HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical FAQ

The heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems within your South Jersey home affect your overall comfort, health, and even your financial well being—so when something has gone awry, you need answers fast!

We have a few different pages featuring frequently asked questions about everything from how long a furnace should last to what that weird noise coming from your AC might be, and even Bovio Rubino Service specific questions like what you should expect when you schedule an HVAC tune-up with our team. Take a look at these FAQs, and browse the list of topics below to find the answers you need. 


What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?

Typically, freezing occurs when airflow or heat transfer is impeded by a clogged air filter, a duct obstruction, dirty coils, or a faulty fan. Other causes can include low refrigerant or compressor problems.

Should I Leave the AC on All Day?

If you are not at home, you can save money by turning the air conditioner down or shutting it off. With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the system automatically so that your house is cool and comfortable when you arrive home from work.

What Should I Do If I Lose Heat?

If your boiler or furnace has a pilot light, make sure that it is lit. Check for tripped breakers and reset the power. If your furnace will not start back up or stay running, call Bovio Rubino Service for more in-depth diagnostics and repairs.

How Long Does HVAC Equipment Last?

Most furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, and heat pumps will last 12 to 15 years, though some can last up to 20 years. A replacement should be considered when your equipment is over 15 years old, it develops major problems, it needs frequent repairs, or it becomes extremely inefficient and costly to operate.

How Often Should My HVAC Equipment Be Serviced?

Annual service is the minimal requirement for most systems. At Bovio Rubino Service, we recommend two maintenance visits a year, typically in the spring and fall. This allows both the heating system and the cooling system to be serviced before and after the appropriate season. Our maintenance agreements are a great way to ensure your HVAC equipment receives all the care it needs on a regular schedule.

Plumbing FAQs

How Do I Thaw a Frozen Pipe?

While gentle heat can thaw a pipe, it is often best to call a professional. Pipes can crack or burst in hidden locations, and thawing may actually increase the chances of water damage as the ice melts and water pressure returns.

Should I Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain?

If basic plungers, pipe snakes, or other at-home methods fail, it’s best to call a plumber for professional drain cleaning. Too much force or the use of harsh chemical drain cleaners can actually damage the pipes, making the problem much more expensive to repair.

How Do I Avoid Clogged Drains?

Avoid flushing anything but paper and waste down the toilet, and do not flush “flushable” moist wipes, hygiene products, or paper towels. Dispose of cooled cooking oils and grease in the garbage, and use baskets or strainers on drains to keep food particles, hair, and foreign objects out of sink and tub drains.

Do a slow-moving and clogged drain indicate the same problem?

Slow-moving drains can be an early sign of clogging, but they’re also a red flag for myriad other problems. Your pipes might have narrowed from sediment buildup, which needs heat treatment rather than mechanical strength. A universal blockage may also be caused by a badly graded drainage plan. If so, your land might need to be reshaped.

Do several drain blockages indicate the same problem?

Simultaneous blockages warn you of a serious blockage that usually involves your main sewer drainage pipe. Bubbling in your sinks and toilets is also a red flag for this problem. If your plumbing fixtures are causing blockages in other fixtures, the issue is usually further down where both drains connect. That generally requires an industrial snaking tool and a professional plumber.

How often should you clean your drains?

Your drains might be hidden, but they still need regular maintenance. Uncleaned drains harbor dangerous microorganisms, so disinfect them every week. A deep monthly clean is a key preventive habit, but you should hire a professional to perform a deeper clean every year.

My drain keeps getting clogged. How can I prevent that?

Frequent drain blockages can usually be avoided. Flushing large objects can cause stubborn indoor problems, so throw hard-to-flush items like paper towels and sanitary products in the dustbin. Hair is another frequent offender, but it’s a little more difficult to manage. Installing a mesh screen over your drains can help, as can brushing before every shower. Use a baking-soda-and-vinegar rinse once a week.

Oils and grease are also notorious for their blocking powers. They harden when cooled, so it’s best to pour them into a container for trash disposal.

Can you deal with drain blockages on your own?

Drain cleaning and minor unblocking are key facets of proper drain maintenance, but some problems are too severe for your household handyman. If your blockage is below your U-pipe, everyday solutions are unlikely to work. Household drain cleaners shouldn’t be used on toilets, so they need the kind of attention only professionals can manage. If your connections are rusted, only industrial tools will be effective.

Can a leaking water heater be fixed?

Yes, there are times that a leak from your water heater can be fixed with repair and avoid replacement, but in troubleshooting, you should schedule a visit from a local hot water heater contractor to ensure the best route of recovery for your system.

What causes hot water heaters to stop working?

There are many components of your water heater that could lead to failure, including issues with the pilot light, heating element, thermostat, and more. It’s best to have a professional water heater repair contractor take a look to diagnose the real issue.

How long does a water heater last?

Typically, most water heaters can perform well for 10 years. After that, it’s time to consider a replacement.

Should I replace my water heater before it fails?

Most water heaters that are more than 10 years old should be considered for replacement. There are also warning signs that failure is pending, including rusty water, rumbling and noise coming from the unit, water pooling around the unit, and more.

Do plumbers fix garbage disposals?

Disposal repair falls into an odd place in the world of home services. Many electricians, plumbers, and general contractors handle this service—though if you had to pick one, we would recommend the plumber. Luckily for you, Bovio Rubino Service covers all of the above, and we have no trouble performing complete repairs. Note that if you need garbage disposal replacement, you need to get in touch with a plumber to ensure drain lines and water lines are intact.

Why is my garbage disposal humming and not working?

When a disposal hums or produces other noises but isn’t otherwise working, the odds are high that either the disposal blades have worn down or that there is something jammed in the disposal that is preventing normal operation. DO NOT attempt to address this on your own! Disposals are designed to chew up meat, food waste, and bone, and it doesn’t care who the bones belong to.

How long does a garbage disposal typically last?

Provided that the disposal has been maintained and used correctly, you should be able to expect around 10 years of good service without needing a garbage disposal replacement.

How do you reset a garbage disposal?

The reset button located on the bottom of your disposal (the big red one!) is functionally like a breaker. If the disposal makes no noise, isn’t working, or has overheated, it may “trip” and need to be reset. This is your go-to in an attempt to fix the disposal, but if it trips twice in one day or this doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to start dialing your garbage disposal repairman!

Electrical FAQs

Where Should GFCI Outlets Be Used?

GFCI outlets should be used within six feet of sinks or other plumbing fixtures and in all potentially wet locations like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or outdoor receptacles.

How Do I Reset a Breaker?

Breakers will move toward the “off” position when they trip. To reset a breaker, turn it fully off, then back on.

Need HVAC, plumbing, or electrical help in South Jersey? Call Bovio Rubino Service at 856-272-7000 or get in touch with us here to schedule service today!

Have a question about your HVAC, plumbing, or electrical system?

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