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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

 

Plumbing Questions

Q: What size water heater do I have?

A: There should be a tag on the water heater with the serial and model number. This should indicate the gallon capacity.

Q: Why does the shower turn hot when the toilet is flushed?

A: When the toilet is flushed the pressure is reduced in the cold water piping reducing the cold water flow in the shower. Code now requires a pressure balanced shower valve to be installed to prevent scalding. Call us for installation of your new pressure balanced shower valve

Q: Should I be concerned about lead in my water?

A: Yes! Public Utility Companies monitor lead in drinking water. It is required to be in Federal limits. Once it leaves the plant it can pick up lead in piping that was installed years ago. Some water services were installed with lead pipe, copper piping was installed with lead solder and brass fittings have lead alloy in them. Laws now prevent the installation and the manufacturing of products containing lead. We can replace any lead containing piping systems you may have.

Q: Do I need a water softener?

A: Hard water can cause mineral deposits on your faucets, shower and dishes. Minerals can build up in your water heater and reduce its efficiency and life. The best solution is to add a water softener. Call use for your water softener installation.

Q: Why does my water smell like eggs?

A: That smell is most likely sulfur. This smell can be nauseating and can make the water undrinkable. We recommend that you install a point of use reverse osmosis system. They can be installed under your kitchen sink and will remove the sulfur smell.

Q: Why does my water heater run out of hot water half way through my shower?

A: This can be a dry plumbing trap. The water in the trap is to protect you from sewer gases. The solution can be as easy as pouring water down all infrequently used drains. If that is not the problem then we can put peppermint in the vent system and trace the smell.

Q: Why is my dish washer is not draining?

A: This could be a bad pump or the air gap and piping can be plugged. One or the other will have to be removed and repaired or unplugged.

Q: When is the best time to schedule my boiler tune up?

A: Boiler maintenance can be and is done 12 months of the year and there is no “better” time to have it done. We would like to see most of the maintenance scheduled in the Spring or Summer months, to accommodate busy schedules. Naturally, during the heating season, emergency service takes precedence and it is difficult to predict what any one day may bring. Please call our Service Department to schedule your boiler maintenance!

 

Heating Questions

Q: How often should I replace my furnace filter?

A: Twice a year, once at the beginning of the heating season and then again at the beginning of the cooling season.

Q: Where can I go for heating bill assistance?

A: Families in need of assistance and the elderly can apply for fuel assistance (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP) through state agencies such as the Department of Housing & Community Development. Every state has different eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for assistance

Q: How do I know when it is time to call for service?

A: We all know to call for service when our heat goes off or we have no hot water but all too often we hear customers say “this has been going on for a few weeks, should I have called then?” The answer is, YES! An issue that could have been nipped in the bud earlier can be a real problem later. First and foremost, 911 Plumbing and Heating is a full service company and we sincerely hope you will call us whenever you have any heating questions or problems. We pride ourselves on our excellent reputation for customer service and all of our customer service representatives will listen carefully to your questions and advise you what the next course of action should be. Customer satisfaction is our common goal. Please feel free to call for service anytime you see or smell oil or gas, have a water leak, see or smell soot or smoke, have to hit the reset button more than one time during any given week, hear an unusual noise or to schedule your annual preventative maintenance. Remember, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

Q: When I am away what temperature should I set my thermostat?

A: Winter, spring, summer or fall, we advise to never leave your home unattended; in fact some homeowner policies have restrictions regarding vacant and unattended homes as well. Assuming you have someone entering and checking on your house at least twice a day, we recommend not leaving the thermostat set below 60 degrees. Make sure to have your “house sitter” check the basement for water leaks or smells.

Q: What is the reset button and why should I reset it only once before calling for service?

A: Primary controls have a reset button. This button allows the homeowner to restart the burner should a problem cause the unit to shut down. (For example, burners may need to be restarted after a power outage.) Pushing the reset button should get the burner running, but if the safety switch shuts the burner down again, the homeowner should call for service. Homeowners should NEVER push the reset button more than once because it might cause excess oil or gas to be pumped into the combustion chamber. This will result in a lengthy and costly repair.

Q: What is the oldest furnace that is still in use?

A: The oldest kind of oil furnace you are likely to encounter will be connected to a gravity warm air heating system that was designed to burn coal and has been converted to oil or gas. As the name implies, the air to heat the building is circulated by gravity, warm air rises and cold air falls. There is no fan to move the air around. Older systems were good in their day, but the technology has come a long way since.

Q: What is the oldest boiler that is in use?

A: The oldest kind of oil boiler you are likely to encounter had been converted from coal. Due to antiquated design, high draft loss and poor heat transfer plague these systems. The oldest systems are steam heat and gravity hot water. The gravity hot water works on the same principle as gravity warm air. The lighter hot water rises up into the radiators as the cooler heavier water falls back to the boiler. There are no circulator pumps or zone valves on gravity hot water.

 

Guarantees and Warranties Questions

Q: Will there be a warranty for owner provided fixtures and equipment?

A: This would be a labor warranty only for one year. The fixture or equipment should have its own warranty.

Q: Can I purchase an extended warranty?

A: We do not offer an extended warranty, however many manufacturers will provide extended warranties. We can provide a maintenance contract and maintain the fixtures and equipment to prevent costly break downs.

Q: What do I need to do if I think I have a claim?

A: It is as simple as a phone call to us. We can look up your warranty and send a technician to do the repairs as soon as possible.

Q: What is not covered under the warranty?

A: Warranty does not cover products that have been misused, tampered with, modified or damaged as a result of accident, lack of proper care as indicated in the owner?s manual by the manufacture.

Q: Is the warranty transferable?

A: The warranty is in affect for all the owners at the time of installation.

Q: What Do I Need to Know About the ENERGY STAR Rebate Program?

A: Did you know that more than 70% of the energy used in our homes is for appliances, refrigeration, space heating, cooling, and water heating? Replacing old appliances and equipment with those that are ENERGY STAR labeled can help American families save significantly on their utility bills. Go to energystar.gov

Q: Does my home owners insurance cover your repairs?

A: If your homeowner?s insurance is hazard insurance, it covers items damaged in fires, by water, by wind or other covered events. A home warranty covers repairs or replaces items that break down on their own through normal wear and tear.

 

Billing and Payment Questions

Q: What forms of Payment do you accept?

A: We accept Cash, Check and Credit cards. Credit Cards accepted include Mastercard, Visa and Discover. Commercial accounts may apply for credit. Financing available in some situations.

Q: Can I pay my bill online or by phone?

A: 911 Plumbing and Heating does not currently except online or phone payments.

Q: Can I make payments for your services?

A: We cannot take payments for services, however, if it is a large job and we will be working for you multiple days we can begin with a down payment and then final payment upon completion.

Q: Can I pay with my credit card?

A: Yes! Our technicians have credit card readers on their phones.

Q: Can I be billed?

A: Yes! If you are a Maintenance Program customer we will bill you every month.

Q: What if I have additional billing Questions?

A: Please let us know if there is a better billing solution for you 406 315-3788.

Q: What if I am out of town and need emergency service?

A: We understand that there are times when exceptions will have to be made. Please let us know how we can help.

Q: Do you offer financing?

A: We do not offer financing, but we work closely with Embark Credit Union who offers business and homeowner lines of credit.