Plumbing Preventive Maintenance

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 ​​​Maintaining the Water Heater; How to Guarantee Landing in Hot Water

After a long day at work, nothing feels better than taking a relaxing shower and feeling the warm water wash away the day’s trials and tribulations. Of course, after a long day at work, nothing feels worse than needing to get out the tool-kit and manual to fix a broken water heater. Properly maintaining your hot water storage tank, and the hot water heater, not only prevents accidents and complications in the long-term, it also ensures that your home runs smoothly and efficiently.

Finding the underlying cause of the water heater

At their most basic levels, hot water heaters are divided into two simple components: storage and heating. A hot water tank is a specially-insulated water tank that, if properly maintained, can accurately control the temperature of water for days. Once in a tank, water can be heated through a variety of means – including gas, electricity, or even wood – for personal use.

Problems and complications; what causes hot water heaters to go awry

Water tanks are normally connected to a domestic water supply, except in the rare cases where homes are running on an internal water supply, like a well. As even the most purified water contains trace amounts of minerals in varying consistency, hot water tanks – and by extension, hot water heaters – are highly susceptible to build-up and corrosion. Here are some signs to look out for with aging water heaters:

· Corrosion because of mineral build-up. When water is heated, the minerals that are dissolved in the water precipitate into the tank, corroding the tank’s insides. Because of this corrosion, leaks are common in poorly maintained, older tanks.

· Weak or almost non-existent insulation. If your home’s water seems to take forever to heat up or, worse, your home’s water no longer gets hot, this might be a sign that your hot water tank’s insulation has been affected. In these cases, insulating your tank with an insulating blanket, or replacing the tank, is advisable.

· Faulty or malfunctioning water heater element. If it seems like your water never gets hot, it might also be a result of a faulty water heater element.

In the case of corrosion and mineral build-up, you should drain your water tank, to prolong the life of your water heater.

Properly maintaining a hot water heater

While it is always recommended to properly maintain your water heater, the time between each maintenance varies depending on the number of people in your home. Typically, if there are more than three people in your home, you should check your water heater every four months, and drain your tank every six to eight months. As for professional service, time varies based on the make and model of your water heater.

Contact us, at Hybrid Mechanical, if you need your hot water tank repaired or replaced. Visit our website to learn more about the plumbing services we offer in Calgary and Area, or to learn more about our hot water tank installation. 


Residential Hvac

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Maintaining a Clean HVAC System; the Residential Uses of the Laws of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

For those who don’t know, HVAC stands for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. More than just a fast acronym for a lengthy title, an HVAC is one of the most ubiquitous appliances in a modern, 21st century home and any modern, 21st century building.

HVACs keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They ensure that our homes are properly ventilated, and that we don’t have to worry about setting up fans, opening windows, or setting up wood fires in our living rooms. Simply put, taking care of an HVAC is not just a manufacturer’s suggestion; it is an absolute necessity in maintaining a healthy, and liveable, space.

Different parts, different strokes, different folks

HVACs come in different sizes for different buildings. Regardless of their size, however, HVACs consist of multiple components that account for a variety of different operations. Although an HVAC system has different components for cooling, heating, and air circulation, there several benefits to cleaning an HVAC at least twice a year:

Preventing contamination. Wherever we look, whatever we touch, wherever we are, we are surrounded by millions upon billions of bacteria. Most are beneficial, and most are necessary, but all it takes is one airborne pathogen for us to become ill. A clean HVAC ensures that our homes are safe spaces, and ensures that we don’t have to worry about getting sick in our own homes.
Improving air quality. Harmful bacteria do not just affect our bodies – they’re also affected by dust, hair, and other particulate in the air. A clean HVAC properly filters the air in our homes, while a dirty HVAC effectively recirculates low-quality air.
Preventing energy waste. A clean HVAC is an efficient, well-oiled machine. It circulates air and adjusts temperatures in an energy-efficient manner. The dirtier an HVAC is, however, the harder it must work to accomplish the same goals as a clean system. Cleaning an HVAC means that our homes do not waste energy.
Guaranteeing monetary savings. A wasteful HVAC is a costly HVAC. The harder a dirty HVAC needs to work, the more money that costs us as consumers.

Cleaning HVACs with the power of vacuums and pressure

To clean an HVAC, one must put the system under a state of negative pressure. This is typically done using a vacuum that cleans an HVAC by sucking up all the large and small particulate that gets stuck in the system during normal operations.

Contact us, at Hybrid Mechanical, for HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance, or visit our website to learn more about our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services in Calgary and Area. 


Commercial Hvac

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Heating and Cooling Season Maintenance Tips

At the beginning of each heating and cooling season in Calgary and Area and area we suggest the following maintenance:

Evaporator coil. Inspected this coil to ensure proper cooling capacity levels. Clean it on an as-needed basis using a commercial coil cleaner or dishwasher detergent in a pressurized spray canister. Wash both sides of the coil and flush with clean water. For best results, backflush toward the return-air section to remove foreign material. Be careful not to overflow the evaporator drain condensate pan.

Condenser coil. Inspected the condenser coil monthly and clean it annually as required by location and outdoor air conditions. This cleaning ensures proper condensing temperature, eliminates both low capacity level and poor efficiency. Wash one-row coils with a commercial cleaner. For coils with multiple rows, use a water hose or other suitable equipment to flush down between multiple sections to remove dirt and debris.

Filters. Filters should be cleaned or replaced at the start of each cooling and heating season, or more often if operating conditions require. To determine the frequency, visually inspect or measure the airside pressure drop. Clean filters prevent dirt buildup on coils and help with the indoor air quality of the occupied building space. Follow the manufacturer recommendation for filter size and type.

Outdoor air inlet screens. Annually clean inlet screens with steam or hot water and mild detergent. Inspect monthly to determine if more frequent cleaning is required.

Compressors. Charge the compressor(s) with the correct amount of oil at the factory. With semi-hermetic compressors, refer to the manufacturer instructions for checking proper oil level.

Fan motor bearings. Depending on the type of unit, the fan motor bearings may be of the permanently lubricated type. If the bearings are not permanently lubricated, lubricate every six months with suitable bearing grease or oil. See the manufacturer recommendation on oil manufacturer and type to use.

Condenser fan. Check the condenser fan height annually to prevent re-circulation of condenser air and maintain the capacity and efficiency of the unit.

Evaporator fan. Inspect the evaporator fan to ensure it’s centered in its housing. Annually lube the evaporator fan motor, if needed.

Blower belt. Inspect the blower belt for wear, proper tension, and pulley alignment at the beginning of each cooling and heating season, or as conditions require. Replace worn belts. Don’t run them to the point of breakage. Annual inspections will indicate how often to replace belts.

Thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). If the unit contains thermostatic expansion valves, check each circuit to ensure the bulb is secure and insulated and in the correct position per the manufacturer recommendation. Most TXVs are factory set, non-adjustable, and require no service.

Economizer. If the unit contains an economizer, perform an annual cycle run-through to ensure the actuator, dampers and temperature sensors are operating correctly. Also, check the ventilation settings.

Refrigerant charge. Check the refrigerant charge annually to make sure it is at the proper level. Before checking charge, run the unit for 15 minutes in the cooling mode to stabilize system pressure. The correct amount of refrigerant charge is listed on the unit nameplate. Use the manufacturer’s cooling charging chart to determine if additional refrigerant is required.

When evaluating the charge, adjustment to the specified factory charge must always be minimal. If a substantial adjustment is indicated, an abnormal condition exists somewhere in the cooling system, such as a refrigerant leak or insufficient airflow across either the coil or both coils. 


Boiler maintenance

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 Boiler service and repair in Calgary and Area

Ice-cold winters in Calgary and Area require a nice warm place for you to run to when you can no longer bear the frigid weather. To ensure your home is properly heated, you’ll need a reliable boiler that will provide you central heating and hot water.

A healthy boiler is a key component to every home. It should always be in top-notch condition. Despite regular maintenance and care, your boiler will eventually develop problems due to the unavoidable wear and tear that comes with age.

Spotting signs of repair

Boiler repair is something you don’t want to take lightly. In many cases, it is possible that you don’t notice what is needed for your boiler and hot water tank to function properly. Here are some of the signs you should look out for in order to maintain a dependable boiler unit.

· Unusual noises. Although boilers make a certain amount of noise, clunking, knocking, banging and ticking can indicate a serious issue.

· Odd odours from vents. An unusual odour from your vents can mean that it is time to seek maintenance of your boiler.

· Leaking water around the boiler. Water around your boiler can cause further damage. It is best to avoid possible damages by contacting a plumber.

Should you notice any of these problems, contact a professional at Hybrid Mechanical Plumbing and Heating. We provide a complete range of boiler repair, plumbing and hot water tank maintenance in Calgary and Area. Whether you are looking to extend the life of an older boiler, or make sure you keep a new boiler operating at its best efficiency, Hybrid Mechanical Plumbing and Heating is the company to call.

Maintaining your boiler

Regular maintenance will keep your boiler working efficiently, safely and cost effectively. Although your boiler and hot water tank may eventually need some servicing, you can also take the following steps to ensure the maintenance of your boiler:

Keep boiler area clear. It is important to keep vents free from blockages.
Do not remove boiler casing. Doing this yourself is extremely dangerous and can cause leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Keep it clean. Depending on the location of your boiler, it may need a clean now and again. With a damp cloth, gently wipe the case of your boiler.

In case of emergency

Not getting any heat or hot water? Water leaking from your toilet? Hybrid Mechanical is your expert emergency service in Calgary and Area. Contact us today for all your plumbing or hot water tank needs. We are at your service 24/7. 

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