Identify and Prevent Sewer Gas in your Home

Imagine coming home after a long day and the first thing you smell are rotten eggs. If you didn’t forget to put your egg carton back in the refrigerator this morning, it’s a possibility you have a problem somewhere within your plumbing system. That rotten egg odor you’re smelling could actually be sewer gas resulting from a plumbing failure.

Is sewer gas hazardous to your health?

Sewer gas can be hazardous to your health depending on the exposure. Sewer gas is the breakdown of natural human waste containing a combination of gasses such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia and more. At lower levels, it can have the odor of rotten eggs due to hydrogen sulfide gas, but just because you can smell it doesn’t mean it will impact your health. However, exposure to high levels could cause for you to become ill or could become fatal as it can interfere with your sense of smell and become odorless. Symptoms could include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

Wisconsin Department of Health Services states anyone experiencing severe symptoms should seek immediate medical care.

Potential causes of sewer gas in the home

  • Clogged drains – When drains are clogged by unnecessary items or even foreign objects, it allows the clog to decompose and sewer gas is likely to leak back into your home. Make sure to have your drains treated by using products such as Bio-Clean to eliminate waste buildup. Check with your local plumber on where and how to purchase.
  • Cracked vent pipes – Although water is typically associated with a cracked drain line causing a visible water leak, a crack in a vent pipe is not as easily identified. Plumbing vents play an important role ensuring your plumbing system is working accordingly and keeping you protected from harmful gasses. Vent pipes prevent back ups of wastewater by regulating the air pressure in your pipes.  If a vent pipe is cracked, most homeowners aren’t able to tackle the repair themselves, so make sure to call an experienced plumbing professional for assistance.
  • Dry and rarely-used drains – Dry drains and even toilets that sit for a long time without being used, have the potential to leak sewer gas into the home. Waterflow helps deter harmful gasses in your plumbing system.  The Princeton University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) recommends running water in all sinks periodically and pouring water down floor drains monthly, preventing odors from escaping by keeping the drain traps wet.
  • Damaged or degraded wax ring– If you’re still smelling sewer gas, your rarely-used drains may not be the culprit or at least the only one. Your toilet’s wax ring is designed to seal the drain and prevent any water seepage. If your toilet has become loose or wiggly, there is a possibility that the wax ring may have degraded or even become damaged. If this is the case, the wax ring would need to be replaced and the toilet reset so it has a nice and secure fit.

If there is still an odor in your home and you’re unable to pinpoint the source on your own, contact Drucks Sudden Service at 877-886-3303. Our fully qualified and experienced professionals will not only be able to diagnose the problem but give you a solution. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for more useful information and advice for your home.

Is Your Home Winter Ready?

Winter is quickly approaching and will be here before we know it. Extreme temperatures are nothing new especially while living in Wisconsin but by following these few maintenance tips, you will stay ahead of the game and help avoid home disasters with unnecessary costs.

  • Check your Outdoor Spigots! To avoid a serious plumbing issue, make sure to double check all of your outside faucets. Disconnect all hoses that may still be connected and drain the lines. This will prevent the water lines from freezing and potentially causing them to split. The last thing you want during freezing cold temperatures are burst pipes or flooded basements. If you find yourself running into trouble or need any help, call Drucks and we’ll make sure it’s all taken care of for you.
  • Schedule Routine Maintenance for your Heating and Cooling Systems! If you aren’t already, make sure to get in the habit of having your heating and cooling systems maintained annually. Typically, your heating system can be inspected 12 months out of the year and your cooling system can be inspected when the weather is above 70 degrees. This will prevent issues in the winter and even help with the planning process if equipment is in need of replacement. The last thing you want is to be without heat especially on a winter day in Wisconsin. Contact Drucks to schedule a tune-up or better yet, check out our annual maintenance agreement and learn how we can help you save!
  • Double Check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors! Testing the detectors in your home is critical in preventing any fire and carbon monoxide hazards. According to the American Red Cross, home fires can happen at any time, but they generally increase during the fall and winter, with December and January being the peak months. Home fires are also more common on Saturday and Sunday, and tend to peak between 6:00 and 7:00 PM.
  • Have your Chimney or Flue Inspected Each Year! The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention suggests having your chimney or flue inspected each year, especially if you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for an emergency heating source during severe winter weather. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector or find one online.

For expert Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical and more, call a licensed Drucks technician at 877-886-3303.  Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for more useful information and advice for your home.

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IMPORTANT REASONS TO HAVE YOUR WATER HEATER INSPECTED EACH YEAR

  1. Inspect the tank for accumulated sediment – Sediment decreases efficiency and can clog water lines and fixtures.
  2. Check the condition of the anode rod – The anode rod protects your water heater tank and other components from rusting. Replacing corroded anode rods can significantly extend the life or your water heater
  3. Check for proper flame and gas venting (gas models) – Dangerous carbon monoxide can build up in your home, making your family ill. It can even be lethal.
  4. Check the condition of the heating element (electric models) – Elements with calcium buildup or that are damaged or corroded use excessive electricity
  5. Check the pressure relief valve’s operation – Over pressurized tanks can rupture or explode
  6. Check thermostat – Thermostats are important for energy efficiency and they protect your family from the danger of scalding water

If you run into any problems with your home’s water heater, or you are due for maintenance, give Drucks Sudden Service a call. We’re here to help you keep your water heater running smoothly for many years to come. Call 920-722-2642 to schedule an appointment.  Check out our website @ drucks.com for monthly coupons.

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A few tips to maintain your home cooling system

Failure to plan is planning to fail. For your home’s sake, that means lack of maintenance leads to large repairs. Do not suffer in the summer from the air conditioning not working simply because you skipped maintenance on critical parts of your home’s system. The best time for air conditioner maintenance is after the outdoor air temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the more obvious maintenance steps for your home’s air conditioner unit is changing the filters. Dirty filters will block some of the air flow (for obvious reasons). Cleaning or replacing the filters (depending on your unit) will allow all of the air to flow through and increase the air conditioner’s efficiency. This should be done every month or two during cooling season (more or less depending on your use and the system you have).

Air conditioner fins are what surrounds the unit which the air gets pulled through. These can easily be bent, so they have to be brushed off carefully. Air conditioner coils is another part that can collect dirt or dust which reduces the air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat and reduces the air flow. The evaporator coils, located inside, will need less attention than the condenser coils that are located outside where you will need to watch for accumulations of dirt, debris, leaves, grass, weeds, etc. Check and clean the coils every year as necessary.

Fix Duct System Leaks – Duct system leaks, specifically return air leaks, can dramatically reduce the ability of an air conditioner to cool a home. If comfort is a problem, have an air conditioning company test for duct leakage. Make sure the company measures air flow.

Fix Refrigerant Leaks – Refrigerant leaks reduce cooling capacity, hurt the environment, and can lead to compressor failure. Call an HVAC professional to get leaks fixed immediately.

Last (but most important) tip: Hire a professional for regular maintenance. Your HVAC technician will be able to professionally inspect and adjust your air conditioning system for optimum efficiency and long life.  This will save you money on prematurely having to replace your air conditioner system.

To schedule an air conditioner inspection, give Drucks’ a call at 920-722-2642.

A Water drip can cause a lot of damage

A water drip can cause a lot of damage

How to shut off the water in your home                            

A water drip can cause a lot of damage.  If anything is leaking – from a drip in the wall to a leaky faucet to frozen pipes – it is best to shut off the water. Emergencies happen.  Unfortunately, shutting off the water is not as simple as pressing a button.  Knowing where your shut off valves are located and how to turn the water off will stop further destruction.water shut off valve

You can choose to turn off the water to a single fixture if you are able to pinpoint the issue.  This is preferable in order to leave the main water supply on while fixing the single fixture; however in some cases you need to shut off the water to the whole house, here are the steps: 

Step 1: Locate the valve in the home. Wisconsin homes will have their valve located indoors due to the cold climate.  Check in the basement, laundry or utility room; every house is different.  The valve will be near the wall facing the street.

Service Valve Diagram

Step 2: Turn the valve. Once it is located, grab the handle and turn it as far as possible in a clockwise direction.   

There! Your home’s water is turned off. You will still need to drain the water inside the pipes, but for now the water will be stopped and will buy you time for a plumbing specialist to get to your Fox Valley home.

These are some examples of plumbing issues that can wait until business hours:

  • Dripping faucet
  • Leaking pipe or fixture that has a localized water shutoff
  • Clogged toilet

Still not sure? Call Drucks at 920-722-2642 to have a licensed plumber turn off your water and fix the problem.

The best way to maintain a healthy plumbing system is to have periodic maintenance checks conducted by a professional.  Drucks Sudden Service will be able to conduct a full inspection of your plumbing system to identify potential risks before they turn into costly problems.

For expert Plumbing, HVAC, electrical and more, call a licensed Drucks technician at 920-722-2642.  Stay connected with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and advice for your home.

Visit drucks.com for monthly coupons

The benefits of a well-maintained A/C System

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Springtime is tune-up time in the air conditioning industry.  It’s the time when everyone should get their air conditioning system serviced.

Research shows that air conditioning tune-ups save you money by restoring system efficiency.  While air conditioners are remarkably reliable, they are mechanical systems. Every mechanical system runs better when it’s properly maintained.

Your air conditioner is the single biggest electricity user in your home.  Even a small efficiency boost can make a BIG difference on your utility bill.

One of the more obvious maintenance steps for your home’s air conditioner unit is changing the filters. Dirty filters will block some of the air flow (for obvious reasons). Cleaning or replacing the filters (depending on your unit) will allow all of the air to flow through and increase the air conditioner’s efficiency. This should be done every month or two during cooling season (more or less depending on your use and the system you have).

Air conditioner fins are what surrounds the unit which the air gets pulled through. These can easily be bent, so they have to be brushed off carefully. Air conditioner coils is another part that can collect dirt or dust which reduces the air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat and reduces the air flow. The evaporator coils, located inside, will need less attention than the condenser coils that are located outside where you will need to watch for accumulations of dirt, debris, leaves, grass, weeds, etc. Check and clean the coils every year as necessary.

Last (but most important) tip: Hire a professional for regular maintenance. Your Drucks HVAC technician will be able to professionally inspect and adjust your air conditioning system for optimum efficiency and long life.  This will save you money on prematurely having to replace your air conditioner system.

For 70 years Drucks has been recognized as the area’s best home comfort expert.  And that’s no accident.

To schedule an air conditioner inspection, call Drucks’ at 722-2642.

Check out our monthly coupons at drucks.com.

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Air quality! There’s more to it than you know.

Air quality

A Few Facts About Air Quality      

There are many reasons why air quality in our homes is so important and what we can do to make sure we are all breathing clean air.

According to the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality agency, the air inside our homes contains on average 2 to 5 times as many pollutants relative to the air outside our homes.

Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. Most Americans spend a significant amount of time indoors–either in the home, office or other types of buildings–where gas, chemical and other pollutants can cause headaches, eye irritation, allergies and fatigue.indoor_air_quality

Common indoor air pollutants include:

  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Bacteria
  • E-Coli
  • Pollen
  • Viruses
  • Radon
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Carbon monoxide

professionally installed ventilation system can work wonders for you, from bringing in more fresh air to eliminating suspended particles, bio-aerosols and other pollutants.

Breathe easier today with better indoor air quality from Drucks Sudden Service.

Your leader in home comfort for the past 70 years.

Call Drucks Sudden Service at (920)-722-2642.  For Drucks Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical coupons click here. Stay connected with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and advice for your home.

When to Replace Your Sump Pump (before it’s too late!)

sumpump                 Melting snow and spring rains can mean disaster for a home with a malfunctioning sump pump. As the primary line of defense against a flooded basement, homeowners need to keep an eye on their sump pumps to be sure they’re working properly. Your sump pump functions to remove excess water from your basement or crawl space by redirecting it out of your house. When the sump pit fills with too much water, the pressure sensor or float switch will trigger the pump to begin pumping the water out, using a rotating part called an impeller. Then you can rest easy knowing your home is safe and dry!

Except, how do you know if your sump pump is about to fail? Since it’s “out of sight, out of mind”, it’s common that homeowners forget to check their sump pumps before it’s too late. Not everything lasts forever, so check out these tips on how to spot the signs when it’s time to replace your sump pump:

Listen for irregular noises.  Strange sounds or excessive vibrating typically mean your pump has worn or damaged parts. Any noise louder than a low hum from the motor could mean a bearing or two are about to burn out while rattling sounds could indicate a damaged impeller. Become familiar with the normal sounds of your sump pump so you can recognize when there’s a problem.

Pump is running and running and running… Long run times could mean that it isn’t strong enough for the amount of water it needs to displace. This could be due to a faulty switch or an improper size for the application. If the pump is unable to keep up, you may want to consider replacing it.

Check the age. Sump pumps that are more than ten years old are good candidates for replacement. Even if your pump is approaching that year mark, it’s best to upgrade a year too early rather than a year too late! At that point, it’s better off getting a new one instead of paying for constant repairs, or even worse water and/or foundation damage!

If you’re interested in having a professional inspect your home’s sump pump before the spring rains, feel free to call Drucks Sudden Service at (920)-722-2642. Drucks has been providing superior plumbing service for 70 years! For Drucks Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical coupons click here. Stay connected with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and advice for your home.

4 Money-Saving Plumbing Resolutions for the New Year

hello-2017

We hope you had a safe and wonderful holiday! The New Year is here and it’s time to start thinking about your resolutions for 2017! Keep your wallet and home happy by following this New Years Plumbing Checklist:

1. Keep up with home maintenance! Small problems become big, expensive problems when ignored. It’s important to be proactive about your plumbing, so be sure to schedule a home plumbing inspection to catch that hidden leak before it starts costing you money. Regular home maintenance is the best way to avoid costly damages in the New Year!

2. Stay alert to what goes down your pipes! Q-tips, paper towels, feminine products, and other bathroom items should never be flushed down your toilet! These products are often meant to stay compact and absorb moisture, which can cause sewage blockages. Also be sure to never put grease, oils, chemicals, and certain food items down your drain to keep your pipes and water safe. Things like coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit and vegetable skins are likely to eventually clog your drain or break the disposal system.

3. Take preventative measures in freezing temperatures! Invest in quality insulation for all of your plumbing pipes, especially ones that are in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages. Check out this post to learn how to disconnect all outside hoses and water lines to avoid any bursting pipes. Always remember to keep your home heated when you go on a winter vacation so you don’t come home to a plumbing disaster!

4. Know when to call a professional! We get a lot of calls from homeowners who need a professional fix after attempting to do the repair themselves. Even though it may seem more cost effective, trying to do the repair yourself sometimes leads to a bigger, more expensive problem. Some problems you can handle on your own, but don’t hesitate to call Drucks for honest, superior service when the problem is too big to tackle. We stand behind our service and strive to deliver the best possible experience for our customers!

Stay on top of your plumbing repairs in 2017 and we hope you make it your new resolution to call Drucks if you have a problem. You can also call today to schedule a home plumbing inspection. For Drucks Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical coupons  click here . For expert  electrical serviceplumbing ,   HVAC , and more, call  Drucks  at (920) 722-2642. Stay connected with us on  FacebookTwitter , and  Google+  for more useful information and advice for your home.

4 Winter Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

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With winter right around the corner, it’s time to run through the fall checklist of things you’ve been putting off all summer. With the main focus on Sunday football and Cyber Monday deals, be sure to pencil in a routine maintenance check for your home before it’s too late. Stay on top of the changing seasons and protect your home against costly repairs in the winter months by following these 4 Drucks Winter Maintenance Tips.

  1. Disconnect and drain your hoses! Any water left in a hose that is exposed to the elements can freeze and cause the hose to break. Simply disconnect any hoses from your exterior water values and store them in a safe place for the winter. This will extend the life of the hoses and could possibly prevent damage to the interior piping of your home.
  2. Inspect the hose bib! Be sure to properly turn off your hose bib to prevent water in the supply line from freezing. Check for any damage that could result in pipes bursting in the cold weather. To view a video of how to properly turn off your hose bib, click here.
  3. Schedule a heating system inspection & tune-up! Just like a car, your home’s heating system requires regular maintenance. This ensures that your equipment is in safe working condition and achieving its manufacturer-rated efficiency. Make an appointment with Drucks to have your home heating system checked and tuned-up for the winter season!
  4. Seal drafts and add insulation! Find and seal any leaks to reduce cold air penetration around doors and windows. Add or replace worn weather stripping or caulk to keep moisture and cold air outside where they belong. You can always have a Home Energy Audit done on your home to assess any improvements that can be made to increase energy efficiency and save you money in the long haul.

By getting on top of your home’s seasonal maintenance checklist, you can save yourself a headache and your hard earned money in the later months. If you run across any problems during your inspection that require a professional, Drucks is available for the job! For Drucks Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical coupons click here. For expert electrical serviceplumbing,  HVAC, and more, call Drucks at (920) 722-2642. Stay connected with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more useful information and advice for your home.