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.

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.

 

Why You Shouldn’t Attempt Sewage Backup Cleanup By Yourself

sewage-backupIf you’re like most Erie Colorado homeowners, you probably try to find answers on the internet in an attempt to tackle the issue on your own. Although DIY repair is a great way for developing new skills and saving money, there are certain tasks that should be left in the hands of professionals. Sewage backup clean up is one of them.

Health risks

Erie sewage spills can occur at home as a result of sewer system backups, backed up septic tanks, toilet overflows or blocked plumbing. This can be an absolute nightmare for homeowners. Not only is it disgusting, it also creates a hazardous environment for your family.

Sewage water contains human waste. In some cases, it may also contain toxic substances such as residuals from pharmaceutical drugs and pesticides.

People who come in contact with sewage water – from skin contact to inhalation – can become devastatingly sick. Even if the water appears clean, it still contains many of the same organisms that live inside the human body, including e-coli, bacteria and parasites. As such, sewage backup cleanup is something you should never attempt on your own.

According to the EPA, about 7 million people suffer from fecal-oral diseases every year after being exposed to raw sewage.

People get these diseases due to direct contact with sewage. The most common way to come in contact with Erie sewage is when your sewer line backs up into your home. Another is drinking water or using objects that came in contact with sewage water. When sewage treatment plants do not dispose of contaminated water properly, contaminated water could get into recreational or drinking water sources that are nearby.

If you have stumbled upon this article because you are faced with cleaning up an area that has been contaminated with sewage, please do yourself a favor and call a plumber today. Don’t risk your health or the health of those around you.

 

Plumbing Winterization Tips

plumbingwinterizationtips_10-15The cold weather can wreak havoc your Firestone plumbing system. Plumbing problems seem to occur when your home isn’t prepared for the winter. As such, we recommend you to take extra precautions to ensure that your pipes will work smoothly all winter long.

Your winter should be full of fun, laughter, and warm family get-togethers. Get your Firestone plumbing ready before the cold weather sets to prevent plumbing problems from interfering with the holidays.

Inspect for leaks

Fall is the best time to have your plumbing system checked and inspected by a Firestone plumber. When the temperature starts to plummet, even the smallest leaks can turn into major problems.

During the inspection, they’ll check the sinks, toilets, faucets and your pipes. In case a leak is found, it will be addressed on the spot; hence, preventing it from turning into a bigger, more complicated problem.

Insulate pipes

Exposed pipes, specifically those in the garage, basement, attic and crawl spaces, present the biggest threat to your home in winter. Water can freeze in them and bust your pipes, causing thousands and thousands of dollars of property damage. On top of that, you’ll be faced with an expensive repair.

Make sure your pipes are well insulated. Protect exposed pipes from cold temperatures by wrapping them with electrical heating tape. Another option is to slip foam-rubber insulation over your pipes.

Shut off outdoor plumbing

With all the things you need to tackle during the fall, a lot of homeowners tend to forget about their outdoor plumbing.

Your outdoor pipes and faucets are at risk of freezing and bursting in winter. When this happens, your entire house may suffer. Remove and drain your water hose and store them inside the house. This will prevent your pipes from bursting unnecessarily.

Flush your water heater

Hot water is a necessity during the cold winter months. But with regular use, sediments may accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank and eventually lead to rust and leaks. Extend the life of your Firestone water heater and improve its efficiency by having your water heater drained on an annual basis.

If you have no idea how to go about this task, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re here to help.

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.

Signs It’s Time to Replace or Upgrade Your Plumbing

Signs its Time to Upgrade your Plumbing Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes in your Longmont Colorado home. Although plumbing pipes usually last an average of 70 to 100 years, they would rust, corrode, and deteriorate over time. Unless you have them replaced, you are likely to face a Longmont plumbing disaster, which will cause serious damage to your home.

Don’t wait to upgrade your Longmont plumbing before it’s too late. Look for these telltale signs and have your plumbing replaced or upgraded before catastrophe strikes.

Pipe material and their lifespan

The first thing you need to do is to determine the material your pipes are made of. This will give you an idea how long your pipes are supposed to last. On average, galvanized steel and brass remains functional for 80 to 100 years. Copper lasts for 70 to 80 years, while Longmont PVC drain lines last for about 25 to 40 years. From here, you can determine whether or not your pipes are past their prime. If so, then that can be a cause of concern.

Leaks

Longmont Plumbing pipes will begin to leak more and more as they get older. Regardless of how old your plumbing pipes are, it is imperative that you have them replaced if you notice frequent leaks.

Although occasional leaks are considered as a minor plumbing problem, frequent leaks may be a sign of an aging pipe system. Installing new plumbing is actually more cost effective than having to call a plumber every few months to fix a leak.

Water discoloration

Discolored water is usually a concern, unless you live in a rural area, have well water or you’re under a boil order. If yellow or brown-collored water comes out of your faucet, that’s a clean sign that there is rust inside your pipe.

Corrosion

Pipes deteriorate over time. Dimpling, stains on the tubing and discolorations may indicate metal stress. Over time, this may cause your pipes to burst.

If the pipes look bad on the outside, they must be in worse shape on the inside. If your pipes look like they are corroding, you might want to call a plumber to install new plumbing.

Please contact Paradigm Plumbing if you notice any of the signs listed above. We’ll have your pipes checked as soon as possible and give you a sound advice on the next step to take.

Tips to Make Your Water Heater Last Longer

Tips to make your water heater last longerWater heaters play an important role in our everyday lives. Without hot water, you’ll be forced to use cold water for bathing, washing clothes and washing dishes. However, a lot of Longmont homeowners don’t give their water heater much thought until something goes wrong.

As with most appliances, it is important to maintain this appliance to keep it in top shape. Although water heaters usually last for 8 to 12 years, proper maintenance can extend the life of your unit.

Here are some tips to keep it running efficiently and last for a very long time.

Flush it

Your Longmont water heater collects sediments with regular use. These sediments settle at the bottom of the tank and build-up over time. This may cause rust to develop inside the tank, which will decrease the efficiency of your water heater.

Flushing sediments from the tank should be done annually. This simple task will not only help eliminate dangerous sediments; it will also increase your water heater’s efficiency and longevity.

Reduce heating load

Water heaters are usually set to operate at 140 degrees. This setting will put a strain on your water heater and may run the risk of scalding you or someone in your family. As such, we recommend that you set the temperature at 120 degrees.

A water heater set at 120 degrees will cost less to operate. Plus, it will help reduce the amount of calcium carbonate sediment to precipitate and sink to the bottom of your tank.

Keep the area around the unit clear

Considering that most water heaters operate at 140 degrees, it can get very hot. As such, it is important to keep the area around the unit free of clutter. Leaving things such as paint thinner, gasoline, or anything with flammable vapors near a gas water heater can be a fire hazard.

 

Signs You May Have a Leak in Your Plumbing

Plumbing LeaksA leak will only get worse over time. It can wreak havoc on your Louisville Colorado home and even weaken your home’s foundation. As such, it is important to detect plumbing leaks before they have a chance to cause too much damage. Unfortunately, Louisville plumbing leaks can be quite difficult to detect.

The good news is that you don’t need to know everything to determine that something is wrong with your plumbing.  Here are 4 signs you may have a leak in your plumbing.

Mold

Mold thrives in moist, dark areas. The bathroom is one of the most common areas to find mold because it provides the perfect environment for mold to grow. If you found some mold or mildew spots in the bathroom despite regular cleaning, you may have a plumbing leak.

It is important to address this issue as early as possible because mold is not only expensive and time-consuming to eradicate, it may also pose a serious health risk to you and your family.

Your bill has gone up

If you notice a significant increase on your Louisville water bill for no apparent reason, it may be due to a plumbing leak. Compare your water bill from the same month from the previous year to ensure that the spike isn’t due to a seasonal change.

Running water meter

This is one of the easiest ways to confirm whether you have a leak of any kind. Simply turn off all the water systems in your home. Make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are not being used. Now, take a look at your water meter. If your water meter ticks continuously, this may indicate that you have a leaking pipe somewhere in your home.

Strange smell

Water may start to accumulate when a plumbing leak goes unnoticed for long periods of time. If a water leak is left unfixed, you may notice a musty, earthy smell in a certain area of your home.

 

Reasons to Call an Emergency Plumber

Emergency Plumber Many of you have faced some Longmont plumbing problems in the past. In most cases, these problems are usually minor and you can handle them on your own or wait until the morning to call a Longmont plumber. But because most Longmont homeowners view plumbing as an absolute essential in their lives, many of them tend to panic when plumbing problems occur.

While there are some situations in which you may need the help of an emergency plumber, knowing the difference between routine and emergency plumbing will determine the type of service you should go for.

Here are 3 situations in which you should call a Longmont emergency plumber.

Overflowing toilet

Watching the water in your toilet rise to the brim may cause you stress and anxiety, but try not to panic. Stopping an overflowing toilet requires quick thinking and fast action. Take the lid off the tank and then push the flapper down to stop water from getting into the bowl. Then, turn off the main water supply. Once the water is off and calm is restored, now is the time to call a Longmont plumber.

Burst pipes

Burst pipes can be disastrous. It can flood your home, cause damage to your home, and leave you with an expensive repair bill. That said, you need to act fast to minimize the damage.

In this situation, the first thing you need to do is to turn off the main water supply. Then, turn on your taps to drain your water system. Finally, call an emergency plumber to repair the damage. If the water reaches your electric sockets or appliances, turn off the electronics and call an electrician as well.

Gas leak

A gas leak is extremely dangerous and can even become deadly if not addressed immediately. This can lead to an explosion, serious damage to property, injuries and even death.

A gassy smell is the first sign that something is terribly wrong. When faced with leaking gas, the first thing you need to do is to ask everyone to leave the house while you switch off the main valve. Call a plumber once you’re sure that everyone has made it outside.