Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Debby Damage: Things to Know

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Debby’s floodwaters damaged many homes. Among the casualties are many, many outdoor air conditioning units. For some of these homeowners, there’s a more serious issue that they haven’t considered yet.

Back in March, our codes changes. These are the codes that govern the replacement of units in existing homes. From the 15th of March forward, the counties have decreed that permits cannot be pulled unless the units match and provide a SEER of 13 or higher.

For many homeowners in the wake of Debby, this will mean that the entire system will have to be replaced. How can you tell if you need to replace the whole system? You will have to do some homework. Take the time to educate yourself so no one will lead you astray. Go to the arhi.org website. Click the consumer link. Type in the model of the inside unit of your aair conditioning system. Look for 13 SEER matches. If you can’t find the match, the odds are pretty good that you will have to purchase a new system to be code compliant. Make certain your insurance agent allows for that! If you need help, email or call Eric or Cathy at 800-535-4505; both of them are on the site daily and would be happy to look up this information for you anytime. Or email in your model number to kris@bayonet-inc.com and I will look it up and let you know!

Another change is that your AC contractor must run a heat load calculation to affirm that your unit is the right size for your home. If you’ve added on to the home, upgraded windows, added insulation, or made other changes, don’t be surprised if the size of your AC changes too. You will be glad in the long run, as it will lead to greater comfort.

Our estimates are always no cost or obligation. Make sure you don’t pay too much. After a tragedy like Debby, we’re here to help our neighbors. Don’t sweat, Call Bayonet!

 

 

Devistating Debby

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Debby has devastated our home county of Pasco. Bay News 9 reported that the Anclote and Pithlachascotee rivers met. This surpasses the 100-year flood plan. Many people have lost so much, and many will be facing insurance battles when they rebuild. The blogs this week will feature some things to keep in mind when you’re considering contractors. Remember that tragedies like Debby can bring out the “Storm Chasers,” the here-today, gone-tomorrow contractors you will wish you’d never met.

If you need help with your ac or plumbing, we’re here to serve as always. If you need a service we don’t offer, try going to Asktheseal.com for a reputable contractor that you will bee sure is licensed, bonded and insured. Using a Seal verified contractor also protect you because they verify that felons and sex offenders aren’t on the payroll or in your home.

Please be safe and we hope everyone can return home soon.

 

 

Watch for AC replacement tips Friday!

 

 

Maintenance is more important than you might think…

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

It’s a harsh reality, but one that has hit home recently. Take care that it doesn’t hit your home. Manufacturers are tightening up on regulations when it comes to warranties!

When you purchase a car, you know that you must change your oil every 3,000 miles. If you don’t and your engine is damaged, your warranty is void. It’s your responsibility, and it’s in the manual. Guess what: air conditioning manufacturers are invoking the same policy on your air conditioning system and heat pump.

They’ve said for years that they could request maintenance records for warranty claims. Over the last 15 years, we’ve never had them requested. Until last month. It began: our claims for parts that to us should have been a no-questions-asked warranty claim were marked “pending additional documentation.” The manufacturers requested that we provide the maintenance records for the systems with claims dating back to the installation date. For one customer, this wasn’t a problem, as they’d been an MVP member since we installed her system. For the other, the story doesn’t end so well. Bayonet didn’t install the system, it wasn’t registered properly, she had no maintenance records, and, in the end, the manufacturer denied the part failure claim, leaving her with a bill.

Maintenance is not only the key to longevity and minimizing system failures, it will also protect you from being caught in this uncomfortable situation. Bayonet’s MVP program is designed to make it easy for you to keep your warranty intact and your system in great shape. As an MVP member, you will enjoy two AC maintenance visits per year, one plumbing maintenance visit, and many other benefits. You’ll enjoy no overtime rates, no matter when you need service (even holidays). Plus, there’s the small detail of the 5-year warranty on any repair we make while you’re an MVP member. So, protect yourself, your system and your warranty: become an MVP today.

To clarify: all manufacturers are cracking down on all systems, whether you have an extended warranty or a manufacturer’s part warranty, we’ve had maintenance record requests and some manufacturers are making it commonplace that the records must be submitted with any part claim.

Regular maintenance not only protects your warranty, it also keeps your system running at its best. This can help keep your power bill low in these hot months! Dirt accumulates on the coils and reduces the efficiency of the system. Bayonet’s techs clean both the indoor and outdoor coils as part of the maintenance, restoring the efficiency and keeping the system from working too hard.

Use this blog to help you save money: show it to your tech and he will take $10 off the cost of an MVP contract. (But, please, don’t combine with other coupons!) Don’t Sweat: Call Bayonet!

 

“My AC is Low on Gas”

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

It’s such a common problem when the weather heats up like it has this past week. We hear it all the time, “my system is low on gas,” or “my freon is low again.” If your system “uses” refrigerant, you have a larger problem!

Here’s what you need to know: air conditioning systems aren’t like a car; they don’t burn gas to operate. Your air conditioner is a closed loop, it cools the air by changing the refrigerant inside the copper coils from its liquid state to its gaseous state. In its liquid state, R410a and R22 are very cold. In the gaseous state, both chemical compounds are hot.

It’s your compressor’s job to compress the gas back into the liquid and pump the gas from the outdoor unit, where the heat is released into the air to help cool the gas back into liquid form, back through the copper lineset and into the air handling unit that is usually located inside your house. The air handler brings the warm air in through the returns and draws it across the cold coil to cool it, conditioning your home.

So, should your system need gas?

No, it shouldn’t, not unless there’s been a leak or a technician adjusted your charge. Refrigerant is costly. An improper charge makes your system work harder than it has to, increasing run time AND your power bills.

Getting really low on refrigerant can cause your system to freeze up. That can cause many different problems. First of all, it will stress the compressor as it tries to pump and can’t. Then, the system will shut down, then the ice will melt–rapidly. When that happens, the water can’t be contained by the drain lines as they can’t handle so much water. This leads to water in your home, on your ceiling, or on your floors, which is never good!

So, if you think your system isn’t cooling well, maybe it’s time for a tune up. If you’re told that you need to add refrigerant, be careful! Many companies will offer a tune up for a ultra low price just to find things wrong with your system and get a repair. Our precision tune up specials are located in the promotions section of our website and are very thorough and competitive. Preventative maintenance is the best way to prevent leaks in the system. Thorough cleanings are the only way to keep the corrosion in the environment from wearing away the metal and allowing your coils to spring leaks. Besides, the unit will be more efficient when clean!

A Word on Freon or R22

Recently, the EPA decided to uphold the limits on how much Freon can be made and sold. It contains chemicals that have been proven to be harmful to the ozone layer. So, when that leaks into the environment, it can cause damage to it. Because of the production limits, the price of R22, also known as Freon, has skyrocketed. So, be prepared to pay more for that recharge, should your system require it.

It’s our policy to only charge a system with a leak check. We will identify the leak for you and offer a repair or replacement of the leaking part. Some copper coils can be welded and fixed, but many coils are made of aluminum and can’t be welded. They simply have to be replaced. Sometimes, replacing the unit makes more sense, but we can help with providing the information that you need to make an informed decision.

When you need us, we’re here. So Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

Choosing a Service Company: Things You Should Know

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I spend more than my share of minutes eating up bandwidth on the internet. The internet is a very valuable resource for savvy users. But, it has to be taken with a grain of salt and lots of cross-verification. If you Google a term long enough, you can find an article that says precisely what you want to hear. That’s one of the dangers on the Internet. I’d like to use this week’s blog to address another, much larger danger to consumers. Some of you are loyal customers, and I sincerely thank you. But I’m constantly hearing the stories about good people who get ripped off and taken advantage of by competitors that I wish weren’t out there for people to have to screen.

I’m so tired of it, that I decided to write this blog to give the good people who read it some tools to help! If this blog gets picked up and spread on the internet, maybe it will help someone make a good choice for their family!

Much like Brad Paisley’s hit song, many companies look “so much cooler online” than they are in real life. It is pretty simple to throw together a website that sounds professional, looks professional, and feels professional when in truth the consumer is looking a the website of a guy with one or maybe two trucks who works out of his home.

In this day and age, you really can’t afford to do business with companies like these! Who’s to say that the guy working out of his home is going to be there tomorrow, or next week, or three years from now when you need him to fulfill his warranty obligations? You as the consumer will be left out in the cold–or in the Florida heat.

Here are some things to keep you safe when you’re choosing a contractor:

  • When you do a search, take few moments to verify the address BEFORE you call the company. If they’re working out of their HOME or a residential address and NOT in a place of business, be VERY wary. These are the fly-by-night, low-budget, one-truck wonders that won’t answer the phones on weekends, or holidays, or whenever it isn’t convenient for them. You deserve better than a guy working out of his garage. You deserve a company with a storefront and a staff, and a reputation and guarantees you can trust. Google maps makes this verification really easy by simply showing you the location on a map. Take a minute and zoom in. Can you really drop by the house to meet the dispatcher? Is there a dispatcher? Yikes! When did they incorporate? Look for companies who’ve been in business at least 10 years, but as a rule the longer the better!
  • Open a new window and navigate to myflorida.com. From here, you can click on business and verify when the business was incorporated, who the license holders are, and what kind of standing the business is in with the state. Also, check this link http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/index.html to make sure the business is license to perform the type of work you’re looking to hire.
  • Before you call a company: GOOGLE THE COMPANY NAME. Too often, I hear the horror stories from consumers who get taken by the snake-oil salesmen who prey on the unsuspecting consumers in our industry. Chances are, they’ve been busted before in very public manners, but since it is buried in time, not everyone heard about it. Google the name, read reviews, and search local papers for stories. You might just be surprised what you find.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau, but know this: once a company decides to advertise with them, their rating goes  right to an A+. Better to listen to those Google reviews. They’re often more honest!
  • Ask the company to provide you with a copy of their certificate of insurance. Make sure they carry at least a million dollars per incident of General Liability and Worker’s Compensation coverage. If they don’t know this: any claim that goes ABOVE their limits and happens on your property will hit your homeowner’s policy!
  • Check out AskTheSeal. Is the company verified through them? They verify the license and insurance information for you (but not the specific limits). They also perform background checks on all employees. Sex offenders aren’t forgiven, ever. But, no company can get their seal if they’ve committed a crime against a person (theft, kidnapping, etc) in the past seven years.

The phrase cavaet emptor originated in A.D. 1215 but it has never been more relevant than it is today. Buyers, beware. These are trying times and people are often out to make a quick buck. Many unemployable slackers are finding it easier to hang a shingle and rip off unsuspecting consumers than it is to stay gainfully employed with a larger company because they don’t want to play by the company rules. Consumers need to hang on to their pennies and spend them wisely. Make sure you choose a company you can trust who will be there when you need them and will always back up their work with a no-questions-asked money back guarantee.

Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

Thanks for your loyal patronage: Kris Blankenship

Water Quality! Part Two

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

There are several things in life that we take for granted. Water is very often one of them. Each of us uses this vital liquid, the most common substance on earth, everyday. And we rarely think twice about it.

However, the water we use for cooking, drinking, and countless other domestic tasks will quickly catch our attention when there is some sort of problem.

Fortunately, some of the most obvious water problems are also the easiest to solve. The problems in this blog are considered aesthetic and are not considered harmful to health, they do affect the look and taste of the water, and may cause it to be undrinkable by some people’s standards. Addressing these water quality problems is important. Issues such as taste and odor, color, and turbidity (cloudiness) are all aesthetic water problems, and all have relatively simple solutions.

In order to treat these problems, we must first look at their source. Water is known as the universal solvent. Before it reaches a consumer’s tap, it comes into contact with many different substances, such as gases, minerals, and organic matter. Water picks up traces of these substances, and unfortunately, some of them may cause taste, odor, color, or turbidity problems for the consumer.

Turbidity: Cloudy Water

At one time or another, most consumers have encountered water that appears cloudy or foggy. This characteristic is due to turbidity: the presence of finely divided solid particles in water. These particles may be inorganic mineral matter which does not dissolve, or organic matter that has been picked up as the water flows over and through the ground. The particles cause the scattering and absorption of light rays, which gives the water a cloudy appearance.

Whether turbidity is due to suspended organic or inorganic matter, it can cause staining of sinks and fixtures, and the discoloration of laundered fabrics. Inorganic turbidity can have an abrasive effect on plumbing systems and may cause physical wear or erosion on pipes and fittings. Turbidity is most commonly found at taps whose source is surface water from lakes, streams, or ponds. Treatment: filtration and water sanitizing is readily available.

Taste and Odor

Another set of problems that will quickly catch a consumer’s attention is objectionable tastes or odors present in water. These two senses appear to work in unison, which makes it difficult to separate taste and odor.

A common characteristic of water from public systems is the chlorine taste and odor, which is often quite noticeable. Many public water systems treat water with chlorine to disinfect it. Although this is an important step in the treatment of water because it destroys disease-producing bacteria and other harmful organisms that may be in present in water, there is no doubt that excess chlorine from the disinfection treatment step can make the water objectionable. A carbon-based filtration system can address this issue.

In other cases, water with a high mineral concentration may have an unpleasant soda or salty taste, and a metallic taste may be produced by the presence of iron or manganese in water.

Many people have also encountered water that contains hydrogen sulfide gas, which creates an objectionable odor. So-called “sulfur water” not only produces the obnoxious “rotten egg” odor, but is also corrosive to plumbing and can cause the rapid tarnishing of silver. Even very low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide are detectable because of the strong odor.

Various taste and odor conditions are caused by the presence of organic matter in water. Even when the amount of organic matter is very low, unusual tastes and odors such as musty, fishy, or earthy smells may be found.

Whatever your particulat water problem may be, Bayonet can provide a solution. Water can be “cleaned” using a chlorination or hydrogen peroxide based cleansing system, it can be filtered through many different types of media and we are happy to customize our filtration to meet your specific demands.

Don’t sweat, Call Bayonet !

 

Source: www.waq.org

Water Softening and Purification: What’s Right for Me?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

When it comes to water, there is actually a lot to know. There’s a wealth of knowledge behind getting the chemicals and minerals out of the water regardless of how they got in the water in the first place. If you’re on a well, you’re dealing with ever-changing groundwater shifts. If you’re using water provided by your city or municipality, you’re dealing with cleansing agents or minerals deemed safe or additives such as fluoride for dental health. Florida weather is some of the best in the country, but our water is some of the most challenging, and definitely among the hardest!

Here’s one important fact you should ALWAYS keep in mind: any water conditioning solutions MUST be installed by a licensed plumbing company. Make sure you’re contracting with a licensed, bonded, insured company when you choose an installation. Bayonet Plumbing and AC is Ask The Seal Certified, so you know we’re covered AND that the technician has been background checked!

It’s your choice if you’d like water cleansed or softened. There are many solutions out there that will resolve your water complaints. From softeners to remove the hardness to filter media to remove specific particulate, to reverse osmosis systems to provide ideal drinking water, to sanitizing systems to take out smells and bacteria, we’re happy to provide whichever solution you’re seeking.

Let’s start with the most commonly sought solution: water softening. Some also refer to it as water conditioning. This is a process that removes the Calcium Carbonate from the water entering your home. There are costs to consider when considering the system. The softener needs to regenerate weekly at minimum. Upon each regeneration, it uses 15 pounds of salt and 100 gallons of water. That’s a given that you have to be prepared for when you install a softener. Most softeners are set up to regenerate after a set amount of water is used, but if you don’t use enough water you won’t get the benefits you desire without a weekly regeneration. They will also reduce your water pressure at least a little even if sized properly. They also don’t change the smell or taste of your water. The smells are caused by things like harmless but nuisance bacteria that need to be killed or minerals that have to be filtered, and softeners address neither of those things. Tastes are caused by the presence of total dissolved solids, and softeners only remove the calcium present in the water, so the taste won’t change either. Softeners do effectively remove HARDNESS, and that means using less soap and detergent, a reduction in water spotting on showers and dishes, and the cleaner feeling that people are seeking.

If perfect drinking water is your perfect water solution, then a reverse osmosis system is the ideal choice. These are commonly called RO systems and can be installed in almost any situation! They filter out more than 90% of anything in the water for the ideal glass of water! The water is perfect for cooking, pets, children, and even tropical fish. There are 3-stage and 4-stage reverse osmosis filters depending on your initial water quality. As for maintenance, there is a pre-filter that requires a change every 6 months and a post-filter that requires a change annually. The main media filter requires changing too but it varies greatly by usage. The more you use an RO filter, the happier that media filter stays! Our plumbers will conduct a TDS (total dissolved solids) test to make sure that filters is working before they recommend replacement.

So there you have it: our recommendations for softening and purification solutions in a nutshell. Next week: check back for information on cleaning the water and removing smell! If you’re in need of an estimate, please let us know. We’re happy to customize the perfect water solution that will be just right for you and your family, so don’t sweat, call Bayonet!

Thermostat settings: Auto or On?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

It’s a frequent question among our customers: should I leave the fan inside my unit in the on position or in the auto position?

In our Floridian climate, we always recommend AUTO. In the auto setting, the fan only runs when the thermostat is calling for cooling (or heating). When the system is running in cool mode, the fan’s purpose is to circulate the air drawing warm air in from the returns and bringing it across the cold coil and out the supply air grilles as conditioned air. Many customers want to leave that air circulating. It might sound like a great idea, but it really isn’t. Why? It’s simple: when the system isn’t actively cooling, condensation begins to acculumate on the coil, and if you’re runnning the fan, that moisture attaches to the air molecules and actually increases the humidity level inside your home.

So, next time you want to increase airflow, try a ceiling fan but leave the thermostat on “auto”.

What happened to heating season??

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

We Floridians have enjoyed our non-winter thoroughly this year! It has been true “Chamber of Commerce” weather. We haven’t experienced the few weeks of chilly weather we usually get, and the 80s haven’t been uncommon over the holidays and throughout the typically chillier months.

What does all of that mean to your AC unit? Well, the heating features likely didn’t get used much this winter! So the run time on those parts is down some from normal, but the air conditioning parts might need a little love. Air conditioners are like cars: they need regular maintenance to keep running efficiently. So if you haven’t had your system fully maintained recently, you might want to give it some serious thought, before it decides to throw in the towel on the hottest day of the year.

Be careful: if you try to find the least expensive price, you might not get a thorough maintenance, just an “inspection” during which the company might tell you that you need a maintenance or parts replaced at an additional fee. Consider instead one of our pre-planned maintenance agreements. We call them MVPs because contracting for one entitles the homeowner to many additional benefits that they wouldn’t have with simply a standard maintenance.

During our maintenance visits, we inspect all the parts that can break and test the ones we can test to ensure you that you’re given an opportunity to repair the ones that are near failure before they fail and cause you a loss of comfort. We also thoroughly clean your outdoor AND indoor coil (in place) to make sure dirt and other debris aren’t robbing you of efficiency, increasing your unit’s run time, and increasing your power bill. Just a tiny layer of dirt on the coil increases your power bill, according to an LSU study.

So, don’t keep neglecting your poor, overworked AC unit. Find out about our unique MVP agreements today or schedule a maintenance.

DIY tips from our Plumbing Experts

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

These days the need for value is a highly valued commodity. When do you need pros and when can you do it yourself? Here are some quick and easy bits that can help you at home.

If you discover moisture in the cabinet under your sink, but have determined for sure that there’s not a faucet leak, do not just give in to the temptation to write it off or blame a kid. Other connections, such as your ice maker and dishwasher lines, may also be located below your sink. Take the time to see if one of these connections might be your culprit.

Drain clearing chemical may seem a great way to eliminate obstructions in your drains but be careful! Many that contain extremely corrosive chemical substances that are dangerous to your pipes and might cause more harm than help to the pipes. If you’re experiencing a slow drain or no drain situation, remember our “Any Drain, Any Time for $99″ special. It will pay off for you!

Are you looking for a simple tip to determine if your toilet features a hidden leak? Here is one that is not just easy, it also won’t make a large dent inside your wallet. Simply add six drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. If your toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl inside 30 minutes.

Don’t put stringy or fibrous items into your garbage disposal. Substances like banana peels, gristle, pasta, or celery might not totally break down in the disposal, and might clog your pipes rather than flowing out of the waste lines. When in doubt, throw it out!

Do you have to wiggle the toilet handle or hold it down to obtain your toilet to flush it? If you do, that indicates that the tank parts need to be replaced. Kits that include all of the parts required can be purchased in any hardware or house improvement shop to effortlessly do the repair yourself. If you’re not the handy type, call one of our experience plumbers to do it for you. We warrant all of our repairs for 2 years! You won’t get that from any home improvement store!

Does your pull-out faucet frustrate you? Mine does! It gets hung up all the time! Here’s an easy way to fix it: buys a length of pipe insulation. Slit it open carefully with a sharp knife. Slide it over the flexible tubing. Tape the top of the insulation to the underside of the cabinet to secure it. Now it will slide effortlessly.

Remember: the project that you take on yourself may cost you more in time and headaches if you’re not properly prepared and educated. In the long term, what is your time worth? Trust the pros at Bayonet to tackle any job no matter how big or how small. Don’t sweat, call Bayonet!