Posts from the ‘Plumbing’ Category

DO NOT send your kids to college!

That title is  strong but the American dream of sending your children off to college so they can get a great job and live better than you did is out of reach for many American families. Between the cost of a four year degree and the number of degrees that offer little economic future for the graduate, much has changed in the last couple of decades. College costs have exploded at the same time the value of most higher education is in decline. According to the Project on Student Debt, b

I should have been a plumber

etween 2001 and 2010 the cost of a university education skyrocketed from 23% of median annual earnings to 38%. Two-thirds of today’s college graduates have to pay off student loans, which typically amount to tens of thousands of dollars and frequently climb into six figures. Student loan debt is a large part of the reason why so many young adults in their twenties and thirties are living with mom and dad these days. They can’t afford to start their own families and households. Some of them will be in debt for the rest of their lives.

Many of the jobs filled by college graduates with degrees have been replaced by automation operated by lower skilled and paid employees. A current report says the unemployment rate for recent graduates is 8.8% and the underemployment rate by those recently graduated is 18.3%. Many of those employed are in jobs their degree is not even needed.

There have been other alternates available for young people to provide for themselves and a family but the common wisdom has said college is the only way. Let us give you and your kids an alternative of which we are intimately aware.

As a heating, air conditioning and plumbing contractor, we see the existing shortage of highly skilled young men and women in our field of service and replacement. The opportunities are here today for motivated young people to earn while they learn or to be earning after achieving an associate’s degree from a local education facility. Starting wages are well above minimum wage and by their later twenties they can easily be earning $60,000 to $80,000. Along with a good income they won’t have that sizable college loan to repay, will have several more years of income and will have jobs that are “green” and in high demand.Students

Some other options include the opportunity to move into management positions, designing positions, sales positions and become self-employed business owners. The health of each of us is as dependent on the plumber as the doctor. Our comfort is as dependent on the heating and air conditioning technician as that easy chair. Each of these areas doesn’t have the pizazz of some other jobs but they do have the stability and future that many other jobs may not possess.

Contact us for information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com and to talk to us about a future that may be right for your son or daughter!

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

Do You Need an Ark?

Home Service Corp.Noah was warned by God of the great flood that was to cover the earth. He had enough time to build the Ark, outfit it, gather the animals, and double check it’s seaworthiness. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had that same early warning of an impending “Great Flood” in your basement. You ask “What are you talking about? My basement is bone dry. I’ve never had a flood.” We’ll, over the years we have heard these words spoken to us along with “I can’t believe my carpeting, furniture, and prized collections are damaged by a flood from our sump pump failing.”

 

There are now many options for helping prevent basement floods. These include a second pump, a battery operated backup sump pump, a water power backup sump pump, audible flood alarms, and of course regular maintenance. Each of these are good options when properly applied, properly installed and properly maintained. We have installed dozens of these devices over the years and have helped many of our customers avoid the “Great Flood.”

 

Some alarm companies are providing an alarm which senses water overflowing the sump and spilling onto the floor. These are also an option but what do you do if you are at work, on vacation, or away from home for other reasons? What if the alarm doesn’t operate when you need it because no one maintained it? Before you can react to the alarm you could have a serious flooding situation.

 

There is a new option for homeowners today. In consists of a water powered backup sump pump with an audible alarm and the ability to contact you and three others by phone if the backup sump pump is running. It senses a higher water level than normal in the sump, starts the backup pump, contacts you via the phone all before water reaches the floor of you basement. It gives you time to check out the problem or to contact us to check it out for you. Although it would not contact you in the event of a total phone outage in your home, it would continue to operate the backup pump powered by your water supply. Technology is providing us with new options which were not even dreamed about just a decade ago.Home Service Corp.

 

You may ask “What other new plumbing things are out there?” These include touch control and touch-less faucets, emergency water supply shutoff systems, smart energy saving hot water heaters, toilets that flush on less that 20% of the water many older models use, quiet garbage disposals, filters to eliminate harmful chemicals and metals in the water supply, and even the kitchen sink with hundreds of styles, shapes and accessories.

 

If you have a sump pump and would like a free evaluation of the options for your unique home, just contact us.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

Need a Plumber or Heating Contractor?

Over the years we have seen so many bids lost to the low bidder. It was a plumbing repair or a duct cleaning or a furnace replacement. The buyer was so focused on price that they did not qualify the bidders for their job. Home Service Corp.Then the homeowner got burner. We have seen this time and time again.

So what was the homeowner supposed to check into before buying? Here is a list you can use on your next service need or replacement need:

  1. Could you show me your liability and workman’s comp insurance. If not you may pay later!
  2. Could you show me your proper state and federal licenses and certifications?
  3. Can I have a copy of the permit you are obtaining for the work?
  4. What training do your Technicians have?
  5. Do your Technicians have a criminal background or drug tests prior to hiring?
  6. What is the quality of the materials that will be used?
  7. What do other customers say about this contractor?
  8. What’s your experience and that of your employees?
  9. What is the financial status of the contractor? Do the trucks look clean and in good working order? Will they be there for you in the future for warranty work?
  10. Who is standing behind the quoted warranty?
  11. Why should I feel safe with your Technician in your home?
  12. What do you and your Technicians do to protect your health and property?
  13. Are the Technicians trained in the safest work practices?
  14. Do you have 24/7 service if something goes wrong?
  15. Have you given me choices so I can choose the solution that I believe fits my needs?
  16. Do you have a street address if I need to find you?
  17. Can I get a planned maintenance program on my home comfort system?
  18. How are you an active part of our community?
  19. Who will remove the debris and cleanup the work area after the job is complete?
  20. Are you and your Technicians familiar with my plumbing and heating systems?
  21. Is your office in or very near to my community?

Home Service Corp.When these questions are overlooked, the homeowner pays. Television programs like “Holmes on Homes” and investigative programs often highlight the consequences to homeowners who fail to check the contractors they hire. Many of the questions bring items to light that the low bidder cuts to save costs. The cuts affect quality, safety, and warranty for the homeowner. As the old commercial used to state, “You can pay now or you can pay later!” Legitimate contractors expenses are greater to provide you with safety, quality, and warranty on their repairs and installations.

We are always willing to share all the above information with you. Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

Instant Coffee…Instant Tea

Air Popcorn PopperIt seems there is a least one new gadget for the kitchen every year. Some have been around for a long time such as the blender and others have disappeared after only one Christmas season, such as the air popcorn maker, the pasta maker, or the rotisserie chicken oven. These gadgets promised better tasting more nutritional food. The promised convenience and time-saving. They promised to make you a gourmet cook. They were shiny and we were told everyone must have one of these. Well, let us suggest another gadget for your kitchen.

This gadget has been around for decades. It is small, doesn’t take up counter or usable cabinet space and those who have it use it daily. It operates automatically, doesn’t require washing, and saves energy. It is always ready to provide for the gourmet cook or casual user. It is available in a variety of styles and finishes to match your kitchen. It does not require polishing or cleaning after use and can perform a multitude of functions for the cook and family. It won’t create a mess with use. So you ask, “What is it?”.

It’s a gadget called an instant hot water dispenser. It mounts on your kitchen sink near the faucet. It is available is all the same popular finishes your faucets. It comes in several style to match your kitchen style. It mounts under the sink, at the rear wall of the sink cabinet up out-of-the-way. It does require a simple water hookup and an electrical outlet to plug into. Once installed it does not require maintenance and will often outlast the other appliances in the kitchen. An instant hot water dispenser is always ready for use.

How can it be used? The most common and marketed uses are for making coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. These are all great and convenient ways to use it. With new “instant” coffees such are Starbuck’s Via you can now have a gourmet cup quickly and without the mess of coffee grounds. For the tea drinkers, the ability to immediately have hot water is so helpful and time-saving. Of course we wouldn’t want to forget about little Johnnie or little Susie would we? You can have hot chocolate ready for them when they come in from a cool fall day of play or their walk home from school.Instant Hot Water Dispenser

There are numerous other uses for this little kitchen tool. Products such as instant soups, Mac and cheese cups, Ramen Noddles, and other such products can be prepared quickly and without muss or fuss. Also that baked on mess on the skillet or baking pan can be much easier to clean when very hot water is put into it. Other cleaning tasks can be simplified when you have very hot water available. Thawing out foods with very hot water can speed up meal preparation. Warming a baby bottle is easy. Rinsing out a cup with very hot water will clean it and take the chill off of it so your coffee will stay warmer longer. On a cold day a cup of hot water with or without a lemon wedge can warm you up with out calories and we are all encouraged by doctors to drink more water. If you add one to your kitchen, you will surely find other uses.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

OH-Oh! No Hot Water!

Water HeaterWe often receive calls from homeowners with gas hot water heaters who are without hot water. Like many appliances, your water heater will need occasional servicing to maintain peak performance. Sufficient air flow is crucial to the proper operation of your water heater. If the water heater is in a small tight area, a source air for combustion is needed. If the area around the water heater is large and a source for combustion air is available from the space, there may be other causes. The signs of restricted air for combustion are yellow flames, pilot outage, soot, unstable flame, or no hot water. Before starting any service or repair, consult the sections of your owner’s manual dealing with condensation, air requirements, gas supply, venting, and cleaning the air intake screen. Also, make sure that your heater is properly sized for your home. An undersized heater may result in condensation which can drip onto the flame causing a pilot outage.  Your water heater is built to the current industry safety standard and meets all FVIR (flammable vapor ignition resistant) requirements. This assures that any flammable vapors drawn into the combustion chamber and ignited cannot ignite remaining flammable vapors on the exterior of the heater causing a fire or explosion. This design includes a flame arrestor and one or two air intake screen(s). These screen(s) prevent larger particles of dust or lint from entering the heater, thus restricting air flow and causing improper combustion.  The owner’s manual asks you to visually check and clean the screen(s) as necessary.  Smaller particles may pass through these screens and lodge in the flame arrestor.Hot Water Burner Assembly

A second cause of many of these calls is a direct result of the hot water tank corroding and a leak developing in the tank. The appearance of water on the floor around the hot water heater is a visual symptom of a leak. It’s just time for a replacement.

Tankless heaters also require periodic maintenance. This includes deliming of the internal heat exchanger. This will be a more significant issue if you have a water supply with a high mineral content.

If you have an electric hot water heater, the answer could be a burned out heating element. There would not be water on the floor around the tank if an element has burned out.  There may also be a circuit breaker tripped or malfunctioning.

We are so used to just turning on the faucet and having hot water, that it’s a real surprise when the water flow is only cold. Most of these Issues require training and expertise to properly repair so be sure to call a professional. Our Technicians are factory trained to service all types of hot water heaters.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

Down The Drain

There has been a lot of talk about water usage in the United States. In some parts of the country water is a very limited resource. This is especially true in the Southwest, California, New York City, and Southern Florida. These areas have severe restrictions on water usage, often limiting outdoor usage to once a week for a few hours. There have been major changes in the residential water usage over the last several decades. These include faucets with restricted flow, shower heads with restricted flow, timers on lawn sprinkling systems, rain detectors on lawn sprinkler systems, water saving appliances, and of course low water needs for toilet flushing. Many toilets in the 1950’s required about 7 gallons to flush. That was reduced by government mandate and code changes to 3.5 gallons and in the last two decades to 1.6 gallons per flush. When the changes came to 1.6 gallons per flush, many of the toilets would not remove the waste or simple plugged up. This was a result of poor design and little research on how to create a toilet the consumer would find acceptable. Well in the wisdom of the government and with little thought to the existing plumbing systems in homes today, the water usage for flushing has been reduced again to 1.28 gallons per flush.

We have been watching these changes and with our field experience have found that the amount of water saved is not what the pencil pushers have expected. Also we have found more issues with systems plugging from waste left behind in the piping due to the low amount of water to move it through the system and into the municipal sewer systems.

Our experience shows that the toilets often need to be flushed twice to remove small bits of waste left behind. Some require scrubbing with a toilet brush to clean waste sticking to the surfaces because of less water in the bowl. Then the toilet needs to be flushed a second time. Neither of these situations saves water for the homeowner.

The other concern is the design and materials used in older plumbing systems. The materials used included cast iron and clay tile. The sizes were determined by the older style toilets which used upwards of 7 gallons per flush. Now with less than 1.3 gallons per flush, oversized pipe, and materials with rougher surfaces more issues with plugging are expected. This is particularly a concern for those systems that may have low spots in the drainage piping, tree root impingement, or long runs to the municipal sewers. On the other hand, those with septic systems may find their systems will last longer before a drainage field needs to be replaced since less water is flowing into those fields.

We are continuously field testing the various brands and models to provide a quality efficient product to our customers. Our experienced technicians can recommend the toilet that we have tested to provide our customers with a unit that will provide the best service and save dollars for you.

As the old Plumber used to say,  ”A royal flush beats a full house all the time.”

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.