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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

Tips On Preparing Your HVAC Unit For Spring – Before You Call A Contractor

After a long, cold winter, spring is finally here, and soon it will be time to crank up the AC to keep your home comfortable during the dog days of summer. Before the time comes to cool your home, it’s important to do some routine checks and make sure your HVAC unit is up for the challenge of the next season. A few tips and tricks can help you ensure you won’t suffer an untimely AC breakdown, or break the bank because of poor efficiency, which can add up quickly on your energy bill.

4 Tips to Get Your AC/HVAC Ready for Spring

Change old filters

Replacing old, dirty filters of the easiest methods of making sure your HVAC unit is ready for the spring and summer months. Even when not in use, dust can collect in these filters, which can lead to unpleasant odors, low airflow, and increased electricity usage. Because your AC has to work harder and run longer to push enough air to cool your home, it can also put undue stress on other parts, causing them to wear out more quickly. Before you replace filters, be sure to know the correct type and size for your unit.

Turn it on and let it run

Once the filters are taken care of, the next step is to turn on the unit and let it run a while. Don’t leave the house during this process; stay close and observe for any odd sounds or scents. Take particular note if anything smells like it may be burning, and turn off the unit immediately.

Take a quick peek inside

Many homeowners neglect the simple but important step of checking the condenser coil for any signs of damage or debris. You’ll also want to look at your system’s wiring to ensure nothing seems disconnected or is showing signs of wear and tear.

Get a tune-up

The best way to make certain your AC is ready for spring is to call a professional and schedule a check-over. A full inspection, including a thermostat test, condenser inspection, checking contractors for any pits or burns, and other general maintenance will help save on large repairs or increasing energy bills. When you’re ready for your next HVAC tune-up, repair, or if you have any questions about your AC unit, contact us at (408) 295-2182

Tips For Environmental Heating and Cooling in San Jose

Environmental heating and cooling is an objective for companies aiming to be better corporate citizens. Investing in heating and cooling systems can help a company reduce its carbon footprint and save money. Here are some tips for environmental heating and cooling in San Jose.

 

Implementing zoning

One of the most common recommendations we offer to our customers is to implement zoning. HVAC systems with zoning configurations only cool and heat the areas of the building that are currently in use. Less energy is consumed when the system is not being operated. Rooms that are positioned near sunlight can be assigned a zone to be inactive during daylight hours when the temperature are higher, avoiding the use of heat. Likewise, the cooling settings can be adjusted to higher temperatures where people are in constant motion and more likely to be warmer.

 

Setting up a maintenance plan

Implementing a maintenance plan is another way to save energy. Changing the HVAC filters periodically can reduce wasted energy consumption by anywhere between 5 and 10 percent. Clogged filters impact indoor quality. The restricted air flow also causes the HVAC systems to operate inefficiently. It is recommended that the HVAC filters be changed on a quarterly basis to preserve the performance of the HVAC system. Some experts suggest that they be replaced every three months to achieve true energy savings.

 

Know when it’s time for an upgrade

Sometimes systems can only do but so much when they reach a certain point in their service life. If you find that the repairs are becoming more frequent, then your system may need to be replaced. Upgrading your HVAC system will reduce your energy consumption and lower energy costs. The more energy efficient tend to be the newer systems released in recent years.

 

Consider retrofitting

Retrofitting your HVAC unit is another option. Advanced control systems and sensors can be added to the existing system. This means that the area is only cooled or heated when ventilation is needed. The sensors gauge fluctuations and temperatures, trigger heating or cooling activities as needed.

If you are ready to reduce energy consumption and are open to exploring the options available, consider implementing any of these solutions. If you have any questions about improving the energy efficiency of your system, call us today at 408-295-2182

Choosing The Right Company To Perform Your HVAC Tuneup

Choosing the right company to provide your HVAC tuneup is crucial. A regular heat and air tuneup is vital when it comes to keeping equipment performing properly and in top condition. In addition to obtaining important maintenance during the tuneup process, a professional has the opportunity to identify and resolve any minor issues. Proactive intervention in regard to something more minor today is a key strategy to preventing a major problem at some juncture down the road. In other words, regular maintenance can enhance the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Another fundamental reason why you need to select the proper company to perform your maintenance stems from more long term financial considerations. If you engage a service provider that provides a proper tuneup, you will save money on repairs over the long run. In addition, a well-maintained HVAC system saves money as well.

 

Checklist for Finding the Right HVAC Tuneup Professional

 

There are some specific factors that you need to bear in mind when you are looking for a heating and air conditioning professional. By paying attention to these tips, you’ll be in the best position to access the most capable HVAC professional.

Experience matters when it comes to an HVAC professional. What this means is you need to engage a professional who has a background in performing a tuneup and regular maintenance on a heat and air system like your own.

On a related note, when it comes to hiring a company to perform an HVAC tuneup, you must undertake comprehensive due diligence. This includes more than just a review of a company’s background. You need to verify that a company has a proper license and is appropriately insured and bonded.

Due diligence extends to employees of the company was well. In addition to items just referenced, you will want to confirm that an appropriate background check occurred. You need to confirm that any employee who will be working at your business is property certified, licensed, bonded or insured.

Discuss your needs with colleagues in the industry. They may be able to provide you recommendations of an inspector.

Obtain references from an HVAC tuneup specialists before retaining for services. A solid contractor or service provider will be more than happy to provide names and contact information for clients.

If you are in need of any heat and air repair or maintenance, contact us today at (408) 295-2182. Our professional team stands ready to assist you.

Finding The Right Plumbers For In Depth Pipe Inspection

There is never a good time to experience a plumbing problem. In fact, most people experience a plumbing problem when they are least expecting it. Due to major strides made in the area of plumbing, an in-depth pipe inspection can be performed to detect and diagnose the source of the plumbing problem. Where plumbers once had to guess and devote a lot time to semi-productive troubleshooting, professional plumbers can now use video inspection to accurately resolve any plumbing problems.

What is an in-depth pipe inspection?

An in-depth pipe inspection involves the use of a camera line being used to video the internal plumbing lines within a home. The line inspection saves the plumber time in its ability to capture key information to make a solid determination about the problem. The line inspection also prevents money from being spent toward unnecessary repairs that will do little to solve the problem. The video is used to inspect the plumbing lines to identify any vulnerabilities with the plumbing.

Why do you need an in-depth pipe inspection?

An in-depth pipe inspection can identify more than just blockages. It can uncover structural issues with the lines. A cracked pipe or a problem with tree root invasion are only visible using a video camera pipe inspection. A pipe inspection can also help determine whether or not another problem affecting the sewer lines is imminent, giving the homeowner the opportunity to be proactive in addressing the matter. The process identifies both the problem and the root cause of the problem. When repairs are suggested by the plumber, the most accurate information is used to make recommendations.

What can be seen?

The video inspection can be revealing, uncovering a multitude of risks with the plumbing. Roots that have penetrated the pipe leading to drainage problems can be detected with video camera inspections. Improperly placed sewer lines are also detected during the process. The quality of the materials used in the piping can also be analyzed to gauge the life expectancy of the plumbing lines. Changes in the positioning of the pipes due to shifting may be the potential root cause for drainage problems, and this could be detected by video inspection. The workmanship of the installers can be evaluated during the inspection process.

A plumber can provide preliminary guidance on steps to take to resolve minor plumbing problems. Identifying the underlying root cause of any issue is something that can be uncovered through the use of in-depth video camera inspections. Inspections can identify the problem, extent of the problem, future risks, and structural issues that contribute to plumbing problems.

Call us for help today 408-295-2182

Common Questions People Have About Their Air Conditioner in San Jose

In San Jose, air conditioning units play a vital role in keeping residents safe and comfortable as the temperatures warm up. For this reason, you should always arrange for a pre-season inspection and tune up to make sure that it is ready for the height of the summer. Unfortunately, air conditioning problems can still arise even when you practice proper maintenance. As you prepare for the rising temps, check out these common questions that people tend to have about their air conditioner this time of year.

Why is the Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

Your air conditioning unit is designed to take warm air and make it cold before it blows through the vents. However, a malfunctioning unit can fail to cool the air properly before it comes out. Often, this is due to a clogged filter, and this issue is quickly resolved by making sure to change the filters on a regular schedule. For most units, this needs to be done every one to three months. You may also find warm air blowing out of the vents if the unit has a refrigerant leak, so make sure to arrange for professional repairs if changing the filter doesn’t do the trick.

Why Does the HVAC Unit Keep Turning Off and On?

Rapid cycling is another issue that sometimes occurs during the summer. An air conditioning unit that is failing to cool the air may naturally cause the system to try to turn on over and over again in an attempt to reach the set temperature. There could also be a problem with the thermostat or its placement. In some cases, an improperly sized or installed unit causes rapid cycling because the system is unable to keep up with the demand required to properly cool the building.

Does My A/C System Need Replacement?

The average life of an HVAC unit is 10 to 15 years, and there does eventually come a point when repairs are no longer possible. Typically, your air conditioning system requires replacement when it begins to experience frequent breakdowns or if it becomes inefficient at cooling your property. People with older units often find that a replacement makes financial sense because it reduces the cost of their utility bills and eliminates the constant need to pay for repairs. If a replacement is necessary, you should expect for your HVAC technician to explain why and provide you with your best options for making the installation affordable.

Is your residential or commercial air conditioning unit showing signs of trouble? Call us now at 408-295-2182

What To Look For In a New Construction Contractor

It’s a beautiful day and as you settle into your morning routine at the office, sipping on your second cup of java your office line rings. A pipe has burst in the lobby restroom and water is everywhere. The company’s largest client is coming by for a lunch presentation and time is of the essence. If you’re prepared, you’ll have your construction contractor on speed dial. If not, you’re going to have to move quickly to find a reliable and reputable firm that can handle the situation stat. Don’t put yourself or your business in that situation.

Identifying a new construction contractor doesn’t need to be daunting. Hopefully, you’ve not waited for a plumbing or HVAC crisis to look for a new construction company to work with. If you’re a large corporation or small to medium sized business, the same evaluation strategy applies.

Key Qualities to Look for in a New Construction Contractor

Company history. The length of time a company has been in business says a lot. There are construction contractors that come and go. Look for a business that has a solid history. Factor in how many years they’ve been in business and if they’re family owned, even better. A construction contracting company that has generations of experts behind it is a find.
Reputation. If the company has been in business for years, they must be doing something right. Take a look at their reputation. What are customers saying about their work? Do they get the job done in a professional manner? Are they dependable? If they’re keeping their clients happy and expanding their business, give them another positive check on your evaluation list.
Expertise. Your construction contractor should be well-versed in the basic mechanics of everything from piping, gas fittings, new and old construction, to HVAC and more. They should be able to handle it all. You want to use an expert firm. One that keeps up with proper licensing and training for all crew members and leads their industry when it comes to cutting edge technology.
Safety. Safety first should go without saying, but this needs to be taken into consideration. You want a new construction contractor that put this as a top responsibility.

Ready you ready to make your move? We can help, call us today at (408) 295-2182

What is Fabricated Sheet Metal Used For in HVAC?

Fabricated sheet metal is commonly used in the ductwork of HVAC systems. Traditional ductwork is installed in commercial and industrial buildings for the heating and cooling systems. Sometimes, however, the regular metal ductwork must be routed in odd ways, due to various obstacles in the path. Longer piping would be added to get the metal fittings and tubes installed to go around all those barriers.

Due to the odd routing of all the ductwork, the HVAC system would ultimately have to run harder to heat or cool the building properly, because it has to run the heat through a long set of pipes. For an HVAC unit to run efficiently, fabricated sheet metal would be utilized to run around the obstacles for a more direct path from the heating/cooling system to the air vents.

Fabricated sheet metal enables one to bend, and turn the metal to the desired shape, so it will fit much like a jigsaw puzzle in the areas you want them to. This would eliminate the need for all those extra pipes and fittings that only succeed in using more energy to run the HVAC system. Also, by using more customizable ductwork, like the sheet metal, you’re prolonging the life of your unit, because it’s not working harder to heat or cool your space.

How Does Fabricated Sheet Metal Have Advantage Over Regular HVAC Ductwork?

We’ve already discussed the fact that sheet metal is more customizable when it comes to installing the ductwork for a building. They work perfectly for fitting into what seems like an impossible spot for regular pipes. The places that fabricated sheet metal fittings work best are:

  • Around Sharp corners
  • Behind pipes
  • In tight, cramped spaces

When using only traditional HVAC ducts, one would have to install an intricate system of pipes to avoid the places where you can’t fit regular ductwork. Now, it’s much easier when you can get someone to fabricate ducts using sheet metal. The pipings and fitting would be cut and shaped precisely to your specifications.

Installing the fabricated pieces of ductwork helps the HVAC unit run in the most efficient way possible for any commercial or industrial building. Finding a shop that can fabricate sheet metal accurately isn’t always easy. If you’re looking to get some ductwork customized for your building or space, give us a call at 408-295-2182. Our skilled professionals can fabricate your ductwork for whatever specifications you need, and we can also install them if you want.

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 Local Air Conditioning Repair Company Better For a Commercial Business?

Indoor climate control provides more than just a comfortable temperature. In hot areas, a broken AC can lower productivity. Tech installations and labs also need a consistent and cool temperature to protect their equipment. With so many choices for service providers in the Bay area, how do you narrow down your options?

One of the worst things you can do is just call the first listing in a service directory. Referrals from current customers or online reviews can be helpful as long as they’re legitimate. The BBB or consumer sites like Yelp provide reliable information, too.

Even if you only need a minor repair, you want to find a company that you can establish an ongoing relationship with. This gives the benefit of allowing you additional perks like discounts for service, cost-effective maintenance plans, and a higher level of satisfaction. Retaining loyal customers is one of the most important things a company can do.

When you’re running a business or organization, down-time equal money. You want fast service from an AC repair company that meets the following criteria:

  • Convenient operating hours
  • After-hours emergency service
  • Free, on-site estimates
  • Competitive rates
  • Licensed to service commercial HVAC systems
  • Fully insured

Why Local Service Providers Are Better

Locally owned businesses offer many advantages, the first of which is proximity. You want a service provider that’s close enough to give you prompt assistance. Local HVAC companies also try harder to provide a high level of customer care. We have a reputation to maintain, and a lot of business comes from referrals.

Local businesses that focus on providing B2B assistance know how important reliable service is to continuity. Because many of our clients are universities and large tech firms that house expensive technology, we want to put your mind at ease. You’ll feel better knowing that our technicians are reliable and thoroughly background-checked before employment. We’ll work hard to:

  • Schedule on your time-table
  • Show up promptly and ready to work
  • Turn the job around fast
  • Clean up completely before we leave the premises

You don’t have to suffer when we’re just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to contact us at the first sign of a problem with your AC. We’re available at 408-295-2182 to provide 24/7 assistance.