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Gas Fireplace Questions


Should my gas fireplace smell when I am using?  If it is a vented gas unit with the damper fully open the answer is NO. If it is an unvented gas unit, in some cases some people can smell something, but doesn't always mean there is something wrong with the unit.  In both cases I would turn off the unit and have it looked at by a professional like myself.  Also there should always be a carbon monoxide detector in the room where the gas fireplace is.

Do I need to have a permit to have a gas fireplace installed?  In most cases yes, and a pernit should be pulled by the person doing the work. But even if a permit is not required it is important for your family's safety that the installer/service technician is licensed through the state this license means he/she has the required experience and has passed a test of the knowledge needed in that field. 

How often should my gas fireplace be cleaned and inspected?  If you use the unit only on holidays, then every 2 years would be good.  If you use the unit regulary, it should be cleaned and inspected every year. 

Can I have a remote control installed on my fireplace?  Most fireplaces can have remoted controls installed on them.  If your fireplace is switch operated now, the cost is approximately $150, if your fireplace is operated by turning a valve, more parts need to be changed, and the cost is approximately $400.  Some fireplaces are not approved for remote control operation at all, and I would need to see the fireplace, or ask you questions about it, to determine which fireplace you have.


Spa and Hot Tub Questions


How long should a spa last?  I have customers with spas that are 15 to 20 years old.  The secret is to use it regularly, check the chemicals and clean the filter often.  In most cases spas that are unfixable are ones that the owners have neglected for years, possibly left rain water and leaves accumulate in them, or didn't winterize them, and then they become an eye sore in the yard. The best way to take care of a spa is to use it often.

What is the white chaulky build up I see in my spa?  In the service world we call that scale.  It can be very damaging to all the spa's parts and costly to the spa owner.  Here are 3 tips to help lessen the damage and get longer life out of your spa parts. 1) clean filter regulary and thoroughly, using a filter soaking chemical.  2) shock the water with a non-chlorine shock treatment weekly.  3) change the water every 3 months.

How do I know the person I am calling to look at my spa is knowledgeable and will be have the parts to fix my spa?  I hear stories from customers all the time that "someone came out couldn't fix, or didn't have the parts to fix, their spa, but still charged them."  This rubs me the wrong way.  Ask these questions before scheduling with them: 1) are you the person coming?  2) how many years of experience do you have fixing spas? 3) do you have the parts on your truck?  4) if you can't fix it will you charge me something?  

What do I do if my spa stops working in cold winter weather?  First, DO NOT drain it, leave the spa cover on it.  Then place a small space heater, or light bulb, in the equipment area - very carefully, so as not to melt things.  Put an old blanket over the front of the spa.  This will give you two - three days from the day it quit before freezing will occur.  Call to schedule service as soon as possible.


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