Basic Gas Furnace Safety Tips When you adjust the thermostat on your gas furnace, an ignitor activates the gas burners that create heat in a combustion chamber. This warm air is then distributed through the ductwork by blowers and thus heats your house. Gas furnaces are great if you’d like a more cost-efficient and even […]

Basic Furnace Safety Tips

Basic Gas Furnace Safety Tips

When you adjust the thermostat on your gas furnace, an ignitor activates the gas burners that create heat in a combustion chamber. This warm air is then distributed through the ductwork by blowers and thus heats your house. Gas furnaces are great if you’d like a more cost-efficient and even heating system, but also come with their own set of unique safety issues. Here’s a list of ways to keep your gas furnace functioning safely, and when it might be best to contact a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional.

  • Schedule a furnace cleaning and check-up to be performed annually by a NATE-certified technician. Request that they check for cracks in the combustion chamber, as these cracks could allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.
  • Change the air filter regularly. Dust particles can build-up on the furnace’s air filter and reduce efficient airflow and heating capabilities, as well as becoming a fire-hazard or furnace failure potential in extreme instances of neglect. The air filter is usually located inside the front cover of your furnace, and should be changed before the winter season starts, and at least once every 1-3 months during regular use.
  • Don’t close off more 20% of the furnace registers in your house. This can cause unnecessary heat build-up and affect efficiency. Make sure to avoid obstructing registers as well, and keep them free of lint, dust, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once a month.
  • Don’t store anything flammable or combustible near or around your furnace to avoid a furnace fire.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and check to make sure it’s working properly at least once a month during the winter season. Gas furnaces have a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if they’re not functioning properly, but having a detector installed can help you stay on top of risks.
  • If your pilot light seems to go out often, make sure there aren’t any drafts preventing it from staying lit. If pilot light issues persist and it seems that the issues stem from the ignitor (or the pilot downright refuses to relight), call a Green Apple Plumbing and Mechanical expert.
  • If you detect a gas smell or suspect other gas feed or valve issues, call a professional at once.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564
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1. Constant Clogging Nobody likes to deal with a clogged toilet. While they’re not uncommon, random or recurring clogs can indicate an issue. If you have an old, low flush toilet, you may experience stoppages far too often. If you experience clogs more than once a week, or the clogs seem random and odd, you […]

Signs Your toilet Needs To Be Replaced

1. Constant Clogging

Nobody likes to deal with a clogged toilet. While they’re not uncommon, random or recurring clogs can indicate an issue. If you have an old, low flush toilet, you may experience stoppages far too often. If you experience clogs more than once a week, or the clogs seem random and odd, you should probably replace your toilet.

If you don’t want to lose the water-saving benefits of a low-flush toilet, simply replace your current toilet with a more efficient and effective commode. Modern technologies have come a long way, and low-flush toilets are much better than they used to be.

2. Cracks

When you notice puddles of water around your toilet, you may want to check for cracks in the porcelain. While the toilet may work fine, leaks can waste a lot of water, and that water exposure can damage your flooring over time. It can also result in mold or mildew growth.

Look for cracks in the bowl or the tank of the toilet. If you notice any, or if you hear constant running from your toilet, replace it right away before the situation gets worse. If you can’t tell if there’s a crack, put dye in the water of the tank or bowl and see if the dyed water makes it to the floor.

3. Plentiful Repairs

Toilets shouldn’t need to be constantly repaired. If you find yourself regularly calling for a plumber to fix the toilet, replace it. Frequent repairs can add up, and you can save yourself a bit of cash over the years if you invest in a new toilet.

Or, if your toilet requires numerous repairs all at once, it may be cheaper to replace the toilet instead. Discuss the situation with your Green Apple plumber, and they can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

4. Excessive Age

Even if your toilet is a little old, it may work just fine. But older toilets are often more inefficient than the newer models, so it may be a good idea to replace your toilet and save some money and water. Consider a toilet with a dual-flush feature. It allows you to partially flush for liquid waste and fully flush for solid waste. That way, you can maximize your savings both in water use and utility costs.

5. Wobbling

If your toilet wobbles, it may be a simple problem of loose screws. A plumber can easily tighten the bolts and ensure everything is properly placed. But wobbling can also signify a bigger problem. The floor beneath the toilet may be rotting away or water damaged, so if you notice wobbling, call a Green Apple professional to check it out.

6. Inefficient Flushing

When you find that your water bills are high, investing in a new, water-efficient toilet can help you keep your bills down. The average toilet uses three to five gallons of water with each flush, while a low-flush toilet uses about two gallons for every flush. If you have a large family or are environmentally conscious, such a change can help lower your water bill and water usage.

7. Surface Damages

If you have a lot of scratches on the surface of your toilet, you may want to replace your toilet for cosmetic reasons. Excessive scratches can make it difficult to keep the fixture clean. This damage is more common with older toilets that have been scrubbed numerous times over the years, so if you find that you’re cleaning your toilet more often than you should, it could be time for a replacement.

8. Built-Up Mineral Deposits

In areas with hard water, the minerals in the water can collect in the inlet holes and siphon tube. Such buildup can keep water from flowing effectively, making the toilet inefficient. In some cases, you may be able to clear some of the deposits away by chipping at the buildup, but this step is not always successful. If the buildup gets bad enough, your toilet may need replacement.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

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7 furnace maintenance tips for your furnace 1. Get a professional tune-up. By far, the best thing you can do to ensure that your furnace performs to the best of its ability is to schedule a professional furnace inspection every year. During a tune-up, our HVAC technicians will inspect your furnace for any operational problems […]

7 Golden Rules For Your Furnace

7 furnace maintenance tips for your furnace

  • 1. Get a professional tune-up. By far, the best thing you can do to ensure that your furnace performs to the best of its ability is to schedule a professional furnace inspection every year. During a tune-up, our HVAC technicians will inspect your furnace for any operational problems and perform a number of maintenance tasks (like cleaning your system) that will help avoid future breakdowns, improve efficiency levels and make sure that your system is running safely.
  • 2. Keep your air filter clean. You’d be surprised at the number of furnace breakdowns we encounter that could have been prevented if the homeowner would have changed his or her air filter. A dirty filter will cause all sorts of performance and efficiency problems, and you can avoid them by simply checking and changing your filter once per month.
  • 3. Test your CO detectors. CO detectors will warn you if your furnace develops a carbon monoxide leak, which could potentially be life-threatening to the people in your home. Make sure that your CO detectors are working and that they have a fresh set of batteries during the heating season.
  • 4. Allow your air registers to breathe. If any of your air registers are closed or blocked off by furniture, your furnace will have a hard time heating your home evenly and effectively. Make sure that all of your floor registers are open and free of obstructions.
  • 5. Check the pilot light in older furnaces. If you have an older furnace with a pilot light, check to ensure that the flame is burning a bright blue. If it’s a different color, it is likely burning inefficiently and you should contact Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical so we can investigate the problem.
  • 6. Don’t block outdoor exhaust pipes. High-efficiency gas furnaces have exhaust pipes that lead outside of the home and near the ground. It’s important that nothing is blocking these pipes so that your furnace can operate safely and efficiently.
  • 7. Keep the area around your system clear. Keep the area around your furnace clear so that you and your service technician can easily access it when the time comes for any maintenance or repairs.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564
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Home water pressure problems may present themselves in different ways, all of which can be quite frustrating. Faucets may take forever to fill a sink or bathtub, or a showerhead may not give you that strong spray you want. Your dishwasher or washing machine may take much longer to run a cycle than it should. […]

Problems With Your Water Pressure

Home water pressure problems may present themselves in different ways, all of which can be quite frustrating. Faucets may take forever to fill a sink or bathtub, or a showerhead may not give you that strong spray you want. Your dishwasher or washing machine may take much longer to run a cycle than it should.

When only one fixture has low water pressure it’s likely that the problem can be remedied if you just focus on fixing that one fixture or the pipes serving it. But widespread water pressure issues affecting the whole house indicate different problems. If your home water pressure seems low then the first thing to do is to narrow down the cause.

In many homes, there are two major shutoff valves controlling water to the home. The first is the water meter valve, located right next to the water meter on the main city supply pipe serving your home. Normally, you will not use this valve, as technically it belongs to the water company and is typically used only by water company personnel. But if your water pressure is low throughout your house, especially after some work has been done on your plumbing system, it’s possible that this valve is not fully open.

If you have recently had a repair done and are now noticing a reduction in the water pressure throughout your house, check the meter valve. It may be located on an outside wall of the house (in warm climates), in an underground box between the house and the street, or in an interior utility area, such as a basement or attached garage.

The valve is fully open when the valve handle (which may be just a metal tab that is turned with a special wrench) is parallel with the water pipe. If the handle is set at an angle to the pipe, it is not fully open.

Is the Main House Shutoff Valve Open?

The other main shutoff valve is the home’s shutoff, usually located inside the house, near where the main city supply pipe enters the home through the foundation wall. In warm climates, the main shutoff may be outdoors. Make sure this valve is fully open. If this is a gate valve, indicated by a wheel-like handle, make sure the handle is turned fully in the counterclockwise direction. If it is a ball valve, indicated by a lever handle, the handle must be parallel to the pipe direction to be fully open.

As with the water meter valve, this main shutoff valve is sometimes left partially closed after some kind of repair has been done to the system. If your water pressure has mysteriously lessened after a recent repair, there is a good chance that the valve wasn’t fully opened after the repair was completed. ​​

Is the Pressure Regulator Failing?
Another common cause for home water pressure problems is a faulty pressure regulator or pressure-reducing valve. A pressure regulator is a control valve that reduces the input pressure in your plumbing system to a safe level that will not damage your pipes. Not all homes have them, but for those that do, a failing pressure regulator can cause a serious upward spike in water pressure. It can also have the opposite effect: a sudden reduction in your water pressure.

When the pressure regulator fails, you will notice the effect on all of the fixtures in the home, and it will happen rather suddenly. Although a pressure regulator can sometimes be replaced by yourself with the same brand and size, in most cases is it better to call a Green Apple plumbing professional to take care of it. Replacing it requires shutting off the water to the home at the water meter shutoff valve.

To get an accurate reading of your water pressure, you can test the pressure by attaching a water pressure gauge to the outdoor hose spigot closest to the water main or pressure regulator. Recommended water pressure is 52 to 75 pounds per square inch. If your pressure tests very low, this may indicate a failed pressure regulator.

Do You Have Old Steel Water Pipes?

The most serious and potentially expensive reason for low water pressure occurs when old galvanized steel water pipes are corroded to the point that water flow is significantly restricted. These pipes corrode on the inside (so you usually can’t see the corrosion, but over time, the buildup of corrosion and scale gradually closes off the pipe.

This problem develops over the decades, so the reduction in water flow is very gradual; you will not notice a sudden drop in pressure. However, if you move into an old house with steel pipes, the pipes may have significant corrosion to start with and the problem may worsen relatively quickly.

Unfortunately, the only solution for corroded pipes is to re-pipe the system with new copper or plastic water supply piping. It is the only way to solve the problem. Usually the best option for re-piping these days, in terms of cost and ease of installation, is to use Pex tubing rather than copper pipe.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564

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Loud Bang or Boom If you hear a gunshot sound go off when you turn on your furnace, you may have a gas build-up in the system. Never ignore this loud sound coming from the furnace. It could crack the heat exchanger, which is both dangerous and expensive. Turn the system off immediately and call […]

Furnace Sounds You Cannot Ignore

Loud Bang or Boom

If you hear a gunshot sound go off when you turn on your furnace, you may have a gas build-up in the system. Never ignore this loud sound coming from the furnace. It could crack the heat exchanger, which is both dangerous and expensive. Turn the system off immediately and call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical professional.

Dirty burners may have delayed the ignition, which causes the gas to build up and “explode” when the ignition finally comes on. Annual furnace maintenance will take care of this problem since your technician will inspect and clean the burners as part of the tune-up.

Expanding and contracting ducts could have caused the loud bang or boom, but this sound is normally easily distinguished from a gas build-up “explosion.” It’s a common problem that homeowners with central HVAC systems have to deal with. Luckily, there are ways to prevent loud duct noises. Contact a professional Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical HVAC technician to take a look. Solutions may include sealing and insulating ducts, replacing undersized ducts, adjusting dampers, or replacing the air filter.

Metal Against Metal

If you hear loud clanking and scraping, you could have a serious problem with your furnace’s blower wheel. Turn off your furnace immediately and wait until a professional Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical HVAC technician has had a chance to inspect the system

  • The blower fan may have come loose and is now hitting the blower house casing. If the blower wheel/fan isn’t too damaged, the repair should be quick and easy.
  • The blower fan may be broken and need professional replacement.
  • If the piece holding the motor and blower assembly together has broken, the whole assembly may have dropped and is now hitting the housing. A professional diagnosis is needed.

Rattling

A rattling sound coming from the furnace can indicate a loose panel or a loose screw. Before attempting to work on your furnace, make sure you turn off power at the source. Then, you can try tightening your panel with a screwdriver to see if that fixes the rattling sound.

If it’s not a loose screw, it could indicate a leak or crack in your heat exchanger, which can be very serious. A faulty heat exchanger can leak dangerous (and potentially lethal) carbon monoxide into the home. Contact your local Green Apple HVAC professional right away if you cannot solve the rattling sound by tightening a screw or two.

Rumbling

There’s a difference between rattling, banging, and rumbling. A rumbling sound normally indicates a furnace that hasn’t been maintained in a while. This usually means dirty gas burners or a pilot light that needs to be adjusted.

The furnace flame should be blue, which indicates a clean and efficient burn. It’s fine if there is a small yellow tip, but if your flame is any other color than blue, contact your Green Apple HVAC professional right away. A lot of red, yellow, orange, purple, or green indicates inefficient and potentially hazardous conditions.

High-Pitched Squealing or Screeching

The fastest and most effective way to fix this problem is by calling your local Green Apple HVAC professional to take a look and fix the problem for you.

If, however, you would like to find out what is going on and see if it’s something you want to handle, continue reading.

Squealing, whining, and whistling noises aren’t as big of a deal as metal-against-metal and booming noises, but it’s still something you want to keep an ear out for.

  • If you have a belt-driven motor, loose, or damaged blower belts can cause a squealing or similar sound.
  • Shaft bearings and other moving parts may have become dry. Contact a Green Apple professional technician to lubricate your moving furnace parts. Again, a furnace tune-up would have taken care of this issue.
  • Malfunctioning blower motors may be the culprit. Contact a Green Apple professional for information on repair or replacement.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564
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These are the reasons why it’s so important to have your furnace checked and serviced every year: Keep your furnace running smoothly. The technician inspects parts, replaces ones that have worn out, lubricates components where necessary, checks the unit’s electrical wiring (they will let you know whether you need to call in an electrician, and so […]

A Little Preparedness Goes A Long Way

These are the reasons why it’s so important to have your furnace checked and serviced every year:

  • Keep your furnace running smoothly. The technician inspects parts, replaces ones that have worn out, lubricates components where necessary, checks the unit’s electrical wiring (they will let you know whether you need to call in an electrician, and so on. You wouldn’t put off the tune-up for your car. Think of this as a tune-up for your furnace.
  • Improve efficiency. How? Here’s an example: in order to heat your home properly, the furnace pulls air through a filter. In time, the filter can become clogged with airborne particles, making the furnace work harder to move air through it. The furnace’s efficiency decreases, shortening its life and increasing your heating bill. However, if the filter is maintained, via regular cleaning or changing, you’ll avoid this problem.
  • Protect your health and that of your family. Neglected, dirty filters can release mold spores and other toxic airborne particles into your home, causing respiratory problems and disease. A well-maintained system improves indoor air quality and helps prevent such problems from occurring.
  • Keep the furnace working reliably. Annual furnace inspection and maintenance allow the technician to spot problems that may be small now but that could become serious if left untreated. HVAC technicians where the temperature can sink as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (without taking wind chill into account), will tell you that the customer who calls every year for routine maintenance usually sounds a lot calmer than the customer they haven’t heard from in a while, whose furnace has suddenly stopped working in the middle of a cold snap.
  • Help you regulate the temperature in your home. The Green Apple technician will verify and calibrate your thermostat to make sure that the furnace is heating your home properly and reliably, at the temperature you want, when you want it.
  • Save lives. Fuel-burning furnaces (natural gas, oil, etc.) tend to release carbon monoxide in their exhaust. When the furnace is working properly, this gas is channeled out of the home through an exhaust pipe. But leaks happen, and a carbon monoxide leak is dangerous because that particular gas is odorless and deadly. A licensed Green Apple professional will test the furnace for leaks as part of routine maintenance.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564
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Clogged drains, damaged pipes, and gas leaks are the most common residential emergency plumbing situations that people summon their plumber for. The irony is that such plumbing emergencies can be prevented by us from the start. Indeed emergency plumbers report that plumbing negligence is the number one cause for stubborn obstructions in drains and defective […]

Call A Plumber ASAP If You Have Any Of These

Clogged drains, damaged pipes, and gas leaks are the most common residential emergency plumbing situations that people summon their plumber for. The irony is that such plumbing emergencies can be prevented by us from the start. Indeed emergency plumbers report that plumbing negligence is the number one cause for stubborn obstructions in drains and defective pipes. Surprisingly this indicates that we value our cars more than our home. Why? Simply because we service our cars once a year while we dismiss doing the same to our plumbing systems until we face a plumbing emergency by which time it is too late to undo the damage done to our home.

In general preventive maintenance to your home’s plumbing, every once in a while, will not only keep plumbing fixtures, drains and pipes in good condition for a long time, but will further allow you to spot early problems and have them fixed before they escalate to costly plumbing emergencies. When you encounter an emergency plumbing situation you can take steps to reduce damage to the minimum thereby cutting down your plumbing cost too.

Follow the top 5 common emergency plumbing troubles and their repair:

Burst Pipes: Your top objective until the Green Apple plumber arrives on the scene is stop water flowing out of the hole. Locate the main shutoff valve to your house and close it. Turning off the shutoff valve will close the water supply to the fixtures and therefore stop the flood. Next turn on cold water taps to quickly drain pipes from trapped water and steam. After damage controlling the emergency call in your Green Apple plumber to repair or replace the burst section of the pipe.

Frozen Pipes: When the water in pipes freeze they expand and may even burst the pipe. Close the main shutoff valve. If the pipe has not split yet, thaw it with hot water bottles from the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. Thawing must be gentle, never with a naked flame, to avoid thermal water expansion that too can split the pipe. As a preventive maintenance make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated against the cold months.

Leaky Plumbing Fixtures: Close the shutoff valve singular to the leaky fixture. Check the fixture’s trap for debris, hair, soap scum, and food particles that might obstruct its opening and cause overflowing of the fixture. Contact your Green Apple plumber for effective plumbing repair.

Blocked Drains & Toilets: Try to lift the obstruction by means of a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If such plumbing tools fail to dislodge the clog, call in your Green Apple plumber.

Gas leaks: When smelling gas simply evacuate the building. Gas leaks do not lend themselves to D.I.Y repair due to their deadly nature in the wrong hands. Once outside the home call in your Green Apple plumber or Gas Company. You can and under professional guidance attempt to turn off the gas meter at the control valve.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-611-7191

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1. Leaky Pipes Dripping faucets aren’t just annoying, they can also cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted water. Some of the most telltale signs of a pipe leak include: Constant dripping sounds Moisture under the sink Noisy pipes (hearing water rushing when nobody is using it) Brown, wet spots on your walls, ceilings, or […]

Don’t Wait If Your Plumbing Is Doing Any Of These!

1. Leaky Pipes

Dripping faucets aren’t just annoying, they can also cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted water. Some of the most telltale signs of a pipe leak include:

  • Constant dripping sounds
  • Moisture under the sink
  • Noisy pipes (hearing water rushing when nobody is using it)
  • Brown, wet spots on your walls, ceilings, or floors

Slowly leaking pipes can cause serious water damage. Even worse, once pipes have a small leak, they’re more susceptible to bursting or breaking.

You may be able to repair your leaky pipes on your own using a fitting compound or joint filler. However, this only a temporary fix. Call a Green Apple pro when leaks are small to avoid the possibility of much bigger problems.

2. Discolored Water

As a general rule, the water coming out of your faucet should always run clear. Red, yellow, or brown discoloration is usually caused by old, rusty pipes. Green or blue shades are often the result of corroded copper plumbing.

Discolored water is not only unsightly, but it’s also likely an indicator that you have more serious home plumbing problems.

3. Foul Smell

A sewage or sulfur smell might mean there’s a broken sewer pipe or vent under your home. This can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation and contaminate the environment.

Any time you notice a foul smell coming from your plumbing, it’s smart to have a Green Apple professional check it out.

4. Slow Drains

If your toilet, tub, or sink are draining slower than usual, you likely have a full or partial clog. Sometimes you can fix this with a plunger or over-the-counter drain cleaner. If the clog won’t go away or your pipes clog repeatedly, you probably need a Green Apple plumber.

Liquid drain cleaner is caustic and long-term use can damage your pipes. If you try too hard to remove a clog on your own, you can end up breaking your pipes, costing yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

5. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are an urgent issue. Some of the most obvious signs include:

  • Water that won’t run
  • Noise coming from the taps when you turn them on
  • Moisture or frost on exposed outdoor pipes

Never try to thaw out your pipes on your own. Doing so can lead to cracks or even burst pipes. If you think you have frozen pipes, call a Green Apple plumber ASAP.

Is it Time to Call a Plumber You Can Trust?

At Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ, we believe in doing things right the first time. You can trust us to deliver quality work on everything from small jobs to large jobs. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

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