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Events are on July 17, 18 and 19 for KCP&L opt-in customers   KCP&L has given free smart thermostats to many Kansas City customers in exchange for the ability to limit their air conditioning use during peak electrical events. This summer has been mild so far, but two-hour events are scheduled three times this week due to the heat wave we are experiencing. Since many A.B. May customers are part of this program, we are sharing the following information from KCP&L. Both residential and commercial KCP&L customers that have opted-in to help control the electrical load will experience thermostat events on July 17, 18, and 19th. Temperatures are expected to approach 110 degrees heat index and increase the strain on KCP&L’s electrical grid. KCP&L will be calling customers affected to make them aware of these events. The below territories with dates/times are all subject to change, and we will let you know if they do. However, this is the plan at this point and time: · Westar – Wednesday, July 17th 4-6 PM & Thursday, July 18th 4-6 PM · KCP&L – Thursday, July 18th 4-6 PM & Friday July 19th 4-6 PM (KCPL-MO, GMO, and KCPL-KS) If you experience a “thermostat issue” during these times, please call KCP&L’s hotline (866-882-4429) first, to prevent any unnecessary service calls. Click here to see a list of the thermostats and what happens when they are curtailed. Honeywell thermostats will display “Savings” and Nest will display an orange gear to let customers know they are in a demand response event. Those that have Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and their associated applications will also receive an in-app and/or push notification on their smart phones or tablets at least 2 hours before the event start time.

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A.B. May was honored to have received the 2019 Better Business Bureau Trust Award.
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City works to advance the customer experience and trust in the market place. 2019 marked the first year of the BBB Trust Award. This award was given to businesses and their leaders that demonstrate the highest ethical standards as well as those generating trust among their employees, customers, and communities. The trust award embodies the BBB mission of advancing marketplace trust by:
    • • Creating a commuinity of trustworthy businesses
    • • Setting standards for marketplace trust
    • • Encouraging and supporting best practices
    • • Celebrating marketplace role models
    • • Denouncing substandard marketplace behavior
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A sewer line clog causes extensive damage to your home and health especially if it creates sewage backup. While it may be unseen, let’s review the symptoms of sewage backup and save you significant time and money. Sewage backup, after all, contains toxic waste capable of thousands of dollars in damage to your home. “Black water” or sewage backup health risks Sewage carries toxic viruses and bacteria. Likewise, it can carry toxic substances like pesticides, fungi, and protozoans. There are more than two million sewage-related illnesses each year. Contaminants in sewage water are harmful and even toxic to humans and animals. Therefore, deal with sewer clogs immediately. sewer backup symptoms Water Backup in Other Drains If you notice water bubbling from other drains, this is a clear sign something is wrong with your sewer line. Are you running the washing machine and hear a gurgling in the kitchen sink? Do you notice water in the basement after you take a shower? Take note of these symptoms and call a licensed plumber to take care of the problem.  Foul Smells Stenches are also a clear sign something is wrong, especially if the smells linger. Odors indicate sewage isn’t draining properly, and could potentially be coming in through your drains, which is a major health hazard.  Slow/Still Water Around Drains Does water take a while to drain after a shower or a bath? Do you notice sitting water around drains? If so, a sewer line clog is a likely cause. WHAT CAUSES SEWER BACKUPS According to the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, the number of sewage backup incidents is increasing at a rate of about three percent. This is considered an alarming number by experts in this field. While not all basement flood damage is due to sewage backup, there are some main culprits. These include: Tree Roots in Sewer Line As they seek moisture and nutrients from organic material, tree roots wiggle into service pipe joints and cracks. These tree roots in the sewer line quickly grow into a major clog and sometimes, destroy the pipe. If you have (or your neighbor has) mature trees or those with invasive root systems, watch out for this problem. Usually, a camera inspection is the first step to verify if tree roots in the sewer line are the source of the problem. The tree’s owner is commonly responsible for the cost of clean up and repair. Pipeline Combinations Some municipalities combine stormwater and raw sewage pipelines. During heavy rainfall, the volume exceeds the pipe system’s capacity. As a result sewage backup flows into basements and other low-lying drains. Blockages in the Sanitary Main Occasionally, there’s a blockage in the city’s sanitary main. Typically, the symptoms present slowly over time. If you suspect seepage around your basement’s floor drain, for example, request a licensed plumber from A.B. May to assess the problem and any damage. If, however, sewage water enters your home rapidly, report the problem immediately to your public works office. OLD SEWER SYSTEMS In a study performed by the American Society of Civil Engineers, (ASCE) they rated the wastewater systems in the U.S. with a D+ and drinking water a D. Why? There are more than 800,000 miles of public sewage pipes in the U.S. and the majority of water mains and pipes were laid in the early to mid-1900s. With a projected lifespan of 75 to 100 years, several are already crumbling. sewage backup fix Sewage Camera Inspection First, a licensed technician performs a camera inspection. During a camera inspection, the plumber feeds the line through the main sewer line. The camera captures video of the inside of your sewer line. With a transmitter to pinpoint the location of a blockage, our licensed plumbers confirm the exact location of and reason for the sewage backup. This process eliminates the need for guesswork which saves time and money. Discuss Options Once our plumbers assess the problem through a camera inspection, they provide you with options for repair and/or replacement. We work with you to select the best option for your home, health, and wallet. Sewer Line Replacement There are two options for replacement: traditional trenching and trenchless repair. Traditional Trenching Otherwise known as the “open cut” or “trench” method, traditional trenching requires a backhoe or other heavy machinery to open the work area. This allows our technicians to access the damaged portion of the pipe. This may be a large disruption of your yard, but it may be less expensive for you. We make every effort to keep the area as clean as possible while working. Trenchless Repair Also known as pipe bursting or no-dig excavation, this method causes less damage to your yard than traditional trenching. Instead of opening up the entire area, our technicians open a small access hole where the damaged parts start and end. Then, they use a hydraulic machine to pull a replacement pipe through the old path. This method costs more but causes considerably less damage. They may end up saving you money in the long run. Concerned about sewage backup? Call A.B. May for sewer line repair and replacement We know sewer replacement is a major home investment no one seeks out or is excited to make, but we also know reputable professionals walking you through the process make it a lot easier. Our team fully explains your options. You can be confident we will do the job right. Plus our finance options make it easier on your budget. It’s our pleasure to serve you, and we aim to exceed your expectations. Schedule a free estimate today.

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AC units don’t last forever, but how long does an air conditioner last in Kansas City? It depends on the age and health of your unit, and the factors responsible for aging your system. Replacing a cooling system is never fun, but knowing it may be coming makes it less painful. Planning for replacement helps you plan for when the time comes. Repair or replace? First, it’s often a dilemma whether it’s worth repairing an older system or if it’s better to replace. Our Service Advisors share options and guidance to help you make the right choice for your home and budget. On average, air conditioning units last 12-15 years. Multiple factors play into how long a system performs well. Has it required more repairs in recent seasons or have repairs grown in cost recently? Was it properly installed? Has it been maintained at least once a year? Is it appropriately sized for the home? Does it use R-22? WHAT IF MY SYSTEM USES R22? In the United States, 66 percent of central air conditioners use R-22. In 2020, production of R-22 stops so if your system uses R-22, it may be time to consider AC replacement. But what is R-22 and why does it matter to you? R-22 (also known as HCFC-22 or Freon) has been the most common refrigerant in residential heat pumps and air-conditioning systems for many decades. It is known to accelerate damage to the ozone layer of our atmosphere, so the EPA created a timeline to phase out its production. If your unit was made before 2010, there is a good chance it uses R-22. Look at the serial plate on the outside unit of your system.  Most brands have a place for refrigerant or charge type somewhere on the plate. R-22, HCFC-22, or simply the number 22 all mean R-22 refrigerant is used in that model. If your air conditioner is working properly, you are not required to take action at this time. However, because the cost of R-22 is skyrocketing, some common repairs have become very expensive. Regular maintenance is increasingly important to avoid these costly repairs. You also may want to consider replacing your unit sooner than you would have otherwise. New air conditioners are often much more energy-efficient, which saves you money as soon as your next electric bill. How old is my AC unit? Knowing the age of your AC gives you an idea of how long an air conditioner will last. But what if you don’t know the age of your unit because you bought a new house or simply forgot? Luckily, the age is hiding on the back of your unit. Find the serial number located on the nameplate.
If you have a Lennox or Carrier system, the third and fourth digits of the serial number tell you the age (The photo above is of a Lennox system, which was manufactured in 2004).
If you have a Goodman or Daikin system, the first and second digits of the serial number tell you the age.
WHAT FACTORS DICTATE HOW LONG DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER LAST
Many things affect the performance and therefore, the lifespan of your AC unit.
Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key. The engineer designed your air conditioner to function as efficiently as possible. With preventive maintenance, your air conditioner operates as closely to that level as possible. Air conditioners should have a tune up at least once a year, preferably in the spring, prior to the hottest weather. Heat pumps should have tune ups twice a year, because they both heat and cool your home. A tune up includes an inspection of your entire cooling system. The HVAC tech cleans, lubricates and tests all applicable components. He or she also looks for signs of stress. In addition, maintenance neglect often voids manufacturer warranties, so be careful. It’s best to use a qualified HVAC contractor like A.B. May for AC service, because nonprofessional service or repairs often voids a warranty as well. At A.B. May, we know warranties so if you’re curious or concerned, please ask! We love talking about HVAC, so give us a call.
Airflow Obstruction
All HVAC systems depend on strong airflow. Without it, the equipment strains to push air through the system and over time, it prematurely ages the system. Keep good airflow by:
  • Check the air filter monthly and change as needed. It’s hard for an HVAC system to push air through a clogged or dirty filter.
  • Clear objects away from the HVAC equipment area. It may be tempting to use every last inch of space in your utility closet, but find somewhere else to keep wrapping paper and holiday decor. Too much stuff around the air handler obstructs airflow.
  • Be mindful of landscaping around your outdoor AC compressor. Clear away fallen leaves or other storm debris from around the AC unit. Don’t plant fast-growing or invasive plants near the AC compressor. Don’t try to camouflage it with plants or fencing. It needs a zone at least two to three feet around it.
SHORT CYCLING When an air conditioner, heat pump or furnace frequently turns on and off before fully cooling or heating the home, that’s short cycling. This symptom happens due to a few reasons, including a dirty filter. It also occurs when the HVAC equipment is incorrectly sized for the house and occupancy. Over time, short cycling stresses the system and prematurely ages it. TURN TO A.B. MAY FOR EXPERT AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE, REPAIR and AC INSTALLATION We’ve handled air conditioning issues for the Kansas City area for decades. When you have questions or concerns, give us a call. We offer 24/7 service for emergency situations and are eager to help solve your AC issues. Stay cool with A.B. May. Ready for a tune up? Click here to schedule service.

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Is there anything worse on a hot day than your air conditioner not cooling? As temperatures rise, you may notice your AC struggles to cool your home. Another common problem is when it’s comfortable downstairs but hot upstairs. It can be frustrating and stress-inducing. Read below to learn why an air conditioner stops cooling, which problems you can solve yourself, and when to call a professional. Reasons An Air Conditioner Stops Cooling Low Refrigerant Refrigerant is the key to cool air. It is what cools air before it enters your home.  A refill may be necessary due to low refrigerant levels. It may, however, have a leak. If there is a refrigerant leak, refilling it won’t solve the problem. Therefore, a professional HVAC technician needs to take a closer look. Faulty Coil A faulty coil may be due to small leaks. These leaks are called formicary tunneling corrosion and are caused by moisture and VOCs in the air. VOCs stands for volatile organic compounds. These are compounds which easily become a vapor or gas. VOCs exhaust when burning fuels as well as off-gas from products like adhesives, paint, new carpet and mattresses. Coils also freeze due to low refrigerant levels or an issue with the fan. The coil will not cool the air if frozen. Dirty Filter Warm air may be due to a dirty air filter. Dirt and debris could be blocking airflow and hindering your AC’s performance. Lack of Maintenance AC maintenance is crucial for the health and longevity of your system. Schedule a maintenance every six months to ensure your system is working properly. One combined maintenance is included in our Silver or Gold Service Plans. Technicians often spot small, fixable problems before they become large, costly and more inconvenient. This ultimately saves you time and money in the long run. AGE Has your air conditioner reached the end of its useful life? Air conditioners can last an average of 15 years with average use and regular preventive maintenance. If you’re unsure of your AC unit’s age or have recently moved into your home, schedule an inspection or a full tune up. Your HVAC technician is happy to share the age, the estimated energy efficiency and other details about your AC system with you. If it has required multiple repairs within a short period of time and is inefficient, consider a new AC installation. Between finance options and energy-efficiency gains, you enjoy lower electric bills, a new AC warranty and greater comfort and safety. Air Conditioner Not Cooling Problems: DIY Check the Thermostat Firstly, check to see if your thermostat is set to “heat” or “auto.” At the beginning of a new season, it’s easy to forget to change settings. Additionally, if your thermostat isn’t turning on, it may need new batteries. These quick fixes are very common issues and could save you the time and expense of a service call. A “smart” thermostat could significantly help and even save you extra money. Many alert you when the AC needs a filter change or to unusual performance, in an effort to prevent major AC repairs. If you have a manual or even a basic programmable thermostat, we are happy to recommend an upgrade. Newer, modern Wi-Fi thermostats and “smart” thermostats communicate more effectively with your HVAC system for more accurate readings and air conditioner performance. With a Wi-Fi thermostat, adjust the temperature from anywhere you can get online – including the airport or the comfort of your bed. Be sure to ask an A.B. May consultant for a recommendation. Some thermostats work with single-speed or variable-speed systems better than others. Make sure you’re getting the most from your investment with advice from A.B. May! Change The Filter Next, go look at your air filter. Dirt and debris blocking airflow and hinder your AC’s performance. If it looks dirty, go ahead and replace it. Afterward, check the temperature of your home to see if it helped. Clean Outdoor Unit of Debris If you’ve neglected the outdoor unit, your system can’t cool properly. Be sure to clean the unit of any debris and gently hose off all remaining dirt and mud. If you think rodents or other foreign objects are in or stuck in your AC compressor, call A.B. May. Also, give our team a call if you suspect a bent fan blade. It’s safer to let us handle it. Flip The Breaker Have you checked the breaker? Turn the electrical breaker on and off. Sometimes, it’s an easy fix. If after these steps you still find the air conditioner not cooling, call a professional HVAC contractor like A.B. May. Air Conditioner NOT Cooling: Call a Pro The majority of AC mechanical issues should be fixed by a professional technician. As a result, if you notice issues with coolant, coil, compressor, or any leaks, call a certified A.B. May technician. He or she is the best person for the job. Contact A.B. May in Kansas City for Air Conditioning Repair Our team is available for 24-hour emergency service if necessary. We travel throughout the Kansas City area including Leawood, Olathe, Fairway, Parkville, Liberty, Brookside, Waldo, Lee’s Summit and Prairie Village. We also serve customers in Overland Park, Stillwell, Lenexa, Merriam, Shawnee Mission, Blue Springs, Lake Quivira, Roeland Park, Independence, Plaza and Westwood.

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Have you heard about HVAC temperature zoning? If you have one room in your house that doesn’t get warm in the winter or cool in the summer, we have solutions for you. Most Kansas City homes have areas that aren’t consistently as comfortable as others. There are several reasons this happens: the thermostat may be improperly placed, the room may be an addition or built on a slab, or it could be lacking the proper supply and return vents. It’s also common to have trouble spots if you have two stories, a finished basement, or an open floor plan. Whatever the cause, there is no reason to avoid an entire room in your house because of the temperature. Zoning is a solution to this problem. It targets those problem areas by redirecting air flow. This is a guide to HVAC temperature zoning – let’s see if it’s the right fit for you. What Is Zoning? Zoning is an efficient way to create customized temperature zones throughout your home. Zoningredirects air to specific rooms for overall comfort. For instance, if your home has an addition or a second story, you may find some rooms don’t cool down as well. Zoning help target those areas to make sure they are getting adequate airflow. Sometimes, an HVAC temperature zoning plan calls for the installation of more than one thermostat. The thermostat’s location is important because they read the temperatures of their specific zone. Zoning adds dampers to redirect air based on the thermostat’s settings. When properly used, HVAC temperature zoning helps save money on utility bills. According to the US Department of Energy, “system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill.” IS An HVAC Temperature ZONING SYSTEM RIGHT FOR MY HOME? Nearly every home could benefit from a zoned system. Multi-level homes, homes with large windows or skylights, open floor plans, or a sprawling ranch all present opportunities for an HVAC temperature zoning system. The cooling system responds to the temperature of the room the thermostat is in, but the rest of the house may vary in temperature. If the thermostat is on the first floor, it can’t respond appropriately to the second story temperatures. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ZONING? Each zone is customized to use energy and airflow efficiently. These custom zones also allow you to set cooler/warmer temperatures in areas you use more often. Zoning creates the comfort level of multiple systems with a single air conditioner, making the most of the system you already have. For example, you may like sleeping at a cooler temperature than you want in your entire home. One of our specialized technicians creates a zone for the bedrooms, so you aren’t wasting precious dollars cooling the entire house at a lower temperature all night long. Your living space “zone” can stay at a comfortable temperature while you sleep soundly in cooler air. System zoning not only creates consistent temperatures throughout your home but also customizable options. In some cases, the answer to your zoning issues could be the installation of a ductless system. Some households, empty nesters, for example, find they spend most of their time in two to three rooms. Run the central air at a higher temperature in the summer while cooling the priority living spaces with a ductless AC unit. Do the same in winter with a ductless mini-split heat pump model, which both heats and cools. Ductless units are quiet, energy-efficient and easy to install on the wall or ceiling. Some homes opt for just ductless units. Depending on the model, up to six indoor ductless units connect to one outdoor AC compressor. This allows each room to be the desired temperature of the current occupant. Ductless also works really well in additions, older homes or those with complex architecture. LET US SOLVE ANY HVAC SYSTEM ZONING MYSTERIES FOR YOU If you are interested in learning more about system zoning, schedule a free estimate today. An A.B. May certified technician will walk you through your options. We want your Kansas City home to be comfortable for you and your family.

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When temperatures rise, most of us turn on our air conditioning, but what’s the best temperature to set the thermostat for in the summer? How can Kansas City families save money while keeping homes cool? Let’s review some guidelines and tips. We’ll cover some preventative measures you can take to conserve energy as well as answer the questions of what is the best temperature to set thermostats in summer when you’re home and away. The Best Temperature to Set Thermostat in Summer When Home Basically, the trick is to create as little difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures as possible. Therefore, for maximum savings and comfort, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 78 degrees. This may seem warm, but there are lots of tactics to reduce the need for more air conditioning in your home. Tactics to Keep the Best Temperature Set on the Thermostat in Summer Install a humidifier. Air conditioners extract moisture from indoor air to help you feel cooler. They don’t actually “cool” the air the same way a furnace “warms” air. During rainy days or mid-summer when the humidity spikes, the air conditioner can’t handle it alone. Extra humidity forces your air conditioner to work harder to keep up. Ultimately, it costs you more money to stay comfortable. Install a dehumidifier to better control the moisture in your home. In addition to helping the AC unit, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable home and better air quality. Too much moisture breeds mildew, mold and dust mites. All of which trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Activate “Passive Solar”. When most people hear “solar,” they think of solar panels. Generations before solar panels were available, people knew how to harness and discourage solar power. For example, many people close blinds and curtains to block sunlight in east or south-facing rooms in the morning or during sunny days. Also, you can plant deciduous trees on your property to block sunshine from heating up your home all summer. In the winter, when those trees lose leaves, you’ll happily welcome back those rays! Even the color of house paint or the building materials affects the warmth it attracts. Install Air Circulation. Ceiling fans are a great addition to Kansas City homes, both indoors and outdoors. Like air conditioners, fans don’t actually “cool” the air. They make us feel cooler by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration. During the winter, they help move the warm air that’s risen to the ceiling down along the walls. This brings warmth back without turning up the thermostat. Need Help with a Ceiling Fan? Our Electricians Are Available Reduce Energy Loss. Once your AC cools the air, don’t let it escape through cracks and leaks. There are many inexpensive ways to reduce energy loss. First, caulk around doors and windows and ensure they are sealed well. Also, you can install weatherstripping to keep hot air out and cool air from escaping. If your home is older, it wasn’t built with the same energy-efficient attitude we have today. According to the Department of Energy, air moves in and out of your home through every hole and crack. They estimate 20 percent of this energy loss happens through openings around windows, doors, and skylights. Repair or Replace Ductwork. Whether your home is old or new, you probably have leaks in your ductwork. Most homes do. It’s important they are properly connected and as straight as possible. We find many are not insulated properly or have gaps and holes. Homes develop more leaks over time as ductwork expands and contracts throughout use. If your home was built before central heating and air, the ductwork may resemble an octopus. When it comes to airflow and efficiency, the straighter the path the better. Did you know you can lose up to 60 percent of your heated air before it reaches your rooms if it passes through uninsulated ducts or unheated spaces like attics and crawlspaces? Ask the team at A.B. May for an energy audit. You may benefit from ductwork repair or replacement. Clean your ducts. Finally, if your ductwork contains lots of dust or debris like insect or critter material, you might want to take advantage of A.B. May’s duct cleaning services. You’ll improve the airflow of your heating and air system as well as your indoor air quality. What’s the Best Temperature to Set Thermostat in Summer Vacations? An easy way to save money while you’re out of town is to increase the temperature of your home. Before leaving town, increase the temperature by four degrees. For instance, if your thermostat is typically set to 74, increase the temperature to 78. Resist the urge to turn the system off completely, as you will likely spend more than you’ll save to cool it down when you return. Turning it off completely also increases the risk of mold and mildew growth. It’s best to keep the air circulating. Strategic thermostat adjustments can save up to 10 percent off your monthly bill. If you have a programmable thermostat, for example, it may have a “vacation” mode. Wi-Fi-connected thermostats have more abilities, and “smart thermostats,” like the Nest line of products can do even more. Smart Thermostats Find the Best Temperature to Set Thermostat in Summer The Nest is a smart thermostat designed to save you money. It automatically adapts to your life, remembering when you leave home and what temperatures you like at what times. It learns your rhythms and programs itself accordingly after a couple of weeks of manual programming. The Nest is an amazing tool for maintaining ideal temperatures in the summer (and year-round). With the app, you can set the Nest to be at any temperature you choose. Track your energy savings and progress through the app, too! Call A.B. May for Air Conditioning Comfort All Summer Long Whether you need assistance with insulation, ductwork, thermostats or your air conditioning equipment, A.B. May is here for you. If you think you’re ready for an air conditioning upgrade, we represent quality products. For example, to boost cooling and run your central air less often, you might choose to install a ductless unit. These are amazing for older homes and for new additions. Ductless units provide just air conditioning or both heating and cooling, depending on your needs. They are quiet, energy efficient and provide zone control. Curious? Contact us for a free estimate.     

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The question of what to do when your basement floods causes panic and anxiety for even the most attentive homeowner. Where is the water coming from? How do you get it out? What will the water damage and restoration cost? Fear no more–read below to learn why flooding happens, how to repair damage when it does, and how to prevent flooding in the future. What causes basement floods? Many basement floods happen during a storm. Three possible causes for basement floods are city stormwater backup, the sump pump not working, or a sewer line clog.  Heavy rains can overflow the city sewer lines, and they may back up into your basement. Stormwater backup is more common in specific neighborhoods in Kansas City. One telltale sign of stormwater backup flooding is if the water recedes on its own once the storm passes. Another reason for basement flooding is a problem with the sump pump. Sump pumps are designed to prevent water damage by removing unwanted water before it can cause a problem. If they fail or become clogged, flooding can happen. Learn more about how sump pumps work and how to test yours in our blog post. Finally, sewer line clogs can cause basement flooding. If the flooding doesn’t recede and has a distinct odor, a sewer line clog may be the culprit. If the source of water isn’t from a storm, there may be a number of causes like a cracked pipe, damaged water heater, or a leaking appliance. It could also be from overflowing gutters or surface water running down your foundation. If you can identify a water source, turn it off and unplug appliances. It’s also important to turn off your power if you have standing water. Because of the damage caused by basement floods, it’s a good idea to call a professional to diagnose the problem and fix it. Give us a call, and an A.B. May licensed plumber will work with you to solve the problem and suggest ways to keep it from flooding again. When a basement floods, how do I get water out of my basement? Before you do anything else, turn off electricity, power, and gas. Do not walk into a flooded basement if the power is on. If you cannot turn the power off without entering the flooded space, call A.B. May for professional help. Any time there is standing water inside of your home, there is a risk of electrical shock. Use extreme caution. Depending on the amount of water, you can use a pool pump, a sump pump, or a mop to remove the water. If there is a lot of water, you may need to contact a restoration company. It’s also easy to rent a wet vac from a local hardware store. Once the water has been absorbed and removed, open all windows and set up fans to face them. Again, depending on the amount of water and source of the flooding, it may be best to contact a restoration company. Carpet can dry out from a water heater leak, but if the water came up from a basement drain or is due to a sewage problem, materials may need to be torn out and replaced. Sewage water and other Category 3 water sources harbor harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. When a basement floods, how do I repair water damage to my basement? Mold growth is a common side effect of a flooded basement. To prevent mold from growing in your home, follow these steps:
  1. Combine warm water and bleach in a bucket. Wearing gloves, scrub walls, and floors thoroughly.
  2. Move any damp furniture into a dry, warm space. Clean with soap and water and let dry in the sun.
  3. Schedule an appointment with a remediation professional to make sure the mold is gone.
It’s important to note, bleach neutralizes and removes the color from mold. It doesn’t kill it or remove it entirely. If mold is present, the roots often run deep and will require more than surface cleaning. You may also need to replace the drywall. It’s impossible to “clean” mold with bleach, especially on porous surfaces like wood, fabric or drywall. If the flooding was significant or long-standing, a mold remediation company is a wise choice.
  1. If you noticed cracks in the foundation or windows, repair them immediately. To identify cracks, use a flashlight and examine interior walls. They can be challenging to find, though, so calling a professional is the best way to ensure proper treatment.
  2. Install a sump pump. A sump pump automatically traps rainwater and flushes it out of the basement. We recommend a sump pump for nearly every home because the cost of water damage almost always exceeds the price of a sump pump. They are so useful that many of our customers install two of them. It is a wise investment for your home (and your sanity).
  3. Install gutter extensions and window wells. Leading water as far away from your foundation as possible is the best way to prevent any from seeping through the foundation. You can purchase gutter extensions and window wells at any local hardware store. They are a cost-effective and immediate solution.
what to do when a basement floods – call a.b. may in Kansas city There are many possibilities for a flood in your basement. Other than natural disasters, it could be a failed sump pump, a water heater leak or collapse, leaky pipes or a basement bathroom mishap like a bath or toilet overflow. In some cases, particularly in older homes, it may be the drain in the basement floor. Clogs in the main plumbing line or backups often manifest with basement floods. Regardless, A.B. May plumbers are quick to assess and solve the plumbing problem. Let our team stop the water damage from getting worse. We can fix what needs to be fixed and do what’s possible to prevent it from happening again. Whether you need a main drain line clearing, a new water heater installation or pipe repair – our team will handle it quickly and professionally. Call us for help anytime day or night. Emergency service is available for these situations.  

The post What To Do When a Basement Floods appeared first on A.B. May.

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  Spring rains in Kansas City mean beautiful flowers in the yard, but what if you discover your sump pump not working? It’s a recipe for panic. All homes with basements are vulnerable when it comes to rapid snowmelt or heavy rains. Foundation cracks, old windows, stormwater backup, and leaky pipes all bring moisture to a basement. Sadly, even a little bit of water can do thousands of dollars of damage. Whether it’s to protect the investment of a finished basement, cherished belongings, or both, learn more about sump pumps and maintenance. Avoid the stressful discovery of your sump pump not working.   How A Sump Pump Works A sump pump keeps your basement dry by pumping excess water away from your home. Installed in the lowest part of your basement, a sump pump is housed within a sump pit. A sump pit is a small container underneath the basement surface where unwanted water collects. As the pit fills with water, the pump turns on. Most turn on as a response to a pressure sensor or float activator arm. The float activator is similar to the one in your toilet tank. When the water level rises to a certain mark, the pump kicks on. It starts pumping water through pipes to a place where it can drain away from the building. Typically, the pipe has a one-way valve called a check valve at the pump. This prevents water from flowing backward toward the pit. Sump pumps keep unwanted water out before you even know it’s there and pushes it far away to prevent water damage. It’s a good idea to have a backup sump pump as well. If you have a finished basement or use it for storage, it’s worth the investment. The expense of time, money, and stress after water damage for restoration is much more than the cost of a couple of sump pumps. The vast majority of Kansas City homes have basements, and many of these homes are older. Stormwater backups, leaky pipes, appliance failures, cracks in the foundation, gutter problems, and old windows can all bring moisture to a basement. It doesn’t take much water to create thousands of dollars worth of damage. The job of a sump pump is to solve this problem.    I’d Like an Inspection of My Sump Pump or a Free Estimate on a New One. How to check a sump pump It is important to test your sump pump on a regular basis to ensure it works properly when you need it. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes to test and doesn’t require professional skills.
  1. Locate the exit pipe. This is the pipe that drains water from the sump pump to an exterior location. Inspect the pipe and clear any dirt and debris. If it is clogged, remove everything that could cause the blockage.
  2. Trace the two electrical cords to the back of the pump and unplug them. Wait 30 seconds before plugging them back in.
  3. To test how well the sump pump is working, slowly pour three gallons of water into the pump pit until the float piece rises. The pump should automatically turn on and start pumping the water out of the pit. If it doesn’t do this, call A.B. May and a professional licensed plumber will help. 
  SUMP PUMP NOT WORKING? HERE ARE SOME COMMON REASONS: 
  • Dirt and Debris The water in the sump put filters through the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. When it arrives in the pit, it still has dirt and debris in it. Over time, this causes clogs and blockages within the pipes.
  • Improper Installation A trained professional must install the sump pump to ensure it works properly. A mistake in the installation process often leads to a sump pump not working and to serious water damage. Call us today to schedule a diagnostic appointment with an A.B. May plumber.
  • Lack of Maintenance Proper maintenance is vital for the longevity and capability of your sump pump. Regular maintenance is crucial. Most sump pumps last around 10 years. If you’re unsure of your pump’s age or capacity, get it checked out.
  Trust A.B. May to Repair a Sump Pump Not Working in Kansas City A sump pump is a great tool to remove excess water before it can damage your home. There are simple ways to test it. When the heavy rains come or snow melts rapidly, you want to relax. You don’t need to worry about your sump pump not working. Call Kansas City plumbing experts A.B. May for sump pump maintenance, repairs, and installation. If you find your sump pump not working – call A.B. May for repairs. A sump pump not working is an emergency service – so please call us right away. Waiting until morning often makes the damage so much worse. Whether you have an A.B. May Home Warranty or not, we’re available to solve your plumbing problems.

The post Why Is My Sump Pump Not Working? appeared first on A.B. May.

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  The brutal summer heat can cause you to ask, “how do I reset my AC unit?” The job of an air conditioner is to keep you cool and comfortable in your own home. What happens, however, if it stops working? While there could be a larger issue going on, it may just need to be reset. Luckily, this is something you can quickly do yourself.   Do I Need to Know How TO Reset My AC Unit? Have you ever called tech support and heard, “have you turned it off and back on?” Air conditioners are large appliances with electronic systems similar to computers. Restarting an air conditioning unit is like restarting your computer. Sometimes electronic systems need to reboot in order to work properly and clear itself of any glitches. Daikin made this easy by installing a reset button on the back of the system so you can do this yourself. Other air conditioning brands also have reset buttons. Most of them are small, red buttons clearly labeled “Reset”.  In some cases, the unit needs to be reset because the circuit breaker is engaged but won’t allow the AC compressor to start. As a safety precaution, the breaker responds to a power surge and protects the AC unit. The power surge could come from internal or external sources. This is one reason people invest in whole-home surge protection. Don’t let anyone tell you to bypass the circuit breaker. It’s an essential safety device to prevent serious problems.   How Do I Reset MY AC UNIT ON MY OWN? While it may seem complicated to reset an air conditioner, it is actually simple. Daikin made this easy with a reset button on the back of the system so you can handle it. Follow these steps to troubleshoot your air conditioning system and electrical situation:
  1. Ensure your power supply is adequate. If you’re in the midst of storm activity or a brownout, it’s best to wait until you have full and consistent power. If so, proceed.
  2. Set your thermostat to ‘off.’
  3. Unplug the outdoor unit from the electrical outlet. Leave it unplugged for thirty seconds. Next, plug it back in.
  4. Locate the reset button. They are located in a variety of places, depending on the model. Most are red and small. It should be clearly marked as a reset button.
  5. Press it down once, and hold for three seconds. Wait thirty seconds to see if it turns on. If it doesn’t, try once more. Your air conditioner should respond with a short series of beeps.
  6. If the reset button doesn’t turn the system on, there may be an electrical issue. Reset the main circuit breaker to see if that solves the problem.
  How Do I Reset my AC Unit if There’s no Reset Button? If your air conditioning unit does not have a reset button, it may be an older unit. It’s possible to reset it manually, but that requires more time and care. First, shut off the power supply. Next, look for the shut-off panel beside your outdoor compressor unit. It will normally be switched on and the main AC wire will be plugged into it. Once you find the shut-off panel, flip the switch off and locate the 240-volt circuit in your home’s main electrical panel. Switch it off too. These steps completely eliminate all power to your AC unit. To be extra careful, unplug it from the power supply board and disconnect the system. Wait thirty minutes. Sound complicated or time-consuming? Schedule a Service Visit. We recommend giving it some time before you power your system on again. It’s best not to reconnect it quickly. It’s important to be sure all the charge in the system exhausts before reconnecting to the power grid. Once at least thirty minutes have passed, plug it in. This should be enough time for internal systems to reset. Next, switch the power supply to on. Once the air conditioner is connected, revisit the main 240-volt switchboard and switch it back on. Then, go back to the plug point near the external unit and turn it on. Finally, confirm your thermostat is set to “cool” and turn the power on completely. When Do I Need a Professional HVAC Tech to Help? If the circuit breaker connected to the air conditioner trips frequently or is slow to cool down, it’s best to call a professional. We also recommend you call a professional if you find the wires leading to the outdoor compressor unit are bare and exposed or if the breaker panel is without protection. These conditions create safety risks for resetting. Loose connections or exposed wires inside the system cause power surges and repeatedly trip the circuit breaker. These surges, over time, damage the air conditioning unit. Don’t run the risk of an early replacement because of something preventable. Lastly, if your unit is more than fifteen years old, it’s possible the problem is more than just a reset issue. We recommend you call a professional for an evaluation. One of the A.B. May HVAC technicians would gladly perform an inspection and determine if a repair is necessary. Another option is to replace the system with a more efficient option. If you would like to reset your current system, one of our technicians can help sort through the issues. HOW DO I AVOID PROBLEMS LIKE HAVING TO RESET MY AC UNIT?  Our best piece of advice is regular maintenance. When you have an air conditioner tune-up with A.B. May, one of our trained HVAC technicians inspects your heating and cooling system from top to bottom. He or she looks for any signs of malfunction, including excess wear and tear. The technician cleans all the components and tests the electrical controls and switches. He or she looks for anything with the potential to affect the consistent heating and cooling you enjoy. If you need an electrician – you’re in luck! We have those too! For the most value, we recommend one of our silver and gold plans. These include regular tune-ups for HVAC as well as electrical and plumbing systems. Check out the service plans and give us a call to discuss any questions. We’re happy to help you find the plan that fits your needs best.     A.B. May – Your Air Conditioning Experts in Kansas City In conclusion, when you need to know “how do I reset my AC unit,” you can count on A.B. May. For most newer air conditioners, it’s fairly simple. For older units, the manual process is more tricky. No matter what kind of air conditioner you have, an A.B. May HVAC technician is always available to help you. If your AC unit is troubled with electrical issues, A.B. May has electricians available too. For sixty years, A.B. May has brought comfort and safety to Kansas City residents through exceptional home service. You can trust when you need heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing services you’ll be taken care of by this family-owned business. For 24/7 service or just a regular tune-up, give A.B. May a call or schedule online.    

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