Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Blog

3 of the Most Common Commercial Plumbing Problems

February 22nd, 2018

commercial plumbingIf you own a restaurant or a business, having a bathroom on the premises is necessary. In fact, the concept of indoor plumbing has been around for a very long time. It actually dates back to at least 2500 B.C. It’s crucial in a restaurant or bar, but also a big help to have in a shop.

You may think that the problems commercial plumbing sees would be the same that someone in a home faces as well. However, that’s not always the case as commercial plumbing is actually a lot different. Let’s take a look at a few common commercial plumbing problems you might deal with.

Leaking Fixtures

If you’re not careful, a leaky faucet can set your business back hundreds of dollars each year. When a faucet leaks for a long period of time, it’s wasting thousands of gallons of water. It can also cause some serious water damage to your building, so do what you can to prevent the faucet from leaking. If you find yourself in a bind, reach out to an HVAC service to have the problem fixed.

Clogged Toilets

You might think that clogging a commercial toilet isn’t that hard to do, especially in a food and drink setting. However, they’re actually more difficult to clog than residential toilets. While it doesn’t happen all the time, it is something that can happen every once in a while. If the toilet does clog and you can’t seem to work it out, have an emergency plumber come in with a toilet snake. If you notice the same toilet clogging over and over again, it may be a sign of major problems.

Running Toilets

If you notice the toilet running, you could be wasting a ton of money. This is a job only a plumber can handle, so reach out to them when you notice the issue. Sometimes, it can be a very simple fix. However, there are cases in which the entire toilet will have to be removed and replaced.

Commercial plumbing issues aren’t extremely frequent, but they are common. If you notice any problems, reach out to your plumbing service immediately for help and repairs.

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Common Furnace Problems to Look Out For

January 26th, 2018

furnace

When the weather gets cooler, we often rely on our furnaces to keep us warm. Since we rely on them so heavily, it’s important that they always work properly.

Like many household appliances, there is always the potential that your furnace might have problems. While some of them may seem minor, a lot of them are extremely common. Let’s take a look at a few of these problems.

Dirty Filters
Dirty filters can be a big issue when it comes to your furnace. If they are clogged, it’ll prevent airflow from happening and stop clean air from getting out. The clogged filters will make it nearly impossible for the furnace to properly work. Some people who had dirty filters have found that the clogging actually caused damage to the limit switch. The limit switch controls the fan, which is a major part of the furnace. Energystar.gov says most HVAC filters need to be changed every one to three months, so make sure you’re doing so.

Problems With the Electric Ignition and Pilot Control
If your furnace is experiencing a faulty ignition or pilot switch, it might be extremely hard to heat your home. Any problems such as a clogged unit and filter, drafts in the appliance, and thermocouple problems can all lead to an unlit pilot light.

The Furnace is Making too Much Noise
If you notice a loud noise coming from your basement, it could be your furnace making an obscene amount of noise. Any rumbling, squeaking, and shaking noises aren’t normal sounds. The noises may mean mechanical problems, clogged burners, or airflow reductions. All of these things should be fixed by an HVAC company or a heating service.

The Furnace Isn’t Actually Heating Up
If your furnace isn’t heating up at all, you could have a bigger problem on your hands. This could indicate problems with the pilot light, power, gas, or thermostat setting. Check all of these things out and contact an emergency HVAC repair person immediately.

Relying on a furnace is something we all do when it’s cooler outside. However, it isn’t helpful when the machine isn’t working properly. Keep an eye out for the problems listed above. If you notice any of them, reach out to an HVAC specialist immediately.

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3 Ways to Avoid Winter Plumbing Problems

December 15th, 2017

winter plumbing

As the winter conditions quickly begin to make their presence known, making sure your house is in tip-top shape can help to ensure that you will be able to tackle the weather with ease.

This means that your heating and cooling systems must be in working condition. But what about the plumbing? If you have any winter plumbing problems, not only might it be complicated to fix due to the dropping temperatures and snow falling from the sky, but it can be extremely costly. In order to prevent anything from going wrong, there are a few ways to prevent any winter plumbing problems. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do.

Turn On Faucets
Although this may seem odd, allowing your home’s faucet to come to a slow drip can actually help you prevent any winter plumbing problems. Allowing the littlest amount of water that is both hot and cold to drip from your faucet can help to ensure your pipes are getting the relief they need. By making the water both hot and cold, you are using both spigots, ensuring that one is being focused on and the other is being neglected. Even if you find that your pipes have frozen, it’s important to still leave the faucet open, as it will help with pressure relief. Reach out to a plumbing contractor or a plumbing service to clear the pipes.

Install Insulation
Whether you’re using a small or large amount, any form of insulation can really help to prevent your pipes from freezing. Insulation can be very inexpensive, which is the best alternative if you want to avoid spending a ton of money in the future repairing your broken pipes.

Take Your Hoses Inside
Garden hoses are often overlooked. While many people have one and use it during the warmer months to water their lawns and plants, leaving it out in the winter is a direct line to frozen pipes. Bring your hoses inside, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to close your outdoor spigot. Doing these things will help prevent pipes from freezing and eventually bursting.

As a homeowner, it’s important to not only worry about your heating and cooling systems in the winter but to prioritize your plumbing as well. Ten percent of homeowners find leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. By making sure that your pipes don’t freeze during the cooler months and that you don’t have any water leaks, you’re saving yourself a ton of hassle and a ton of money.

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3 Things to Know about Trenchless Plumbing

December 7th, 2017

trenchless pipe repair services

Are you looking for a safe and cost-effective way to help and prevent any pipe and sewer problems? Trenchless plumbing might be the perfect thing for you and your home.

Of course, there are some things you need to know before getting involved with the world of trenchless plumbing. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Requires Minimal Digging
With trenchless plumbing, you don’t need to worry about plumbers tearing up your lawn. It’s a minimally invasive installation process that involves two small access points, so you don’t need to worry about extreme damage to your yard. The plumbers are also able to conduct trenchless pipe repair services easily so that you don’t have to worry about disrupting your normal routine.

Prevents Potential Future Damage
With traditional plumbing, you will often notice that you have the same consistency issues every five to 10 years or so. For example, if the roots of the trees in your yard made their way into your old pipes, chances are that they will do the same thing with the new ones. With trenchless plumbing and its sewer lining (which is essentially a pipe within a pipe,) you can prevent something from going wrong in the upcoming years.

Saves You Money
Trenchless plumbing service helps to eliminate labor costs. This affordable plumbing doesn’t require a crew to come and dig up your lawn just to install or conduct plumbing repair. Also, when you factor in not having to repair and potential future damage, you’re ultimately saving yourself even more money in the long run. You also won’t have to pay for anyone to put your yard back together after tearing it up, as there is no need to tear up your yard in the first place.

Indoor plumbing was created around 2500 B.C. Since then, there have been so many changes and developments made to the world of plumbing. If you have a problem with your pipes and need trenchless pipe repair services, reach out to plumbers near you. You’ll be able to save time and money in terms of the trenchless pipe repair services as they’re minimally invasive and inexpensive. For those looking for a cheap and easy pipe repair and maintenance, trenchless plumbing is the way to go.

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How to Prevent Winter Plumbing Issues

November 13th, 2017

emergency plumbing servicesWinter is around the corner, whether we like it or not, and nothing stinks more than plumbing problems during the colder season.

As a homeowner, there are a few things you can do to prevent any possible plumbing problems from wreaking havoc on your home. Remember these tips to make sure that your home is protected and that you won’t be stuck with a spewing water pipe during holiday family dinner. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Preventing Your Basement Floods

Since it’s still fall, this is the perfect time to start working on things around the house to help winterize. Before the first snowfall, check your basement for any leaks and check to make sure that your drainage area isn’t full of leaves and branches. When it becomes more brutal outside, check the drainage areas to make sure that they aren’t full of snow and ice. It’s important to keep them as clear as they possibly can be. If you don’t, you’re risking flooding your basement. A 2,000-square-foot home that experiences a one-inch flood may face about $20,920 in damages, so that’s something you should avoid.

Keeping Your Hot Water Heater in Working Condition

In order to ensure that your water stays warm throughout the winter and that you even save some money, check to make sure that your hot water heater is working. Check the area of the hot water heater to make sure it’s warm and make sure that there are no spaces for a draft, like open windows, near the unit.

Keeping Your Indoor Pipes from Freezing

This is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your home. To keep your pipes from freezing, simply make sure that your indoor temperature stays at above 13 degrees all winter long. This is crucial to note even when you’re away from home. You can even insulate your pipes for extra protection.

By taking the above steps, you’re preventing yourself from having to call emergency plumbing services for plumbing repair, sewer line replacement, drain cleaning, trenchless sewer repair, and other emergency plumbing services. Taking the steps and preventing emergency plumbing services from having to stop by your home when you’re rushing around trying to wrap presents and cook dinner will make for smooth sailing throughout the holiday season.

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3 Signs You Need to Contact an HVAC Company Immediately

October 31st, 2017

hvac companyPeople with home cooling systems count on them to keep them cool during the hot months, but during this time of year people are finally making the transition to heating. No matter the season, millions of people think of their HVAC system as their lifeline and feel as if they would suffer without it. As a matter of fact, two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioning units, and here in Illinois, a heating system can literally save your life come winter. Unfortunately, because we use these systems so often, a home HVAC system may stop working or become unreliable overnight.

If you rely on your heating and cooling system to help you out, it’s important to keep it in good working condition at all times. However, that’s especially important during the transition seasons of spring and fall. By making sure that you have regular HVAC services and HVAC repairs performed on your unit, you’re helping to prevent any issues that may arise.

However, there are situations in which you may need to call an HVAC company for emergency repairs. Here are some signs you should look for that would require you to call an HVAC company immediately.

Weird Smells or Sounds

If you notice any weird smells or sounds coming from your home cooling system, it’s imperative that you contact an HVAC company immediately. These unpleasant sounds or smells are usually a sign that a part of the system has been seriously damaged. If you hold off on getting the problem checked out, permanent damage can occur. You should also be wary of foul smells and weird sounds because those could also be the sign of damaged or burning wires. Regardless, any time you smell or hear something weird in your system, unplug it immediately and contact an HVAC company.

A Small Amount of Air Flow

If you notice that there is little to no air coming from your system, you could have an issue. The lack of air could signify blocked air ducts or a failing blower. If you notice that no air or a very small amount of air is coming out, contact an HVAC services company as soon as you can (but try changing your filters first!).

It Suddenly Stopped Working

If your home cooling system just stops working all together and you’re not getting any response whatsoever, that is a major reason to contact an HVAC company immediately. Of course, just like with HVAC filters, try changing your thermostat battery and checking circuit breakers first. If these simple fixes don’t restore your system, then it could mean that there are some major issues within the system. That is definitely something you want to have addressed as soon as possible.

If you have any problem with your home cooling or heating system, even if you think the issue isn’t a big deal, you need to contact an HVAC professional immediately. A smaller problem can lead to something much bigger, and if you can prevent that from happening, you’re going to save yourself time and money.

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Common Causes Of Indoor Flooding And How You Can Prevent Them

October 5th, 2017

plumbing contractorOne of the worst scenarios every homeowner dreads is indoor flooding. Indoor flooding is a big problem in itself, but then it can also cause a whole slew of damage once it’s fixed. The good news is that emergency plumbing services are only a call away to come help you before your indoor flooding problem becomes a disaster.

But what causes homes to flood in the first place? After all, if you haven’t had an indoor flooding incident before, you’ll want to be prepared to keep it from happening in the future. Below are some of the most common problems that plumbers see when it comes to indoor flooding.

  1. Clogged sinks
    Possibly the number one cause of many indoor flooding incidents are clogged sinks. Although a clog can sometimes allow for water to continue to drain, your sink can still overflow if you forget about the slow drainage. The best way you can help to avoid an indoor flooding problem caused by a clogged sink is to fix the clog as soon as you begin to notice the water draining slowly. A plumbing repair company will be able to fix the problem a lot faster the earlier the problem is detected. Additionally, the earlier you detect a problem the more likely you’ll be able to save money; homeowners can save up to 10% on their water utility by fixing household water leaks early on.
  2. Clogged gutters
    It’s typically recommended that homeowners clean their roofing gutters at least twice a year. This is because when debris and leaves build up in your gutters, the water it’s meant to drain, well… doesn’t drain. Instead, it builds up, backs up, and overflows onto your roof, your foundation, and finally the inside of your house. This can result in molding as well as indoor flooding. Therefore, be sure to keep your gutters clear and regularly cleaned.
  3. Clogged drain pipes
    If the water in your shower, toilet, or sink refuses to drain there may be a problem with your main drain pipe. Depending on the size of the clog, you may need a professional plumbing contractor to swing by and remove it. A plumbing contractor can use a mechanical snake to remove the clog from your main drain pipe.

Indoor flooding is something no homeowner wants to deal with, which is why it’s so important to know the early signs of a sink, gutter, or drainage clog. Early detection and routine maintenance performed by a professional plumbing contractor can keep a plumbing problem from becoming a plumbing disaster.

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3 Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

September 21st, 2017

plumbing contractor

Indoor plumbing may date back to at least 2,500 B.C., but the problems that homeowners face today likely weren’t around back then. For example, needing an emergency plumber. There are several reasons to contact an emergency plumber that aren’t necessarily the homeowner’s fault like weather or just the age of a home. But mistakes happen, which may require a plumbing contractor to fix them.

To help you avoid committing one of these mistakes, we’ve outlined a few of the more common ones that homeowners suffer from. Here are a few of the more common mistakes that will lead you to call plumbing services:

Using The Garbage Disposal Too Much
A garbage disposal, despite the name, is not a place where you should put all your food waste. In truth, a lot of it simply doesn’t fit and will clog the system. The blades will stop turning, and then you’ll have to contact a plumbing contractor to get them unstuck. Items like potato peels and large or tough food scraps should never go into the garbage disposal.

Overusing Drain Cleaning Chemicals
This might come as a surprise, but drain cleaner is actually not good for your drains. They’re very strong, very heavy-duty, cleaning products. They remove clogs but can involve extremely harsh chemicals that can damage pipes and wear them away.

Don’t feel the need to use drain cleaner on clogged toilets or pipes, either. In these situations, you should contact a plumber. Sometimes things are simply out of your hands, and you’d best turn to a professional to handle the issue.

Leaving The Hose Connected In Winter
This is a very common mistake, but you should always disconnect your garden hose in the winter. You could even turn off the water line that leads to your outdoor spigot. Not doing this can lead to a pretty devastating indoor flood, as the pipes can freeze and burst.

Taking a few minutes to disconnect the outdoor plumbing and water lines can save you a disaster and a need to call an emergency plumber. Do this before the first hard freeze and you should be just fine.

Being a homeowner is a difficult thing, especially if you’re new at it. You want to make sure that you do everything in your power to avoid the little mistakes, like the ones above. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

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3 Fall Plumbing Preparation Tips

September 8th, 2017

plumbing companiesFall is just around the corner, and that means preparing your home for cooler weather. One of the best ways to prepare your home for the upcoming season is to look at your plumbing systems.

Having a plumbing inspection performed by professional plumbing companies can be a good way to gear up for the colder months. This is especially true if you live in areas like the Midwest, which see significantly colder temperatures.

You might not think that you need to have your plumbing checked, but somewhere around 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more a day. With the risk of freezing pipes, these leaks are serious stuff for professional plumbers. Here are a few things you should do to get started on fall preparations:

Check Your Home Sewer System
You might not believe it, but the fall, winter, and spring months can actually overwork your sewer systems. If you’ve had issues in that past that might occur again in the future, or have had the same issue multiple times, then you might need to contact one of your local plumbing companies to take a look. There’s nothing worse than having to call an emergency plumber in the middle of the night because your sewer system ruptured.

Perform Water Heater Maintenance
Annual maintenance on your water heater is crucial to extending the life of the heater itself. While most water heaters will last anywhere between eight and 12 years, flushing them yearly tends to increase their efficiency. That means you can save money on your future utility bills. If you’re looking for an easy way to save, look no further than routine water heater maintenance.

Turn off Your Hose Bib
This is important. If your hose bib isn’t turned off properly, water can freeze in the supply line and burst the pipes. And that’s one of the worst situations to be in. You want to make sure that you turn off your hose bib and the inside of your water supply line. You’ll likely need a professional to do this, so contact one of your local plumbing companies. Having a frost-proof hose bib installed before the first frost is also a good idea.

Take the time to do the little pre-winter preparations on your home listed above. Doing so will save you money and frustrations down the line, and keep your home in great condition.

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Keep Your HVAC System Running Stronger, Longer

August 14th, 2017

top rated hvac systems

You probably don’t think much about it, but you use your heating and cooling system (or your HVAC system) daily to either heat or cool your home. As the seasons and the temperatures change, your system can undergo a lot of wear and tear that can hurt even top rated HVAC systems. You shouldn’t ignore this until its too late and you’re calling a local HVAC company or HVAC repair contractor.

You should try to get the most out of your system by putting together a plan to take care of it, and you can start with a few easy things:

  1. Make Sure It’s Properly Sized
    You need to make sure that you have the proper size for your unit and your capacity needed. A unit that is over capacity will not be as energy efficient, while an undersized one will result in uncomfortable temperatures, especially during climate extremes.
  2. Change Filters Regularly
    Energystar.gov encourages homeowners to change filters on the regular — at least once every two to three months. This can help keep your air quality pure and clean and keep you from getting sick. Clogged filters can also damage your system’s parts and result in costly repairs. You should check it at monthly to keep up to date on its status.
  3. Get Routine Maintenance
    Even top rated HVAC systems need routine maintenance to keep them in the best condition, and you need to do your part in this. Inspect wiring for any damages caused by wild animals and sweep away yard debris and similar things.
  4. Have Professional Seasonal Maintenance Done
    Preventative maintenance contracts are usually some of the best things that you can do for your HVAC unit. They should be scheduled semi-annually and should be viewed as a proactive approach to taking care of your system. Contact HVAC service companies to get the best plans for your unit.
  5. Understand Efficiency Ratings
    When making an investment in your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump, you should inquire about the efficiency rating. This can tell you how that unit will utilize fuel and energy sources, and how much of an increase or decrease in costs per month you can expect.

These are just a few ideas of what you can do to keep your HVAC unit in the best condition for the longest time. If you have further questions or want to make a professional maintenance plan, contact us. We’ll be glad to help.

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