Changing Your Air Filter

Written By: City View Plumbing & Heating | Published On: 20th October 2016

You wouldn’t drive your car five years without changing the oil right? Many people know that changing the oil regularly in your car is vital to keep it running well. Some do not know that changing the air filter in your furnace is just as vital. In this post we will go over how to replace the filter for your furnace.

istock_000004376771medium1” Filters

  1. Turn your furnace off, the most common way is to turn the switch off at the furnace. If you do not have a switch at your furnace you can also turn the temperature down at your thermostat and wait for the furnace to be off.
  2. Once the power is off locate where your furnace filter is, sometimes it is written on the ductwork where the filter is. Most commonly your air filter is located in the return air duct on the side of your furnace.
  3. You should change a filter every 1-3 months, if you pull your filter out after three months and it has built up a lot of dust and pet hair you may want to change it more often, remember the filter is there to improve the air in your home and if it is clogged it cannot do its job properly.
  4. You can either write down the size or just bring the filter to any hardware store and they should have the same size. Or you can call us and we can set you up with a new case of filters.
  5. When installing the new filter remember to install it in the correct way. There will be an arrow on the filter indicating which way the air flows. This is often TOWARDS the furnace.
  6. Once the new filter is installed, put the cover back on the opening and turn your furnace back on.
  7. Congratulations you have just completed one of the most important routine home maintenance activities!

4” Filters

These filters are significantly larger than the 1” filters and therefore do not need to be changed as often. The procedure to change these filters is the same as the 1” filter but they only need to be changed every 3-6 months again depending on the quality of your air.

Washable Media

Some people may have an Electronic Air Cleaner or EAC. These EAC’s are very effective at cleaning the air by using current to charge the particles and cause them to stick to the EAC plates these need to be cleaned as often as a regular furnace filter, about every 1-3 months. They also have prefilters that need to be vacuumed and washed with a hose.

Water Softener Maintenance

Written By: City View Plumbing & Heating | Published On: 6th September 2016

Water Softener Maintenance

Water Softener maintenance is critical to maintaining the plumbing in your home. It also makes your skin feel softer, and soap work better. Many people forget to refill their salt tank, also called a brine tank, on a regular basis.  We suggest checking your salt level in your brine tank monthly or at least as often as changing the air filter in your furnace. There are only a few things you need to do to maintain your water softener in tip top shape.

  1. The first and most important thing you can do is maintain the proper salt level. We recommend that if you see water in the brine tank it is time to add salt. Too much salt isn’t always better either, all you need in your brine tank is one bag of salt above the water line in the tank. Generally, this is about 3/4 of the way full of salt. DO NOT FILL THE BRINE TANK ALL THE WAY UP. There are a few types of salt we recommend using salt pellets which are generally a higher purity.

Note: It is helpful to use a broom handle and gently push down on the salt to make sure a salt bridge, which is when the salt sticks together and doesn’t fall to the bottom causing a “salt bridge,” has not formed in the brine tank.

  1. A second important thing to do when filling the salt in your brine tank is to make sure that the clock is set to the correct time. Most water softeners are set to regenerate at 2 a.m. If the clock is not set to the right time it could lead to the water softener regenerating during the middle of the day.
  2. The last thing to do is check all of the connections on the water softener and make sure nothing is leaking including the drain where the water softener dumps into. Occasionally the water softener will get stuck in a mode and continue to dump water down the drain which is not only wasteful it can be costly.

As always if you are worried about anything give us a call and we can come over and walk you through the whole process.

Sump Pump Maintenance

Written By: City View Plumbing & Heating | Published On: 30th March 2016

Sump pumps, you always know spring is in the air when you hear them come on in your basement. Sump pumps are an easy piece of equipment to forget or neglect because they are hidden away in the dungeon of your sump pit in the basement. Fortunately sump pumps are nothing to be afraid of and can be your savior during a season of high rain.

Quick Pump Maintenance

  1. Sump pumps should be checked at least twice a year to confirm there is nothing wrong with them, they are the only thing standing between you and a wet basement.
  2. Remove the lid from your sump pump so that you can test it properly. Remember to hook the discharge pipe back up if you had to disassemble it to remove the lid otherwise you’ll have a geiser in your basement.
  3. Most sump pits have a bottom that are around 3-4 feet into the ground. After getting as much water out of the pit as possible clean the bottom of the tank which can tend to accumulate rocks and sand. This is really important as during large rains small rocks and sand can start to wreck the impeller in the bottom of the pump.
  4. After the tank is clear of debris, now you’ll want to test the float switch and confirm that it is working properly. You can either lift the float if it is a tethered or vertical style or you will have to fill the tank with a little bit of water to set off the other types of switches.
  5. Make sure that the check valve is working properly and that you have one. If the pump turns off and water rushes back into the bottom of the tank you are shortening the life of the pump. Adding a check valve within a few feet of the pump will drastically prolong the life of the pump.
  6. After everything is working in your basement go outside and check where your pump is discharge to. Try and aim the discharge away from your house as far as possible to get the water away from your foundation.

Four Types of Float Switches

  1. Tethered Float: This is used in a deeper and wider diameter basket it floats on top of the water and when the float goes fully vertical, because the tank is nearing full, it will turn the sump pump on. These most commonly use a plug through switch meaning you plug the pump into the switch and then into the wall.
  2. Vertical Float: These are fixed on the pump and once the float reaches a certain height it will turn the pump on. This type will keep a smaller amount of water in the tank but will run more often.
  3. Electronic Switch: These use probes to detect the height of the water in the basket. There is a high water one and a low water one to tell the pump when to turn on and off.
  4. Diaphragm Switch: This type of switch turns on when the water pressure in the tank is high enough to turn the pump on. If you have this style switch we suggest moving to a float style if possible or an electronic one as both of those are more reliable.

Or Just Give Us A Call

If you are not sure please give us a call and one of our expert technicians can come out and do a full check up on your sump pump and make sure it doesn’t let you down this season.