Call the Plumber and Avoid a Nightmare

3 Tips For To Avoid Over Lubricating The Motors On Your Heat Pump

If you are having trouble heating or cooling your home, then the motors on your heat pump may not be working efficiently. If the motors on your heat pump are not lubricated regularly, then this will cause the pump to jam. In addition, over lubricating your motors can cause the pump to malfunction. Therefore, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure that the motors are always properly lubricated.

Check to see if You have a Permanently Lubricated Motor

A permanently lubricated motor is already pre-lubricated at the factory. This means that it contains its own oil storage that is designed to last the entire lifetime of the motor and it does not need to be manually lubricated. The a permanently lubricated motor can be accessed through the sealed bearings. However, if you mistakenly add oil to a permanently lubricated motor that is perfectly healthy, then this can damage the motor and lead to problems with your heating system. If you believe that your permanently lubricated motor needs oil, then you should hire a plumber to help you take a look at it.

Start off with a few Drops of Oil

It is easier to add more oil to under lubricated heat pump motors than it is to remove oil from motors that are over oiled. As a result, you should only place a few drops of oil into the oil ports located around the motor. The oil ports are little openings that are covered by caps. A few drops are usually enough to properly coat the motors, but you can turn on your heat pump to ensure that the oil is adequate. If you hear a humming sound, this is an indicator that the motors need more oil. The heat pump should run smoothly and should be noise-free.

Pre-measure the Oil before Pouring

You can avoid over-oiling the motor by pre-measuring your oil before pouring it into the oil ports. You can place a small amount of lubricant into a cap and use the cap to transfer the lubricant. It may be tempting to pour a large amount of oil directly into the oil ports to ensure that they are properly coated. However, this will actually end up hurting the motor and can cause it to overheat.

Keeping the motors on your heat pump properly lubricated is essential in order for your heat pump to function properly. Use these tips to ensure that the motors on your heat pump remain in working condition. For assistance, talk to a professional like Allright Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Sump Pump Switches

A sump pump is a vital tool in homes with basements or basement areas that would experience flooding during snow melts or heavy rain. The pump installed in the lowest part of the basement pushes any incoming water back out of the home. Sump pumps can protect basements from water damage and dangerous mold buildups.

Choosing the right sump pump depends on a variety of factors, but one of the key decisions is the type of switch, which acts as a float to tell the pump when it needs to run. Each type has its own pros and cons and if you remain unsure of the best choice for your home, consult your local plumber for more tailored advice.


A vertical switch on a sump pump operates similarly to the float assembly on your toilet. There is a switch backed with an arm that has a float on its other end. When the water gets high enough to move that float, the pump switches on and gets rid of the water. The pump switches off when the water level drops the float back down to its lowest setting.

Benefits of vertical switches include affordability and ease of both installation and replacing parts later on. The switch does have its limits, however, and this type of pump is really only good for a smaller flood area as water that is too deep can quickly overwhelm the float and stop the pump.


Pedestal sump pumps are taller units that are better for deep flooded areas than the shorter, wider models. Pedestal pumps usually have a tethered switch, which is essentially a vertical switch setup that dangles down from the pump rather than affixing directly to the pump’s side like the vertical unit.

Tethered switches are similarly easy to install and repair. The height of the pump itself means you don’t need to worry about electrocution if wiring becomes exposed as the pump is well above water.

But the height also means that the dangling float might not always activate fully or properly.  The force of the water rising can also cause the float to become tangled around the pump or itself.


Diaphragm switches don’t use a float as a trigger. Instead, the pressure of the water rising directly triggers the switch to turn the pump on. When the water level falls below the switch, the pump turns off.

The switch on the pump is set low on the unit by necessity and you can’t readjust the height of the switch after you buy the unit. Ask your plumber about the proper switch height for your basement drainage needs so you don’t have to make a return trip to the store later. Diaphragm switches are best for smaller drainage areas.

For more information, visit websites like

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Fixing A Leaking Drain: A Simple Sink Repair That You Can Do Yourself

Unlike a task such as water heater repair, in which a simple shift of a hood vent could spew deadly carbon monoxide into your home, sink repairs such as fixing a leaking drain can often be performed by the average homeowner. 

All you need is an adventurous spirit, an above average tolerance for exposure to smelly, unpleasant substances, and some minor contortionist skills for working under the sink.


Follow these instructions:

If your sink is leaking from the drain, you will need to replace the gasket beneath the sink and the plumber’s putty between the drain and the recess in which it sits.

The drain gasket is a flat rubber ring that is secured to the bottom of the sink by a large metal nut. When you go to the home improvement store to purchase the gasket, be sure to get a residential gasket, rather than a commercial gasket. Residential gaskets are uniform in size, so you don’t need to look for a specific size. Pick up a small tub of plumber’s putty while you are there.

To remove the sink drain, you will loosen the plastic expansion nut that secures the drain pipe to the sink trap below it. You’ll need an adjustable wrench or locking adjustable pliers. After you loosen the expansion nut, loosen the larger steel nut directly below the sink drain. This should only be hand tightened, so no tool is needed to remove it. Leave the large nut on the sink trap below.

When the larger nut is removed, the drain and drain pipe can be lifted from the sink. You will notice a ragged ring of degraded and watery putty inside the recess of the sink. All of this old putty will need to be removed from the recessed area of the sink and the bottom of the sink drain itself. It smells as unpleasant as it looks, so be prepared. Some of the firmer portions of old putty may put up a resistance to being removed.

After all of the putty is cleaned away, you will take some new putty from the tub and roll it between your palms to form a bead that is about one quarter inch in diameter. If you are wearing plastic gloves from the old putty removal, you will need to remove them first, because the new putty will stick to them. Plumber’s putty has a slight smell that is not altogether unpleasant, and it has the consistency of modeling clay.

When the bead of putty is formed, place it inside the recessed area of the sink until the entire circle around the drain hole is filled. You will then place the drain pipe through the sink drain opening and place the rubber gasket over the drain pipe, and push the drain pipe until it is inserted into the sink trap opening below. Press the drain against the ring of putty until putty begins to appear around the edges of the drain.

Place the rubber gasket against the bottom of the sink drain, then retrieve the large nut from around the sink trap and lift it to the threaded connection on the bottom of the sink drain. Hand tighten the nut until it secures the gasket against the bottom of the sink. Don’t use a wrench because you could damage the sink.

Tighten the plastic expansion nut at the top of the sink trap with a wrench. Using a plastic knife, cut away the excess putty from around the sink drain.

Turn on the sink and take a look below. You have now risen to the rank of amateur plumber.

If the task of repairing a leaky drain seems to involved for you, contact a plumber like those at Rapid Rooter Of Central Oregon.

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Simple Solutions to Household Drain Issues

Every homeowner at some point will have a problem with the drains in their home. If you’re handy enough, you can solve most of them yourself, but for larger issues, it may be best to leave things to a professional. For those small problems, though, you can try to handle them yourself to help save you some money on a service call. See below for some drain issues you may run into as a homeowner and how to fix the problem.

Smelly Drain

Bad smells from a drain can be from food particles being stuck in the drain or from grease and oils that have been poured down the drain in your kitchen. Your bathroom drain can get smelly too from toothpaste, shaving cream, hair and other items being sent down the drain. You can clear up that bad smell with a few tools. You’ll need a small wire brush and about 4 cups of boiling hot water. Use the small wire brush to pull up any gunk that may be stuck in the drain, then pour boiling hot water in 2 cup increments down the drain to help disinfect it. This should help clear up the smell.

Gnats in the Drain

Those little gnats flying around your house may be fruit flies, but they can also be drain gnats. These gnats come up from the sewer and lay eggs in the gunk around your drain. If not taken care of, you’ll be flapping your hands around your face constantly trying to get those gnats away from you. To banish the gnats you’ll need some bleach and a gallon of boiling water. First, slowly pour bleach around the sides of your drain. Use about a cup at a time. The smell may be a little overpowering, so you may want to use a mask. Once you have the bleach down the drain, follow it up with boiling water two cups at a time. Continue with the boiling water until it’s gone. To help get rid of any gnats around your home that have already made their way up from the drain, set fly traps, take out the garbage often, and get rid of any fruit sitting out. 

Clog in the Drain

If you notice the water in your sink draining slowly or not at all, you may have a clog in your drain. You can try a store-bought drain-clearing product to see if that clears up the problem. The only issue with such a product is that it can eat away at older metal pipes. If this is a concern, turn the water off to that sink and take apart the drain pipes using a pipe wrench. The clog is most likely at the p-trap (the part of the pipe that dips lowest), so take apart this area of the pipe drain first. Be sure to have a bucket in place as well as some old rags, as some water may still be in the pipe. Clear out the clog in the p-trap or in the pipe closest to the wall using a small wire brush, then put the drain pipe back together.

These simple solutions can all be done yourself. If you run into a bigger problem, such as drainage issues outside at your main drain or roots in your sewer lines, it may be best to call out a professional plumber

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4 Ways To Care For Your Water Heater

Your water is one of the most important appliances in your house. Without it, you would not be able to take those warm, comforting showers on cold winter days. That is why you must make the effort to take proper care of this appliance. Neglecting to maintain your water heater can result in high water bills and costly repairs. Here are four effective ways to care for your water heater:

Use an Insulating Blanket

When the temperatures drop below freezing, your water heater can lose a lot of heat, especially if your home is not insulated well. All that heat loss can result in very expensive energy bills. If you just wrap an insulating blanket around your water heater, it will prevent heat from escaping out of the appliance. This blanket can also extend the life of your water heater.

Flush Out Sediment Buildup

Sediment will accumulate on the bottom of your water tank over time, and it is important to flush it out regularly. If you never remove this sediment, it will corrode the bottom of the tank and force your water heater to work harder than it needs to. After you have turned off your water heater, DIY Network suggests attaching a garden hose to the drain valve. To reduce pressure in your water heater, open up the closest hot water faucet. Then, open up the drain valve so that water can come out. Turn on the cold water supply and power up your water heater.

Get It Inspected Regularly

Even if your water heater is fairly new, you should get it inspected by a trained plumber every year. An experienced plumber will inspect every component of your water heater to make sure it is working properly. For example, he will inspect the burner assembly and check for leaks. If the plumber finds a problem with your water heater, he can fix it before it turns into a bigger issue. Spending the extra money on annual inspections can help you save money on repairs down the road.

Get Rid of Clutter

If there is tons of clutter surrounding your water heater, you are asking for trouble. First of all, clutter can prevent your water heater from getting the oxygen it needs, decreasing its efficiency and damaging its components. If there is too much clutter around your water heater, it can also make it more difficult to spot leaks.

If you follow these helpful tips, you can keep your water heater in excellent shape and extends its life. However, if you ever encounter a problem with your water heater, contact a plumber right away.

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Four Improvements You Will Want To Do When Repairing Your Basement After A Flood

If your basement has been flooded, cleaning up the mess can be a frustrating process. When you put things back together, you will want to do whatever you can to minimize the damage if it happens again. Doing improvements to your basement, such as adding a foundation drainage system and using water resistant materials can help. Here are some of the top improvements that you will want to do when repairing your basement after a flood:

1. Installing A Foundation Drainage System To Deal With Water And Moisture

There are many things that can allow water to get into your basement. It can be due to serious problems like foundation damage or it may be something like condensation. Condensation can happen on the foundation walls, which will cause moisture in your basement. A foundation drainage system in your basement will help you deal with any water that gets into your basement.

2. Choosing The Right Materials To Finish Your Basement And Make It Waterproof

When you finish your basement, it is also important to consider the type of materials that are used to finish it. These can be materials that are water resistant, such as vinyl, epoxy or concrete flooring. You may also want to consider basement wall finishing systems and composite materials for doors and trim in your basement.

3. Protecting Your Foundation With Good Grading Design And Exterior Drainage

The exterior grading of your home is also important to protect against water damage. You will want to have a design that allows water to drain away from your home. If you live in an area with high rainfall, you may want to have a gravel drainage system installed, which can resemble a flower bed to make it less noticeable.

4. Updating And Improving Plumbing Systems To Prevent Water Problems In The Basement

Plumbing remodeling can also help to protect your basement. Some of the improvements that can help include one-way valves for plumbing drains. You may also want to add improvements, such as shut off valves and foundation drainage that includes a sump pump and well to handle excess water and moisture in your basement.

These are some of the repairs that you will want to do when repairing your basement after a flood. If your basement has been flooded and you need help cleaning up the mess, contact a plumbing contractor to get help updating your plumbing and drainage.

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High Heating Bill? Why Your Furnace Might Need To Be Serviced

You may begin to notice that your home has much higher energy bills. You try to turn down the heat, but you already have it as low as it will go without the temperature dropping to very uncomfortable levels. This ongoing problem might be the result of your HVAC system being defective.

The Filter Needs to Be Replaced

If you do not change your filter regularly, the filter will become clogged and will cause your heater to become less efficient. Some filters need to be completely replaced, while others can be removed and cleaned before replacing them.

The Duct Need to Be Sealed

Your higher heating bills might be the result of your air ducts needing to be sealed. Your ducts are releasing hot air that is not entering the rooms where it is needed. This forces your furnace to work harder to generate the necessary heat, which raises your heating bill.

The Thermostat Isn’t Wired Correctly

Another issue is when the thermostat is wired incorrectly. This can cause the HVAC system to heat and cool at the same time, which can be very counter-productive. When the AC is running in the winter, you might not notice because the hot and cold air is mixed together, so you won’t notice cold air coming out of your vents. A faulty thermostat could also cause your HVAC to incorrectly read the temperature in the ambient air, working harder to raise the temperature above what you set on the thermostat. If you notice that your home is uncomfortably hot even though you did not raise the thermostat, this may be the problem.

The Furnace Needs More Frequent Repairs

If the heater is 20-years-old or older, it may be reaching the end of its life and you may need to replace it. Other warning signs of a heater that is about to go include having some rooms that are hotter or colder than others, the furnace cycling on and off more frequently, a furnace that rattles and produces other noises, an excessive amount of dust, soot and other particles produced by the furnace and signs of rust or cracking. If you are frequently making repairs, you might be within two years of your furnace completely breaking down. Rather than be left without one, it is better to purchase a new one. However, if the heater is younger, a heating repair technician, such as Encore Mechanical Inc., can diagnose and repair your heater. Your energy savings will offset the cost.

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