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Frequently Asked Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning questions & answers

Ask the Experts, Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting our FAQs page. We hope you'll find this information helpful. For additional information or for our 24/7/365 Emergency Service, please call us at (800) 435-6249
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Ask the Experts: Why A-Absolute?

Q: What separates you from other companies and why should we choose you?
A: A-Absolute is a customer service oriented business. In everything we do, our customers and the quality work we provide them comes first, whether it’s plumbing – heating – air conditioning or sewer & drain cleaning.

All of our professional technicians are dedicated to each of our customers and bring a positive work ethic to each job. At A-Absolute we believe in doing the work right the first time, and we do our best to leave each site as clean, if not cleaner than it was when we arrived. We know that you rely on the professionals to be just that, professional. When you call A-Absolute you can rely on us to get the job done right and that we will conduct ourselves in a manner that is professional and courteous.
For answers to all your Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Sewer & Drain Cleaning and Oil Tank Removal questions and emergencies, please call us at (800) 435-6249 . We look forward to serving you.

Ask the Experts: Plumbing

Q: I have a problem with water running, how can I stop it?
A: The best way is to shut off the water at the valve closest to the source of the problem. This would allow a functioning water system to the rest of the house. For faucets, toilets or similar fixtures there are shut off valves connected to the water supply usually located directly under the fixture that should be able to shut off that fixture. If that does not work, or if you don’t find the shut off valve, you can close the main shut off valve (near your water meter) which will shop the water flow to the entire home. Don’t let water cause any more damage to your home, give us a call right away for our 24/7 emergency service and we’ll get you leak-free running water, usually within the same day.
Q: Are Tankless water heaters worth putting in?
A: Tankless water heaters are often referred to as, "on-demand water heating," because they only produce hot water as the system demands, they do not store heated water. Traditional Storage tank-type water heaters raise and maintain the water temperature to the temperature setting on the tank. Since the water is stored, they constantly use utilities to maintain the set temperature. In addition to producing water on demand and thus using less power, tankless water heaters are usually eligible for substantial federal tax credits. See if a Tankless water heater is the right choice for you, Call A-Absolute today for your free consultation.
Q: Why does my water heater run out of hot water so quickly?
A: There may be nothing wrong with your water heater. It just might be that your faucets and showerheads are the problem. Older showerheads can put out up to 5 gallons per minute. Newer showerheads put out around 2.5 gallons of volume per minute. The problem can sometimes be solved by switching to lower volume showerheads and faucets. Another possible problem could be that your water heater’s dip tube may need to be replaced.
Q: Why is water leaking from my water heater?
A: The most serious cause of water leaks from water heaters is a rusted out tank, this would require you to replace the entire water heater. If your water heater is not near the end of the manufacturers’ life span, it could be a much simpler and less costly problem. The pressure relief valve, usually located at the top of the unit, could be leaking. The cause could be a loose or defective, or worn out valve. Your owner’s manual should have detailed information about repairing or replacing the valve. Call us at A-Absolute We’re here to help!
Q: Why does my toilet keep running?
A: If your toilet intermittently refills with water or if it sounds like it won’t stop running, the first place to check would be to see if the flapper isn’t seated properly. Over time, it can accumulate a thin layer of scale or a slippery film, which can cause the water seal to fail. If this is the problem, then cleaning or replacing the flapper will correct it. If that is not the cause, look at the lift chain to see if it’s kinked this is also an easy fix. If neither of these is the problem, you could have a worn out flush valve. A variety of replacement tank assembly kits can be found at any plumbing supply, hardware store, and most discount centers, and installation is fairly simple. We at A-Absolute are here to help you with all your plumbing needs, large or small, Just give us a call for your free estimate.
Q: My electric water heater is not heating, what’s wrong?
A: Very often, the cause is a tripped high-temperature cutoff, which can be easily corrected by pressing the reset button. If that doesn't get it working, it could be a faulty heating element. In which case, the element will need to be replaced.
Q: How can I be sure I’m getting the right size water heater for my home ?
A: There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration which include how many people there are in your household, the number of bathtubs and/or showers, whether you have a dishwasher, washing machine or whirlpool bathtub and the type of water heater (natural gas or an electric unit). Usually, a 40 gallon gas water heater is sufficient for the needs of a family of 4. You should consider a 50-60 gallon model if the water heater is electric. A-Absolute offers free consultations to assist you in making sure you select the type and size water heater to meet your needs.
Q: What do the terms "hard water" and "soft water" mean?
A: "Hard water" is water that contains high levels of dissolved calcium and/or magnesium. One disadvantage of hard water is that it forms deposits that clog plumbing. These deposits, called "scale", tend to be deposited as off-white solids on the surfaces of pipes and the surfaces of heat exchangers (heating, refrigeration, air conditioning), on appliances and fixtures and can adversely affect their performance over time. With hard water, soap solutions form soap scum instead of lather, which decreases the cleansing action of soaps and detergents we use in cleaning our dishes, clothing and in bathing. Depending on the level of minerals present in your water, you may want to consider installing a water softening system in your home. Water softeners essentially eliminate calcium and magnesium through interaction with sodium through a process called ion exchange. For more information or to find out if a water softening system is right for you, give us a call, we’re here to help!
Q: What causes my water pipes to rattle?
A: Rattling may be caused by water lines that are not properly isolated from the structural elements of your home. The motion of water moving through such pipes can be transferred to beams, studs, or joists in or beneath your flooring or walls. If you are able to access the noisy pipes, the solution may be as easy as placing insulating material between the pipes and the structural elements they touch. If the pipes only rattle when water is turned off or on, you may need to install a water hammer arrester, which eliminates the jolt caused by the water valves closing. This problem can be somewhat tricky to determine, you may find that calling the professionals at A-Absolute will save you time and frustration.
For answers to all your Plumbing questions and emergencies, please call us at (800) 435-6249 . We look forward to serving you.

Ask the Experts: Heating and Cooling

Q: Is My Air System Functioning Properly?
A: Maintaining the right temperature and humidity in your home is essential to good indoor air quality. Insufficient cooling can cause problems with mold and other airborne elements leading to allergies. Air duct maintenance cannot be overlooked
Q: Why should I consider replacing my heating or air conditioning system?
A: There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether to repair or replace an existing system. Depending on the type and age of the unit you currently have installed you may be able to save a significant amount of money by replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient unit.

Systems manufactured as recently as eight to ten years ago are up to 60% less energy efficient than systems on the market today. That means that, in many cases, a new unit can pay for itself in lower energy costs in a very short time.

If you are facing a large repair on an older system it might be a good time to replace the unit instead of simply buying a few more years on a system that will eventually need replacing. If financing a new unit, the monthly energy savings can usually offset a majority of the cost of a new system.
Q: How long should my new heating and air conditioning unit last?
A: Manufacturers provide different guidelines for the life expectancy of their various heating and air conditioning units. In general, under normal operating conditions and provided that routine maintenance is conducted in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines you can expect your new unit to deliver dependable service for 28 to 28 years.
Q: Is there any preventative maintenance I can do myself?
A: There are many maintenance tasks that you can do yourself, which can help keep your heating and cooling system at peak performance. Here are a few:
  • Inspect the air filter in your furnace or fan coil regularly (every 3 to 4 weeks). A dirty filter will cause your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump to work harder than it needs to and will decrease the unit’s effectiveness and increase energy consumption.
  • If the indoor coil is accessible, you should clean the top and underside using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft brush attachment. Be sure the coil is dry before you start cleaning for maximum effectiveness. If the coil is not completely accessible, you may need to call a professional to clean the coil.
  • Check the outdoor condensing unit to keep it free of dirt and debris. Be sure to also check the base pan under the unit and remove any grass clippings, leaves or other material that has collected to keep the unit draining properly.
  • Make sure your outdoor unit remains level. Some units at times will become unleveled due to shifts in the ground beneath it, which results in incomplete.
  • Be sure to inspect your heating unit annually. If you detect dirt, soot, or rust in the unit’s combustion or vent system, call a professional to diagnose and repair any problems to be sure your unit continues to operate safely and efficiently. Call us at A-Absolute if you need professional help.
  • At the beginning of every heating season, you should clean your humidifiers. Consult your owners’ manual for complete instructions on cleaning in the interior and exterior components. Replace the evaporator pad annually. If the water in your area is high in mineral content (hard water), you may want to consider adding a water-softening unit or cleaning your humidifier more frequently.
For answers to all your Heating and Air Conditioning, questions please call us at (800) 435-6249 . We look forward to serving you.

Ask the Experts: Sewer and Drain Cleaning

Q: What is a Rooter?
A: The term “Rooter” is a generic name for a drain-cleaning machine; it is also commonly called a plumber’s snake. Powerful machines use a long metal spring with special heads on the end that is spun into drain pipes to retrieve objects that are stopping up the drain pipes. Chemicals can be used in conjunction with snaking to help dissolve salts and other build-up in the pipes. This is not as effective as hydro jetting but it's usually less costly and quicker. Many times snaking is done prior to hydro jetting as a kind of “tow cable" to maneuver the hydro jetter through the pipes so that it can reach the right parts of the drainage system. There are many sizes and types of snakes as well as attachments. It's very important that the right size and type of equipment is used for the type and size of pipe(s) to be snaked as well as the type of stoppage. Call the professionals at A-Absolute, we’ll evaluate the problem and advise you of the best method for your needs and provide you with a free estimate. With our focus on great customer service and quality work at reasonable prices, we look forward to serving you.
Q: What is hydro jetting?
A: Hydro jetting is different from snaking or other types of drain cleaning and has to be done professionally. This method is similar to pressure washing because it is a hose specially designed for use inside pipes. The nozzles aim sideways and using water under extreme pressure, it blasts the sewer walls and drains scraping off everything that is stuck on the pipes and rinses it all down the line. The kind of water pressure that can clean your clogged drains usually has a pressure that is between 1500 to 4000 pounds per minute. This kind of water pressure will usually clear out the kind of grease, sand, and sediment that has built up in your drains and can cause your sinks and dishwasher to back up. If you feel that you have clogged pipes caused by something like grease, sand, and sediment, call the hydro jetting specialists at A-Absolute. We’ll get your lines clean and clear and in their best maintenance.
For answers to all your heating and air conditioning, questions please call us at (800) 435-6249. We look forward to serving you.

Ask the Experts: Oil Tank Removal

Q: Are residential underground oil tanks regulated?
A: The state does not regulate residential heating oil tanks that have no history of leaking, there may be some requirements on a local level since jurisdictional regulations vary. To find out if there are any regulations for heating oil tanks in your area you may contact your city or county officials or you can call us at A-Absolute for more information and options.
Q: Do I need to have my underground oil tank removed?
A: In most cases, residential heating oil tanks either can be removed or abandoned in place if there have not been any leaks. Contact the experts at A-Absolute to determine which option is best for your circumstances.
Q: Is it better to remove our oil tank or abandon in place?
A: The major disadvantage of tank removal versus abandonment is the disturbance of the grounds during the removal process. There are several significant advantages with having the oil tank removed. The tank and soil surrounding the tank would be inspected for any signs of leakage at the time of removal. If you are selling your home now or decide to list it in the future, it’s important to know that many interested buyers would be unable to get a mortgage and/or property insurance if the oil tank was abandoned in place. This would mean that you could potentially be paying for this issue twice if you had the tank removed to sell the property.
Q: What are the permits my township requires and how are they filed?
A: A-Absolute will file all job permits that are required in your area and arrange for the required inspections. The filing costs are included in the job quote and will be reflected on the final invoice.
For answers to all your Oil Tank Removal questions and emergencies, please call us at (800) 435-6249 . We look forward to serving you.