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Archive for June, 2018|Monthly archive page

Help make AC Run More Efficient / Service Entrance Conductor / Plumbing Soil Stack

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2018 at 11:06 am

Q:

What can I do to help make my air conditioning unit run more efficient?

A:

When it’s air conditioner time, it’s also time to do a little summer maintenance to allow your air conditioning unit to operate at its most efficient level, with the least amount of trouble. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Cut shrubbery away from the compressor, allowing about one foot of clearance.
  • Verify that electrical current at the compressor is off by removing the cartridge fuse or turning off the service safety switch.
  • Use a garden hose, spray off all lint and debris on the fins or louvers on the compressor intake side. This is best done by hosing the unit from the opposite end of the intake or, if possible, inside out.
  • After the unit has been cleaned, replace the cartridge fuse or safety switch to the “on” position.
  • Indoors, change the furnace filter (a dirty filter restricts air flow) and oil the furnace motor, if it requires periodic oiling.
  • Turn off, drain and clean the humidifier because leaving it filled with water will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner. Besides cooling, air conditioners also dehumidify the air. If you don’t drain the humidifier, the reservoir of water will add humidity and reduce efficiency.
  • If your system has a condensate pump, clean it and make sure it is operating properly by pouring water into the condensate pump pan until it operates. If you have a condensate drain tube leading to a floor drain or sump, secure it properly to eliminate moisture leaking on the basement floor. Before securing it, remove the tube or hose and blow through it to verify that it is unobstructed.

You’re no fool, if you stay cool and don’t skip school. (Just felt like throwing that in.)

Q:

Should I be afraid that the electrical wiring coming into my house is frayed?

A:

Very, very frequently I find that the service entrance conductor is frayed and bare wires are exposed in homes that I’m inspecting. The service entrance conductor is the cable on the exterior that brings power to your house. It originates at the pole belonging to the utility company. The energy company is responsible for this service drop (the cable from the pole to the house.)

Shocking, as it may seem, it is your responsibility to repair or replace the frayed electrical service conductor, while the utility company maintains the meter and the service drop from the pole to the service head.

Often, a lightly frayed cable can be taped with electrical tape. If it is too badly worn, it must be replaced. In either case a licensed electrician should do this job. You’re dealing with 220-volts, which can add more than just a permanent perm to your hair. We’re talking about electrocution, so hire an electrician.

Q:

What is a plumbing soil stack?

A:

What do blood pressure, taxes and a plumbing stack all have in common? They all go through the roof, but only the last one is suppose to. It’s called a soil stack or stack vent.

It takes methane gas and sewer gas from the plumbing system and safely vents it up and through the roof where it is diluted into the atmosphere.

Periodically, it can become plugged or the upper floor plumbing fixtures become obstructed at a main. In those instances, run an auger or long snake down from the vent till the obstruction is removed. Then flush it clear using a garden hose with the water turned on.

The boot or collar often dries out and cracks. Leaks can develop and rot the roof boards and ceiling below. You can tar around this pipe, but the tar also dries out. For fewer than ten dollars you can buy a stack sleeve that easily slides down the vent hugging it, while eliminating further leaks.

 

 

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