We received a call from a St Paul, MN homeowner today saying that a home inspector she hired for the sale of their home claimed they had high carbon monoxide coming out of their furnace. A test done by one of our qualified hvac technicians found that the claim was untrue. Has this happened to you?
Home inspections are a common requirement when selling a home. Either the seller or the buyer will desire to have one done. Many parts of the home are checked and opinions are made by the inspector. We usually get involved when issues are found with plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or drain cleaning. A home owner or potential buyer will call us to give a second opinion on what an inspector found.
We have found not all home inspections are the same and who you hire to do the inspection is critical to the report that you receive. Here is some advice in selecting a home inspector.
- What is their personal background with working on homes?
- What training has they received to inspect homes?
- Are they licensed and by who?
- Are they affiliated with any contractors or is he independent?
- How long does the inspection take?
- Do they guarantee the work or assessments?
- How well versed are they on the plumbing or mechanical code of the city that the home is located?
The customer who called us was very concerned about the results of their inspection. They had a 5 year old furnace that the inspector said was emitting a large amount of carbon monoxide through the exhaust venting. If correct, this could be a costly expense to remedy. Why was this error made? Was it a result of not knowing how to read the testing equipment correctly or looking to make some extra money from a referral of work?
The moral of the this story is to get a second opinion from a licensed contractor regarding any costly repairs that are suggested. The codes of each city are complicated and require constant training on. A person who is inspecting everything can not be expected to be an expert on everything. That is why the cities of St Paul and Minneapolis have separate inspectors for plumbing, mechanical, electrical and more.
You can call Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air with any questions about your home inspection and to request a second opinion on results you received during your home inspection.
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We received a call from a Woodbury, MN home owner today looking for help with their plumbing issue. They said that they don’t have any water pressure down stairs and they have black gunky water coming out of their faucets upstairs. We sent our plumber to investigate.
After arriving at the house he looked at their plumbing issue. A thorough investigation found out that the water softener was the culprit. As water softeners will do after they get old, the resin had released itself into the water pipes. They needed a new water softener and a complete flush of their domestic water system.
How old is your softener? If it is 10 years old or more, it is time to look at a new one. Many changes in efficiency and operation have been made over the years. The Northstar Water Softener has a mini processor in it that senses your water usage.
Before you decide to get rid of your softener or wonder why to have a softener, consider the following advantages of having a softener.
- Water softeners prevent scaling in the pipes.
- Protects your faucets and fixtures, as well as your bath tub and toilets from stains and hard water deposits.
- Soap lathers better and rinses cleaner.
- Increases the heating efficiency of your water heater up to 29%.
- Saves time cleaning and helps clothes last longer.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air has a Service Partner Plan that checks your water softener yearly for you. You don’t have to remember to do it yourself or know what to look for. You can call or email us to learn more about the value of a water softener installed by us.
March 1st is tomorrow. That means that spring is only 22 days away. Before you start thinking about yard maintenance you should start thinking about the plumbing in your home.
Whether you live in St. Paul, Woodbury, Eagan or Cottage Grove and your home is new or 100 years old, the same procedures are needed to make sure the dampness that comes with spring is outside your home and not inside. Simple checks by you or your favorite plumber can save you time and money.
- Check your outside faucet for signs of freezing. Turn it on while you have somebody in the basement looking for leaks. A frozen pipe will have had a chance to thaw and will leak once you turn on the shut off valve allowing water to flow.
- Take the cover off your air conditioner. You would be surprised at home many people call us saying their air conditioner does not work and we arrive to see some sort of cover on the A/C. A good tip is to shut off the breaker for your air conditioner each fall so you think twice when you turn your a/c on for the season. This is also a great time to schedule a clean and check for your air conditioner.
- Change your air filter in furnace. It is important to remember that your furnace is a key component of your air conditioner working correctly. The filter needs to be changed on a regular basis. Spring is a great time to change it so you can start with a strong air flow.
- Have your water heater checked. This one may make your head scratch. We receive the most requests for water heater replacements and water heaters leaking from the bottom service calls during the fall and spring. For some reason, the change in the temperature of the water coming into your house affects water heaters. Mostly as colder water comes in during the fall and winter, but also as it warms up in the spring.
- Check sump pump operation. Your sump pump sits idle all winter. This is when there is a great opportunity to stop working due to age or gunk building up. Pour some water in the pit to the point where the ball or arm floats up. Call your plumber for a service call if it does not come on and you have checked to see if it is plugged in. You don’t realize how important a working sump pump is until you need it due to pouring rain outside.
These are some simple steps that can save you and help you look forward to a great spring. You can call Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air to learn more and to sign up for a Service Partner Plan. You can then leave the checking of these items to us.
The quick answer is, when you can least afford it or have the time for it. The more precise answer is when you are home to know if your furnace or air conditioner is not working or if there is a leak in your plumbing. If you are like many homeowners, you are home after 5:00 during the week or on weekends. Now the more important question is, does your plumbing, heating or air conditioning contractor still dispatch at normal rates?
I was still at the office after 5:00 one night this week when I received a phone call from a customer who was having a sump pump crisis. She told me that a nationally known plumbing franchise told her that they would charge her $200 to come out since it was after hours. This was about 5:15 pm. I was shocked!! I thought the trend for everything was being open later when homeowners needed service. It wasn’t her fault that she just got home and noticed that her basement was starting to flood due to the heavy rain that day.
There are many websites, home shows, news columns and talking heads that will advise you of the importance of creating a relationship with a plumbing or hvac contractor before you need them. I agree that this is wise in a perfect world. However, how do you create a relationship before you need them? Who has said to themselves, “Gee, I think I will invite the local plumber over for dinner tonight. I have always wanted to get to know him better.” ?
Here are some tips:
- Check out some websites of the plumbing, heating or air conditioning companies.
- Check to see what services they provide. Can they do it all including drain cleaning. It is easier to make one call then multiple calls.
- Check the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask your neighbor or family who they have used.
- Most important is check to see what hours they work and what after hour fees are. They are only good if they can get to you.
At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air, we believe we are here because of you the homeowner. That means we need to be available when you need us. We are available from 7 am to 10pm Monday through Saturday at regular rates. Why not 24 hours or Sunday? Well, even plumbers and hvac technicians have families and need their rest. Healthy and happy techs will help ensure they are ready when you need them.
Everybody loves to get something for free. The internet constantly barrages you with offers of free IPads, TV’s and vacations. Most people will look at it and say to themselves, “Yeah right”.
More and more people are asking for free over the phone estimates for plumbing service or heating service work. Some examples of homeowner requests are.
- My furnace will not work. What will it cost to fix it?
- I have a plumbing leak somewhere and I don’t know where. How much to fix it?
- I need a new water heater, but I don’t know if I have code issues or size or if it is the right one. How much to replace it?
- I don’t know the type or size of my waste disposal, but I would like a quote over the phone.
There are some things that are obvious and are easier to diagnose and give pricing. However, there might be bigger issues causing the obvious issue. For that reason a home visit by a plumber or hvac service technician is needed. A price can then be given to correctly fix the problem and any other issues that may be occurring.
An over the phone free estimate can cost you more than paying for a licensed plumber or heating contractor to come to your home and assess and provide an up front price. The free phone estimate is not in writing and is not given with a commitment to honor the price. This is due to the contractor not knowing the situation and thus not being able to give an informed estimate. The number will usually go up once the contractor is on site or worse yet, started the job for you.
Providing an estimate at your home is an expense for a contractor. A better question than “Do you provide free estimates?” is “How can you afford to do free estimates?”. The cost has to paid somehow. Either by increasing the price when the contractor gets to your home or cutting corners to save money. Another option is even worse for the homeowner. Service will be provided and paid for, but the contractor is nowhere to be found for warranty issues since they have gone out of business.
You can count on Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air for superior service at a value locked in price. Give us a call or schedule online for your up front price for any plumbing, heating, drain cleaning, air conditioning service or replacement project you have.
We have a technician meeting every Tuesday at our office. This meeting includes plumber, hvac technicians, and drain cleaners. Along with the training on new product and technicques is a section of the meeting where the technicians tell us what they are seeing in homes. This could be what home owners are requesting along with issues with products that they are replacing.
The meeting today brought up a problem that is costing home owners money when they try to keep their home from flooding with water due to a broken hose. It was an example of good intentions leading to unintended results.
According to our plumbers, there are toilet supply lines that are being promoted as keeping your home safe from flooding if they break. They are designed to close and not allow water to pass if they detect a flow rate that is higher than normal. This is a great idea and product when it works. However, it does cause a problem when you need to shut off the water to the toilet and then turn it back on quickly. The quick turning on of the water to the toilet results in the supply hose thinking that there is a burst and shutting off. The hose then needs to be reset before it will operate correctly or allow any water to flow.
Home owners are calling us to come investigate the lack of water in their toilet. This call results in a service fee that is uncessary if care is taken to follow the reset directions of the hose. It could also be that these hoses were put on by another plumbing company without the customer’s knowledge. Either way a service call is the result.
In order to prevent the supply hose from locking up you need to turn on the water slowly. This will simulate the normal flow that happens when you flush the toilet.
Call Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air if your toilet is not filling or is having any other problems.
Do you find making much needed home repairs taxing or frustrating? In a large sea of “Best Value” and “Lowest Price” it may be confusing to pick a service company that is sincere and offers quality work. We are not going to talk about limited time offers and restrictions that may apply, we are just going to give you the facts, plain and simple, and let you decide if we are the company for you.
- Quality Service
Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air is owned and operated by a family, just like yours. We have been in the plumbing, heating and air conditioning business since 1918. With our combined experience , our company has over 100 years of knowledge. We are experts in residential installations and will thoroughly explain the diagnosis before we make any installations or repairs. We want you, as a homeowner, to be able to make an informed decision after we present your options to you.
Our plumbers and hvac technicians come from diverse backgrounds and each one has an impressive skill set. We are proud to say that we believe in lifelong learning and we require our technicians to attend training courses each week to learn new skills. We actually pay them to learn how to serve you better. Everybody wins.
Our plumbers and technicians wear a professional uniform and follow appearance standards so that you cannot mistake them for anyone else when they show up at your door. We do background checks on all of our technicians as a safety precaution. We understand as homeowners that it may be frightening to let someone you do not know into your home. At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air we would not send anyone to your house that we would not be comfortable letting into our own homes.
2. Quality Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Products
At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air we do not believe in installing poor quality equipment or practicing “planned obsolescence”. There are some companies out there who will complete the job with the absolute lowest material and labor costs so that they can enjoy the highest profit possible. We are not one of them. We will only sell you high quality, long lasting parts, and they will be installed in the most professional manner. We want your repeat business legitimately, not because a product we sold you had a short life. It is important to us that our customers give positive recommendations about our company to other potential customers. In order for that to happen, we take care to deliver to our customers the products and experience that they deserve.
3. No Hidden Fees
Another benefit of choosing Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air is that we do not charge extra for overtime. We have been known to work odd and late hours to ensure that our customers’ systems are repaired in a timely manner. We do not want you to sacrifice comfort for quality. We understand how upsetting it can be to go without modern conveniences like plumbing, heating, air conditioning, especially when looking out for the well being of your family. So, we will not expect you to pay a dime more than you would during conventional office hours. We will even work around your schedule.
4. Guaranteed Fixed Pricing
After diagnosing your system, we provide a fixed, guaranteed price for the repair or installation. No tricks. No gimmicks. There will be no surprises or hidden fees. Our prices take into account all the costs of operating a business, from servicing our trucks, to building operation fees, employee salaries, benefits, and more. Our prices are carefully calculated and never arbitrary. We believe in the right prices for the right quality.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air is a proud member of the Nexstar Network, Service Roundtable, BBB, ACCA and actively participates in conferences, trade shows, and other educational events. The purpose of attending these events is to network with other service companies to determine best practices. We also attend to learn about cutting edge products that will benefit our customers. If there is a product out there that will improve your comfort, save you money, or make your life a little easier, we will be the first to tell you all about it.
We also firmly believe in giving back to our community. We support the Ronald McDonald Homes of the Upper Midwest and the Animal Humane Society. Through service and monetary giving, we help these great organizations that help people and animals in need. We believe the best measure of a company is not what they claim, but their actions towards their customers and their community.
Contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more about saving money with Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air.
A recurring question that I hear our customer service reps receive is, “Where is your office?”. I catch myself asking why does it matter? I then remember that for a number of plumbing, heating and air companies it does matter to the customer. That is because they have drive time to the customers location included in their time and material calculation. This means that when they quote the price for the first hour it means you may only get 15 minutes in house because it took him 45 minutes to get there.
At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air, we don’t believe when you need a plumber or hvac technician for an emergency service call you should worry about where the plumber is coming from. You have enough concern and you don’t need to start thinking how much the cost will be just to have him drive to your house and how much time he will have to look at your issue.
There are a number of plumbing, heating and air companies like Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air that now have a flat fee for coming to your home and accessing your needs no matter where you live or where the techs last call was. This way you know what the cost will be to have your plumbing, heating or air conditioning service need addressed and options for the fix or need.
Give us a call when you have a service need for your home. We will come out for one low fee and give you options for the repair or remodeling need.
Everybody knows that a sump pump in your basement is critical to keeping water at bay and outside of the basement of your home. This time of the year is when a sump pump becomes your best friend and something you miss when it does not work properly
What isn’t known or written about as much is how the sump pump works in your home. Knowing how it works can help you understand why it is so critical to have in your home.
Most homes have what they call “Tiling” around their home. This is tubing that allows water to seep into it instead of trying to leak into the basement of a home. It reduces the pressure put against the basement walls by removing the water from the ground. The water that goes in the the tiling or tubing runs into plumbing pipes that are hooked up to it. The plumbing pipe then enters your home and empties into a sump pump pit. This pit is usually in a corner of your basement. The pit will contain a basket which will hold the water that is drained into it by the pipe that runs to the tiling around your house.
The sump pump sits inside the sump pump basket in the water that is gathered. The sump pump will have a pvc pipe coming out of it going straight up. This pipe will then be plumbed out of your home away from your home. This piping if done correctly will lead the water away from your home so that it does not work its way back into the sump pump pit again.
The sump pump has a form of float in it that tells it when there is water in the pit to be pumped out. This prevents the overflow into the basement of water. Water will fill up the basket resulting in the float to raise. This will signal the pump to start pumping the water out of the pit into the plumbing pipes. The sump pump has a check valve which opens when water is going up into the pipe and closes when the pump shut off. This prevents water from the pipe flowing back into the pit.
For everything to work correctly, it is very important that you have the sump pump installed correctly. A licensed plumber will know the correct piping procedures to make sure the water goes up and out of your home and away from the foundation. Having a sump pump isn’t enough to protect your home. As with everything, the correct installation is just as important as having one.
Call Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air or contact us online if you have any questions or would like your sump pump install inspected.
In today’s busy world it is very important to get the information or services that you need as quickly and easy as possible. Many companies are vying for your loyalty by providing customers with methods of contacting them quickly and effortlessly.
Homeowners needing service on their plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and drain cleaning need to know that their contractor can be reached in many different ways. Some things in the home can wait, but many things like leaking pipes, water heaters not heating or toilets that are leaking or plugged need immediate attention.
At Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air, we have heard the requests from our customers and homeowners to make it easier to contact us at any time of the day or night. Below are all the ways that homeowners can now reach us.
- Phone via Dex yellow pages or online.
- Website online request found by all search engines.
- Phone app for your smart phone.
The latest and greatest in technology is smart phones. You can use them to view websites and interact with the website. The even more convenient tool is apps for the smart phone. The picture above is a bar code that you can scan with your smart phone that will direct you to download the Minneapolis Saint Paul Plumbing Heating Air app.
Below are all the things you can do with the phone app on your smart phone:
- Emergency Plumbing and Heating Service Call – This will let you call the number without having to look up our number.
- Homeowner Plumbing and Heating Video of the Week – Provides homeowners with tips and information.
- Register To Win A Free Furnace
- Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drain Cleaning Specials
- Online Service Scheduling
- Our Facebook Page
We will continue to come up with ways for homeowners to contact us to when you need us. This is another example of how we strive to be the premier residential contractor in the Twin Cities.