What services can a piping contractor provide?

Having the right pipes means nothing if the right contractor does not install them. A licensed piping contractor must have the experience to handle your plumbing project. Learn more about the common residential and commercial services that are provided by this professional.

Testing

Some pipes should be tested before people start using them regularly. Testing is necessary to prevent accidents, such as breakage and leakage, from happening.

Pipefitters test pipes upon request and create reports. In this report, they record the speed, volume, material and other details. They perform evaluations to ensure the strength and longevity of every piping system.

Pipe Fabrication and Installation

Pipefitters fabricate pipes in the custom sizes and designs that you want. They install pipes that run behind walls, underground or outside of buildings. They do the work right the first time because most pipes work efficiently for decades.

Repairs and Maintenance

A few years after a good installation, the pipes start to break down. A typical repair is to fix a pipe’s crack that is leaking and thicken the material to prevent further leakage.

Although maintaining pipes is not necessary, it’s recommended to prevent the need for repairs. Pipefitters inspect the quality of pipes, checking for breakage, corrosion and blockage.

Retrofitting and Replacements

Retrofitting is recommended to upgrade old, damaged pipes that are in need of improvements. Pipefitters view pipes upon inspection and suggest if they need to be replaced altogether. Newer pipes are stronger and made of safer materials than older versions.

Different Types of Piping Systems

Piping contractors specialize in one or more types of piping systems. These include pipes that carry air, water, oil, gas, steam, human waste, etc. They work with low pressure, high pressure, compressed air and hazardous materials like toxins or gases. Any mishandling of sensitive pipes causes more damages to the property. Consumers should find specialists who are experienced in handling their pipes in domestic or industrial settings.

Pipefitting is a complex business that includes design, testing, repairs, installations and maintenance. A good pipefitter is committed to your project from start to finish. At our company, we work for a wide range of customers in San Jose, CA that include homeowners, property managers and commercial building owners. When it’s time for your pipes to get fixed, contact us at 408-295-2182 or visit our site to learn more about our services.

What are the advantages to using a commercial plumbing company?

As part of the facilities team at your business, school, or organization, you may be charged with addressing an array of different types of plumbing issues. As is the case with many enterprises, your initial inclination may be to attempt to address a plumbing issue in-house. The heart of that motivation typically proves to be an understandable desire to save money.

The reality is that there are some significant benefits to be realized through the use of a commercial plumbing company. Among these advantages is the fact that engaging the professional assistance of a commercial plumbing company can actually prove to be financially advantageous. Other benefits include:

  • emergency assistance
  • quality materials
  • expert workmanship

You undoubtedly have come to realize that when you face an emergency plumbing situation in your facility you cannot wait to get remediation underway. Emergency assistance is a key advantage to engaging a commercial plumbing company. A professional provider of plumbing services has the capabilities to immediately tend to an emergency situation. It is this type of rapid response that best ensure that a plumbing emergency does not degrade into a nightmare.

A commercial plumbing company also has access to quality materials and equipment. Moreover, a professional has the ability to garner quality products at a price that typical is lower than whatever you might be able to glean on your own.

Finally, if you have an in-house crew, plumbing is not likely to be their primary focus. This represents another advantage to a commercial plumbing company. Commercial plumbers have experienced, licensed, bonded, and insured professionals on their crews.

Commercial Plumbing Company and New Construction

A major area in which a commercial plumbing company is invaluable is in the arena of new construction as well as remodeling and refurbishing. As mentioned previously, a commercial plumbing company has an experienced team of pros and access to quality materials at the most reasonable prices possible. In addition, a commercial plumbing enterprise understands the vital importance of reaching construction milestones in a timely manner and has the capacity to do so.

If you are ready to learn more how a commercial plumbing company can assist you, call us at your convenience at 408-295-2182. Our team of experienced plumbing professionals stand ready to provide you with a no-obligation and no-cost evaluation of your needs.

When Should You Call an AC Repair Service?

The best time to check your AC unit is before a breakdown. It is understandable that taking the time to do this might not be something you are comfortable doing. Things you can do yourself that might help save time and money later are included here. AC repair performed by a professional isn’t cheap, so do what you can to prevent a large repair bill by making sure to care for the basic things in your AC unit before calling for service.

If you find that your unit isn’t working, many symptoms can lead to a repair. Some symptoms result from not cleaning your filter, or by allowing vegetation to grow over and around your outside AC unit. Cleaning your filter and clearing the area around the AC unit is easy to do and could save you an unexpected repair bill.

Common Reasons AC Units Require Repair

Let’s inspect common reasons to call for AC repair service:

  • Perhaps the most obvious problem you’ll notice is your AC unit has ice built up around the copper lines. This is typical of a unit with poor air flow among other issues.
  • Inside the home, if you notice the air flowing from the ducts isn’t as cold as it once was, your AC might be low on Freon due to a leak. There are more reasons for a no-cool issue and means you must call for service.
  • Your AC unit cycles on and off as part of its normal operation. If it cycles frequently, look outside at the unit. Something there might show the problem.
  • In the event your unit stops running for no clear reason, check the breaker at your breaker box inside your house or at the unit to see if it’s tripped. When breakers get old, they sometimes trip for no reason. Reset the breaker regardless if it looks tripped or not. Confirm the breaker is at its full-on position (not half way). Check the unit to see if it runs now.
  • The air from your AC unit shouldn’t smell or give off a foul odor. If it does, please turn the unit off at the breaker and make that call for service. The problem might be in your duct work, or something inside the unit itself.

If you find that you need to call us, we’re here to help! Our number is: 408-295-2182

Keep in mind that other issues could cause the AC unit to either not cool or stop running. Use the tips provided here to help determine whether it’s time to call for service or to clean the filter or the vegetation around the unit outside. As a final tip, verify that your thermostat isn’t the cause of a failed system.

How can you narrow down the best air conditioning repair workers in Santa Clara?

The HVAC system in your home is probably its most expensive and definitely complicated appliance. When you need it serviced or replaced, you’ll want to use the most capable technician or contractor you can find. Fortunately California makes it possible for you to choose a company or person you can count on. There are also other professional organizations that indicate the quality of HVAC professionals in your area.

Licensing

Insist on hiring a technician who has an active HVAC contracting license with the state of California. They must also have insurance and bonding to protect you financially. Not all HVAC technicians work for an HVAC contractor. Even solo technicians need the proper credentials and insurance. If you have work performed by an unlicensed contractor or technician, the manufacturer may not honor the warranty. Losing the warranty could cause you to suffer considerably if you have an extensive repair in the future.

NATE-Certified

Look for a technician who has NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification. NATE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the HVAC industry by singling out the most capable and competent technicians in the field. NATE administers a series of rigorous exams to applicants who want it’s certification. Only a small handful of HVAC technicians pass.

When you find an HVAC company that has NATE certification and NATE technicians, you can expect them to be the most knowledgeable in your area. Besides technical competence, NATE also insists on high standards for customer service. Customer satisfaction rates are highest among NATE-certified HVAC companies.

Go Local

Besides the BBB, explore these resources:

• Check out the BBB ratings. The Better Business Bureau assigns ratings to companies based on consumer feedback. Look for an HVAC company with and A or A+ rating.
• Ask around. You might find that someone you know and trust has used a company or individual with whom they were impressed.
• Go online. While you do have to use caution with online reviews, Angie’s List provides authentic company reviews, as well as HomeAdvisor.com.

Go Green

Does the company or technician have Energy Star credentials? This voluntary program helps consumers select HVAC contractors and technicians who follow the guidelines the Energy Star program has developed. They help you get the most energy efficiency from your equipment, whether you’re installing new or having your existing system service.

If you’re in the process of choosing an HVAC technician, contact O.C. McDonald. We provide trusted HVAC services in the San Jose and Bay Areas or call us at (408) 295-2182 today.

What are the steps for HVAC installation?

Nothing is more important than the quality of your new HVAC system installation. It drives the longevity of your equipment, your indoor comfort and your energy bills. Before you sign a contract with an HVAC company, be sure that they follow the best industry practices.

Sizing

Beware of the contractor who goes by the size of your existing HVAC system for your replacement. A reputable contractor will conduct a load calculation using Manual J software by assessing the following factors before suggesting a system size:

• Cubic footage
• Attic and wall insulation levels
• Size, quality and placement of windows
• Floor plan design
• Air infiltration rates
• Landscaping factors
• Family size and ages
• Preferred indoor temperatures
• Number and use of appliances that create heat indoors

Each of these conditions affects how energy efficient your home is. Once the technician enters the data, the software returns recommendations about the size your system should be.

An HVAC system that’s too large or small won’t run as efficiently as one that’s the optimal size. If you install one that’s too large, it will run in short cycles that lower your comfort, leave humidity behind in the summer, drive up your energy bills, and need more repairs. A system that’s too small probably won’t be able to keep you as comfortable during weather extremes.

Duct Work Inspection

A new HVAC installation requires a thorough duct work inspection. If there are leaks, broken segments, or other signs of duct work failure, the contractor needs to replace it. It should also be sized properly by using Manual D to make sure that it has the right capacity for the new HVAC system.

Leaking duct work reduces the energy efficiency of the new HVAC system and if it’s too small, they will be noisy when the HVAC system runs. If the ducts are too large, there won’t be enough air pressure coming from the air handler to deliver the air to each room.

Exploring the Options

Once you’ve gone through the basics, review what you want from your new HVAC system with the expert. There are a number of system options that enhance comfort and energy efficiency like variable-speed operations and smart system controls.

If you need to install a new HVAC system, contact O.C. McDonald. We provide trusted HVAC services in the San Jose and Bay Areas or call us at (408) 295-2182 today.

What licenses do your contractors need for new construction in San Jose?

Anyone who provides skilled labor valued over $500 for parts and labor for a home needs to have a license from the California State Licensing Board (CSLB). Altogether, the CSLB has 43 separate licensing categories for residential construction and remodeling.

General Contractors

The top categories are the general contractors who oversee the construction of the entire home or building. General engineers also fall into the top category. Engineers specify the lot and land specifications and once the local jurisdiction has approved their layout, odds are you won’t have to deal with the engineers or land developers.

When you’re building a new home, the general contractor supervises everything that the subcontractors do. They include virtually every trade that works on your home, from the drywallers to the electricians and the fencing contractors to the roofers.

Sometimes general contractors also supply some of the labor and skills needed to build a home. When they do, the contractor has to apply for a license to practice that trade. If they put up the framing, they have to have a framing license. If they also install swimming pools, they must have a license to do that too.

But if the contractor provides more than two specialty services, the work that it does will fall under the general contractor’s license. For example, a contractor who installs the wiring, plumbing and swimming pool only needs a general contractor’s license.

How Are Licenses Issued

Some of the trades have minimum standards for classroom hours and fieldwork hours before applying for a license. HVAC license applicants, have to show that they’ve worked in the field for four years before applying for their license. Electricians have similar requirements. Many professionals also go to community colleges or trade schools to learn the material they’ll have to know in order to pass the require exams in their specialty.

Other Requirements

Besides passing the professional competency and business law tests, the applicant will have to post a bond and obtain insurance to work as a licensed trade in California.

The Value of Licensing

The consumer is the biggest beneficiary of the strict licensing requirements in California. When the trades have to show fiscal responsibility to do work on your home, you’ll be protected financially from any kind of liability their work may cause.

Of course, the best protection you can have when building new or remodeling is by hiring a general contractor. Their expertise and financial stability is likely to be much deeper.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a general or specialty contractor, contact O.C. McDonald by calling us at 408-295-2182. We provide contracting services for San Jose and Bay area homeowners.

What Air Conditioner Repairs Require a Contractor or Other Repair Technician?

Having purchased an air conditioner unit, it’s every homeowner’s dream to experience unrivaled comfort in their home during the summer and winter season. The unique ability to regulate both warm and cool air undoubtedly promotes healthy living and creativity. Despite their substantial benefits, air conditioners tend to break down once in a while and fixing them can be a daunting task, especially to first time owners. The constant debate of whether to consult an air conditioner contractor or simply fixing it by yourself can ultimately push you over the edge. As a homeowner, you might want to get acquainted with several repairs that immediately demand the attention of a seasoned contractor or repair technician.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are critical problems that must be taken seriously to preserve the durability and efficiency of your air conditioner unit. Contrary to common perception, adding refrigerant to a leaking unit doesn’t necessarily fix your HVAC unit. Far from it, such a problem is a manifestation of deep-rooted issues. An air conditioner running on low refrigerant simply denotes that the unit was undercharged during installation. In such a situation, it’s in your best interest to hire a seasoned technician to not only fix the leak but also test the repairs and ascertain that the right levels of refrigerant have been topped up. After all, an air conditioner’s efficiency and performance are optimized when the refrigerant coincides with the manufacturer’s specification.

Broken Compressor Fan

Your air conditioner’s exterior extension consists of a fan, condenser coils, and a compressor. Such apparatuses work in unison to dispense warm air from your home and provide a cool indoor climate. When the outdoor fan is compromised, the heat transfer process is disrupted leading to a subsequent chain of problems. For starters, the air conditioner wouldn’t be in optimal condition to provide cool air while the system’s compressor runs the risk of overheating. With an overheated compressor, your air conditioner’s safety controls can frequently turn your HVAC unit off. By hiring a qualified contractor or repair technician, they shall diligently diagnose the problem and repair or replace your compressor fan if necessary.

Frozen Condenser Coils

When the air conditioner’s condenser coils freeze up, it’s a tell-tale sign that your heating and cooling system won’t run properly. Poor airflow within the cooling system can cause freezing on the coils. Commonly caused by obstructions such as blocked return air ducts and dirty air filters, such issues can be solved with the aid of a refrigerant charge. However, such repairs must be done by an experienced technician who can diagnose the specific problem behind the frozen coils, liquefy the ice and restore your unit’s cooling capacity.

At O.C. McDonald’s, we have cultivated a stellar reputation for identifying and fixing air conditioner problems with finesse. Over the years, we have amassed tons of experience providing exceptional services tailored to meet the specific needs of each customer. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 408-295-2182 and let us restore your air conditioner to its former glory.

What Air Conditioning Repair Services Can You Find in San Jose

If you live in San Jose, you can relax knowing that there are many different services available to help resolve your air conditioning issues. Whether you are dealing with a unit that is cutting on and off or not working at all, there is an answer to your problem. When your commercial building or home is not as cool as it needs to be, your AC unit should be looked at by a professional to get it quickly working again.

Common AC Problems

  • Low refrigerant
  • Electrical issues
  • Thermostat problems
  • Dirty or blocked parts

Your AC Issues Can Be Resolved with the Help of a Professional

One of the most common AC problems that many people have to deal with is low refrigerant. This problem can occur if you simply need more refrigerant or are dealing with a leak. Professionals can find and resolve your issues quickly using advanced technology and the proper tools.

Electrical issues can also cause problems to your system. Your compressor could be at fault or your fan could be not working the way that it should be. If you have electrical problems, a licensed and insured professional can help resolve your issues quickly.

Your thermostat could also be at fault if you are having air conditioning problems. If your building or home is not getting the cool air it needs, it is important to make sure that your thermostat is working the way that it should be.

It is important to change or clean out your AC filters and to make sure that your evaporator stays clean. Your AC coils need to be properly taken care of so that you do not have major problems in the future. By taking good care of your equipment now, you can avoid serious issues that may occur down the road. A quality company can offer fast services so that your minor problems do not end up getting worse.

Quality AC repair services can help your unit to last for as long as possible. Quick fixes can prolong the life of your air conditioning system so that you can enjoy its use and get the most out of your investment. If you are in need of quality AC repair service, call us now at 408-295-2182 to learn more about what we can do to help you or to schedule an appointment today.

What Are the Signs That Your Furnace Needs Repairs?

How can you prolong the life of your furnace without compromising the quality of their service of having to pay for the power bills through the nose? By ensuring the system is adequately maintained and necessary repairs carried out on time. To achieve this, however, you need to learn how to check on the system and how to identify possible sign that the furnace needs repairs. Note that this doesn’t require special classes, you only need to closely monitor the performance of your system and identify any of these problems:

Inappropriate noise

The almost smooth sound produced by a running heater can be considered appropriate. Inappropriate noise, on the other hand, refers to any strange noise produced by the system during operation. Therefore, should you hear clunking and grinding noises with your system, consider calling in expert repair professionals as this often represents underlying system problems.

System neglect

When is the last time you had your system checked, cleaned, and the air filters repaired? Most furnace manufacturers recommend that you have your system inspected by a professional every three months regardless of its current condition. You should, therefore, consider calling in furnace repair experts if you have neglected it for more than six months.

Poor indoor air quality

Several furnace conditions may contribute to poor indoor air quality. These include dirty or worn out air filters, clogged and dirty ducts or gas leaks from the furnace. Each of these poses health risks to your household thus the need to contact a HVAC repair professional.

Skyrocketing energy bills

How much you spend on heating on a monthly basis can also serve as a great indicator of the current condition of your system. Skyrocketing energy bills are a sign of a stressed system. Stress within a system can, in turn, be attributed to most furnace problems given that its build-up eventually rocks and breaks and down your home’s HVAC system. Calling a repair expert to investigate the disparity in energy consumption, therefore, goes a long way in helping lower the stress and optimize the system performance.

Uneven heat in the house

A properly functioning heater should provide even warmth to all the rooms of the house. Experiencing uneven heat around such as some parts of the house being warmer than the others is, therefore, an indicator of a struggling furnace.

Bottom line

While some of these problems only require soft repairs like cleaning of the air filter, others require extensive part replacement. However, if left unattended, either have the ability to render your system useless, thus the need to contact repair experts as soon as possible. Call us at 408-295-2182.

How Does An Air Handler Work on An AC Unit?

Air handlers are essential to almost all functional HVAC systems. From the stripped back simplicity of cooling a small house, to the large-scale energy transfers required to air-condition commercial real estate – air handlers are everywhere in the world of AC appliances. While the name is self-explanatory, the processes involved are somewhat complex. The main purpose of air handlers is to circulate filtered, conditioned air throughout a building’s ventilation ducts. Each section of the air handler is usually separate from the others, located in a discrete portion of the appliance’s metal body. Though there are varying levels of complexity, air handlers will generally have three essential components.

HVAC Components:

Air Filter: This is usually placed between the intake vent and the coils, making it the first active component. The filtration process ensures that only clean, breathable air is circulated to a building’s occupants. Depending on the level of filtration required, often two or more filters will be placed consecutively.

Coils: These components, which usually take affect directly after filtration, are what heat or cool the air. The air is run over the coils, changing the temperature. The level of heat is manipulated by moving thermal energy between the filtered air and a refrigerant stored in the rest of the HVAC system. This refrigerant is continuously cooled and circulated through the coils, which is what allows the AC to function continuously.

Blower: Once the air has been filtered and the temperature modified, the blower circulates the air through the building. Blowers typically use centrifugal fans powered by electric motors, meaning that their essential function is to change electrical energy into the kinetic energy, which causes the fan blades to rotate. From there, the kinetic energy is transferred from the fan to the air, causing the it to circulate throughout the ventilation ducts.

Given the integral role this technology plays, keeping your air handler functional and effective is absolutely vital to the success of your HVAC air conditioning system. The technology is completely dysfunctional if air is not effectively filtered, conditioned, and circulated. The consequences of poor maintenance range from inefficient waste of energy, to adverse health effects. As such, if there is even a minor problem with your air handler, we can help. Please call us today at 408-295-2182