Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety.

It sounds like a Cal/OSHA issue for jobsite safety, and it is. However, it can also be a problem in a existing home or an older installation. Electrical codes have changed over the years. These changes have all been to protect us with better, safer, designs and practices. Even with these advancements, just like anything else, electrical components will wear out. The problem is this can cause fires or electrocution and will damage equipment that is still in operation.

He-Pex: What it is and why we use it

He-pex tubing is a term that refers to Pex that has an oxygen barrier. It looks just like regular Pex that is used for domestic water systems, only it will not allow oxygen to permeate the tube. In a closed loop boiler system, the same water constantly rotates through many bare iron components. This is not a problem because the rust immediately consumes the oxygen and does not continue to eat away at the components. Pex has become very common in water based heating.

Electronic air cleaner in Santa Rosa

It was a simple service call at the end of the day today, but  I found something really neat that I wanted to share. I have never seen an air filter this old that was this advanced. Of course, modern air filters like this are more effective, but for its age it is really impressive. I love finding things like this. 



Air conditioning repair in Healdsburg

Today’s last call was for an air conditioner that although cooling was making a very loud vibration every time it came on. This can be a few different things but in this case it was an older compressor that is having a hard time starting. When an air conditioning compressor starts it draws very high amps and can vibrate loudly until it comes up to operating RPM. This heavy vibration will cause bearing failure and is very annoying. Fortunately there is a fix that often works for this but is not really expensive.

Commercial Air Conditioner repair in Santa Rosa

Yesterday afternoon I went to a business in Santa Rosa that had an air conditioner that was not working. In this case it was a rooftop machine called a gas-pack. There was a spot in the system for a filter but the filter was not installed. As a result the air conditioning

Marin Home & Garden Expo

Kim and I just came back from an exhibitors meeting for the Marin Home and Garden Expo. This is the second year that the show has been under new management, and I have to say, I am pretty excited. They are setting it up with a very open and inviting atmosphere. There will be live music, food, demonstrations, live speakers and of course lots of great deals on services and products for your home. It will be held June 2nd and 3rd at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael which is really a beautiful site.

Neglected boiler in San Rafael

It may not look like it, but this boiler is highly efficient and reliable. Unfortunately, it has been neglected and it shows. The problem is that the buildup was keeping it from lighting properly, leaving the homeowners without heat. Boilers are easy to maintain, it just needs to be done!  Like anything mechanical, if you ignore it long enough it will fail. Fortunately, a thorough cleaning and this boiler is operating properly.


Oil fired furnace in Sebastopol

Most people in this area have never heard of an oil fired furnce, but they are very common in other parts of the US. They run on the same fuel that a tractor or truck uses. Sound dirty, right?  Well, when they are in good running order they actually burn very clean and are more efficient than a comparable propane furnace. They also last a lot longer. This one has been having problems lately and a rather messy inspection revealed a large crack in the heat exchanger. This is unfortunately something that cannot be fixed, so the old beast gets retired.

Commercial building in Santa Rosa

This is a funny picture of a difficult situation. The big red tank is a commercial expansion tank with a leaking bladder. The bladder is a rubber diaphram between the water and a air charge that flexes allowing expansion in a boiler system. This bladder failed and allowed a lot of water into the air side of the tank. We are there to replace it, but there is a catch. There is no easy way to drain 100 gallons of water from the air side of the tank.

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