Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You? Learn the Pros and Cons

Category: Water Heaters


At some point, your water heater is going to have to be replaced, and when that time comes, you might take the opportunity to replace it with a tankless unit. Is a tankless water heater right for your Boston area home, though? You can determine whether one is by knowing the major pros and cons that this installation has to offer. To learn what those pros and cons are, just read on! Tankless Water Heater Cons There is plenty to love in a tankless water heater — but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you might not love. To be sure this water-heating unit is right for you, you need to know whether the following (potential) issues might not be right for you: High Upfront Cost We’ll be straight-up with you: If you’re shopping on a budget, a tankless water heater won’t be right for you. They say you get what you pay for, and since you’ll get a great water-heating unit with a tankless model, you can expect to pay a pretty great price at the outset. Sometimes Inconsistent Heating The most important quality to look for in a water heater is how well it heats your water, of course. With that in mind, you need to be cautious of a tankless model if you frequently run multiple water sources […]

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When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

Category: Water Heaters


Having a plumber that you can trust is important for when your Boston home’s plumbing system experiences complications, such as a malfunctioning water heater. Water heaters are long-lasting appliances if they’re maintained well, but even the most pampered water heater won’t last forever. If you notice the signs of a worn-out water heater, reach out to an experienced plumber from McMahon Plumbing and Heating, LLC as soon as possible. 4 Reasons to Schedule a New Water Heater Installation Numerous Costly Repairs – You may need to hire a plumber to repair a water heater component occasionally, but if it seems like you’re scheduling repairs multiple times a year, then a new water heater is a good investment. Although a new water heater has a higher up-front cost, frequent repairs add up over time, and they’ll likely continue until you replace the water heater. High Energy Bills – Rising energy costs may indicate that you have an inefficient plumbing system. If your usage hasn’t changed, but your energy bills continue to increase, have your plumber determine if your water heater is the source of the problem. If a water heater repair is too costly to justify, purchase a new water heater instead, and your energy bills will return to a reasonable cost. Inadequate Heating – If your water heater isn’t heating […]

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Next Step Living is Discontinuing All Operations

Category: Other Articles


It has been reported in the Boston Herald and Boston Business Journal that Next Step Living is shutting its doors and discontinuing operations. Directly from the Next Step Living Website https://www.nextstepliving.com/. This is a cautionary tale our customers should be aware of. “As of Friday 3/18, Next Step Living is discontinuing all operations. “ “For assistance completing a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment or Weatherization work, please contact the following numbers associated with your utility. If you are a National Grid or Eversource customer, please call 1-877-315-1941; if you are a Columbia Gas customer please call 1-800-232-0120.” “During our eight years of operation, we conducted over 120,000 energy audits, weatherized over 35,000 homes, and installed solar systems, high efficiency heating systems, and windows in nearly 10,000 homes. We are incredibly grateful to all of our team members, customers, partners, and investors who helped us along the way. As mission-driven people who wanted to positively impact our community and planet, we wish we could have done more and done better by all parties.” “We wish all of our stakeholders the best of luck in the future.” The Next Step Living Team

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What’s Causing Your Faucet to Drip?

Category: Plumbing


Dripping or leaking faucets can be irritating, but they can also signify other serious problems with your faucet, pipes, or plumbing system. Leaking faucets in Boston can be caused by any number of different issues, from corroded pipes to defective gaskets or mineral deposits in the internal parts of the faucet. Ignoring a dripping faucet in your home can ultimately turn what would be a simple Boston plumbing repair into a large and expensive plumbing project, so it’s important to take care of the problem as quickly as possible. Fortunately, some simple solutions to this problem may not even require professional help as long as you catch it soon enough, and the professional Boston plumbers at McMahon Heating & Air will be able to diagnose and solve the problems quickly and professionally, no matter what. The Facts According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plumbing leaks can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per household per year. The most common plumbing leaks are caused by: Dripping faucets Leaks in toilet flappers And leaking valves Fixing any of these leaks can save you 10% on your monthly water bill. Because dripping faucets can waste such a significant amount of water, not fixing them can have a huge impact on the environment. By not taking care of a problem with your Boston […]

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Protect Your Pipes During Boston Winters

Category: Plumbing


Of all the things that a homeowner can do to maintain their plumbing systems, the following five tips can help keep money in your pocket and visits from your Boston plumber to a minimum. 1. Check for leaks. Even the smallest leak can turn into a torrential flood if not caught early enough. The resulting damage can cost a pretty penny, therefore it is important to check all pipe lines, especially those areas that lack insulation. Getting in contact with a Boston plumber can also be useful as they can help point out trouble areas and can give you tips on how to maintain your system. 2. Drain and insulate. One of the most important tips for areas that experience harsh winters, draining and insulating pipes prevents any water that gets trapped in those pipes from freezing, expanding, and then cracking, breaking, or bursting said pipes. Without draining and insulating, you risk very expensive and intensive plumbing repairs. 3. Weatherproof trouble areas. It is also important to look out for areas containing exposed plumbing. Doorways, windows, and vent fans should be checked to make sure their seals remain tight. If a seal is loose, you can use caulking to prevent your home plumbing from freezing. 4. Insulate exposed pipes. Again– insulate, insulate, insulate. Insulating your pipes is easy and inexpensive, but […]

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The Sumpiest Pump in Boston

Category: Plumbing


Sump Pump Basics ­A sump pump usually stands in a sump pit — a hole with a gravel base about 2 feet (60 centimeters) deep and 18 inches (45 centimeters) wide — dug in the lowest part of your Boston basement or crawlspace. As the pit fills with water, the pump turns on. It moves the liquid out of the pit through pipes that run away from your home to a spot where the water can drain away from your foundation. The pipe usually has a one-way valve called a check valve at the pump end to keep the water from flowing back into the pit. Most sump pumps turn on automatically through a float activator arm or a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor works just like its name suggests: Water exerts more pressure on the sensor than air does, which causes the pump to activate. The float activator works a lot like the one in your toilet tank. A buoyant ball floats on top of the water, manually moving the arm as the water level rises. You can also buy a manually operated pump, which works only when you decide to turn it on, but these aren’t as common because of their lack of convenience. Automatic pumps also have an option for you to activate the pump if the […]

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Beware the FOG

Category: Drain Cleaning


Families these days are eating healthier diets with less fried foods and fatty meats. Yet many people don’t realize we must remain diligent in preventing fats, oils and grease discharges down our drains. Cooking fats, oil and grease (FOG) are leading causes of clogged drains, back-ups, and sewage spills.   Keeping FOG out of your drains will keep the plumber away, save you money, prevent embarrassing backups, and inconvenient messy cleanups. So where’s the grease? How can we trim the fat from our sewers and keep our pipes running smoothly? Below is a list of many typical pipe-clogging foods to avoid washing down Boston drains: • Oil and butter • Mayonnaise and sour cream • Cheese • Sauces and dips • Salad dressing • Cake frosting • Pie dough • Gravy • Turkey and chicken pan drippings • Fat remaining on plates from BBQ steak Eating a healthy diet, low in fat is great for our bodies. By also placing our drains on fat-free diets, we help protect the environment and do our part to keep city costs down. Now that’s got to make you feel good all over! Tips for fat-free drains: Scrape food and grease from plates into the trash – garbage disposals don’t remove grease. Place a strainer in your sink drains. Pour off cooking grease from […]

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Old Greywater, Keep on Rolling!

Category: green plumbing


Are you tired of costly septic system maintenance? Are you looking for ways to economize your Boston household budget, better protect the environment and reduce septic system load? A greywater system is your answer. This is cutting-edge technology designed to safely recycle water from inside your Boston home for reuse outside the home, taking pressure off septic systems. Read on to learn how greywater saves you money and water. No more worrying about the need to increase or replace stressed septic systems. No more burnt landscaping because of drought-inspired water restrictions. Greywater is simple-to-use and provides ample water to keep the garden thriving and the maintenance man away. How does it work? Simple – the greywater system is easily installed by your licensed Boston plumber. The small, inoffensive unit resembles a recycling container and recycles the water from your washing machine, bath and shower for outdoor irrigation use. The unit serves as a filtration system and does not store any water, so its capacity is unlimited. How do I save money? Easy. Every time you do a load of laundry, you’re also irrigating your garden. Plus, you cut the amount of water being deposited into septic systems: greywater will reduce the amount in half during the spring and summer months. A family of four can reduce their water consumption by […]

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Wasted Water is Money Down the Drain



Conserving water is a fantastic habit to get into to because it saves water and reduces waste-water treatment costs. Conserving hot water can even save you money on your Boston heating and cooling bills. Let us start by explaining how conserving water can result in potential cost savings. Basically it’s a simple process in which all the water that drains away from showers, sinks and toilets ends up in the sewage treatment plant. The more water that the sewage plant has to process, the higher the costs are. So the more water generated by a toilet flush, the brushing of your teeth, washing of your hands, showering, etc., the more waste water ends up at the sewage treatment plant. If you could reduce the amount of water being generated, by perhaps having a 3.5 gallon toilet installed instead of a 5 or 7 gallon toilet or even just using water efficient fixtures installed, you could cut down on the costs of treating the water. When trying to conserve water, the water meter is your best friend. If you are on a public Boston water system, it should be easy to find your water meter because it will be located either on your property or very close to it. The water meter will tell you how much water you are using […]

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Look! I Did It Myself!

Category: Plumbing


Are you the type of homeowner who thinks he can fix anything and everything? Do you make it a habit of repairing any plumbing mishaps in your Boston home? If so, and you don’t know what you are doing, you may end up causing thousands of dollars in damage before you know what hit you. Hopefully, this will make you think twice before grabbing your wrench next time! Of course, there are some plumbing jobs that you can try on your own without any risk. For instance, a leaky faucet is a small job that you may want to tackle before you call in your professional Boston plumber. If you know what you are doing you will probably be able to stop the leak, and avoid paying a professional for their services. This is not something you can make worse, in most cases. But what about more extensive plumbing projects? These are tasks such as running new piping through your walls or replacing an entire bathtub. Boston plumbers know exactly how to handle these large jobs. You, on the other hand, are probably less experienced and will be moving forward without all the knowledge that you need. If you make a mistake during a large do-it-yourself plumbing project it may end up costing you more than you ever imagined. What […]

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If you're looking for a heating contractor or plumber in Boston, call McMahon Plumbing & Heating at 1-800-431-5660 or complete our online request form.