Service King Plumbing & HVAC Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Signs You May Need Water Line Replacement

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The water pipes in your home are constructed to be especially resistant to wear and tear. Even older iron pipes can last up to a century, barring any sort of drastic issue like excessive water hammer. However, you may one day be unlucky enough to need water line replacement. Nothing can last forever, after all. Let’s take a look at the signs you should look for that indicate a need for water line replacement.

Discolored Water

Brown or yellow water coming out of your tap is an indication of excessive rust in some part of your system. If it happens just once or twice, you may not have to worry. Even healthy plumbing systems can wash some rust through the faucet if the water is turned off and back on again. However, consistently discolored water means that there is a pipe in your system in need of replacement. You should call a professional to examine your system as soon as possible.

Low Water Pressure

A drop in water pressure is a sign of a leak somewhere in your water system. The severity of the leak can usually be determined by the severity of the pressure loss. A gradual loss in water pressure means the leak is progressing, while a sudden loss of pressure indicates a very large leak. If you suddenly stop getting water at all, it is possible that your water line has ruptured. Call a professional immediately to prevent as much water damage as possible.

Visual Signs of Corrosion

Most modern pipes are made of copper, which is extremely resistant to rust and corrosion. Resistant doesn’t mean immune, however. You should make a habit of checking the parts of your water system that are visible. If you see any signs of rust or corrosion, then you should call a professional to see if it’s time to replace it. It could be a minor issue, and the pipe could be fine. Better to check it and make sure, however, than to wait until the pipe ruptures.

If you think you need your water line replaced, call Service King to schedule an appointment with us. We provide plumbing services throughout Schaumburg.

How to Save Money on Heating Your Home

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

As we move into the thick of the winter season, a lot of homeowners find themselves looking for ways to save money on heating. Simply being sparing with the heat is hardly an option in areas where the day’s forecast is below zero. Fear not. There are a few options available, for those who know what to look for. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to save money on heating your home this winter season.

Zone Control

A zone control system is designed to divide your home’s ductwork into a series of zones that can be individually climate controlled. This is done by installing a damper, basically a large valve, in the ducts leading to each room. A thermostat is connected to each of these dampers, allowing each room to set its own temperature settings. When the thermostat in an individual room puts out a call for heat, it opens the damper so that warm air can flow into the room. Otherwise, the damper remains closed.

There are many advantages to using zone control for your central heating system. Normal central heating systems waste a lot of energy heating rooms that either don’t need it or are not occupied. This is due to the reliance on a single thermostat, which can only detect temperature changes in its immediate vicinity. By installing a thermostat in each room, zone control eliminates that tendency to waste heat on rooms that are already at a comfortable temperature. The thermostats can also be locked so that only the one in the room you are currently occupying will call for heat, further lightening the load on your heater.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is a heating system that does not burn fuel to create heat. Rather, it heats a home by moving thermal energy from one place to another. This is done through a unit installed on the outside of the home, which leeches thermal energy from the surrounding air and sends it inside to heat the air. Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient, using only electricity to operate. If you’d like to invest in a more efficient heating system, a heat pump is one of the best options on the market.

To schedule an appointment or if you’d like to know more about how you can save money on heating, call Service King today. We provide professional heating services in Bartlett, IL.

What to Do When a Toilet Overflows

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Of all the nightmare scenarios that can happen in your bathroom, an overflowing toilet is probably the most likely. With the relatively recent advent of “low flow” toilets, clogs have become much more common. This disgusting occurrence is never pleasant, but don’t panic! There are a few things you can do before calling a plumber.

Shut Off the Water

No, we’re not talking about the water for the entire house. Almost every toilet has a water shutoff valve near its base that is there for just this sort of emergency. Locate the valve and turn it to the right until water stops flowing into the toilet.

If you can’t find the valve for whatever reason, lift the lid off of the toilet. Inside you should see a float. This float is the mechanism that determines when to fill the toilet tank with water. When the water level drops, the float sinks until it opens a valve to let more water into the tank. If you lift the float, it won’t trigger the valve and the flow into the tank should stop. Find some way to secure the float so it won’t sink back down when you let go of it. Now that you’ve stopped the water flow, it’s a good time to clean up the mess made by the overflow.

Plunge It

If the water level in the toilet bowl is close to the rim, you’re going to want to skim some of it off with a bucket or something so you can have enough room for a plunger. Otherwise, you’re just going to get water all over the floor again. Now, grab a toilet plunger and try to plunge the clog out yourself. If the water level drops after you’re done, congratulations. The problem should be fixed at this point. If the water level stays high, even after multiple plunging attempts, then you have a more serious problem. Call a plumber to have a look at it for you.

If you have a clog in your toilet that you can’t seem to get rid of, call Service King. We provide 24-hour emergency plumbing services throughout Algonquin.

Signs Your Water Heater May Need Repairs

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Have you ever had the distinctly unpleasant experience of turning on your shower, expecting hot water, only to be drenched in a freezing cold deluge? It’s happened to all of us at least once, and it’s one of the most common signs of issues with you water heater. Barring a very cold wake-up call, though, there are a few other signs that your water heater may need professional repair. Let’s take a look at some of these signs, so you can know when to call a technician.

Discolored Water

If you turn on any faucet in your home, and are greeted with a flow of brown or yellow water, then you may have a problem with your water heater. That discoloration is caused by oxidization, commonly known as rust, in the water. While there can be other sources of such rust (the water pipes, for example) the most common source is in your water heater tank.

In order to prevent the inner lining of a water heater tank from rusting, each is equipped with one or two sacrificial anode rods. These are long, metal rods that are inserted into the top of each tank. The rods are designed to attract oxidization instead of the lining of the tank, hence the term “sacrificial.” When the anode rod becomes corroded enough, however, it ceases to work. This leads to the lining of the tank beginning to rust, which ends up in your water. The way to solve this is to replace the anode rod, which any professional technician can do for you.

Leaking

Leaking is never a good sign when dealing with hydronic heating systems, especially when it’s around what is often a very large water tank. Leaking from the water tank can be caused by any number of factors and from many different locations on the water heater. Not all water found around the water heater is necessarily from a leak, but if you find water dripping from a pipe or valve it’s time to call a professional immediately. Leaks can cause serious water damage if left unrepaired, so don’t wait!

If you are experiencing water heater problems, call Service King. We provide water heater repair services in the Schaumburg area.

The History of “Auld Lang Syne”

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

There are numerous different traditional songs associated with Christmas—but there is only one song that comes to mind immediately when people think of New Year’s Eve: “Auld Lang Syne.” It is hard to find a New Year’s Eve party where people won’t leap into singing “Should old acquaintance be forgot…” as the first stroke of midnight sounds. This tradition encompasses the globe, with almost every culture that celebrates New Year’s on January 1st breaking into song with the same set of lyrics.

Where did this song come from? And what do the words “auld lang syne” actually mean? The best place to ask these questions is Scotland. The Official Gateway to Scotland website calls the song “one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbor’s hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take us into the future.”

The melody of the piece originates from Lowland Scots folk song tradition. It was legendary Scottish Romantic poet Robert Burns (1759–1796) who created the words we know today, however. During the later years of his life, Burns dedicated much of his work to collecting Scottish folk tunes and giving them new life. The first mention Burns makes of “Auld Lang Syne” is in 1788, when he calls the song “a glorious fragment.” Burns wrote new lyrics to the old melody, and used the words “auld lang syne,” which is Scottish for “old long since,” and which can be translated into standard English as “long, long ago” or “days gone by.” The phrase was already known in earlier Scottish poems and folk songs, and appears to be the equivalent of “Once upon a time…” for Scots fairy tales.

Soon after Burns introduced the song to the public, it spread across Scotland as a New Year’s custom, and then to the rest of Great Britain. Scottish immigrants took the song with them as they moved across the globe, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a holiday tradition throughout the English-speaking world. By the close of the 20th century, it was a global phenomenon to ring in the New Year.

We imagine that you’ll end up singing or hearing “Auld Lang Syne” at some point this New Year’s (maybe you’ve already heard it while watching It’s a Wonderful Life). All of us at Service King would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy coming year in the tradition of the song.