Author Archives: Patrick Chase Plumbing

What’s Wrong with My Gas Furnace?

Propane flame inside of gas boiler furnace

What Can Cause a Furnace to Stop Working?

What’s wrong with my gas furnace? There are a number of reasons why a furnace would stop working, and while it’s a disappointing situation, there is invariably a solution. Let’s go over them briefly, and review. Lack of maintenance for your furnace ticks a fair few of the boxes. Make sure that the outside of your furnace is kept tidy, and that your air filter has been changed recently. Air filters should optimally be changed every ninety days. One of the other reasons why your furnace might not be working is due to wear and tear. An older furnace will ostensibly have more problems than a newer one.

The electric ignition could be faulty, or there might be a pilot control problem. Consult with a trusted heating and cooling specialist to diagnose problems inside the heater before tickering with your furnace yourself. Another reason why your furnace isn’t working is ostensibly because you have a malfunctioning thermostat. If you notice that your furnace doesn’t produce any heat, check the battery level in the thermostat. In some models, merely replacing the battery will do the trick.

What does it Mean When a Furnace is Short Cycling?

When your furnace is short cycling, or turning on and off frequently, there is a serious problem. The ramifications of your furnace short cycling is a higher energy bill and harm to your furnace. Four main reason why your furnace is short cycling is because:

  1. Dirty air filter. Measure the dimensions of your current air filter (there should be numbers on the side of the filter (length x width x depth) and find a replacement filter at your local hardware store.
  2. A misplaced thermostat. Have a trusted heating and cooling professional evaluate your thermostat. If your thermostat is located too close to a heat source, it will register the heat and turn off the furnace before the entire house is at an even temperature.
  3. A corroded flame sensor. A corroded or dirty flame sensor will diminish your furnaces capacity to function properly. The purpose of a flame sensor is to let the system know if there’s a flame when the gas valve is open. When the flame sensor is dirty or corroded, it won’t register the flame and your system will shut down. Call a profession to repair this issue.
  4. Blocked exhaust vents. Also known as a flue pipe, when an exhaust vent is blocked, it can cause short cycling. If debris from outside like sticks, leaves, or a bird nest blocks the pipe, hot gases will build up in the furnace and cause it to overheat.

How Long Should It Take for a Furnace to Ignite?

A furnace should start up within five minutes of the thermostat being turned on. There are no exceptions to this rule. If the furnace takes as long as fifteen minutes, there is a problem with the furnace. When the furnace takes longer than five minutes to ignite, the furnace is in the process of trying to ignite, failing, and then trying again.

Repairman vacuuming inside of a gas furnace during a cleaning.

What Would Cause a Gas Furnace Not to Ignite?

There are a number of reasons why a system would not ignite. Many of these reasons are especially applicable if you are returning to your residence after a long absence. Let’s go over them:

  • The thermostat. Troubleshoot the thermostat by making sure the thermostat is set to heat and that the temperature your thermostat is set to is accurate for your needs.
  • The gas line. Verify that that gas is turned on. If you are uncertain, there is a gas shut-off valve located outside your home. For a more localized solution, try turning on one of your gas appliances inside your home, such as your gas stove.
  • The furnace. Odd as it may sound, the switch inside your furnace may have been accidentally turned off. Check this switch to be sure it is in the ‘on’ position. Even if you have a gas system, your furnace uses electricity, and the electricity must be turned on. Located by the furnace will be a power disconnect switch. You can also check the breaker to make sure the power to the furnace has not been tripped.

How Do I Know If My Furnace is Working Correctly?

Make sure your furnace is quiet, odorless, in good condition, clean, and operating efficiently. There are a couple of indicators of this. The furnace will be soundless, or nearly. No strange odors, such as sulfur, or that of rotten eggs, can be smelled. The furnace itself, and the surrounding area, are clean and free of dust. You will be able to tell if your furnace is operating efficiently by how high your energy bill is. If you have a relatively low energy bill and do not see extreme fluctuations, this is an indicator of good efficiency.

Gas Furnace Is Loud

If your gas furnace is loud, you have a problem. Pings, pops, rumbles, and screeches are not sounds that you’d hear from a furnace that is running with high efficiency. If you are routinely hearing these sounds, it is time to have a professional step in and diagnose your furnace.

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Gas Furnace is Not Kicking On

If your gas furnace is not kicking on, one of the possible reasons why is due to an insufficient gas supply. Check the gas valve to ensure that the gas valve is turned fully on so that the furnace has a sufficient supply of gas to fire up the system. Other possible issues include making sure the pilot light is lit, that the electricity is switched on, and that your thermostat has been evaluated for any issues, including battery replacement. Find out what gas furnace repair entails.

Gas Furnace Cleaning

Gas furnace cleaning is a timely and methodical process involving a keen eye and careful maneuvering. Hiring a professional to accomplish this task is not out of the question. Many HVAC companies offer a gas furnace maintenance service, wherein they will clean your air ducts in addition to servicing your gas furnace. Call our professionals at 412-561-3624 to receive more information.

Gas Furnace Filter

There is a great variety of air filters out there that offer increasing levels of allergen prevention and fresh air quality. Ultimately, the most important factors concerning replacing your gas furnace filter are procuring the right dimensions for your furnace, and replacing said filter every ninety days. You can find the dimensions for your replacement air filter on your current, dirty air filter. Once you have these dimensions written down, head over to your local hardware store, and select a filter. While you may desire an expensive air filter that guarantees high levels of filtration, a cheaper or bargain level air filter nonetheless works in such a scenario. The professionals at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating will be happy to resolve all your gas furnace needs in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Call us today! 412-561-3624

Why Is My Bathroom Leaking?

Leaks are going to happen event with the most high quality of piping. These can occur from age, overuse, clogs, shifting of the foundation, tree root invasions, animals, and more. Signs you have a leak besides the obvious puddles of water on the ground can include things like low water pressure, dripping noises, and mold growth. If you notice any of these signs, you have a bathroom leak in your Pittsburgh, PA home and need to call the plumbers at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating at 412-561-3624 for repairs immediately.

How Can You Tell Where a Water Leak is Coming From?

faucet is broken and leaking

If You Have A Bathroom Leak From Your Faucet, Tub, or Toilet, Call Us Today For Repairs

How to find where a leak is coming from can be tricky. You can hear the sound of running water behind walls if a pipe burst but never know exactly where the spot that the hole in the piping is. That is why it is easier to call in professionals that can use water leak detection equipment that have heat sensors to quickly and noninvasively locate the leak. The most common places a plumbing leak will occur are:

  • The roof
  • Windows and doors
  • Air conditioning units
  • Plumbing fixtures

There are many possible reasons why your bathroom is leaking water. Not turning the shower or sink faucet completely off and letting the water continually drip, or having a clogged drain that results in overflow are common reasons for a bathroom leak. Toilets can also get leaks from cracks in the basin, get clogged, and flood. Even other lesser-known plumbing fixtures like water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines can get leaks, as well. Tank water heaters have drip pans to catch the built up sediment from water, but too much blockages result in clogs and leaking water. Sometimes the bathroom leak is not even caused by plumbing, but from outside elements, as that water leak in the ceiling below the bathroom could be from damaged roofing from storms.

Bathroom Sink is Leaking

If you are experiencing a bathroom leak, but don’t know where it is coming from, here are some ways you can narrow down what might be the culprit. If your bathroom faucet is leaking, there are 4 most likely causes for it. Age always plays a big factor in any type of machinery falling apart, so your bathroom sink or faucet could be leaking due to corrosion, build up, or wearing down of certain key parts. Look for rust on the valve seat, any built up residue on the washers and valves, any worn out seals or O-rings, and any general loose parts. All of these are indications that you need faucet leak repair.

Bathroom Tub or Shower is Leaking

Bathroom water leaks are often caused from the shower and tub. They often get mistaken as splashes of water from an overzealous exit from the tub or a playful bath. But just like cracks in the toilet basin can form, so can cracks in the side of the bathtub. This is because both are made out of porcelain, and this material is extremely durable and waterproof. Unfortunately, if the porcelain cracks, it cannot be resealed, and a new unit is entirely needed. This is where leaks often happen from. Clogged drains in showers and tubs are also a common contributing factor to a bathroom leak. So many things like hair, shampoo, soap, sediment build up, and more get stuck in the drain over time until the clog becomes too big and blocks the passage of water. This results in water pooling in the bottom of the tub until it starts to leak out.

Bathroom Toilet is Leaking

There are many ways a toilet can leak. Standing water around the base of the toilet is from a cracked basin, while a clogged toilet can result in overflowing that leaves water on the floor. If the toilet will not flush due to the flapper coming loose or another valve in the toilet tank has broken, you need to call for toilet repair. A bathroom toilet water leak sometimes gets confused with a tub bathroom leak, especially if the two are right next to each other.

Are Bathroom Leaks Covered By Insurance?

If you have a sudden or accidental bathroom leak, it will be covered by covered by your insurance. This means that if a pipe all of the sudden bursts, not one that has been slowly dripping for months. Insurance companies will do everything they can to get out of paying for your repairs, so they will send over inspectors to examine what caused the leak. If neglect or poor maintenance are shown to be the causes of your pipe bursting, then you will be forced to pay out of pocket for the bathroom leak repairs. Depending on how bad the damage was, a bathroom leak repair cost can range anywhere from $125 to $500. If the bathroom leak has moved outside of your bathroom and started causing water damage to other areas of your home, the damage costs only increase. Water damage costs could soar as high as $1500 to replace soaked flooring. If you have a bathroom leak in your Pittsburgh, PA home, call the plumbers at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating at 412-561-3624 today.

Preventing and Dealing With Burst Water Pipes

A Water Line Busted by Excess Pressure

Sometimes Improper Fittings Can Cause Your Pipes to Break.

Your plumbing system at home or at work is built pretty tough. However, there are plenty of internal and external threats that could cause an expensive water pipe burst. In the best case, the problem results in only a minor leak beneath the sink. In the worst-case scenarios, you could be looking at expensive slab leak or main water line repair! Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent a disaster.

Ways to Prevent a Busted Water Pipe

Start by targeting any external threats that could harm your plumbing system. For families and business owners, there are three serious outside forces that lead to a busted water pipe:

  • Freezing Temperatures
  • Shifting Ground (from Moisture)
  • and Invading Tree Roots

As you may know, water expands when it freezes. This is why homeowners and building managers are encouraged to let pipes drip during freezing weather. Ground shifts occur when the soil in a given area swells with moisture. The resulting force can completely snap underground pipes, especially rigid ones.

Invasive tree roots can be much more subtle. Roots gradually apply enough force to crack underground pipes, then grow directly into the water line. If this continues for long enough, the property owner could be faced with a very costly water line replacement.

Internal Threats

A Woman Calling For Emergency Leak Repair

Once You Locate the Leak, Make Sure You Call Your Local Plumber for Help Repairing the Damaged Area.

Internal forces are much more likely to cause ruptured piping. The usual suspects here are miscellaneous objects (tossed in the sink or flushed down the toilet) and hard water content. When a pipe cracks from internal force pushing outward, this is typically the result of a clog or choke point. The only items that should ever be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Save all other materials, including so-called “flushables” for the trash can. Also, try to avoid sending oily foods down the sink.

Hard water content” refers to dirt and minerals that accumulate in your water supply. These could be natural local impurities that slipped into your water on the way from the city treatment center. You can typically spot these contaminants swirling around in water or settling at the bottom of the glass. Make sure you either have your water treated with chlorine or have a water softener installed to combat mineral/dirt deposits. 

What Do You Do When Your Pipes Burst?

Perhaps the time for prevention is long gone. If you have a water pipe broken underground or in the house/office, you need to take immediate action to find and address the break. Your exact response will vary depending on where the leak is break is located, so you need to find it as soon as possible.

A Quick Guide: How to Find a Burst Water Pipe

  1. Make sure all water appliances are turned off on the property.
  2. Consult your water meter and write down the current reading.
  3. Take a slow walk through the house/building.
  4. Look and listen for running water.
  5. If you don’t find the leak inside, check the ground outside for puddles.
  6. If you still don’t find any leaks, consult your water meter again.

Should your water meter still indicate water is running somewhere on the property, talk with your local plumber. Make sure the problem doesn’t lie with the HVAC system or roofing. This might be an issue for your local residential or commercial roof repair service.

If You Have a Water Pipe Broken Underground

An Underground Leak Creates a Puddle in the Grass

Underground Water Line Breaks Create Soggy Areas and Puddles.

Underground leaks are the most frustrating to locate, especially when there aren’t any puddles to give away the burst pipe. Keep an eye open for soggy ground. Otherwise, you likely need to call a professional to locate the leak for you. Once you are sure the leak is underground, you’ll want to prepare for underground water line repair. If the leak is particularly bad, make sure you’ve shut off the water.

Some homeowners like to dig out the area surrounding the pipe. Do NOT dig up any area of the yard that may have a power or phone line. Depending on the size of the leak, the damaged pipe will either require repairs or replacement. If at any point you feel like you need help, talk with your local plumber about your water line repair.

If the Busted Water Pipe is Inside…

Interior pipe bursts are generally very easy to spot; the swelling pool of water is a dead giveaway. However, some leaks originate in pipes located behind the wall or in the ceiling (though that’s rare nowadays). If the leak is in a place you can easily access, you can apply plumber’s tape to the affected area to slow the damage until a professional gets there. For gushing leaks, it might be best to shut off the water.

You may be wondering “Is burst pipe covered by insurance?” Homeowner’s insurance will usually cover water damage in the case of an internal pipe rupture. If the burst occurred outside, you will have to prove that the resulting damage was indeed caused by the broken pipe. So try not to worry!

Schedule Your Pipe Repair Today!

If you need assistance with a busted water pipe or water line repair in Pittsburgh, PA, our experienced team at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating would love to help you fix the issue as quickly as possible. Contact our team today at 412-561-3624 for any questions!

What is Sewer Line Cleaning?

Sewer Line With Leak

Sewer Line Service and Cleaning Can Prevent Problems Like Sewage Backups.

Whether you are a residential or commercial property owner, two of the biggest concerns for maintenance are your plumbing and roofing. Issues with your roof are readily apparent and can be solved easily when you contact a residential or commercial roofing company in Pittsburgh, PA. However, with plumbing, an issue can be present and grow over time without you knowing until it is too late. In order to keep your plumbing at its best, regular maintenance such as sewer line cleaning is needed. Sewer line cleaning is a service that keeps your sewage moving easily through the pipes, preventing issues like clogs and backups from plaguing your home. This means that with a sewer line cleaning, you can ensure that you will never be taken by surprise with a sewer line plumbing problem. Your plumbing has a lot to deal with, from things we put down the drain to unexpected seasonal shifts. Choosing sewer line cleaning will have your plumbing ready for anything.

What are the Signs of Sewage Backup?

As we stated previously, plumbing issues can occur without you knowing, growing into a larger and larger problem. Sewer backups are a good example of this, as they can start small with signs you may not notice and then grow into a huge, hazardous issue. Knowing the signs to look out for can keep you informed on when it is time to call a plumber.

  • Multiple drains in your home are clogged
  • When you flush, your drains gurgle
  • Funky smells coming through your drains
  • Slow draining

Have you noticed any of these signs? Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating is always available to get started on your plumbing service needs and sewer line services in Pittsburgh, PA. Give us a call today at 412-561-3624.

The Dangers of Plumbing Backflow Problems

If you have ever seen sewage or water built up in your sinks, tubs, or showers, then chances are you have experienced a backflow problem. Plumbing backflow happens when something prevents your home’s plumbing system from effectively draining water. While many problems can lead to plumbing backflow, most are preventable with regular maintenance and care. The Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating experts can provide effective backflow prevention and repair for any drainage or venting need.

We Can Help Find Your Plumbing Backflow and Repair it Quickly.

Signs of Debris and Gunk are Indicators You May Have a Backflow Problem.

What Causes Backflow in Plumbing?

Plumbing backflow can be caused by a variety of problems in your plumbing system. Knowing the signs and symptoms of each could help identify the problem more quickly. While each issue is a real concern for health and safety, most problems can be repaired quickly. These are the most common causes of backflow problems.

  • Sewer Line Damage: Damage in your sewer line can cause a pressure change in your system that causes your water to back up in your home instead of flowing out properly.
  • Water Main Damage: Much like a sewer line problem, a city’s water main can dramatically reduce water pressure in your system.
  • Damaged Backflow Preventer: In homes that use a sump pump or ejector pump, a backflow preventer keeps water from backing up into your system. If this valve is broken, sewage can easily flow back into your plumbing system.
  • Damaged or Clogged Roof Vents: Your roof vents allow air to flow freely creating a vacuum to move your water through the pipes. Clogs caused by animals and roof sediment can cause your water to slow down due to the lack of air. A Pennsylvania Roofing Company can complete regular roof maintenance to ensure your vents stay free of debris and material bits.

Backflow Testing Available in Pittsburgh, PA

Ensure that your home’s plumbing system is always working as efficiently as possible with expert backflow testing delivered throughout the Pittsburgh, PA area. The Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating offers plumbing backflow prevention services to identify and eliminate damages before they cause dangerous problems in your home. Our professionals deliver a complete inspection of your system using only the best backflow preventers, vents, and pipes from companies like Grainger, Studor, and Amerivent.

To get the expert plumbing backflow prevention and repair you’re looking for in Pittsburgh, PA, call the Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating experts at 412-561-3624 to schedule your appointment.

Your Toilet Choices

When it comes to replacing the toilet in your home, you may have more choices than you think. From traditional one and two-piece models to modern wall models, your options are almost endless. When you’re not sure which toilet will be best for your home, let the Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating experts help you find the ideal model.

We Deliver Information to Help You Make the best Chocie

Your Toilet Options are Vast. Let Our Experts Help.

Two Piece Toilets

We have all seen standard two-piece toilets that have a separate commode and tank. While these models deliver easier repair and replacement since they can be serviced separately, they also make cleaning more difficult. These toilets also take up more space than a one-piece toilet because of the feeding hoses and joints.

One-Piece Toilets

These models resemble a two-piece toilet but are one whole piece. Because of this, they present greater durability and easier cleaning. These models are also more compact than their two-piece counterparts because there is no need for junctions. However, these models are slightly more pricey up front and are also more expensive to replace since they have to be replaced all at once.

Wall Mounted Toilets

When you want a more modern design, these toilets take the win. Wall mounted models are efficient, effective, and use the least water of any type. However, these toilets are substantially more costly up front than one or two-piece standard models and are more difficult to install. Ideal for cramped spaces and modern areas, these toilets offer a small unit that hangs from the wall.

When you need help finding the perfect toilet for your needs, call the Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating plumbing experts at 412-561-3624. We offer knowledgeable advice and guidance to help you find the ideal system for your home.

Telltale Signs: 3 Potential Reasons for Poor Water Pressure

A Modern Sink

If You’ve Lost Pressure to Your Water System, Check for These 3 Potential Issues.

Having some issues with poor water pressure? It’s a common and irritating problem that can prevent you from accomplishing your daily tasks and enjoying your tasty water supply. If you’re wondering what is causing this drop in pressure, see if one of these three potential reasons could be the cause of your problem.

Reason #1: Too Many Water Appliances

Thankfully, not every case of poor water pressure has to be an emergency. You might just have too many appliances running at once. This happens more often than you’d think, especially with growing families or when you have a bunch of family guests staying at the house. Either you can reduce the number of showers, washers, and sinks being used at once, or you can (just as easily) go out and buy a water pressure booster.

Reason #2: A Leaking Pipe

Sometimes pressure problems arise from a pipe leak inside your house. Take a brief look around and check each of your applications for visible leaking or puddles. Your issue might be fixed with a simple pipe tightening, or it might be time to call the plumber. You should be able to assess the leak and decide pretty quickly.

Reason #3: A Ruptured Water Line

If your poor pressure continues for several houses, you might have a more serious issue on your hands. Turn off all your water appliances and listen for the sound of running water in each room of your house. If you can’t hear anything, try checking the water meter and see if your home is still drawing water. Should the meter indicate the water is still running somewhere in your plumbing system, you might have a problem with your main water line. Call the plumber as soon as possible to locate and address the cause of the leak.

Are you experiencing poor water pressure in your home? You can talk about it with our knowledgeable plumbers at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating or schedule an inspection. Give our team a call at 412-561-3624.

Water Heater Replacement- Know Your Options

It seems you never know about the extensive selection of a particular product until you’re faced with replacing it. When your home’s water heater stops working, you might be overwhelmed at the selection of water heaters there are. From tankless units to solar models, the list seems to go on and on. Most consumers opt for a traditional water heater that can come in tank or tankless variations, but there are many options for your water heater replacement. In order to decide which model is right for your home, consider your family’s water usage level, budget, and water needs.

Tank Water Heaters

Tank Heaters Can Provide Great Affordability and Efficiency

As the most common model of water heater, these versions are typically the most affordable initially and are available in both gas and electric models. While not always the case, many tanked models now offer better energy efficiency and quicker heating capabilities by applying an extra heating coil. While these water heaters tend to be low maintenance, tank bursting or leaking is a common problem that should be considered.

Tankless Water Heaters

In contrast to traditional water heaters, tankless options are available that work by heating your water as it passes through the water heater. These models are generally more expensive than traditional water heaters, but are much more efficient and run no risk of tank bursting.

Solar Heaters

Solar heaters work off of natural energy or a combination of natural and provided energy. These systems use a fluid that absorbs natural heat and then runs through the water, heating it to sufficient temperatures. While solar systems are quite expensive to install, the energy savings far outweigh any other type of system.

When your water heater goes out, it can be difficult to know exactly which type of replacement heater will be most beneficial to your home. Call the Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating experts at 412-561-3624 to discuss your water heater replacement options and find the ideal system for your needs.

Signs You Need a New Furnace

New Furnace

If Your Furnace Has Frequent Repair Requirements, the Time Has Come for Replacement.

The average furnace will provide you with 10 to 15 years of dependable service. Once you meet or exceed this limit, however, repairs and other issues will begin to cause headaches. You may also notice that your heater no longer provides the same level of service as in the past. If this situation sounds familiar, schedule an inspection from a trusted heating company. You may learn that a new furnace serves your best interests.

Rising Bills

A common indication of the need for a new furnace appears on your monthly bills. Whether you have an electric or gas furnace, repair concerns and worn out parts can cause a drastic reduction in efficiency. If you have an aged device, a new installation may best serve your interests. Newer furnaces typically will come with drastic improvements to efficiency for lower bills.

Frequent Repair Needs

Another sign for a new installation comes from the frequency of repairs on your old device. If you have had your furnace for many years, yet the last couple have seen a drastic uptick in service calls, the time has come for an updated device. The cost for frequent repairs will quickly outpace that of a new system.

Uneven Temperature Control

A furnace on its last legs will begin to fail in its ability to control the temperature across your home. You may find uneven temperature control across various rooms, or just a general inability to heat your home. If this signifies a departure in performance from previous years, then the effects of age have simply caught up to her heater.

Generally speaking, old age represents the most common reason for HVAC replacement. At Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating, we provide for the expert replacement of old systems with new furnaces in Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about our company or schedule service, call us today at 412-561-3624.

Signs Your Water Line Is Leaking

A water line leak can be hard to spot. The reason for this is because it is underground and the symptoms may not be things that you commonly pay attention to. Unfortunately, if you let a water leak go for a while, it can turn into bigger problems and end up raising your water bill very high. To replace a water line, the process is not as hard or as messy as it used to be so you don’t have to worry about your yard being torn up just to get to the water line. There are a few signs you should look at for when you think you may have a water leak.

Water Bill – If you have a water bill that just comes out every month on its own, you should still always be paying attention to what is going on. One of the biggest signs that people commonly overlook is an increase in their water bill. The numbers might not be large at first, but over time this will add up to a lot of lost money from a water leak.

Wet Spot – If you typically pay attention to your yard, this might be what you notice first. If you see a wet spot in your yard that typically isn’t there and is wet only in one spot, you probably have a leak in your water line.

When you think you have a water line leak at your home, call our professional plumbers at Patrick E. Chase Plumbing & Heating. We will be there for you right away, just call 412-561-3624 and we can get a technician to you shortly.