Frost Proof Outdoor Faucet/Spigot/Sill-cocks

Homeowners in the northeast are looking forward to spring after this long hard winter.  During these cold months the outdoor faucet, also called a spigot or sill-cock, can freeze up and need to be replaced.

Here are some ideas to help prevent the outdoor faucet from freezing:

Install a Frost Proof Sill-cock

The surest way to prevent your outside faucet from freezing is to replace your exterior faucet with a frost-proof sill-cock.  With the frost-proof sill-cock, freezing cold temperatures are now kept away from any water supply line feeding the exterior faucet. These faucets are also available with an anti-siphon valve to prevent unsafe water from entering your drinking water supply lines.

Sillcock with Anti-siphon valveThe frost-free faucets feature a remote control of the water supply faucet valve located inside the home, which then allows water flow to the exterior faucet spout. The faucet head is attached to a long tube usually 6” to 20” in length. At the end of this tube is a fitting for connecting a threaded, soldered or PEX tubing water supply line.

The exterior faucet handle of the frost-proof sill cock turns a long rod inside this tube which is connected to a disc, compression or cartridge faucet valve located 6″ to 20″ away (depending on the tube length). The disc, compression or cartridge faucet valve is located inside the tube just before the connector fitting. With this design the faucet valve and water supply pipe are always kept remote from the cold faucet head; unlike standard sill-cocks where the water supply valve is in the head of the exterior faucet on the outside of the house.

Turn-off Water Supply

StandardSillcockIf you are using a standard sill-cock, make sure the valve supplying water to the sill-cock is turned off and the handle of the outside faucet is open, not closed. This allows any water to drain out of the faucet. If any water is left and does freeze, the water will expand out the faucet not in the supply line. If your sill-cock does not have a shut-off valve, you need to have one installed. If you don’t, the water supply will be running right up to the outside faucet and may freeze and burst the water supply pipe.

For professional assistance, contact – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7 Service.  Call 877-386-7454.

 

9 Steps to Maintain your Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters usually have a warranty of 10 to 15 years.  But did you know through regular maintenance you can improve the efficiency and longevity of your hot water heater?  Maintenance instructions are provided with a new water heater purchase and are often overlooked by homeowners.  According to “This Old House” the common reasons for hot water heater problems are caused by the following condition:

“As water is pumped into your water heater tank dirt, sediment and various minerals settle on the bottom. Depending on your water quality these extra “ingredients” can add up rather quickly robbing your water heater’s efficiency and costing you in the long run. If left unchecked they can not only make your water heater work harder but also allow your tank to rust and slowly be eaten away until you need to replace the entire unit which is very costly yet easily preventable. And cheap to prevent!”

Note: Before you begin, be sure to read all safety warnings on the water heater.

You will need the following supplies: a bucket, a hose, and safety gloves.

Follow these 9 maintenance steps:

  1. Shut off electric or gas supply the night before you plan to drain the water heater.
    Note: Read instructions on the water heater.
  2. Turn off water supply to water heater.
  3. Attach the hose to the water heater.
  4. Turn on the water drain to release the water from the water heater tank. The water will drain from the hose and then slowly stop.
  5. vacuum valve on water heaterOpen the vacuum.The water will begin to flow out again.  Allow the water to drain for 10 to 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off the water drain and remove the hose.
  7. Place the bucket below the water drain.
  8. With pressure valve still open turn on the water to the water tank and then turn on the water drain to allow the rest of the sediment to be flushed out. Allow a few gallons worth of water to drain. Be sure to check the water draining out and make sure it’s clear. If it is, then you are set to refill the tank.
  9. Refill the tank:
    • Make sure the water drain at the base of the tank is turned off.
    • Close the pressure release valve.
    • Turn on the water to allow the tank to be filled.
    • Once the tank is full you can turn the gas or circuit breaker back on.

Caution: Do not turn the heating unit on until the tank is full. If the tank is not full it can cause  damage to the unit.

Note: You can drain a few gallons a month from your tank especially if you live an area with a lot of sediment in your water. You don’t need the hose. Just use the bucket for this month to month maintenance.


For professional assistance, contact – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7>Service.Call 877-386-7454.

Preparing for Emergency – Burst Pipes

Where to shut your water offWe all take care to prepare for frigid weather.  Yes, we’ll need comfort food and firewood to get through this New England weather, but we also need to take steps to avoid frozen water pipes, because a burst pipe could turn a cozy warm home into a big mess. The only things you can really do are shut off your main water supply and call a Plumber to fix the pipe professionally. You can find your main shutoff valve right near your water meter.

Frozen pipes cause a huge amount of damage each year; unlike natural disasters, this disaster is largely preventable, according to State Farm Insurance. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help save yourself the mess, money, and aggravation frozen pipes cause.

Pipes freeze due to quick drops in temperature, poor insulation and thermostats set too low. Both plastic and copper pipes can freeze and burst, and a cracked pipe can cause flooding, structural damage and mold. When pipes freeze, water in the pipes become ice and expand and this pressure causes cracks, and even a small one can leak 250 gallons in a day.

Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating recommends these steps to prevent pipes from freezing:

  • Disconnect outside water hoses.
  • Inspect outside faucets, and repair dripping or leaking faucets.
  • If your home has an interior shut-off valve leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes.
  • Cover outside faucets with a faucet insulation kit available at home and garden stores.
  • Apply heat tape around exposed pipes.
  • Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight in sinks and bathtubs that have supply pipes that run along outside walls.

If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water). To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes. When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out.

If you do have a burst pipe emergency, contact – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7 Service.  Call 877-386-7454.

How to Unclog a Drain

When you think of a clogged drain, you probably think of Liquid Plumber or some other chemical solution that is manufactured for home owners.  These chemical agents may work quickly, however it is best not to use chemicals because they contain caustic agents that can actually harm some fixtures.

Try these steps before using chemicals or calling a plumber for service:

Step 1: Cover the overflow opening in the basin or tub with a wet cloth. Most kitchen sinks don’t have an overflow vent, but if you’re working on one of the two side-by-side basins, plug the other basin’s drain opening with wet cloths. In homes that have two bathrooms back to back in adjacent rooms, both may be connected to the same drain. In such cases you must block the other basin at both its drain and overflow vent. Showers seldom have overflow vents; but bathtubs do. Cover all of them with wet cloths for the plunger to work properly.

Step 2: Fill the clogged basin with enough water to cover the head of plunger. Coat the lip of plunger with petroleum jelly (this helps create a better seal). Slide the plunger’s cup over drain opening, then rapidly pump the plunger up and down. You should feel water move in and out of drain. It is this back-and-forth water pressure that can eventually build up enough force to dislodge whatever is blocking the drain. After about a dozen firm strikes, jerk plunger up quickly. Water should rush out. If it doesn’t, try the same procedure two or three more times before attempting another method.auger-graphic

Step 3: If the plunger doesn’t remove the clog, use a drain-and-trap auger. To use it, remove popup stopper or strainer from the clogged drain and insert the auger wire into opening. As you feed the flexible wire in, crank the handle of the device, loosening and then tightening the thumbscrew on the handle as you advance the wire. If the wire encounters something, move it back and forth while you turn auger handle. Then continue to turn the handle while slowly withdrawing the auger.

Step 4: If the auger doesn’t clear the drain, remove the clean-out plug from under the sink, catching water from the trap in a bucket. You can use a wire coat hanger with hook shape in one end to try to the reach clog. If this fails, insert the wire of drain-and-trap auger through clean out. Work the wire toward basin and drainpipe to remove the blockage.

Clogged Shower DrainStep 5: If the trap does not have a clean out, then remove the trap.  With the trap removed, clean it out with a wire coat hanger and then with a stiff brush and hot soapy water; then replace the trap.
If the clog wasn’t in the trap, insert the drain-and-trap auger into the drain extension that goes into the wall and continue working the auger down into the drainpipe itself. You should be able to reach the blockage, unless it’s in a section of the main drain.

Source: fixitclub.com

If you need a drain unclogged contact  – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7 Service.  Call 877-386-7454.

8 Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

Burst Water Pipe

Burst Water Pipe

If a pipe bursts it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home.

There are three common causes of frozen pipes:

  • quick drops in temperature
  • poor insulation
  • thermostats set too low

You can protect your home before the frigid winter months begin. Here’s how:

  1. Be aware of a cold snap or deep freeze.  Keep your home thermostat at a base heat setting of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Insulate all water pipes from cold moving air and keep them dry.
  3. Use either heater tapes wrapped around the pipes or a heated reflector lamp in a dry enclosed space.
  4. If electric power is unavailable or is lost, let the water run no faster than a slow constant drip; this is cheaper than repairing it. First start a slow drip on the hot side faucet, then a faster drip on the cold side faucet.
  5. Insulate and heat the drain lines in crawl spaces and cold basements.

    Redy Temp

    Redy Temp

  6. Always disconnect your water hose from your outdoor spigot in the winter, or before the temperature in your area drops below freezing. The water inside the hose can freeze, and the freezing continues back into the spigot until it reaches your pipes. If you have PVC plastic piping leading to this spigot, it will burst.
  7. During frigid temperatures keep any exposed pipes or plumbing fixtures warm with heat lamps or a space heater, while making sure these heat sources are kept at a safe distance from flammable objects.
  8. Use a RedyTemp, a device which utilizes an internal water contacting temperature probe to monitor the temperature of the water inside the pipes.

 

If you do experience frozen pipes, here are a few tips to help you out:

  • If the frozen pipe is exposed, then you have several options available but first here are some notes to remember. When working on thawing the pipe leave the main water valve open (near your water meter) and remember to heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This way, the water can flow out as the ice melts and the water pressure in the pipe will force the ice out once it melts sufficiently.
  • One of the best and safest ways to thaw the pipe is to heat the area with a high power hair dryer. Again, make sure to open the faucet and then heat the pipe working back from the faucet toward the frozen blockage.  Also, if the pipe is close to the wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the back side of the pipe.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard.

If you need a water pipe repaired – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating is available 24/7 to help you maintain and repair your heating system.  Call 877-386-7454.

Five Common Reasons for No Heat

Turning on your heat thermostat to take the chill out of your home is always comforting; except when you don’t get any heat!  There are many reasons why this can happen. One important factor is maintenance and cleaning.  Just like your car or truck engine; the heating system needs cleaning and maintenance to ensure efficient and safe operation.  You may want to review your owner’s manual for more information or the manufacturer’s website of your heating system. Manufacturers recommend an annual cleaning and inspection by a licensed plumbing and heating professional.

Gas Furnace

Gas Furnace

These are the most common reasons for no heat:

  1. Thermostat is not functioning properly
    The thermostat may malfunction and the heating system is not receiving the message to generate heat.  A licensed professional can determine the source of the problem by running diagnostic testing.
  2. Heat vent blows cold air
    The hot service igniter or flame sensor may need to be cleaned or replaced.
  3. Gas pilot is out or the pilot won’t stay lit
    Gas is dangerous, so the best practice is to contact a licensed professional.  Also, replacement parts may be required; such as a thermocouple or gas valve.  Refer to your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for more information.
  4. Gas pilot is on and no air is flowing
    The fan or pump needs to be serviced or replaced.

    Electric Furnace

    Electric Furnace

  5. Loose wires and dirty filters
    An electric furnace no longer performs efficiently when there are loose wires or dirty filters. Troubleshooting your electric furnace often leads to simple repairs, some of which don’t even make it necessary to turn off the filter. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.  Other problems require professional repair.

If you don’t have heat, don’t despair – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating is available 24/7 to help you maintain and repair your heating system.
Call 877-386-7454 for more information about our Service Plans.

Tankless “On Demand” Hot Water Heaters

According to the Department of Energy, the average household spends $400-$600 a year on heating water; which is 14-18% of homeowners’ utility bills. Did you know Tankless “On Demand” Hot Water Heaters can reduce that cost?

We all like a long hot shower, run the dishwasher daily; and we may even wash our clothes in hot water.  In order to meet that demand, you can compare several varieties of Hot Water Heaters on the market today on the Department of Energy’s website. If your hot water heater’s life expectancy is nearing you may want to take a look before there is a “replacement” emergency.

electric demand water heater

source: energy.gov

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

“Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. A tankless water heater’s output has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.”

Tankless or “on demand” water heaters cost more than the traditional tank water heater; however there are many benefits that offset that initial investment:

  • Energy efficient – only use energy when the hot water faucet is open
  • Energy source – electric, gas or oil
  • Never ending supply – instant hot water all the time
  • Space saving – equipment mounts on a wall
  • Long lasting – average life is over 20 years (compared to 10 years of a traditional water heater)

As further incentive to be energy efficient  there’s a $300 Federal tax credit available on units installed by December 31, 2013.

For more information, call 877-386-7454 today or visit Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating.

GREEN Home Heating Solutions

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 56 percent of a home’s energy use [source: U.S. Department of Energy.]  The use of green energy is better for the environment because it helps eliminate greenhouse gasses.  In addition, the efficiency of these green systems allows homeowners to save money on their energy bills, which has the potential to make a huge difference!

Many homeowners today are aware of the benefits of green energy products for their homes, such as:

  • reducing pollution
  • reducing energy consumption
  • reducing energy costs

Green solutions for the home heating industry are Combination Boilers. They are efficient, long lasting and warrantied for 10 years.  A key leader in the industry is Navien America, offering “the ultimate in energy efficiency with Hi-Tech Comfort”.

Navien Gas Combination Boilers provide these key benefits:

  1. Green = low NOx emissions (≤ 20 part per million)
    When burning fossil fuels, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide produce pollutants which react and result in the production of ozone and acid rain.
  2. Efficiency = reduced use of energy
    The boiler heats water as needed, making it environmentally sound as well as cost efficient.
  3. Long Lasting = dual stainless heat exchangers
  • Integrated primary and secondary heat exchangers prevent corrosion.
  • Ensures a longer life expectancy over copper heat exchangers.
  • Stainless steel components maintain consistency, even during long period of use.

There are even Credits and Rebates that you can apply to your 2013 Tax Filing!

If any of these benefits are important to you, then Dun-Right Plumbing & Heating can help! CALL 877-386-7454 today to receive a free Navien quote from Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating, a certified Navien Installer.

This New Year Means a New Bathroom for You!

Bathroom RemodelingIf you are a homeowner with an outdated bathroom, you may be considering the option of having it remodeled for the new year. Not only can a new bathroom increase your home’s resale value, but it can also improve your home life. However, with as many plumbing appliances as there are in any given bathroom, a bathroom remodeling project can be quite involved and often requires the help of an expert Boston plumber. If you’re looking for a local plumber to assist you in this renovation, don’t look any further than Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating.

At Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating, we specialize not only in installing and repairing home heating systems and furnaces, but in anything and everything related to home plumbing. We have specific experience when it comes to installing the necessary plumbing for a bathroom renovation and doing so in an affordable and quick manner.

If you need of a bathroom design planner to help you figure out what the best choices for you will be for your renovation, the good news is that we can help you with that as well. We have a dedicated team of expert plumbers and bathroom designers who will be happy to work with you so that you can end up with your dream bathroom. We can also work with whatever budget you have in mind so that you do not have to worry about spending beyond your means.

Finally, our customer service and prices simply cannot be beat. Our plumbers and designers know what it takes to ensure your satisfaction and they will go above and beyond to please you. Furthermore, we offer free, no-obligation estimates for all of our services.

If you want to remodel your bathroom and need some assistance with design and plumbing, there’s no need to look any further than Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 877-386-7454.

Improving the Life of Your Garbage Disposal with Maintenance

One of the most frustrating things that can occur in the kitchen is to turn on the garbage disposal only to find that it won’t work. Luckily, this is a problem that is often easily preventable with regular maintenance. Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating is here to provide you with garbage disposal maintenance tips that will help your disposal run better and last longer.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Like any appliance in your kitchen, it is likely that you want your garbage disposal to run as long as possible. Here are some maintenance tips to keep it in top shape:

  • Only run cold water through your faucets when you are trying to flush the system; hot water could melt sticky, gooey items, causing the clog to worsen.
  • Periodically flush baking soda and white vinegar down the disposal. This will keep odors at bay.
  • Periodically put rock salt and ice cubes into the disposal and then run the motor. This will sharpen the blades.

In addition to these simple maintenance tips, it is essential that you only run the appropriate items through your garbage disposal. Avoid these common forms of kitchen waste:

  • Egg shells
  • Grease
  • Potato skins
  • Animal bones
  • Rice or pasta

All of these items are not easily broken down and they can quickly clog even the most powerful garbage disposals. In addition, make sure you don’t attempt to put very large items through the system because they will often clog. Small particles are far less likely to cause backup within the disposal.

If you are experiencing difficulty with your garbage disposal, don’t let it cause you frustration any longer. Contact your neighborhood Boston plumber, Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating for a garbage disposal repair that will get things back in running order in no time. Give us a call today at 877-386-7454.