How to Troubleshoot a Heater That Isn't Working

What Homeowners Should Check First When Their Heater Doesn’t Work 

When the crisp, cold air arrives, homeowners need a functioning heater to keep their houses warm and comfortable. This protects their family from freezing temperatures, keeps their other home systems - like their plumbing system - working correctly, and prevents frozen pipes. 

It can be alarming if a heater suddenly stops working or isn’t working well. Homeowners should call for heating repair to restore comfort to their house as soon as possible, but there are a few simple things they can check first that may help solve the problem. 

Check the Thermostat

thermostatOne possible cause of heating problems is a thermostat issue. Homeowners should check the settings to ensure the thermostat is set to heating. Sometimes, it can accidentally be switched to cooling, or homeowners forget to change it back after using the air conditioning, preventing the heating system from working correctly. 

Property owners should also check the thermostat’s batteries. If the batteries are dead or on their last legs, it can prevent the heater from turning on when needed, and the house will not reach the ideal temperature. Other potential issues with thermostats, like faulty wiring or a malfunctioning sensor, may also be causing the problem, but they will need to be fixed by a  professional.  

Check the Air Filters

air filter A clogged or dirty air filter is another possible cause of poor heating or airflow. If an air filter is clogged, air cannot flow through as well, which could lead to many issues, including:

  • An inefficient system: Dirty air filters can reduce a system's energy efficiency, causing it to work harder to maintain the temperature in a house. This can lead to higher utility bills.
  • An overheating system: A clogged air filter can cause the heater to overheat, which can damage components and require costly repairs or replacements. The heater may also shut down to protect itself.
  • A shortened lifespan: The increased wear and tear on the system from a dirty air filter can force the heater to be replaced sooner than expected. 
  • A decrease in indoor air quality: Dirty air filters can prevent more particles in the air from being captured, allowing dust, allergens, pet dander, and pollutants to circulate throughout the house. 
  • Inconsistent heating: A clogged filter can cause uneven heating throughout a house, leaving some rooms warmer than others. 

To avoid these problems, homeowners must schedule or perform regular air filter replacements about every three months. This will keep the air flowing through the filters appropriately and help reduce risks of heating problems. 

Check the Power Sources

If a heater stops working, it could also be due to an issue with a power source instead of the heater itself. To determine if this is the cause, property owners should check the heating unit and ensure the power switch hasn’t been turned off. Homeowners should also check the electrical panel. If a circuit breaker is tripped or a fuse is blown, it can cause the heater to lose power and stop working, leaving the house cold and uncomfortable. 

If none of the issues mentioned are the cause, then property owners should schedule heating repairs with a heating contractor. A technician can inspect the system, diagnose the problem with the heating system, and make the necessary heater repairs to restore warmth and comfort to the home.

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has been serving Denville and Northern New Jersey since 1990. They offer convenient scheduling, personal attention, and extended warranties. Call them today for heater repair in Denville, NJ

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This Halloween, Avoid a Frightening Plumbing Emergency

How to Prevent Potentially Scary Plumbing Problems

When it comes to scary stories for homeowners this Halloween, the scariest could be plumbing issues that cause high water costs, flooding, and water damage. Leaking pipes, aging water heaters, and clogged sewer lines can lead to additional plumbing problems that must be repaired quickly before they cause more damage and major inconveniences to households. This blog post will provide tips to help homeowners prevent plumbing problems and their effects.  

Tips to Avoid Clogs

drain Sewer line clogs are a common plumbing problem homeowners may encounter. A blocked sewer line can cause inconveniences like slow draining, sewage backups, and frequently clogged toilets. Luckily, there are many ways for people to prevent clogs. One way to prevent clogged sewer lines is scheduling hydro jet drain cleaning, the drain cleaning method best for preventing clogs.

Families should also be careful about what items they flush down the toilet. Only waste and toilet paper should be flushed. Additionally, people should be careful about what they put down the drain. Letting food go down the kitchen sink drain can lead to tough clogs. Some of the most problematic food waste for the plumbing are:

  • Cooking oils, fats, and grease
  • Eggshells
  • Pasta and other starches
  • Coffee grounds
  • Stringy foods and vegetables

Get Plumbing Maintenance 

To prevent emergency plumbing problems, plumbers also recommend that homeowners get routine maintenance on their plumbing systems. Ideally, these services should be performed by a plumber every year to keep the pipes flowing properly and identify issues with the system that need repair before they lead to worse problems. 

During these maintenance appointments, plumbers will perform important tasks and inspections of the fixtures and piping that help prevent future problems, help the plumbing last longer, and save homeowners money by preventing and catching issues early. 

Get Water Heater Maintenance 

water heater If a home’s water heater malfunctions, it can quickly lead to high water heating costs, water damage, or leave a household without hot water. Fortunately, scheduling routine maintenance on the water heater can prevent problems from occurring, extend the water heater’s lifespan, improve its efficiency, and save homeowners money on repair and energy costs. During water heater maintenance, a plumber can perform the following tasks:

  • Check for the system for leaks and corrosion
  • Drain and flush the tank to remove sediment and mineral buildup 
  • Check the pressure relief valve 
  • Inspect the anode rod and replace it if it’s in bad condition 
  • Check the temperature settings

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc. is a plumbing and heating company with more than 30 years of experience serving Denville and the surrounding areas. They offer personal attention, convenient scheduling, and a hassle-free experience. Call them today for plumbing services in Denville, NJ.

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Schedule Fall Heater Maintenance Now

How to Get Heating Systems Ready for Fall and Winter 

It might not be too cold in New Jersey now, but the warmer temperatures will soon be replaced with cool temperatures as fall and winter arrive. In order to ensure their heating system is up to the challenge of keeping the house warm and comfortable all winter, it’s essential for homeowners to schedule heater maintenance services, and now is the best time. 

In this post, heating contractors provide expertise on why now is the best time to schedule heater maintenance, why routine tune-ups are beneficial, and what happens during an inspection.

Benefits of Maintaining the Heater

saveHVAC contractors recommend routine heater maintenance as the best way for households to keep their heating running throughout the fall and winter. Some of the advantages these heating maintenance services provide include:

  • Lower energy bills due to improving energy efficiency
  • Keep the unit running correctly for longer with fewer issues and repairs
  • More even and consistent heating throughout the house
  • Increased indoor air quality
  • Extends the heater’s life expectancy

What Does Heater Maintenance Entail?

filterWhen a homeowner schedules heating system maintenance, it involves a complete system inspection. During these services, a property owner can expect a contractor to perform essential tasks like:

  • Examine the system and look for defects, damage, or signs of wear and tear that must be addressed.
  • Apply lubrication to components as needed, and ensure they are clean and free of debris and dirt.
  • Check and adjust the thermostat if needed.
  • Check the gas connections and gas pressure. 
  • Replace the air filters, if needed, or instruct homeowners how to replace them.

While these heating tune-ups are recommended at least once a year, homeowners should typically change their system’s air filters at least every three months. This will improve the indoor air quality in a home and allow the heating system to operate more efficiently.

Isn’t It Too Early to Worry About the Heater?

If it seems too early to schedule heater maintenance services - it’s not. Heating technicians recommend early fall for these services, as scheduling an appointment now allows professionals to inspect the unit before the cold weather arrives and gives contractors time to make any needed repairs. 

Scheduling heating maintenance in the fall also allows property owners to enjoy more flexible scheduling options, as summer and winter are the busiest times for HVAC contractors. If homeowners wait too long to schedule inspections, there will be many more property owners who are also trying to schedule maintenance and heating repair services. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc. has over three decades of experience serving Denville and Northern New Jersey. They offer convenient scheduling, live answers, and personal attention. Call them today for heater maintenance or repairs in Denville, NJ.

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Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Needs to Know

Going Back to School With Plumbing 101

There are countless issues homeowners can encounter at their property. However, plumbing issues require immediate attention as they can lead to worse problems, spikes in utility bills, and costly water damage. To prevent plumbing emergencies and save homeowners money, plumbers break down some basics every homeowner needs to know about their plumbing system, including that fixtures can be installed to save water and money, how to identify potential problems, and why scheduling routine maintenance is essential. 

Plumbing Fixture Upgrades Can Save Water

tubWhile homeowners might focus on their piping systems and larger appliances - like water heaters - wasting water, plumbing fixtures that households use daily, like faucets, shower heads, and toilets, can be just as problematic. These can form leaks that cause water bills to increase. 

To prevent these problems, experts recommend watching for signs of a leak, having them inspected regularly to identify issues, and scheduling a plumbing fixture installation to replace faulty fixtures with more water-efficient ones that can reduce water usage and save on water bills. 

Some examples of these water-saving fixtures are:

  • Water-saving toilets: These water-efficient toilets use less water with each flush and come in many types, such as gravity-assist toilets and dual-flush toilets.
  • Water-saving showerheads: Low-flow showerheads use less water than standard ones while providing good water pressure.
  • Water-saving faucets: Water-efficient faucets with aerators use less water and still provide good water pressure by using air.

Common Signs of Plumbing Problems

billHomeowners must recognize the signs of plumbing problems as fast as possible to prevent water damage and expensive repairs and utility bills. Some of the signs to watch for indicating professional plumbing services are needed are:

  • Low water pressure due to leaks, clogs, or other issues that need to be fixed by professionals
  • Odd sounds like banging metal, rumbling, or crackling, and the sound of running water when no fixture is on can indicate plumbing issues that need to be solved by a plumber. 
  • Foul odors coming from the plumbing can signal a clog or another problem with a sewer line. 
  • Slow drains in sinks or showers can indicate a clog or blockage that needs to be removed.
  • Higher than normal water bills can indicate a leak in the plumbing. 

The Importance of Maintenance

One of the most important pieces of advice plumbers give homeowners is to schedule routine plumbing maintenance services. During these appointments, the plumber can perform the following tasks to prevent problems, help the plumbing last longer, and help homeowners save money on their utility bills:

  • Check for signs of leaks or corrosion in the pipes
  • Check the home’s water pressure to ensure it’s at the correct setting
  • Look for evidence of water damage around the house, including mold and mildew
  • Inspect the faucets, shower heads, bathtubs, and sinks for malfunctioning parts and damage
  • Perform drain cleaning services to remove buildups and prevent clogs and blockages
  • Examine the water heater for leaks or corrosion and ensure it operates correctly.
  • Drain and flush the hot water tank to remove sediment and improve energy efficiency
  • Inspect the water heater’s valves and anode rod to ensure they don’t need replacing

Scheduling routine maintenance allows plumbers to identify and repair minor issues in plumbing systems before they get larger and require emergency repairs. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc. has over 30 years of experience serving Denville and the surrounding North Jersey cities. They offer convenient scheduling, great value, and personal attention. Call them today for plumbing services in Denville, NJ.

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Symptoms to Get Repiping Homeowners Need to Know

Common Signs You Need Repiping

Aging or malfunctioning pipes can cause many issues for homeowners, including leaks, burst pipes, and water damage. It’s essential for property owners to recognize the signs they need repiping services to help avoid these costly problems by getting their old and decaying pipes replaced with strong new ones. 

Home repiping can assure homeowners that their pipes are functioning correctly and that they won’t need to deal with leaks, rusty water, or reduced water pressure anytime soon. In this post, plumbing experts provide tips on what symptoms property owners can watch for that signal they may need repiping services as soon as possible.

Leaks and Pipe Repairs Are Common

When determining if a home needs to be repiped, homeowners should ask themselves if they’ve had multiple leaks or pipe repairs recently. Leaking pipes can be extremely costly for property owners. They waste water, raise water bills, and can create a mess of water damage that needs cleaning and repairing. In addition to paying high water costs and paying to restore their home, homeowners must also pay to repair the leak. 

If a home starts to experience frequent leaks or needs frequent repairs on the pipes, it indicates the piping may be old, damaged, or corroded. It can be more cost-effective to replace the entire piping system when this is the case to avoid future leaks and pipe repairs. Plumbers will advise homeowners on the best solution for their homes after inspecting the condition of the pipes. 

Low Water Pressure

showerIf a homeowner steps into the shower or turns on the faucet and notices the water pressure is much lower than it should be, it can raise a flag that something’s wrong. They might initially run through a checklist of what could be causing the problem. Is there a leak or clog in the system? Numerous issues can cause reduced water pressure, including leaks, corrosion, clogs, and blockages. A plumber will inspect the piping to determine the reason behind the water pressure problems and how to fix them. 

They will also check the pipes to determine their age and condition. If pipes are older and corroded, and that’s what’s causing poor water pressure, the plumber will likely recommend repiping. If leaks reduce the water pressure, plumbers will determine if they can be repaired or need replacement. Most blockages can be repaired, but the plumber might recommend replacing the pipes if they are severe enough and in many places. 

Water Has a Strange Color or Smell

sinkWhen homeowners look at the water coming out of their tap and think, “Hmm, that looks a little cloudy or orange,” it can signal they need plumbing help immediately. Discolored water - or water with a strange odor - can indicate issues like pipe corrosion or bacteria in the water. 

When pipes corrode, rust can enter the water. This often results in a weird smell and cloudy, brown, orange, or yellow-tinted water. Bacteria or contaminants can also cause odd smells in water. To resolve these problems, plumbers will inspect the system to determine the cause and may recommend repiping a house. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has over three decades of experience serving Denville, NJ, and the surrounding communities. They provide great value, extended warranties, and personal attention. Call them today for repiping services in Denville, NJ.

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3 Possible Causes of Poor Shower Pressure

What Is Causing the Low Water Pressure in the Shower?

When a person steps into the shower, they expect to be greeted by hot water and decent water pressure that can help relax sore muscles. But what happens if the water pressure is lower than expected? This will not only leave the homeowner annoyed but also signal an issue with the home’s plumbing system. This post will provide three possible causes of low shower water pressure, including a problem with the water heater, a leak in the water line, or an issue with the showerhead itself.

Water Heater 

water heaterWhen the hot water pressure in the shower drops or when using hot water from other fixtures, a possible cause is an issue with the water heater. Plumbers will inspect the water heating system for problems, including sediment buildup, as one of the most common reasons for a change in water pressure is a buildup of sediment in the hot water tank. When this is the issue, water heater maintenance must be done to drain and flush the sediment from the tank.

Plumbers will also look for clogs in the pipes connected to the hot water tank. If the system was recently cleaned, it’s possible some of the debris and sediment caused a blockage in the pipes. Other potential problems experts will look for are problems with the pressure valve. If it’s not open all the way, it can cause a sudden drop in the water pressure. Plumbers will also inspect if there are any leaks in the water heating system. If this happens, it can also result in lower water pressure.


Another potential cause of low water pressure is a leak in the water line. To determine if this is the problem, plumbers will ask the homeowners questions when they arrive. They will likely first ask if the water pressure is only low in the shower or if they’ve noticed it throughout the house. This will indicate if there may be a leak in the main water line or a smaller branch line. 

Plumbers can use expert equipment to identify and locate a leak to ensure plumbing leaks are causing water pressure issues. One technique is video camera inspections. This involves sending a camera down the water line to look for signs of damage like cracks or leaks. It will also reveal the location of the damage so the professionals know where the line needs to be repaired. Another piece of equipment used for leak detection is an acoustic leak detector, which can amplify sounds caused by a leak to help identify and locate it. These techniques can be done quickly and non-invasively.


showerWhile low water pressure in the shower can be caused by a problem with the water heater, or a leak, it can also be caused by an issue with the showerhead itself. Before looking for larger defects, experts will examine the showerhead and look for any blockages in it that could be causing the low water pressure. They will also look to see if the showerhead is older and malfunctioning and if it needs to be replaced. 

Showerheads can get clogged with mineral residue and sediments found in the water. When this occurs, less water can come out. So if the water pressure is low just from the showerhead and no other fixtures, an issue with the showerhead may be the cause. If it’s not the showerhead itself, plumbers can also check the pipes leading to the shower to look for any clogs or leaks that could be limiting the water flow. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has over three decades of experience serving Denville, NJ, and the surrounding areas. They provide great value, personal attention, and extended warranties on replacements. Call them today for plumbing services in Denville, NJ.

Growth in Spring Can Wreak Havoc on the Plumbing

Is Your Landscaping Hurting Your Plumbing?

After a long winter, seeing green throughout the yard can be refreshing. Spring is a time for growth and renewal, as new blossoms bloom, trees grow, and a yard takes shape. But, while above ground, a yard might look impressive, underground, the growing tree roots can cause some ugly scenes with the plumbing system. 

April showers may bring May flowers, but new tree growth can cause problems with the plumbing, including tree roots growing into water and sewer lines. This blog will discuss the threat of growing tree roots to underground plumbing, what can occur, and how it can be fixed and prevented.

Intruding Tree Roots 

rootsWhile people might focus on the above-ground appearance of trees, leaf buds, and growing branches, the roots also grow underground. As they grow, they can intrude into the piping system because trees need water and nutrients in the soil to grow and sustain themselves, and they can find it in the pipes. 

Tree roots will grow and extend wherever they need to get the necessary water and nutrients to grow, leading them to break into a pipe through any weak points and then grow into the water or sewer lines. Unfortunately, this can wreak havoc on the pipes and affect the rest of the plumbing system above. 

Problems From Intruding Tree Roots 

rootsInvading tree roots can cause many issues with the plumbing, which may vary depending on whether it has entered water or sewer lines. Some of these will lead to problems homeowners may notice sooner than others. One of the first issues someone might see if tree roots have grown into sewer lines is slow-draining sinks. This indicates it has clogged or created a blockage in the pipe. Tree roots in the sewer line can also cause water and sewer backups. 

Homeowners might also notice water pressure problems, unusually high water bills, and leaks when tree roots have broken into water lines. If homeowners see signs like standing water outdoors or even a lawn that’s lusher than usual, these can all indicate a leak in the outdoor underground plumbing that may be from intruding tree roots. 

Solutions to Root Obstruction

If someone notices any signs around their property that could indicate a tree root invasion in the piping, it’s essential to call a professional to fix it. An experienced plumber can inspect the piping system with specialized equipment like video inspection equipment to determine if tree roots have intruded into the pipes and the location of the blockage and damage to the line. 

When they find the issue, they will first assess how much damage the tree roots have caused and then make a plan to remove the roots and repair or replace the pipe. A common method professionals use to remove tree roots is hydro jetting. It involves using a heavy stream of water and a special nozzle to eliminate the roots and other debris from the pipes. After removing the roots, the plumber will focus on repairs to the pipe and use trenchless methods if possible. 

An effective way to avoid plumbing problems due to tree roots is to use prevention measures. One such action is installing root barriers, which protect the pipes with a literal barrier underground. It’s also recommended to have the plumbing system inspected yearly to catch potential issues early before the worst of the effects can occur. This will allow plumbers to remove tree roots from the pipes before they cause more problems. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has over 30 years of experience serving Denville, NJ, and the surrounding areas. They provide great value, extended warranties, and convenient scheduling. Call them today for sewer and water line repair in Denville, NJ

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Dripping Faucet? Any One of These Issues May Be the Likely Culprit

Leaks Need Immediate Attention

Leaking or dripping faucets are one of the most common plumbing problems; unfortunately, they can also be incredibly damaging if not addressed promptly. A leaking or dripping faucet can waste up to hundreds of gallons of water each month, resulting in high water bills and a strain on the environment. Furthermore, if left unattended, it can cause water damage to the home and promote mold growth. 

For these reasons, it's vital to address leaking or dripping faucets as soon as possible, which could include checking for worn-out parts, replacing a component or the entire tap, and calling a professional plumber because the issue is complex. This blog will share some of the most common causes of leaking faucets.

O-Rings Can Wear Out 

o ringA worn-out O-ring is one of the common causes of dripping near a handle. An O-ring is a rubber seal that fits into a groove in two joined parts to prevent leakage. As the O-ring deteriorates due to age and use, it can become brittle and unable to form an effective seal. This can cause the joined parts to leak, resulting in dripping near the handle.

The O-ring can become worn out due to exposure to heat, pressure, chemicals, or other environmental factors. This can cause the O-ring to become brittle, degrade, weaken, or crack. As a result, it can no longer provide an effective seal, and fluid leakage may occur. Therefore, it is essential to regularly check and replace worn-out O-rings to prevent costly damage from occurring.

Washers Corrode Over Time

If the washer in a faucet is worn out or corroded, it can cause leaking from the faucet’s spout. A washer is a flat, circular piece of rubber or metal that fits between two parts and serves as a tight seal when pressed together. The compression washer creates an airtight seal between the valve stem and the faucet body in faucets. 

A washer can become worn out or corroded if repeatedly exposed to extreme temperatures, humidity, and moisture. Prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals and cleaning agents can also cause a washer to become worn out or corroded. Replacing the washer is an easy fix, but if not done correctly, it can lead to future problems with the faucet, so it’s best to consult a professional plumber who can complete the job safely and correctly.

Valve Seats Can Also Corrode

valveA corroded valve seat can also cause leaking and dripping at the spout due to a weakened seal. A valve seat is a metal disc that helps provide an effective seal between two surfaces and prevents leaks around them by distributing pressure evenly. A corroded valve seat can cause the sealing surface to become distorted and diminish its ability to form a proper seal, leading to leaking and dripping at the spout.

Corrosion of a valve seat occurs when water containing minerals or other substances comes into contact with the metal, creating chemical reactions that cause oxidation or rust. In some cases, corrosion can even cause parts of the valve seat to break off, making it impossible to repair. Plumbers can determine what is causing a dripping or leaking faucet and the best solution to fix it. 

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has over three decades of experience serving Denville, NJ, and the surrounding areas. They provide great value, extended warranties, and convenient scheduling. Call them today for garbage disposal, faucet, or sink repairs or replacements in Denville, NJ.

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Meet Female Pioneers in the Plumbing Industry

Celebrate Women's History Month and Learn About Women in Plumbing

Women’s History Month isn’t just about celebrating household names; it’s also about giving attention to some of history’s hidden figures. This blog will discuss trailblazing women in the plumbing industry and women in the industry today. People may be surprised to learn that women have played a more vital role in plumbing history than initially thought.

Women in the Plumbing Sector Today

women in the plumbing field According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, although women make up nearly 47 percent of the workforce, they only account for 1.1 percent of all plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Women are significantly underrepresented in the trades in general, including HVAC mechanics and installers (2.3 percent), construction laborers (4.9 percent), construction equipment operators (1.7 percent), and electricians (2.2 percent).

However, although plumbing is male-dominated, many women in the plumbing industry have become advocates for female inclusion and empowerment in the trades. Nonprofit organizations like Women in Plumbing & Piping are helping women succeed in the industry by providing education, scholarships, networking, and mentorships.

What Was the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Master Plumbers?

The lady's auxiliary committee for the National Association of Master Plumbers was initially created as a social club to occupy the plumbers’ wives while the master plumbers association held its annual convention. However, control of the group was handed over to the women in 1919, and everything changed.

When the women took over, the organization would transform into a platform for activism focusing on issues including the environment, sanitation and health, and labor. The group worked with legislators, fundraised, and lobbied. They also advocated for the Family and Medical Leave Act and cleaner public bathrooms like in gas stations.

Meet Lillian Ann Baumbach

Lillian Ann BaumbachLillian Ann Baumbach was born in 1930 and was the first woman to become a master plumber in the country. From a very early age, she held an unbreakable passion for plumbing. She went on many jobs with her father, a plumber who taught her the ropes. When she was 21 years old, she got the highest score in her class when getting certified as a plumber. From there, she started working at her father’s plumbing company, focusing on estimates and service repairs.

Baumbach was renowned for her beauty. During the Korean War, she was something of a pin-up girl, with many soldiers carrying her photo. She received countless letters throughout her lifetime, some even offering marriage proposals, and was a pen pal to many soldiers. Baumbach passed away from leukemia when she was 70 years old. Yet, her legacy lives on as one of America's first female plumbers.

About PHD Mechanical Inc

PHD Mechanical Inc has over 40 years of experience serving Denville, NJ, and the surrounding communities. They provide great value, personal attention, and convenient scheduling. Call them today for plumbing services in Denville, NJ.

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