What You Need to Know About Your Main Water Line

main water line

Clean, fresh water is essential in our daily life. Problems, particularly ones concerning health, can arise without clean water flowing into your home. To ensure that the water flowing into your home is healthy and drinkable; your main water line needs to be in good condition. The water line installed in your home should be very strong and built to last for years. However, no matter how strong the water line is, other factors can cause damage. These include corrosion, tree roots and the type of pipe used depending on how old is your home.

You don’t need to be a plumber to identify if your main water line is defective. Understanding a few basics will help to know if it needs replacing or repaired.

Following are some warning signs to look for:

  • Low water pressure. A drop in water pressure could mean a leaking water line and that you are losing water. Although several factors can cause low water pressure, a leak in the water line is one of them.
  • Discoloration of water. Rust-brown color in your water is another warning sign of a defective main water line. Factors that can cause the water discoloration include soil and dirt entering the water line, which means your water line has cracks and/or corrosion. Poor soil conditions due to high chloride content and low soil resistivity can corrode the pipes from the outside leading to leaks and contamination.
  • Wet areas on your lawn. Wet areas on your lawn, even if it didn’t rain, could mean leaking water underneath the surface of your lawn. This is coming from a crack in your water line. Check this immediately to prevent flooding on your lawn.
  • Increased water bill. An unusual or significant increase in your water bill, although there are no additional consumptions, signifies a problem in your water line. Have this checked to determine it is time to replace or repair your main water line?

 

What can damage your water lines?

  • Extreme weather changes. Extreme weather changes can damage your main water line. A 10-degree change, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, can cause cracks in the water line. This is because the pipes become fragile when the temperature gets below 40oF. Alternatively, the ground freezes if air temperatures are at or below freezing point. It takes one or two days after the freezing temperature before the water line can break because the water temperature requires more time to decrease compared to air temperature.
  • The age of the pipes. Older pipes are prone to cracking. In a study conducted by the Buried Structures Laboratory of Utah State University, they found that almost a quarter of all U.S. water mains are over 50 years old. These pipes are generally made of steel, clay or tile, materials that are susceptible to deterioration or corrosion over time.

 

Being observant and checking for warning signs will help you to know when your water line needs a replacement or repair. Water line repair is something that should be done by the experts. Call the plumbers at American Air if you are experiencing a problem with your main water line.

6 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to LED Lights

led lightsLight-emitting diode (LED) is a solid-state lighting device that uses a semiconductor to create light. It is a kind of light that generates light output by utilizing electroluminescence, a material that releases light when electricity crosses it.  LED light fixtures are very popular because they are much more efficient and economical at converting electricity into light. They are easy to replace, more reliable and are available in a variety of colors.

Here are some great reasons why you should upgrade to LED Light Fixtures

  • Illumination. Compared to the standard fluorescent and incandescent halogen lights, LEDs are very reliable and efficient at transforming electricity into visible light output. To convert visible light, incandescent lights use less than 5% of energy and use the remaining 95% into thermal radiation. Ordinary LEDs have more than 90 lumen per watt of energy consumed while ordinary fluorescent bulbs have an efficacy 60 lumen per watt of energy consumed and ordinary incandescent bulbs have an efficacy of 16 lumen per watt of energy consumed.
  • Light Color. Unlike incandescent lights, LED light fixtures produce light in a fairly range of color spectrum. Various colors are achieved by changing the semiconductor material used. Regardless if the LEDs are for residential, industrial/commercial, and automotive use, the color is gauged by Kelvin temperature. This relates directly to the color released at that specific temperature range.
  • Dependable. LED bulbs are very dependable and do not require any maintenance. They last up to over 40,000 operating hours. This means there is less time changing faulty lights, giving you big savings, particularly the commercial or industrial users that leave their lights on 24/7 all year through.
  • Energy-Efficient. LED lights save you on energy costs. Do not be discouraged if LED lights seem expensive. The initial investment can be a bit pricey, but the return on investment will definitely make up for it. You can see it within 18 months from the date of upgrade.
  • Easy to Replace. LEDs have a simple design, making them easier to replace. Some manufacturers have LED lights that resemble the original dimensions of bulbs. These are the PAR series LED lights and E26 medium LED lights. The E26 lights can directly replace the original bulb.
  • Safe. LED bulbs do not get as hot as regular light bulbs do; causing less fires and making them safer for your home and your family.

 

Remember, however, that some replacement LED lighting fixtures are not direct replacements. The T8 LED tubes can replace fluorescent lamps but need some moderate adjustment. If you need advice on how to replace your halogen and fluorescent lamps, contact the certified electricians at American Air.

Use a UV Germicidal Light to Kill Allergens

UV-germicidal-lightIndoor air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has a huge impact on human health. You can use UV germicidal lights to kill allergens and has been proven effective in improving indoor air quality.

Indoor pollution like outdoor pollution is harmful. In fact, the EPA stated that pollution indoors could be much higher than pollution outside. Even if you keep the windows closed and clean frequently; indoor air pollution (germs) can still exist and cause asthma and/or allergy symptoms.

As the airborne germs are blown past the air conditioning filter or furnace, they circulate throughout your home or building and adversely affect the quality of indoor air. For better indoor air quality, food processing plants, hospitals, laboratories, and other public facilities are encouraged to use ultraviolet lights (UV). The U.S. General Services Administration Office of the Chief Architect  Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings incorporated UV in The Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings.

Several health studies show the effectivity of UV germicidal lights against mildew, mold, fungi, viruses, spores, and bacteria. As far as airborne allergens are concerned, ultraviolet light helps in preventing secondary allergy by reducing the symptoms. There are two methods of using UV germicidal lights to control the quality of indoor air: upper-room air, and in-duct ultraviolet germicidal irradiation.

Here are 7 reasons why to use a UV germicidal light.

  • Controls molds and bacteria
  • Reduce smells and odors
  • Reduce colds and flu because it prevents the germs from re-circulating.
  • Remove volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Reduces clogging in crystallized pipes lines where algae has grown
  • Mostly recommended for use in areas with humid climates
  • Always have a cleaner coil to improve the cooling efficiency and to reduce electricity costs.

 

If you are interested in more information about UV germicidal light fixtures; or if you’re interested in having some installed in your home or building, call American Air today!

Space Heaters are NOT The Safest Choice

space heaterSpace heaters are one of the most convenient ways to heat up a room. These types of heaters, particularly the smaller ones, are commonly used when the central heating system is too expensive to operate or when the main heating system is insufficient. They help boost room temperature, without having to heat the whole home.

However, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. The Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group stated that space heaters are responsible for over 25,000 home fires occurring every year, leading to at least 6,000 emergency room visits.  

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPE) said that around one-third of home fires occur during the cold months. NFPE confirmed that most of these fires are due to space heaters. This is between the months of December and February, where we need the heater to warm the home. Some cities have prohibited the use of several types of portable space heaters.

Here are some precautionary tips to prevent fires caused by space heaters:

  • Always buy safety-tested and UL-approved space heaters.
  • Check the unit. Make sure it has heating element guards and an emergency tip-over shut-off feature.
  • Read the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions on operation and care.
  • Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly prior to using a space heater.
  • Keep the space heater clean. Make sure it is in good working condition before using it. Have it checked by a heating service provider on a regular basis.
  • Install your space heater on level, sturdy, non-flammable floor and in areas with lesser traffic. Do not place it on countertops, furniture, rugs, or carpets.
  • Keep your space heater away from flammable items like sofas, curtains, blankets, as well as from combustible liquids like paint, spray cans, and fuels. Observe a 3-feet distance between the space heater and these items.
  • Do not use a space heater to dry towels or clothes, to cook food or even to thaw pipes.
  • Avoid overloading your circuits. Plug the space heater in a dedicated circuit, not in the same circuit used for other appliances. Do not ever attempt to plug a space heater in an extension cord.
  • Turn off the space heater immediately if you plug it in a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and it trips. Call a professional heating service provider to check the unit. A serious shock could happen if you do not.
  • Always turn off the space heater when no one is in the room or when going to bed. Leaving the space heater unattended is dangerous.
  • Do not allow your children or pets to go near a space heater. Serious shocks or burns can result if they can accidentally touch the unit.
  • Do not use old space heaters. Replace them with newer. and safer models.
  • Always check with your local fire department before buying or using any type of space heater to find out if it is legal or approved in your area

 

Space heaters may be convenient; however, they are not the safest choice. Make sure to follow these safety precautions when using one.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

frozen-pipesWhat causes pipes to freeze? During the cold months, the water that comes into your house from outside much is colder than it was during the summer months. Pipes contract because of the cold water and this usually results in small cracks or leaks in the weakened parts of the pipes. Water in a crack will expand if it freezes, causing the pipe to burst. This could cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

There are no practical methods to heat up the ground temperature surrounding your home. Moreover, you have no way of controlling the contraction caused by the cold water to your pipes and stopping the leaks when the temperature drops. The best thing you can do is to check your pipes for any leaks as soon as the temperatures change.  

Prevent Frozen Pipes

To prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting, follow these tips.

  • Lines located near a window or an outside wall are prone to freezing. Check your basement and look for any lines near the exterior of your home. Direct warm air to the colder areas of the home, where the pipes are located.
  • Always run one or two faucets slowly if the outside temperature is extremely cold. Especially if the heat were to go out in your home. The pipes will not freeze when water moves through it.
  • Kitchen sinks are usually on an outside wall. Leave your cabinet doors open to let warm air into the cabinet. Leave your kitchen faucet on during extremely cold weather.
  • Detach your hose from the outside faucet. Water will not drain out of the hose hydrant or silcock if the hose is left attached to it. This results in frozen pipes and rupture.
  • Keep your pipes warm during extremely cold weather by installing heat tapes around the pipes.
  • Always check the temperature in any areas of your home where the pipes are located during cold weather. The temperature should not drop below 32 degrees.
  • Check your home for any leaks that permit cold air to enter. Inspect the areas around dryer vents, electrical wiring, and pipes. Use insulation or caulk to seal the leaks and to keep the cold from getting into your home. Cold air can go into your home even through a tiny opening when the weather is severely cold, leading to frozen pipes.
  • Call a licensed plumber to examine your pipes. Ask advice on how to prevent frozen pipes.

 

If you have any questions about preventing your pipes from freezing and bursting, call American Air for a consult.