Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Archive for June, 2014

Steps to Take with Emergency Plumbing

Friday, June 27th, 2014

What counts as a plumbing emergency will change from household to household, although most of us would agree that the following issues almost universally qualify as an “emergency”:

  • Massive leaks threatening flooding
  • Clogs in sinks and showers that receive daily use
  • Sewer line troubles leading to sewage flooding
  • Loss of water from the water main

There are different procedures to follow depending on the situation, but there are some general steps you should take when it comes to emergencies like huge leaks. Just make sure that one of the steps you take is to call for professional plumbing services if you live in Essex, VT, especially one that offers 24-hour emergency plumbing service like Red Rock Mechanical. We’ve done speedy emergency work for over 23 years, and you can trust us with whatever ails your plumbing.

Take the Following Steps in a Plumbing Emergency

  • Shut off the water: In most emergency situations, you’ll have serious leaking issues such a burst pipes and broken connections that could cause flooding. You should know where the water main shut-off valve is located and how to use it. (Go learn about this right now if you don’t know it already.) You should also know where individual shut-off valves are for fixtures, so that if one fixture is causing the problem, you can shut if off on its own—but when in doubt, shut down the water to the whole house.
  • Turn of the water heater: You should do this regardless of whether the water heater seems to be involved with the problem or not. Once you turn off the water main, the water heater must go off as well to prevent the water heater from continuing to heat the supply inside it, leading to bursting and the danger of scalding.
  • Call for emergency plumbing assistance: Now that you’ve stopped immediate dangers to your home, stay relaxed and call a plumbing service that offers 24-hour emergency work. Explain the situation clearly to them so the plumbers will be ready with the proper assistance.
  • Temporarily seal leaks: Now that the plumbers are on their way, use plumber’s epoxy or Teflon tape to stop any visible leaks. Place buckets under the leaks as well to prevent as much water damage as possible to your house. If you lack sealant, you can use rags and towels around the leaks to absorb water—these are only temporary solutions for an hour or so, but they will help prevent damage to your home.
  • Use the plunger: If you have sink clogs, take out the sink plunger and attempt to clear the blockage this way. Plungers are safe for plumbing, although not always effective. If the plunger does not work, do not resort to chemical cleaners, which are hazardous for you and your drains. The professionals are already on their way… wait for them to safely fix the issue.

Remember to keep calm and carry on: if you have contacted a reliable plumbing service in Essex, VT, you should have few worries no matter the plumbing emergency. With Red Rock Mechanical on your side, you will have the problem fixed in no time. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

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What are the Basic Stages of the Air Conditioning Cycle?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Your air conditioner is one of the staples of your home, especially now with temperatures rising and summer hitting us with everything it’s got. We all depend on reliable air conditioning systems to keep our homes and businesses comfortable. And when problems arise with your air conditioning in Montpelier, VT, there are qualified repair companies to help you. But how much of the process of air conditioning do you understand? What are the basic stages of the air conditioning cycle? The more you know about that, the more you can understand what happens when repairs are needed.

Air conditioning systems are all based around the same basic system: a closed loop which cycles refrigerant gas through a series of valves and coils. The cycle begins when the gas enters a condenser coil, which subjects it to an enormous amount of heat and pressure. It then moves to a series of compression valves, which bleed the heat out of the gas, reverting it to liquid form. (The heat is then pushed out of the system via a vent, which is why this part of the cycle usually takes place in the outdoor portion of the unit.) It remains under a great deal of pressure, however, which plays a key role in the second half of the cycle.

The liquid moves from the coils to a second valve, an expansion valve, which squirts a set amount of the liquid into a series of evaporator coils. (It functions rather like an aerosol can in this capacity.) Released from the pressure, the refrigerant turns back into a gas: pulling heat from the nearby air in the process. A fan then blows the cooled air through the ducts in your home. The refrigerant gas then returns to the condenser valve to start the cycle anew.

For more on the basic stages of the air conditioning cycle, or to schedule an appointment for AC installations or repair, call upon the experts at Red Rock Mechanical. We treat any issue related to air conditioning in Montpelier, VT, and throughout the surrounding communities. Contact us today for a consultation session. You’ll be glad you did!

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Common Causes for Drain Clogs

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Drain clogs are one of the most common afflictions bedeviling your plumbing system, and sadly, you can’t always rely on store-bought solutions. Chemical cleansers adopt a one-size-fits all approach, while plumbing snakes often lack the specialization you need to treat the clog in question. One look at the common causes for drain clogs, and you can see the wide variety of components that cold possibly stop up your pipes. The good news is that companies handling plumbing installation in Stowe, VT can usually handle drain clogs with specialized equipment. If you encounter a clog in your home, the best thing to do is immediately give one of them a call.

The common causes for drain clogs include hair, soap, food particles and even hot grease. All of them can create problems, but all of them do so in very different ways. Hair, for instance, is usually a problem in the bathroom, where it washes down you shower drain intermingled with soap suds from bathing. That can form a sticky, yet surprisingly strong substance to block the drain, augmented by mineral deposits from hard water and similar issues in your plumbing.

Food deposits, on the other hand, can usually do all of the clogging on their own. The worst examples are often vegetable peelings such as potato peelings, which are quite fibrous and which can combine to form a tough blockage. Hot grease is another troublemaker, as it will cool in your plumbing and create a powerful seal that repels water.

Each of these clogs is different in composition and effect. Using a generic chemical to treat them can result in toxic fumes, while store-bought snakes may not have the power or accuracy to do the job. But here at Red Rock Mechanical, we have the tools and the talent to handle most any common causes for drain clogs. That includes mechanized snakes with rotating heads, video camera inspection and the know how to apply them both properly. That way the drain gets cleaned the right way and you won’t have to waste your money on a store-bought cure that puts a bandage over the situation at best. If you’re having problems with drains, then give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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3 Common Condenser Problems with Your Air Conditioning System

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The condenser is the outdoor unit of a split air conditioning system. Where the indoor unit, the evaporator, handles removing the heat from your home, the condenser does the job of releasing the heat to the outside. The condenser also contains the most powerful and important component for air conditioning operation: the compressor, which puts the refrigerant under pressure in order to change it into a high pressure, high temperature gas and start it off on the heat exchange cycle. The condenser also contains a fan to draw air across the condenser coil to allow for the release of heat.

If any issues start inside the condenser, it will threaten the cooling power of the whole system. If you suspect condenser trouble, don’t open the cabinet. Instead, put in a call to a local professional HVAC repair service.

Finding fast, quality air conditioning repair in Burlington, VT is simple: you only have to call up the team at Red Rock Mechanical. We have over 23 years of experience with heating, cooling, and plumbing, and we are ready to assist you 24-hours a day with emergency service.

3 Condenser Problems We Often See:

  • Damaged fan: An issue with the condenser is that it is outside, and therefore at the mercy of the elements. Although designed to withstand a great deal of punishment, condensers can still suffer from problems due to debris like rocks, gravel, leaves, sticks, and even tree branches getting through the grill and causing injury to the fan. The fan is a precision instrument that is carefully balanced, and should it receive damage that bends its blades, it will start to strike the casing. This will not only lead to a broken fan, it will damage other parts of the condenser. Fan troubles always require professional repairs.
  • Hard starting compressor: Issues with the compressor are among the most serious for an air conditioner. If the compressor burns out from too much stress and lack of repair work, it usually means the entire AC needs replacement. A compressor can begin to “hard start” (stutter as it comes on, then turn off early) because of electrical malfunctions, a failing motor, bad capacitors, or mechanical stress. When this happens, call for technicians to investigate right away.
  • Refrigerant line leaks: The refrigerant that runs through an AC must remain at the same level (charge) at all times. The only way the charge will drop is through leaking occurring, which can sometimes happen in the connections to the compressor or from the compressor itself. If you notice ice appearing anywhere on the system, it may mean a loss of refrigerant, and this needs skilled repair work right away.

Trust to Red Rock Mechanical for the air conditioning repair in Burlington, VT necessary to protect the condenser from failure. We are a small, family-owned business dedicated to bringing a personal touch to all our professional work. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

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