19 Nov 2016
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, once that is over, winter starts in earnest. While you are getting ready for the holidays, you need to start getting your home ready for the winter months as well. One of the biggest concerns for any homeowner during the long, frigid winter months is the fear that their pipes will freeze, then burst, causing a ton of grief and costly repairs. Read on below for some top tips to help you get your pipes ready for the upcoming winter temperatures.
Locate Your Water Main
Make sure to search out the water main to your house, if you don’t already know where it is. It’s best to have this location in mind before the temperatures start to drop. If you’re planning an extended vacation or trip away from home during extremely cold weather, you should consider turning off the water and draining the pipes.
Take Care of the Pipes in the Attic, Crawlspaces, and Basement
It is important to remember the pipes that are in your attic, crawl spaces, garage, and basement. Make sure before the really cold weather hits that pipes in these spaces are protected from the cold. Adequate fiberglass insulation, pipe sleeves, and thermostatically controlled heat tape are three ideas to protect your pipes. A pipe sleeve provides a barrier between a pipe and its surroundings. These sleeves can fill the gap in a wall where pipes run. You can prevent freezing pipes by checking the insulation in rooms that are not typically heated. The heat tape is used to wrap pipes in unprotected areas. The tape heats when the environment reaches a certain temperature.
Now it’s time to check any plumbing outside. Faucets and sprinkler systems should be serviced so no water can freeze in the lines. Garden hoses should be removed from faucets to be drained and stored before the first hard freeze.
When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, extra precautions need to be taken:
- Leave the cold water in every sink in the home running just a trickle before you go to bed at night. This will allow water to flow freely through the pipes, generating heat and preventing them from being frozen when you wake up in the morning.
- Open the doors to the cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen. This will allow warm air from the house to get to the pipes and stop them from freezing.
- Close your garage door to keep the pipes in the garage from freezing as well.
- Keep your home at a consistently warm temperature, day and night, (at least 55 degrees), even when you are going to be away for a while.
If your pipes do end up bursting or freezing, call in the professionals at Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to take care of the problem for you right away. We offer 24-hour emergency service, including holidays and weekends. If you would like help preparing your pipes for winter, we can also come out and make sure your pipes will withstand to the freezing temperatures by winterizing your plumbing system for the upcoming winter months. Call or contact us for this or any other type of plumbing service in Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.
No one likes to think about the consequences of major plumbing or sewage issues – but as a homeowner, plumbing is a critical element for keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. Little problems can lead to major ones if ignored. A leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal, but if left for too long can cause clogs, backups and water damage. Plumbing services in Riverton can help keep your plumbing issues from becoming severe. Here are some signs that indicate your plumbing problem may be a major one:
- Clogged Drains: If your sinks and toilets are slow to drain, this could be indicative of a clogged drain. While a clogged drain is normal once in a while, if it happens on a regular basis, you should have your pipes inspected by a professional. Store-bought drain cleaners are not meant to be used on a regular basis and can actually corrode your pipes over the long term. Some are not recommended for septic tanks.
- Gurgling Noises: If you hear gurgling noises from one or more of your drains, the pipe’s diameter may be restricted by a clog; the gurgling is the water as it struggles to fit through the pipe.
- Backup of Waste: If you notice waste coming through a different drain (for example, up from the tub when you flush the toilet) it could be due to a clog in the pipe that carries your sewage away from your house, impeding its flow. This would be a good time to call a professional for an inspection.
- Invasive Tree Roots: This is one of the most common sewer and plumbing issues. If your home has mature trees near your sewer (10-20 feet), the roots could imbed themselves around and in the underground pipes. When you plant a new tree, make sure it is well away from your sewer lines. If you suspect that roots are getting in the way, have your system inspected.
- Damaged Water Lines: If your faucets don’t run clear when you first turn them on, or you experience low water pressure, it could be due to damaged water lines. The pipes could be corroded or there could be a breach where contaminants are getting in. This could be a major safety issue and should be dealt with immediately.
- Water Hammer: Pipes that make knocking or banging sounds when you run the faucets or flush the toilets in an older home can come from several areas of your plumbing system and should be addressed by a professional.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your home, a professional plumbing service such as Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can physically inspect your pipes and sewer lines to determine what the root cause of the problem is. Once they have diagnosed the problem, they will discuss the options that are available to you in order to have your issues fixed quickly. Call or contact us today if you suspect you have a plumbing issue. It’s best to call as soon as you notice a problem; waiting will only lead to bigger and more expensive issues down the road.
Did you know that the average American household uses more than 400 gallons of water every day, and that there are more than 133 million households across the nation? Go ahead, do the math: that’s a staggering amount of water used each and every day for a variety of purposes. Whether you live in New York City, Los Angeles, or Riverton, conserving water should be one of your top priorities.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can conserve water this coming summer season, without compromising on your everyday habits. Small changes can make a huge difference in our overall water consumption! Here are a few ideas:
- Take Shorter Showers: Shaving just two minutes off of your shower can save you a staggering 1,500 gallons of water annually. If you must have that longer shower, look for water-efficient shower heads. This will save both on water and energy. That’s a win-win all around!
- Run the Dishwasher: Environmental studies have shown that using your dishwasher uses less water, less soap, and less energy than hand-washing your dishes. Today, most dishwasher models are energy efficient and use only half the water as compared to filling your sink. That’s a great reason to invest in a dishwasher and letting the machine do the work!
- Don’t Water your Lawn Midday: The sun is strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., so watering your lawn adequately during this time can actually require more water, as the soil will dry out much quicker and water will soak into the earth at a faster rate. Try to water your lawn and garden first thing in the morning, or after dinner, when the sun is at its weakest.
- Shut off the Tap When Brushing your Teeth: The only time you should run the tap water when brushing is when you spit out your toothpaste (and rinse the sink when you’re done). Running the tap throughout the entire brushing process can waste precious gallons of water.
- Fix your Leaks: Leaky faucets? They could be wasting hundreds of gallons per year, and costing you more on your energy and water bills. Make sure all faucets are functioning properly, and have them either fixed or inspected by a professional. Plumbing services in Riverton, as in other areas, can help ensure that all of your faucets are in good operational order.
- Switch to Water-conserving Toilets: Today’s models are built to use less water than traditional toilets. If you are looking for maximum water efficiency, look for the EPA’s WaterSense label, which means that the toilet is certified to meet their very stringent conservation criteria.
- Invest in a Rain Barrel: Are you watering your lawn with a garden hose? Try using a rain barrel! These are inexpensive, and are just as good, if not better, for your lawn and garden. There are a number of models and designs on the market – or, if you’re the DIY type, you can build your own.