Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I keep my Disposal Unit from Breaking down?A:It is best to use cold water — NOT hot water — when you run your disposal. Let the cold water run as long as the motor is running, and be sure to avoid overloading the disposal.
Corn husks, artichokes, onion skins, celery, and other high-fiber material can clog your disposal.
Do not pour fats or cooking oils into your sink. Liquid fats can solidify in cold drainpipes, trap food particles, and clog the drains.
Do not put coffee grounds down the drain.
If your disposal is clogged:
Turn off the motor and the water,
Reach under the sink and insert the service wrench that came with your disposal — or a ¼ inch Allen wrench — into the hole on the bottom of the disposal. Turn it back and forth until it can turn freely in complete circles.
Then use tongs to remove whatever caused the disposal to jam.
Finally, press the red “reset” button on the bottom of your disposal in case the disposal needs to be reset.
Food particles which remain in your disposal can cause odors. Put a combination of ice cubes and lemon peel in the disposal, run it for about thirty seconds, and then run cold water through the disposal.
Disposal cleaner or degreaser may help too.
Q: How do I keep my drains from clogging?A:Place a strainer over kitchen and bathroom drains if they do not already have one; this will prevent hair, pieces of soap and other debris from clogging drains. Clean the strainer as needed.
Unclog a drain mechanically rather than chemically when possible.
Use chemical drain cleaners sparingly, especially if your pipes or traps are brass, steel, or cast-iron; some chemicals may corrode metal pipes. Try this instead: pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down your drain every month.
The drains in showers and in bathroom sinks typically need extra care; pour two or three gallons of boiling water down each bathroom drain about once a month to clear out hair and greasy particles.
Q: What should I do for winter pipe maintenance around the house?A:Don’t let your outdoor faucets freeze up in the winter:
Un-attach your garden hoses before freezing temperatures arrive in the fall.
Close the shut-off valve on the pipe(s) which lead to your outdoor faucet(s), then open the outdoor faucets so that any residual water can drain.
If your indoor faucets sometimes freeze in very cold weather, try leaving the cabinet doors under the faucets open so that they can get a bit more heat. In extreme cases let the water trickle very slowly into the sink.
Insulate water pipes which may be exposed to freezing temperatures or wind.
Water pipes which are not being used should be drained for the winter in areas where there may be severely cold weather.
If there is plumbing in your garage, be sure to keep your garage door closed when it is very cold. Pipes in unheated garages or basements should be insulated.
If your pipes do freeze:
Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve so that you don't have problems as the ice melts.
Leave the faucets on to relieve pressure as the ice melts.
Use a blow dryer or heat gun to thaw frozen pipes.
Don’t even think about using a blow torch! It's too dangerous.
Q: How can I keep my furnace safe and running well?A:You should change or wash your filters on a regular schedule. We recommend at least twice a year depending on the activity in your home. More often is better.
Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed.
Keep the burner area of your furnace clean.
Furnaces that require lubrication on the motors and bearings should be attended to by a qualified heating technician once a year.
Do not have anything combustible within six inches of your vent pipe.
Do not close off more than 20% of the registers in your house. This can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat buildup in the furnace.
Do not store combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline, etc. near your furnace.
Q: How do I keep my Air Conditioning or Heat Pump unit maintained?A:Clean or replace filters on a quarterly basis, but certainly no less than twice a year. Dirty filters not only restrict air flow they can also contribute to equipment breakdown.
One of the most important things you can do to get your air conditioner ready for heavy summer workout is to clear the area around the outdoor condenser of dirt, leaves and other debris that accumulated over winter. Also, periodically throughout the summer you should trim excess shrubbery growth around the outside condenser unit.
Check closely for air leaks in ductwork, especially at connection points. Ductwork exposed to outside or attic air must be insulated for additional reduction of heat transfer.
Central air conditioning and heat pump units should be inspected, cleaned and tuned by a professional technician once every two to three years to extend the life of the unit and cut down on energy consumption. Check with your contractor on the proper maintenance schedule for your unit.
Have the service technician drain and clean your humidifier. You probably won't need it during the humid summer months and shutting it off saves electricity, as well as wear and tear on the equipment. Remember to shut off your humidistat, which powers and regulates your home's automatic humidifier.
Q: Why should I maintain my HVAC system?A: Even if your heating and air conditioning system was built to go the distance, it has to be maintained in perfect condition, just like your car. A properly maintained system will last longer with fewer breakdowns and save money every month through lower fuel bills. So you haven't noticed any problems with your heating and air-conditioning system, eh? If you don't regularly change the oil in your car, you won't notice problems caused by lack of maintenance until the engine stops running, either. The price of an oil change is much cheaper than the cost of a new engine! The same is true with your heating and air conditioning system. You may not notice the little problems in the short run - but they will always catch up with you in the long run and it costs a lot more to wait. Since Ace Plumbing and Heating has specialized in helping homeowners like you get the best performance possible from their heating and air conditioning systems through regular preventive maintenance, we know - and our customers know - Preventive Maintenance works.
Q: How long does a typical gas furnace or air conditioner last?A: The average life of a gas furnace is 15 years. The average life of an air conditioner is 12 years. Regular maintenance helps prolong the life of heating and air conditioning systems.
Q: Why should I replace my working furnace or air conditioner?A: Although your present furnace or air conditioner may be working, if it is more than 12 years old you should consider replacing it with a new high efficiency system. A new heating and air conditioning system could save up to 50 percent on energy costs. While these products save you money on your utility bills, they also offer a better degree of comfort within your home.
Q: What's the difference between a boiler and furnace?A: A boiler uses oil, gas or electricity to generate hot water and in some cases steam, which is piped to baseboard radiation systems on the perimeter of the house. A furnace burns oil or gas to heat up air which is forced by a fan through a large ducted system and blown through registers in various parts of the house. Generally speaking, a cast iron boiler for a baseboard system has more than twice the life expectancy of a furnace for a hot air system.
Q: My pilot light is on, but my furnace is not operating - what should I do?A: First, check for power, check fuses and the ON-OFF switch. Next, check the thermostat for proper setting. If none of these approaches work, call a certified service technician.
Q: Why is my furnace so noisy?A: It could be a worn fan belt, bad bearings or bearings in need of lubrication.
Q: My allergies seem to bother me quite a bit at home. What can I do?A: At the least, change your air filters. You might also consider having your air ducts cleaned. Much of the dust, mites and other debris that build up in the air ducts are circulated into the air of your home.
Q: What are the benefits of an air filtration system?A: An air filtration system removes dust, pollen, spores and smoke. It can also reduce the cost of Furnace and Air Conditioner maintenance.