How to Replace an Electrical Outlet

outlet

Do you have cracked cover plates on your light switches or outlets?  Do you have outlets that don’t work?  It is really simple and easy to replace those old electrical outlet switches as well as the cover plates.

How to Replace an Electrical Outlet:

First, disconnect the outlet or switch from the power supply.  Cut the power supply at the fuse box by flipping the circuit breaker or removing the fuse.  Use a piece of painters tape or masking tape to cover the switch.  Clearly write, ‘No power’ on the tape to prevent someone else from turning on the power while you are working on it.

Next, remove the cover plate from the outlet or light switch that you will be working on.  Use a screwdriver to loosen the bolts that hold the wires to the poles on the outlet/switch.  When removing the outlets or switch, make note of which wire connects to which pole.  It is sometimes helpful to use masking/painters tape to label what the connections were.  Most often, the connections will match in terms of color with red connecting to red; white to white; black to black; etc.   Your new outlet should look a lot like the one you removed.

Make the same connections to the new unit that were on the old unit.  Most outlets do not come with separate instructions so you will need to rely on your labeling in order to make sure you make the right connection.  You can really improve the look of a room by ensuring all covers match and are clean by replacing them.

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!

Why Choose a Tankless Water Heater by Central Carolina Plumbing

water heater

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

If you find that you have to replace your water heater, you might want to consider a Tankless model.  These water heaters are efficient because you just heat the water you use rather than storing multiple gallons of water, which can cycle over and over before use.  They are compact units that can be mounted on an exterior wall.

In addition, you are unlikely to run out of hot water, as long as it is sized correctly.  Because they work by heating the water quickly and on demand,  there is very little wasted energy.  Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase initially but energy savings will quickly pay for the increased expense.

You will want to make sure to select the correct size because of the nature of how the Tankless water heater works.  Since water is heated on demand, you need to have it sized to fit the size of your needs. Unlike a regular water heater, a Tankless model’s water output is impacted by groundwater temperatures.  A Tankless water heater located in a warm climate will require less capacity than one located in the frozen Canadian tundra.  Use your coldest groundwater temperature to calculate the gallons per minute you’ll need.

Look for an oxygen-depletion sensor that shuts off the water heater if carbon monoxide is detected and a film wrap around the heat exchanger that will shut off the device if it gets too hot. Since Tankless water heater models are still relatively uncommon, consider using manufacturer-trained installers. Some companies extend the warranty if you do.

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!

 

Leaky Toilet – Call The Pros at Central Carolina Plumbing

00-toilet-terms

Do you have a toilet that you constantly hear ‘running’?  Maybe you’ve just become used to that Tupperware container under the water connection.  Let’s just hope you don’t forget to empty it every other day.

Maybe you’ve employed the towel solution since you really don’t even have a clue as to where the water is coming from.  Either way, it is time to take matters into your own hands and really address the problem head on.

What To Do With a Leaky Toilet

Toilets have lots of moving parts.  The diagram, courtesy of This Old House, shows all the many parts of a toilet. Each part can  malfunction and cause a leak.  And sometimes it can be really hard to figure out which part is not working correctly.  So here are some basics:

  • Locate the leak. If you can figure out where the leak is you might be able to fix it.  If it is an obvious coupling, try tightening the connection.  If the connection is as tight as possible and it is still leaking call a professional as your fittings likely need to be replaced.  The same goes for gaskets and seals. If you see water leaking from a connection that involves a gasket or wax ring, it likely needs replacement.
  • Can’t find the leak? Cut the water off and don’t use the toilet and give us a call.  Cut the water off and drain any water from the fixture to prevent future damage.  You can do this by cutting off the water and flushing the toilet to get all the water out of the tank and into the bowl.  Flush again to get water out of the bowl.  If your leak is between the fixture and the floor connection, the wax ring will need to be replaced.  This type of leak is often accompanied by smelly fumes, so you will know if that is the case.

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!

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – What you need to know!

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that can have deadly consequences.  This gas is produced when fuels detectorlike wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane or natural gas are not completely burned.  Also, equipment with internal combustion engines can produce carbon monoxide gas.

Most cases of CO poisoning occur because of malfunctioning appliances and heaters.  Gas appliances should be checked by a professional at least yearly to ensure that they are functioning properly and not producing carbon monoxide gas.   In between annual  tune ups and check, owners should check equipment monthly to look for obvious wear and damage.

A second leading reason for carbon monoxide poisoning is the use of internal combustion engines in confined spaces.  Severe weather, like we typically see here in North Carolina during the spring and summer may have you looking to hook up a generator.  While this is a great way to keep the power on during storms, always make sure to keep it outside and away from open windows/doorways to keep fumes out.  Also, never allow your car to run while in a garage.

Because the gas is colorless and odorless, and the result of poisoning are increased fatigue and confusion,  a detector (with fresh batteries) is the single best way to protect you, your family and your pets from poisoning.  Good quality detectors can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online.  Look for two in one carbon monoxide/smoke detectors if you want to install only one unit.  Elderly residents and those that meet certain income guidelines may even be able to get detectors for free through the fire department.

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 Start your Garden

 

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Whether you want to grow herbs to add fresh flavor to your meals, or vegetables to use this summer, now is the time to start planning your summer garden. First, make a list of vegetables and herbs that you use frequently and that you and your family will actually eat. Most vegetables are prolific once they start coming in and you don’t want to have a lot of eggplant if your family won’t touch it.

Next, take this list and look up what vegetables are suitable for your climate. Lettuces, cabbage and most root vegetables grow best in cooler weather so you will need to plant soon or plan for a fall planting. Warmer season vegetables and fruits like tomatoes differ by variety in their time to fruit, so you will need to carefully select your varieties. Finally, remember that some vegetables like asparagus can take many, many years to mature to the point that you can harvest them. If you don’t have a lot of patience, skip them this season.

Finally, add amendments to the soil to prepare your veggies and fruits for success. Add compost, lime and/or fertilizer if needed. Decide if you will use seed or plants and using your time to maturity information from above, determine your indoor seed starting schedule.

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!

 

Preparing your Containers for Spring Planting

 

Spring is just around the corner and if you are either short on space, or just want to beautify your deck or balcony, you will need containerto prepare your containers for their plants. Containers are a bit different from the soil in your garden just because they are smaller, and therefore dry out faster, so you will need to ensure that the water in them is retained for as long as possible without soaking the roots of your plants. Containers also are elevated above the normal soil level , so they don’t benefit from some of the same factors that make garden soil so great – like abundant animal life that adds organic material and aerates the soil.

In order to get your pots in shape for spring begin by cleaning them thoroughly. If your pots contain soil, you’ll want to use an herbicide to kill any weeds or grass. Alternately, you can cover it with a thick clear film for several days to superheat the soil and kill any seeds. Next, scrub the pot clean as it won’t be able to do this once you’ve planted. Consider testing the soil’s pH level to determine if you need to add lime. Kits can be purchased at your local nursery or big box home improvement store.

Add supplements that retain moisture to ensure the safety of the plants through the North Carolina summer heat. Add drainage materials like gravel to the bottom if there are no drainage holes to ensure they drain properly and don’t drown plants. Fill with soil and start planning your garden!

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!

Pressure Washing for Spring by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Power Washing Your Home For Springspring

Even with an expected cool off this weekend, there is no doubt that spring is right around the corner. As a matter of fact, it is this Sunday! With the warmer weather, we will all hopefully get to spend more time outside enjoying the sun and sky and fresh plants just beginning to peak out of the warm earth.

To brighten up the look for your patio, deck or house, consider power washing it. Mold can grow on deck boards and turn them nearly black. A bleach solution, along with a stream of pressurized water will make the wood look like new. Showers have also probably washed some dirt up on the siding of your home.   A pressure washer can clean all that up.

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!

 

Do Rugs Matter? by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electric & Plumbing

 

Do Rugs Really Matter?rug making

A nice, well placed rug can really bring the room together. It can pick up accent colors in your color palette and pull seemingly different pieces of furniture together into one cohesive look. But, other than looking nice and adding to the look of a room, what do rugs actually do? Here are a few advantages to using rugs in your room:

  • Rugs can add warmth to a room. This is especially important for rooms that are built on a concrete slab. Rugs will actually provide a bit of insulation in the room by trapping air between the fibers. If you have a really cold floor and want to warm it up, look for a rug with a long pile like a shag rug or one with dense wool cut or loop pile.
  • Rugs can provide cushioning for hard floors. Do you have to stand in your kitchen for hours when cooking or doing dishes? A rug and a rug pad can add that extra bit of softness that will help your feet and back feel less achy at the end of cooking your holiday meal. Consider a rubberized, thick pad to provide the most cushioning.
  • Rugs absorb noise. Have you ever walked in an empty house or building that had no furniture, no drapes and no carpeting? Sounds seem to amplify and reverberate off of everything. By incorporating textile products into your home, you can soften the surfaces that sound waves bounce off of and make it just a bit quieter. This is one reason you want to include a rug in a baby’s room if possible.

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!

Reduce Vampires by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Reducing Vampires by Unpluggingvampire

No, it isn’t Halloween, but there are indeed vampires in your home! We are not talking about the kind that bite you on the neck and suck your blood, but instead the ones that latch onto your wallet and take your cash! Electronics, even those that are turned off or in standby mode, can draw electricity when they are plugged in. They are referred to as ‘vampires’.

It is estimated that in the US we spend about $10 million annually to power these vampires. Want to see how much your appliances and electronics are using? Check out the graphic. So, what can you do to stop the vampires? No need for a wooden stake, instead:

  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use to prevent them from pulling electricity. Even the clocks on appliances can draw continuous power.
  • Or, plug them into a power strip and use the power strip on/off switch to cut the power off when you are not using the appliance or electronics.
  • Unplug chargers once batteries are fully charged on items like cell phones, laptops and battery chargers.
  • Use rechargeable batteries rather than disposables. You’ll save money in the long term and you won’t add to the landfill.

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!

New Year, New Goals by Central Carolina Air, Plumbing & Electic

 

new-years-goalsHow to Set New Year’s Goals

The start of the New Year has many of us thinking about the commitments that we will make in the new year to ourselves and others. You may be thinking about losing weight, going after a new position at work, starting your own business, eating better or spending more time with your partner or children. Whatever your goals, make sure that your goals are effective. One way is to make sure you set SMART goals. SMART goals were first described in the journal Management Review by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in the early 1980s. SMART goals are:

  1. Specific – think about what you really want to achieve. Make sure your goals align with the desired outcome, and that they address specific areas that require effort in order to get to that outcome.
  2. Measurable – can you measure how well you are doing in achieving the goal? If you are able to see your progress toward the desired outcome, you are more likely to stick with the goal in the longer term.
  3. Attainable – make sure your goals are realistic while also being ambitious. You want to set goals that you know will require a lot of work, but are achievable. For instance, if you know you have five big projects at work in the coming year that will require lots of evening meetings, it may not be appropriate to set a goal of being home for dinner each night at 5 PM.
  4. Relevant – make sure your goals are rewarding. If you aren’t ready to tackle your goals, don’t set yourself up to fail. Instead look for other opportunities to move closer to your desired outcome.
  5. Time- bound – set a timeline for reaching your goals. We have all had the experience of setting goals that we just kept putting off until later. You may even want to add milestones to your goals to track your progress.

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!