The holidays are drawing near and for many families, that means lots of visiting family — and clogged toilets. Yes, they can be embarrassing, which is why you may not find out about a clog until your toilet runneth over. Not fun.
The causes can be many. From a simple flushing of too much paper to larger clogs down inside the plumbing lines, here are some of the most common causes of a toilet clog and what you may be able to do to troubleshoot them.
Water Saving Toilets
If you have an earlier incarnation of a low-flow toilet, it may not have the power of today’s versions. These earlier toilets did save water but they often didn’t have enough flushing power to push contents through. In these cases, it is a case of upgrading to a more powerful unit alleviating a constant problem with clogs.
Flushing Anything But Toilet Paper
You heard us right. Toilet paper is made to break down in the toilet. But other things as simple as tissues, cotton balls, facial cleansing wipes or even dental floss are simply not made to be flushed. When these items get caught in the drain of a toilet, they will not break down and can create a clog. Most often, plunging will push a simple clog down but there are times when you may need the professional help of a Philadelphia plumber.
Flapper Isn’t Flapping
Inside the tank of your toilet, there is a rubber gasket at the bottom called a flapper. Its function is to open when you flush, letting water in the tank move down into the bowl. If the flapper is malfunctioning or old, it may not be opening completely. For most homeowners, this is a simple DIY fix with a chain adjustment or a new flapper from your local home improvement store.
A Problem in the Trap
Your drain pipes have a trap which is a bend at the pipe that prevents odors from coming up into the home. This bend can also result in clogs. If a plunge doesn’t move the clog through, you will want to consult a plumber in Philadelphia for an expert repair.
You will have a plumbing vent on your roof allowing fresh air into your system. If this vent becomes clogged with outside debris such as leaves or dirt, it can result in stopped up drainage and even malfunctioning toilets. Cleaning the drainage vent is best left to a professional.
The Sewer Line
Unfortunately, there are times when the issue can be a clog, a break, or tree roots infringing on the main sewer line. Because it involves digging at the sewer lines often on private property, this requires the skill of a professional plumber. You will want to request a professional who uses a camera in order to inspect the lines prior to digging.
When you need the skill of a professional plumber in Philadelphia, call the experts at Affordable Fixes LLC. For over 30 years, we have been the professionals more residents have trusted for their plumbing and HVAC needs.
You are glad for the cooler air after a long, hot, humid summer. With the cold temperatures comes dryer air. So why would you consider bringing more humidity into your home in the winter?
Next to the reading on the thermometer, humidity is the next biggest factor in the comfort level of your home. Philadelphia HVAC contractors suggest that central humidifiers are a perfect way of controlling important humidity levels inside your home. These can help increase comfort levels but also have other important benefits.
Although ultra humid days can sap your energy in the summer, what you are going for is a balanced environment. During the winter, the cold freezes moisture out of the air and lowers the humidity of a living space substantially. Your furnace further contributes to lowering the humidity level inside your home. Having a central humidifier installed by a Philadelphia HVAC contractor has many benefits for homeowners during the winter months.
A central humidifier can increase the moisture level inside the home for a more balanced comfort level. Although high humidity in the summer makes the air feel much hotter than it is, the opposite is true for cold, dry air. Dryer air makes the air feel colder and has the effect of soaking moisture from the body. Having the benefit of higher moisture levels inside your home makes your home more comfortable as well as alleviating cold weather conditions such as chapped and dry lips and skin, dry eyes, and chronic nosebleeds.
Reduced Deterioration of Wood Items or Furnishings
Dry air can deteriorate wood interior finishes, furnishings, or any possessions you may own such as musical instruments. Having a central humidifier can help protect these items from splitting and warping.
Having a more humid environment has the effect of making you feel warmer. Consequently, you may not feel compelled to turn the thermostat up as often. Your humidified air will help save you money on your electric bills. According to the EPA, a central humidifier has the ability of saving you up to 4 percent on your energy bills. And controlling humidity may help your home qualify for the National Association of Home Builders’ Green-Built Certification Program.
A Healthier Environment
Dry air can not only cause skin irritations and dry up sinuses, but it also can make it easier to pass viruses and germs between people. Respiratory illnesses, colds, and flus spread more quickly in drier environments.
Central humidifiers are installed directly into your current heating and cooling system and work by bringing water vapor through the duct system with your heated air. There are even systems that are designed for homes that have radiant or baseboard heating. You can adjust your humidity levels the same way you control your thermostat in order to get a balanced amount of humidity in your home.
A central humidifier is a simple addition to most HVAC systems. Call the Philadelphia HVAC contractors at Affordable Fixes LLC to discuss the benefits of having a central humidifier installed in your home.
It’s already November and we are anticipating the upcoming holidays. Cooler air is moving in and you turn your furnace on for the first time. Oops! Your breaker trips. What does that mean and what can you do about it?
Unfortunately, when your HVAC system is tripping breakers, it may be more than just a minor inconvenience. The circuit breakers in your home are built with a safety precaution system. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when they detect a fault in the system. These have the potential to create hazards and cause fires as well as damage equipment. If your furnace is tripping a breaker, there may be a serious safety risk that needs to be addressed.
Reset the breaker. If this works and you have no further issues, the problem may have been something like a temporary power surge or spike in the grid. Keep an eye on it. But if your furnace continues to trip the breaker, the source needs to be located and repaired.
The most common problems with a furnace that continues to trip the breaker are:
- An overloaded furnace
- An overloaded shared circuit
- A short circuit or ground fault inside the furnace
- A problem with the circuit breaker itself
An Overloaded Furnace
An overloaded furnace can be caused by numerous things. These can be
- Dirty air filters
- Blocked air vents
- Restricted ductwork
- Malfunctioning parts inside the furnace
Some of these things can be fixed by the homeowner but some require the skill of a Philadelphia furnace repair professional.
An Overloaded Shared Circuit
Electricity hogs such as your HVAC system should be on their own circuits. But many older homes were not constructed this way and your furnace may share a circuit with other appliances, lights or outlets. This can overload these circuits. Have a Philadelphia HVAC contractor either move the other shared items off that circuit or move the furnace to its own circuit.
A Short Circuit or Ground Fault Inside the Furnace
Short circuits can happen when a hot wire comes into contact with a neutral one. A ground fault can occur when a hot wire touches a ground wire or another grounded part in the furnace. Both of these create a surge of electric current that the furnace is pulling. This type of issue should be left to a Philadelphia HVAC repair professional.
Circuit Breaker Issues
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the furnace but with the breaker or panel itself. This requires the expertise of an electrician.
Breakers that continue to trip create a fire risk and potential damage to your electrical system. When you are experiencing tripped breakers when you turn on your furnace, you want an experienced professional.
The repair experts at Affordable Fixes LLC are here to help. For over 30 years, we have been the Philadelphia HVAC professionals more residents have trusted for their plumbing and HVAC needs. Call us today when your furnace needs the skill of a professional.
We are just winding down from summer but now is the perfect time to start considering your furnace. There are some common issues that affect furnaces, so now is a good time to troubleshoot where necessary and get a Philadelphia HVAC repair technician in for repairs as needed.
If you find that your furnace isn’t producing heat at all, you may have issues with the thermostat, your power, or the pilot light. If the furnace isn’t heating adequately, you may have issues with a clogged filter or your furnace may be too small for the size of space you are trying to heat. Now is the time to figure these things out before the coldest winter weather moves in.
Dirty filters are the most common reason your furnace may malfunction. Dirty filters can become clogged and reduce the airflow through the system. This will make your furnace work harder than it needs to. If airflow is diminished substantially, it can do damage to the system itself. You may notice poorer air flow or higher heating bills when this happens. Filters should be changed monthly in order to keep air flowing freely through the system.
Wear and Tear
Normal, everyday wear and tear can also reduce airflow and heat control related issues. These can cause overheating of the unit.
Electric Ignition or Pilot Control Issues
Faulty ignitions or pilots can make it impossible to keep a home or business heated reliably. Drafts, clogs, or thermocouple issues can cause a pilot not to light. It may be necessary to close windows and doors in the room in order to reduce drafts.
A Malfunctioning Thermostat
A faulty thermostat, as well as a poorly calibrated thermostat, can create comfort issues in your home. If your furnace is not producing adequate warm air, check the battery level or replace the batteries in the thermostat. You can also call your Philadelphia furnace repair technician out to calibrate your thermostat for better temperature control.
Frequent cycling, or turning on and off, may indicate any number of things. The easiest thing to troubleshoot would be to make sure your filters are not clogged. It also may be an issue with improper airflow or a faulty thermostat.
Blower Continues to Run
When a blower fan won’t turn off or your furnace cycles, the first place to check is the thermostat. Make sure that the thermostat is set properly and the fan setting is on “Auto”. If the blower continues to run, it may indicate that there is a problem with the limit switch. In this case, you will want the skill of a Philadelphia HVAC repair technician.
The best course of action is to make sure to get annual HVAC maintenance. This will ensure that your system is clean and inspected and will run properly when necessary. The perfect time to get your system maintained is before you need it so issues can be repaired before the busy winter season.
An annual maintenance tune-up will examine all the parts of your heating system and get any issues corrected before they lead to a breakdown. Call the Philadelphia furnace repair professionals at Affordable Fixes LLC for your annual furnace maintenance so you can remain warm and toasty this coming winter season.