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

3 Common Boiler Repairs

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Boilers are among the most enduring home heating systems in existence. Their relative lack of moving parts, compared to systems like furnaces, provides fewer ways for boilers to wear out or break down. A well maintained boiler can last decades longer than other heating systems. However, despite their sturdy natures boilers are still susceptible to the occasional problem. Let’s examine 3 of the most common boiler repairs.

Kettling

One of the biggest threats to boilers is long term exposure to hard water. Hard water is characterized by an unusually high mineral content, and is found in many areas throughout the United States. As the hard water flows through the boiler system, it deposits small amounts of minerals on the walls of the pipes. Over time, these mineral deposits will build up to the point that they restrict the flow of water through the pipes. This is especially problematic for the heat exchanger. As water is prevented from moving through the heat exchanger quickly enough, it begins to evaporate and produce steam. This causes a massive increase in pressure, which the heat exchanger wasn’t designed to handle. This causes a deep rumbling noise, known as kettling, as the heat exchanger struggles with the steam. The boiler has safety measures in place to shut it down before any serious damage occurs, like the heat exchanger rupturing, but you should still get your boiler checked by a professional as soon as possible if you notice it kettling.

Failed Circulator Pump

The circulator pump is the part that is responsible for actually distributing hot water throughout the house, similar to the way that an air handler circulates warm air from furnaces. It is often a water-lubricated system, which makes sense considering its role. If a circulator pump is installed incorrectly, however, or somehow gets air into the system, it can lock up and stop pumping water. If your boiler is on, but you aren’t getting any heat from it, you may have a malfunctioning circulator pump.

Leaks

As with any water-based system, leaks can be a major problem for boilers. The severity of the problem depends on the location of the leak, but there are a few areas that are more common than others. Valves that aren’t closing properly can cause pressure issues during operation, while failing seals can let air bubbles into the system. If you see water leaking or pooling around your boiler, you should call a professional immediately.

If your boiler is having problems, call Service King. We provide quality heating services in the Algonquin area.

Signs that You Need to Replace Your Water Line

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Water lines are placed under an enormous amount of strain on a daily basis. After all, water is an extremely powerful erosive agent, and the average home uses many gallons of water a day. Despite the constant wear that water puts home plumbing under, most modern homes are equipped with corrosion-resistant copper piping. This enables water lines to last a very long time, even up to a century. However, time or unusual circumstances will eventually corrode your water line to the point that it needs to be replaced. Read on for some of the most common signs that you need to replace your water line.

Loss of Water Pressure

Loss of water pressure could actually result from any number of issues with your plumbing. It’s possible that you have a clog in your pipes, or that there’s an air bubble in the line. However, the most common reason for a loss of water pressure is usually a leak in the pipes. If the leak becomes bad enough, the pipe could rupture, causing severe water damage and leading to a complete loss of water flow. If you notice a sudden loss in water pressure, or a gradual loss that escalates over time, you should have a professional examine your water line.

Discolored Water

Occasional discoloration can be the result of turning your water supply off and on again, as with municipal work on the water supply lines. However, that kind of discoloration usually only lasts for a few seconds after turning the water back on. If you are experiencing discoloration that is more consistent, then it is a sign of advanced degradation of one or more of your pipes. Have a professional inspect your plumbing system to see if you need your pipes replaced.

Visible Corrosion

Though most of your water line is likely located out of sight, there are likely at least a few parts that are visible from an easy-to-reach location. Make a habit of inspecting these visible pipes at least once a year. If you notice any rust or corrosion, call a professional right away. Vigilance and quick reactions are the key to limiting the damage that corroded pipes can cause.

If you think you may need to replace your water line, call Service King and schedule an appointment. We provide professional plumbing services in the Bartlett, IL area.

Valentine’s Day: Pagan Revelry, Clandestine Marriage, and 14th Century Poetry

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Perhaps rushing off to the stationary store after work to choose the perfect card with which to express your feelings towards a loved one? Dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant? Roses, dark chocolates, and other gifts and confections? Whatever Valentine’s Day may look like to you, chances are that it is a far cry from the history surrounding this holiday – or at least we hope so. Here are a few interesting facts about this most romantic of holidays, from your friends here at Service King.

The fact of the matter is that there is no definitive history as to how Valentine’s Day came to be. There are a few different saints with variations of the name Valentine, for example. One of the most prevalent legends, and one certainly in keeping with the romantic nature of the holiday as we know it today, pertains to a priest serving during the 3rd century in Rome. Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who believed that young men made for better soldiers if unfettered by marriage, it was illegal for young men to marry. A true believer in love, Valentine would marry young couples in secret. Until, at least, he was found out, and met a very unpleasant end for his crimes.

Like many of our modern holidays, Valentine’s Day can also be traced back to pagan ritual. Lupercalia, as the pagan festival is known, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, a god of agriculture. As is often the case with Roman celebrations, the details of this celebration are unfit to detail here. Suffice to say that, while there is certainly a touch of the amorous in the proceedings, the festival was a far cry from what we associate with Valentine’s Day today.

How, then, did our modern version of Valentine’s Day come to be? The answer may lie in, of all places, 14th century poetry; particularly, in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer. Famed for his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer may well be the very first writer to associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love, in the manner of which we are familiar with it today. His The Parliament of Fowls details the dream-vision of a narrator consumed with the idea of romantic love and the natural order of finding a mate. Valentine’s Day is mentioned by name a number of times, as the narrator witnesses a parliament of eagles vying for the hand – or, perhaps more aptly, the wing – of a mate.

Whatever you may think of the holiday’s sordid and convoluted history, we here at Service King hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the special someone in your life.

Reasons Your Heating May Be Insufficient

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Have you started noticing that your heating bills have gone up significantly, yet you haven’t changed the way your heat your home? Or have you noticed that you aren’t getting the amount of heat you need to stay comfortable? There can be a few reasons why your heat may have become insufficient, and it’s important to pinpoint the reasons for this so that your heating in St. Charles, IL does the job you need it to.

Reason #1: Poor Insulation

Insulation is tremendously important for the energy efficiency of your home. The job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat; during the winter months, insulation helps keep your heat indoors while also forming a barrier to the cold outside. In the summer, insulation stops heat from moving into your home from the outdoors. If you have concerns about the level of insulation in your home, make an appointment with an insulation expert.

Reason #2: Dirty Ductwork

If you have a ducted heating system, your ductwork is the delivery system for your hot air. It’s recommended that your ductwork be cleaned every 3-5 years to remove any build-up of dust and dirt, and also to ensure that no corrosion or disconnections have developed. Dust build-up in your ductwork can significantly impact your heating, so if it’s been more than 5 years since your last duct cleaning, it is time to call for an appointment.

Reason #3: No Maintenance

It’s strongly recommended that you schedule maintenance for your heating system annually. Maintenance for your heating system is a full tune-up of the system, in which your heating unit is cleaned, adjusted and lubricated as needed, as well as tested and thoroughly inspected. Maintenance helps improve overall performance and energy efficiency and keeps your system in good working order.

Insufficiency can mean discomfort and higher energy bills. If your heating system isn’t running as efficiently as it should, call Service King today and speak with one of our trained experts for professional heating service in St. Charles.