Gettysburg Plumber’s Guide: Environmental Benefits of Trenchless Repair

Pipe replacement is a messy business. For decades, the only real way to do it was to rumble in with a big machine (or men with plenty of shovels) and dig up your Gettysburg property to access the leaking, cracked pipe. However, with modern technology, trenchless pipe repair and replacement is now possible and while the biggest benefits are to your wallet and your lawn, you might also be interested to know how environmentally friendly the process is.

Less Resources Needed

Have you ever seen someone digging up a pipeline? The equipment needed is impressive. Backhoes, trucks and multiple workers to get the old pipe out of the ground and a new one in. And once the process is completed, the concrete and lawn destroyed by the digging need to be replaced. It’s a very invasive procedure.

With trenchless technology, most of those resources are not needed. This means less fuel used to power large machines, less destruction of your property and no impact on the roadway or sidewalks that would require paving once completed.

Existing Pipe Pathways

Have you ever considered the impact a pipe line being laid has on the ecosystem beneath your property? Digging up all that space and displacing plants, animals and insects alike can have a tremendously negative impact on the micro-ecology on your property.

Trenchless replacement allows a plumber to use the existing pipe pathway beneath your property, which avoids displacing anything with fresh digging. It also doesn’t impact the plants or trees growing on your property. You gain a new pipe line without any damage to the carefully manicured landscaping you’ve done on your property.

Minimal Subsoil Impact

Even when laying new pipes, trenchless technology only affects the space underground where the pipe will be laid. This tears up far less of the subsoil which has a less extensive environmental impact on the water shed around your home.

There really is no reason to use a traditional exhume and pull pipe replacement method when trenchless technology makes it possible to just as easily replace the pipes for the same or less money and minimal environmental impact. Depending on your circumstances and the scope of the work that needs to be done, your pipe repair or replacement may be significantly better served with trenchless technologies.

If you have any questions about trenchless or no-dig technologies, give Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning a call today!

Hanover Plumbing Guide: What to Look for When You Have Water Damage

Water can be a beautiful thing. But it can be a very nasty thing, too. While water is an essential for life, it brings a high price tag when gone unchecked and allowed to seep, leak, and drain into your Hanover home. Damage caused by water can cause structural damage to a building and destruction of its contents. When left unchecked – over time – water damage can lead to mold growth and have a serious affect on building occupants’ health.

The destructive forces of water leave telltale signs throughout a building. Let’s look at some.

  • Wood damage – water can saturate wood, causing it to rot and decay. Check for discolored wood around plumbing fixtures, a sure sign of an ongoing or older leak that has since been repaired. Just because a leak has been fixed, the after-effects can linger. Soft or uneven surfaces around a plumbing fixture are a sure indication of water damage. Pull back carpeting, pads, tiling, or flooring to get to the root of the problem.
  • Drywall damage – porous material like drywall can leave many signs of water damage and, like wood, can be seriously degraded by water damage. Check for discoloration around plumbing fixtures and soft spots. Don’t assume that a dry surface that is stained is not a structural problem. You may have to cut out the drywall to reach the true source of the water damage.
  • Ceiling tile stains – a sure sign that water is coming in from a source above a roof or ceiling. Ceiling tiles are a porous material that are great for showing every little bit of moisture or water that comes in contact with them. The same is true with plaster or drywall ceilings. Stains indicate a more serious problem and should be investigated right away.
  • Damp, musty smells – water can leave some unpleasant odors, especially untreated water. Leaks or standing water are a source for higher humidity levels in a home. If you are standing in an area where water has soaked into floors or walls, there is often a damp, humid smell. Don’t mistake it for high humidity levels in the home. The smell can come from hidden sources like a leaking pipe joint or broken valve behind an access door.
  • Mold build-up – wood and drywall surfaces provide great food for mold growth when saturated with water. The mold can be of a harmless nature but often can become dangerous black mold. When black mold spores are airborne they can cause respiratory problems and even worse, medial problems down the road. Look for unusual clusters of mold in damp areas and if you find some, immediately call a professional plumber to suggest clean-up and to repair the source of the water leak.

There are many signs of water leakage in the home, caused by leaking or broken pipes, dripping faucets from worn-out washers, cracks in the walls and foundations allowing ground and rain water to seep in, etc. Call a Larry & Sons if you have any signs water damage in your Hanover home.

Shippensburg Indoor Air Quality Guide: How Electronic Air Filter Works

For a long time, the most frequently used kind of air filter in Shippensburg has been the mechanical variety. This is the kind you probably think of when you hear the terms air filter, air cleaner or air purifier. They use pleated fibrous filters in-line with an air handler to trap particles in the air before circulating it back out into the home.

Many models of these work very well and have for many years. They have the added benefit of being flexible because you can put in whatever filter you need depending on what size particles you need to trap.

However, these traditional devices are not the only option. A second kind of air filter exists for trapping particles in the air– one that does not use a fibrous filter that physically snags them out of the air on the way through.

These electrostatic — or electronic — air filters work in a different way to produce a similar result. The filtering component is still a fibrous sheet, but the difference is that the fibers are made of plastic, which becomes charged when air passes through it and causes friction.

(Think something like when you rub a balloon and stick it to the wall.)

These friction-charged fibers carry an electronic charge, which attracts the ions in the air around it. These ions — and the particles that they are a part of — get trapped in the fibers and stay out of your air supply.

Electronic air filters are generally very good at trapping particles that are 1 micron in size or higher, putting them about on par with a mechanical air filter that carries a MERV rating of 12. The electrostatic method works well for many common household air pollutants, such as dust, pollen, mold and pet dander.

As with many ventilation-related decisions, the choice of what kind of air filter is right for you depends on your needs and those of your family. If you are having trouble deciding, then a consultation with Shippensburg plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor Larry & Sons is  can be a good way to reach a decision.

Mercersburg HVAC Repair Question: What Is Refrigerant Pressure and Why Does it Matter?

Refrigerant is often called the “lifeblood” of mechanical heating and cooling devices like the heat pump and air conditioner in your Mercersburg home.  The main function of refrigerant is to transfer heat through a closed loop system. Various heating and cooling (HVAC) components require different operating pressures to move refrigerant and process the “refrigeration cycle.”

In a nutshell, the refrigeration cycle involves refrigerant, which changes from a liquid to a vapor and back to a liquid again by the addition of pressure and heat. In a refrigeration system, pressurized refrigerant passed through an expansion valve into an evaporator and pressure is reduced. The evaporator is a tube which passes by the area to be cooled. When the pressure drops, this liquid refrigerant changes into a vapor, which absorbs vaporized heat from the area around the evaporator. After the heat is absorbed by the refrigerant, it flows to a condenser, where it passes over coils, absorbs heat from the hot vapor, and condenses back into a liquid. The liquid is returned to the compressor and the cycle begins again.

Today’s refrigerants – especially those used in residential applications – are broken down into two different types, labeled R-22 and R-410A. R-22 is made up of a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) chemical, which has been found to be damaging to the Earth’s ozone layer. It has been replaced by R-410A, which is made up of a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) chemical and will eventually be phased out by the year 2020. One of the biggest differences between the two are their operating temperatures. HFCs operate at much higher refrigerant pressure.

This change between refrigerants has created some interesting dynamics and challenges for the HVAC trade. Gauges used to check pressure readings have all changed. And mechanical compressors do not operate with a variety of refrigerants, so the compressors and coils need to be swapped out, too. To give you an example, let’s say you are shopping for a new central air conditioner. Chances are, the new air conditioner will run on R-410A. Your old air conditioner ran on R-22. In order to “match” the compressor in the your new air conditioning unit to the existing indoor coil, you will need to replace the coil and the lines running from your outdoor condensing unit to your indoor air handling unit, which is mounted to your furnace.

You don’t have to understand the refrigeration cycle to know that today’s high-pressure HFC refrigerants require different test instrumentation and retrofitted or upgraded mechanical equipment. The change in operating pressure is a small price to pay for a safer environment.

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