The Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

The Plumbing Maintenance Checklist

  • Plumbing
plumbing maintenance

Conducting a routine plumbing maintenance check allows you to detect plumbing problems before they escalate into expensive repairs. The maintenance checklist provided below, if followed, will help you with the care and upkeep of your plumbing system:

  • You need to keep your pipes from freezing by using the shut off valve. Forgetting to use this valve could result in non-stop water flow. You should also drain the outdoor spigots and water connections. Draining the water is essential for preventing standing water from freezing. Freezing pipes can cause the shut-off valve and the fixture to break.
  • Your irrigation system needs to be turned off to protect your pipes. For best results, you should winterize this system before the weather starts to get cooler.
  • Dry out your hoses and store them in a dry area to prevent them from being damaged. Do not store the hose if it is damaged. If your hose has a leak, then repair it or replace it before further damage occurs.
  • Pipe insulation is essential to efficiency. It will save money on bills, decrease heat loss, and prevent your pipes from freezing. Different types of pipe insulation include foam insulation, elastomeric foam, fiberglass pipe covers, and spray for insulation.
  • Blown-in insulation can be applied to floors, walls, and attics. This type of insulation is becoming a popular option because it improves performance and takes the least amount of time to settle.
  • Exposed pipes are the most vulnerable to freezing. Plumbing pipes that lie in unheated areas, including garages and crawl spaces, are more susceptible to freezing and can cause other plumbing problems, including bursting pipes.
  • Pipe bursts are a common problem during cold weather, especially when homeowners are on vacation. When you are traveling, your home’s water needs to be turned off completely. One faucet should be left to a slow drip to avoid busted pipes. The minimal difference in your water bill is certainly worth the avoided expense of repairs and replacement of water-damaged items.
  • Plumbing repairs are time sensitive. Be sure to make the necessary repairs to your pipes as soon as possible. Pipes expand and contrast based on the temperature. A tiny leak can transform into a major problem in no time at all.
  • If you are the owner of a sump pump, then the pit needs to be cleaned. If the pit is left unattended, it could freeze and be useless when you need it the most.
  • Water heaters, especially old ones, need to be drained so that rust does not become an issue. This rust can contaminate your water for drinking, bathing, and cooking.
  • Exterior cracks let air in the home and create a draft. Drafts can make your heating system work overtime to heat the entire home, putting a strain on the motor.
  • The drainage areas around your home should not be clogged. Indications of clogged drains include bubbling sinks and issues with toilet flushing.

What Can Happen Without a Proper Checklist?

Without a proper plumbing maintenance checklist, you risk enduring a lot of household issues that can be simply avoided. Frequent drain clogs and lack of steady hot water are only a couple of inconveniences that will confront you. A lack of steady hot water can make bathing, cleaning, and cooking a hassle. Frequent drain clogs force you to take time away from your family and activities. Finances are a major part of this situation. Without a proper checklist to follow, you risk the chance of high utility bills and water damage. Consistent leaks cause your water bill to skyrocket. Leaking pipes can cause water damage throughout the home, making your home more difficult to sell or forcing you to sell at a lower proper value.  Without routine maintenance, pipe leaks can go undetected, and your drinking water can be compromised.

The Benefits of Routine Plumbing Maintenance

Routine plumbing maintenance benefits a homeowner by improving fixture efficiency and providing a surplus of hot water that can be used for various purposes without interruption. Other benefits include a decrease in bill expenses and avoiding costly water damage restoration expenses. Your pipes and fixtures will be subject to less damage and have a longer lifespan. 

You will not have to worry about the replacement of fixtures and pipes for years at a time. If you plan on selling your home, then you can sell at a higher value because the home is up to code with the plumbing, and the home is deemed safe. There is nothing better than having peace of mind; you can rest easy knowing that your home is safe and that your water is not contaminated.

Many homeowners believe that they can cut corners to save money, but they are only prolonging problems, which will cause them to spend more money in the long run. The best thing to do is to create a checklist and to set times to use it. It is in your best interest to conduct a plumbing maintenance check before spring and before winter to ensure peak pipe performance.

Have any questions about your plumbing system? Call McHale’s Today!

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By McHales

6 Reasons to Call for Boiler Maintenance in Pennsylvania

6 Reasons to Call for Boiler Maintenance in Pennsylvania

  • Heating
boiler maintenance in Pennsylvania by McHale's

We only have one month until winter begins, and we’ve covered most of the important work you need to do. Last month we helped you shut down your AC and its condenser, and then we advised you on getting a furnace tune-up. However, some homeowners use a boiler to heat their homes. If that’s the case, we suggest calling us to schedule boiler maintenance for your Pennsylvania home. It’s even more important to keep your boiler healthy than with furnaces because boilers can explode if they fail. There are plenty of other reasons to have us keep your boiler in good shape.

Here are six reasons you should call McHale’s to help you with boiler maintenance for your Pennsylvania home:


Extend your boiler’s life

Boilers can be an expensive investment, so it’s a good idea to keep yours healthy. Regular maintenance work can extend your boiler’s lifespan and help you get the most out of your purchase. Keep your boiler well-maintained, and it can run for up to ten to fifteen years.


Follow local boiler laws

Boilers are one of the more dangerous things you can buy for your home. That’s why there are often local laws that require boiler-owners to get regular maintenance and inspections, usually once or twice a year. Failing to follow these laws will result in fines, not to mention your boiler will be in bad condition. Laws like these are meant to encourage safety, so be sure to get your regular maintenance scheduled from experts like the ones at McHale’s.


Keep your warranty valid

Boiler manufacturers often have a stipulation in their product’s warranties requiring their owners to give them regular service. If you don’t follow the stipulations, the warranty will become void, denying you any payment in the event of a breakdown.


Lower energy costs

Boilers are one of the more power-hungry heating systems you can buy. On an annual basis, only HVAC systems use more energy. However, regular boiler maintenance can cause it to use less energy and save you around 10% on your energy bills. 


Boost its energy efficiency and reliability

Boilers are complex machines, and some of their parts can wear down quickly. When you call us for boiler maintenance, we can change out any parts that are getting ineffective. This will save you money in the long run by letting your boiler do more with less energy. Also, a healthy boiler is less likely to break down, saving you from paying for repairs.


Protect yourself and your family

A running boiler is great for heating your home, but it makes carbon monoxide as a side effect. That’s why boilers have an exhaust pipe to safely vent the deadly and odorless gas outside. However, damaged boilers may get leaky exhaust pipes that will let carbon monoxide into your home. Also, in extreme cases, faulty, run-down boilers can explode. This makes giving them proper care a high priority.


What makes McHale’s the area’s boiler company of choice?

McHales, Inc. is a client-focused home service company that strives to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. John Sr. and Anna May McHale started the family business in 1950. Since that time we’ve provided our customers with prompt, dependable service at a reasonable cost. We use quality materials installed by skilled, courteous craftsmen. Now we are into our third generation in the business and we are still following John Sr.’s very simple philosophy ” We do what we say we’re going to do!”. That philosophy is still the backbone of the company today. Call McHale’s today to learn more about getting boiler maintenance for your Pennsylvania home!

By McHales

Maintaining your AC Between Professional Tune-Ups

Maintaining your AC Between Professional Tune-Ups

  • Air Conditioning
outdoor AC unit

Summer isn’t over yet! There’s still plenty of hot days left, so it’s important  to keep your air conditioner running properly. Routine maintenance is essential for keeping your AC working, but there are things that you can do in between professional tune-ups to make sure that your unit stays clean and efficient:

Inspect your AC

Before you start your AC right up, there are a few things that you should do. You can start by removing the cover and taking a peek at the outdoor unit’s panel. It’s designed to keep the electrical connections safe and hidden, so it needs to be in place to protect both you and the system. If you see any loose or broken connections, stop messing with it and call a professional.

Look for Damages

Look for any obvious signs of damage or wear and tear. For instance, the suction line is a large copper pipe on the outdoor unit that provides a refrigerant to the compressor. If the suction pipe has damaged insulation, there could be a loss of coolant to the outdoor unit. If you can see any areas of concern, call a professional to have it inspected and serviced.

Remove Built-Up Debris

Any system with an outdoor component should be kept clean and free of debris. be sure to remove any dirt or leaves that may have built up as well. It’s important to keep your AC free of obstruction or blockages- both inside and out. While gardening or mulching, avoid packing or planting anything around the base of the unit.

Replace Air Filters

Whenever the season changes, you should replace your indoor air filters. Especially after a long, cold winter where it’s likely that your indoor air filter will have gathered a lot more debris and dust than normal, you should be sure to change the filter before you need to use your AC.

Check the Drainage Hose

This hose is also called the “condensate line”. Since the coil’s temperature is lower than the air, water can lead to condensation. This water needs to drain, or the tray will fill up and flood the unit. If this happens, it can his can cause water damage and mold or mildew growth, so it should be taken care of immediately.

Turn on the Power!

After going through these steps, turn on your AC and see how it works! Check the air coming out of the vents for the first few minutes, and then every few hours throughout the day. A few minutes after startup, you should feel cool air coming out!

Call McHale’s today to schedule AC inspection or maintenance!

By McHales

Why You Need Sump Pump Maintenance

Why You Need Sump Pump Maintenance

  • Sump Pump
  • Uncategorized
Sump pump set up in a basement

When it comes to preventing flooding in your home, it doesn’t get much safer than having a sump pump. Typically, these water removal devices are located in the basement or other below-ground levels in a home or business because they are the most susceptible to flooding. They collect water in a sump basin, and push it safely away so water can’t pool in the lower parts of a structure. 

After your sump pump is installed, it’s important that they receive some professional TLC every once in a while. During winter and spring when rainfall is more likely, they work overtime to prevent flooding. Water damage is not only expensive to repair, it can be a potential health risk for you and your loved ones. Knowing that your sump pump is in top shape will give you peace of mind as a homeowner. Here are ways that you can help to maintain the one working in your home. 

How Much Do You Know About Your Sump Pump?

It’s important for you to know a little about the sump pump working to keep your home flood free. The two most common types are submersible and pedestal pumps. A submersible pump is located in a sump well and is capable of working under water. It has a float that signals to the pump that water needs to be pushed away from the home. Pedestal pumps have floats too, but they are situated above the well.

Though specifics may vary between models, they are all designed to do the same thing. Perhaps the most important part of a sump pump is the battery backup. Sump pumps work using electricity. In order to be sure that they will continue to work in the event of an outage, a battery backup is necessary. 

Maintenance is Key 

Thankfully, flooding doesn’t happen every day. Because they aren’t needed on a daily basis, it’s possible that they end up lying dormant for a while. Regardless, you want to be sure that they’re ready to work when you need them. Here are a few things that you to check up on your sump pump from time to time: 

  • Make sure it’s plugged in and that the cord isn’t damaged or frayed 
  • Check the discharge pipe and ventilation for build up 
  • Remove any debris you come across
  • Test your pump by adding water to the basin 
  • Make sure the battery backup is working

These are a few things that you can do on your own, but it’s important to know when you should call a professional. 

When to Call McHale’s

If your sump pump isn’t in working condition, you more than likely won’t know until you have a serious problem. In this light, getting your system evaluated as soon as possible is critical. Look for  these common sump pump problems:

  • Clogging in the pipes
  • Motor failure
  • Inadequate power for your home’s needs

McHale’s is here to help if your sump pump is experiencing problems. Only through routine maintenance can you be granted the peace of mind in knowing that your basement is protected by a functioning sump pump, so call in the experts today.

By McHales

Tips to Prepare Your Electricity For Spring

Tips to Prepare Your Electricity For Spring

  • Electrical
  • Uncategorized
Green wall with an outlet

Take a moment to think about how often you use electricity in your home. Every time you plug in an appliance, switch on a light or charge your phone. Because you use your electrical appliances so often, you should give it a little attention here and there to make sure everything is working as it should be. Here are a few tips to keep your electricity working properly and efficiently this spring.  

Spring Electrical Checklist

  • Check your outlets and switches. take a look at these from room to room in your home. Do you see any cracks, damages, or burnt spots? If so, they should be replaced. If any of them are noticeably loose, tighten them. Because they are connected to wires in your wall, repairs should be done by a professional. 
  • Check your cords. Are there any exposed cords or wires in your home? Check for any cracks or frays. These signs of wear and tear can cause shocks or electrical fires in your home. If you have extension cords, try to only use them as needed. 
  • Check your smoke and CO2 detectors. These are essential safety features that every home or business needs to have! For business, commercial, and residential properties, it’s a must. Battery operated models are available, but fire professionals recommend that you have hardwired ones installed. This way, when one alarm goes off, the rest will too. 
  • Check your ceiling fans. These electrical features are often overlooked. most people don’t know that there’s a problem until they stop working altogether. You can test their power and clean the blades. 
  • Check your AC. Your air conditioner should be ready to keep you cool all spring and summer long. Before it gets really hot outside, make sure that it’s working properly. If it needs repairs, now is the time to do it! 
  • Schedule your inspection. Last but not least, don’t forget to schedule your electrical inspection! Routine maintenance is key in preventing major issues down the line, as well as preparing your home for spring. 

What If You Need Repairs? 

If one of our McHale’s professional finds a problem with an electrical feature in your home, we’ll be able to fix it! Our licensed electricians will be able to help you from start to finish. Whether it’s a simple fix or an electrical emergency, call McHale’s. We’ve got you covered! 


By McHales