Plumbing Maintenance for Spring

As the weather warms up in Erie CO, and more time is spent outdoors, now is the best time to perform plumbing maintenance and inspections that you have been putting off all winter. Think of it as a part of your spring maintenance.

These maintenance tasks will protect your home against plumbing problems and ruin the sunny days to come. Plus, performing thorough tests shouldn’t take too much of your time.

Consider these plumbing maintenance tips to help you get your home ready for spring.

Inspect for leaks

Check the sinks in the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen for drips and leaks. You may also want to look around toilets, drains, showers and bathtubs. If left unaddressed, this may lead to water damage and costly repairs. Call a plumber if you notice visible leaks or any damp spots.

Check sump pump

As the days warm up and the threat of winter snowfalls turns to spring showers, your plumbing system is yet to face another set of challenges – snow and heavy rains. Because of these, the threat of basement flooding increases.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to test your sump pump before the spring thaw to make sure that it is primed and ready for some hard work.

Check outdoors

While performing your spring plumbing checks, you may also want to take the time and effort to check the areas surrounding your home.

Check your outdoor pipes and faucets. Turn on the faucet to confirm that water can freely flow from them. Also, make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and other debris.

Drain water heater

Minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up on your water heater over time. This can cause corrosion inside the tank and reduces the heating effectiveness of your water heater. Worse, it may even shorten the lifespan of your water heater. The good news is that you may be able to restore at least some of its vigor by draining your water heater.

Spring is a great time to drain and flush your water heater.  This helps gets rid of the sediment from the tank that can cause it to work harder and cost more to use.

If you’re experiencing plumbing problems or you’re worried that you won’t be able to perform spring maintenance on your own, please do not hesitate to call Paradigm Plumbing.

Tips to Keep Your Home’s Plumbing in Good Condition

The plumbing system is one of the most important and frequently used systems in your Boulder home. We use it for doing laundry, washing dishes, taking a shower and using the toilet. As a Boulder homeowner, it is your responsibility to look after your plumbing system and keep in top shape.

Here’s what you need to do to keep your Boulder home’s plumbing in good condition.

Repair problems early

Sudden increase in your water bill, slow drain, damp cabinets and leaking faucets are just some of the most common signs of impending plumbing failures. Little problems can eventually lead to a costly plumbing disaster. Keep an eye out for trouble and stay on top of plumbing issues to help keep your plumbing dry and happy.

Keep an eye on your drains

Small bits and pieces of food, hair and other materials may seem harmless, especially if they fall down the drain in small quantities, but they can add up and eventually cause blockage. A simple drain screen will catch them and prevent these foreign materials from going down the drain.

Pay attention to your drains and address the problem as quickly as possible. Don’t ignore a suspected blocked drain. Otherwise, it may lead to expensive repairs and replacements.

Prevent frozen pipes

When outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside the pipes can freeze. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on your pipes and may cause it burst later on. Being prepared and informed may help you avoid the consequences brought about by frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes are inconvenient and costly to repair. To relieve built-up water pressure in the pipes, let both hot and cold water faucets drip. Also, consider wrapping pipes in the attic, basement, crawlspace and exterior walls with foam insulation.

Take it easy on the garbage disposal

Garbage disposal is an essential part of our everyday life. It makes it easier for us to dispose of leftover food. Unfortunately, it is one of the most abused appliances in the kitchen. Treat your garbage disposal well and it will keep working smoothly for several years.

Avoid dumping fibrous foods such as potato peels, corn husks, celery, broccoli and banana skins. These things can tangle and stop the blades of your garbage disposal. Also, avoid pouring fat, oil and grease down the drain as they can clog the drain and create leaks and back-ups. These simple precautions can extend the life of your garbage disposal.

Warning Signs That Your Main Sewer Line is Clogged

Most Erie Colorado homeowners don’t give their sewer lines much thought until they experience some type of clog. When you have a sewer drain clog, the water comes back up into the household plumbing system; causing messy, costly damage to your home. It also presents health hazards since raw sewage is toxic.

It is important to recognize the signs of a clogged sewer line to prevent plumbing disasters and health problems. Here are some warning signs that your main sewer line is clogged.

Stinky smell coming from your drains

A sanitary sewer should be air tight. Unless there’s an opening or crack in your sewer lines, you’re not supposed to smell sewer odors. If you can smell sewer gas in or around your Erie home, this could be an indication that there is a crack somewhere in your sewer system.

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles

Toilets that make bubbling or gurgling sound could be an early warning sign of a blockage in your line. Air bubbles may form in your pipes when your sewer line is obstructed. The toilet should be the first place to check for air bubbles since it has the most direct connection with your sewer line.

More than one drain is clogged

A clogged drain doesn’t always indicate a clogged main sewer line. The problem is likely to be isolated to that drain. But if one or more plumbing fixtures are draining slowly or are clogged, there’s a good chance that the problem is in your main Erie sewer line. Bathtub, kitchen sink, toilet, and showers are the usual culprits.

If you notice any of the signs listed above, be sure to have your sewer lines checked and inspected by a professional plumber. Please contact the professionals at Paradigm Plumbing to find out what we can do for you.

Protect Your Home from a Plumbing Disaster While on Vacation

A plumbing problem can happen at any time. Oftentimes, these problems occur when homeowners aren’t around.

Frigid Erie Colorado winters can be hard on your plumbing. A lot of things can happen while you’re away. As such, it is important to take steps to protect your home from a plumbing disaster while on vacation. Here are 3 ways you can avoid a plumbing emergency while you’re away.

Inspect your water heater

Although water heater is an integral part of everyday life, most people don’t pay much attention to their water heaters until something goes wrong.

Before going on vacation, we recommend that you take a look at your water heater and look for rust or leaks. The presence of leaks and rust means that you water heater is compromised. Be sure to have it checked by a professional Erie plumber before you leave so as to prevent plumbing disasters.

Keep the heat on

A lot of people think that they can save money and energy by turning the heat off before leaving for vacation. But with the temperature hitting below freezing during this time of the year, a lack of heating can lead to frozen and burst pipes. When this happens, you may come home to a flooded home. Not a great way to end your vacation, right? Set the thermostat to 55 degrees before leaving town this winter.

Shut off main water supply

Be sure to turn the main water supply off before leaving the house so it won’t pump any water while you’re gone. This is especially important if you’ll be away for an extended period of time. This will be your best protection against a plumbing disaster.

Have someone check on your home

If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, it might be best to ask a family member, a friend or neighbor to check on your house from time to time to ensure that everything is in order.

In most cases, Erie homeowners just ask their designated person to bring in the mail and newspapers. But you also need to take your plumbing into consideration. Ask the person to do a quick walk through the house every time he/she visits. This is usually enough to safeguard your home against an Erie plumbing disaster.

If you want a complete assurance on your plumbing system, have a professional Erie plumber perform a routine maintenance before you leave. Please call Paradigm Plumbing for all your plumbing needs.

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.

Smart Ways to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Holiday Season

Winter PlumbingOne of the best things about the holiday season is having the chance to spend more time with your family and friends. However, having all those guests in your Erie Colorado home may put a strain on your home’s plumbing system.

A plumbing emergency during the holiday season can throw your chances of bonding with your loved ones and having fun right down the drain. You don’t want a backed up toilet, broken garbage disposal or a clogged sink interrupting your merry celebration.

Prevent this from happening by preparing yourself and your Erie plumbing for the busy season ahead. Here are some smart ways to prepare your plumbing for the holiday season.

Prevent freezing pipes

While your home may be warm on the inside, chilly winds and freezing temperature can present some challenges to your outdoor plumbing. If you live in a cold area, your home’s outdoor plumbing will be at risk of freezing and bursting. To reduce the risk of freezing and burst pipes, it is best to insulate your exposed pipes with sleeves or wraps.

Be mindful of what is thrown into the garbage disposal

Visits from family and friends are welcome during the holiday season. But preparing for a big feast can lead to garbage disposal malfunctions.

Items like fruit peels, celery, carrots, rice, pasta, coffee grounds, egg shells and meat should never be thrown down the garbage disposal. Rather, it should only be used for small particles, not large scraps of foods or any other items that can cause problems.

Provide adequate disposal options

Hosting a holiday get-together is a great way to connect with your family and friends. However, all those guests mean more garbage needing disposal.

A few days before the celebration, make sure that you provide a waste baskets in every bathroom and change the bags as often as needed to prevent guests from flushing items that may clog the toilet.

Keep your plumbing in top condition

Schedule a general plumbing service appointment before the holiday parties. The increase in plumbing use from guests may lead to a plumbing catastrophe. As such, it is best to consult a plumber while you get ready for the holidays.

If your old faucet is on its last leg, have it replaced before the celebration. Also, repairs that have been put off should be fixed. Any leaks should also be taken care of.

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.

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.


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.