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Lubbock HVAC, Plumbing, and Energy Management Blog

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Heat Loss


If you walked outside today you felt the chilly air. I love the fall season. The 90 degree temperatures are in the rear view window and ahead of us are cool evenings in front of the fireplace.

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Should I Install A Programmable Thermostat?

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Preparing Your Home For Winter


Fall in West Texas can be a sweet "in between" season for your cooling/heating system. Cool enough to turn off your air conditioner and warm enough to not turn on your heater. It's a wonderful time to open the windows and let in the fresh air. (Unless we're having one of our infamous dust storms.)

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Is It Time To Think About Winter Already?


Q: It's mid-September and the temperatures are still in the 80's. I haven't even bought my Halloween candy yet. Do I really need to start thinking about getting my house ready for winter?

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Rain and Plumbing Issues


Q: After years of drought, we're thankful for all the rain we've been getting in West Texas. This may sound like a strange question, but are there any potential plumbing problems I need to look for when it rains a lot?

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Common Plumbing Mistakes To Avoid

Here at Sinclair we're here to solve your plumbing, heating and cooling problems. And while we're always glad to hear from you, we're also about helping you avoid making mistakes that would cause you to pick up the phone.
Here's three common mistakes we want you to know about so you can avoid plumbing problems in your home:
* (Toy) Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Every plumbing company has stories about the strangest items they've retrieved after being flushed down the toilet. Toy cars are right up there on the list. As are small stuffed animals, LEGO's, and other items small children like to watch go down the drain.
Years ago I read a "Dear Abby" column about two parents who intended to present their child with a bill when he turned 18. Their little Junior by the tender age of 3 had already cost them over $2,000 in plumbing bills from all the toys he'd flushed down the toilet.
When the foreign object gets stuck in the trap, the toilet must be removed to retrieve it. Sometimes people think plunging will force the item through, clearing the clog. It's not a good idea as plunging can force the item deeper into the waste line where it will likely become jammed, causing a nasty back up.
Solution: Keep an eye on Junior! And if something does get lodged, don't make it worse by plunging.
* Don't Forget To Pull The Plug - When I lived in Arizona the home I purchased needed a new garbage disposal. The installation went smoother than I anticipated. A little too smoothly. I forgot to remove the knock out plug from inside the disposal. When I ran the dishwasher there was no place for the water to go and it caused a major leak.
Solution: Don't forget to knock out the plug!
* Opposites Don't Always Attract - When two different kinds of metal pipes are connected, it can accelerate corrosion. The scientific term is "dielectric corrosion". It will cause scale to build up and clog the pipe.
Solution: Connect the pipes with a dielectric union. It's a special connector that has a plastic sleeve and a rubber washer that keeps the two metals from coming in contact with each other.
The experts at Sinclair are always here to help you with your plumbing issues. Give us a call at 806-749-COOL (2665)
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My AC Isn't "Keeping Up"

http://callsinclair.comQ: My air conditioner is working, but it's not "keeping up". It feels like the air coming out is cool enough but the house never gets to the point where it's really comfortable. Do you have any ideas as to what the problem could be?

A: It's Labor Day. I'm ready for cooler weather. But it's going to be 103 degrees today. So our AC units aren't going to get a rest for at least a little while.

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Sinclair Is Looking For An Experienced Technician!


Sinclair Plumbing and Heating is looking for an experienced commercial service technician.

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Buying An Older Home? Ask About The Plumbing!


Q: Some friends of mine bought a house about 6 months ago and they've already had lots of plumbing problems. It seems strange to me because they had a home inspection done. Wouldn't those problems show up in the inspection?

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Why You Should Hire A Licensed & Bonded Plumbing Company

Q: I'm adding a bathroom and utility room to my house. A friend of mine recommended someone he knows who does plumbing work as a side job. I have to say, I like his price a lot more than the bid the local plumbing company gave me. My friend says he does great work. Should I take the chance?
A: I'm sure your friend's plumbing acquaintance does good work. And the choice of whom to hire is yours. Yet a key to any wise decision is to have all the facts before moving forward. Here's some thoughts for you to consider as you approach your plumbing project.
* Anytime we consider spending money, there's a truth we need to remember. "In the beginning there is price. In the end there is cost." Everyone likes to save money. Yet if our decision is made strictly by the initial low price, we may be setting ourselves up for a higher cost in the end.
My wife and I are in the middle of a remodel on our fixer upper house at the lake. We wanted a fireplace. We're trying to budget our dollars and didn't want to pay the high price for a new fireplace. It seemed like a small miracle when we found one on Craigslist. It was just what we were looking for and they were only asking $100. Sure, it was three hours away but we'd be saving at least $1,700. So we made the drive and found it exactly as advertised. We were thrilled with our purchase until our contractor said the stove pipe required for it isn't made anymore. As in anywhere. As in "even if you can find it the building codes have changed so we can't use it". We paid a very low price. But it cost us in the end. Not a good deal.
Speaking of codes, that brings us to the next thought.
* Licensed and bonded plumbers are familiar with current building codes. There are talented people who know how to plumb, build and wire. Yet if they aren't full-time professionals in those fields, they won't be versed in the latest local building codes. Your bathroom project, if not built properly and according to code, can be "undone" by a building inspector who can, depending on the degree, make you undo and repair or take down the entire project and start over. This can be very costly, essentially paying more than double for what could have been done correctly the first time.
Licensed and bonded plumbers will review your plans and let you know what permits, if any, are required. Building without permits when they are required is an expensive mistake. If in the future you want to sell your house and the appraisers and inspectors see that additions have been made that weren't permitted, they can make you open up or tear down the addition because it wasn't inspected. And the best reason to abide by building codes and permits is that if your house burns down and the fire started in the non-permitted addition, your insurance won't pay for the damage.
* Licensed plumbers must meet state approved standards for knowledge and expertise. Few things are more frustrating in the construction process than realizing the person doing the work has "over sold" their abilities. Licensed plumbers have proven their competence.
* If you use an unlicensed plumber for your project, you're likely giving up any right to warranty claims for poor workmanship. In the event of poor workmanship, you can voice your complaints to the state contractor board. They are unlikely to help you with a claim against an unlicensed person.
* If you use an unlicensed plumber/contractor, you can be subject to unwanted liability. If they get injured on your property, you could be on the bad end of a lawsuit even though you had nothing to do with the accident. Licensed contractors carry liability and workman's compensation insurance.
The professionals at Sinclair stake their name and reputation on doing quality work that, in the end, will cost you less. Give them a call before starting your next project. They will be happy to review your plans and make suggestions that will keep your project legal and safe. 806-749-COOL (2665)
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