Frequently Asked Questions

Plumber Plumbing Contractor Solar Heating Hydronic Heating Truckee Lake Tahoe CA

At Craig Price Inc. we want you to have complete confidence in your plumbing system and in the service you are receiving with us. Below you will find some of the most common questions we answer on a daily basis. If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact us at 530-587-4081.

Hydronic Heating FAQs

What is Hydronic Heating?

Hydronic heating uses a boiler to heat up water and create steam. The steam is then circulated throughout the house through pipes and tubes that go directly to radiators, baseboard heaters, or beneath floorboards, releasing the heat in the boiler. Hydronic heating is often preferred because it is quieter and more comfortable than the stale heat of air coming through vents.

Hydronic vs. Ducted?

Conventional ducted systems move heat from the roof down. This causes forced air movement and a loss in efficiency. As hot air rises, it is obvious that heat should move from the ground up. Your new hydronic heating system installed by our experts at Craig Price Inc. will typically will cost approximately 20% less to operate and even greater savings can be achieved if the boiler is upgraded to a condensing boiler. In addition, your hydronic heating system uses hot water to provide heat. Because the water is continuously recycled the system rarely needs a top off.

What are the benefits of hydronic heating over traditional furnace heating?

With hydronics, heating is much more even which means that it is also easier to control the temperature zones from room to room. You can also use hydronics to heat the sidewalks or driveways around your home, melting snow and ice during the winter instead of having to physically removing it. In addition, you can move your furniture and appliances anywhere without worrying about blocking a vent or causing a fire hazard. Also, radiant heating will use less heat which lowers costs of your heating system.

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What kind of air conditioning is used with hydronic heating?

Because a hydronic heating system uses sub-floor tubing, air conditioning must be installed separately. At Craig Price Inc. we suggest a ductless split air conditioning system or a packaged air conditioning system that utilizes ducts.

Does a hydronics heating system cost more to install?

The cost of hydronics installation is slightly higher. However, because hydronic heating is much more efficient and because you can also add zone controls so much easier, it is more cost effective long-term. The boiler uses less energy than a traditional gas or electric furnace. For example, your hydronic heating system will deliver energy bills about 1/3 less than you are used to.

Geothermal FAQ's

What is Geothermal heating?

Geothermal heating is an alternative heat source that can either take the heat from underground or a large dam that is located on a rural area. Geothermal heating can be used with a hydronic heating system and/or domestic hot water.

Ground or water loops are installed deep in the ground or within a damn, where the temperature maintains a constant level of heat. That heat is used to pre-heat the water that is used in a hydronic heating system. Once pre-heated, the water is pumped into the hydronic heating or a traditional hot water systems. When this type of system is installed correctly, hot water can be produced for free.

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How is geothermal heat transferred between the earth and the home?

The earth has the ability to absorb and store heat energy. To use that stored geothermal energy, heat is extracted from the earth through a liquid such as water or an anti-freeze solution. It is then circulated in the ground by open or closed earth loops and then transferred to the heat pump or heat exchanger. There, the heat can be used to heat your home. During the summer months the process is reversed and indoor heat is extracted from your home and transferred to the ground.

General Plumbing FAQ's

How can I increase the water pressure in my faucets?

To begin with, you should first begin by checking the emergency shutoff under your sink to make sure it is completely open. If the seals have begun to deteriorate, you will lose water pressure, so you should also check those periodically. Calcium and lime buildup will also cause low water pressure.

How can I prevent clogged drains?

Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs. Carrot and potato pealing and other fibrous vegetables should also not be put into the garage disposal. They will eventually clog the kitchen sink. In the bathroom you can prevent clogs in the sinks and bathtubs by fitting all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly.

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What can I do about a sewer line blockage?

Usually, tree roots are the main cause of sewer line blockage and very little that can be done aside from trusting in the experts at Craig Price Inc. We will promptly clear your blocked lines and then using copper sulfide products to kill the remaining vegetation.

Why are my pipes rattling and making vibrating noises?

Noises are common in plumbing supply lines. If a washer or valve is loose, you will hear it rattling or knocking. If the sound occurs when you open and close faucets rapidly, it generally means pipes are loose, and can be corrected by anchoring pipes more securely. Our plumbing repair experts at Craig Price Inc. are just a phone call away.

Why isn't my hot water heater as efficient as it used to be?

If you water heater is not operating as it used to the first cause may be due to a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters grow older they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed periodically, the sediment will create a barrier between the burner and the water greatly reducing the water heaters performance level. At least once every three months, drain water from the tank. Draining a gallon or so on a regular basis helps remove the sediment. You should also inspect your water heater burner periodically. The flame under the heater should appear blue with yellow tips. If it is mostly yellow, or if it is sooty under there, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. You should contact us as soon as possible for a thorough inspection of your flue. In addition, at least once every two years, have your water heater inspected by our service technician. We will be checking the drain valve for signs of leakage. We will also check the anode rods for corrosion. We will then report any deficiencies we find.

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What can I do to help reduce my water consumption?

There are fixtures available that use much less water and help conserve water use. Examples include low-consumption shower heads, water closets, and aerators for sink faucets. Using dye to check for leaks in toilets is another way to determine if you are losing water. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and look for the food coloring in the bowl prior to flushing. If you see the food coloring in the bowl this would indicated a bad flapper, causing you to use unnecessary water. These are relatively easy to replace, however our experts at Craig Price Inc. are ready and happy to help.

How can I extend the life of my garbage disposal?

First and foremost use plenty of cold water when running your disposal, and avoid overloading it. Never dispose of very hard items like bones or corn husks.

My garbage disposal quit working. Why and what next?

To begin with, before calling us be sure to try the reset switch located on the bottom of most disposals. If your garbage disposal is still not working properly, please call our plumbing specialists at Craig Price Inc.

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Radiant Heating FAQ's

Is radiant floor heating practical for a home with high vaulted ceilings?

High ceilings and "lots of windows" are one of the main reasons why radiant heat has become so attractive to homeowners. Because hot air rises, in a forced air heating system all of the usable heat is first sent to the ceiling which may be 10 to 20 feet up. Once the air reaches eye level it has lost most of its energy. If the air is cooler than when it entered, where did all of its heat go?

Radiant heating works just the opposite. Because a radiant heat system stores energy in the floor, all of the rooms' warmth is kept right where it needs to be, on the floor where you are. With a radiant system the ceiling is cooler than the floor which means less energy is being wasted to the outside.

Do radiant heating systems make the floor too hot?

In the past, radiant heating systems were designed in the same way as a conventional baseboard system. High temperatures were used to control the radiant heating system. These high temperatures were too high to be comfortable. The higher the water temperature in the floor, the higher the floor surface temperature will become. In older systems, the floor temperature could exceed this limit, causing the floor to be uncomfortable. Innovation today has eliminated this problem with the latest controls and piping methods. Lower water temperatures are maintained to prevent overheating. Indoor/outdoor reset systems are used to help predict heating needs and to increase response times. Radiant heating technology is becoming more and more advanced every day. Contact our experts at Craig Price inc. to learn more about your radiant heating system options.

We hope that this frequently asked questions page has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or we can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact us at your nearest convenience. Our specialists can be contacted at 530-587-4081.

Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business and we look forward to serving you soon!

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