Zereski Plumbing Weekly Web Blogg;
Spring is almost here!
With warmer weather just around the corner at this time of year, the lawn sprinkler companies are hoping that your irrigation system backflow prevention device (BPD) was freeze damaged over the winter so they can sell and install a new one to you...illegally. Wait a minute, didn't this same company allegedly properly winterize your system in the fall? Now their telling you something they winterized was freeze damaged, isn't that what they were paid to prevent!?!
That's right, many people I work for have a lawn sprinkler back flow prevention system that has been installed by an un-licensed and un-qualified sprinkler guy for the same cost as if it were installed by a licensed plumber. Back flow prevention is no joke, a poorly installed, or the wrong kind of BPD, can siphon yard chemicals, fecal bacteria and even insects back into your homes drinking water! Not only can it make you sick, but if you have town water, your neighbors could be affected too. If you have a well, it could become contaminated and have to be permanently abandoned!
If your lawn sprinkler company says you need a new back flow prevention device, ask them who the licensed plumber is that will be installing it. If they tell you that they do not need a license to install one, or that hiring a licensed plumber to perform the installation will be more expensive, they are telling you a bold face lie and endangering the health of your family and maybe even the neighbors.
Tired of lugging that Poland Spring bottle into the house?
If you have ever had to change out the bottle on a water cooler, you know how much fun that is. First take the old one off throw it in the pile of other empty bottles. Then lug the new one in from the garage and up the stairs. Grab that 50 pound jug of water and quickly flip it over and drop it onto the cooler...oooops! You missed! Now there's water all over the floor, get the mop. whoops, your toddler just ran through the puddle and is now jumping on the couch with wet socks. Aghhhh! what a hassle! Not to mention the space the bottles take up, the cost of the water and damage to the environment from not re-using water bottles. Stop the madness!!! Have Zereski Plumbing install a reverse osmosis (R.O.) water filter in your home and never pay for bottled water again. They can be added just about anywhere, but usually to the kitchen sink area and/or hooked up to your refrigerators water and ice dispenser. RO filtered water is the purest water you can get, period. Its used by the military on a large scale for desalination of sea water and it costs less than you think. Do yourself and the environment a favor and call Zereski Plumbing for a free estimate on a RO filter installation.
So your old heating system and/or hot water heater lasted another winter, great!
So old rusty Betty held out for another year. You know she's getting old, but maybe she'll last one more winter?
Now that warmer weather is on its way, this is the best time to consider a new heating system. If your boiler is over 10 years old, or your water heater more than 6 years old, than it would be considered "fully depreciated" by a home inspector. This means that the boiler or water heater has lived out its useful intended life expectancy as determined by industry standards. Even though it is still operational, it would be considered a potential problem and liability to someone who might want to purchase your home.
Heating and hot water systems are easy to take for granted, until they don't work. Don't wait until the system fails to start looking for a new one. Planning ahead will save you money and aggravation down the road. With gas company rebates and federal tax incentives a new high efficiency heating and hot water system costs about the same as a low or standard efficiency system and takes up far less space.
Heating systems and hot water production systems always fail when under the most strain.
So that's usually winter, holidays or when you have company over. People think its just "Murphy's Law" or bad luck, but in reality it makes perfect sense that it would fail at the worst possible time. Now in 2013 the gas company is offering $1200 rebates for high efficiency combination boilers and hot water heating systems like the one shown in the video near the top of this page. Some people will also qualify for a $300 credit on their income tax return. We also install aftermarket outdoor re-set controls on all of our Navien combination boilers, which may qualify some installations for an additional $250 rebate. Don't wait until your heating system goes to start looking at what options are best for you, or you may find yourself at the mercy of a big yellow pages advertising company built to take advantage of people in an emergency situation. I walk into many homes where people have had a boiler installed during the winter by a big 24 hour service company and I am always shocked to hear what it cost for that "emergency service installation". Yellow pages emergency service companies have to buy and store boilers and hot water heaters before people need them. This means more overhead costs for that company, which translates into higher costs to the customer and not much in the way of boiler or water heater choices. They also have to pay employee's overtime and holiday/weekend pay to install the product, this cost is also passed on to the consumer.
This week I would also like to mention the importance of servicing your mechanical systems.
What is a Mechanical system?
A mechanical system is a general term for the machines, appliances and systems that keep your house warm in winter and cool in the summer and make your hot water for bathing.
Systems that use oil...
If you have an oil fired anything, you really need to have that oil fired system checked and maintained on a regular basis because oil systems require more maintenance than gas burning appliances. If your boiler is over 6 years old you might consider signing up for a service contract with your local oil supplier. Often these contracts involve paying a couple hundred dollars a year for general maintenance. Some oil companies also offer a general system insurance plan.
Systems that use natural gas...
Most natural gas and propane fired equipment need very little maintenance compared to oil systems, but should still be checked at least yearly to prevent problems and catch little things before they turn into big problems.
High Efficiency Systems....
High efficiency gas systems need more maintenance than older less efficient gas systems. If you have a high efficiency boiler, on demand hot water heater or combination unit it should be checked every six months. Certainly no less than once a year to keep things working smoothly.
Don't ignore maintenance and repairs....
Be proactive about problems when they are first discovered, small leaks turn into bigger ones, its just a matter of time! Also dealing with problems before they are an emergency always costs less. So if you know that no qualified person has looked at your mechanical systems in a few years, than consider having a scheduled maintenance check up. Also finding parts for units over 7 years old can take 2-3 days depending on the brand. So its far less disruptive to order the parts that can be seen wearing out, than wait until they break and have the unit out of commission while waiting for new parts. Suppliers generally stop keeping spare parts on the shelf for models over five years old. This means they have to be ordered from the manufacturer and be air shipped. Zereski Plumbing and Heating offers many maintenance services for gas appliances, so if its been a while since any maintenance has been performed, or that bucket under a drippy pipe is filling up faster, you should contact us for a service check up.
Did you know???
Did you know that audible sounds of water moving through your heating system indicates a problem? That's right, if you can hear water flowing through the pipes when the heat comes on than you may have air in the heating system. Air in hydronic heating systems chokes efficiency, burns out circulators and usually means you have at least one small leak in the system. So if that boiler is covered in rust, its time to call us! Water on the floor? Call before there's more!