Major Plumbing Issues

 

Plumbing issues left unfixed can lead to huge costs down the road. The problem is, most of us don’t even know when something is wrong—or don’t realize when something seemingly small is actually a big deal. Here are some big things to inspect whether you’re buying a new home or have lived in yours for years without thinking about these things.

A leak at the base of the toilet can go unnoticed or unaddressed for years. Over time, though, the water will get in between the floor and subfloor and rot the subfloor. Look for discoloration or warping around the toilet’s base. Also, check the flooring around the toilet by stepping around the area to see if it is soft or if it moves. Check to make sure the toilet bowl does not move or rock when grabbed. Movement means it has a bad seal or the flange is not secured or the toilet is not secured to the flange.

If your sewer line has clogged get a professional plumber to not only unclog it, but also inspect it. Over time the line can deteriorate, which not only means more clogs, but the line could also collapse completely. A major repair or even replacement would cost quite a bit.

Depending on water quality, maintenance and how your water heater is being used, this important piece of your home should last approximately 10 years. They are typically out of your sight, so take time to inspect it. If it leaks, will it damage flooring, closets or the garage? Water heater pans can help a little bit, but will overflow easily. A plumber can check whether or not it is up to code and working properly. The manufacturer can tell you the age of it from the model and serial number. You’ll also want to make sure your water heater is the right size for your house. You don’t want a small heater with a large family. You can also save money by replacing a large model with a smaller one once the kids have moved out.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Prevent a Failing Water Heater

 

It is a crucial part of your home and often completely forgotten about until a major issue comes up—the water heater. The main cause of water heater failure is age. The seam on the back of most water heaters rusts and deterioration happened generally between about 9 and 11 years.

What does this lead to? Typically, flooding. However it isn’t always a sudden burst—sometimes it is a slow leak that might be easy to miss if you’re out of town, not home much, or simply don’t go in the area where you water heater is very often (such as a basement.) It is a good rule of thumb to get a new water heater every 9 years or so.

While repairs and installations are best left to a professional, there are some steps you can take to help out this important piece in your house:

Get your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping inspected once a year. Signs of broken valves as well as wet or loose joints and rust will be some signs that more severe damage is likely to come.

Getting your water heater flushed to remove the sediment once a year will help as well. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before flushing the tank since the heated water may be 140 degrees or more!

If you live in an area with hard water, installing a water softener can also extend the life of your water heater.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Fix Your Running Toilet

 

If you have a toilet that keeps running, this can waste quite a bit of water and money. Let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot this.

Problems with the flapper are the most common reason for a running toilet. Turn off the water and drain the toilet, then look at the flapper. Adjust the chain if it is too long or short. A chain that is too long can get caught under the flapper, while a chain that is too short can pull up on the valve when it should not. You can use wire cutters if it is too long.

You’ll also want to look for any problems with the actual flapper, or see if it needs to be cleaned to help it seal better. You can soak it in a bowl of vinegar for about half an hour and then scrub it.

If the flapper is not the issue, check the water level. If it is too high, water will constantly be draining into the overflow tube in the middle of the tank that connects the tank and bowl. Look at it with the water running and the tank full, and see if water keeps draining into the tube. If so, you can adjust the water level by lowering the float.

Lastly, if those are not the issues, check the fill valve. Turn off the water, flush the toilet, disconnect the supply line, and purchase a replacement for the old assembly. You’ll have to replace it entirely.

One of the best ways to prevent common toilet issues in the future such as a running toilet is to replace the insides of your toilet’s tank every 5 years. Think of it as regular maintenance, just as you would maintain other appliances in your home.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Keep Your Crawl Space Dry

Its one of the last places you might think about—or want to deal with—in your house. However, as you may know from house hunting or your own bad experiences in your home, this is an area you should not overlook. How do you keep your crawl space dry?Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electric keeping your crawl space dry

Outside sources such as roof gutters and downspouts are the most common causes of crawl space water entry or high moisture. Inspect around the outside of your home to see where sources of water need to be directed away from the house. This is commonly a problem for homes located at the bottom of a hill. Check your gutters to make sure they are in good shape and free of debris. If you need to test your gutters and downspouts, run the house through them. (Grab a friend or family member to help.)

Your last step outdoors may be to install a drainage system and sump pump inside or exterior waterproofing and foundation drainage.

As far as inside water sources go, you’ll want to look for sources of leaks and moisture as well as improper venting. In addition to water, look for condensation on pipes, under flooring and on foundation walls, foundation wall stains, and mold. Look below bathrooms and kitchens.

This summer it is a good idea to insulate cold water pipes in the crawl space to stop dripping of condensation that forms on the cold water lines in humid weather. (Do this is the basement too.) You may consider using a dehumidifier on a regular basis to help keep things dry.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

The Whole House Program For Easy Home Maintenance

 

 

The Whole House Program for Home Maintenance from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and ElectricalElectrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year.

Each year more than 4,000 people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.

A leaky toilet can waste over 73,000 gallons of water a year.

Dealing with home maintenance as a homeowner can be stressful, right?  It doesn’t have to be, with the Whole House Program at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical. Here are some of the common issues homeowners face when their home systems are not checked and maintained—and what this program can do about them.

Your HVAC system is one of the most costly home systems to repair if it is not maintained. Furthermore, you can easily have dirty air pumped throughout the home if the system is not cleaned, which is especially tough on those with allergies and other health issues.

For cooling, we will wash your outdoor unit, do a leak check, replace the filter, check the drain line, and check that all the components are using the proper amount of electricity. We will also inspect the duct system and the safeties. For heating, we will check the burners and heat exchanger.

For plumbing, maintenance and fixing problems early on is crucial to avoid water damage, mold and mildew. Again, not only will you waste money if you leave things alone, but you can also risk your health. In our Whole House program we will check faucets, test the water pressure, check the piping, flush your water tank, and do a dye test on the toilets to check leakage points for signs of wear. We will also investigate suspected stains.

Your electrical system is another major part of your home. Problems that are left alone can lead to fires and injury. We will scan for problem hot spots, check the GFCIs, check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and tighten panel connections. Connections can become loose over time, which is a big hazard for your family.

With the Whole House Program, inspection/cleaning of all of these major systems is included in one package for a low price. Minor repairs are all covered and major repairs are discounted by 30-60%. With one-time visits or individual agreements you’d pay much more. Overtime charges are also much lower than without the program. Sign up today for peace of mind!

 

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Building Your Own Outdoor Shower

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaIf you haven’t already, you’re probably planning—or at least dreaming of – your next beach vacation. How about bringing a little taste of the tropics to your home with an outdoor shower? A simple version can cost less than $1,000. Here is what you need to know to get started.

First check that an outdoor showers is allowed in your area or if you need a permit for it. Next, think about location. You’ll want a place that is not under a roof or tree and has direct sunlight for warmth as well as drying the walls and floor. You’ll also want a private area!

If you choose to install the shower right up against your house with one of the walls being your siding, keep in mind that the material may not be designed to withstand that much water. You’d want to add a waterproof membrane underneath, and also use a material such as teak or cedar.

Plan out what type of draining you’ll use.  The shower will need to drain into the household system or a French drain. If you go with a French drain, you’ll likely need to replace the gravel every few years. Obviously, you’ll want to drain away from the home and if you care about your garden, away from those plants as well, as soap can affect them.

You’ll likely want to hire a professional plumber to do the plumbing, unless you go the very simplistic route of using a garden hose as the shower head. If you do want to tackle the plumbing yourself, you’ll have to assemble the pipes, drill an opening into the floor, push the garden hose through and attach it to the threaded pipe, secure it to the wall and attach the shower fixture.

Remember, in the winter you’ll want to shut off the water valve and have the pipes blown out before temperatures drop to freezing.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Septic Myths 

 

A home’s plumbing system and septic tank are so important, and yet so often overlooked until there is a major problem. Here are some common myths about septic systems (and the pipes leading to them) that many homeowners believe:

Myth #1: You don’t have to get your septic tank pumped (or at least not very often)

Truth: You should get your septic tank pumped and inspected every one to three years, depending on its size and how many people live in your home.

Myth #2: Slow draining showers, sinks, tubs, washing machines, and toilets aren’t a big deal. 

Truth: This could be a sign that your tank needs to be pumped, or some other type of major plumbing issue. If you have gotten your tank pumped recently and know that is not the issue, you still shouldn’t wait to have a professional plumber come and look.

 

Myth #3: My well water doesn’t need any maintenance

Truth: If you have a septic system and a well, get the water tested once a year to see if nitrate levels are not too high, which could mean that waste water is overflowing your system and leaching into your water.

Myth #4: I need to use additives in my septic system

Truth: Additives will not prevent backup, properly break down solids, or prevent you from needing to pump and needing to be careful with your system. (In other words, it wouldn’t be a pass to allow you to suddenly start putting everything down the kitchen sink.)

Myth #5: Putting food, chemicals, medicines, etc. down the drain won’t harm the septic system.

Truth: If this is all new to you because you’re coming from a house or apartment without a septic system (especially with a garbage disposal), it may take some getting used to. It’s always best to not put anything except safe liquids such as water or drinks and septic-safe toilet paper and designated septic-safe products down the drain. Not only will this be good for your septic system, but your pipes and plumbing as well.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Walter Filtration For Your Shower

 

While you may already have a water filtration system in your kitchen for drinking and cooking water, have you ever thought about filtering your shower water? It may sound strange at first, since you probably don’t stand under the shower and drink all your water for the day, but it is actually a smart thing to think about.

Water contains chemicals such as chlorine, which is not healthy to put into our bodies in high quantities. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and absorbs what it comes into contact with. Furthermore, since we typically take warm—even hot—showers, (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a long shower to decompress?) the absorption of the chlorine into our skin is easy.

In addition to the high levels of chlorine, we may also be exposing ourselves to harmful trihalomethanes (THMs), which come from chlorine reacting with other products in the water. Because of the warm air, inhaling the chemicals occurs easily as well. The chemicals can also lead to dry skin, irritation and eczema.

There are many types of shower filters that will help prevent your exposure to all of these things. Filters use charcoal/carbon, Vitamin C or KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion). Carbon filters remove chlorine well but don’t work as well at warm temperatures. The good news is, they are inexpensive. KDF filters are also inexpensive and a pretty effective option. Vitamin C filters create a chemical reaction that changes chlorine and other chemicals, making them harmless.

Most filters are easy to install but you will need to replace them every few months. If you take many baths, there are also filters for that as well. If you want to go a much more expensive but thorough route, consider a whole house filter, typically installed by a professional.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Types of Water Filtration Systems

We all need water. We all want clean water. So if you want to be sure your family has the cleanest water, what type of water filtration system should you purchase? It depends on how much you want to spend, what contaminants you want to remove, and how much work you’re willing to commit. Here are some of the primary choices:

Carbon/Activated Carbon: There is a wide range of carbon filters. Some only remove chlorine and improve taste and odor. Some remove a wide range of contaminants, including asbestos, lead, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Keep in mind, though, that activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate.

Ceramic: Ceramic filters have small holes throughout the material that block solid contaminants such as cysts and sediments. They do not remove any chemical contaminants.

Deionization: These kinds of filters remove mineral salts and other electrically charged molecules (ions) from water. They cannot remove non-ionic contaminants (including trihalomethanes and other common VOCs) or microorganisms.

Reverse Osmosis: This process pushes water through a membrane that blocks particles larger than water molecules. It can remove many contaminants not removed by activated carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium and nitrates but doesn’t remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or VOCs. Many systems do include an activated carbon component. Reverse osmosis filters use 3-to-20 times more water than they produce, so they are only used for drinking and cooking water.

Water Softeners: These devices typically use an ion exchange process to lower levels of calcium and magnesium. They do not remove most other contaminants.

When shopping, if you’re looking to remove a particular contaminant, verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.

Also, read the fine print. Some filters are labeled “NSF certified.” This is a reputable company, but its certifications are not all the same.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

How To Fix a Leaky Faucet

 

It’s the annoying reality of being a homeowner. You will have issues you need to address, and there isn’t a landlord to take care of it for you. Plumbing is a common area in which homeowners see problems — especially, the trusty leak faucet.

So what steps can you take when you have a leaky faucet? First, turn your water off to all parts of the sink and take off any decorative parts of the handles/knobs.

Next, loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. (You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver.) Once you remove the screw, you can use WD-40 if needed to help take the handle off. After that, unscrew the packing nut with a wrench. Then remove the stem. (Some pop off easily while others need to be twisted.)

If everything so far looks good, take a look at the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat, as they are commonly the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put in a replacement. Make sure the replacement washers and O-rings fit exactly. Check to see if the sides fit a flat or cone-shaped washer. It’s not a bad idea to take the old O-ring to the store to make sure you get the right size. Another option is to buy a packaged set that includes many different sizes.

You’ll then put everything back together—washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle. Then test to see if you have fixed the leak. Turn the water back on and turn the knob slowly.

If the faucet is still dripping then it may be corrosion in your valve seat. If time has passed and it has not been cleaned it can lead to leaks near the spout. Other common issues include loose parts or worn-out seals. If you cannot figure out the issue, or even if you can, but know you cannot fix it, call a professional plumber. It is best to not wait too long as these issues only get worse.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!