Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Winterize your Plumbing

Simple Solutions To Common Winter Plumbing Issues

During the winter, the temperatures drop and your home’s plumbing can suffer from a range of different problems that all have the potential to cause significant damage. There are always solutions to any plumbing issue, whether that’s performing a DIY task or needing to call in a professional plumber for advice or help.

All homeowners should be aware of the potential problems that can arise with their plumbing when the winter months hit. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common plumbing issues that homeowners face with every winter and how to resolve them.drain cleaning

Clogged Drains and Gutters

Over time, your drains and gutters can collect a lot of dirt and debris. When you have a buildup in your plumbing system during the winter, ice can form on top of the rubble. The ice will cause extra weight, and it can result in the drain breaking or the gutter falling.

Throughout fall, the trees shed their leaves; this is where a lot of the debris build up comes from. Before it gets icy and cold, check your gutters and drains and give them a good clean out. You can also install gutter guards to prevent large amounts of dirt and debris from gathering.

Cooking Oils and Grease

During the winter, when the temperatures are colder, cooking oils and grease are a lot more likely to solidify in your pipes. Grease and oils already take their toll on drains and pipes in the first place, so don’t add extra strain to them during the winter.

Try and avoid pouring these liquids down your sink at any time of the year, but especially during the winter. Instead, pour the oil or grease into a container, an old chip packet or a yogurt pot then let it solidify and put into your garbage bin.

If your drains or pipes have become clogged with oils or grease, don’t attempt to use off shelf drain cleaners as they can cause more damage. Instead, call in a local plumber.

Insulating Your Pipes

During the bitter cold winters, it’s not uncommon for pipes to freeze due to the cold temperature. When pipes freeze, there’s a chance that they could crack or burst. When your pipes are damaged due them freezing, repairs can be costly. With Christmas not too far in the distance, the last thing you need is to fork out money for pipe repairs. You can avoid damaged pipes this winter by having them insulated.

Depending on where you live, and how old your home is, most homes now are built with insulation. If your home is lacking insulation, don’t worry. Pipe insulation doesn’t cost much, so if you’re feeling up to it, it can be a DIY job. If you’re not much of a do it yourself person and you’d prefer to employ a professional to carry out the job, it can be done quickly and for quite an affordable price.

Outdoor Faucet

During the winter, it’s very uncommon for us to use our outdoor faucet. When it comes back round to the summer, and you go to water your lawn, your valve may not work due to it freezing during the winter and the washer breaking. You can avoid a broken outdoor faucet by replacing the washer with a frost proof one.

Sump Pump Backup

Before the transition from fall to winter is complete, inspect and clean your sump pump pit from any debris or dirt. During colder months, you may also find some ice in the pit; this will also need to be removed. If your sump pump is not clear, it can lead to clogs and flooding.

If you have any questions as to how to prepare your plumbing for the upcoming Winter just give us a call.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

A Quick Guide To Water Softeners

A Quick Guide To Water Softeners

If you live in an area where hard water is present, you may hear a few people complaining about it. Hard water can be a nuisance as it can cause scale build-up and it also stops shampoo and soaps from lathering properly.

A lot of people ask, do I really need a water softener? Below is a guide that will introduce you to what hard water is, how to determine if you have hard water and more. This will help you to understand whether or not water softeners are for you.

What is hard water?

Hard water is very natural; it hasn’t been touched by a chemical process. Hard water is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium – these are quite beneficial minerals to the human body, but they can cause damage to appliances that use water and items that are washed with the water.

Many people are put off from having hard water due to the scale build up in appliances and the plumbing system. One of the most common reasons for people wanting soft water is that hard water gives off a strange smell. The smell is often an earthy, sulfur like smell, and is due to the minerals found in the water.

Do I have hard water?

You can only have hard water or soft water in your home; there’s no in between. If you aren’t sure what type of water your home is receiving, it’s relatively easy to identify. After you have washed your dishes, inspect them. If the plates, glasses, or cutlery have spots, stains or appear foggy, there’s a high chance you have hard water. Hard water can damage dishes due to its abrasiveness.

Hard water produces a lot of scale. You may find a lime scale build up in kitchen appliances that use water. The scale can also build up in your plumbing system and boiler – it can affect the appliances by making them work harder – this makes them less efficient. If the scale builds up within the pipes too much, it can stop water from being able to run through them properly, and this can be an expensive problem to sort out.

Hard water not only affects appliances, it can make sensitive skin itchy and dry, and it can also make your hair feel dull and dry. Hard water can make clothing and fabric fade a lot faster, as well as affecting white clothing, making it grayer in appearance.

What is a water softener?

A water softener removes the minerals and ions from the hard water – the process is known as an ion exchange. When you install a water softener, all of the negatives of hard water won’t happen anymore. You’ll find that soaps lather as they should, limescale won’t build up, and there won’t be any further stains on your glasses, dishes, and cutlery.

There are many different types of water softeners – shop around and ask for some professional help, you want to purchase one that suits your home.

Do I need a water softener?

If your home has hard water, a water softener is recommended. Although hard water is not unsafe to drink, it can cause damage to appliances in your home that use water. To prolong the lifespan of these, have a water softener installed by a professional plumber.

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