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Damariscotta, ME
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The Warranty – what is it, why is it necessary and what are the differences?

We have all been there at some point.  A product fails or breaks down immediately after the warranty period expires.  Whether it is your car, truck, refrigerator, television, faucet or your furnace, the impact is the same.  It almost seems like manufacturers do it on purpose so that we have to pay for a repair or purchase a replacement product as soon as the warranty period expires.  While this is probably not true, we still feel the loss.

Not All Warranties Are The Same

Warranties come in different shapes and sizes and they are not all created the same.  For instance, a brand new heating system installation consisting of many different components will have many different warranties.  The heating unit typically will have a 10 year warranty on the block or heat exchanger while other items such as controls, relays, transformers and valves may have 1 – 3 year warranties. 

Understandably, frustration ensues when a homeowner expects an OEM part to be covered if it fails after a couple of years but that particular item may only carry a 1 year warranty.

A kitchen faucet may have a lifetime performance warranty but maybe only 5 years on the finish.  If chrome or nickel plating begins to peel off after several years but the faucet still performs as intended, a replacement under warranty is unlikely.  Much like corrosion warranty on an automobile.

Not All Products Are The Same

Products purchased at Box stores and secondary internet retailers may have an identical appearance and nearly identical model number as some of the products that we supply, they are not the same quality.  

Product lines produced exclusively for the big box store market are why these products may seem like such a great deal compared to the first quality from our approved wholesale distribution network.

Some of the most common differences that can make a significant impact on overall quality and durability are:

  • Plastic stems and cartridges in faucets
  • Lighter casting on china sinks and toilets
  • Lighter gauge steel in kitchen sinks

Cheap can often cost more when that product fails to perform as intended and you are faced with a costly repair or replacement and having to deal with the Box Store or internet retailer warranty department.

Some of the HVAC equipment that MCES proudly promotes and installs carries absolutely no warranty if purchased outside of the distribution network.  Imagine saving a couple hundred dollars on a furnace, boiler or heat pump only to have it fail and not be covered by warranty, at all!

Mid-Coast Energy Systems has provided exemplary service to our community for over 43 years and we take pride in providing only verified top quality products to our customers. We will happily install products that a homeowner provides but we do require a signed waiver form when installing items that we do not supply.  Caveat emptor.



Continuing education is a crucial component to provide superior service and timely advice. However, it can be a daunting experience to finish a day’s work and then travel to a community college or training center for fifteen weeks to take the required course.

With this in mind, Mid-Coast Energy in cooperation with Novel Engineering is developing a hybrid code course that combines home study with classroom sessions and individual mentoring to help candidates complete the course.

Bob Hardina, a master electrician and a retired member the Mid-Coast team is coordinating the effort. “Home study is wonderful but there are always interruptions and family obligations that cause people to give up and not finish the course,” observed Bob. “By combining home study with occasional mentoring sessions participants help each other and learn a great deal in the process.”

The National Electrical Code was originally drawn in 1897as a result of the united efforts of various insurance, electrical, architectural and allied interests concerned with the safety of residential, industrial and commercial installations. The original code books were small volumes that could be carried in the electrician’s shirt pocket. The current 2017 edition of the code is an 8 ½ x 11 book consisting of 874 pages of text, charts and drawings. The NEC is revised every three years. In addition to as many as 586 hours of classroom education each candidate for a Journeyman or Master electrical license must have successfully completed a 45 hour update course in the current code.


Tips – Don’t Create Plumbing Problems when Vacationing this Winter

A-h-h-h-h Vacation Time!!





















It’s that time of the year when we all want to get out of the Northeast in favor of a sunny retreat.  Keep your house safe in Winter & free of plumbing problems.  Before you head out for your tropical delight, you need to make sure your heating and air conditioning equipment is programmed appropriately.  The last thing you want to do is to waste money heating an empty home. Once more, the last thing you need is to come home to Plumbing Problems. There are ways you can ensure your unoccupied home will be safe while away.

You might think that the most obvious solution is to turn off your heating and cooling equipment. But, this can pose some serious problems, particularly during the winter. You’ll be coming home to not only a cold house, but a house with poor indoor air quality, plumbing problems….and worse:

Plumbing Problems: Frozen pipes are no fun but please DO NOT leave your faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing. This MAY prevent your water supply from freezing but it can also freeze your drains.  Instead, leave cabinet doors open, identify drafts and seal them or for problem areas, call MCES and have pipes wrapped with insulation and heat tapes.

The following problems can occur:

  • Burst water pipes
  • No air circulation
  • No indoor allergens and air pollutant control


Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, consider turning the thermostat down a few degrees so that the system runs in intervals (making sure your pipes don’t burst), and you won’t have to spend as much time getting your home back up to the temperature you desire when you return.

Go Wireless: Do you own a Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostat?  If not, consider investing in a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat to control the temperature of your home even when you are far away from the box on the wall. This way, you can turn your temperature settings back up to the desired setting before you come home. When you do arrive, it will be like you never left. If you are interested in upgrading to a better thermostat, give us a call about your options.



For Future Reference: Substantially reduce heat loss by adding insulation to your attic and unfinished basement and applying weather stripping or caulking to all exterior doors, door and window frames.