Diamond Dave Posts

Vancouver will amaze you with its breathtaking views and diverse culture. It is the third most populous city in Canada, after Toronto and Montreal. Take in the mountain and ocean views, do some whale watching, visit the Art Gallery or go back in time to pan for gold. You can do all this and more in this stunning city.

  1. Gastown: Named after the first settler, “Gassy Jack,” this area is covered with cobbled streets, courtyards and Victorian architecture. Visit the many merchants and vendors who offer native art, souvenirs and antiques.
  2. Stanley Park: Over 1000 acres of woodlands, wildlife, lakes, beaches and trails. This is a true paradise, and you won’t even realize that you’re in the middle of the city.
  3. Robson Street: This has been a favourite location shoot for many feature films. Sidewalk cafes, restaurants, book stores and coffee shops await you here.
  4. Vancouver Art Gallery: One of North America’s premier art galleries, there are many family friendly activities.
  5. Fraser Canyon: Go back in the days of the gold rush, and find out what it was like to pan for gold. Take a cable car over the Fraser River and see one of British Columbia’s most breathtaking views.
  6. Burnaby Village Museum and Carousel: Go back in time and chat with a blacksmith, or the general store’s clerk.
  7. Science World: A whole new experience awaits you; fun for the whole family, try the many hands-on experiments as you learn about the world of science.
  8. Whale Watching: Perfect for the nature lover, these guided day trips will let you catch a glimpse of these amazing animals.
  9. Vancouver Lookout: Get an impressive view of Vancouver, the North Shore Mountains and even Vancouver Island from the 360-degree view. From fifty stories up, you’ll get a guided tour around the deck from knowledgeable staff. A great view day or night.

Depending on how long your stay is in Vancouver, try and include as many of the above activities in your itinerary. Not only will you have a trip you won’t soon forget; you will want to make Vancouver a regular vacation spot. No matter what season you go, there is always something exciting to do: water-skiing, snow-skiing, hiking, kayaking, the list is endless. Check with your travel agent to see if any of the above activities can be included as part of a package. Last but not least, make sure you take the proper precautions to be safe on your trip with your friends and family.

Some of the best hiking trails and downhill mountain biking can be found on Vancouver’s North Shore. Here is a map set up by a local service company. Click on this link to view the map.

Construction

Plumbing services can be costly. Most homeowners need to do whatever they can to reduce calls for assistance with their plumbing, drains and other features. There are a few quick and easy tips you could do on a regular basis to mitigate the need to use plumbing services.

1. Watch Your Drains
A clogged drain can result in an issue where the movement of water into the drain is drastically minimized and even entirely prohibited. In some cases, a clogged drain could be an annoyance, but sometimes, it can be prevent you from using your sink, tub or any other water feature altogether. To prevent drain clogs, keep an eye on what’s going through drain. Remember that even small items like hair in addition to sticky or oily items like grease can accumulate as time passes to create a clog.

2. Insulate Your Pipes
Another common cause for plumbing problems can be a burst pipe in cold weather. Insulating outdoor pipes is a sure way you can keep your pipes from bursting during colder months. You can also ensure that water faucets are permitted to slowly drip when outdoor temperatures fall below freezing. As a further step, keeping the cabinet doors underneath sinks open can promote warmer pipes too.

3. Inspect Your Water Heater
Hot water is probably not a necessity in your house, but it is a highly desirable convenience. Each time a hot water heater breaks, sometimes it just creates a situation where hot water isn’t accessible. In other cases, however, a broken hot boiler will create major water leak that must be dealt with immediately using a plumber. You can minimize the risk of having to struggle with such damage by flushing the water heater several times per year. You may also inspect its flame to ensure it is entirely blue. When the flame is another color, this is a sign that the jet may need maintenance.

4. Clean Your Faucets
Sediment can develop as time passes either right beneath your faucets or within the faucets. A few time per annum, simply eliminate the faucet heads to wash them and of course the adjoining pipes. This will ensure that the water pressure in your house remains high.

These steps can be followed to ensure your plumbing features go on to function as desired throughout the year, and they can minimize the necessity to call knowledgeable for repair services.

If you decide to call a plumber then one thing you can do is check how far they have to drive to your home. It’s easy to check that on Google Maps. Here’s a Vancouver west end plumber we picked out for a maps example.

Pioneer Plumbing & Heating
Phone: (778) 839-2040
1101-1202 Harwood St
Vancouver BC, V6E 1S3

Maintenance

A good HVAC system is very important when it comes to maintaining a comfortable, healthy interior environment. Throughout the years many home owners inquire about a technique to reduce their cost of power and HVAC. They don’t want to sacrifice the interior environmental conditions, however they do want a good plan on how to save money and equipment. The interesting thing that always happens may be that energy bills are decreased substantially and the HVAC efficiency is improved. This is a normal function of any mechanical engineer devoted to energy and HVAC.

Optimization of The System

The first step to acheiving system optimization is to reduce the load. This step typically consists of a long range plan which itemizes the actions to be taken based upon best value for your dollar. Reducing the system load will allow it to operate more efficiently. In case a new system or systems are now being considered, it is going to be more economical to design for a load reduction as opposed to the prevailing load. A few common load reduction strategies include:

1. Look at the building’s exterior and add supplemental insulation. Adding insulation in existing buildings is probably not achievable for some, so more deliberation should be aimed at the exterior shell, above all the windows and doors.

2. Putting in energy-efficient windows. This can be a big item for some structures that have single pane windows. The installment of double pane glazed windows with a thermal break is a wonderful return on investment. Make sure they’re ENERGY STAR qualified windows. Tinting or Low-E coatings may even be the best.

3. Changing lighting systems. The typical commercial building has a lighting density of 2-3 watts per square foot which maintains proper lighting levels. That is a big part of the HVAC load and almost any efforts to optimize this specific area will reduce the cooling requirement for the building. Vanity lights (sometimes called architectural lighting) are not guaranteed to be power efficient and should not be considered if you want to reduce energy and HVAC expenditures. Energy-efficient lighting systems release less heat into air conditioned space than older incandescent technology. If you have a return air plenum instead of return air ductwork, consider light troffers in order that some of the heat from the lights is returned to the HVAC system instead of bleeding into the occupied areas.

4. Choosing efficient equipment and electronic devices that have the power saver selection will reduce the heat gain within the space. Items to consider include copiers, food processors, personal computers and refrigerators.

5. Control ventilation by having your outside air balanced. Most building owners have blueprints of the system installation. Have those drawings reviewed by an outside professional to verify your air flow rates conform to the latest code requirements. If no blueprints can be found, your contractor be able to make recommendations for improvement.

Addressing these items is your first step to reducing energy and HVAC costs.

Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

The second step to realize energy and heating and air conditioning optimization is knowing it. Your HVAC system is critical for your interior setting, it also represents a big component of your utilities. Even though it is beyond the scope of this article to debate every system, a couple of recommendations can be addressed. Each system component has increased in efficiency over the years. If your system is more than 13 years old, it is time to begin arranging for an upgrade to new equipment. Regularly serviced residential systems have a life span of around fifteen years give or take, but seem to fail at the most inconvenient times. Have a replacement plan ready for the day your equipment fails.

Business systems will vary, but when your structure is using specially designed systems, the same lifetime can be expected. For larger commercial systems and industrial applications, the HVAC system may be more complex and require a closer look by a mechanical engineer. As I stated earlier, These types of systems will vary so an individual assessment works best for larger systems. What most of these systems share is they are normally powered by electricity. Electricity has its price, so any attempt toward better performance is a plus.

HVAC System Points:

Find a qualified contractor you can trust. If you are a home owner or small commercial building owner, find a good HVAC contractor or mechanic to assess and work on your system. Assuming you are a large commercial building owner, locate a commercial HVAC contractor for normal upkeep and a trusted mechanical engineer for third party suggestions. We do advise against using a mechanical engineer employed by the HVAC Company; find a 3rd party service for impartial information.

Validate your HVAC system load. Commercial buildings have more requirements regarding code conformance, minimum ventilation rates, etc and are individual to each place.

Choose equipment rated for the load. NEVER OVERSIZE! Going overboard does not apply for HVAC systems. It will cost more to purchase the apparatus as well as use it. Consult with your contractor to figure out the proper capacity

Buy high efficiency or Energy Star equipment. Most of the newer systems come with variable speed drives for fans and compressors. Over the years of ownership this is repaid many times over. Compare standard efficiency equipment to high efficiency equipment when it comes to the installation cost and life cycle costs. Any good HVAC company or contractor can get this information for you.

Consider some kind of energy recapture for air that is exhausted from the place and use it to enhance the incoming fresh air. This is the air you have paid for, so using a portion of the existing energy before blowing it out it should be necessary.

For large commercial complexes, think about conditioning the outside air with a specialized outside air unit. This can eliminate any problems regarding moisture control in most cases. It will also increase comfort and enable further downsizing of equipment.

Commercial complexes might want to look into equipment economizers. Many current codes call for economizers on equipment in excess of 15 tons in size. Often available at a low initial cost during set-up, these units use fresh air from outside when the temperatures (or humidity) outside is lower than the temperature inside.

Both residential owners and small commercial building owners should install thermostats you can program. Large buildings should setup a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system. The investment will more than pay back the price very quickly.

Control Systems

The third step to realize energy and HVAC system optimization is to control the system.

Programmable Thermostats: A great investment for the homeowner is a programmable thermostat. These are simple to use and come with built in strategies based on time scheduling. Most companies offer 7 day programs which will control the HVAC system timing and temperature. This is the best way to ensure the system is on only when necessary.

DDC Systems: For the large commercial building, I consider this as a must have system. Installation costs have steadily decreased and performance reliability has steadily increased. They can be incorporated into any system and enhanced as required. Some of the more popular elements of these systems are enhanced start/stop, multiple zone controls, temperature sensor and ventilation control. A key benefit of these systems is their capability to be integrated into any size system. This implies you’ll be able to setup a somethng simple to begin with then add more controls later to include everything. Again, the payback is quick and well worth the money spent.

Coil Cleaning: This is always a big item missed by residential and commercial building owners. Condenser coils collect dirt and debris on their surfaces because they are outdoors. Diry coils make the compressor work harder and results in a higher refrigerant temperature in your refrigeration system. Dirty evaporation and heat coils circulate the dust and fibers inside the building. Clean them a minimum of once a year

Operation and General Maintenance

The fourth and last step to realize better system operation is regular maintenance. The most efficient systems are well managed. You can ensure reliability, efficiency as well as longevity for the HVAC system by using these suggestions.

Find a professional contractor you trust. Find the best company or technician to analyze and work on your system. If you are a large business owner, find a commercial|an industrial} HVAC contractor for regular maintenance. Ensure you keep track of servicing with when they vist and what they did each time.

Home owners must always get a regular check up. The way your system works will fluctuate with the seasons of the year.

Change air filters on a schedule. Always use quality filters to make sure most of the dust is captured. Dirty filters negate your savings and allow dust to pass through.

Conslusion

Energy and HVAC optimization will help to decrease energy costs. General knowledge of your system and becoming familiar with improvement techniques will save on energy costs and boost the life span of your equipment.

Maintenance

When people think about upgrading their HVAC system, they usually are referring to energy-efficiency upgrades. They probably want to lower their energy bills, decrease their energy output for environmental concerns, or both. These upgrades can be costly and are not pursued as often because of this fact. Most times the thought of an expensive hvac contractor bill comes to mind, but there are ways to enhance your system with the following tips. These other upgrades can be done to your existing system that are low-cost and can help improve your family’s health.

Air Quality

Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, and our indoor air quality is extremely bad. In fact, there have been numerous studies that point out the fact that most homes’ indoor air quality is worse than the air quality outside. When it comes to upgrading your system, don’t let energy-efficiency be the only thing prompting you. Instead, factor in your family’s health as well.

Air Filters

While there are safeguards in place with most HVAC systems to catch the debris you don’t want entering your home, they don’t always work 100% of the time. These safeguards are called air filters, and they catch items like mold, mildew, pollen, dust, mites, etc. They are meant to be changed on a regular basis to prevent their getting clogged, which can ultimately lead to strain on your system and the air that’s being re-circulated back into your home being polluted with this debris. Oftentimes, these filters are not changed when they should be, or cheap filters are used instead.

Here are a few affordable upgrades you can give your system to give its filters a helping hand and to give you the healthy boost your indoor air quality needs.

Air Purifier – Air purifiers can remove unwanted items such as mold, mildew, pollen, and more. There are some air purifiers that don’t run on filters, and so they never have to be changed. Some purifiers can clean your indoor air up to 8 times within an hour.

Humidifiers – When the heat is on, we all feel the effects. Dry skin and dry sinuses are just a few of the unpleasant sensations we get. Humidifiers can help combat the dry heat being pushed out through your heater so you can feel more comfortable in your living space while still staying warm.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms – For those who live in cooler areas, you know the threat that carbon monoxide can pose to your family. While alarms cannot be attached to your HVAC system, they can still be a complimentary appendage to it. Install a carbon monoxide alarm so you can ensure your HVAC system is running as it should, and levels aren’t getting dangerously high.

UV Lamps – In order to have your air conditioner work, and push out cool air, the use of water comes into play. This water is meant to cool air from the outside, but as a side effect of this process, unwanted breeding of mold, bacteria and mildew can occur. Utilizing UV lamps can lessen the occurrence of the breeding and provide your family the clean indoor air you deserve.

One of the best investments you can make in your HVAC system is to order an annual tune-up. A professional technician will be able to keep the system in tip top shape and replace parts as they wear out. This will ensure your system will run at peak efficiency its entire life, saving you money in unnecessary repair bills. Call a Vancouver HVAC contractors today to set up your next inspection.

Maintenance

Gutter cleaning can be a hazardous task for you and the contractor from gutter cleaning services. However, there are some safety precautions that each and every individual has to consider when cleaning your gutters. The most common is with regards to ladder safety. There are a great number of companies selling different kinds of ladders each year. Parallel to that is the number of deaths accounted with improper usage of ladders by home owners.

Safety Concerns

One of the most important safety tips with regards to using ladders is to make sure that it is on a solid and level ground. You have to double check for ice, grease, snow or mud beneath the ladder. You have to be certain that no such things are found below because all of these can cause the base to move out from beneath as you climb the ladder. In addition, you have to position the ladder correctly. Generally, the base of the ladder should be a foot away from the side of your house for every 4-foot high. Always bear in mind to face forward every time you climb up and down the ladder and never take both of your hands off.

Apart from the ladder itself, there are considerations when working with heights that are important to consider. Should you at any time move onto the roof surface it is important to consider the appropriate footwear. Rubber soled, leather topped (or other tough material) shoes need to be worn to reduce the risk of slipping. When cleaning your gutter, wearing of gloves is an important safety guideline as well. Mold and bacteria grow abundantly on moist places making clogged gutters the perfect place. You should take note to keep away from these harmful organisms as much as possible.

Equipment

If you are wearing gloves, the worst you can get is a number of sneezes. On the other hand, if you have mold allergies it is better to employ professionals or contractors from gutter cleaning services than cleaning your gutter yourself with gutter cleaners. Bear in mind that your health is far more important than any other things in the world. If the building is 2 story’s or more in some states and territories it is a legal safety and insurance requirement that the roof area is installed with a railing or scaffold to ensure your safety when working on the gutters or downspouts. In instances of multi-story buildings it is advisable to hire an insured service provider or contractor.

For many homeowners price is the bottom line, most consumers don’t want to over pay for gutter cleaning. Most companies know this and will accommodate the consumer with a quick and dirty job. But what happens in the end is the homeowner isn’t satisfied with the work or cleanup and continues their search for another cheap company next year. It’s a vicious cycle that we hear all the time from homeowners. The simple fact is quality service costs money. It takes more time to ensure each and every gutter downspout is functioning as it should, to check the drainage underground. Quality rain gutter cleaning Vancouver on most homes is under $350. That is less that .79 cents a day to ensure the rain water is channeling properly away from your roof into your gutter drainage system.

Finding a Good Gutter Cleaning Company

But how do you go about finding a quality gutter cleaning company in your area? Well, you can look in the yellow pages find the section you are interested in and start calling and hope to get lucky. In most homes today we have the ability to go on the internet. You can use a search engine like Google to find a Vancouver gutter cleaning service. Some gutter cleaning companies will offer referrals, although we value our customers privacy, there are some companies that will offer this up to make a buck. You can look to see if the company in question has an online gutter cleaning review, which is a good way to get a feel for their service. Also, just call a few cleaning companies and test their customer service skills by talking with them on the phone or through email.

When requesting an estimate do you need to be home? This is an old sales technique to try and close the deal with the customer right then and there. When receiving the estimate, take note of the way it is presented to you. If the estimate is over the phone or in person are they polite? Do they seem knowledgeable and explain in detail what will happen on your property? Do they have a guarantee? As yourself, what is the overall feeling you get when talking to this company,

After you have selected a company based on all of the criteria that is important to you set up your appointment. If they are busy that is a good sign that people like doing business with them. After the work is completed have a look around the home and make sure the job site is clean and up to your standards. A quality gutter cleaning company will desire to make sure the new relationship is beneficial to both parties. As a consumer you should expect your gutter cleaning costs to rise 6 percent a year on average. Gutter cleaning companies have expenses that continually rise each year, such as wages, fuel, insurance and other business expenses. If the company is not raising prices to keep up with the costs of running a company it may be a sign they are in trouble.

If you live i the Vancouver area here is a local company we recommend.

Reliable Roof Repair
Call: 604-670-0281
408 East Kent Ave S
Vancouver, BC V5X 2X7

Maintenance

We understand how important it is to maintain your plumbing system. It is by far one of the most important utilities in your home and a necessity because no other system in the house is used as frequently. You don’t notice it now, but whenever the water does go out, you will immediately find out how valuable it is to be able to wash your face, take a shower, clean the dishes, etc. We wrote this article so that will help you be on top of your plumbing system and provide preventative care so that you don’t run into any risks. Below are some tips that will ensure your plumbing is running perfectly.

Understanding The Plumbing System

First and foremost, in order to maintain something, we must first understand what we are trying to maintain. Check your plumbing system and see where your pipes are located. Once you found your pipes, it’s best to go through and check to see if there was any damage. This maybe dents, staples, rust, and other issues that could cause problems for your plumbing system. In addition to checking your pipes, this will also give you good knowledge about where your shut-off valve maybe when you have to use it in an emergency.

Avoid Chemical Cleaning Solutions

One of the most recurring problem you can face in your plumbing system is clogged drains. You can buy the chemical products to clear them, but they may do more harm than good. They have been known to erode cast-iron drainpipes. They don’t offer a complete fix to the clog, which makes your reuse the substance over and over again, which leads to more damage towards your pipes, and eventually could cause leaks. Look into hiring a professional or using other recommend methods instead.

Look For Leaks and Repair Issues Early

When you notice something as simple as a leaking faucet, instead of procrastinating the problem. Fix it before it gets worse. The moisture and water it releases puts wear on sink fixtures this will encourage the growth of mold. By repairing and fixing issues before they become bigger problems, you will maintain a better plumbing system and keep your house looking clean.

Maintaining Your Heater

Another very important to your plumbing system. The best way to follow maintenance for this system is using the manufacturer directions and guide. The average life span for a water heater is around 10-12 years. While following those directions, it is also good to check upon your hot water tank very six months. This will help you notice problems before they start, if you notice that your tank is way past its expiration date, then it is best to consider a new model or upgrade.

Professional Help

The best thing you can do for your plumbing system is to have a professional look at it periodically. This will help you by getting licensed expert to see issues that you didn’t notice and also to give you advice for future problems. I would recommend looking around the market for a reliable experienced plumber who you can trust. Read some reviews and do your best judgement. If you would like to look at a professionally designed plumbing website here is one we recommend. https://shamrocksplumbingandheating.ca

Head Office:
Shamrocks Plumbing and Heating
Phone: (250) 575-8138
1325 Elwyn Rd
Kelowna, BC V1X 5M9

Plumbing

It is always best to seek the help of a professional if you are having sewer problems. However, a lot of us prefer to solve the problems ourselves because of the amount of money we believe we can save. In most cases though we just dive in without any action plans thus causing even more problems. Sewer repair is not as easy as it sounds. You need skills and the appropriate training to be able to effectively and efficiently do it. To help and guide you in doing sewer repair on your own, just follow the following tips and advice.

First: Get a hold of the plumbing codes in your area. Normally, you can get these from your local authorities. These plumbing codes enable you to determine just how deep along the pipes you are allowed to dig. So you need to be aware of these codes before you start doing anything to avoid unnecessary problems and issues in the future. It is also for safety purposes.

Second: In repairing damaged sewer lines which are under concrete foundations, you need a cutoff saw, a diamond blade, a metal cutting blade and a heavy hammer to get through the concrete. Use a diamond blade on the cutoff saw to cut through the concrete. If you reach or encounter the steel bars on the concrete, you need to switch the blade to a metal cutting blade. Using a heavy hammer, pound on the already cut concrete to break them into chunks so you can easily remove them from the hole you are trying to dig.

Third: If the damaged sewage is leaking into the street or into the neighborhood, it is advisable that you contact the sewage system services in your locality immediately to ensure that it does not become hazardous to the community. Seek their advice as well on how to get the damaged pipe repaired or replaced..

Fourth:  Follow the following steps when doing sewer repair.

  1. Dig through the soil or cut your way through concrete if necessary to get to the damaged sewer lines. The size of the trench you create should be large enough to allow you to work on the sewers with ease. Make sure there is room for you to cut and move the pipes around. You should be able to position them as easily as possible.
  2. Whether it’s cracked or broken, you have to remove the damaged portion of the sewer line. You may cut through them using a cutoff saw with a diamond or a metal cutting blade.
  3. Get measurements of the removed pipe so you can determine the size of pipe you need to replace it. Use the measurements on the replacement pipe before cutting through it.
  4. Place connectors on the two ends of the pipe you cut through earlier then slowly slide the replacement pipe into place.
  5. Securely tighten the ring clamps around the pipe connectors. Turn the screws on the ring clamps using a suitable screw driver.
  6. Test out the repairs done by running water through the sewer lines and observe if it still leaks or anything.
  7. If nothing seems amiss or leaking, start reburying the sewer line.

Keep in mind these sewer repair tips so you may avoid unnecessary mistakes and risks along the way.

In many cities across North America there are ongoing programs to replace old sewers with a new type of sewer that separates overflow. Most municipalities call it the sewer separation program. In Vancouver BC you’ll find this company doing a lot of work in this area.

K.C.’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd
Phone: (604) 873-3753
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7

 

Plumbing

After watching some home makeovers, you would definitely notice that redefining the interior color of any residence gives it a fresh and comfortable look. Consequently, some of us get the itch to do the same. Those who cannot hire a professional Vancouver painting contractor for the task, search for house painting tips which can get them carry on with the task by themselves. Do you want to give this a try as well? Learn from the following insights.

Cover Up – To start off, cover any fixtures attached on the walls or ceilings. Cabinets, wall or hanging lamps, light switches and faucets among others must be properly covered. This will keep them from getting unwanted paint drips.

Smooth Out The Walls – Scrutinize your walls for imperfections. They could have acquired holes, chips or cracks through time. Patch the holes and cracks. Even out the chips. You will need enough patching paste and putty knife to get this right.

Dust Off – This is key in painting a house. Painting over dust-filled walls causes premature cracking and peeling of dry paint. Thus, it is important to clean your walls, baseboards, ceilings and crown moldings. Use damp cloth in doing so. This will keep the dust from fluttering.

Choose The Right Paint – When it comes to the color, it is best to consider the suggestions of the people who are living with you. You do not want this home makeover task be the cause of cold war amongst you, right? Once the hues have been decided upon, purchase some test gallons. Coat sections of your wall so that you can get a view of the finished effect. Moreover, decide on the type of paint you opt to purchase – latex-based or oil-based. When it comes to protection against daily wear and tear, oil-based coat is the better option. For that, they are expensive. When it comes to cleaning ease of cleaning, latex-based is the coat to go for as it can be cleansed with soap and water.

Pick The Right Brush – This is one of the commonly neglected house painting tips. Brushes are made up of natural materials or synthetic materials like nylon. Keep in mind that natural bristles go with oil-based coats, stains and varnishes. Latex-based coats, on the other hand, require nylon bristles.

Apply The Primer – Never apply the paint without priming the surface first. This can cover up the patches that you made on the walls. Before proceeding with the priming, open your windows for proper ventilation. Roller brushes are the best tools for priming. Remove excess lint on in it with the use of masking tape. Lint would mix with the coat if not removed.

Mix The Coats – A paint stick with holes would get your mixing right. For consistent color on all of your walls, use a big bucket to mix all your paint. This is advisable especially for large rooms.

To finish off these house painting tips, eliminate the paint fume by leaving windows open for a few days. Additional natural remedies to this include placing bowls filled with vinegar and baking soda in the room. Onions also absorb paint fumes fast. If you’ve gotten all fired up about painting the house but just don’;t have the time then you’ll want to go online and find a good painting contractor who you feel would be a good fit for your project.

Maintenance

There are certain parts of a central heating system that require adjusting at some time or another. These appliances must be properly maintained or they will fall into disrepair, and in some instances could even become dangerous. Among the various reasons why proper tune-ups are required, safety is the most important.

A heating system professional should carry out the following maintenance.

All Heating Systems:

The condition of your vent pipe and chimney should be checked, as sections of the venting system may have deteriorated over time. Repairs to the chimney can be quite expensive, and therefore the installation of new heating equipment that will not require the use of the current chimney may be justified.

The physical integrity of the heat exchanger should be checked. It is quite easy to identify water leaking from leaky boiler heat exchangers. When leaks occur with furnace heat exchangers, there is a mixture of combustion gases with house air, and to ensure safety it is essential that they are thoroughly inspected.

To provide optimum settings for water and air temperature to ensure efficiency and comfort, the controls on the boiler or furnace have to be adjusted.

If you plan to either replace or retrofit your existing heating system, a combustion-efficiency test should be performed by a technician.

Forced Air Systems:

  • Check for any cracks on the combustion chamber
  • Test if there is carbon monoxide (CO) and remedy if found
  • The blower control and supply-air temperature should be adjusted
  • Clean and oil the blower
  • Dirt, soot or corrosion needs to be removed from the boiler or furnace
  • Adjust if necessary the fuel input and flame characteristics after checking them
  • The connections between the furnace and main ducts must be sealed

Hot Water Systems:

  • Test the pressure-relief valve
  • Test the high-limit control
  • Inspect the pressure tank to ensure that it is filled with air and not water
  • Clean the heat exchanger

Steam Systems:

  • Drain some of the water from the boiler so that sediments will be removed and the heat exchange efficiency improved
  • Both the low-water cutoff safety control and high-limit safety control should be tested
  • Drainage of the float chamber is required to remove any sediments, that could create sediment clogs that would affect the low-water cutoff control
  • Analyze the boiler water and add the chemicals necessary to control deposits and corrosion
  • Clean the heat exchanger
  • See section on steam radiators

central-heating-system

Maintaining Proper Ventilation for Combustion Systems

Air quality should be your main concern once you carry out any maintenance, retrofitting or replacement of a gas or oil heating system. All oil and gas heating systems need combustion air, to support the combustion process. This type of air is created in some homes by unexpected air leaks, or air ducts connecting outdoors.

Several byproducts are created by the combustion process, and they are a potential risk to human health, while also causing deterioration in your home. To protect yourself from these hazards and also maintain energy efficiency, you need to ensure that your chimney system is functioning efficiently and your heating system is adequately ventilated. The installation of a sealed-combustion furnace or boiler can assist in some instances.

Other Ventilation Concerns

Between 1987 and 1993 there were some fan-assisted, non-condensing furnaces and boilers that were installed, and may be horizontally vented by the use of high-temperature plastic vent pipe (not PVC pipe, which can be used safely in the condensing of furnaces). This particular type of venting has since been recalled and stainless steel vent pipe has been used as a replacement.

If horizontal venting was used, there would be the need for an additional draft-inducing fan located near the vent outlet, to create sufficient draft. Special venting problems may arise with floor furnaces, since their vent connector exits the furnace in close proximity to the floor and before reaching a chimney may have to travel a distance of 10 to 30 feet. If you have this type of venting you should check if the venting or the floor furnace needs replacement. Whenever you suspect a problem with your furnace it is imperative that you contact a plumber in Kelowna who is qualified and licensed for heating systems of this type. We do not suggest you attempt to fix or repair your furnace unless you are trained in the electronics and the gas components.

Any smell of gases indicates a venting problem that can negatively impact your health. To get this repaired immediately, contact your local utility or heating contractor. For more information on this subject read our article on replacing the furnace or boiler.

Maintenance

It often seems that plumbers are a necessary evil. They sort out your faulty plumbing. They also fix and service things like your central heating boiler which – like most essentials – always seems to go wrong at the worst possible time. But if your regular plumber is always promising to turn up “tomorrow” or just never returns your calls because he is too busy, how do you choose a new plumber and make sure they are more reliable?

1. Word of mouth

Asking friends and neighbors who they use when they have a plumbing problem can be a good way to find a reliable plumber. Your friends will know first hand whether their call was answered and returned, whether the plumber turned up somewhere close to the agreed time and whether the charge was reasonable.

Ideally you should go for someone who has been used for several years in a row. That will increase your chance of getting good service that is worth the money you pay for it.

2. Check they are registered

In Canada, the Government Gas Safe site has details of all plumbers who have passed their certification requirements. This at least means that your chosen plumber has been tested by an organization that has a reputation to protect.

If there’s any doubt – or if this is the first time you are using this particular plumber – don’t just take their reassurance that they are registered, spend a minute or two online doing your own due diligence.

3. Check how long they have been trading

  • The longer the plumber has been trading, the better.
  • Ideally from the same address.
  • If you’ve got some old copies of Yellow Pages or the Phone Book acting as makeshift doorstops, you can flick through those.

If not – and assuming the plumber has a website – you can easily find out how long their domain name has been registered. Just enter it in one of the many online “WhoIs” tools, enter the domain name and you can find when their domain was first registered. This will give you a good idea of the minimum length of time they have been trading. Always assuming that they have got round to registering a domain name – not always a given with this trade.

4. Check their reviews

  • There isn’t a Tripadvisor equivalent for plumbers but there are sometimes reviews of plumbers on other sites and even in the Google results.
  • As with any review, the chances of someone taking time to post a positive review is a lot slimmer than a bugged customer posting a negative review.
  • There will almost always be the occasional negative review. Just beware if you find too many of them!
  • And beware if you find too many positive reviews with no negative ones interspersed.

You’ll instinctively know what looks natural – go with that first reaction rather than making the facts fit your overwhelming desire to use the first plumber who actually answers their phone or calls you back.

Local Tip

If you live in western Canada then take a close look at Pioneer Plumbing. They have a good reputation online and a professional looking website.  This is a good indication that they are one of the best Vancouver plumbers in this local area.

5. If time permits, get a second quote

OK, this isn’t always possible in the real world. Especially for a profession that is notorious for being poor to respond.

But especially for larger jobs such as replacing an entire central heating system, it’s worth getting more than one quote for the work.

And if it’s a larger job, check what kind of guarantee you get. At a minimum, you need the manufacturer’s guarantee, so check that you get the completed card before you let your plumber leave. Don’t go as far as laying a stinger on your drive but do make sure they’ve legibly completed the card including their (checked!) Gas Safe number if appropriate.

Plumbing