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

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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.

 

Do You Know Where Your Longmont, CO Home’s Shutoff Valve Is?

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Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.

Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.

Possible locations

I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located inside.

In the crawlspace or basement

If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home.

Outside the house

In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line.  It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.

Near the pressure tank

If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage.

Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it.

 

Water Heater Maintenance from the Longmont Plumbing Experts

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Water heaters are one of those appliances we rely upon everyday. It provides you with warm baths, sparkling pots and pans and clean clothes. Unfortunately, water heaters often go unnoticed until it stops working and you wind up in a cold shower.

Very few people know that water heater has to be maintained to keep it running efficiently for a long time. A little preventive maintenance is necessary to keep the hot water flowing.

Follow this simple maintenance routine to keep your water heater running efficiently and reliably for years.

Drain the tank

Sediment buildup can clog your water lines and reduce your water heater’s efficiency. Avoid this problem by flushing the tank every 6 months to a year.

Shut off the circuit breaker, if electric and turn off the gas, if gas. Also, turn off the cold water supply. Drain about a quarter of the tank to get rid of sediments and debris. Then, connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve.

Next, turn on the water drain to release the water from the tank. Let the water flow for about 30 minutes to remove the sediment and dirt that has built up in the tank.

Flush the tank

Turn the water back on to remove sediments at the bottom of the tank and flush the tank with clean water. Turn of the valve once the water runs clear.

Refill the tank

Turn off the water drain at the base of the tank. Disconnect the hose from the valve. Turn on the cold water inlet to the tank and turn the power to the water heater back on.

Check the anode rod

The anode rod should be inspected and replaced every 2 years. Some pitting and corrosion are expected but if the anode rod is coated with calcium or is less than ½ inch thick, it should be replaced.

Common Longmont Water Heater Issues

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You woke up early, stumbled into the bathroom and expect a hot, steamy shower only to jump into a frigid wake up call. We’ve all been there before, and it’s definitely not a pleasant experience.

Water heaters are such important amenities in our homes. They are generally reliable but they do have problems occasionally. If the water doesn’t seem to get hot enough, then the entire home is going to devolve into chaos.

Here are some of the most common water heater problems and what you can do to solve the problem.

No hot water

When your water heater is not producing any hot water, it might be because the thermostat isn’t working properly or the gas flame is out. Fixing the problem usually involves adjusting the thermostat of the unit. If the thermostat is set at a reasonable temperature yet you still get cold water, then you probably need to replace your water heater thermostat.

Inadequate hot water

Your water heater will produce less and less hot water as it ages and nears the end of its useful life. Inadequate hot water is often linked to faulty thermostat. Sediment buildup in the water heater tank is also a probable cause. In this case, you will need to drain your tank and flush it with water.

Unpleasant odor

If the water has an unpleasant odor, then it probably has some bacteria buildup. To solve this problem, you will need to drain and flush the tank. Then, apply a little chlorine on the water heater to clear up the bacteria.

Noise problem

There is nothing worse than a water heater that whines, knocks, creaks or bangs. The water heater tends to make a loud, rumbling noise due to sediment build up. Alternatively, it can be caused by the heating element slowly burning out.

Draining and flushing out the tank may eliminate the problem. If this doesn’t work, you might need to replace your water heater.

How to Install a Water Line for a Refrigerator Ice Maker

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Imagine the convenience of having cold water and ice cubes anytime you want them, especially on a hot day. You may have a refrigerator with a built-in water dispenser but if you don’t have a water line to connect it to, then it’s no use. Fortunately, running an ice maker water line is such an easy process.

This article will show you how to install a water line to your refrigerator. With a little patience, you can do it on your own.

  1. The first step is to locate a cold-water supply that runs closest to where the refrigerator will be installed – perhaps beneath the sink. Here, you may find 3 water supply lines: one connects to the dishwasher; while two lines connect directly to the faucet. The cold line should be the one on the right side.
  2. Once you’ve identified the supply line, turn in it off. Simply turn the cold water supply line clockwise to close it.
  3. Drill holes through the base cabinet sides and thread the tube from beneath the sink to rear of the refrigerator. Be sure to keep the tubing behind drawers and above storage areas to prevent tube damage.
  4. Route the tubing and attach it to the refrigerator’s water pipe. Make sure you have extra tubing coiled behind the refrigerator.
  5. The ice maker kit includes a valve and a clamp. You need to install the valve on the cold water line under the sink. Place the clamp over the water line and close it around the pipes. This will pierce through the copper tube so that water will flow through the valve. Tighten the screws on each side of the clamp.
  6. Slide the nut and ferule at the end of the line and attach it to the valve. Tighten it with an adjustable wrench.
  7. Turn on the cold water supply and check for leaks. Tighten the connections if there are leaks.
  8. Flush out several gallons of water to purge the line of all the air and make sure it is clean and ready to use.

 

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Replacing – Longmont Water Heater Repairs

Paradigm_6.30.15Just like any other appliance, water heaters break over a period of time. However, most homeowners find it difficult to tell whether to repair or replace their water heater.

There are symptoms you can look for to let you know that you should buy a new water heater before it fails completely. Here are 4 signs that your water heater may be on its last leg.

Age

Most water heaters last between 10-15 years before they need to be replaced. That said, it is important to know the age of your water heater. This can be done by checking the serial number, which can be found on the manufacturer’s sticker. It usually contains the date the unit was manufactured.

If your water heater is more than 10 years and is having some kind of problems, then it’s probably best to have it replaced. Remember, the older the water heater is, the more likely it is to break.

Water isn’t as hot as it used to be

If you expect to climb into a nice, hot shower and you are blindsided by icy water, this could be a sign that your heater is nearing the end of its days. If water isn’t as hot as it used to be, it might mean that the parts of your water heater wore down over time.

Water around the unit

Leaking water indicates an internal failure in the water, and is rarely fixable. If you notice moisture around the water heater, it might be an indication that it needs replacing. But before buying a new unit, you might want to make sure that the water doesn’t come from the connections to the tank or a leak in the fittings.

Rusty water

If you discover rusty water coming out from your water heater, this is a sure sign that your water heater is close to breaking down. Unfortunately, rust and corrosion can’t be fixed.

Tips for Designing a Fully Functional Outdoor Kitchen in Longmont

Outdoor kitchens are a hot segment in many parts of the country. Each year, more and more people are transforming their backyard into elaborate extensions of their home.  A well designed outdoor kitchen provides you the opportunity to cook, eat and spend time with family and friends outdoors.

If you are designing an outdoor kitchen or looking for ideas on how to improve your existing outdoor kitchen, get started with some of our ideas on how to create an open-air cooking area.

Locate your outdoor kitchen near your indoor kitchen

Location is the key to an outdoor kitchen that is functional and well integrated into your yard or deck.  The most functional outdoor kitchens are the ones that have direct access to the kitchen. This will help you move the food back and for the quickly, and if you need something, you know it’s close by.

Plan your space

Make sure your outdoor kitchen has all the essential spaces such as prep, cook, serve and clean. This way, it will be easier for you to do all the work outside. You should also consider the placement of your dining area. It should be near the grill, but not too close that the smoke wafts over the dining area.

Figure out what appliances are important to you

Consider what you want in your outdoor kitchen. If your design is like most kitchens, then you’ll probably need a grill (both charcoal and gas), a small refrigerator and a small sink. Select low-maintenance equipment and materials that can withstand the rigors of an outdoor kitchen.

Make your outdoor kitchen comfortable

With warm weather beckoning us outside, outdoor cooking can take place any time of the day. Build a tall roof over your outdoor kitchen so you can cook, eat, relax and entertain while enjoying the outdoor weather.

Finding the Best Boulder Plumbing Company is Important

water heater repairPlumbing is an essential part of a home. Without sufficient plumbing, how can water circulate around the house properly? Plumbing is a work that needs a lot of skill, which is why you just can’t hand the work to some random person. And for the do it yourself junkies, sure, there’s a good chance that you can pull it off. But there’s a good chance that you can do the job wrong. What we’re trying to say is it would be better to leave the job of repairing your pipes to a reputable Boulder plumbing company. How to look for one? Read on and find out.

It’s a fact that plumbing is such a complex field. As such, it makes a lot of sense if you’ll hire a plumbing company that indeed knows what it is doing. How can you possibly know if the company you’re looking at is the one? The first thing that you should check is how long does the company exist. It is a fact that if a company has existed long enough, it is an indication that their services are of the highest quality. Also, it would be best to ask around about the performance of said company.

The next step on finding a Boulder plumbing company is to get to know about their plumbers. Their plumbers must be licensed by the state as this is a requirement. Other than that, it is an assurance that they are legitimate plumbers. It would be an additional advantage if the plumber or plumbing service is covered by insurance. This is for your own protection.

Of course, one of the biggest points of contention when selecting a Boulder plumbing company is the price. One of the strategies some plumbing companies employ in order to attract customers is to offer low hourly rates. Some may even offer a low flat rate. But be careful when choosing them, as there are some companies that charge extra during work. Included in these “extra” bills are equipment and travel fees. Before employing a certain company, better ask about the complete rates that they offer. This would ensure that you are getting what you’ve paid for and it would save you from paying some hidden charges.

Price quoting can be quite a challenge. But with proper knowledge and negotiating skills, it can be kept at a reasonable price. Variables that affect the price of a plumbing job include the scale of work, the type of plumbing job, the materials needed to get the job done, and the amount of time needed to complete assembly. Also, the timing in which you called in can be a factor in deciding the final price. Emergency work and appointments done during weekends, holidays, and nighttime can cost significantly more. Ask your Boulder plumbing company what their rates are for each specific job.

Getting a plumbing job done right can be quite tricky. Plumbers are trained to get that job right. Selecting the right plumbing company is the first step to solving your plumbing related problems.