From toilets to pipes and drains, a little Fall preparation is crucial to successfully avoiding frozen pipes this winter.
It looks like another beauty of a weekend. Seems like a good time to tackle a few plumbing winterization items.
Prevent frozen water pipes — minimize your risk with a few steps:
- In cold rooms, open the under-sink cabinet doors to keep warmer air circulating around the water pipes.
- In extremely low temperatures, open the spigot so that a trickle of water is constantly running (running water is less prone to freezing and busting your pipes).
- Insulate interior water pipes that are near a cold exterior wall with foam pipe insulation.
Winterize exterior faucets.
- Disconnect garden hoses and store them for the winter.
- Locate the exterior faucet shut off valve and turn off the water before temperatures dip below freezing.
- Once the water is shut off, open the outside spigot to drain any remaining water (close the spigot to prevent creepy-crawlies from getting inside the pipes).
- Cover exterior faucets with a Styrofoam insulator.
- Consider installing a frost-proof exterior faucet.
Perform sump pump maintenance
Fall is a good time of year to give your sump pump a quick maintenance check.
- Locate the discharge hose and make sure it is free of debris so the water can flow freely away.
- Remove any debris from the sump pit.
- If you have a frozen sump pump, review this 5-minute YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Y0YMt2mAQUEor contact a reputable plumber for assistance.
Plumbing/bathrooms in unheated garages
Is your man-cave or she-shed unheated during the winter? If it has a toilet, don’t let it freeze and crack the porcelain.
- Turn off the water valve to the unheated building.
- Open the spigots and drain the faucets.
- Drain the water from the toilet.
Leaving Ohio for a warmer climate? Winterize your water heater.
There are excellent tutorials on the Internet that explain how to winterize your water heater. Keep in mind that water heaters can operate under pressure; our recommendation is to
have a plumbing professional assist with water heater winterization and/or maintenance.
Water You Waiting For? If winterizing your plumbing to prevent pipe freeze ups is low on your to-do list, Allied Reddi-Rooter can assist. Call Ray today for a free estimate: 513-396-5300.
This is the third installment in our 3-part series entitled “This Old House has Charm but This Old Plumbing Stinks” that explores the old house plumbing in a modern world.
Kitchens are the heart of every home; a cheery and well-functioning kitchen brings joy to all who enter. For kitchens that are 15 or more years old, a makeover is money well-spent.
Below are a few thoughts on bringing a dated kitchen into the 21st century.
1) Add (or upgrade) a dishwasher – A recent report from dishwasher.com (June 2017) shows that less than 70% of American homes have a dishwasher. Of those that do, “nearly 20 percent use their dishwasher less than once a week. That’s despite proof that washing dishes by hand uses more water and energy than an automatic dishwasher.”
2) Add an instant hot water dispenser – In a contemporary kitchen, gadgets rule. Our favorite is the instant hot water dispenser. Perfect for making tea, oatmeal and a host of other uses, having instant hot water gives one a real sense of privilege.
3) Add horsepower to your garbage disposal – In a busy kitchen, food waste can be a real challenge. A good garbage disposal shreds the problem in seconds – literally. Caveat: Avoid wimpy disposals – a good one may cost more but is well worth the investment. Look for a minimum of ¾ horsepower and upgrade to the full 1 horsepower option if it’s in your budget. A good disposal liquefies old chicken bones, peelings, dinner scraps and coffee grounds in seconds, keeping your garbage area clean and odor-free. Tips: Grease and stringy vegetables (e.g., celery) are not disposal or drain-friendly. Always run an ample stream of cold water before, during, and after the disposal process.
4) Update the fixtures – Vintage kitchens love a fixture upgrade – from a new sink in steel or porcelain to a modern faucet, new fixtures really make a kitchen look appealing. FaucetMag.com developed an easy-to read comparison of today’s top 5 kitchen faucets. See table below:
5) Update the design – A kitchen design update is a rewarding home improvements. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a complete design overhaul, updating a tired kitchen is a good investment and can add value to your home. A sound kitchen design is well-organized (plenty of counter and cabinet space), functional (modern, energy and water-saving appliances), and user friendly.
6) Find a plumber that will work with your budget/design ideas – Good plumbing is more about “good quality” than “brand new” – one way to upgrade on a budget is to “bring your own fixtures” to the project. It’s common for vintage plumbing fixtures to be re-purposed in modern homes, especially when the fixtures have been well cared for or lightly used. A reputable plumber will advise you on how to make this approach work for your project.
Water You Waiting For? The professionals at Allied Reddi-Rooter are top-notch at kitchen plumbing upgrades, installation and repair work. For more information, call (513) 396-5300; visit our web site for more information and coupons http://alliedreddirooter.com/.
This is the second of a 3-part series entitled “This Old House has Charm but This Old Plumbing Stinks” that explores the struggles of old house plumbing.
When bathrooms came in from the cold, they were basic: small and with few design amenities – a sink, a toilet, a tub, and a metal medicine cabinet. Most homes had one bathroom, maybe an additional toilet in the basement. Today, bathrooms are a luxury point in our homes – whirlpool bathtubs, bidets, designer fixtures, and rain forest shower heads are common. Americans love their bathroom time.
Old bathroom plumbing can present a number of challenges – cast iron main drain pipes, leaky faucets, crusty toilets, and galvanized steel water supply lines spring to mind. A thoughtful bathroom makeover can increase the value of your home by several thousand dollars. And, a nice bathroom experience is a good way to start each day.
If you have an old bathroom situation, small repairs and fixture upgrades can make a world of difference. Below are a few thoughts on “how old is too old?”
Piping (water supply lines)
• Copper: 60-80 years (copper vent stacks, however, usually last about 40 years)
• Galvanized steel, CPVC and PVC: 40-50 years . Over time, it rusts from the inside-out. As the rust breaks free, the particles clog up faucet fixtures and reduces water flow.
• Pex: 40 years
• Cast Iron: 50-65 years. Cast iron piping in Cincinnati is everywhere. When used as the main drain line from the house to the street, it’s common for tree roots to invade the pipes, creating drain clogs. Over time, cast iron pipe will eventually rust way – especially in floor drain applications.
• PVC: 50-70 years
• Galvanized Steel: 50-70 years
• Sinks, tubs, toilets: 40-80 years (the finish, however, usually lasts about 10-20 years
• Water heaters: 10-15 years
• Faucets: 5-40 years, depending on quality of the brass castings and homeowner maintenance.
Water You Waiting For? If you own (or are considering) a house with old plumbing or poor plumbing, a plumbing inspection by a reputable plumber is a sound investment. Allied Reddi-Rooter can assist with bathroom renovations or replacement of existing old plumbing. Call Ray today for a free over-the-phone quote. (513) 396-5300.