Tips & Articles
Your home’s extensive plumbing network is essential to you and your family’s daily comfort — from taking a hot shower in the morning to doing the laundry and cooking dinner at the end of the day. Many homeowners might assume their home’s plumbing will naturally function and perform smoothly and reliably as long as the house is still standing. While having quality plumbing fixtures and pipes that function indefinitely would be ideal and less hassle, depending on the plumbing materials your home has, its age, environment and regular maintenance upkeep, they could need replacement.
Failing pipes and plumbing are not only inconvenient, but if unaddressed, they can lead to significant and costly property damage. Knowing the expected lifespan of your plumbing and understanding the signs of plumbing failure can help local homeowners know when it’s time to replace household plumbing.
The Lifespans of Residential Plumbing Systems
The pipes and plumbing snaking throughout your home won’t last forever, but with regular care and maintenance, most pipe materials can perform for several decades before showing signs of wear and still need a replacement. Take a look throughout your home and determine which materials your pipes are crafted from — depending on the plumbing materials, any issues may indicate a simple repair need or show the pipes are nearing the end of their usable expectancy.
The lifespan for the most common residential plumbing systems are:
- Brass: 40 to 70 years
- Copper: 50 or more years
- Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years
- Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
- Polyvinyl chloride: Indefinitely
While most of these materials have long lifespans, it’s also important to consider pipe joints, fittings and other components connecting your plumbing and fixtures that may be faulty and causing leaks, clogs and other issues.
What’s the Average Plumbing Life Cycle?
Along with the materials used, the average plumbing system’s life cycle will depend on each individual part, including:
- Water heaters: 12-year average life cycle
- Garbage disposals: 10-year average life cycle
- Toilet flappers: Five-year average life cycle
- Water softeners: 20-year average life cycle
In addition, toilets manufactured after 1992 need to flush on 1.6 GPF or less, or it’s time to replace them.
When to Replace Your Home’s Plumbing
Once you better understand the materials of your plumbing and its performance expectations, you should also know the common signs of failing plumbing and when to replace toilet pipes, leaking faucets, slow drains and other plumbing fixtures. The following are signs it’s time to replace your home’s plumbing:
- Discolored water: Water with an unusual color or brownish tint typically indicates pipe corrosion, and your water supply is likely carrying rust particles.
- Water with an odor: Avoid using any water with a strange odor, which could indicate significant bacteria buildup inside pipes.
- Leaking pipes or fixtures: Note any obvious of leaks like a broken fixture of damp spaces behind walls or around major appliance. Also, look at your water bill and see if it’s been creeping up the past few months — while you may get away with simply replacing a damaged faucet, you may need a pipe replacement.
- Slow drainage: If you have a drain that refuses to unclog no matter how many cleaning agents and snakes you use, then it could be extremely corroded and need replacement.
- Low water pressure: Persistent poor water pressure could indicate a clogged water pipe somewhere in your system, a leak downstream from the fixture or reveal a leaking pipe.
Experiencing an Issue With Your Plumbing? Contact Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC Today
When you notice unusual plumbing performance or suspect it’s time to replace your plumbing, work with the experienced and knowledgeable plumbing experts at Ranck Plumbing. With our plumbing repair and replacement technicians, residents throughout the Lancaster, PA, area are assured exceptional quality, safe and controlled services and unmatched value. Learn more about our plumbing repair solutions and replacement services today by calling 717-397-2577 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.
When it’s hot and muggy outside, your indoors are a welcome oasis with cool air blasting from your air conditioning unit. While your air conditioner makes your home more comfortable and relaxing during the summer, it can start to stretch your wallet by increasing your overall energy costs. Keeping your air conditioner on all summer long can cost you hundreds in extra cooling costs that are much better spent on a summer getaway, not on bills. Every homeowner understands the need for having a properly functioning air conditioning system, but with a few household tweaks and summertime preparations, you can keep your home cool while saving on costs.
Summer Energy Saving Tips
If you notice your utility expenses creeping up, consider how you’re using your cooling system and determine if there are any adjustments you can make to keep costs down. Here are some simple energy saving habits you can adopt to lower your energy bills in the summer:
- Schedule an A/C tune-up: As your air conditioning system ages, it becomes less efficient with constant use and aging, worn parts — keep your air conditioning unit maintained with annual tune-up services. During annual maintenance, an HVAC professional will thoroughly inspect the quality of your machinery, replace dirty filters, check fluid levels and ensure your A/C is performing at maximum efficiency.
- Upgrade to a smart thermostat: Why are you running your air conditioner when no one is home? By upgrading to a smart thermostat, you can schedule times for the air conditioner to run, improving your energy efficiency. Most smart thermostats can be controlled from anywhere from your smartphone, making it fast and simple to monitor your cooling efforts.
- Check and seal household leaks: Make sure your hard-earned cool air isn’t seeping through unseen openings in your fireplace dampers, doors, windows or attic space. Check all of the seals around your openings and apply fresh weather stripping or caulk to reduce cool air transference. For a more thorough assessment, schedule a professional energy audit where an expert will use infrared technology to exactly pinpoint poorly insulated areas of your home.
- Block sunlight and use fans: Access to natural lighting can boost your mood and enhance your interiors, but in the summertime, the sun can also increase your indoor temperature, triggering your air conditioner to run more often. Keep curtains or blinds drawn over windows that face the sun. Along with keeping your shades drawn, install fans or turn on ceiling fans on mild days to keep your space comfortable while reducing your energy bill.
- Limit heat-producing appliances: During the hottest times of the day, limit how frequently you’re using heat-producing appliances like washers and dryers, stovetops and ovens. While these machines make your daily chores easier, they also create a lot of heat, prompting you to turn on your air conditioner. Either wait until the temperature cools off at night to use these appliances or switch to cooking out on the grill to prepare food without generating indoor heat.
Schedule A/C Maintenance Services Today With Ranck Plumbing, Heating and A/C
To guarantee you have the most efficient and effective air conditioning system in time for the summer heat, reach out to the trained and experienced professionals at Ranck Plumbing, Heating and A/C. We happily provide expert, customized cooling solutions for homeowners throughout the Lancaster, PA area and beyond. We provide comprehensive air conditioner maintenance services to improve the performance of your unit or can recommend quality upgrades to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home.
Schedule air conditioning maintenance services today, or learn more about our cooling solutions by calling 717-397-2577 or filling out our online contact form.
The hot weather is finally upon us which means your home’s air conditioning (a/c) unit will be working hard this season. When you turn your air conditioner on for the first time, there are some tips to keep in mind to ensure it is working effectively to keep your home cool and not wasting energy. Read our top 5 tips for your air conditioning unit below!
- Air filters should be checked once a month and replaced as needed. Dust, allergens and pet dander circulate more in the summer time which can quickly clog your filters. This makes your system work harder and waste money. By replacing them, you are extending the life of your cooling system!
- Keep the heat away – Make sure you move any objects that produce heat near your thermostat. This can trick the thermostat into thinking it’s hotter than it is in your home and will run your air conditioning system longer than necessary.
- Assess efficiency – It could be time for a new a/c unit if it is not properly cooling down your home or cycling on and off. By contacting us, we can assess any issues and recommend either repairs or a new, energy efficient system that will save you money long term.
- Keep it clean – Make sure to clean any debris off your outdoor unit, since that is where the central condenser unit is located. Dust, leaves, dirt and even small pebbles can get into your central condenser, so make sure to clean those away in order to keep your a/c unit in tip top condition!
- Set Your A/C to auto – By setting your thermostat to “auto” this will keep your a/c unit from running nonstop. It will also reduce the amount of energy needed to run it all while saving you money!
Ranck Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning Acquires Triangle Home HVAC
Lancaster, PA, May 1, 2018 — Today Ranck Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning announced they have acquired Triangle Home HVAC, the residential division of Triangle Refrigeration Co.
John Michel, Ranck President and CEO noted, “Triangle customers are in the same geography that we serve. This will make us more efficient and allow us to provide Triangle customers with our first class service. We look forward to having the Triangle Home HVAC employees join the Ranck team. Triangle customers may continue to call the Triangle phone number 717-656-2711 or they may call Ranck direct at 717-397-2577.”
Triangle President, Dave Neslund said, “Both companies have been in business for many decades. We share the same values and care deeply about our employees and customers. Ranck excels in residential heating, cooling and plumbing, so it makes sense for Ranck to serve our residential customers while allowing us to focus on our commercial business.”
Triangle Refrigeration Co. will continue to provide commercial HVAC, plumbing and refrigeration services to their commercial and industrial customers in the mid-Atlantic region.
About Ranck Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning
Founded in 1953, Ranck Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning provides first class service to customers in Lancaster, York and Berks counties. For more information visit: www.ranckinc.com.
About Triangle Refrigeration & Home HVAC
Since 1969 Triangle has provided solutions for commercial and residential customers throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania with a blend of old-fashioned quality, integrity and state-of-the-art technology. For more information visit: www.trianglerefrigeration.com.
The spring and summer seasons can bring on an increase in allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions. With more than 24 million people suffering from asthma and 50 million people from allergies, it’s important that your home be a healthy space for your family with clean air. Indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted with various pollutants than outdoor air, which can threaten your health.
You can make some easy changes to help clean the air, such as making sure those who smoke do so only outside, installing a carbon monoxide detector and ventilating your home properly. And Ranck can help your family’s air quality improve even more by installing a wide range of healthy air solutions. If your house is usually humid, especially in the basement, consider having a professional dehumidifier installed. These models run at less than two-thirds of the operating costs of other models and can help control the humidity throughout your house. Ranck also offers humidifiers if you notice the air is very dry is your house.
We also work with our customers to install whole house air cleaners that are incorporated in your heating and cooling system and can eliminate up to 99.98% of indoor pollutants. Ranck offers ventilation solutions for better, cleaner air throughout your whole home too.
Eliminating allergies from your home and installing healthy air solutions is a great investment for your family. This not only improves the quality of living immediately but you have peace of mind knowing your family’s health is not being affected by something that is easily prevented! Call us today or click the link below to learn more about our home air solutions.