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- By James Wisler
I think understanding a situation is power—the more you know about your home, the more empowered you are to make good decisions. I also encourage homeowners not to just take things at face value. It can be boring when a plumber or HVAC technician comes to your home, especially when you’re very busy. But this is your house we’re talking about here. The technician is working on what’s probably the most valuable thing you own. It’s very important to have as much of an understanding as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here are some good starting questions that I’d encourage everyone to think about asking.
What caused it to go bad? Take for instance when you hear a plumber say something like, “The flapper is leaking,” “A pipe is leaking,” or “The cartridge is bad.” This is when you’d want to ask how it went bad. You can follow that question up with what will prevent this from happening again?
What is the life expectancy? A lot of times we think plumbing is going to last forever, but it just doesn’t. Age can definitely cause things to fail, so understanding the life expectancy—even if it hasn’t failed yet—potentially allows you to plan for a future replacement. How long an item is supposed to last is always good information to know, even if you’re getting something like a brand new water heater put in.
Is it installed properly? If a plumber or HVAC tech is checking on something in particular, this is a good question to ask. There’s a right way and a wrong way to install things, and most good technicians take pride in their work. Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t do very good work. Sometimes homeowners hire incompetent tradesmen. If something is installed improperly, it helps to find out so you can keep an eye on it and prevent potentially catastrophic damage from occurring to your home. Don’t always assume that everything is done properly, even if you just bought a new home.
What is my water quality? Specific to plumbing, this is a good question to ask because everything in the plumbing system gets touched by your water. If you have poor water quality, you’re going to cause premature failure to whatever comes into contact with the water (pretty much the entire plumbing system which includes water heaters, pipes and fixtures).
(HVAC) What is my air quality? Specific to HVAC, this is a good question to ask because the air that you breathe runs through the HVAC system. Dust, debris, mold, pet dander, etc. can really cause problems with your respiratory system possible causing cold like symptoms and allergic reactions.
If these starting questions leave you with even more questions, the team at Wisler Plumbing & Air is here to help. Contact us today or give us a call at 540-483-9382.