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Plumbing: Repair or Replace

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the pipes inside of your home. Over the years, pipes corrode, rust and decay, leading to an array of plumbing issues and possible disasters. If you’re proactive about your plumbing problems, you may only need to repair, instead of replacing your whole system. Determine whether a plumbing disaster is imminent or just a concern for the distant future with these plumbing repair or replace tips:

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Be Familiar With Your Pipes: The type of plumbing you have in your home will determine how long you can expect it to last. Knowing what types of pipes you have is the first step in determining if you should repair or replace. Cast iron pipes typically last between 80-100 years, depending on factors such as damage, usage and corrosion. If you’re unsure of how old your pipes are, review your home inspection report, or call your trusted plumbing professional to inspect your system.

Keep An Eye Out For Trouble: One of the best ways to prevent a plumbing catastrophe is to pay attention to early warning signs. Make sure to perform proper maintenance checks on your plumbing and keep a watchful eye for any leaks, drips or signs of trouble. Check out your exposed piping and look for any discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples or flaking- all of these are corrosion indicators. Corroded pipes can lead to unsafe drinking water and they need to be replaced immediately. Watch for leaks too–even small ones that are easily repaired may be indicators that the time for whole-house replacement is approaching. Lastly, take notice of the color of your bathtub water, especially after a vacation. If the water looks brown or yellow, that’s a sign of rust and decay inside the pipes, where a replacement might be necessary soon.

Fix Them Up: If you and your plumber have decided that replacement is right for you, consider these options:

  • Replace what’s exposed: For a home with plaster walls or wood paneling, consider at least replacing pipes that aren’t buried in the walls. Replacing exposed pipes in a basement, crawlspace, or utility room is fairly straightforward, because the plumber can have easy access to the pipes.
  • Replace when you renovate: Whenever you remodel a portion of your house, take the opportunity to inspect—and if need be, replace—any plumbing lines that you expose when you open up the walls and floors.

Think your plumbing system needs an overhaul? Give Wahl Family Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call to handle all of your plumbing needs, from leaky fixtures to frozen pipes. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

 

 

Ways To Reduce Household Water Usage

Are you fed up with staggering water bills? Since we’re all concerned about saving money and helping the environment these days, a great place to start is by reducing your water usage at home. Did you know that the average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day? Do your part to help the environment and lower your bills with these simple tips to reduce your household water usage: plumbing companies in upper st. clair

Load Up The Dishwasher: Automatic dishwashers use less hot water and energy than washing dishes by hand. Make sure to maximize the space in your dishwasher and load in as many items as you can to clean at once. And you can skip the pre-rinse too–most modern dishwashers are designed to be powerful enough to remove food and debris on their own.

Opt For Low Flow: Choosing low flow appliances like a toilet or showerhead can result in a savings of 25%-60% of water usage according to Energy.gov. Swapping out older appliances that are water hogs for these newer low flow, energy efficient units greatly impact your water bill for the better. In addition to installing these showerheads, shortening your shower to five minutes will provide some serious water savings.

Fix Leaks: If you notice a leak, don’t let it go unattended.You can significantly reduce water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures — faucets and showerheads — or pipes. A leak of one drip per second wastes 1,661 gallons of water and can cost up to $35 per year, according to Energy.gov. If you spot a leaky fixture, give the trusted professionals at Wahl a call!

For more tips on how to reduce your household water usage, visit here.

To schedule an appointment or to learn about the plumbing services we offer, visit our website or give us a call at 412-276-9245.

 

Fall Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Plumber Fitting Sink PipeAs the weather gets cooler, it’s important to give your plumbing system a little extra TLC. With any change in season, comes potential plumbing issues. Keep your pipes safe and your home happy with these plumbing maintenance tips for cooler weather:  

Be aware of early signs of trouble: When it comes to plumbing, little leaks can lead to big problems. Keep an eye out for signs of failure or potential problems including leaking faucets, damp cabinets, or running toilets. At the first sign of trouble, give your trusted plumber a call to put a stop to any issues before they become big problems.

Prevention is key: It’s best to prevent frozen pipes before they start. Insulate exposed pipes in a crawl space or in the garage to avoid a potential problem. Before the deep freeze of the winter comes, remove exterior hoses and apply insulating caps to outdoor fixtures, as frozen exterior spigots can damage pipes in your home’s interior.

Let warm air circulate: When the temperatures drop, open cabinets beneath the sink and fixtures to help warmer air circulate inside, preventing freezing. Make sure to open taps to keep a steady water trickle flowing, avoiding a frozen blockage. Frozen water expands, cracking pipes, so when the area thaws, you have a flood on your hands.

Before the temperatures fall to freezing, make sure your plumbing system is ready to take on the cooler temperatures! Give Wahl Family Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call to handle all of your plumbing needs, from leaky fixtures to frozen pipes. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

 

As temperatures drop, we’re approaching the time of year when you’re going to rely on your HVAC system to keep you warm. Before the days get very cold, it’s important to check on your unit to make sure things are working properly for when you really need it. A poorly run HVAC system will not only provide less comfort, but will raise your energy bills as well. These HVAC maintenance tips will ensure your unit is operating efficiently through this chilly season:hvac service pittsburgh

Change the Air Filter and Clean the Vents

One of the easiest, yet most important things you can do to support your HVAC system is to change your air filters routinely. Filters should be replaced every three months, to extend the life of your unit and minimize potential problems. When you change the filter, make sure to vacuum off the air vents to keep the area clean and free of debris, allowing for temperature regulation throughout your home.

Schedule An Inspection
Yearly service of your HVAC system ensures it runs properly. Scheduling an inspection in the fall when the weather is still fairly mild, will ensure it’s ready to take on the freezing temperatures in the winter.

Consider a Replacement
Replacing your home’s HVAC system can be a big undertaking, but if your system is old and insufficient and you plan on being in your home for a long time, it’s very beneficial. If your system is more than 10 years old, ask a professional for their opinion on the longevity of your system. Added comfort and financial benefits are two biggest benefits of updating your unit.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to set an ideal temperature in your home, affecting both the comfort and cost of your utility bills. Many homeowners fail to adjust their thermostats when they leave their home because it’s too much work, they forget, or they don’t want to return to a cold home. Installing a programmable thermostat in the house eliminates these concerns altogether. To learn more about the benefits of a programmable thermostat, visit here.

Before the temperatures fall to freezing, make sure your HVAC system is ready to take on the winter! Give Wahl Family Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call to handle all of your HVAC needs.  We’re here to answer all of your heating questions, or to perform maintenance on your system. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

 

How To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Did you know that each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning not linked to fires according to the CDC? Additionally, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. Those numbers are shocking! Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, particularly infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems. While exposure to CO is very scary, the good news is that is can be prevented. Take these precautionary steps to keep you and your family safe from exposure.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Here are some dos and don’ts of what you can do to stay safe:

  • Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
  • Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.
  • Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
  • Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
  • Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
  • Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.

For more tips on how to prevent CO poisoning in your home, visit here.

If you suspect any of your HVAC systems have problems that could possible lead to CO exposure, make sure to give us a call immediately. The expert technicians at Wahl will provide you with thorough service to keep you and your family safe. To schedule an appointment for service, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit us here.

 

The Importance of Air Duct Cleanings

 

We tend to think of air pollutants as something only found outside, thanks to factories, car exhaust and pollen. But if you’re not having your air ducts cleaned, pollen, smoke and dust could be circulating in your home’s air and affecting your energy bill and family’s health.

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Here are some of the reasons why cleaning your air ducts are so important:

Improve air qualityDid you know that a typical six-room home can create up to 40 pounds of dust throughout the year? Even with regular vacuuming and dusting, that debris can still make it into your HVAC system and circulate through your home 5 – 7 times a day. The EPA and National Air Duct Cleaners Association suggest homeowners have their HVAC systems cleaned as the homeowner finds necessary, or once a year for extreme allergy sufferers.

More powerThe National Air Duct Cleaners Association also found that dirty coils and vents can cut HVAC efficiency by as much as 40%. Why pay full price for only 60% power? Cleaning your vents allows air to easily flow throughout the system and increases your overall system’s efficiency.

Lower energy cost It comes as no surprise that the buildup of dust and debris can really take a toll on your home energy costs. Homeowners that find little relief from their heating or cooling systems tend to adjust the temperature before anything else, which can wreak havoc on your electric bill. So before you hit the thermostat, consider an air duct cleaning to bring your system up to tip top shape.

Are you noticing that your HVAC system isn’t working as well as it used to? It sounds like it’s time for a service call from Wahl Family Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’re here to help answer all of your cooling or heating questions. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

 

When to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

An electric panel is the heart of your home’s circuitry, so don’t wait until you see sparks to upgrade your system.

Why Should I Upgrade my Electric Panel?

Safety – Older homes were originally designed with about 50 amp for the entire house. Speed ahead to today, and homes use quadrupedal that amount to accommodate everything from central air to multiple television sets. Systems that can’t handle the amount of electricity being used are likely to overload the circuit and could cause a fire.

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PowerAn upgraded system means more power will flow to your entire house and you are less likely to blow a fuse if several high power things are running at once.

Resale – Thinking of selling your home? Upgrading your electrical system can really increase your home’s resale value.

When Should I Upgrade?

You should update your electrical panel if you notice:

  •  Your circuit breakers frequently trip.
  •  The lights dim when you turn on other appliances.
  •  You use adaptors or extension cords for additional outlet space.

It can also be dangerous if your circuit breaker doesn’t trip when the circuit is overloaded. The problem is usually that there is a loose connection somewhere in the circuit, but many homeowners replace it with a larger circuit breaker than the wire can support. This can also be a major fire safety risk.

Can I do This Myself?

Save the DIY jobs for yard work or painting, not electrical. It’s not only unsafe for untrained homeowners to work with electrical wiring, but can also end up being extremely costly if done wrong.

Thinking of upgrading your electrical panel before winter hits? Let Wahl help! To schedule an appointment for a consultation, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about our services.

Benefits of a Wireless Thermostat

Let’s face it–we’re all about convenience these days. So adding new ways to make our daily lives easier is always a plus. If you’re looking to save money on your home heating and cooling bills and want to help the environment by saving energy as well, a wireless thermostat could be for you! If you’re unsure about the perks a wireless thermostat can bring to your home, we’re here to help. Here are some top benefits of having one installed:

  • hvac service pittsburghYour thermostat is Wi-Fi enabled for remote access from anywhere via smartphone, tablet, or PC. Running late to work? Adjust your settings from your phone. Away on vacation? Log on to your tablet while you’re 3,000 miles away!
  • You can manage multiple thermostats at various locations, helping energy management and saving money on your monthly bills.
  • You can set alerts through an app. Wi-Fi thermostats have useful companion apps that let you do a number of things. One of the most useful is the ability to let you set alerts, so you can be notified if your home gets too hot or cold. These alerts are sent either to your phone as a text, or in an email and are great in that they not only help you save money, but they preserve the life of your HVAC system too!
  • Reports are sent to you depending on which thermostat you chose to purchase to help you keep track of your energy usage. By keeping a close eye on your usage, you can prepare yourself financially for your next bill.
  • Wireless thermostats also let you monitor your home’s outdoor conditions. You can get an accurate reading of the outdoor humidity levels, which will help you choose the right temperature for the inside of your home.

Thinking about adding some convenience to your home? Give Wahl a call to install your wireless thermostat today! For all of your HVAC needs, give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

End Of Summer Furnace Maintenance Tips

With the temperatures are still high, it’s more than likely that you haven’t thought about your furnace in months. Performing maintenance on your furnace now ensures that things will be working properly by the time the cooler weather comes and you’re in need of a little extra heat. To ensure things are running smoothly, here are some tips you’ll want to follow:heating repair service ross township

Change Your Filters

If there’s one thing you do to maintain your HVAC system before cold weather hits, make sure to change your filter. Your furnace must work harder to push air through an old filter, causing the system to use more energy, leading to more money spent.  Furnace filters cost less in the summertime, so stock up today to keep warm in the winter!

Check Burners and Blowers

Furnace burners that sit still all summer tend to collect dirt and dust. It’s important to check the burners before your system kicks in and get rid of the debris before it becomes a fire hazard. You should also make sure to oil the furnace blower once a year to avoid failure and prevent unwanted noises down the line.

Check Your Vents

Just as we’ve mentioned moving furniture to prevent your AC from being obstructed, the same goes for your furnace. Make sure that no furniture is obstructing the vents that could prevent warm air from being released inside your home. Obstructed vents can also lead to your furnace overheating, which can be very costly to replace or repair. Be sure to clear the path of any furnace obstructions before turning on your unit come the chilly weather.

Now is the perfect time to maintain your furnace before the temperatures drop! Give Wahl Family Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call for all of your HVAC maintenance needs. Our experts will take care of your filters, burners, blowers and more during every maintenance visit. To learn more about our services offered or to schedule an appointment with us, visit our website or give us a call at 412-276-9245.

How To Stop an Overflowing Toilet

Plumbing issues are a real inconvenience to say the least. But when you’re dealing with an overflowing toilet, it can be a huge disaster! Toilets are one of the most used, yet most reliable appliances that we have in our home. They tend to last a long time and typically don’t act up too much, so when you see yours start to malfunction, pay attention or call your professionals right away. In the event you do experience an overflowing toilet, here are some tips on how to handle it:mt lebanon plumbing companies

An overflowing toilet is caused by one of three things: a clogged or blocked drain that doesn’t allow for a proper flush, a blocked vent pipe that replaces the air in the pipe after each flush, or an improperly adjusted float that allows the tank to overfill.

A Clogged or Blocked Drain: Spotting a blocked drain is a fairly easy task. Water will overflow from the toilet’s bowl rather than the tank, causing a huge mess. In order to stop the overflow you must treat the clog. For simple clogs, a plunger and some elbow grease will usually do the trick.

Blocked Vent Pipe: If you notice your toilet clogging more frequently, a blocked vent pipe could be to blame. A vent pipe moves external air into the plumbing system to replace the air that is pumped with each flush. When this is blocked, your toilet won’t flush properly, leading to an overflow. This usually requires the skills and expertise of an experienced plumber.

High Filler Float: The first two causes of an overflowing toilet will cause water to spill out from the bowl itself. In this case, a high filler float causes the spill to come from the tank of the toilet. If the filler float is set too high, the tank will fill with too much water, causing leakage from the sides. You can fix this by adjusting the mechanism inside of the tank to control the level of the float.

While an overflowing toilet can seem like a simple problem to fix, make sure to keep an eye on how often they’re occurring. In the event of a complicated clog or constant recurrences, call on your trusted plumbing professionals at Wahl. For answers on all of your plumbing questions or to schedule service give us a call at 412-276-9245 or visit our website to learn more. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter too.

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