Seasonal Tips for Spring

Spring is finally here and it’s time to make some quick checks around the house .. Here are some quick and immediate plumbing tips for you to consider as the weather starts to warm.

Plumbing
When turning on water valves for the first time after the cold season is over, check for any leaks that may result from a pipe that may have had some leftover water in it that froze. Also check for leaks under the valve handle. If there is a leak, it may be nothing more than a packing nut needing to be tightened with a small adjustable wrench.

Don’t get flooded–check your sump pump to be sure that it is functioning properly.

The most important thing you can do to keep your plumbing system and basement safe this spring is to make sure your sump pump is primed and ready for work.  If you have not tested or observed your sump pump operating, test it by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit.  The pump should kick on in a few seconds, allow the flow of water and then turn itself off automatically. 

Should you find that you have a leaking pipe from winter freeze, a valve that leaks, or your sump pump is not functioning properly, contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us to schedule a service call.

Heating and Cooling
If you heat with oil or gas, check fill pipes and vents near the ground to be sure that they are not covered over with leaves. The same holds true if you have a condensate pipe from a high-efficiency furnace or water heater.

Turn Your System on
Consider turning your air conditioning system on for a test run. It will allow you to recognize any issues or malfunctions within the unit to quickly address them.  Once the hot and humid temperatures of summer arrive, you’ll want the system to be operating at full capacity.

Set up a Seasonal Preventative Maintenance Schedule
It’s always a great idea to have a regular schedule for your air conditioning system to receive preventative maintenance. This type of service will ensure that your system is working properly, reduce repair costs, and extend the life of your system.

For peace of mind and an opportunity to maximize the life of your heating and air conditioning system, set up a preventative maintenance schedule with us!  Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us to join our service club.

Check Your Air Filter
Checking the air filter for your unit is a simple procedure.  During the winter, the air filter will often become dirty.  Spring is the best time to remove the old air filter and replace it with a new one.  It’s also a good idea to have a reserve of air filters as well.  During the summer it’s a good idea to change your filter each month.  If you are unable to do that, at least change it once every three months.

You want to be sure to have your central air conditioning checked before the first heat wave! Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us to schedule a service call.

 

If you have high/low return grilles on your heating or air conditioning system (i.e., wall vents located one straight above the other, one near the ceiling and one near the floor), be sure to close the bottom one and open the top one for the cooling season.

Electrical
Be sure when time changes (which recently has technically happened during the last days of winter, in early March) to check your smoke detectors. Change the batteries in them. Even if you have hard-wired units, check for a battery as it is common for them to have a back-up battery in them in the event of a power failure.

If you don’t have smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, have Brubaker Inc. install them for your family’s safety and peace-of-mind. Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us.

Watch for hidden power lines when trimming your trees and shrubs, and watch for tree limbs that could damage electrical equipment or overhead lines when trimmed.

If you are planting new bushes and trees, be aware of any underground service lines that you might have, such as electric, CATV, or telephone.  You would not want the unfortunate circumstance of digging into a power line by accident.  At the least you might have the inconvenience of interrupted service, at worst, you or someone else could be injured!

Test GFCI outlets.
Ground fault circuit interrupters, known as GFCIs, are special outlets used in kitchens, bathrooms and utility areas — anywhere water is or might be present.  GFCIs have a sensor that detects fluctuations in electrical current; when current surges, they shut down to protect against shock.

GFCIs have small colored buttons that permit you to reset a tripped circuit.  The red “test” button allows you to test the GFCI.  Test GFCIs monthly, and after any thunderstorms, to be sure their protective function continues to work. Replace them if they no longer trip when the “test” button is pressed.

Do not plug your refrigerator into an outlet with GFCI protection.  In the event the circuit is tripped without your knowledge, the appliance will shut down, and your food will spoil.

If you need a GFCI receptacle repaired, replaced, or installed, have Brubaker Inc. install it for your convenience, safety, and peace-of-mind.  Contact us at 717.299.5641 or email us.