Who To Call (And Why) For Water Pressure Issues On Your Commercial Property

When you’re the property manager of a single -story or multi-story commercial building in and around San Jose, it’s important to take water pressure problems seriously. Normal water pressure ranges from 40psi to 80psi. If you have a sudden drop in water pressure from the lower to the upper floors, your boost pumps could be broken or you could have numerous leaks in your plumbing system.

Why You Should Call a Plumber for Your Water Pressure Problems

While low water pressure may not seem like a big deal, it can be disastrous for your building, depending on the cause. Common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Boost pump failures
  • Incorrect pressure switch setting
  • Malfunctioning or old water fixtures
  • Numerous small water leaks
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Pressure regulator failure
  • Problems with water valves
  • Problems with the city water supply

While it is possible that your water pressure problems are due to low pressure within the city’s water supply system, it is unlikely. It is more likely that you have a problem with the water supply system in your building, and if the problem turns out to be leaks or corroded plumbing pipes, you could be headed for a pipe blowout, which can cause extensive water damage, including mold growth and the need to replace drywall, carpets, and fixtures. If you’ve noticed a drop in water pressure or received numerous complaints about low water pressure, it’s time to call a professional plumbing contractor to evaluate your system and make the appropriate repairs.

Get Your Water Pressure Problem Solved with Help From O.C. McDonald

At O.C. McDonald, we have the expertise to diagnose your low water pressure and recommend the appropriate solutions to restore the pressure in your water lines. We can test the water pressure in your potable water lines to determine if your pressure is low, and we can pressurize your lines to determine if there are any hidden leaks. Once we’ve diagnosed the causes of your low water pressure, we can recommend the appropriate repairs and make those repairs, including replacing old, corroded and leaking plumbing pipes and adding or replacing pressure regulators and boost pumps.

To get help with your plumbing system and to diagnose the causes of your low water pressure, call us today at 408-295-2182

How and Why Industrial Facilities Managers Rely On Emergency Plans

Whether it is earthquakes on the West Coast, tornadoes through the Midwest, or devastating floods in the Southeast, or fire emergencies anywhere in the country, Facility Managers with an Emergency Plan in place are critical to both recovering and restarting business operations following a disaster.

First and foremost is the safety of all personnel. By having an evacuation plan in place, combined with a team of trained and knowledgeable responders, you are ready.

With trained emergency captains and employees, along with locations for all evacuees to assemble, you can mitigate the risk of injury or worse to personnel.

Preserving the physical facilities by following appropriate shutdown and lockout procedures can save millions in restarting business functions following a disaster.

Disasters like hurricanes can inflict billions of dollars in damage on facilities as well as cause the tragic loss of life.

Few companies have a comprehensive emergency plan in place, and fewer still have the expertise to put a plan together.

But you don’t have to live in fear of a disaster bringing your business to its knees. With our help, you can rest easy that in the event of an emergency you will have a robust plan in place.

Emergency Planning Services

The basic elements of an emergency plan includes:

  • Executive Summary
  • Purpose
  • Policy
  • Responsibilities
  • Emergency Types
  • Operations Management

The body of the plan includes:

  • Direction/Control
  • Communications
  • Life Safety
  • Property Protection
  • Community Outreach
  • Recovery/Restoration
  • Administration/Logistics

With an emergency plan in place, you can conduct periodic safety evacuation drills. You have checklists that key personnel will cover on a regular schedule to ensure that the maximum safety measures are in place and working as required.

Emergency plans are like taking out life insurance on your loved-ones, or home and fire insurance on your property. You hope you will never need it, but you have the security of knowing it is there if a disaster does occur.

You have a great deal invested in your business, both economically and emotionally. Protect it with a comprehensive plan to respond to emergencies that might arise.

Ready to get your plan started? Call us today at: (408) 295-2182

Best Strategy in Choosing a Contractor

It is vital that you comprehend the best strategy of narrowing down on the most reliable contractor once you have a particular project that desires professional input. Choosing the best mechanical contractor can be a very difficult errand. It is our pleasure to provide some basic guidelines in selecting a contractor that will make the process easier.

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Next Project

Often, people selectively choose an item from a store based on unique qualities necessary for efficient use. The same rule applies when you are choosing a contractor. Selecting a professional contractual worker holds an equal emphasis as buying standard equipment. For a device to function optimally, it requires proper installation and routine upkeep. If you resort to poor mechanical contractor selection policies, you expose yourself to risk. Remember that not all contractors are great and have mastered their skills. Initiating thorough research may mean the difference between expert input and getting ripped off by a quack.

Tips You Must Know in Selecting a Contractor

The expense of repairing and maintaining an improperly installed HVAC system can create a massive negative impact on your company’s profits. Ascertain that your system is installed appropriately from the beginning. All contractors must possess a license that allows them to practice in their region. Accreditation from the relevant regulatory body ascertains that they have adhered to all the necessary legal statutes and professional qualifications. Expert contractors usually go through certifications processes that are approved, and it is only through a license that you can be confident that they have completed the course. One of the surest strategies in knowing if you are settling on the best is via contacting previous clients. Based on their first-hand data on services delivered, they are going to offer you great insight on whether or not to hire the contractor. Contractors charge differently based on industry experience and expertise. It is better to hire a costly contractor that has great experience rather than an amateur. Striking a good balance between quality of work and price ought to be your target.

Ensure that the contractor:

• Possesses knowledge of different systems from various manufacturers

• Have excellent customer care and respond well to your needs

• Don’t possess a lot of legal troubles

• Offer you a list of references

After you have considered these ideas, you can have a good clue of the contractor to select.  Get in touch with us to discuss any tasks that you might have that require the expertise of a mechanical contractor.  Call 408-295-2182

How to Check the License of Contractors in California

Anytime you are considering having work done at your home or office, it’s important to make sure the contractor you choose is fully licensed. It’s easy to assume a contractor would not operate without a valid license; however, you might be surprised at how often contractors continue to work without the proper licensing. Fortunately, checking for a license is incredibly simple, and it can be done with just a few pieces of information.
To check for a current contractor’s license in California, simply visit the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website. Once there, you’ll need to enter the business name, individual’s name, or license number to be shown a list of companies matching the information given. For each company listed, it will also show the contractor’s name, license number, city of business, and current status of their license.
Once you have found the contractor you’re looking for, click on the license number listed. This will give you further information on the contractor such as:

  • Business address
  • Entity type
  • Date of license issue and expiration
  • Bonding information
  • Details on their insurance

Why Checking a Contractor’s License is Important

While this may seem like a lot of effort, hiring a contractor who does not have an active license can cause serious problems for you down the road. If your contractor is unlicensed, you could personally be stuck with any repair costs due to issues with the work. It’s also in your best interest to verify that the contractor is both bonded and properly insured. Being bonded basically ensures the contractor’s customers are covered financially if the contractor’s work causes damage or is otherwise done improperly. Verifying that the contractor carries insurance that is adequate for covering your project is also a smart move. Of course, a reliable contractor will have all of this information handy for customers from the start, but it never hurts to verify since this can impact you greatly if they falsify any of the information.

Selecting the right contractor for your job can seem stressful, but it is worth researching to ensure everything is done properly. For a business you know you can trust, O.C. McDonald is here to help! Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to get started on your next project.

The Advantages of Fabricating New Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

Another few years have passed and now it’s time for you to perform maintenance on your HVAC system. It takes time and money, and then you have to do it all again in the next few years. You should instead consider replacing the material in your HVAC system with sheet metal. Though thin, sheet metal has proven to be strong, efficient, and cost-effective. Whether you are a facilitation manager for a large company or responsible for new construction projects, sheet metal is highly recommended for ventilation ducts.

Sheet metal can withstand large amounts of pressure along with the harsh weathers ranging from frigid to scorching. It is lighter than other material used for ventilation ducts. Regardless, it’s the custom fabrication of the sheet metal that is specifically tailored for your business. Sheet metal is cost- and time-effective because it’s simpler to make. The material isn’t imported from across the sea. Not only does it save money for HVAC contractors, but it saves on your company’s energy bills in the long run.

The Efficiency of Sheet Metal for Your HVAC System

There are a number of ways that sheet metal is economical for your company:

  • custom fabrication reduces air leaks
  • the relatively smaller size allows for better air volume and distribution
  • easier to manage

Sheet metal is always custom fabricated, and this is beneficial. Regular, generic-shaped air ducts are not as stable; they have a tendency to move and bend while in use. This causes air leaks. Air leaks mean that your ventilation would have to work even harder to get the air to its destination. It will stay on longer and increase your energy bill. Custom fabricated sheet metal is sealed tightly and cut to fit your building. It will not experience energy losses like normal air ducts.

Due to its smaller size and sealed design, sheet metal ducts allows air to flow through in smaller volumes. Therefore, the fresh air will make it to the designated rooms faster. These ducts simply have better control of the air volume. As a result, this is another way your HVAC systems won’t have to work as hard and saves your company money on the energy bill.

Maintenence should still be required every few years for your HVAC systems. However, sheet metal makes it easier for HVAC technicians to service. You also will not be required to have to replace it every few years. This is because custom fabricated sheet metal ducts are more durable, and is yet another money-saver.

If you’re ready to save money on your energy bill, then call us today at 408-295-2182 and inquire about sheet metal ducts for your building.

3 Things To Look For To Find The Best Contractor in San Jose

Finding a reputable plumbing, process piping and HVAC contractor requires more than comparing bottom line prices and being moved by creative marketing. Here are three areas you should look closely at when evaluating a contractor for your upcoming construction project.

Quality of the Contractor’s Bid

Evaluate these four areas to determine the level of quality you can expect.

Cost
Fully evaluate the financial-cost, time-cost and quality-cost of the bid. Ask yourself if a low-price bidder will be able to meet your project timeline. Consider the price and quality connection or workmanship and materials over time.

Scope
Make sure the contractor understands the scope of your project. They should ask questions to gain a sense of what you need and be able to offer alternatives, rather than pricing your project as if it were a product.

Warranty
Look for a contractor who can provide a sufficient warranty and can guarantee quality workmanship. You should see evidence of an efficient workflow process and sourcing of quality materials for your project.

Interview
Meet with, speak to, or collaborate with the contractor before or during the bidding process to get a sense of how they will work with you during the construction phase of your project.

License, insurance and bonding

You should not need to do much legwork in this area. A reputable contractor should include their license number and classification with every bid and display it on their website. Ask about their insurance liability limits and make sure that they are bonded to meet the financial obligations of your project.

Contractor’s Background and Credentials

Determine if the contractor is the right fit for your project.

Experience
Check if the company has worked mainly as a subcontractor of if they have experience as a general contractor. Also look for areas of specialization that match your project requirements.

Portfolio
Ask for a list of projects they have worked on that are like yours.

References
Get a list of clients who will speak to you about their experience, rather than relying on quoted testimonials.

Commitment to Your Construction Project

Ask if you will have a dedicated project manager. Inquire about how the contractor’s other projects will affect their ability to meet your timelines. Finally, make sure the contractor has the flexibility to work with your staff and adapt to any changes in the project.

Best Contractor in San Jose

Choose a contractor who demonstrates quality processes in bidding and project work, presents the right credentials, and displays an adequate commitment to your project. Since 1906, O.C. McDonald Company has been a leading contractor in the San Jose area. Let’s have a conversation about your project and how we can help. Call us today at 408-295-2182

Is A Green HVAC System Right For Your Facility?

If you’re planning to upgrade your facility’s heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system, you should consider going green. Like other green technologies, green HVAC systems are designed with an emphasis on energy efficiency, making them a smart long-term investment.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), roughly 40 percent of a typical commercial building’s electricity goes towards heating and cooling. Depending on the size of the building, businesses can easily spend thousands of dollars on indoor climate control every year. The good news is that you don’t have to turn off your facility’s HVAC system just to reduce your business’s energy usage. Green HVAC systems consume less energy than traditional systems, allowing you to create a comfortable environment for your customers and employees without breaking the bank.

How to Choose a Green HVAC System

When choosing a green HVAC system for your facility, there are a few things to consider, beginning with efficiency. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, while not perfect, provides a general overview of a system’s cooling efficiency. This metric reflects the system’s cooling power divided by the amount of energy it consumes. Generally speaking, the higher the SEER rating, the greater the system’s efficiency. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), on the other hand, reflects the system’s heating efficiency.

You should also consider the size of the green HVAC system. This doesn’t refer to the physical size of the system. Rather, a system’s size refers to its cooling and heating power. The size of a central air conditioner is typically measured in tonnage. A 1-ton unit can cool 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) in an hour.

Finally, consider the technology powering the system. Some of the most common types of green HVAC technologies include the following:

  • Geothermal Heat Pump: Also known as a ground source heat pump, it transfers heat from the facility to the ground during summer and vise-versa during winter.
  • Solar Power: This HVAC system is powered by solar panels that harvest and convert sunlight into usable electricity.
  • Dual-Fuel Heat Pump: Also known as a hybrid heat pump, it has a ground- or air-sourced heat pump with a gas or propane furnace.

Because they consume less energy than conventional models, green HVAC systems offer cost-savings benefits over time. So, even if it costs more up front, you’ll save money on your facility’s monthly power bills by investing in a green HVAC system.

To learn more green HVAC systems and whether they are right for your facility, call us today at 408-295-2182

Why You Should Replace AC Ducts

When you are outside, you can breathe fresh air from all directions. In a building, you might receive the majority of your air from your air conditioning (AC) ducts. Learn why you should replace AC ducts.

Most air is a combination of many different elements, including oxygen. The dirtiest air is filled with germs, dust, smoke and other airborne contaminants. Some diseases are spread through the air.

When your workers have the freshest air with the highest percentages of oxygen, they are the most productive. They can concentrate and complete tasks faster. Here are some of the reasons for replacing AC duct work:

  • Fresh Air
  • Reduce Airborne Contaminants
  • Prevent Diseases
  • Indoor Air Quality

Do you know what is breeding in your air duct work?

Replace Air Ducts

When an athlete goes to the sideline, he gets oxygen to reinvigorate him. Fresh air can increase your workers’ productivity. They can process information faster and complete their tasks on time.

Do you want your workers to be coughing into their keyboards? This prevents them from completing their assignments. It also spreads germs and increases the chances that others will get sick too.

More sick time will lead to fewer productive hours. Airborne diseases can cause simple fatigue or lead to more serious lung problems. This is especially true during the flu season.

There are many other types of contaminants that simply make breathing more difficult. Dust can clog up the lungs. Coal mine workers eventually get “black lung” due to long periods of exposure to airborne contaminants. How do the lungs of your employees look?

As a building owner, you are not only responsible for your employees, but also guests and vendors. What do they say about your Indoor Air Quality behind your back? Do they rue visiting your establishment or leave with a hacking cough?

If you care about promoting an image of excellence, does this not extend to having superior Indoor Air Quality also? Rats, squirrels, bats and birds nest inside your air ducts. Vermin leave all sort of waste material that are then recycled into the air, you breathe.

Replacing your AC ducts can help all people breathe easier, avoid airborne diseases and work more productively. Are you convinced that your AC ducts need cleaning? If so, call us today at 408-295-2182

Can You Just Replace an AC Compressor Instead of The Whole Thing?

The HVAC system of your business is a critical component of your building and its function is vital to the overall health and ability of your business to function, whether you are running a small office building or a large industrial complex. Keeping the air temperatures regulated and airflow moving steadily can impact your bottom line.

Often, as the HVAC unit or units for your business age, they show symptoms of failure before complete breakdown. Symptoms such as failure to produce cool air can be tracked to a number of smaller issues, such as a coolant leak or a line blockage, but a thorough inspection by an HVAC professional may also uncover major issues such as a compressor failure.

In the case of a compressor failure, you need to decide whether your business will best be served by replacing the compressor or by replacing the entire AC unit.

Replace the Compressor or Replace the AC Unit?

  • Consider replacing just the compressor if the existing AC unit and component parts are still under warranty. In this instance, the new compressor should not cost you anything but you will still need to pay for the labor to do the job. Make sure to get a quote on the labor, time, and materials as replacing a compressor can be a challenging and time-intensive job.
  • Consider replacing the AC unit if the system is past warranty. While you could opt for replacing just the compressor in this case, bear in mind that the cost of a new compressor, as well as the cost for labor and materials, may be close in range to the cost of installing a new AC unit.
  • Consider as well that a new compressor may only come with a limited warranty, up to
    1-2 years, and that you may find yourself back in the same situation in a short amount of time, facing the same issue without the benefit and security of a warranty to offset the cost.

Dealing with the advanced and technical needs of your HVAC system can be daunting, especially if your business is impacted by changes in temperature and loss of cooling due to AC problems. Let us solve your AC problems so you can focus on what matters most: the success of your business. We can help, call now 408-295-2182

What Is Included In An HVAC Tuneup?

Are you wondering why your company is spending more money on electricity?

When you first install your heating and AC units, you will notice that your electric costs are fairly low. Modern technology has made our heating and cooling systems much more efficient than in past years. However, heating and cooling units degrade over time. Much like your car, heating and AC units are mechanical and need to be serviced in order to reach their full potential.

This is when an HVAC tune-up is needed.

What Happens During An HVAC Tune-Up?

An HVAC tune-up is an annual inspection and repair of your heating and ac units. A tune-up will keep your systems running at peak efficiency so that they will last longer and cost less money to use.

When the service professional arrives at your business, he will spend anywhere from one to two hours inspecting and performing maintenance on your units.

He will identify what parts of your units are not working at their peak efficiency.

What Happens During An AC Unit Tune-Up?

When tuning up your AC unit, the service professional will:

  • Adjust your thermostat
  • Clean your air filter
  • Repair exposed wires
  • Ensure that your fan is blowing
  • Measure the amperage of the compressor

There are many other smaller tasks that your professional will do such as inspecting your indoor coil and testing your capacitors.

If your AC unit frequently freezes, the inspector will look for blocked airflow, refrigerant leaks, and issues with internal coils. A frozen AC unit can be unpleasant during the warmer months. Frequent tune-ups can prevent the situation from happening.

What Happens During A Heating Unit Tune-Up?

When tuning up your heating unit, the service professional will:

  • Inspect the internal heating elements
  • Check the burners for proper ignition
  • Adjust the flame sensor
  • Test the carbon monoxide detector

During the inspection, the exterior will be analyzed for leaks, corrosion, and proper ventilation. This inspection and tune-up can help your heating unit last for many years and run at peak efficiency.

Would you like to have your AC and heating units tuned-up? Call us today at 408-295-2182