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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Lift Station Services

    • How long are lift stations expected to last?
      The lifespan of a lift station can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the initial installation, regular maintenance, and the level of use. In general, well-maintained lift stations can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years or more. However, it’s important to note that some components, such as pumps and electrical systems, may require replacement or refurbishment over time to ensure continued functionality.
    • What happens if a lift station fails?
      When a lift station fails, it can lead to sewage backups, property damage, and various health risks. If you suspect a lift station failure, it’s crucial to contact our lift station company for immediate assistance. Our professionals will assess the situation, perform necessary repairs, and restore your lift station to proper working order to prevent further complications.
    • Why is the alarm on my lift station on?
      The alarm on your lift station is a critical safety feature. It is designed to alert you to any issues or malfunctions within the system. Common reasons for the alarm to activate include high water levels, pump failures, or electrical problems. If you hear the alarm, it’s essential to contact our Jacksonville, FL, team for lift station services right away. We’ll investigate and address the problem before it escalates.
    • What's the difference between a simplex lift station and duplex lift station?

      The primary difference between a simplex lift station and a duplex lift station lies in the number of pumps they have.

      • Simplex Lift Station: A simplex lift station has a single pump. It is typically used in situations where the flow of sewage is relatively low and can be managed by a single pump. While these stations are simpler and cost-effective, they may not provide redundancy in case of pump failure.
      • Duplex Lift Station: A duplex lift station, on the other hand, has two pumps. This setup offers redundancy and backup in case one pump fails. It is often used in areas with higher sewage flow or where system reliability is critical.
    • How often should I schedule routine lift station services?
      Regular sewer lift station services are essential to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your system. We recommend scheduling routine maintenance and cleaning at least once a year, although the frequency may vary depending on factors like usage and environmental conditions. Our experts can work with you to establish a suitable maintenance schedule tailored to your specific needs and requirements.
  • Lift Station Maintenance

    • How often should lift station cleaning be performed?
      Lift station cleaning should be performed regularly, with frequency depending on usage and specific needs. Our team can help you come up with a tailored cleaning schedule that meets your needs. We can also advise you on the best lift station maintenance plan to prevent emergencies.
    • What are the signs that my lift station needs to be cleaned?
      Signs include slow drainage, foul odors, unusual sounds, and alarms. Prompt action is necessary to avoid the need for costly lift station repair services.
    • Do you offer emergency lift station cleaning services?
      Yes, we provide 24/7 emergency services to address lift station issues promptly and prevent environmental hazards.
    • How do you prevent pump costs?
      Our technicians use advanced equipment to remove debris and sediment, reducing the risk of pump clogs.
    • What are some common causes of lift station blockages?
      Common causes include the accumulation of grease, debris, foreign objects, excessive solids, and the intrusion of tree roots into the system.
    • What are the consequences of neglecting lift station cleaning?
      Neglecting cleaning can lead to sewage backups, system failures, foul odors, and environmental contamination. It can also result in costly repairs and fines for non-compliance.
    • Is lift station cleaning necessary if there are no apparent issues with my system?
      Yes, cleaning is a proactive maintenance measure. Even if there are no immediate issues, regular cleaning helps prevent future problems, prolongs equipment life, and ensures smooth operation.
  • Lift Station Inspections

    • How can I monitor the performance of my lift station?
      While we can perform regular checks on pump functionality, electrical systems, and overall system condition, you can utilize cloud-based technology to continuously track station metrics, record data, and receive real-time alerts. With this technology in place, you can request lift station emergency services without delay.
    • What happens to lift stations during power outages?
      Lift stations rely on electricity to do their job. If there’s a power disruption, the entire system could be compromised. During your next lift station inspection, our Jacksonville, FL, technicians can inspect your backup power sources to assess the risk of failure and ensure seamless operation during blackouts.
    • Is there anything I should do between lift station maintenance appointments?
      Keep an eye on pump performance, check for unusual noises or odors, and be vigilant about power supply reliability. Simple observations can help catch issues early, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your lift station.
    • Is there anything I should be doing between lift station maintenance appointments?
      Keep an eye on pump performance, check for unusual noises or odors, and be vigilant about power supply reliability. Simple observations can help catch issues early, ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your lift station.
  • Lighting

    • How long do LED lights last?
      Generally, you can expect most LED lights to last around 50,000 hours, about 20 years.
    • What does it mean to layer lighting, and when should you do it?
      Layered lighting is just that — different kinds of light used in one room or throughout a landscape. You might use layered lighting in a kitchen with pendant lighting over an island, task lighting under your cabinets for cooking, and recessed lighting used to light the room.
  • Backup Generators

    • Can a turnkey installation power my whole home?
      Yes, depending on the size of both your home and the generator you want to install. You can ask us to install a generator that can power your entire home or only handles your most important circuits. The main difference between a turnkey installation and a basic installation is the turnkey generator comes on automatically during a power outage.
    • Do I need to have a portable generator to get the basic setup?
      No, we can install the generator setup, and you can purchase a generator anytime. All you have to do is plug in your new unit to the electrical setup.
  • Panel Changes

    • Should a fuse panel be replaced?
      If your home has a fuse panel instead of a circuit breaker, it should be replaced immediately. Not only are circuit breakers more convenient because they can be reset when tripped, but they can also provide higher overall current and greater safety. Plus, the wiring may also be outdated and unsafe if you have a fuse panel, and your homeowners insurance will likely not cover the panel. Call our team at David Gray for an electrical inspection today.
    • Can I add a heavy-duty circuit for an appliance?
      If your circuit panel has spare slots for additional circuit breakers, adding a dedicated appliance circuit for something like an air conditioner, a dryer, or a welder should be possible. One slot will be necessary for 120-volt, 15-, or 20-amp circuits, while 240-volt circuits will require two adjacent slots. To request a quote for a new appliance circuit, contact our experts at David Gray today.
    • Can I add an EV charger to my home?
      EV chargers can draw much current, and while it should be possible to add a charging station to most homes, some may be limited by the current capacity of the electrical panel. Our team at David Gray can evaluate your electrical needs and determine if you need a panel replacement to add an EV charger or other high-current devices like tankless water heaters or air conditioners.
  • Emergency Electrical Services

    • What if the power grid goes down, can you still help restore power?
      Restoring power during a blackout will be the responsibility of your utility provider, but if you have power outages often or you have a family member who relies on medical equipment like an oxygen machine, it may be best to consider installing a backup generator. It can power your most important circuits or even your entire home during a blackout, depending on the size. At David Gray, we can recommend the best backup generator for your needs and provide all the services you need to keep it operating properly, from the initial generator installation to maintenance and repairs.
    • Are emergency electrical services more costly?
      There will typically be extra fees associated with emergency electrical services, but when you have a problem like faulty wiring or damaged outlets that could pose a fire hazard, it is important to get help as soon as possible. For any other electrical issues, you can save money by scheduling service during normal business hours.
    • What should I do if my appliances are smoking or sparking?
      Disconnecting the power quickly is important any time appliances are smoking, sparking, or doing anything unusual. Shutting off the circuit breaker for the appliance is the safest way to disconnect power, and if you are unsure of which circuit the appliance is on, it will be best to shut off all the breakers. Call our team at David Gray to determine if the circuit is safe to turn back on.
    • What electrical issues don’t constitute an emergency?
      Things like hot or sparking outlets are certainly an emergency, but many electrical issues are not. If you have a breaker that trips occasionally or lights that dim on occasion, these are issues that can be addressed during normal business hours. Likewise, GFCI outlets that won’t reset, failed light fixtures, or a faulty switch are likely not emergencies, but if you are unsure, call our team at David Gray.
  • Electrical

    • Where are GFCI outlets required?
      Designed to protect against electrocution due to wet conditions or electrical faults, homeowners must use GFCI protection for outlets within 10 feet of a water source. This includes kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and near pools or hot tubs.
    • Why is my outlet sparking?
      small spark is normal when plugging or unplugging something, but large sparks, melted outlets, scorched outlets, or warm outlets could indicate deeper problems.
    • Why won’t my outlet hold a plug?
      With time, the springs in the outlet that hold the plug in place can wear, allowing plugs to fall out. The only solution is to replace the outlet, and if you would like a more durable alternative, consider upgrading to commercial-grade outlets.
    • Why is my circuit breaker tripping?
      Usually, breakers trip due to overloaded circuits. Add up the current rating of all devices and ensure they do not exceed the circuit’s maximum capacity; typically, it’s 15 amps for a residential circuit. Remove one or more devices and call a professional if the breaker keeps tripping.
    • How big of a generator do I need?
      Decide what devices you need during an outage, and add the wattage for all. Some devices list only current, so to find the wattage, multiply the current in amps by the voltage for the circuit, typically 120 volts. The generator should be rated for about twice the wattage of your combined loads.
  • Water Quality

    • What does a water treatment system do?
      A water treatment system removes impurities and contaminants from water using various filtration and purification methods. The system’s specific operation depends on the system chosen.
    • How often do I need to maintain my water treatment system?
      Maintenance frequency varies from system to system, but generally, you should schedule a maintenance check once a year. Additionally, you should have a professional check the system regularly and follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for use and upkeep.
    • Can I install the water treatment system myself?
      Unless you have extensive plumbing and industry expertise, we strongly recommend using a professional to install your water treatment system. A professional will ensure the system is set up and running appropriately and safely.
  • Kitchen Plumbing

    • Can’t I fix my kitchen appliances myself?
      While you may be handy with your tools, it’s not a good idea to try and repair your kitchen appliances yourself. Your garbage disposal can be quite complicated and extremely dangerous. The blades are incredibly sharp, and one mistake could result in a trip to the ER. The added electrical components of your dishwasher and refrigerator are also highly complicated. It’s better to be safe than sorry and contact David Gray.
    • How often should I have my kitchen drains cleaned?
      Having your kitchen drains professionally cleaned once a year will prevent nasty clogs. Even if you have a garbage disposal in good working order, undesirable items may get down your drain. If your drain runs slower than usual, don’t tackle the job alone. Contact the professionals at David Gray today!
  • Sewer Line Replacement

    • Why does my sewer line need repairs?
      Many issues can lead to sewer line problems. Overuse of the drains, a buildup of debris, or tree root infiltration can all cause serious problems with a sewer line.
    • How long does a sewer line repair take?
      The length of time for a sewer line service depends on the severity of the problem. Our technicians can tell on the first visit how long the repair should take and if extra visits will be required.
  • Sewer & Drain Cleaning

    • How do I prevent my drains from getting clogged?
      The best way to prevent clogs is by avoiding putting items down the drain that don’t belong there (see above!). Additionally, regular maintenance, such as snaking out drains every six months or so, can help ensure that any minor blockages don’t turn into major problems.
    • What type of equipment does David Gray Plumbing use?
      We use top-of-the-line hydro jetting equipment to remove stubborn blockages from your pipes without damaging them. This high-pressure water jetting method quickly and efficiently removes debris from your pipes without causing any damage.
  • Electric Water Heaters

    • How long do electric water heaters last?
      Your electric water heater will serve your home for 10 to 15 years with good maintenance and care.
    • Do electric water heaters need maintenance?
      Your electric water heater needs annual maintenance to stay running safely and reliably.
    • How long does it take for an electric water heater to heat up after installation?
      Depending on the model, it can take between 60 and 90 minutes for your electric water heater to be ready to use. Your David Gray plumber will be sure to tell you what to expect on the day of your installation.
  • Gas Water Heaters

    • How long do gas water heaters last?
      Your gas water heater will serve your home for 8 to 12 years with good maintenance and care.
    • Do gas water heaters need maintenance?
      Your gas water heater needs annual maintenance to keep running safely and reliably.
    • How long does it take for a gas water heater to heat up after installation?
      Depending on the model, it can take between 30 and 40 minutes for your gas water heater to be ready to use. Your David Gray plumber will be sure to tell you what to expect on the day of your installation.
  • Water Heater Installation & Repair

    • How often should my water heater be serviced?
      It’s a good idea to have your water heater inspected and serviced once a year. Water heaters need routine maintenance to stay reliable and efficient.
    • What does water heater maintenance involve?
      A typical service visit for a water heater will include testing the thermostat and controls, inspecting the electrical and plumbing connections, testing the pressure relief valve, and more. On standard water heaters, the plumber will drain the tank to remove sediment, among other visual checks, to ensure your unit is working properly. Suggestions may be made to extend the life of your water heater.
    • How long will my water heater last?
      With proper maintenance, a standard water heater will typically last between eight to 10 years. Tankless models can last 20 to 25 years before a water heater replacement becomes necessary.
    • Can I replace my water heater with a tankless model?
      In most cases, a conventional water heater can easily be replaced by a tankless water heater with just a bit of planning and preparation. However, in some cases, gas service or electrical upgrades may be necessary to provide the higher instantaneous energy required for on-demand water heating.
    • Why is my water heater leaking?
      If you spot a leak near your water heater, ensure the drain valve is closed and check the pressure relief valve for leaks, as they routinely fail. If neither is the source of the leak, the tank itself may be leaking, which would require a water heater replacement.
    • Which water heater is most efficient?
      We offer multiple styles and upgrades, but we’re always asked about our most energy-efficient option. See the chart below from the U.S. Government Energy Guide to see the average cost for the type of water heater you’re looking at.
    • Ready to Make the Switch?
      Whether you purchase your own or want to purchase directly from us, our certified and licensed technicians are experts with replacement and installation.
  • Sump Pumps

    • How often should you replace your sump pump?
      A failed sump pump can lead to costly repairs for your home. Plan to replace your sump pump every seven to 10 years to ensure your home is adequately protected.
    • What is the most common reason for a sump pump to fail?
      Electrical power outages are the most common reason a sump pump stops running, but this can be avoided with a battery backup system or a generator. Outside of electrical power outages, a common reason for failure is mechanical issues within the pump itself.
    • Do I need to perform maintenance on my sump pump?
      Yes, like all systems and appliances in your home, your sump pump needs routine maintenance to ensure it will function when you need it to. Working with a plumbers team will ensure that maintenance is performed promptly.
    • Should my sump pit have water in it?
      A little bit of water in the sump pit is normal. However, if the water starts rising and the pump does not kick in, you have a problem. Always call a plumber if you are unsure about the water level in your sump pump.
  • Slab Leak

    • How can I tell if I have a slab leak?

      Slab leaks are not always a noticeable problem until the leak grows and causes more damage to your home. Because pipes underneath your home’s slab are hidden, you can’t tell if they are leaking with just a look. Instead, you are going to look for signs that you have a leak.

      First, look for changes in your water bill. If you have a sudden spike without increased usage, it may be due to a slab leak. Second, listen to the sound of water running, which can indicate a leak. Finally, look for a warm spot on the floor, which happens when you have a slab leak in the copper pipe that controls the hot water.

    • Do puddles indicate a slab leak?
      Puddles are less common but can still indicate that you have a slab leak. Puddles can show up as wet spots inside your home or saturation in the ground outside your home. If these wet areas do not have a clear cause, and if they are near the edges of your home’s foundation, you may have a slab leak.
    • Why do homes develop slab leaks?
      Slab leaks can have many causes, but the most common cause is the age of the home. After about 25 years or so, a home’s plumbing can start to wear out and develop holes or other problems. This can lead to a slab leak that needs to be addressed quickly.
    • What should I do if I have a slab leak?
      If you think you might have a slab leak, give us a call for professional assistance from a licensed plumber. Our slab leak detection will verify that you have a leak and give us the necessary knowledge to repair it. The sooner you deal with the problem, the less waste and home damage you will experience.
    • How are slab leaks repaired?
      For residential properties, we will often reroute the piping to move the water past the leak. Sometimes, we need to do a direct repair, which requires us to expose the pipe through the floor. This is more precise but also more costly because the floor must get repaired. The best way to determine the proper repair solution for your home is to discuss your needs with a qualified plumber to assess your unique situation and create a custom repair plan.
  • 24-Hour Emergency Plumbing

    • Why does my toilet run?
      Common reasons for a leaking toilet include an old gasket, faulty flush handle or flapper valve, leaking fill valve, shortened flapper chain, or water level set too high.
    • When should I replace my bathroom plumbing?
      Reasons to upgrade your bathroom’s plumbing include if you have frequent clogs or leaks, notice decreased water pressure, or your fixtures are outdated and malfunctioning.
    • Are there energy-efficient plumbing appliances?
      Yes! Examples include low-flow showerheads, high-efficiency and self-regulating water heaters, energy-efficient faucets, and high-efficiency dual-flush toilets.
  • Plumbing

    • How often does my water heater need to be flushed?
      Sediment and buildup can shorten your water heater’s life span. We recommend flushing your water heater at least once per year to prevent problems from sediment.
    • Why is my toilet always running?
      Your toilet is a vital part of your bathroom plumbing. A running toilet wastes water and increases your water bill. The most common reason for a constantly running toilet is a problem with the flapper. If the flapper does not seal, water will pass into the toilet tank and bowl, causing it to run.
    • Why is my water bill higher than usual?
      If your water bill is higher than usual, check if anyone in your home has been using more water than usual. If that’s not the case, check to see if you have water running that you are not aware of. The easiest way to do this is to check your water meter when you think all the water is off in your home. If it’s moving, you may have a leak or a running toilet somewhere that is driving up your water bill. Slab leaks are often overlooked and can also be a source of these problems. Leak detection and repair is the best way to identify and stop your water bills from increasing.
    • Why is sewage coming out of my shower or toilet?
      A clogged sewer line is the most common reason for sewage coming out of the shower drain or back into the toilet. Reach out to a qualified plumber to have the sewer line cleaned to prevent this smelly problem.
    • Why is my water pressure low?
      Low water pressure can happen due to debris buildup in your pipes or problems with the water meter or water shut-off valve. Corrosion of the pipes can lead to oxidation, which collects on the pipe walls, lowering your water pressure.
  • Duct Services

    • How often should I have my ducts cleaned?
      The frequency of duct cleaning depends on various factors, such as the type of building, usage rates, and the location of the building. Generally, we recommend scheduling duct cleaning services at least once every three to five years. However, if you are concerned about the air quality in your home or business, we recommend having your ducts cleaned more regularly.
    • Can duct cleaning improve my health?
      Yes, cleaner air has numerous benefits for your health. If your ducts are full of dust, dirt, and other impurities, the air you breathe may be contaminated, leading to respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues. Regular duct cleaning will help to remove these contaminants and pollutants from your ducts, promoting a healthier and safer environment.
    • Can duct cleaning save me money?
      Yes, clean ducts can save you money. If your ducts are dirty or clogged, your HVAC system may work harder than usual to maintain the desired temperature, which results in higher energy bills. Regular duct cleaning can help to eliminate these issues, leading to lower utility bills and improving the efficiency of your HVAC system.
  • Indoor Air Quality

    • How can I maintain good indoor air quality?
      Indoor air quality requires investing in products such as air purifiers, humidifiers, air cleaners, and air scrubbers. It also requires ventilation, air circulation, and good cleanliness in your home.
    • What causes indoor air quality problems?
      Many factors can affect your home’s indoor air. Items in your home that release gasses or particles into the air are a common issue. Pets and their dander can also create issues, and pollen can enter your home whenever you open a door or window. Homes with high humidity can also face problems with mold and mildew. All of these can make your family sick.
    • How can I tell if I have an indoor air quality problem?

      The best way to determine if your indoor air is compromised is with indoor air quality testing. However, you can also notice signs of poor indoor air quality, such as:

      • Dust buildup around vents and on surfaces in your home
      • Humidity problems
      • Mold or mildew growth
      • Problems with allergies or asthma
    • Does humidity affect indoor air quality?
      Humidity levels play a role in indoor air quality. High humidity can allow mold and mildew to grow, while low humidity can lead to respiratory distress and wood drying out in your furniture and walls. Indoor air quality involves maintaining good humidity levels in your home.
    • Can houseplants help with indoor air quality?
      Houseplants can’t replace indoor air quality products, but they can help. Many houseplants absorb toxins from the air and help control your home’s humidity levels. Adding some houseplants as part of your overall indoor air quality plan is a good idea.
  • Thermostat Installation

    • Should I buy a smart thermostat?
      For homeowners who want to save money and energy and control their heating and cooling systems remotely, a fully customizable smart thermostat is a great choice. They’re also much easier to use than standard programmable thermostats, which means you’re more likely to take advantage of all its features.
    • Is a smart thermostat worth the money?
      Based on your temperature preferences and energy usage habits, you could recoup your cost for a smart thermostat in as little as one heating and cooling cycle. Most smart thermostat manufacturers suggest you’ll recoup the cost in about two years.
    • How hard is it to install a smart thermostat?
      If the wires you need are already in place, installing a smart thermostat is often a simple DIY project. If you don’t have enough wires or you don’t feel completely confident you’ll install the thermostat correctly, a professional thermostat installer can help.
    • What is a C-wire?
      “Common wires” supply 24V electricity to your thermostat. Since Wi-Fi thermostats need more power than simpler models, they sometimes require a C-wire.
  • Air Conditioning

    • How long will my AC unit last?
      The typical life span for most air conditioners, heat pumps, or ductless AC systems is 12 to 15 years. To get the most life out of your system, change the air filter often, keep the area around the condenser unit clean, and schedule AC maintenance at least once a year.
    • Why is my AC leaking water?
      In most cases, water leaks are caused by algae clogging the condensate drain, though sometimes a thawing evaporator can also cause water leaks. It is best to have a professional inspect the condensate drain and drip tray for problems.
    • Why is my AC freezing up?
      Ice or frost buildups on the evaporator and refrigerant lines can be caused by a clogged air filter, airflow issues, dirty coils, low refrigerant, or compressor problems. Have the system inspected by an HVAC professional to be sure of the cause.
    • How often should I check the air filter?
      It is a good idea to check the air filter every month, replacing it whenever it looks dirty or clogged. Basic fiberglass or pleated filters can last one to three months, while high-efficiency or HEPA filters can last six months to a year.
    • When should I replace my AC unit?
      If your air conditioner is over 12 years old and is starting to have problems like frequent breakdowns, efficiency losses, or a major component failure, such as the compressor, it may be time for an AC replacement. If it is under 12 years old and has no major problems, AC repairs may be more cost-effective.
    • Does David Gray service rental properties and Airbnbs?
      Yes! The David Gray team is proud to partner with many property managers and short-term rentals throughout the area to ensure their property’s AC is operating at peak efficiency during their guest’s stays. Whether you need to prepare your AC system for the summer months or you’re looking to outfit your rental home for increased AC efficiency, we will provide the trustworthy AC services you need.
  • General Service Questions

    • What areas do you serve?
      We serve all of Duval and St. Johns County, and most of Baker,Clay, and Nassau.
    • Are your rates reasonable?
      Our rates are very reasonable and competitive in the North Florida marketplace.
    • Are your electricians licensed?
      All of our electricians that we send out to your home or place of business are licensed electricians in the Jacksonville and surrounding counties. They will in most cases be accompanied with an electrical apprentice.
    • Is your company licensed, insured, and bonded?
      Yes, we are licensed, insured, and bonded. Call us today and we will more than happy send you a copy of our licenses to ensure you the safety and protection you deserve.
    • Does your company work after hours or weekends?
      Yes, we provide electrical service 7 days a week for those in need.
    • I hear about GFI outlets, are they really important?
      They are very important. A GFI is a lifesaver and should be installed within 6ft. of any water supply and outdoors. If you are unsure if you have those protections contact us today.
    • Do LED light bulbs save me money?
      Absolutely they do. Contact your electric service provider for rebates on changing your lights bulbs out to LED. LED bulbs are getting more cost effective, for more information contact us today.
    • I have two prong outlets in my house; can I change them out to three prong outlets?
      No. Two prong outlets have no grounding wire. When you install a three prong outlet instead of a two prong outlet you have no grounding protection. There is a proper way to handle this problem, contact us today for more information.
    • Do you accept major credit cards?
      Yes, we accept most major credit cards.