SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2014

Why You Should Rely on NATE-Certified Technicians for Heating Repair

Monday, February 24th, 2014

You should always hire a professional contractor when you need heating repair in West Deptford, NJ. But… what exactly sets a professional apart from the amateurs? And even among the professionals, how can you pinpoint the ones with the best training?

It’s wise to be cautions regarding the credentials of anyone whom you are considering hiring to handle as important a task as taking care of a home heating system. But there is an easy path to finding quality repair: make sure to call a contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians.

SPS Mechanical Inc. takes pride in offering a staff with experienced NATE-certified repair specialists on call 24 hours a day. Make us your first call for heating repair.

What does NATE-certification mean?

NATE stands for “North American Technical Excellence.” It is the only certification recognized throughout the HVAC industry. The NATE Technical Committee that oversees certification is comprised of industry experts from around the nation. The rigorous test that applicants must pass covers a wide variety of topics to make sure that anyone who earns certification has the training for real-world application of their skills with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. As of January 2014, NATE certification lasts for two years, after which a technician must earn 16 hours of specially related continuing education within a two-year period or opt to re-take the test.

Examples of NATE-certification test questions: “What is the CFM requirements of an 1,800-ft house with 8-ft ceilings if five air changes per hour are needed?” “How fast does air with the velocity pressure of 0.20 in w.g. move through a square duct?” and “A sling psychrometer uses two glass-stem thermometers. One measures dry-bulb and the other measures _____.”

But the NATE-certification test also covers proper customer service and procedures. A technician who has passed the NATE-certification test has demonstrated proper and clear communication skills with customers and knows how to handle other routines of the job away from the technical aspects.

With NATE-certified help for your heating, you know you are getting what the rest of the HVAC world recognizes as “the best.”

How can I tell if a contractor employs NATE-certified technicians?

Any contractor proud of its NATE-certified employees will display a NATE badge on their website.

Where can I find NATE-certified technicians?

Right here at SPS Mechanical Inc.! Not only do we have certified technicians, but we are also a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. We have the skills required to deliver the repairs you need for cooling and heating in West Deptford, NJ. Call us any time of the day or night.

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Pipe Material Options for Repiping

Monday, February 17th, 2014

For many decades, the most popular material for plumbing in both residential and commercial buildings was galvanized steel. Steel is durable and effective, and it was crucial for the revolution in indoor plumbing for homes. But it is now considered a less than ideal material because of its tendency to corrode over time. Modern plumbing has moved on to different materials for pipes, and in this post we will look over the most common types.

Whether you live in an older home that still has steel pipes, or if you have more modern materials, at some point you will need repiping services to keep your plumbing system working. For quality repiping and plumbing repair in Cherry Hill, NJ, look to SPS Mechanical Inc. You can consult with us regarding your best options for new pipe material.

Modern Pipe Replacement Materials:

  • Copper: This was the first material to take the place of galvanized steel, and it is still very common. Copper is rigid and durable, won’t sag when stretched over a long space without supports, and is lightweight. Most important, copper is resistant to corrosion and lasts much longer than steel.
  • CPVC: This is an abbreviation for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. CPVC is a common type of plastic pipe that has become a popular option to replace copper. Like other plastic piping, it is flexible and easy to fit into any area of a house. Its main advantage over earlier PVC pipes is its increased heat resistance
  • PEX: The most recent innovation in plastic piping, PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is rapidly becoming the top choice for many plumbers. It costs less than copper, doesn’t require glue for connections like CPVC does, comes in colors to assist in clarifying plumbing systems for repairs, and has a life expectancy of 50 years.

When you need repiping in your home, it isn’t an all-or-nothing situation. Plumbers can use a variety of different pipe materials, depending on your specific needs. If you hire a plumbing contractor with skill and experience, you can feel secure that you will end up with the right pipe material to make your plumbing as trouble-free as possible.

Call SPS Mechanical Inc. today to talk about the repiping possibilities for your home. We take pride in our plumbing repair services in Cherry Hill, NJ.

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Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Poem?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.                                                                  

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;                                                             

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at SPS Mechanical Inc. hope you have a wonderful February 14th!

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Help! My Wedding Ring Fell Down the Drain!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

It’s a nightmare scenario… worse than a basement leak, more worrisome than a busted water main…. Your wedding ring has gone down a sink drain!

Take a moment to breathe. You don’t want to panic. Your ring isn’t necessarily gone forever. This is a time where a professional plumber can seem like a superhero. When you need that skilled plumbing in Sicklerville, NJ to rescue that lost wedding ring, call SPS Mechanical Inc. and we’ll come to save the day.

We’ll walk you through a few steps to take immediately after your ring disappears down the drain.

Follows these steps when you lose your wedding band:

  • First… Don’t run the faucet! You don’t want any more water to go down the drain. At this point, your ring has probably stopped in the p-trap of the drainpipe, the u-shaped pipe directly beneath the sink. Water running down the sink could push the ring farther along, making it more difficult for a plumber to retrieve.
  • Second… Take a plastic bucket and place it underneath the p-trap. Better put some thick towels of newspapers around the bottom of the bucket to absorb water that spills out.
  • Third… Find the access plug on the p-trap. If your plumbing doesn’t have this (often true for older pipes) then the p-trap will need dismantling with wrenches. We don’t advise you do this on your own—the pipes can be difficult to reattach—and you should call a plumber at this point.
  • Fourth… Pull open the access plug. Water will fall into the bucket (and elsewhere; you’ll be glad for the towels and newspapers). Wait until all the water from the p-trap has drained out. Reach into the bucket of water and locate your ring.
  • Fifth… Replace the plug. Run water through the drain to make sure the seal is secure and there are no leaks.
  • Sixth… If you didn’t find your ring in the fourth step, you should call a professional plumber. Don’t feel embarrassed about this; plumbers are accustomed to this sort of emergency call, and they understand how important this is to you.

Call SPS Mechanical Inc. when you can’t retrieve your ring out of the p-trap, and we’ll send one of our Sicklerville, NJ plumbing experts to your aid.

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