Protect Your Pipes from Freezing in Frigid Weather

Freezing PipesDuring the Colorado winter months, when the temperature drops below freezing in Boulder, pipes that are located outside your home or in unprotected areas become prone to freezing. Any pipe that freezes can burst. Not only is it inconvenient, it can also translate to an expensive repair.

Luckily, you can prevent freezing pipes and costly damage that comes with them by taking some preventive measures. Follow these tips to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.

Unhook the garden hose

Before the temperature in your Boulder home drop below freezing, we recommend that you disconnect water hose from the outside spigot. This should be a part of your regular seasonal maintenance.

Wicked winter weather can cause your garden hose to freeze. Water inside the pipe expands when it freezes. This puts a tremendous pressure to the pipes and throughout the plumbing system. Eventually, this causes an interior pipe to burst.

Insulate pipes

A lot of people do not realize this, but the pipes in your home also need protection during the winter. Use foam-rubber pipe insulation to protect your pipes from the cold. Even a tiny opening can let enough cold air in, causing the pipes to freeze. Make sure there are no gaps and that the foam insulation fits tightly.

Keep in mind, though, that this alone does not prevent your pipes from freezing. Rather, it just helps in slowing down the rate of heat transfer.

Leave the cabinet doors open

If any of your sink is located against an outside wall, the pipes underneath the sink are at risk of freezing. This is because they don’t insulate really well. Keep your pipes warm by opening the cabinet doors. This will allow the warm air inside the house to get to the pipes under the sink and prevent them from freezing.

Additional preventive measures

If you are taking a trip this winter, be sure to take additional preventive measures to protect your pipes from freezing.

Call Paradigm Plumbing and have a plumber check the system. It is also a good idea to drain the pipes. Shut off the main water supply and then flush the toilets and open all faucets. Let the water flow until the pipes are emptied. This will greatly reduce the possible damage, no matter what happens to your plumbing system while you’re away.

Common Plumbing Problems in Winter

winterplumbingPlumbing problems are bound to happen any time of the year. But with the freezing temperature and snowfall brought about by the Colorado winter, there’s a higher chance of enduring plumbing problems in your Erie Home.

Here’s a list of some of the most common plumbing problems Erie homeowners face in winter, along with some suggestions on how to prevent them.

Water heater breakdown

During the winter months, when the temperature drops below zero, your Erie water heater has to work extra hard to meet the demands of your family. Considering that you use hot water for different activities throughout the day, don’t be surprised if you experience some problems with your water heater in winter time.

To avoid this inconvenience, we recommend that you have your water heater serviced before the cold weather kicks in. Flushing your water heater annually is an important task. It helps get rid of sediments and mineral deposits that accumulated at the bottom of your tank. Plus, it helps your water heater to function more efficiently.

Frozen pipes

Pipes are at risk of freezing when the weather gets extremely cold. Without immediate thawing, the pipes may burst eventually.

Keep your pipes protected and heated by installing insulation tubes. It is also a good idea to let water run through your tap constantly to prevent your pipes from freezing. Yes, this may increase your water bill, but it can save you from the hassle and expense of a frozen or burst pipe.

Water line break

Water inside the pipes will expand when subjected to extreme temperature. This can cause blockage in the pipes and may lead to a leak or break over time.

Prepare your outdoor plumbing for winter by draining all outdoor pipes, making sure it is clear of water. Also, detach the garden hose and store it inside the house. For added safety, we suggest that you shut off the valves as well. If done properly, this can prevent potential problems and costly repairs.

If you’re not comfortable handling these tasks on your own, please do not hesitate to call Paradigm Plumbing. Our friendly and reliable plumbers will be more than willing to help.

 

Winterizing Your Swimming Pool

 

paradigm_11.10

The leaves are changing color and the weather is getting cold. As the warm memories of summer months start to fade away, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your swimming pool.

Pool closing time is usually a sad time for everyone, but this is beneficial as it can protect your pool from damage caused by frozen water. Plus, it saves you a lot of time and money when you re-open it in the spring.

Follow the steps below to make pool winterizing a breeze.

Balance the water

Adjust the water to its recommended levels of chlorination, pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness 4 to 7 days prior to closing your pool. This protects the pool from scale buildup and corrosion.

Clean the pool

Make sure that the pool is clean before winterizing. Scoop out any dirt, insects, leaves and other debris. You can either use a vacuum or just fish them out with a net. Then, clean the skimmers and waterline with a brush. Also, remove handrails, ladders, pool cleaners, vacuums, slide, wall fittings, heaters, skimmer baskets or anything else that shouldn’t be on the pool.

Reduce water level

Lower the water level to approximately 6 inches below the return jets and skimmer line. Never drain your pool completely during the winter months as this can lead to damage.

Drain the equipment

Water that is not drained out of your equipment can expand and crack in the winter. Make sure that the filters, pump, heaters and chlorinator are totally drained of water. To do this, you’ll need a shop vac or a compressor. Disconnect hoses from the filter and skimmer. Then, store them in a dry place.

Cover the pool

Place a winter cover on the pool’s surface. Make sure it is installed and tied down securely. This is important so as to prevent dirt, leaves and other debris from getting in.

If you’re not confident that you can winterize your pool on your own, we highly recommend hiring a swimming pool professional.

 

 

Erie, Boulder, Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Firestone

How to Avoid Common Plumbing Problems This Winter in Erie Colorado

paradigm_10.13.15

The arrival of winter often brings with it a number of plumbing problems. These can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Failure to take preventive measures could lead to serious damage and result in expensive repairs.

Here are some ways to prevent major plumbing problems this winter.

Check the sump pump

Sump pumps are a key part of your plumbing and drainage maintenance system. They work hard to keep water out of your basement and keep it dry. Make sure that your sump pump is working properly. You don’t want to deal with water damage while planning out your holiday parties.

Make sure the water heater works properly

Your water heater is used all year round, but it works especially hard during the winter. Make sure that you water heater is in top condition so as to ensure that your family has access to hot water during the drafty months of winter.  Call a plumbing professional and have your water heater serviced before the temperature drops below freezing.

Insulate your pipes

Pipes can freeze when temperature drops below zero. This may result in blockage or burst pipes. To minimize the chances of a burst or frozen pipes, consider applying insulation sleeves to the pipes near the exterior of your home. Also, don’t forget to check pipes for cracks as these can be indicative of freezing.

Clean out drains and gutters

Snow, debris and leaves can block up the drains and gutters of your home. Ice will form if your drain and gutters are collecting too much debris, eventually causing it to break. Take some time to clear out leaves and other debris.

Going away

Pipes that get used on a regular basis are not as likely to freeze up. But your pipes may be in danger of freezing if you’re going on vacation during the winter months. If you’ll be gone for more than a week, consider calling a plumber to drain your pipes.

 

 

How to Winterize Your Sprinkler System: Sprinkler Blow-outs in Boulder County

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Winterization is an important part of maintaining a properly functioning sprinkler system. Prepare your sprinkler system for winter by removing water from the sprinklers and pipes before winter freeze up. This is necessary to avoid costly repairs and replacements in spring.

Water freezing in the irrigation system will break the pumps, sprinklers, valves, fittings, pipes and other system components. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of these problems until you turn your sprinkler system in the spring.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the steps involved in winterizing your sprinkler system. Read on and have that peace of mind that you’ll have a sprinkler system that is ready to be re-opened in the spring.

Manual drain method

Drain the system by turning the irrigation system off. This will prevent more water from entering the system. Then, turn all the manual drain valves on.  These valves are usually located at the low points and end points of the piping of the sprinkler system. Water should drain out on its own after opening the valves. Open the drain cap or the boiler drain valve on the stop and waste valve once the water has drained out of the mainline.

Most sprinklers have check valves. If the sprinklers in your system have it, you’ll need to pull it up so that the water can drain out of the bottom of the sprinkler head.

Depending on the location of the drain valves, there could be some excess water in the sprinklers, piping or backflow even after you have completed the steps above. If so, you could try using a wet/dry shop vacuum to get any remaining amounts of water out.

Draining out the sprinklers, piping and backflow may take several minutes. Close the manual drain valves once the water finishes draining.