Reliance Home Services – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


You charge a diagnostic fee to come out instead of quoting an hourly rate. Why?
Why have our customers worry that the technician is working too slowly to increase the cost?  Our nominal diagnostic fee is credited/applied to any work you authorize us to perform.  We quote a price (usually several options) to perform the work & don’t proceed until you approve that amount.
What are your hours?
Most of our customers order service between 8 AM and 6 PM Monday through Saturday.  However…
Do you offer 24 hour Emergency Service?
Yes, but for emergencies only. An emergency is work that can’t wait until regular hours due to flood or hazard.
How do you handle incoming service calls?
Our phones are always answered by a live person.  First time callers are usually sold on us, as soon as they speak with one of our friendly and caring customer service professionals.
Do you give free in-home estimates?
Yes we do.  They are free for new installations and services that are clearly substantial.
Do you have customer references?
Tons. You can see some of them here. We are also an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau and are very proud of our “A+” rating.
Do you offer Maintenance Plans?
Yes we do. Please contact us for details.

Drain Cleaning

What happens when roots get inside drain lines?
If not removed, roots from shrubs and trees will completely fill a pipe with root masses at each point of entry. These root masses quickly become clogged with paper, grease, sludge and other debris flowing from your home to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow, slow running drains and frequently, a complete blockage.
Once roots have entered your pipes, they continue to grow and expand, resulting in considerable pressure at the crack or joint. This often breaks the pipe and may result in total collapse, which requires repair or replacement.
Some pipe materials are more prone to root intrusion than others. Clay pipes are easily penetrated and damaged by roots. Concrete and PVC pipes also allow root intrusion, but not as much as clay pipes. PVC pipes are typically less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe.
How can I prevent clogged drains?
Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink.  Liquid fats solidify in the pipes and cause clogs.  It is also useful to fit all your tubs, shower drains and even washing machines with a strainer or filter that catches hair and soap pieces, and be sure to clean the strainers regularly.
What is water jetting?
Water Jetting is a quick, economical and environmentally safe method of clearing drain and sewer lines. Water is jetted into your drain/sewer lines with varying degrees of pressure, removing years of built up sludge, grease, scale and other residue inside your pipes.
The water coming out of our faucets sometimes is brown.  What is wrong?
There are a number of possible explanations for brown tap water:
Chemicals can create a rust problem in water lines.  The rust will discolor water sitting idle in your pipes.  When the rust breaks free, you have an even bigger problem – the rust can clog fixtures and appliances.
A broken underground broken pipe can enable pollutants including dirt to infiltrate the line.
Iron in well water and can also cause water discoloration.  Our professional technicians can test your water to determine the source of the problem and suggest the best solution and usually, several options.


Why does my drain get clogged?
Drains usually become clogged because people are careless as to what they put in them, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, such as in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, shampoos and hair. Be aware of what you put down your drains and treat them regularly with a drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean.
What causes my faucet to drip?
Usually when a faucet is dripping the internal mechanism needs to be rebuilt or replaced. This is an easy and inexpensive fix. Turning off your faucets gently rather than forcefully, can extend the life of your washers.
How can I prevent leaking pipes?
Inspect your pipes on a regular basis. If rust or lime is depositing in them, this may indicate a leak.  If you suspect a leak, contact Reliance Home Services and our skilled technicians will nip the problem in the bud. An occasional inspection can keep a small problem from becoming a large and expensive one.
What happens if my water heater is leaking?
Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tank has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.
Is it a big deal if my toilet is running?
This is not only an annoyance but also a waste of water and money. Leaky toilets can add over 0 extra per year to your water bills. If the toilet continues to run into the bowl after the toilet is flushed, it indicates that some part of the mechanism is out of order. Sometimes a little jiggling of the flush valve mechanism solves the problem. Otherwise you may need to replace the entire mechanism. Contact Reliance to diagnose the problem.
Our faucet makes a banging noise when I turn it off and on.  What’s wrong?
Most of the time when you hear a banging faucet it is actually a defective washer allowing the water increased water pressure through the pipes.  Sometimes these are easy to fix, sometimes not.
What is Instant Hot Water?  How does it save me money?
Instant Hot Water is a hot water recirculation system that circulates hot water in your home.   When you turn on the faucet the hot water is there immediately. There is no need to run water down the drain waiting for hot water to arrive.  Did you know that hot water recirculation systems save water, energy and money; the average family of four wastes up to 17,000 gallons of water per year just waiting for hot water to arrive.
A hot water recirculation system works in existing homes, too!  The under-the-sink retrofit systems are designed for existing homes.  We can easily adapt a system to your existing plumbing.
How do I fix a jammed garbage disposal?
You may be able to insert an Allen wrench into the bottom of the disposal and “crank” it to help free up a jam. If this isn’t working, DON’T FORCE IT!  You could cause serious damage to the disposal motor or even your home electrical system.  We can usually fix a jammed up garbage disposal.  If we can’t, then the unit will probably need to be replaced.  Reliance’s expert technicians can give you the best advice and make quick work of it to get you grinding again!

Heating & Air Conditioning

How can I tell if it’s time to replace my system?
Like most machinery or equipment, when your system starts giving you problems that are not cost effective to repair, particularly with major components such as the compressor (i.e., it starts making unusual noises).  New equipment is more energy efficient and therefore more cost effective and will repay your investment sooner than you think.  If your furnace or air conditioner is very old and you replace it with a new high efficient model you could see a savings of up to 40% on your utility bills.
How do I get my heating system ready for winter?
If you take good care of your heating system, it will take good care of you.  Smart consumers have their system cleaned and tuned up before every winter. 
What are some ideas for saving on our heating bills?
Try lowering your thermostat setting a few degrees, especially while you sleep.  Changing it from 72 degrees to 67 degrees could save up to 10%.  We can also install a programmable set back thermostat that will do this automatically.  Inspect your home thoroughly for air leaks, especially around windows, doors, electrical switches and outlet plates on outside walls.  Make sure your fireplace damper is completely closed when the fireplace isn’t in use.  Glass fireplace doors can reduce the loss of heated air when the fireplace is in use.  Exhaust fans remove a very large amount of heated air.  Use them selectively in cold weather.  Ensure heating registers and air returns are not blocked by furniture or other objects.  As mentioned, your heating system should be cleaned, tuned up and properly adjusted annually.  A dirty furnace can waste energy and increase your bills significantly!  Consider replacing your old, inefficient heating system with a new high efficiency energy-saving furnace.
How often should I have my system serviced?
Heating and AC (HVAC) systems should be serviced once per year. It is best to have the furnace or boiler tuned-up in the fall and AC in the spring before heavy use occurs.
How important is to get a heating or A/C system that it’s the right fit for my home?
If you purchase a system that is too large for your needs, it may heat or cool your home too quickly or too much and you will be uncomfortable. With an overly large A/C unit, humidity won’t sufficiently be removed from the air causing you to feel sticky, and it could even cause mold build-up in your home. Short starts and stops will also shorten the life of your system and raise utility bills.
If the unit is too small it will be inadequate to keep you and yours comfortable, especially in extreme temperature periods. The systems will have to run excessively, will raise your utility bills and reduce the life of the system.
A Reliance professional can visit your home and take exact measurements to assure your selecting the best system for your unique needs.
What maintenance can I do myself?
The best measures you can take are to keep your filters clean and keep foliage away from condensers.
How long should a central air conditioner last?
The useful “life” of central air conditioning, depends upon factors, such as climate, maintenance care, and quality and capacity of the original equipment. On the average, a residential central A/C will last from ten to fifteen years.  Annual inspection and cleaning of your system are crucial for your comfort and for the optimal maintenance of the unit.
We have a heating oil system. Can these systems be ‘tuned up’?
Yes! If you heat your home with oil, you may be able to save over 0 per year in energy costs by having your heating system tuned up. Regular maintenance and servicing will keep your boiler operating at peak efficiency.