Williamsport Plumber’s Guide: Reasons to Consider a Drain Tile System

A drain tile system uses perforated pipes to move water away from the foundation of your Williamsport home. The primary reason for having a drain tile system installed is to prevent water from collecting in your basement.

Water can get into your basement in a number of ways, often through cracks in the foundation introduced during construction. Water in the soil or runoff from a hard rain may enter these cracks and accumulate in the basement. Water leaking from the underground water supply lines could also collect in your basement. You have little control over how much water is absorbed by soil or how much it rains, but you can prevent it from flooding the basement of your home.

When you have a tile drain system installed, or to be more specific, an exterior tile drain system installed, your home is protected from such leakages. The other reason for considering a drain tile system is to avoid water leakage from the walls. Water seeping out from cracks in the walls may collect at the points where the walls and the floors meet, causing moisture or humidity to build up in the basement. Over the years, this may cause significant damage. So the drain tile system is the most proficient method to protect the basement of your home from all sources of water.

How does it work?

Water will always follow the path of least resistance. Because of this, drain tile systems are made up of a collection of selectively perforated pipes. These pipes are installed along the path that water would take when heading towards your basement, so that when the water reaches the pipes, it will simple flow into the holes and follow the pipes away from your home. Basically, the water is redirected to a public drainage system through a sump pipe.

How a Williamsport Plumber Installs a Drain Tile System

  1. First, they dig a channel around your home using heavy equipment till you reach the foundation.
  2. Set a water filter to avoid blockage due to sediment.
  3. Seal up the ditch above the drain tile with washed gravel.
  4. Cover the ditch and the drain tile using the soil removed in step 1.

Because of the complicated nature of this procedure and the potential form problems to develop if it’s done incorrectly, it’s always good to have a Williamsport plumbing professional like Larry & Sons install the drain tile system for you. Call us today to learn more!

Clear Spring Heating Repair Question: What Does a Furnace Thermocouple Do?

Modern appliances are equipped with an array of safety measures to make sure that they operate safely in your Clear Spring home. This includes gas furnaces, which are harmless when working correctly but can be unsafe if something goes wrong. Perhaps the most crucial safety feature of a gas furnace is the thermocouple, also called a flame sensor.

Essentially, a furnace thermocouple works as a kill switch to shut off the furnace in case the gas is not igniting, like if the pilot light is out. Here is how it works.

The thermocouple is made up of two pieces of metal which are welded together at one end, called the “hot end” because it actually sits directly in the path of the furnace flame. On the cold end, it is wired to a circuit. Under normal circumstances, when the furnace is switched on, gas flows through the line and is ignited by a pilot light, ignition spark or glow coil. The flame heats up the thermocouple, and the furnace stays on.

However, sometimes the gas may not ignite, for example if the pilot light is out or the glow coil is faulty. In these cases, if there were no thermocouple, gas would continue to flow out without being lit, creating a very dangerous, poisonous and potentially lethal situation.

What the thermocouple does is detect heat, so if the furnace is on, but the hot end of the thermocouple has not heated up, that circuit up at the cold end kills the power to the furnace so that gas cannot continue to flow out unchecked. That way, you do not have to worry about a gas leak building to dangerous levels without being aware of it.

Sometimes, the thermocouple can malfunction, causing the furnace to shut off even if the burners are working just fine. Usually that is just the result of build up on the hot end over time, which can be fixed with some sand paper or emery cloth. If suspect a problem with your furnace, give Larry & Sons Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

Williamsport Heating Maintenance Tip: Electric Furnaces

Electric heat is clean – but Williamsport homeowners pay for that cleanliness with high utility bills. Depending on the area of the country, electric bills can rival those of gas, oil, or propane. So it is only natural to assume that an efficiently running electric furnace is a must for homeowners who are looking to keep their energy costs down.

Electric furnaces are fairly simple machines. They use heating elements to warm the air, which is then distributed through the ventilation system via a fan or blower. The heating element is made up of a metal wire that is heated by normal electrical current. The element is used to warm or heat something, much like the function of an oven or toaster. Their operation is fairly simple – either they work or they don’t.

When a heating element fails it is usually because it is broken, bend, or misshapen. When that happens, it is time to replace it. You can do some preventive maintenance with a visual inspection of your heating elements. If your inspection does not reveal any problems, you can test the element for continuity. You should know how to use an ohmmeter to test it or ask a professional heating and cooling technician to check the elements for you.

Speaking of visual inspection, you can do a quick check for any frayed or damaged wires, which can be a source for wasted electricity, too. Another way to ensure that your electric furnace is running efficiently is to replace or clean your furnace filters on a regular basis. A clogged filter can make a furnace work harder and lead to premature mechanical failure.

And obviously, if the furnace is not working it is best to check for any blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers in the main electrical panel box. If you find one, make sure you replace it with another of the correct amperage.

Lastly, check to make sure the blower motor is operating correctly. You can have perfectly working elements but if the blower can’t push the warm air through your ventilation system, then all of the steps to ensure the electricity is working are for naught. You can usually hear a noisy motor or smell one that isn’t working improperly. Check it on a regular basis and check the fan belt for any damage or slippage, too.

As you have read, an electric furnace is a very simple machine with simple working parts. Maintaining it is just as simple. If you haven’t had your annual furnace maintenance, give Larry & Sons a call today!

Rohrersville Plumber’s Guide: Components of Trenchless Water Line Replacement

Trenchless technology is a relatively option for pipe repair and replacement, allowing your plumber to replace main water lines or sewer lines under your Rohrersville property without digging a massive trench in the ground. Cost effective and environmentally friendly, this process is designed to minimize the impact on homeowners who are worried about losing their favorite trees or disrupting their neighbors.

But, what exactly is involved in trenchless water line replacement? Here is a quick look at the process and the components involved in each step of it:

  1. Puller Unit – The puller unit is responsible for pulling the new pipe through the space between the two access points. A cable is attached to the new pipe to pull it through. The size and type of puller unit used will depend on the type of pipe being replaced.
  2. Bursting Cone- A bursting cone is often attached to the head of the new pipe to break apart the old pipe as the new one is fed into the hole. This makes it possible to feed new pipe without having to remove the old pipe.
  3. New Pipe – There are a couple of options here including a brand new line of pipe replacing the old one or a liner being fed into the old one to patch cracks and leaks. The repair method used will depend on the severity of the problem, length of the affected pipe and recommendations from your plumber.
  4. Access Points – Two access points will be dug on either side of the affected pipe line. One pit houses the hydraulic pulling unit, the size of which will vary depending on the equipment used by your plumber and the power needed to pull your new pipe. The second pit is used to feed in new pipe, which means it needs to be slightly larger.

How the trenchless replacement process works depends largely on the pipe being replaced and which repair method you select. If you have a sewer line that has cracked along a five foot length, trenchless pipe replacement may be the best option. However, a smaller problem in your water line like a small crack may be fixed without a full replacement or relining. The best way to know for sure is to call a professional and have them inspect your pipe line. Video technology makes this easier as well.