Are you hearing strange noises from a bathroom sink or from the washing machine drain in the laundry room?
The noise probably is the water in the p-trap of your condensate drain.
During the winter, the drain dries out and you are hearing the final dregs of water moving with the trash in the drain. Since the p-trap prevents sewer gas from getting into the air stream of your air handler, it needs to have fluid added back into it. Either vinegar or bleach will work to kill the stuff growing in the drain. Both work well, but in a pinch, you can add water into the drain to stop the noise.
During the spring, summer, and fall when the air conditioner is working and removing moisture from the air, it is a great idea to add bleach or vinegar monthly to the vent in the p trap to kill the stuff growing there.
Please note: if there is a vent or area to add bleach or vinegar between the p trap and the air handler, it must have a removable cap added so the air handler will drain properly.
Final note: If you have a tub or shower in the home not being used, often this time of year when it the air in the home is so dry, the p-trap for the sink, tub, or shower will dry out and a horrible stink smell will occur in the bathroom, just run some water in the drain to refill the trap and get rid of the smell.
In 1991, I was living near Ruston, Louisiana and my home burned down. We lived in a rural area about 8 miles out of the city limits and depended on a volunteer fire department. Though they responded rapidly, by the time they got there the home was completely engulfed in flames. We lost everything we accumulated over 10 years of marriage. A month later my 1st son was born. My pregnant wife and I were alerted by working smoke alarms and we got out before we were hurt. I am a firm believer of smoke alarms and what they can do to save lives.
Many things have changed since 1991. Then a smoke alarm was placed in hallways near bedrooms and on each floor. As you can see from the list below, the standards have greatly changed over the years.
Installing smoke alarms:
The NFPA, as well as Consumers Reports, recommends that smoke alarms be tested each month, batteries changed yearly, and smoke alarms be changed at least every 10 years.
After living through that fire 26 years ago, I recommend:
Final note: Make a plan of action before it is needed. Practice it with your family. Figure out what you will do if there is ever a fire in your home before it happens. If you hear the alarm go off scream and yell to everyone to get out of the home and GET OUT OF THE HOME! After you are out call 911.
If you have any questions about your alarms, how to maintain them, where to install them, or how to test them, call us at Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric. We are here for you.
How does your air conditioning company clean your condenser unit during a spring tuneup or checkup? Do they wash the unit from the outside in? Do they always use coil cleaners on the aluminum fins and copper tubing?
When Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric cleans a condenser, we start by removing the top grill the fan motor is attached to off of the condenser unit. We do this for several reasons:
While the top is off, we check compressor wires and connections, reversing valve wires and connections, and fan motor wires for cuts, nicks, abraded areas, and burns. We check the fan motor bearings for slop while the top is off the unit.
As far as my question about coil cleaner use, I believe coil cleaners are a tool that can be over used. Most air conditioners in a residential setting, as well as most in commercial settings (restaurants and factory settings excluded) get lots of dust and dirt, leaves and grass, but little grease or other sticky pollutants embedded annually on the coil. If it is necessary and used sparingly, coil cleaner is great. If over used or improperly used in too strong a solution; it can remove paint, etch the aluminum and copper ultimately creating non repairable leaks. It can also kill your grass and plants. It gets very expensive to replace a leaky condenser coil! To extend the life of a unit, I usually try to wash it with coil cleaner only every 3 years unless there is a reason to do so more often.
If you have any questions about maintaining your air conditioning system or the electrical systems in your home or business, we will be happy to discuss them with you.
Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric is available week days as well as weekends by appointment.
When your Air Conditioning Company does your spring tuneup or inspection, do they pull your blower assembly out from your furnace, separate the motor from the blower wheel, and clean the wheel, the motor, and the housing?
If not, they are very possibly leaving the motor full of dirt and dust that will make the motor run hot, often leading to an early failure of your fan motor.
When Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric does a Spring Tuneup we pull the blower assembly and tear it down for cleaning.
This gives us the opportunity to clean the motor and oil it if it has oil ports. We also electrically check the motor and the run capacitor if it has one. The capacitor has to be within 6% of its manufacturers ratings or it can damage the motor winding's and cause the motor ultimately to fail to start. While we have the blower assembly apart, we clean the blower housing and wheel, thus ensuring the full air flow required for proper air conditioning.
Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric will do a complete checkup on your AC System. We believe it should take a couple of hours or ore to complete a thorough air conditioning tune up. We do not charge more to be thorough, we believe this is the correct way to do an Air Conditioning Tuneup. We do everything we can to leave your system in great shape to deliver clean, comfortable, and safe air to you.
This is why our complete Spring Air Conditioning Tuneup is not priced as a $25.00, $30.00, $45.00, or even a $60.00 so called tuneup or inspection. No company can afford do this high quality work for those prices.
You know the old adage...if it sounds to good to be true, it must not be true.
Call Clear Springs Air Conditioning for a real bargain in a spring Air Conditioning tuneup; a complete thorough tuneup, where everything is checked and you end up with a well functioning system - instead of you paying another company just to get into your home so they have the chance to constantly pitch you a new system or try to sell you expensive add on's every time they come to do work, which is the only reason they offer these very low, unrealistic prices.
Remember, if you live in New Braunfels, and use NBU as your energy provider; New Braunfels Utilities offers a $40.00 energy rebate for a complete and properly documented Air Conditioning Tuneup.
When Avery Park was built, it seems everyone got a General Electric refrigerator with icemaker in the door. This morning, one of the neighbors who has lived here about 4 years said her refrigerator was not working well. It was making a lot of noise and was blowing a lot of heat from under the bottom towards her kitchen. During the repair, she committed that her electric bills were running $20.00 to $30.00 dollars more this year than last.
When we pulled the refrigerator out of the space between the cabinets, we found the vent holes on the cardboard backing on the bottom of the refrigerator were completely covered with lent and dirt.
After unplugging the refrigerator from the wall, we vacuumed the cardboard backing off. There was a lot of dirt in the canister on the vacuum cleaner. The homeowner said she had just emptied it just before we started. When I emptied the refrigerator dirt from the vacuum cleaner canister it contained a little over 2 cups of dirt and lint. I then disassembled the cardboard backing from the refrigerator by removing 4 screws.
Next, I removed the fan.
To do this I simply unplugged the plastic Molex plug from the wiring pigtail, and removed 2 screws and then pulled out the fan.
I carefully removed the compression ring that holds the fan blade to the fan shaft.
Then using a paintbrush and the vacuum cleaner, I proceeded to vacuum and brush clean the fan shroud and motor to remove the dirt. With the dirty plastic fan blade removed from the fan motor, I simply washed it in the sink with dishwashing soap and a kitchen scrubber. Afterwards I reassembled the fan assembly making sure the compression ring was reinstalled.
Next, using the vacuum cleaner and paintbrush, I gently started to clean the condenser coil.
I was able to remove most of the dust and dirt this way. Finally to get rest of the dirt off the coil, I simply sprayed the coil off with some slightly soapy water then rinsed with clean water.
The pan under the coil and compressor is designed to take the overflow water from the icemaker and the defrost water and allow it to evaporate as it is exposed to the heat from the compressor and condenser coil.
I mopped up the water I could get to from the water pan. I reassembled the fan to the condenser coil, plugged the Molex connector back in, replaced the cardboard backing, and after mopping the floor behind the refrigerator, slid the refrigerator back into the space between the cabinets. The final picture is of the dirt I was able to remove just from the coil, the fan assembly, and the water pan.
The quarter is for size comparison.
Performing this deep clean restored the fridge to its original cooling ability, reduced the noise it was creating and prevented the fridge from expelling hot air from the front.
We also anticipate the customer seeing a reduced energy bill and a longer refrigerator lifespan.
We encourage each of our customers to perform a cleaning like this every few years. If you don't have the time or prefer to hire a professional, give Clear Springs Air Conditioning & Electric a call. We're happy to help you out!
One of the most common electrical devices I replace in a home is the GFI. The GFI or GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter device's only reason for existence is to prevent electrical shock or worse, electrocution. The definition of electrocution is death by electrical shock.
Technically, the GFCI senses the electrical current flowing between the electrically hot wire and the ground wire. This electrical current should be equal. If the electrical current flow is not equal, even 3 to 4 milliamps difference, it will trip in less than 1 second.
For example, if you are using a hair dryer and because it somehow gets wet and some small part of the electrical current flows through your body instead of through the GFCI, then it will open the circuit and shut off current flow to the hair dryer.
You should find these devices where ever there is a chance you may come in contact with electricity and water, such as the kitchen, bathroom, unfinished basement, outdoors, and in your garage.
There are 3 main types in use in homes and businesses today. The 1st is the wall plug (see photo). The second is a device used on extension cords and is mobile and easy to use anywhere, and the third is in your breaker panel.
My final comment on these lifesaving devices is that they should be tested monthly. To test them, trip the button marked test, and then reset it with the button marked reset. If it will not trip, or it will not reset, have a qualified electrician check it out for you. These devices are often at the head of a circuit that controls many other receptacles, if they are not wired correctly into the GFCI, it and they will not be protected.
Today, many homeowners are trying to do more of the repair and maintenance tasks on their homes. One of the easiest and least costly tasks to do is changing the filters in their home Air Conditioning System. Often though, this task is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood jobs. I hope to help remedy this over my next few blogs.
Here’s some quick tips to get started:
At Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric, we pride ourselves in the quality of service we provide. We are committed to being a service organization first. Many so called service companies focus on sales not on service. We do not. We will not hurry through your service or repairs so we can make a sale elsewhere. We are as happy to do your twice yearly system service checkup as we are to install a new system. Please follow us on Facebook as we delve further into filters and other home improvement matters.
Jonathan Smith has been in the Air Conditioning and Heating industry for well over 30 years and has spent more than 27 years in the Electrical industry.