Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units
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Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

Hello. My name is Max. My wife and I have five children who all live at with us in our large two-story house. My wife and two of our kids suffer from severe allergies which means keeping our home as dust-free as possible. I have learned that it’s crucial to keep our heating and air conditioning units properly maintained at all times. We have a fantastic HVAC company that comes out two times a year to perform routine maintenance on our system. They have taught me what I can do on a monthly basis in order to not only help with my family’s health but also keep our system running efficiently. I would like to share some of the tips I’ve been given. I hope you find this to be useful!

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Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

Footing Drain Blockages: Can You Unclog It Yourself?

Kristin Pierce

A footing drain is designed to direct water away from your basement and home when it rains. Most footage drains travel underground and empty into the sewage pipes in the street or a sump pump somewhere on the property. But if your footing drain empties on the surface of your property, it can block up with soil and rocks. The water traveling through the blocked drain can back up and flood the soil around your basement. Depending on the location of the blockage, you may be able to unclog the footing drain yourself.

How Do You Know If You Can Unclog Your Footing Drain?

If the footing drain's pipeline cracks beneath the ground and leaks water close to the basement, contact a plumbing or HVAC contractor to repair it. A contractor will need to use specialized tools, such as an excavator, to dig up the soil covering the drain to access it. A contractor can also repair the damage to your basement and reinforce it with a stronger foundation and drainage system, such as a French exterior drain tile

If you don't notice water leaking around the basement, check the area around the drain's opening. A dirty clog can develop in the opening and block the flow of water traveling out of it. You may notice rainwater trickling out of the drain's opening instead of flowing freely. The grass will appear wet and matted, and the soil will look muddy and dark.

To remove the clog and soak up the water, you'll need a long auger and a large bag of mulch. Also, obtain calf-length rubber boots and vinyl gloves to protect your feet and hands.

How Do You Unclog The Footing Drain?

After you obtain the supplies and apparel mentioned above, follow the repair tips below:

  1. Put on your gloves and boots.
  2. Place the tip of the auger into the opening of the drain, then slowly push the auger until it meets resistance. 
  3. Turn the auger in small to large circles to break up the dirt. Move the auger from side to side to help do this step.
  4. Repeat steps two and three until you don't feel any more resistance against the auger.
  5. Place several inches of mulch over the wet ground. 

If you can do so, cover the drain's opening with a perforated cap to help keep soil out of it. Wait a week or so to see if the water flows out of the drain properly. If you removed the clog completely, the water should run out of the footing drain freely every time it rains. 

If the water still trickles out, contact a plumber or HVAC contractor for further assistance. Companies like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating may be able to meet your needs in this area.


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