Wintertime Plumbing Maintenance Advice

Posted by on January 11/2016 | 0Comments

Winter Plumbing Maintenance

As winter is right around the corner, it’s recommended to look into tips and tricks for winter plumbing maintenance. It’s important to be looking over pipes during the warmer weather, but it’s even more so when the chilly season comes along.

Jack Frost has officially arrived, and he brought with him snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. As the wind chill starts to dip in the negative double digits, most of us will find refuge in our warm homes where mountains of blankets and hot cocoa are waiting. It’s a good reminder, however, to appreciate that the cooler temperatures affect your home as well – particularly that of your plumbing and drainage system. Here are few of our top tips to keep your plumbing happy, whatever the temperature is outside.

Any keen reader of our publication will remember some of the advice we gave to winterize your home back in the fall. Some of our pointers involved the outside of your home, ensuring garden hoses and outside taps, spigots, and connecting pipes were drained of water. By now you would have already done this, as well as disabled any interior shut-off valves to ensure no remaining water could lead to your interior pipes. We also suggested investing in Styrofoam or rubber pipe insulators to keep these pipes from freezing. To top it all off, we hoped you took advantage of our hot water heater services to make sure it was up to the task of warming your water throughout the season.

What Do We Recommend?

If you took all of our tips to heart, then congratulations; you’re already ahead of the pack. But even with these solid preventative measures under your belt, it’s a good idea to run a diagnostic’s check through your system half-way through the season – especially when the cold weather has taken so long to hit since you winterized your home. We can’t recommend enough to double check those insulators that you installed to make sure they’re still doing what they’re supposed to. If you find any additional uncovered pipes – or if you find any cracks in the Styrofoam – be sure to purchase more.

Our expert plumbers also recommend keeping your furnace operating at a decent temperature. This may seem obvious as you crank your thermostat up to combat the chilling winds, but it’s important to ensure that room temperature (21 °C) is maintained during the day. It’s normal for homeowners to lower this temperature during the night in a bid to save energy and money; however, the temperature of your home should never go below 12 °C in the winter. Letting your house dip under this number runs the risk of water freezing in your pipes. We all know what that can lead to, as frozen water expands within the pipe until it bursts.

Now, 12 °C may seem like a temperature you’re confident your living spaces will never reach; however, this number also applies to your lesser used rooms, including attics, crawl spaces, garages, basements, or anywhere else exposed pipes are at a risk of freezing – including anywhere you have water supply lines, as these are usually located in areas that don’t receive optimal heating. Keep in mind that pipes servicing hot water can freeze if there’s no water running through them. During your mid-winter maintenance check, be sure to also check for draughts in these places, keeping an eye towards cracked or poorly insulated windows and doors.

Preventing Mother Nature

Even with the best intentions, winter can get the better of us and our homes. Sometimes, you get a little warning. If you notice the water pressure has lowered, this could be an early indication that your pipes are in the process of freezing; in which case, run your taps at a slow trickle (no larger than the width of a pen) and give us a call – any hour of the day and any day of the week. We proudly offer our services 24/7 for exactly this reason, as a frozen and burst pipe can happen at any time. Regardless of when it happens, it’s an emergency that needs immediate care. The dribbling tap will ensure water is flowing through your pipes constantly until our expert plumbers arrive to make the appropriate precautions and repairs.

So keep our number in your contact list when you perform your mid-winter plumbing maintenance. We might just save your and your home from disaster!

Read More

Your Plumbing Guide For The Holidays

Posted by on December 22/2015 | 0Comments

Your Plumbing Guide For The Holidays

With the holidays less than a month away, preparation for the holidays is in high gear. The halls have to be decked, the fridge stocked, and the guestrooms settled. Then it’s merely a waiting game until extended family and long-distant friends come calling. If you’re anything like our team, you’ll be entertaining a full house this. From past experience, we know that the extra guests in your house will be testing more than just your patience. Hosting the holidays can put a strain on your home’s plumbing and drainage systems too.

When the holidays rely on your home, you can’t let something like a clogged sink or a frozen pipe ruin Christmas or Hanukah. We know you’ve got enough on your mind as it is. That’s why we’ve developed an easy-to-follow guide to ensure your plumbing system can handle your guests, so you only have to worry about getting the turkey in and how to organize your seating arrangements.

What Should You Do?

Because let’s face it – the holidays are all about the food. Everyone from your great aunt Carol to your new neighbour John will be looking to load up on carbs and turkey during their visit. When you’re cooking your family’s holiday feast, be careful about what gets down your drains. Though you’ll be making dish after dish and washing pan after pan, it’s important that you keep food and grease out of your sink. We recommend you pour your fat drippings into a container before you place any pan in your sinks to soak. Once the grease has solidified, you can throw it out with the rest of the garbage and not worry about it congealing in your pipes. Make sure to scrape any food off of your plates before you rinse them. You can easily purchase a fitted drain strainer to help you keep scraps from getting washed down your drains.

While you’re purchasing a drain strainer for your kitchen sink, it’s a good idea to buy a couple for your bathroom(s) too. When your family and friends stay over, they’ll be using your shower. That means more water, soap, and hair will be running down the bathtub drains, so pop in a strainer into any shower and stop hair or soap scum from clogging these pipes. If you’re entertaining a lot of people, it’s also a good idea to stagger everyone’s showers to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your pipes and your water heater. This will also conveniently help to structure everyone’s day.

Uh-Oh, Ran Into Issues?

These simple tricks are a great way to keep your plumbing system running as it should despite your full house. But if you notice your drains are gurgling or out-right clogged after your guests leave, give us a call. Our experienced, licensed, and insured plumbers are available 24/7 even throughout the holidays, and they’re happy to help you and your plumbing system recover from the festivities. We’re also available if something urgent threatens to ruin your Christmas or Hanukah, like frozen pipes or a flood. Simply give us a call, and we can be there right away to keep your holidays on track.

Read More

Plumbing Tips For New Homeowners

Posted by on December 14/2015 | 0Comments

Plumbing Tips

Whether it’s going to be your first home or your seventh, purchasing a new house is an exciting opportunity for you and your family. As one of the biggest investments you’ll make in life, it can also be an overwhelming experience. Too often, when our plumbers answer calls they learn that homeowners didn’t know about pre-existing issues before they bought the house. What should have been caught before they settled on a mortgage got swept up in the excitement of a new home, only to be revealed when their belongings were still packed away in little brown boxes.

Comprehensive Inspection

It’s important that a comprehensive inspection is completed on the entire house, including its plumbing and drainage system. This assessment should be carried out by a professional that you know to be trustworthy, competent, and methodical in their approach. Don’t entrust the physical check-up of your potential new home to the first or cheapest inspector that you find. That’s a recipe for disaster, as their low bill is a direct reflection of their skill and experience. Ask your real estate agent for a few referrals, and interview the candidates until you find one you and your family feel good about trusting.

Once an inspector has been chosen, it’s important that you co-ordinate a time and date that works for both of your schedules. It’s imperative that you accompany them during their appraisal of your home, so there are no surprises when it comes to issues with the house. You’ll also understand the extent of any problems that they find, as you’ll be able to ask pertinent questions that could reveal the severity of the defect and influence the priority of your repairs.

While touring the home with your inspector, it’s a good rule of thumb that you perform your own checks. Inspect any exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for leaks. Moisture around pipes and fixtures is a direct give-away that there’s a leak; however, the presence of mould, mildew, and cracks around pipes is also an indication of faulty plumbing. You should also check to see if all of the toilets and sinks operate as they should. Run taps to see if the kitchen, laundry, and washroom sinks and tubs drain properly without delay or unusual sounds. Flush toilets to see if the bowl releases and fills in an appropriate amount of time.

Detailed Assessment

By carrying out a detailed assessment of the house, you can draft a mortgage with a full understanding of what awaits you in your new home. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best inspector can’t always predict future problems. External factors affecting the main sewer line can cause a surprise flood in an otherwise healthy home. Careless maintenance of your sinks and tubs can put strain on your systems and create problems down the line.

As a new homeowner, the last thing you want to do is struggle with plumbing problems. If you notice something isn’t right with your home, call us right away. Whether it’s for a middle-of-the-night emergency or it’s just for general repairs, we’ll arrive at your door ready to complete quick, reliable, and reasonable repairs. Just give us a call and we’ll be there!

Read More