Misconceptions About Your Septic System

The plumbing system is one of the home’s major functions. It’s often an overlooked part of the home that receives little to no maintenance. Homeowners often don’t pay attention to their plumbing system until it’s too late when a problem comes up. You may be wondering more about your septic system, how it operates, and what kind of maintenance it requires. We will address some common misunderstandings about your septic system and what you can do to help prevent problems.

Myth #1 – If you have a slow draining shower, tub, washing machine, sink or toilet, this is not a problem and you shouldn’t worry about it. The reality is that this could be an indication of a problem related to your plumbing system.

Truth- If you do notice a slow draining sink or tub, contact a professional to come out and check it. It could be a sign that your tank needs to be pumped.

Myth #2 – you don’t have to get you septic tank pumped often.

Truth – This is definitely a misconception, and your septic tank should be pumped and inspected every one to three years. How often you should get your septic tank pumped will depend on the size of your home and the amount of occupants in your home.

Myth #3 – You need to use additives in your septic system.

Truth – This is also a myth. Using additives will not prevent backup. They also won’t prevent you from needing to get your system periodically pumped. And using additives also won’t break down solids properly.

Myth #4 – It’s okay to put chemicals, medicines and foods down the drain because it won’t harm your septic system.

Truth – It’s always best to put only liquids, septic-safe toilet paper, and other septic safe products. If you stick to septic-safe products and liquids, this will be best for your septic system and also your pipes and plumbing.

Myth #5 – Well water doesn’t require any maintenance.

Truth – This is definitely a myth. If you have a septic system, you’ll need to get your well water tested every year to ensure that the nitrate levels aren’t too high. If the nitrate levels are too high, this could mean that the waste water is overflowing and leaching into your system.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide routine maintenance on your septic system and doing a yearly pump for your septic system. We can also perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment! 800-461-3010

How to Fix a Faucet Leak

Being a homeowner requires a lot of work and maintenance through the seasons and repair when things break. It’s also highly rewarding to be a homeowner. You should be proud knowing that you own a place to raise your family and make memories! Try to remember the positives when you have frustrating maintenance and repair issues that arise periodically. Plumbing is often an area that homeowners often experience problems with or need fixing. So, what happens if you experience a leaky faucet and want to try to fix it yourself? We’ve outlined the steps to fix it below:

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is turn the water off that connects to all the parts of the sink and remove any decorative handles or knobs.
  • Then, you’ll want to loosen the screw that attaches to the handle to the stem of the knob.
  • Next, use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. After the screw has been removed, use some WD-40 to remove the handle. Once is has been complete, it’s time to remove the packing nut by using a wrench. The final step of this part of the process is removing the stem. It depends what kind of faucet you have – some will easily come off and other may need to be twisted.
  • Now it’s time to look at the O-ring and washer that is located inside the valve seat. The reason why you’ll want to look at this is because it’s often the cause of water leaks. Remove the washer and replace it. It’s important that the replacement washer and O-ring fit precisely.
  • Next, you’ll want to check the sides to see if they fit either a cone-shaped washer or a flat shaped one instead. You can always take a picture to bring along to the store to make sure you get the correct one, or better yet, bring the O-ring to the store to compare and verify you get the correct new one.
  • Since you have removed everything and disassembled the parts to the sink, it’s time to re-assemble them. Once you have assembled everything, test out the faucet to see if you have fixed the leak. When doing this, turn on the faucet slowly.
  • If you get to the point of testing the faucet and it’s still leaking, then there may be corrosion your valve seat. If the valve seat is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can cause leaks near the spout. It may also be due to worn out seals or loose parts.

When dealing with any maintenance or repairs, it’s always safest and best to call a professional. Not only can a professional do the maintenance or repair work, but also provide peace of mind knowing it’s done the right way! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check or fix your faucet for leaks, and we’ll also to check on your water heater, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines and ventilation systems! If the kitchen faucet is leaking, it could be costing you extra money and could be also be providing a lower water pressure if there’s a leak.

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Installing a Home Office

The number of people who work from home has increased over the years. More companies are also allowing for this option within their company structure. When working from home, however, you need to have an efficient system for optimal internet speed and performance. We’ll walk through an ideal system for you to set in place before you start working from home. If you already work from home, you may need an update in your current wiring system to improve your work productivity.

The essential wiring and functions for a home office include high-speed internet and networking. Structured wiring is an ideal package for a home office, as it provides fax, phone, broadband, networking and video/television technologies.

The system is comprised of 3 parts:

  • The first part is a panel that allows outside services to enter the home.
  • The second part is the wires and cables that run throughout the home.
  • The third component is the connecting hardware.

There is also an option to get a prepacked system. The downside with getting a prepacked system is that there’s a possibility a few of the outlets may be left unused. There’s also a possibility that you may need outlets in areas where there aren’t any, and so you’ll have to get outlets built in there which will require more work.

Before you take any action and start wiring, make a home office plan. Once you have a room selected, create a plan of where everything will be located in that room, and where you will spend time doing certain tasks. You’ll need a designated place for the computer, printer, phone, etc. Regardless of the home-office plan you choose, it’s important to not skimp when determining which cables and systems you want to choose for your home office.

There are a lot of cheap options and wires out there. It’s safe to go with name brand wires and pay more for the quality you’ll be receiving. The name brand wires will also last a longer time. You may be wondering what kind of cost you should be anticipating for a home office. Well, this depends on a few factors like how robust your system of choice is. If you are building new construction, you can expect the cost of a full wiring system to be 1-3% of your home’s value. If you are changing a room in your existing home into an office, the price will depend on the system you choose, and also how much navigation will be required to wire everything.

Although there are DIY steps to complete wiring for a home office, it’s always safe to call a professional. Dealing with anything electrical can be hazardous and pose a threat to your safety and the safety of your home. If you’re investing a significant amount to install a home office, you want to make sure it’s done the right way.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to install the wiring for your home office! While we’re out there, we can perform a thorough scan of your home, looking for any hot spots in your electrical system. We will also test the ground fault outlets to make sure that they are functioning properly.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment at 800-461-3010.

Have You Considered Outdoor Lighting for Safety?

In the short days of winter, people typically get off work when it’s already dark. This means that they return to their homes when it’s dark out, which could make it difficult to navigate your way to the front door without tripping. A dark home could also make it challenging to find the right key on your key chain to open the front door.

These scenarios can all be eliminated through the different security lighting options available. Not only can outdoor lighting provide guidance from a dark driveway to the front door, but it can also provide safety by alerting you when someone is outside. We’ll highlight the different options that you could consider for the outdoor security lighting for your home.

Outdoor Security Lighting Options

Solar Flood Lights

  • Motion-Activated Exterior Security Lights:
    The benefit of motion-activated exterior lights is that they will help you save on your electricity bills. They are unlike any other security lights in that they only turn on when they detect motion and activity. The ideal location for these security lights is by entry areas and backyards. Ideally, they’d be covered by outdoor elements so they aren’t directed exposed.
  • Solar Flood Lights:
    For those who are especially environmentally conscious, solar flood lights are a great option for outdoor lighting. They received their power supply through the heat from the sun, which it converts into solar energy. It then uses that energy to power the LED bulbs. They won’t contribute to energy bills, and they also don’t require wiring.
  • Fluorescent Exterior Security Lights:
    For a conventional form of exterior lighting, consider installing fluorescent exterior lighting. Although they require bulbs, wiring, a switch and bulb sockets, they also can be adjusted with a dimmer and a timer to determine how bright you’d like them and when you’d like them to turn on and off.
  • Halogen Exterior Flood Lights:
    One of the most common types of exterior lighting are the Halogen flood lights. They’re often found at commercial buildings, residential homes and industrial locations. They are a strong light that emits a bright light, and consumes the most energy out of all the options above.
  • HID Exterior Security Lighting:
    HID, which stands for High Intensity Discharge, emits a strong light that spans over a broad surface area. These are often used for larger residential areas or stadiums, so they most likely would not be the ideal form of security lighting to choose.

When using any form of electricity, it’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can perform a thorough scan throughout your home, looking for any hot spots in your electrical system. We will also test the ground fault outlets to make sure that they are functioning properly. We will also install any form of outdoor security to protect your home from intruders and provide a source of guidance when walking to and from your home in the dark.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment online.

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed.

Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to maintain your hot water heater:

  • Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately. Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater. Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Why You Should Consider a Pressure Reducing Valve

Most people have problems in their showers or sinks with the water pressure being too low – rarely do you hear of them complaining about water pressure being too strong. People generally want as much water pressure as they are able to get from their faucet or shower. Since low water pressure is a common occurring problem, you may be wondering why anyone would want a water-reducing pressure valve. Well, a few of the reasons below may cause you to reconsider: 

  • A pressure reducing valve can be beneficial to your home appliances. These are not cheap items to replace, and it’s important to make sure that your investments in appliances are taken care of. If the water pressure in your dish washer is too high, it could potentially place stress on your appliance, which over time, could require you to replace it. The lifetime of your appliances will significantly diminish if they are constantly under the stress of high water pressure.
  • If any of your water hoses become crimped, they could cause some serious water damage once released. One of the most dangerous water flooding threats to a home is caused by washing machine hoses that burst. Because many people pick up washing machine hoses that can be picked up at DIY stores, this causes even more of a potential flood disaster. Having a pressure reducing valve will ensure that your laundry room doesn’t get flooded.
  • Not only do appliances suffer from a high water pressure, but so do plumbing fixtures. Of course you don’t want shower under a trickling spout, but there’s a balance between having a pressure that’s strong enough to shower under, but also that doesn’t take a toll on your appliances and plumbing fixtures. Your shower should provide the optimum amount of water input that will be enough pressure for you to shower, but not too much that strains your shower head.
  • Installing a pressure reducing valve will help determine the optimal water pressure in your home. Although most people think that they are good judges of the right water pressure, it’s always best to have a professional come out to evaluate and determine what’s best for your home as well as the appliances and plumbing fixtures inside. If you are frustrated with a water pressure that is too low, you don’t have to settle for this.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out to check the water pressure in your home and install pressure reducing valves! While we’re out there, we can also perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all the exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment! 800-461-3010.

How To Winterize Your Hot Water Heater

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed. Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to winterize your hot water heater:

  • Flush Out & Clean Your Water Heater
    Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • Insulate Your Older Tanks
    If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • Pressure Release Valve
    A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately.
  • It’s Important to Have a Proper Vent Draft
    Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • Check for Gas Leaks
    If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Check for Water Leaks
    Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater.

Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Childproof Your Bathroom Before The Holiday Guests Arrive

Whether you are hosting a household of guests that includes a child, or you have one of your own, it may be a good time to consider if your bathroom is childproof. Out of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen and the bathroom provide the most hazards to children. With all the activity in your home, it’s easy to lose track of a child for a moment or for them to wander quietly into the bathroom before you even realize they’re gone. There are a few ways ensure that your children or your guest’s children will be safe and out of harm’s way from the potential hazards in your bathroom. 

  • The first line of defense when childproofing your bathroom is to install a hook-and-eye lock on a high placement outside the bathroom door, or you could place a childproof cover on the door knob.
  • Don’t keep anything plugged in close to the tub or the sink. Always remove any electrical items after using them.
  • Install a toilet lid to prevent children from lifting and putting things down the toilet which potentially causes a plug, or could pose as a threat if they fall in.
  • Another way to protect your child in the bathroom is to make sure they don’t get accidentally  burned from hot water when taking a bath. It can take just three seconds of the wrong water setting for your child to get a serious burn. Install an anti-scalding setting on your faucets. You can also have your water heater set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit so that the water never gets to a point that could cause a burn.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and set the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent any burns. We can also install an anti-scalding setting on your faucets as well. While we’re out there childproofing your home, we can perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment! 800-461-3010.

How to stay Warm and Safe During Winter Months

Although the merriment and festivities make winter one of the most sentimental and exciting times of year, it also is the season for higher energy bills and higher safety risks.

We’ve highlighted the ways for you to keep your warmth and safety a priority while also enjoying the holidays:

  • Space heaters are great for heating smaller rooms so you can turn down your thermostat and save on energy. Be sure to keep doors shut to the rooms you don’t need to heat all the time.  Make sure that you don’t accidentally leave them on overnight or when you leave the home. It can easily become the cause of a house fire.
  • In addition to turning off heating devices, make sure that all your smoke detectors are installed and tested. Home fires are reported at the highest rates during winter months, so now is the time to test your smoke detector to ensure that it’s running properly.
  • Since we often spend more time indoors, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is also increased during these colder months. While installing your fire detector, now is a good time to also install and test a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Consider using a humidifier which can often help alleviate wintertime sickness. The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. When using a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.

If you’re concerned about installing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, don’t worry, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can help! We can also install a humidifier in your home to ensure optimal comfort during the winter months. You’ll be able to turn down your thermostat and save money this winter, and avoid some of the negative health effects that the dry air brings!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

How Much Do Christmas Lights Affect Your Energy Bill?

Some of the most notable parts of Christmas are gingerbread houses, eggnog, presents and Christmas caroling and decorating with lights around your home.  While they certainly add beauty and festivity to mantles, stairways, trees and roofs, they also come at a cost. Have you considered how much it adds to your electricity bill to hang Christmas lights for a couple months out of year?

Costs by type of bulb:

  • Cost of traditional light bulbs
    Traditional incandescent light bulbs cost significantly more to run during the Christmas season. A string of 25 lights will cost around $15 to run during the holiday. Multiply that by how many strings you would be using outside and inside, and this bill could easily rack up
  • Cost of LED lights
    A string of LED lights will cost around 24 cents to run over the course of Christmas. So the savings are definitely significant by switching to LED lights.
  • Cost of flashing or twinkle LED lights
    A string of flashing or twinkle LED lights will use almost twice as month energy as standard LED lights, however, this is still a low amount of energy compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs.

There are a few ways you can cut back on your electrical bill by being smart about what lights you use and how often you use them.

  • Timer
    Consider getting a timer so that the lights automatically go off at a certain time, instead of staying on all night.
  • Avoid overdoing it
    Although it’s easy to get overzealous about Christmas decorations, think about whether or not you need an abundant amount of lights or if you can avoid overdoing a display of excess lights.
  • Solid Christmas Lights are more affordable
    If your heart is set on flashing or twinkling lights, then by all means include them in your display! If you are indifferent to them, then opt for the solid Christmas lights.

Additional Ways To Save on Your Energy Bill

Using LED lights is not the only way to efficiently save on your energy bill. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can do a load balancing service to make sure that your electrical load is properly disbursed. We’ll check your breaker panel to make sure that there is not too much load on one side because it can cause your power bills to be unnecessarily high. It can also cause excessive heat. We will test your breaker panel to see where you stand to make sure your home is safe and sound.

Give us a call today – to schedule your appointment at 800-461-3010.