HVAC & Plumbing Springtime To-Do List

Technician inspecting outdoor spigot

April showers may bring spring flowers, but they can also test your home’s spring readiness! Are your home’s air conditioning and plumbing systems ready for the change of seasons? Here are some ways to make sure!


Make sure an HVAC maintenance check is on your to-do list. You need to be good to your system to ensure your system is good to you!

A professional inspection can identify potential problems or broken components before they become big issues. In some cases, annual maintenance is required to validate your HVAC system warranty.

Your AC tune-up includes preventative cleaning and lubricating of components and replacing dirty air filters.

If your air conditioning system is over 10 years old, it’s a good opportunity for a professional technician to evaluate the projected life span of your unit. It may be time to replace your AC unit with a new modern, more efficient system if your current system:

  • Continually requires costly repairs
  • Is subject to frequent breakdowns
  • Proves to be inefficient

Russo Bros. & Co. can evaluate your unit’s performance to recommend air conditioning repair or replacement.

As a special Spring offer, Russo Bros. customers are eligible for a free furnace with an AC upgrade. Check with your Russo technician to take advantage of this limited offer.

Sump Pump Service

When it comes to rain gear, you rely on your umbrella, and your home relies on its sump pump to stay dry.

Spring storms come in quickly, dumping inches of rain within a short amount of time. This is when your sump pump works its hardest, and it better be ready, or you can face a flood in your basement.

Testing your sump pump is fairly easy, but it’s best to call an experienced professional if it doesn’t run properly.

Our experts at Russo Bros. & Co. can offer same day sump pump repair if you notice your sump pump:

  • Fails to turn on
  • Makes loud noises
  • Runs continuously

Hose Bibb Help

Outdoor spigots are always at risk of freezing if not winterized properly, and older hose bibbs are more susceptible to freezing than newer frost-proof faucets.

In spring, outdoor faucets get called into action to water the garden, clean the car, and wash the dog. Turning back on the outdoor faucet after months of being turned off needs to be done with some care, making sure the bibb hasn’t cracked over the winter.

If your hose bibb leaks, you’ll likely waste a lot of water this spring. You may find water leaking behind your home’s exterior wall, or the leaky spigot might invite mosquitoes and other insects into your home.

Russo Bros. & Co. can help repair your hose bibb or replace it with another one that is functional for your needs. Spring has sprung, and we’re here to make sure no leaks have sprung along with it!

Call our trusted team at (973) 887-1334 to schedule service and complete your spring HVAC and plumbing to-do list.

Is March the Best Time for an AC Tune-Up?

Technician completing a routine AC tune-up

March may come in like a lion and out like a lamb but complete your HVAC tune-up this month, and you’re smart as a fox!

March can be one of the best months to schedule an air conditioning tune-up. Here’s why:

Book Convenient Appointments

Get your HVAC tune-up request in now, so you don’t have to wait in line for an appointment.

When the temperature heats up, that’s when HVAC systems break down. Get ahead of the curve with a professional HVAC tune-up to prevent future problems and detect current issues.

Removing Seasonal Dirt Buildup

Have you ever smelled a burning or musty smell when your AC unit turns on for the first time of the season? Dust and dirt collect on an air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coils, reducing airflow and insulating the coil, which impedes the coil’s ability to absorb heat. That can make the unit run less efficiently.

Dust, hair, and moisture on an AC filter can also encourage mildew growth and put off a musty smell as air is forced through. Your March AC tune-up should include a change of air filters throughout the home.

Heading Outdoors

Your HVAC outdoor condenser coils likely have a coating of winter’s dirt and debris on them. Foliage and debris can lodge in the coils too. March is a good time to cut back any foliage growth giving your condenser about two feet of clear space for optimal airflow.

An HVAC professional should inspect your outdoor condenser to check for damage from winter’s fallen foliage or icy weather.

Score a Maintenance Deal

Preventative maintenance is always less expensive than emergency repairs. Get on the books for an annual HVAC maintenance plan that can offer you a convenient time and a discount for booking before the HVAC season heats up. Annual maintenance contracts often are a requirement to satisfy your HVAC system warranty.

Schedule Routine Air Conditioning Maintenance with Russo Bros. & Co.

March temperatures might not call for air conditioning to be top of mind, but smart homeowners know the key to a properly functioning AC is an annual tune-up. Our Russo Bros. & Co. technicians can ensure your system is ready for summer.

Contact us online or call (973) 887-1334 today to schedule AC maintenance in Northern New Jersey.

How to Chase Down Problems with a Running Toilet

Closeup of open toilet tank being repairedAn overflowing toilet triggers immediate action, but a running toilet should get the same attention!

Your toilet shouldn’t keep running after your flush. If it does, this is often caused by a problem with the overflow tube, flush valve, or fill valve.

What To Do to Fix a Running Toilet

1. Check Under the Hood

Lift the toilet tank lid and check the water in the tank to see if it is running into the toilet overflow tube. If it is, the water is too high or the tube is too short.

You can easily adjust the water level to sit about an inch below the top of the overflow tube, but an overflow tube that is too short will need to be replaced.

2. Keep It Afloat

If you need to adjust the water level in the toilet tank, you will need to modify the float rod or float cup. Using a screwdriver, you can adjust the screw that attaches the float rod to the fill valve. Continue to adjust until the water doesn’t flow into the overflow tube.

You may also need to check that your float has not been compromised. A float that leaks will be heavier in the tank and lift your float valve open, allowing water to run. If you remove the float and shake it, you can hear if water is inside. Replace a compromised float.

3. The Pain’s in The Chain

The flapper has a funny name but a big job in the toilet assembly. It is the part that opens and releases the water in the tank to complete the flush.

A chain lifts the flapper. If that chain is too short, the flapper won’t close properly, leading to a running toilet. If the chain is too long, it can get trapped under the flapper, leaving a gap for water to continually flow.

4. Don’t Be Flappergasted

Your toilet’s trap door or flapper is made of rubber and can become warped or worn over time, causing gaps in its seal. If that’s the case, you can try to clean the flapper or replace it entirely.

5. Remove & Replace

If you’ve gone through the first few steps and your toilet is still running, it may mean the flush and fill valve needs to be replaced.

This is a bigger job and requires the toilet to be drained, the water supply turned off, and the assembly removed and replaced.

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for Toilet Repairs

If you hear the sounds of running water in your home, check your toilets. A running toilet doesn’t just sound annoying. It’s also costing you money in wasted water that you’ll pay for on your next water bill.

If your running toilet issues are giving you the run around, Russo Bros. & Co. can help. We can run down that running toilet problem and have your home back on track.

Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online today to request plumbing services in Northern New Jersey.

6 Signs Your Pipes are Frozen

Closeup of cracked pipe leaking water

Northern New Jersey is in winter’s icy grip, but it’s best to keep that ice outside of your home’s pipes.

Burst pipes can be a costly headache for homeowners, so it is important to know if your pipes are frozen before they burst. Here’s how:

How Do I Know If My Pipes Are Frozen?

  1. No water or just a trickle comes out of your open faucet: This could indicate the pipe leading to that faucet is frozen.
  2. Bad smells are coming from the drain or faucet: Odors cannot filter out of the frozen pipe and instead are forced back into the home’s faucet.
  3. Your ceiling or drywall is damp: This can indicate that there’s not only a frozen pipe but that the pipe may have already cracked.
  4. You hear strange sounds: Banging or whistling from pipes or a strange gurgle when you flush the toilet are clear signs of pipe issues.
  5. You can see frost on the outside of the water pipe: Take this as a warning that your pipes are too cold and could be freezing.
  6. You can see ice seeping out of a bulge or crack in a pipe: This is a clear sign of ice in that line. You need to call a plumber to thaw and repair the damaged pipe to avoid costly damage to your home.

How Do I Prevent My Pipes From Freezing?

Here are some things you can do to minimize the chances of having a frozen pipe:

  • Keep your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees, whether day or night or if the home is occupied.
  • Make sure to have good insulation on pipes that touch exterior walls.
  • Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
  • Open cabinets to allow warm air to reach under-cabinet plumbing.
  • Disconnect your outdoor hoses and shut off the indoor valves supplying the outdoor spigots.
  • Drain water from your outdoor sprinkler system and pool supply lines.
  • Allow your faucets to drip cold water when extremely cold temperatures are in the forecast. This keeps water moving ever so slightly in the system.

When Should I Call Russo Bros. & Co.?

If you discover a frozen pipe, you can attempt to thaw the pipe yourself. In some instances, however, it may be difficult to find which pipe is frozen or access the frozen pipe.

At Russo Bros. & Co., our plumbers can respond to your frozen pipe with emergency plumbing repair. Call our live call operators 24/7 at (973) 887-1334 for fast service.

5 Heating Tips for Entertaining During the Holidays


family baking in the kitchen

The weather might be frightful outside, but your home should be warm and inviting to guests this holiday season. Here are some ways to ensure your heating system keeps your home cozy and ready for entertaining.

Schedule Heating Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure your home’s heating system is ready for winter temperatures is to enroll in a maintenance program. Not only does it ensure your manufacturer warranty is valid, but it also identifies issues that could become larger problems.

Regular heating maintenance can also ensure your heating system is more efficient and less likely to fail and leave guests in the cold.

Check for Clean Air Filters

Holiday entertaining can sometimes mean having guests in rooms you use less often. Replace dirty air filters helps to ensure proper airflow to all rooms, so you don’t have uneven temperatures throughout the home.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great way to make sure your home is at the desired temperature at the desired time.

You can easily set times to help your home’s heating system be more efficient by lowering the temperature when the holiday fun is at your neighbor’s house and ensuring your home is comfortable when it’s time for you to host.

Seal Drafty Windows & Doors

Most home heat loss comes from doors and windows with broken seals. Don’t let your guests feel a draft at your holiday gathering. There are lots of DIY ways to seal your drafty window or doors.

Perform an Energy Audit

Inadequate insulation in your attic and cracks through structural gaps can lead to air leaks, making your home’s indoor temperature uncomfortable. This could also lead to poor indoor air quality from mold and mildew that can grow inside your compromised areas.

You can find spots where your home is leaking air via a blower door test. You can also hire a professional to measure your insulation levels.

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for Fast Heating Services

Don’t ignore a heating system that is giving you signs it needs some attention this holiday season. Russo Bros. & Co. can help if you have:

  • Uneven heating in your home
  • Inaccurate thermostat readings
  • High energy bills
  • Strange noises coming from your heating unit

We offer routine heating maintenance, emergency heating repair, and expert heating replacement throughout Northern New Jersey.

Call our 24-hour operators at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online now to request heating services for your home.

Heating Breakdowns: How To Tell if Your Furnace Is Failing

Homeowner adjusting thermostatIs it the fall temperature swings or furnace issues that has your home caught between seasons?

Check out these seven signs that your furnace is failing and when to call an HVAC technician.


If your furnace shuts down before it completes a heating cycle, it could be caused by:

  • A dirty furnace filter
  • A dirty flame sensor
  • A malfunctioning ignitor

Your professional HVAC technician can get to the bottom of your short-cycling issue and apply the right furnace repair.

Burning Smells

A burnt smell from your heating system can indicate an issue with your unit’s electrical wiring.

Don’t wait to call a professional. Your technician needs to access, diagnose, and repair your furnace to prevent an electrical fire.

Changes in Airflow

Heated air is blown through ductwork to distribute it throughout the home. If your blower fan, air filter, or ductwork gets clogged with dust, pet hair, or other debris, it can put a bigger strain on your blower fan and cause it to burn out.

If you have decreased airflow from your vents, your problem could be your blower fan. An HVAC technician can perform a deep cleaning of your blower fan to restore airflow.

Long Runtimes

Issues with your furnace can make it work harder and run longer to reach your home’s desired temperature. While dirt buildup on your heat exchanger can force it to work harder, a damaged or cracked heat exchanger can be an even bigger issue.

Performing routine maintenance can identify furnace issues before they become costly repair jobs.

An Undersized Furnace

When your furnace is constantly running, it’s because it has difficulty keeping up with demand. If you have a new home addition or have completed other renovations, it’s possible your furnace isn’t sized properly for the square footage.

An undersized furnace will do a poor job of providing even temperature throughout your home and can also require frequent repairs because of the demand.

Strange Sounds

A furnace that is functioning well shouldn’t be loud. Sounds that require professional inspection and repair to resolve include:

  • Screeching
  • Rattling
  • Clicking

High Energy Bills

Energy costs are increasing, but if your furnace is more than 15 years old, you might be wasting money on energy bills due to an inefficient furnace.

Consider replacing your outdated unit with a new, energy-efficient furnace. It’s a wise investment that you’ll reap the benefits from for years to come.

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for Heating Repairs, Maintenance, or Replacement Today

If you’re worried your furnace is failing, call the experts at Russo Bros. & Co. Our team can assess your furnace and repair or replace it without leaving you in the cold.

Don’t get heated over furnace problems this winter. Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online for reliable heating repairs today.

5 Causes of Brown Tap Water

brown tap water

The sight of brown tap water can be alarming. Discolored water indicates the presence of potentially harmful contaminants, and the importance of finding their source can’t be overstated.
If your tap water has a brownish discoloration, take that as a clear sign you need a professional plumber to determine the cause of the problem and implement the right solution for it.

Take care of your brown water today, Call Russo Bros. at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

What Causes Brown Tap Water?

The contaminants in your water that are causing the brown tint can come from a number of places. Frequent causes of brown tap water include:

  • Rusty Pipes: Age, poor materials, or pipe damage can eventually lead to rust. Older homes built with galvanized steel pipes all eventually have this problem. Rusty sediment in your pipes commonly appears as a symptom of aging, with water discoloration appearing early in the day but clearing as water runs for a short time. Repiping your home may be the best solution if you have rusty pipes. This involves replacing outdated piping materials with material that isn’t prone to rust.
  • Sediment Buildup in Water Heater Tanks: If the discoloration only appears in your hot water, the cause may be sediment buildup in your water heater. Water heater maintenance by a trained plumber should address this issue. An annual water heater flush should also help prevent future issues.
  • Faulty Water Treatment System: If your home’s water treatment system needs repair or can’t handle the volume of water it needs to treat, discoloration may result. A faulty water treatment system will allow contaminants to filter through and visibly affect your tap water. Depending on the age and condition of your system, you may need water treatment system repair or replacement.
  • Changes in the Water Table: Heavy rain or drought can cause changes in the water table in the area of your home. Excess rains cause a higher water table, producing excess iron in well water. Water testing and treatment can identify whether the contaminants causing your water’s discoloration come from water table change and determine the next steps for your home.
  • Changes in Water Pressure: Discoloration due to water pressure changes can have multiple causes. During droughts, municipal water demand increases while fresh surface water mixes with sediment more readily. If you rely on city water, other homes in your neighborhood may experience similar discoloration issues. Contact your utility company to resolve the issue. A faulty well pump may be the culprit if you rely on well water. Contact a professional plumber for well pump repair or replacement.

What To Do if You Have Brown Tap Water

When you first notice brown, discolored water, run cold water from a tap for 20 minutes. If the cause is disturbed sediment in pipes during periods of low usage, this can clear the problem.

If that doesn’t resolve the problem, you need plumbing services from Russo Bros. Our expert technicians are available for same day and emergency services, and our 24-hour live call operators will schedule your appointment with a precise arrival window so you know exactly when to expect your plumber.

Call Russo Bros. at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online for peace of mind today!