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Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Issues - Boston, Worcester

26 Jun 2013

A common problems for all Hot Water Heaters is issues with the pressure relief valves. The pressure relief valve is a safety feature that prevents the buildup of pressure in a hot water tank. If the pressure in your hot water tanks increases significantly in the tank, the relief valve is designed to let water and pressure escape. In most water heaters it is not advised to troubleshoot the problem without the proper training.

If your pressure valve leaks a little water, or shows signs of leaking when the valve is closed, you could have a problem with pressure build-up in your hot water tank. If you see mineralization around or on the valve, the valve  cannot be opened for testing, or does not close properly after testing, this could mean that the pressure-relief valve is malfunctioning.

With a hot water heater, repair can often mean 'replacement'. But, there are two options when there are issues with the water heater pressure valve. 'Flushing Out a Pressure Relief Valve' will let us know if it is seating correctly. 'Replacing a Pressure Relief Valve', is the more common scenario.

Heated water generates pressure. A pressure relief valve relieves the pressure in your tank. Should that pressure get higher than what it considered safe the pressure relief valve acts as a safety feature. It relieves the pressure before your hot water tank blows up.

When the water tank pressure relief valve fails will the tank blow up? No, but it does begin to spray hot water all over the place making a big mess. Therefore, there are not too many options, the only one is to replace the pressure release valve or replace the water heater.

Calling a plumber in early on may lead to unnecessary repair bills. It is a quick fix, and it isn’t that expensive, in fact it is much less than replacing the water heater itself. Contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

A Clean AC Helps You Breathe Easier and Saves Money - Boston

20 Jun 2013

Allergy season is here in Boston! If you or anyone in your home is an allergy sufferer, protect your inside air. Did you know that in a typical six-room house, everyday living creates up to 40 pounds of dust every year? Your heating and air conditioning system pulls in a sizeable amount of that dust and contaminants. It even may re-circulate irritants five to seven times a day.

Consider your air conditioning system to be the heart and lungs of your house. It breathes air in and out. The cleaner the lungs, the cleaner the air in your home, and the fewer allergy triggers in the air. This is why quality HVAC service and maintenance should be done on a regular basis.

However, AC service does not just make it easier to breath, it helps you save money too. Dust in your HVAC system can make it work harder, using more energy, which costs you more money and may shorten its life. So the benefits to regular service are twofold. Despite filters, the central air conditioning system in your home gets dirty with normal use. When it is clean it does not work as hard, and you save money…and breathe easier.

For AC system maintenance, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

Excerpts - Journal Sentinel

Plumbing Problems that are Most Common - Watertown, MA

12 Jun 2013

Most of us consider plumbing a luxury, it is. When things stop running correctly we are all reminded of how inconvenient life could be without it. When plumbing problems do arise, it is important to contact a plumber that you can count on, with a good reputation and who you can feel comfortable with.

Here are a few of the most common household plumbing problems.

Clogged drain – This is one of the most common plumbing issues. Clogged drains usually can be avoided if you are careful about what you let go down the drain. Be particulary careful in the kitchen, this is the most common drain to get clogged and the most inconvenient when it does.

Dripping faucet – this is very common and starts as the washers in faucets wear out. Use less force when turning the faucet off and on to extend the life of the washer.  

Leaking pipes - This can cause quite a bit of damage to you belongings as well as you floors and walls. Check pipes fairly regularly for rust or lime deposits, this could be the start of a leak.

Leaking water heaters – most often these need to be replaced.

No heat – if you have a broken furnaces or boilers the heat won’t turn on. Check your heating system before you need to use it.

Running toilet –Running toilets usually suggest that some part of the toilet is out of order. It is important to get this fixed immediately because this can use a lot of water.

Leaking toilet – this is a very expensive plumbing repair problem. This can add a lot of money to your water bill. For this it may be necessary to call a professional plumber.

Installing a new faucet – mainly faucets are replaced for decorative reasons. Plumbers guarantee their workmanship.

Many homeowners attempt to fix plumbing problems, but if you are not sure what to do, a DIY fix that isn’t done right can result in an more expensive problem down the line. For help with your household plumbing problems, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.

Garbage Disposals and Private Septic Systems - Weston, Wellesley, MA

06 Jun 2013

We often get asked by homeowners with private septic if they can have a garbage disposal installed. Garbage disposals allow food waste to fit through your sink drain and plumbing pipes instead of throwing it away in the household waste that ultimately goes to a landfill.  Yes, a garbage disposal can be used with a septic system. However, using a garbage disposal frequently may lead to an increased amount of solids and grease in your septic tank. As a result you may be required to pump your septic system more frequently.

Garbage disposals add to the solid waste load in the septic tank. But, can you use garbage disposals with private septic? Yes. Food waste is waste, plain and simple. Food is organic matter and it will enter your septic system either through the sink or through your wasted pipes. The challenge is, with garbage disposals, water is used while the garbage disposal is running which allows more water into your septic system than would enter without the disposal. Also, you might send more food waste down your sink drain than you would otherwise.  However, there are water operated and electric operated garbage disposals.

A septic tank has microbes in the tank that break down the solids into liquids.  A garbage disposal makes disposing food scraps easy, but it can cause additional strain on the septic system. It is generally recommended that the septic tank be pumped out annually if a garbage disposal is used. This compares to every 3-5 years for homes that do not use a garbage disposal. However there are garbage disposals with enzyme injectors for use with private septic systems.

Garbage disposals installed in your home are a convenience, but you need to be cautious of your water use. Know that the added waste and water they add to the septic tank might mean that the septic tank needs to be pumped more often. For more information or for garbage disposal installation, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.