Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Stowe’

Common Misunderstandings About Garbage Disposals

Monday, July 4th, 2022

The misunderstandings about garbage disposals start with the name—garbage disposals aren’t meant to handle actual garbage! These common, everyday devices found in most kitchens have many basic misconceptions swirling around them. Poor advice on the internet has made these errors more common: you’ll hear a piece of advice one way (always pour hot water down the drain when running the disposal) and then the other (nope, pour cold water down the disposal).

We want you to have a garbage disposal in Stowe, VT that runs flawlessly for years. To help, we’ve listed common misunderstandings about these devices. When you know the truth, you can take better care of your garbage disposal.

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Leaky Faucet? Don’t Wait for Plumbing Repair!

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

The drip-drip-dripping sound from a leaky faucet can be quite an annoyance. However, many homeowners don’t see this as reason enough to call a plumber. While a leaky faucet is an inconvenience (and it may stain the bottom of the tub or sink), it often does not seem like a severe enough issue for immediate plumbing repair. However, when you keep in mind how much water a leaky faucet can wait over time, it becomes apparent that plumbing repair should be completed sooner rather than later.

If you need plumbing repair of any sort in Stowe, VT, call the experts at Red Rock Mechanical. We can repair your leaky faucet or provide leak detection services if you’re worried about leaks in your water line.

The easiest way to see how a leaky pipe affects you and your community is by looking at the numbers. At a leak rate of one drop per second, your faucet will waste 5 gallons of water a day, which is almost 2,000 gallons over a year’s time. Still think this isn’t a lot? Now consider what would happen if every home in the United States had a leak to this extent. That’s a lot of water! And, as it turns out, according to the U.S. EPA, American households waste almost 1 trillion gallons of water a year in leaks alone.

Your faucet may not be the only part of your home that leaks. You may have a leaky pipe somewhere in your plumbing system contributing to your water waste and high utilities. If you want to lessen your impact and prevent plumbing problems from worsening, you might consider having your plumber perform a full pipe inspection.

Besides, for a skilled plumber, fixing a leaky sink should not take a very long time at all. You may be surprised at how quick and painless the process is, as long as you choose a reputable plumbing company for the job. Red Rock Mechanical is committed to providing quality customer service to our customers, no matter how small of a leak we’re dealing with. Trust in our skilled team of experienced technicians for any plumbing repair you come across in Stowe, VT.

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Choosing the Most Efficient Furnace

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The word “furnace” actually represents a wide variety of different heating systems today. Though they all share a basic function (they are all forced air heating systems) the method by which they accomplish that function can be vastly different. For a homeowner looking to install a new home heating system, the sheer number of options that furnaces provide can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here’s a look at some of the factors that you should consider when looking for the most efficient furnace to meet your needs.


“AFUE” stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and is one of the primary metrics by which furnace efficiency is judged. As the name suggests, the AFUE number is an approximate measurement of how efficiently the furnace uses its fuel over the course of one year. The number is displayed as a percentage, indicating how much of the fuel the furnace burns is converted into heat and how much is lost as waste. Generally, you’ll want to look for a furnace with an AFUE rating of at least 75-80%. Any less than that, and you’ll be spending an undesirable amount of money on fuel that’s not being converted into heat.


The size of a furnace is actually quite important to how well it performs in a home. A lot of homeowners simply go for the largest furnace that they can physically fit in the space, in the mistaken belief that bigger furnaces are more desirable. In fact, if a furnace is either too large or too small it will break down much more often and have a shorter overall lifespan. You should consult a professional if you are uncertain of what size furnace you should install.

Fuel Type

Always be aware of what kind of fuel best fits your situation. Natural gas is the most popular kind of fuel, but it requires a gas line installed in your home by the city in order to work. Electric furnaces will work anywhere that electricity is available, but they are more expensive to operate than other furnaces. Always do your research, and consult a professional if you aren’t sure which furnace is best for you.

If you need to have a new furnace installed, call Red Rock Mechanical to schedule a service appointment. We provide professional heating services throughout Stowe, VT.

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How to Tell You Need New Toilet Installation

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Of course, you use your toilet every day, but you probably try not to think much about the fixture itself until it needs a good scrubbing or when something goes wrong. In today’s world, a D-I-Y mentality leads homeowners to believe that they may be able to fix a broken toilet with a few supplies from the hardware store and a little bit of skill and hard work. But there are many circumstances under which it may turn out you simply need a new toilet, which a trained technician should install.

Always leave major plumbing installation in Stowe, VT to the professionals, like the certified plumbing experts at Red Rock Mechanical.

Signs that a Toilet Has Passed Its Prime

If you notice any of the following signs, a simple repair most likely won’t do the trick. While professionals may be able to find a way to fix some common ailments, the following signs likely indicate that replacement is necessary.

  • Cracks in the Tank or Bowl: If you notice a crack developing in the tank or bowl of your toilet, the risk of a broken toilet and water leaking all around your bathroom is simply not worth it. No amount of sealant can prevent the risk of a flooded bathroom and a major water leak.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you find yourself frequently making repairs on your older toilet, new installation may be your best option. Replacing the toilet today is likely to actually save you some money over time.
  • Wobbling: A toilet should never wobble, as it means there is a potential for leaking and even the possibility of a damaged floor. You should have a technician come and check out the problem to make sure the damage isn’t too extensive. While it may just be that you need a new wax seal, it could also be that your toilet is compromised.
  • Old Age: Finally, old age often indicates that it’s almost time for a toilet to go, especially when you consider the money-saving benefits of a new toilet. New low-flow toilets flush with ease using high pressure instead of exorbitant amounts of water like older toilets did, cutting your toilet’s water usage in half.

Call Red Rock Mechanical today to speak with an expert about toilets and any other new plumbing installation in Stowe, VT that you’ve been considering.

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Reasons Your Heating May Become Inefficient This Winter

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

We’ve got snow on the ground and it gets dark early – even though the winter solstice is next month, we’re clearly in our heating season here in Vermont. Trying to keep winter energy bills low is a challenge in our part of the country, so it’s good to be aware of how your heating system can become inefficient over the winter months. However, if you find that your system has become both inefficient and unable to heat your home as needed, it may be time to consider the installation of a new heating system in Stowe, VT. For over 23 years, Red Rock Mechanical has offered comprehensive heating services to Vermonters, so call us today!

Reasons for Inefficiency

Here are some of the more common reasons you may see reduced efficiency from your heating system:

Inadequate Maintenance

It is important that you schedule maintenance for your heating system annually. When your heater has to operate season after season, worn down and dirty from previous seasons, it affects the ability of your heater to work efficiently and effectively. During normal usage, components become dirty and dusty, and natural wear and tear can lead to corrosion. A maintenance appointment is a tune-up for your system, and allows your system to work optimally.

Ignoring Existing Problems

It can be tempting to ignore the signs of existing problems, especially if your heating system is still operable. However, repairs don’t fix themselves, and waiting to make repairs usually creates larger problems that can be even more costly. If you are aware of an existing problem, call for a technician and have it repaired before it creates stress and more potential problems for your system.


The average lifespan for a combustion heating system is 15-20 years. Aging systems can struggle to meet the heating needs of your home, working harder to achieve the heating you need. When an aging system can no longer meet the needs of your home, it may be time to consider a replacement.

An inefficient heater can leave you uncomfortable and cost you money – something no one wants in the middle of a Vermont winter. If it’s time to consider a new heating installation in Stowe, VT, call Red Rock Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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What Ice along Your Heat Pump Might Mean

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

It’s pretty common to walk outside during the winter and find ice on your heat pump. At first, it may seem like a problem you need to address. After all, you don’t want your heat source freezing over while it’s warming your house. In reality, however, you may not have to worry about it. Here is what ice along your heat pump usually means.

The Cause

A heat pump works by absorbing the thermal energy from the air around it. This thermal energy is then directed inside to heat and circulate air to the house. Condensation forms on the outside unit as a side effect of this thermal absorption. The sub-freezing environment then causes that condensation to freeze, forming frost on the outside of the heat pump.

The Solution

Heat pumps were designed to combat this condition by going through a defrost cycle every so often. A heat pump in heating mode will periodically reverse the flow of refrigerant, causing the outside unit to heat up and melt the frost around it. Therefore, there is no reason to worry about a little ice on your heat pump. If the heat pump is operating properly, it will take care of this issue on its own.

The Exception

There are cases where ice and frost can become a problem, however. If the defrost cycle doesn’t occur for whatever reason, ice will continue to build up around the outside unit. The more ice accumulates, the more air is cut off from the unit. This can drastically lessen the available thermal energy for the unit to absorb. If the ice and frost covers enough of the unit, it may stop absorbing heat altogether. If you happen to see ice on your heat pump, wait an hour or two and then check again. If the ice is gone or there is less of it, that’s a sign that your heat pump defrost cycle is working properly. If there is more ice or it doesn’t seem to be going away, you may have a problem with your heat pump. When that happens, call a professional.

If you are having issues with your heat pump, call Red Rock Mechanical. We service heat pumps and provide other professional heating services throughout the Stowe, VT area.


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The Benefits of Regular Plumbing Maintenance

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

A working plumbing system is vital to many of the tasks in your home, but you may not think about where your water comes from too often—unless something goes wrong, that is. And repairs can be a major inconvenience when you need water or a working drain right away. While you may be able to spot some leaks and clogs or notice signs of problems before your plumbing is in need of serious repair, other issues are often undetected until it’s too late. Many major repair needs can be prevented, however, with regular maintenance from a plumbing professional. In this guide, we list some of the best reasons to schedule regular maintenance.

  • Longer Lifespans: The pipes in your plumbing system may need replacement someday, but this can happen sooner if they do not receive proper maintenance. Corrosion or rust can cause sudden leaks and other plumbing problems that are caught early with a maintenance visit, to extend the lifespan of your whole system. Furthermore, your water heater and other fixtures in your home may develop problems over time that could cause them to need replacement. A plumber will inspect and clean these parts of your plumbing system as well to keep your system running smoothly for longer.
  • Fewer Repairs: If you don’t schedule maintenance, you may find that repair needs occur more often. With maintenance, leaks, clogs, and other problems are often caught early on, which means you won’t have to worry about repair needs occurring as often.
  • Better Water Pressure: If you have low water pressure from your shower and faucets, it may be due to leaks, mineral buildup, or other plumbing issues. Increased water pressure is just an added bonus that may go along with regular plumbing maintenance.
  • Lower Bills: If you have leaks in your pipes or problems with your water heater, you may not realize that you’re paying too much for utility bills. When you schedule plumbing maintenance, your bills may actually be lower than they were before.

When you decide to schedule plumbing maintenance in Stowe, VT, call the dependable professionals at Red Rock Mechanical.

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3 Signs You Need Air Conditioning Repair

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

It can be difficult to tell if something is seriously wrong with your air conditioner. If something is not quite right but doesn’t seem like an emergency, you may feel as though you can put off air conditioning repair until a later time. However, this is a dangerous way of thinking. If you put off air conditioning repair for too long, you may run into other problems, or you may lose cool air entirely right in the middle of summer.

So when should you call for AC repair? As soon as you run into a problem! We’ve put together a list of three of the most common reasons you might need to call for air conditioning repair.

  • Loud Noises: Don’t assume that the strange noises coming from your AC unit are normal. There are a number of moving parts in your air conditioner that may make noise when they are not working properly. If your fan motor runs into problems, you may hear a grinding noise. A hissing noise could indicate leaking refrigerant. Loose or bent parts in your outdoor condenser unit may begin to make a banging or clanking sound.
  • Not Enough Cool Air: Your air conditioner may lose cooling power for many reasons. Even if the temperature is still bearable, an AC that doesn’t cool properly drives up your energy bills, and it can cause serious damage to other components of your system. The first place to check is the air filter as a dirty filter may block airflow. However, loss of cooling power may also indicate low refrigerant or damage to the compressor.
  • High Energy Bills: High energy bills should be reason enough to have someone look at your air conditioner. All air conditioners lose efficiency over time, but a significant increase indicates a big problem. If your system is running up your bills, you may have serious problems with some important parts of your AC, such as the compressor or evaporator coil.

The consequences of a damaged AC are not worth delaying repairs. For air conditioning repair in Stowe, VT, contact the experts at Red Rock Mechanical.

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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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Cut Down on Air Conditioning Bills This Summer

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Here in Stowe, VT air conditioning systems see a surprising amount of use. While our winters are cold, snowy and long, our summers carry their share of heat and humidity, and without a good air conditioning system, you’re liable to start longing for the cold far more often than you should. We’re used to paying higher energy costs in the summer to cover extended air conditioning use, which can cover up a fair amount of wasted money. Besides more obvious solutions like dressing in lightweight clothes and setting your thermostat slightly higher than you normally would, here are a few quick tips to cut down on air conditioning bills this summer.

  • Schedule a maintenance session from a qualified technician.
    Maintenance sessions are a little like a tune-up for your car. The technician cleans off dust and dirt that can cause friction, tightens loose fittings that might make components rattle in their housings and replaces clogged filters to help the air flow smoothly. As a result, the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job and your energy bills will go down.
  • Seal up those leaks and cracks.
    Look for spots under your door where air could escape, or similar spots on imperfectly sealed window. They could let hot air in or cause cool air to escape, raising your energy bills in the process. You can seal those spots with weather stripping, and a qualified technician can help you spot other parts of your home that can be made more energy efficient.
  • Consider a smart thermostat.
    If you have an older thermostat, look into replacing it with an upgraded model: something that lets you turn the air on and off remotely with a phone app, or even just one with a timer that you can set. Turning the air on ten minutes before you get home uses much less energy than just letting it run all day, and the house won’t feel any less comfortable when you arrive.

For more ways to cut down on air conditioning bills this summer, or to schedule a maintenance or repair session, the experts at Red Rock Mechanical are ready to help. For residents of Stowe VT, air conditioning service is vital to surviving the summer. Contact us today and let us make sure it’s ready for the job!

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