type of drainpipe.