Locate Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Before an Emergency Occurs

sutoffvalveFrozen pipes are among the most common plumbing problems during the Colorado winter. This is especially common in pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures. As water pressure builds up inside the pipe, this causes the pipe to burst eventually.

When this happens, you need to act fast. Otherwise, the floors surrounding the area may become flooded. Depending on the severity and location of the pipe damage, a burst pipe may damage your floors, belongings, and even your walls.

Since the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for plumbers, it may take a while before a Erie plumber reaches your home. It is important that you know where your main water shutoff valve is located so as to prevent further damage in emergency situations such as this.

Locate main water valve

If you live in a place with a colder climate, you might want to start looking inside the house. The crawlspace, utility room, and basement are good places to start looking. The valve may be located inside your garage, near your water heater, in the basement or in an outside wall in a utility area in your home. Look for where your Erie plumbing enters the home. If you can’t find it inside the house, try to look outside. It should be very close to your water meter. For those who live in warmer climates, the shut-off valve is usually located outside.

Recognize your valve

There are 2 main types of shutoff valves – Gate valve and ball valve. These are the types of valves you will find in most homes in the country.

Gate valves usually last for several years and are very reliable. However, they take a little more effort to close and can become stiff with age. If you find yourself struggling to fully close the valve or require the use of a tool to turn it, consider having it replaced before a plumbing emergency arise.

Ball valves are very trustworthy. Plus, the handles are easier to turn. To close the valve, give the handle a simple quarter turn until it becomes perpendicular to the body. To open, turn the handle until it is positioned parallel to the body.

 

Protect Your Sump Pump from Freezing During the Winter

sumppumpDuring the winter, when the temperature drops below freezing point, it is especially important to keep an eye on all the installations and appliances in your Boulder home. Otherwise, they might freeze. The sump pump is one of them.

Sump pumps are used to eject water from your home to prevent flooding issues. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather in Boulder can wreak havoc on your sump pump. If your sump pump freezes, it won’t be able to pump water out, and you may end up with a flooded basement.

By taking some precautionary measures, you can keep your house and pipes safe and save thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are some tips to protect your Boulder sump pump from freezing during the winter.

Give the sump pump a slight slope

Give a little slope to your sump pump pipe to prevent water from accumulating inside the pipe and ensure that water evacuates from the pipe easily. Make sure that the outlet of your Boulder sump pump is at a lower level than that of the sump pump. Respect the gravity.

Use wide pipes

Sump pumps typically have a 1 1/4’’ to 1 1/2” outlet. Use a discharge hose that is larger than average to reduce blockages. The discharge hose is more likely to become clogged if the water has a limited amount of space to pass through. Plus, an undersized discharge tubing will force the sump pump to run longer each time it is turned on.

Bury sump pump hose underground

During the Boulder winter, the earth’s ground creates a natural insulation, which keeps it warm. To prevent water from collecting and freezing in the hose bury the sump pump hose underground, preferably about 5 inches below the frost line. As long as it is buried on the ground, freezing won’t be an issue.

Disconnect the sump pump extension hose

Sump pumps are equipped with extension hose, which helps get rid of water and drain it away from your home. While this may seem beneficial during the summer, it is likely to freeze in winter.

To prevent freezing, we suggest that you remove the sump pump extension hose before the temperature outside drops below freezing level. Failure to do this may lead to a broken sump pump or a flooded basement.

Tips to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster This Thanksgiving

thanksgivingplumbingThanksgiving is usually synonymous with family gatherings, feasts of epic proportions and of course, fun. But with a major meal being prepared and all your relatives in the house, this holiday can be stressful for Erie household drains. In fact, the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for Erie plumbers all over the country.

Here are some helpful suggestions to avoid a plumbing disaster this thanksgiving.

Take care of minor clogs

Unless your plumbing is bad shape, your pipes won’t get clogged in one day. Plumbing problems usually build up over a period of weeks. The added stress on thanksgiving only makes the situation worse. If you have a problematic drain, we recommend that you call a plumber and take care of the issue before Thanksgiving or before your guests arrive.

Don’t throw grease down the drain

We all know the consequences of throwing grease and fat down the drain. But for harried cooks who need to prepare several dishes within the day, the easiest way to get rid of fat is down the drain. But if you do, you may have to spend the day after Thanksgiving stressing over a clogged kitchen sink rather than Black Friday shopping.

Fats, grease and cooking oil can congeal and solidify in your pipes, causing it to clog. When disposing fats and grease, place it in a plastic bottle and then dispose of it in the trash can. We also recommend wiping off greasy pans and plates before putting them in the sink.

Use the garbage disposal wisely

It can be tempting to send large pieces of food down the garbage disposal. Keep in mind, though, that overloading the garbage disposal can lead to serious plumbing problems.

Given that there will be large amounts of waste and food peelings, it is best to put them in the trash can. Avoid throwing potato peels, cranberry sauce, bits of turkey fat, bones and gravy down the drain.

Don’t treat the toilet bowl like a trash can

With a wide mouth and a relatively powerful drainage, a lot of people are tempted to throw things like tampons, cigarette butts, condoms, medications and others down the toilet. Remember, anything that is not created by your body should not be flushed in the toilet. You have your trash can for that.

Wait in between showers

If you are planning to have the whole family to stay in your house over the holiday, advice guests to wait 10 minutes between showers to give drains time to clear. It is also a good idea to put drain strainers to keep hair and small items from slipping down the drain.

Signs Your Water Heater is About to Fail

Hot Water HeaterAs with most appliances, water heaters break down over time. A failing water heater is an inconvenience. Nothing is worse than hopping in the shower and realizing there’s no hot water.

A few telltale signs will tell you that your Erie water heater is about to fail. Here are a few things to watch out for.

You’ve sprung a leak

If you notice moisture or water around the Erie water heater, this may indicate the presence of a leak in the tank. This is may be a sign of an internal failure. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for a Erie leaking water heater. Turn off the gas to the unit or disconnect the electricity and call a plumber immediately to address the problem.

Unusual noises

There is nothing worse than a Erie water heater that whines, knocks, creaks, or bangs. This is mostly attributed to the sediments that settle on the bottom of your water heater tank.  In most cases, flushing the tank will help solve the problem. But if you still hear unusual noises after flushing, this may be a sign that the water heater has reached the end of its useful life.

Rusty water

You noticed rusty water coming out from the faucet. If it only comes from the hot side piping, then it means that the tank is starting to rust and corrode. Unfortunately, you can’t repair the tank once it starts to rust or corrode. That means water heater may be on its way out.

Your water heater is more than 10 years

Most Erie residential water heaters come with 5 to 10-year warranty. Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, we recommend replacing your water heater if it is more than 10 years old. You may not be experiencing problems now, but is likely to leak or fail to produce hot water in the near future. It may lead to a bigger problem if you wait too long.

No one enjoys taking a cold shower. You can avoid the damage and disruption of a failing water heater by getting a new before the cold weather kicks in.

Common Plumbing Myths That May Cost You Money

Plumbing MythsGrowing up, family and friends would tell us little myths, which we eventually mistaken as the truth. Sometimes, these myths are so widespread that people actually believe them. In fact, some can even be found on the internet. A word of caution, though, not everything you read on the Internet is true.

Don’t make uneducated assumptions about your Erie plumbing system. Knowing what’s true and what isn’t when it comes to plumbing will help you keep your plumbing working and save you from costly repairs.

Here are some common plumbing myths that may cost you money.

A leaky faucet is no big deal

It’s just a small drip, so you ignore it and forget about it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a slow leak at a rate of one drip per second would waste more than 3,000 gallons of Erie water a year. Not only that, these Erie leaks can also hike up your Erie Colorado water bill.

You should keep water running when using the garbage disposal

A lot of people think that they can put anything down the garbage disposal just as long as they keep the water running while doing so. This is certainly not the case. Not everything is made to go down the disposal unit, even when the water is running.

Stringy foods such as potato skins and celery may stick to the blades and cause blockage. Oil and grease will create a thick coating down your drain and create a messy clog that can be extremely difficult to remove.

Use chemical drain cleaners to avoid clogs

Chemical drain cleaners are not just harmful to your Erie pipes; they are also harmful to the Colorado environment. They usually contain toxic chemicals that may corrode your pipes, which may cause extensive damage to your plumbing system.

My drain has no clogging issue as long as things are going down

Although your Erie disposal is still functioning and water still goes down the drain, slow moving water and waste fragments is a clear sign that you may have a serious clog on your hands. We recommend that you address the problem in the soonest possible time in order to save you from stress and serious repair costs.

Putting lemons on your garbage disposal keeps it clean and fresh

Although lemons may help produce a pleasing odor in your kitchen, it doesn’t actually clean anything. In fact, the citric acid in lemons can damage your disposal.

 

How to Prevent Clogged Drains

Hoe to Prevent a Clogged DrainThe dreaded clogged drain is one of the most common problems homeowners face. Not only does it cause bad odor, it can also lead to several problems that require expensive Firestone Colorado plumbing repair.

It is far easier, not to mention inexpensive, to prevent clogs than it is to address the problem when it happens. Knowing what causes the drains to become clogged can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Avoid the inconvenience and annoyance of a clogged drain by following these tips.

Clean your drains routinely

Most Firestone homeowners do not think about drain maintenance until they experience a clogged drain. One of the best ways to prevent clogs is to prevent it in the first place.

To keep drains running freely, consider pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, finish off by pouring hot water. This will do a great job of flushing the drain line. Another way is to fill the tub or sink with water to the brim. Then, pull out the stopper. Do this once a week to prevent clogged drain.

Use drain stoppers

One of the simplest ways to prevent clogs in the Firestone bathroom or kitchen is to use a drain stopper. This prevents soap scum, hair and food from entering the drain. However, these stoppers tend to accumulate hair, soap scums and other residues over time. That said, it is best to pull out the stoppers and clean them off once in a while.

You can avoid the hassle and the unnecessary spending by not allowing the culprits to go down the drain.

Flush with hot water

Cold water can make oils from food products build up on the interior surface of the pipe; thus, causing it to clog. Small bits of food may stick to grease in your pipes and cause a clog. To help things run smoothly, we suggest that you pour hot water down the drain to prevent grease build up.

Ditch the grease

Some things should never go down the drain, grease is one of them. Instead of throwing cooking grease down the drain, we suggest that you put it in a cardboard milk container or in an old coffee can. Then, throw it in the garbage can.

Why Is Hard Water A Problem?

WhyIsHardWaterAProblemWater is a universal solvent that can easily pick up impurities. As it moves through rock and soil, it dissolves small amounts of minerals like magnesium and calcium. When a high percentage of these minerals are present in the water, then it is classified as hard water.

Hard water in Louisville, Colorado is a common concern for many homeowners. While it isn’t bad for your health, it can be a nuisance. Here are some of the problems that are caused by hard water.

Health

While hard water in Louisville has no known adverse health effect, there are other aspects of it that can impact your health. When you shower with hard water, it leaves a film of sticky soap scurd on the skin, which can clog your pores and cause skin irritation in some people. In addition, the minerals in hard water may make soap and cleaning products less effective. Hence, showers and dishwashing may not be quite as hygienic.

Plumbing problems

While the presence of minerals in the water can be beneficial to your health, constant contact with hard water can cause extreme consequences on your pipes and appliances. Hard water causes all sorts of plumbing problems like increased stress on fixtures and pipes, clogs and reduced water flow.

Appliances

The minerals in hard water can cause problems for your appliances, including your water heater, dish washer and washing machine. Over time, minerals will cling to the internal parts of these machines and leave a whitish residue. Once the scale deposits itself on the surface, getting it off can be a challenge. Eventually, these appliances will begin to falter and will need to be replaced.

Laundry

White clothes washed in hard water tends to have a grey or yellow appearance and feel scratchy and harsh. This is because hard water in Louisville Colorado leaves soap curds and detergent deposits on fabrics. Because soap curds tend to cling to fabric fiber, continuous washing in hard water can shorten the life of the clothes by as much as 40%.

 

Quick Tips for Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

disposal A Garbage disposal is a valuable household tool. It is a great appliance that makes household duties less demanding. A worn out disposal can be a major inconvenience. If you want to keep it grinding away daily, you should make it a habit to care for your garbage disposal and keep it in good shape.

Keeping your garbage disposal in good condition isn’t difficult. Here are some quick tips for maintaining your garbage disposal.

Know what not to put in your garbage disposal

Keep Fibrous, starchy and hard items out of the disposal. Fibrous foods like potato peels, corn husks, celery, broccoli and banana skins can get stuck in the disposal and jam the rotating parts. In addition, hard objects will dull the shredder, making it less efficient.

Clean it regularly

Cleaning and deodorizing your garbage disposal is easy. Just place the stopper in the sink and fill it with hot water. Add ¼ cup of bleach and let it sit for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the drain and turn on the disposal until the last of the water has drained.

For a fresh citrusy smell, we suggest that you pour hot water into the garbage disposal, followed by a few slices of lemon. Do this occasionally to knock off debris from the blades and other hard to clean areas.

Turn on the water while the disposal is running

You want the fats and oils in your garbage disposal to congeal so it would be easier to flush them out. Therefore, it is important to use cold water when operating the disposal. To ensure that all food particles have been adequately washed out, you need to keep the water running for at least 30 seconds, even after the grinding has stopped.

Hot water should not be used as it can cause overheating. While it’s okay to run hot water after you’ve used the disposal, it shouldn’t be used when grinding food.

 

Erie, Boulder, Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Firestone

Spring Plumbing Tips

plumbingspring_3.8

Plumbing problems in Longmont, CO are one of homeowner’s biggest nightmares. Unfortunately, they seem to rear their sludgy heads during the spring months. Plumbing problems that went unnoticed during the cold, winter months suddenly become evident as all the snow finally melts.

Now that spring has sprung, it is time to get ready for the warmer weather. Keep your plumbing humming all year with these tips. By following these tips, you’ll have much more time enjoying the beautiful weather in Longmont.

Check for leaks

Spotting a leak early can help you save thousands of dollars on plumbing repairs. Not only that, it can also help you save money on your utility bill.

A leaky faucet can waste as much as 5 gallons of water a day. Check your faucets, toilets and shower heads for leaks. Make sure to have it fixed before it turns into a major plumbing issue.

Check your sump pump

Flooding in Longmont, CO is common during this time of the year as a result of melting snow and warm rains. We hate to see your basement get flooded because of this.

If you haven’t checked your sump pump in a while, you might want to do so now. Pour a bucket of water into the basin of your sump pump to see if it is working properly. Your sump pump should turn on, start pumping out water and then shut off on its own.

Check pipes for leaks

The winter months can take a heavy toll on your pipes. Some pipes freeze and crack during the winter, and homeowners only find out about it in spring.

Check exposed pipes in the basement and under the sinks for signs of leaks. If there’s a leak somewhere in the pipes, then a good amount of water is wasted. Replace damaged pipes to avoid expensive water damage.

Biggest Threats to Your Plumbing System

Drain in a bathroom. drain plugThe plumbing system is considered as one of the most integral systems in your home. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most overlooked. Lack of maintenance can cause damage to your plumbing system and an inconvenient interruption to your daily life.

The best way to avoid a plumbing emergency in Erie, CO is to identify potential risks and then take measures to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more about the biggest threats that can wreck your plumbing system.

Tree roots

Your water line plays an important part in your enjoyment of modern day conveniences. It is the source of all fresh water that you use in your home on a daily basis.  The problem is that tree roots penetrate the water line and wrap around the pipes when they grow; thereby, causing your pipes to burst.

To prevent lasting damage in Erie, CO, it is important to have your water line inspected annually. If the tree roots are obstructing the flow of water into your home, then you should have them removed.

Hard water

Hard water in Erie contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals, particularly magnesium and calcium. These minerals can build up over time, creating limescale. This can wreak havoc all over your plumbing system. If allowed to build up for too long, it becomes large enough that it restricts the flow of water through the pipe, reducing water pressure.

Mineral build up can also cause your pipes to rust. The pipes may look fine on the outside, but the inside may be rotting away in a mass of rust.

Grease

Pouring grease down the drain is a classic plumbing error that will come back to haunt you when the drain gets clogged. Grease may be liquid when you pour it down the drain, but it will eventually harden when it cools down. This creates a really nasty mess that can lead to a blockage.