Gibson's Heating and Plumbing
Serving Northeast Indiana,
Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan


800-896-8816
24/7 Emergency Service
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Solving the Most Common Boiler Problems

1. The Burner Is Not Operating

There are several reasons the burner may not operate, they include a lack of fuel, a thermostat that is set too low or no electrical power to the unit. If there is sufficient fuel, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit. Next, turn the thermostat up higher by a few degrees. Check that the filter and ductwork are not blocked or restricted and that the blower motor is operating.

2. The Burner Will Not Fire

If the burner is working, but will not fire, it could be a fuel supply problem. This can be caused by a failed oil pump or a clogged nozzle filter or oil line.

3. Smoking Burner

Smoking burners are often caused by an out of adjustment burner, a dirty or wrong type of nozzle or end cone. Other causes include a defective heat exchanger, incorrect oil pressure or an obstructed chimney.

4. High Fuel Consumption

When an oil boiler is consuming too much fuel it if often because off lack of maintenance or a system that is out of adjustment. An improperly sized or adjusted boiler can also cause inefficient operation and high fuel consumption.

5. Heating System Odors

Many of the same problems that can lead to a smoking boiler can cause odors, including a clogged nozzle, broken heat exchanger or a burner that is out of adjustment. The chimney may also need to be cleaned.

Have boiler problems? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your home boiler maintenance and repair needs.

The Importance of Regular Boiler Maintenance

Whether you have a gas or oil boiler, it's important that it be kept clean and properly tuned to keep it running safely and efficiently all winter long. Annual boiler maintenance will pay for itself in prolonged heating system lifespan and fewer service calls.

A Gibson's Boiler Tune-Up is designed to find the small problems that could lead unsafe carbon monoxide levels or breakdowns. We do the following:

Clean the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is where fuel mixes with air and is ignited, generating heat. The byproducts of combustion are soot, water vapor and carbon dioxide. If soot is allowed to buildup it can cause the chamber walls to corrode. The chamber is also inspected for holes or corrosion.

Inspect the Flue Pipe

Holes in the flue pipe can leak carbon monoxide so small holes are patched with foil tape, while corroded flues are replaced.

Replace the Oil Filter

A clean oil filter is important for keeping oil-burner nozzle free of contaminants, which could result in a combustion problems that can shut down the system.

Adjust the Burner and Test Efficiency

A combustion analyzer is used to calculate furnace efficiency by measuring gasses in the exhaust flue. The burner's air gates are adjusted as needed for the proper fuel to air mixture. The oil nozzle, which atomizes the fuel just before it ignites, is inspected and replaced if needed.

Need help maintaining your oil or gas boiler? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your home heating service needs.
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 19:22

Space Heater Safety Tips

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Tips to Stay Safe With Space Heaters

Did you know that 80 percent of home heating fire deaths in the U.S. involve space heaters and that 32 percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters? It is estimated that space heaters cause over 19,000 home fires, 360 deaths, and over 1,000 injuries a year.

Once a house fire starts it is only a matter minutes before it becomes life-threatening. By following a few safety steps when using a space heater you can avoid becoming a statistics.
  • Space heaters should never be closer than 3 feet to upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, bedding and other flammable material.
  • Place the space heater on a hard, level and nonflammable surface
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters
  • Never leave a space heater running when you are away from home.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a grounded wall outlet without adapters or extension cords
  • Choose a model with features like a built-in thermostat that shuts the heater off when the room temperature is met and a thermal cut out switch that shuts the heater off if it gets too hot.
  • If you have kids or pets, a cool touch exterior can prevent accidental burns
  • Ensure there is a working smoke detector on every level of the home and test them monthly

Buying a Home? Be sure to Check These Plumbing Systems

Buying a home is a big investment, and on of the most important parts of any home is the plumbing system. From hot water to sewer and drain lines, many problems can go undetected until a major failure occurs. By doing your research and ensuring that the plumbing system is working correctly, you can avoid making costly mistakes. Here's what to check:

1. Hot Water System. Ask the realtor or homeowner the age of the water heater. A water heater will typically last 10-15 years. Inspect the tank for leaks, excessive rust and other signs of age and deterioration.

2. Water Leaks. Check taps, pipes, appliances (including dishwashers, clothes washers, ice makers) for signs of leaks. Check for stains or signs of mildew that could indicate a hidden water leak. Because many leaks go undetected and can get worse over time, have a plumber check the system and repair any leaks prior to closing.

3. Test the Sump Pump. A inoperable sump pump can lead to serious water damage. Slowly fill the sump pump pit with water. It should turn on and remove the water.

4. Water Saving Toilets. Check toilets to see if they are newer, low-flow models. Toilets manufactured since the last 90's are mandated to use less than 1.6 gallons per flush. A low flow toilet will save thousands of gallons of water each year.

5. Sewer and Drain Lines. Ask about the current age of the sewer line and whether it has been inspected within the last two years. Ensure that all drains empty quickly. A video sewer line inspection is cheap insurance that will help find potential problems like tree root intrusion, cracks, blockages and other problems

Need a plumbing inspection before your next home purchase? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we can help ensure your plumbing system is in top shape.
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 00:59

Winter Home Heating Checklist

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Winter Home Heating Checklist

Freezing weather is right around the corner in the corner. Now is the time to ensure that your home's heating system and other areas of your home are ready to fight off the chill of winter. Here are a few things to check to ensure your heating system is operating safely and reliably this winter.
  1. Schedule your furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace maintained will keep it running longer while helping it operate more efficiently.
  2. Replace your furnace filter at least once a month. A dirty air filter will reduce furnace efficiency and reduce the lifespan of the heating system.
  3. Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
  4. Program your thermostat. If you're on a predictable schedule, set your thermostat to turn the temperature down when you're not at home.
  5. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to direct the warm air downward towards the living space.
  6. Check your smoke and CO detectors. Replace the batteries as needed.
  7. Ensure that air ducts are not covered or restricted by rugs or furniture.
  8. Seal air leaks around windows and doors.
  9. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. 
  10. Open all air ducts, even in rooms that are unoccupied.
Call Gibson's today to schedule your furnace tune-up and ensure that your heating system is ready to keep your home warm all winter long.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 00:35

Solving Sewer and Drain Odor Problems

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Solving Sewer Drain Odor Problems

If you notice a smelly sewer odor in your home, there are several possible causes. Here are some things to check:
  1. Check the floor drain trap. Without water to block the sewer gas from escaping, odors will enter the room. Pour water down the drain to refill the trap.
  2. Check the clean-out plug inside the floor drain. Remove the grate that covers the drain and make sure there's a plug inside the drain bowl. If the plug is missing, sewer gas will be able to bypass the water trap. A replacement plug can be bought at most hardware stores.
  3. Check the toilets. When toilets are unused for a long period of time the water in the trap can evaporate. Simply flushing the toilet will refill the trap.
  4. Worn toilet wax ring. The wax ring seals the toilet flange to the toilet base. If the wax ring leaks, sewer gas will escape from under the toilet. If the ring is broken, the toilet will need to be removed and and the wax ring replaced. If the toilet is loose on the base, shims can be used to ensure that a rocking toilet doesn't break the new wax ring.
  5. Other possible causes of sewer odors include a broken or cracked sewer line or, less often, a loose connection joint in an interior wall. If you've checked the other possibilities above, it may be time to contact your plumber to hunt down the cause.
Have sewer and drain line questions? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we can help.
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 23:04

What Causes a Toilet To Fill Slowly?

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What Causes a Toilet To Fill Slowly?

Toilet Filling Too SlowlyOne of the more common plumbing problems we see is a slow filling toilet. Depending on your home's water pressure and the size of the tank, a toilet should refill in under 3 minutes in most cases. If it takes longer than three minutes there are a couple of things you can check.

1. The first thing to check is the shut-off valve located behind the toilet. Make sure it is fully open for maximum flow.

2. Next, try cleaning the pump and valve inside the toilet tank. Mineral buildup can cause the parts to stick. If the toilet has an older-style ball cock assembly, we recommend replacing it with a new fill valve and float cup design.

If none of the above fixes work, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can can find the cause of your slow filling toilet and recommend effective solutions.

Tips To Prevent Winter Plumbing Problems

Winter Plumbing TipsDuring the winter months frozen pipes and backed up sewer lines can be a real concern. One of the most common causes of home damage, and expensive insurance claims, is water. While some insurance policies cover catastrophic damage from frozen pipes, basement flooding, and more, gradual water damage from leaks is usually not covered. Here are some tips to protect your home from water damage during the winter.

1. Test your sump pump and water backup valve regularly. Slowly pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit. It should start up and begin removing the water. If it fails to start, have Gibson's inspect the sump pump.

2. Notice changes in your plumbing. If you're experiencing low water pressure, have Gibson's inspect the plumbing system for undetected leaks.

3. Have your sewer and drain lines inspected. A video camera inspection is cheap insurance against a sewer line failure and backups.

4. Check your water heater. A tank storage water heater will last around 10 years. You can extend the life with regular maintenance, including flushing the tank and inspecting the anode rod. For extra peace of mind, consider installing a drain pan under the water heater to drain potential leaks to the floor drain.

5. Clean out your gutters and downspouts and ensure that there is adequate drainage away from the foundation of the home.

6. Seal cracks and ensure there is sufficient insulation on exterior walls near pipes. This will help reduce the risk of frozen pipes.

Need help maintaining your home's plumbing? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We are here to help.
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 19:11

How to Drain a Home Plumbing System

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There are several reasons you may need to drain your home's plumbing system. You may have a vacation home that will be unoccupied during the winter months, and the water needs to be drained to prevent damage from frozen pipes. You may be undertaking a major plumbing, repair, or you need to drain the lines to fix water hammer or another issue.

1. The first step is to locate the main water shut-off valve. This is usually located near the water meter.

2. Next, go to the highest floor in the house and open the sink faucets.

3. In the basement or lowest level of the home, open the laundry tub faucet.

4. Return the the top floor of the house and turn on the shower and tub drains.

5. Next, flush the toilets on every floor.

6. All the faucets should be left open and the water should be drained now.

Need help draining your plumbing system? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your plumbing and drain needs.
One of the major causes of damaging water leaks in the home is from a failed washing machine supply hose. If the washer is on an upper level of the home, it can lead to major flooding and many thousands of dollars of damage – an expense that may not be covered by homeowner's insurance.  If your washer hoses are plain rubber, we recommend that you replace them with braided stainless hoses for extra security.

Water Alarms

Because water leaks often go undetected, stopping the leak early is essential. That's where a water alarm can be invaluable. A water alarm can detect even the smallest water leak and send a signal to shut off the hot and cold water supply valves to the washing machine. 

Another application where water alarms can prevent a water leak disaster is with water heaters. When a water heater tank fails, the amount of water released can flood a basement. A water alarm is cheap insurance against major water damage.

Need help with water alarms or other plumbing safety devices? Give us a call, we're here to help.
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