Guide to Heating and Plumbing

Guide to Heating and Plumbing

Welcome to Guide to Heating and Plumbing

I would like to personally welcome you to my website Guide to Heating and Plumbing

If you are looking for information regarding heating and plumbing, you’ve come to the right site. I have created this website to help homeowners and consumers alike when it comes to their heating and plumbing needs. 

I consider myself an expert in both fields through my 20+ years of experience. There is so much to know and learn about heating and plumbing and I would like to share all the knowledge I have acquired to help you be more aware of what you need to know. 

Please feel free to browse through my page and let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you and enjoy!

Learn furnace troubleshooting that you can DIY in times of furnace distress.

Even if your furnace is acting up, it’s not necessary to contact a professional furnace technician right away. You can fix a lot of furnace problems by doing some simple and practical furnace troubleshooting steps.

Before starting, get the owner’s manual for your furnace and go through its principal components, so you know what you are dealing with. Also, prepare your materials ahead of time so you don’t go scrambling for them once you’ve already started your DIY furnace troubleshooting. Don’t worry because you’ll only likely need a screwdriver and a flashlight. Now, you are ready to test your DIY skills.

Cover important furnace parts –make sure you check that your gas service is functional. Locate your gas company’s meter and inspect the gas valve. Next, check your furnace’s shut-off valve.

Check that you have set the thermostat to heat. Many homeowners forget this, but it is important to do so. Increase the temperature by several degrees if the setting on your thermostat is lower than that of the room temperature. Wait for it to turn on.

Also, make sure the power switch of the furnace is on.

Inspect the ignition source or the pilot light. Grab your owner’s manual and find out how to relight an unlit pilot light. Meanwhile, you’ll often come across adjustment screws if you have a newer furnace model.

Check the unit’s circuit breaker. Reset a tripped circuit breaker by turning it off all the way and then press it once more.

Press your furnace’s reset button. Wait 30 minutes before pressing it again if it does not turn on the first time.

DIY furnace troubleshooting for a furnace that is not heating –take off the filter and try holding it up against the light. If no more light can pass through the filter, throw it away and replace it with a new one. Clogged filters can render your furnace inefficient making it prone to overheating and eventual breakdowns. Inspect your home registers to ensure all of them are open and nothing is blocking its way.

DIY furnace troubleshooting for a noisy furnace - rattling noises are often caused by loose panels. Simply tighten the screws if the cover is loose.

Meanwhile, squealing noises can be heard from belts connecting the fan and the motor. To fix this issue, realign the belt. Contact a professional to replace worn belts.

Motor bearing problems can cause grinding noises. Turn off the furnace and contact an expert furnace technician ASAP.

DIY furnace troubleshooting for furnaces that turns on and off constantly–a lot of factors can cause this to happen. It can be a thermostat that needs recalibration or replacement to match your system’s size. For example, a very big unit will often turn on and off since it can easily match the thermostat’s setting. Get rid of this factor by taking a closer look at your fan configuration. Set it to “auto” to make sure it runs long enough to coincide with your thermostat’s setting.

Contact a furnace expert –if all your DIY furnace troubleshooting efforts were to no avail, it is probably the right time to contact a furnace expert right away. Or, your furnace may be up for its yearly maintenance. Standard furnace maintenance often involves inspections of every part of the system. Then, clean and oil important moving parts. Set the burner to its proper ignition as well as combustion. Tighten electrical connections. Check the condensate drain, chimney and flue. Test the fan belt’s condition. Lastly, run a carbon monoxide test.

If you’re confident enough that you can pull off a DIY furnace troubleshooting, go ahead and do it. But if you feel that your limited knowledge and skills are not a match for the furnace problem at hand, don’t hesitate in calling a professional to intervene and fix the problem for you. Safety is still of high importance more than anything else. More tips at


These plumbing tools are essential to every DIY or emergency project you’d want to try the next time the need arises.

At some point in their lives, all tenants or homeowners must deal with an obstructed kitchen sink, a dripping faucet, a running toilet, and the most common of them all, water leaks. Even if you can rely on an expert plumber to fix everything all the time, there are certain instances where it is actually possible for you to fix these problems on your own and save yourself from paying expensive professional fees without compromising your safety. But you can only do this feat if you have the right plumbing tools at home to help you carry out these fixes in a jiffy.

You can purchase many of these plumbing tools essential in every home from your nearby hardware store. Here are the following fundamental plumbing tools everyone should have in their homes in case of an emergency.

  • Plunger–considered as the best friend of plumbers, it is a handy plumbing tool for all homes out there. This one is the first plumbing tool you grab in case of a clogged sink, toilet, tub, shower, and floor drains. You use a plunger by pressing it down a surface to establish a tight seal around the drain before subsequently pulling it upward. Your aim is to remove the clog with the help of a vacuum and not push it even further.
  • Adjustable Wrench–this one is another multifunctional plumbing tool necessary in turning hex-shaped nuts on supply lines, compression fittings, and similar plumbing fixtures. It is advisable to purchase at least two sizes of this tool, a 6-inch, and 10-inch variety. Heed this tip when purchasing adjustable wrenches, inspect if the moving jaw does not slip loose below the torque.
  • Closet Auger–it is a manually-operated clog clearing plumbing tool specially made for clogged toilets. It has a long, sturdy cable capable of grinding the most persistent clog.
  • Pipe Wrench –it is a big and heavy wrench utilized in turning threaded pipes, nuts, and fittings. As is the case, you need a couple of these pipe wrenches, one for holding and the other for turning. Be cautious when using this tool so as not to damage a plumbing fixture’s outer layer with the wrench’s serrated teeth. Meanwhile, wrap a cloth on the jaws of a wrench when working on powder or chrome-coated parts to protect its finish. Again, buy a couple of these such as the 10-inch and 14-inch ones.
  • Basin Wrench –you utilize this plumbing tool in tightening loose nuts holding a sink faucet together. It has a swiveling jaw and a long shaft capable of reaching above and further among deep and tight spaces such as the back of a sink and attach onto the nuts.
  • Tongue-and-groove Pliers –plumbers always rely on this tool when grabbing, pulling, twisting, holding, or loosening something. Again, secure two sizes of this plumbing tool, a 10-inch, and 12-inch ones.
  • Plumber’s Snake–this is the next tool you grab after a plunger fails in removing a clog. This hand-cranked tool will snake its way down your drain. It has a 25-foot steel cable that proves to be flexible in clearing clogs from sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, and along the pipe.
  • Hacksaw –hacksaws are helpful when cutting through metal, screws, pipes, nuts and bolts, especially PVC pipes. Ensure that when doing delicate cutting jobs, its blade is tense in the frame. Also, have a supply of extra blades just in case you need more. If you are cutting somewhere narrow, wrap a cloth around one end so that you have something to grip even before slipping in the blade.
  • Tubing Cutter–they are extremely helpful when cutting through copper pipes. Purchase both a close-quarter mini cutter for narrow spaces and the regular sized tubing cutter for most jobs.
  • Metal File–once you’re done cutting a metal pipe, take care of burrs and smoothen its edges with the aid of a metal file. Again, secure two of its sizes, a rat-tail file for round and tapered ends as well as a half-round with a flat and rounded surface.
  • Propane Torch –in case you must sweat a copper pipe and its fittings, grab a propane torch that has a self-igniting head that works when the trigger is squeezed. When it comes to convenience, a match or striker is not at par with this plumbing tool.
  • Fire-resistant Cloth –it is a thick and specialized cloth that can protect volatile surfaces when you solder it with an open-flame propane torch. Another practical tip, have a fire extinguisher close by.

It’s good to have all these plumbing tools that can help you pull-off quick yet efficient plumbing fixes without calling a plumber for help. But it won’t hurt if you also store more fundamental home-repair tool staples like a hammer, screwdrivers, safety goggles, utility knife, tape measure, work gloves, drill drivers, and more importantly, a toolbox where you can put them all together. Here are some tips on how to find the best plumbing supplies for your home


Boilers are one of the largest energy users in a building.  To reduce your boiler costs and to prevent any unnecessary expenses due to unattended operating boilers, it is essential that you know how to maintain them.

Fortunately, maintenance for boilers isn’t that difficult.  Read on for some guidelines.  

  • A Gas Safe registered engineer should have an annual service on your boiler even if it may seem to be working normally.  All the components and parts of the boiler will be checked and cleaned. It is best to have the boiler serviced during September to make sure the boiler can endure the exertion during winter.
  • Boilers that are not being used regularly will cause them to seize up.  It is recommended that the boiler be turned on for 10 to 15 minutes occasionally especially during the summer.Pressure is very substantial for an efficiently working boiler.  Over time, the boiler can lose pressure.  Always check the gauge for the pressure and refer to your manual for the instructions on how to top it up.  You can also ask your plumber for help or instructions.
  • There will be times when air can be trapped in the system causing the bottom of the radiator to feel colder than the top.  When this happens, you would need to bleed the radiators. To bleed the radiator, you will need a bleed key and some tissue or a towel.  Make sure to turn the heating off before bleeding.  Place the key into the valve and turn it counterclockwise for a quarter of a rotation.  You will then hear a hissing sound that would mean that air is escaping.  As soon as water starts dripping, turn the key clockwise to lock it and wipe the water off.  After bleeding, check the pressure gauge again as you may have to top up the pressure.
  • Visually inspect your boiler for any cracks, leaks, noises that don’t seem normal, or any black marks that may mean the boiler has a problem.  Also check for any blockages on the airbricks, vents and flues. As soon as you detect one of these, have it repaired.
  • Blue.  Your boiler’s flame should always be clear blue.  There’s something wrong with the boiler if the flame is yellow or smoky, so call a plumber if you start noticing that the color is changing.
  • Your boiler should have the enough clearance on all sides for proper ventilation.  Anything that may be blocking the sides of your boiler can affect its performance.
  • During cold season where the temperature drops below zero, the external pipes of the boiler are likely to freeze.  For safety purposes, the boiler will cut out.  You can insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing but if they already have, just pour warm water over the pipe to melt the ice.
  • If you fail to maintain your boiler, it can start producing carbon monoxide.  This gas can kill so it is recommended that a carbon monoxide detector with an alarm is installed in every home. Check it monthly to be sure it’s properly working.

A well-maintained boiler functions better than a faulty one.  A faulty boiler does not only cause you to spend more but also puts your life at risk.  Always keep your boiler maintained to lessen your bills and to save your life. Discover these 5 heating options with pros and cons


Your home’s sewer line plays a very important role in transporting your home’s waste to the city’s sewer system.  Over time, sewer lines can get clogged and cause a series of problems to every homeowner.  Sewer systems can be clogged due to everyday use but it can also be clogged due to external factors such as growing roots that invade the space of your sewer lines.  When problems like this arise, it is imperative that the homeowner take a step to resolve the issue the soonest time possible.  There are several DIY steps that you can do to take care of the problem; however, it is recommended to seek professional help from your trusted plumbing company or commercial sewage company to ensure that the problem is addressed properly. 

Indications of a Clogged Sewer Line

If you see waste or sewage coming back from your drains, this is a common sign that your sewer line is blocked or clogged.  Other than the awful smell and the gross mess you have in your sink, this also means that your home could potentially suffer from more damages if this issue is left unaddressed.  There are also other warning signs that you should pay attention to so that a simple clog problem doesn’t blow up to be a huge concern.  For instance, if you notice a loud gushing or gurgling sound coming from the drain every time the sink is used, this may already be a sign of clog especially if the sound was never there before.  You may also notice small parts of roots that go with the water that comes from the drain, this could also mean that your pipes may have already collapsed or corroded causing the roots to create a blockage.  Lastly, a simple bad smell coming from your drains can also indicate a problem somewhere within your sewer lines.

How a Sewer Line is Cleared

A clogged sewer line doesn’t automatically call for a professional plumber.  There are many homeowners who choose to do the tough job of getting their sewer lines cleared using some of the usual tools that professionals use.  Whether you choose to do the dirty work yourself or have someone do the cleaning for you, your sewer line is usually cleared using a drain auger or a drain snake – something that even professionals use.  This cable is inserted down the drain and is flexible enough to go through curves and bends in your plumbing system.  If faced with a minor clog problem, the snake can easily break through the blockage in just a few minutes.  However, the snake doesn’t clean the sewer line.  All it does is break through the wastes that got stuck in the pipes allowing other materials to pass through the pipes.  Professionals rely on a high-pressure hose to remove any residue or material that has built up in the pipes causing the block.  This high-pressure hose or also knows as the water jetter, is a tool used by plumbing companies to clear out whatever gunk you may have in your sewer lines. 

Service Details and Additional Costs when Hiring Professionals

If you have opted to go the safest way and just decided on hiring a professional to clean the clogged sewer lines, you should be aware of what their services include and what additional charges you may incur depending on the issue handled.  Professional plumbers typically start by asking questions that are relevant to the clog concern.  After which, the plumber will do an inspection of your pipes and locate the clean out.  The clean out is a Y-shaped fitting that is located outside the home right before it connects to the main sewer.  The plumber starts the clearing up process in this spot as this is the best spot where a plumber can have access to both directions of the lines.  If this process has cleared out the problem, the professional reinstalls the clean out and inspects every drain to ensure that the issue has been properly resolved.  

If clogged sewer lines are a frequent problem, the process of clearing up could be more tedious; hence, the additional cost.  In cases where the issue is more serious, professionals may recommend taking a video inspection of the sewer lines.  This process, although it costs more, gives both the homeowner and the professional plumber a clear view of what might be causing the frequent clogs.  Depending on the results of the video inspection, the resolution could range from a simple clearing of clog or a replacement of your entire sewer.  Either way, always be ready for the service cost.  

How to Prevent Sewer Line Clogs

Fortunately, every homeowner can take the necessary precautions to avoid serious problems with their sewer system.  For example, getting a catch-all installed is a very easy step to prevent hair or other unwanted materials from going down the drain.  It is also a best practice to avoid flushing down other materials other than toilet paper.  When using the kitchen sink, it is also not advisable to put oil or coffee grounds down the drain.  These are very basic and simple steps but prove to be very helpful in preventing future sewer clogs



Are you plagued with insufficient hot water when you need it the most? Don’t you get to enjoy warm and steamy baths, rather, you make do with lukewarm ones. Do you have to wait for long before your hot water supply is replenished after doing the laundry or when someone takes a shower? Or maybe you are bothered by a noisy water heater? Worst is you start seeing flames come out of the access opening once you turn on the burner. If your answer was “Yes” to all the questions, don’t put off an urgent gas water heater repair any longer.

Learn how to carry out common gas water heater repairs.

Here are the following steps you can do during a gas water heater repair in response to these particular issues:

  • No Hot Water –a pilot light that has gone out is the primary reason for having no hot water at all. If you are clueless on how to relight a pilot light, ask an expert to do it for you. Another reason for this is related to your gas supply. Inspect your heater’s gas cutoff valve as well as that of the gas tank and meter.
  • Pilot Light Won’t Light –suspect a broken valve, lack of gas, clog in your system or air in the gas line as the likely causes. The first thing you have to do is to check the gas supply. If you have gas, relight the pilot light. If nothing happens, it may be due to a clogged pilot orifice. Take it off and clean it. If the problem persists, it may be your gas supply line this time or perhaps a broken gas control valve. Give up with repair and accept that all it needs is a replacement.
  • The Pilot Light Does Not Stay Lit –check the thermocouple. It is responsible for handling the temperature measurement. Replace it if necessary. If your gas control valve is also broken, buy a replacement.
  • The Pilot Light Occasionally Goes Out –blame several issues for this one. Replace your thermocouple if it’s the one causing this problem. Or, you can also remove and clean the gas supply line or the pilot orifice. If nothing works, try it with the burner assembly. If it persists, buy a gas valve replacement. If still the same, blame a downdraft coming from the flue during especially windy days.
  • Too Hot Water –often due to short cycling, it makes your burner turn on constantly. If your problem is this, you might have a huge water storage tank. It may also be due to a stacking problem caused by nonstop draws from your hot water supply line. It can be likewise the result of a thermostat set very high. Your quick fix is to set it a little lower. Moreover, replace a faulty gas control valve if that is the reason for your problem.
  • Insufficient Hot Water –you can easily do a gas water heater repair with this one by adjusting the thermostat. It can also be related to overuse. After all, only half of your tank’s water supply is hot. The remaining is either cool or lukewarm. Reduce your hot water use to see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn’t work, just buy a bigger tank instead. It may also be due to a broken gas control valve or a faulty thermostat. Or you may simply clean the burner orifice to see if your hot water supply improves.
  • Your Water Heater Is Slow To Reheat –try putting your thermostat setting a little higher. You may also go with draining, flushing and cleaning your water storage tank if due to sediment buildup. Again, remove and clean a clogged burner orifice, or contact your gas supplier for low gas pressure issues. At times, you’d experience problems like this during winter. So, try giving your water heater a chance to rest by going somewhere warm for several days during the heating season.
  • Too Much Noise –a little noise is normal, but if it is too much, it may be due to sediment buildup. So, go clean your tank to boost its efficiency.
  • Flame Comes Out of the Access Opening –often due to a clogged burner. Take off the burner assembly and clean both the orifice and the burner. If it doesn’t work, it may be due to high gas pressure right from the source. Contact your gas supplier at once to have a look at this issue and do immediate gas water heater repair.

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