Is Your Guest Bathroom Ready For Visitors?

18735751_sAre you looking forward to entertaining guests in the coming weeks? The fall is a favorite time of year to have friends and family over for delicious meals. The foods that are associated with fall are some of the best all year.

Baking is a favorite activity in the fall because of all of the specialty apples that are in season. And, casseroles or crockpot soups and stews are made easy and filling with root vegetables, beans, and rich meats.

All of this eating means extra wear and tear on your kitchen plumbing system though. And, if you’re like most people, your kitchen plumbing was mostly ignored over the summer months in favor of spending time outdoors in the warm weather.

But, if you’re going to have guests coming, who are expecting delicious meals and will be spending a couple of nights with you, it is important to get your plumbing system in top working order. Here are some tips:

  • Look in the cabinets under all of the sinks in your home and make sure there isn’t any pooling water. If you store things under the sink in your kitchen, pull everything out so that you can check all of the corners and sides of the cabinet.
  • Not all materials that make up clogs are vulnerable to the chemicals in the cleaning product. Instead, the product sits for a long time in your pipe and eats away at the pipe material, causing a weakening in your plumbing.
  • If you leave a toilet cleaning disc in the tank, the water in the tank will become highly corrosive to the gaskets and cause it to crumble and breakdown. The end result is a toilet that doesn’t function properly. If you have a bathroom in your home that you don’t use very often, leaving a toilet cleaning disc in the tank is especially detrimental as the toilet doesn’t get flushed very often and the water in the tank is constantly bathing the toilet components in chemicals.

To ensure that your guests have a wonderful visit, and you don’t have the unexpected stress and expense of a plumbing failure, make sure to follow these tips for getting your plumbing system in top working order.

4 Maintenance Tips For Your Kitchen Plumbing

39337284_sThe fall season is a favorite time of year for many people. Not only are there some terrific holidays to celebrate this time of year, but the food and seasonal ingredients are warm and comforting.

During the fall season many people move their cooking from outdoors on the grill to indoors in the oven, stove, and crockpot. While this is great for mealtime, it is hard on your kitchen during meal preparation and clean-up.

Here are some ways that you can keep your plumbing system protected from fall season cooking and cleaning:

  • Pour a boiling pot of water down your garbage disposal drain at least one time per week. First, plug the sink with a plug that has a chain on it. Then boil a large pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the sink, and then pull the drain. The heat and pressure of the water will “wash” the inside of the garbage disposal walls.
  • When you are peeling potatoes and other seasonal ingredients, put a plastic bag on the countertop and peel the foods into it. Then, gather up the side of the plastic bag and throw the peels into the garbage can. This prevents these peels from being put into the garbage disposal, where they will cause problems for the blade and could cause a serious clog.
  • After you have cooked meat, pour the grease, oil, and drippings into an empty tin can. Then, throw the entire can into the garbage can. If you pour the grease into the kitchen drain, it will solidify in the drain when it cools and begin collecting anything that comes down the drain behind it. This will soon lead to a serious clog in your kitchen drain.
  • When you are loading the dishwasher, make sure to thoroughly rinse the dishes and get all of the food particles from them. Putting large amounts of food into the dishwasher can cause the filter to clog, leading to the dishwasher filling with dirty water.

Mealtime during the fall is comforting and warming after a cold day out of your home. But, cleanup and preparation need some thoughtful processes to make sure that your kitchen plumbing is protected. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your kitchen working great!


Will You Be Without Hot Water This Fall?

36778918_sYour water heater is an important piece of your plumbing system – especially when the temperature outside starts to get cooler. Now that we are in the fall season, it is reminder that the winter temperatures are not far away, and a winter day without hot water could be very difficult.

While it might seem that your water heater wears down from simple wear and tear, in actuality the cold weather is much more damaging to the system. In fact, when the temperatures begin to drop outside your water heater has to work even harder than any other time of year.

Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect your water heater from breaking down during the cold weather:

  • Purchase an insulated blanket and wrap it around your water heater. This extra layer of protection helps to keep the heat inside of the tank and the cold outside. When the temperatures drop in the room where your water heater tank is installed, the water inside of the tank is subject to that temperature. This makes the water heater have to work harder to keep the water hot. But, with an insulated blanket, the water is kept hot.
  • Have the pressure valve on your water heater checked. Because the water inside of your water heater tank is hot, it releases steam and creates condensation. This causes pressure to build inside of the tank, and that pressure must be released or the tank will burst. The pressure valve measures the amount of pressure in the tank and releases enough to protect it from damage. Making sure this valve is working properly is very important to the overall safety and integrity of the tank.
  • Have your hot water heater tank inspected by a professional. Before we go into the most difficult season for your hot water heater, have the unit inspected by a professional to make sure that it is working properly and there aren’t any areas that could be hazardous.

Keeping your water heater in top working condition could make the difference between a good winter and a very inconvenient and cold one. The winter temperatures are very damaging to your water heater. Make sure to follow these tips and get your water heater protected.

How To Care For Your Appliances During The Back-To-School Chaos!

43493884_sDuring the month of September, there are many beginnings that people look forward to. Football seasons starts, which means filling out your Fantasy Football bracket, and the fall season begins with the first day being near the end of the month.

One thing that starts in September that many people don’t look forward to is the school season. This time of year means families throughout the Country get lurched into a chaotic frenzy of schedule and on-time.

All of this extra activity and moving around the home means that the appliances in your house take a beating, especially your plumbing system. The pipes and fixtures of your plumbing system are designed to handle a great deal of use, but if not treated properly, your plumbing system can quickly fail or breakdown leaving your schedule devastated.

Some areas to be considerate of are:

  • Your garbage disposal is especially vulnerable to the chaos of the schedule. When meal preparation or, clean-up is running behind, suddenly the garbage can is too far away and the garbage disposal will have to do. This is a dangerous practice as the garbage disposal can get clogged or broken.
  • Your dishwasher can fall victim to the chaos of the schedule. Inside of your dishwasher is a filter that is meant to trap small amounts of food particles. However, if you are in a hurry to get a meal cleaned-up, you may not be scraping the dishes as thoroughly as you should. This can leave the dishwasher filter clogged, and thus your dishes being washed with dirty water. Yuck!
  • Your water heater can become a casualty of the schedule. During the evening hours dinner dishes need to be cleaned up, showers need to be taken, and teeth need to be brushed. All of these tasks require hot water. However, your water heater only holds a definite amount of hot water and when the hot water in the tank is exhausted, you have to wait! The schedule does not allow waiting. Instead, add timer to the bathroom and keep everyone on schedule.

The back-to-school schedule is a beast that must be fed, and going off schedule is unacceptable. Follow these tips to keep your family on the schedule, without compromising your plumbing system.

Plumbing Projects Do’s And Don’ts

34463361_s (1)Safety during home improvement projects is the priority. Whether you are a professional or, a confident homeowner, keeping yourself safe and the project on target are key to a successful outcome.

Your plumbing system is a fragile configuration and must be approached with thoughtfulness and care. This includes having a complete safety protocol that is followed consistently.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for you to add to your list when designing a safety plan for your home plumbing project:

  • If you plumbing projects involves moving or installing plumbing, make sure that you are aware of all plumbing codes and laws. Any kind of addition or construction that you do to your home must pass code and inspection. Knowing what these are is important to ensuring that your plumbing project does not fail an inspection, which could cause you a significant amount of money.
  • Always wear safety gear. Any home improvement project has its own dangers. By not taking these dangers seriously, and protecting yourself, you could be seriously injured. Proper protective equipment includes; safety goggles, gloves, boots, and a mask. This equipment should be worn at all times when working on your plumbing system.
  • Keep your work area clean and tidy. When you are working with your plumbing system, sometimes it is necessary to use power tools. This means creating a situation where electricity and water interact. It is very important in these situations to keep the work area clean and free of any obstructions that could lead to a serious injury.
  • When you are researching your project, make sure to identify the tools you will need for the job and have all of them handy. There are some specialty tools required when working on your plumbing system and they are not ones that people always have in their toolbox. Make sure that you know which tools you will need, and that you are using the tools as they were intended.

Keeping yourself safe during a home improvement project is one of the best ways to keep the project on time and on target. When an unexpected injury occurs, the project could be derailed for quite some time and that might leave you without working plumbing while you are injured.

Toilet Repair

Repair Toilet Clogs

clogged toilet repairOne of the most important part of your plumbing system is the toilet. This fixture is important because, if it stops working everyone in the house notices. Not to mention the mess that a clogged toilet can make.

A clogged toilet is typically caused by something being flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t have been. While this can include the occasional child’s toy, car keys, or TV remote it is more often from an accumulation of non-flushable paper products.

Things like diapers, baby wipes, q-tips, dental floss, and sanitary napkins should never be flushed down the toilet. While these items might seem appropriate to flush down the toilet, they are actually much too large and dense to make it all the way down the pipeline. The drain and pipes for your toilet are designed only to manage liquids and organic solids. When non-flushable paper products are flushed, they easily get stuck in the drain curves and pipe joints because the diameter of the system is not big enough.

Here is how you can easily unclog your toilet:

  • Turn the water valve for the toilet off.
  • Purchase a quality toilet plunger that has a flanged bell on it. This makes it easier to ensure a good seal is created between the plunger and the toilet drain.
  • Add a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the flange part of the plunger. Make sure you are wearing gloves and safety goggles. It is easy for water to splash up out of the bowl due to pressure build-up in the line.
  • Place the flange part of the plunger bell over the toilet drain so that no part of the drain is visible. Gently push down on the plunger handle. It is important to make the first thrust gentle as the clog has trapped air in the drain and pushing forcefully could cause water to splash up and out of the bowl.
  • After you have pushed the air out of the line, you can then push and pull on the handle of the plunger forcefully (making sure never to break the seal between flange and drain) several times until water starts to drain from the toilet bowl. Make sure there is always enough water in the toilet bowl to cover the plunger.
  • Turn the water to the toilet back on and flush the toilet.

No one likes having a clogged toilet. While it is one of the most common plumbing failures, it is probably the most loathed because of the filth and inconvenience that comes along with it. Follow these easy steps for getting your toilet back to doing its job! If you need help contact us. At Mccuen PHC we are here to help you with all of your plumbing, heating & AC related problems 24/7!

Emergency Plumbing Tips

Residential Emergency Plumbing Tips

Broken PipeUnfortunately, the emergency part in a plumbing emergency is usually the flow of water. When a pipe, fixture, or appliance begins to leak the damage it can do to your home is extensive.

Your residential plumbing system is designed to manage a constant flow of water from the main water supply. This could be a well on your property or, the closest municipal water supply. In both cases, there is a constant flow of water in your pipes so that, when you turn on the shower or faucet, there is always water running out until you turn the fixture off.

Even in the case of running out of hot water, there is still cold water that will continue to flow until the fixture is turned off. Luckily, plumbers and plumbing manufacturers know this and so most fixtures are equipped with individual shut off valves. Also, your main water supply can be shut off so that water stops flowing to all of the fixtures in your home. Whether your plumbing emergency is confined to just one fixture in your home or, you have a water heater that has burst and is steadily filling your home with water, you have to know how to turn the water off to mitigate damages.

Here are some tips for how to turn the water off to your individual plumbing fixtures, as well as to the main water supply.

To shut the water off to a faucet, toilet, or other plumbing fixture:

  • Locate the plumbing that supports your affected fixture. This is typically housed in a cabinet under a sink, or behind the toilet bowl where it attaches to the wall.
  • Inspect the plumbing where it goes into the wall. This is typically where you will find a stop valve or, shut off handle. If you are turning off the water to the sink, you will need to locate both the cold water and hot water valves.
  • Turn the valve(s) clockwise to turn off the water. If you can’t do this by hand, then get a pair of gloves or a wrench.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your water heater, simply turn off the cold water valve that is located on top of the water heater.
  • If you are trying to turn the water off to your washing machine, simply turn off the valve that is behind the machine where the hose attaches.

To shut the water off to your entire house:

  • Locate the concrete box that is near the street and just below ground level. This typically has a green lid covering it.
  • Locate the valve handle and turn it clockwise until it is closed tight
  • If needed, use a wrench or a pair of gloves to grip the valve and get it to turn.
  • Make sure to turn the water back on after your plumbing emergency has been cleared.
  • Always keep this valve either completely opened or completely closed, make sure to turn it until it stops in either direction you are turning it.

Plumbing emergencies are stressful and can cause a significant amount of damage outside of the broken plumbing. Follow these steps to stop the flow of water and reduce the amount of damage you have to repair after the emergency has passed. Contact McCuen PHC, we will have someone to your home ASAP to help you with your plumbing emergency.

Spring Drain Cleaning

This year while you’re clearing out the cobwebs and dust bunnies left behind from the long winter months, don’t forget to make spring drain cleaning a part of your spring cleaning routine. Though often left neglected until problems arise, your drains could use some attention if you haven’t had them cleaned or inspected in a while, and spring is a great time to do it.

Spring Drain CleaningSpring Drain Cleaning

While many people neglect to call the plumber until they have a clogged drain, opting for routine drain cleaning is actually a good way to stop problems before they start. Having a professional come to your home annually to inspect and clean your drains has a couple benefits.

  • Having your drains cleaned annually cuts down on unpleasant odors, especially in places like kitchen sinks where food debris can build up and lead to nasty smells.
  • Annual drain cleaning gets rid of debris that could be building up in your drains before it turns into to total clog.
  • Calling in a professional each year for preventative maintenance, like drain cleaning, provides a chance for minor issues to be detected and corrected before they become major plumbing problems.

DIY Spring Plumbing Maintenance

Calling in a professional plumber is your best choice for routine drain cleaning and inspection, but if you’d rather try your hand at DIY spring plumbing maintenance, there is one surprisingly easy trick. All you have to do is pour about 1 cup of baking soda down your drain followed immediately by about ½ cup of white vinegar. Then, cover your drain with a plate or a lid. Mixing baking soda and white vinegar causes a chemical reaction that causes foaming. This foam gently removes built up debris from your drains. Remove the plate/lid after 30 minutes, then run hot water down your drain. Doing this every so often is a good way to avoid clogs and get rid of unpleasant odors.

Broomall Spring Drain Cleaning

If you’d rather call in a professional for Broomall spring drain cleaning or drain inspection, give the experts at John McCuen, Inc. a call. From routine drain inspection, cleaning and maintenance to emergency plumbing repairs, our technicians do it all. Give us a call now at (610) 325-9395 for service in Broomall, PA and the surrounding areas.

Think Spring and AC Upgrades!

Despite recent cold snaps and snow storms, spring really is just a few short weeks away, and before you know it, it will be time to start thinking about your home’s air conditioning system. With warmer days just around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about your options if you plan on upgrading your air conditioner in Havertown this year.

Reasons to Upgrade Your ACAir Conditioner Upgrade Havetown

If your air conditioner wasn’t working efficiently – or at all – at the end of last season, you’re probably wondering if it would be better up upgrade or repair your air conditioner. In many cases, repairing seems like the most affordable solution, but it isn’t always the best one. If your home’s AC is fairly new, having it professional repaired is probably a good choice. For older models, though, you will probably be further ahead if you choose to upgrade.

Newer models are more energy efficient. Though repairs may cost less up front than an AC replacement, your savings could quickly disappear due to the high energy consumption of older units. On the flip side, the energy savings from a newer model could eventually pay for the cost of upgrading. You may also qualify for tax rebates for upgrading to an energy efficient air conditioner.

Things to Consider Before You Buy a New AC

Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade, there are a few things you should take into consideration before you buy a new AC. For starters, you need to think about what type of system is best for you. If you have existing duct work that is in good condition, a central air conditioner is probably a good choice. Lacking duct work or have existing ducts that are in terrible condition and need to be replaced? Consider a ductless air conditioner. These systems are ideal for smaller homes, and they provide efficient cooling without the need for ducts.

Professional AC Installation in Havertown

When it’s time to upgrade your air conditioner to a newer model, or if you are buying an air conditioner for the first time, getting it installed right requires the assistance of a professional. For professional Havertowen air condtioner installation and the surrounding areas, trust the experts at John McCuen Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. From helping you choose the right model to installing it in your home and even providing air conditioner service and air conditioner maintenance for the life of the system, our technicians have the knowledge and skills to get the job done right. Give us a call today at (610) 325-9395 to schedule an appointment for air conditioner service in Havertown, PA.

Advantages of Duct Cleaning

Advantages of Duct Cleaning

Advantages of Duct CleaningNo matter what type of heating system you have, duct cleaning is much more important than you may realize. In fact, there are several advantages of duct cleaning that you probably haven’t even considered. From lowering bills to improving your family’s health, regular duct cleaning has numerous benefits and is a major part of maintaining your heating system that you shouldn’t be skipping.

  • Better Airflow. Improved airflow is the most obvious benefit of keeping your heating system’s ducts clean, but do you know why clean air ducts are so important? First, it improves the efficiency of your system. This can lower your heating bills and ensure that your heating system has optimal performance.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality. When your heating ducts are filled with dust and debris, the quality of your indoor air suffers considerably. Pollutants in your ducts are constantly circulated throughout your home, potentially making allergies worse and even distributing unpleasant smells.
  • Early Detection of Problems. Having the ducts in your home professionally cleaned on a regular basis provides an opportunity for a technician to examine this crucial part of your heating system and detect potential problems before they turn into major headaches.

Professional Duct Cleaning in Broomall, PA 

When you’re in need of professional duct cleaning in Broomall, PA or the surrounding areas, there simply is no better choice than John McCuen, Inc. When you trust our technicians, you can be sure that the job will be done correctly. Our technicians also perform inspections for leaks and other problems while cleaning to ensure optimal performance for your heating system.

If it’s been a while since that last time you had your heating ducts professionally cleaned, don’t wait any longer. Give us a call today at 610-325-9395, or schedule an appointment via our website.