Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Flush, drain, clean, replace, insulate. Think Fall!

It’s that time of year in Cincinnati…leaves are beginning to turn and we’re up to our ears in free zucchini. Yep, Fall is right around the corner. Before getting all tangled up in Christmas lights, take the time to perform Allied Reddi Rooter’s “10-Point Plumbing Inspection & Maintenance Check”. At least, take a few minutes to check out the links; they are nicely done.

Flush the water heater — This Old House has an excellent video (starring Richard, our 2nd favorite plumber, after Ray). View now: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20047191,00.html

Drain the exterior faucet, close the valve until next spring, and store the hose for winter – By installing a frost-proof exterior faucet , you can eliminate 2 of these things from your life. Truly, frost-proof faucets are the only way to go in the Midwest.

Clean the gutters – Lovely as they are, icicles hanging off the gutters are a bad sign. They can lead to under-shingle ice damage and large formations can actually damage your gutters from their sheer weight.

Replace (or insulate) leaky windows and doors – Energy costs are volatile, especially in winter. As the ground freezes during bitter cold spells, your home’s foundation can shift, creating gaps around door and window frames. Gaps mean your hard-earned heat is going right out the door. Check door and window frames periodically and install insulating tape or consider replacing old units. It’s an up-front investment that pays off in the long run.

Insulate around potentially exposed pipes – This is both an energy-saver (on hot water lines) and a risk-reducer (on water lines that may freeze and burst). “Today’s Homeowner” has a series of videos specifically on the topic of protecting your pipes and exterior faucets during freezing weather. http://www.todayshomeowner.com/video/how-to-insulate-water-pipes-to-prevent-freezing/

Locate the main water shut-off valve – You may need to follow the water lines back to the main valve, but it’s time well spent should you have a burst pipe. Turn the valve on and off a few times to ensure it works smoothly. “Water Jane” sums it up nicely: http://waterfiremoldhelp.com/how-to-find-the-main-water-shutoff-valve-city-supplied-water/

Locate the breaker box and main breaker – In winter, ice and wind storms can lead to power outages. It’s good to ensure your family knows where the main breaker is located and how to check all breakers to see if one is tripped, as well as how to re-set a tripped breaker. Here’s an informative video on the process: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=reset+breaker+video&FORM=VIRE3#view=detail&mid=087EDEB8954789442B56087EDEB8954789442B56

Locate the main gas valve – Notice a theme? Locate your home’s “main organs” before there’s a real emergency. The Family Handyman has a well-written article (with pictures) on how to locate and close the main gas valve. See: http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/valves/how-to-locate-your-gas-shutoff-valve-and-water-shutoff-valve/view-all

Got rust or mineral deposits in the toidy? This is a common problem in rural areas, where homes are fed by well water instead of Cincinnati’s fine river water. The fix is surprisingly easy and good to know. Check it out: http://www.ehow.com/how_6699008_using-muriatic-acid-clean-toilets.html

Install an instant hot water dispenser in the kitchen. When winter winds are howling, a nice hot cup of tea or instant oatmeal will warm you to your toes.

Water You Waiting For? Allied’s skilled, professional and “on-deck” employees are available 24/7 to assist with your residential or commercial plumbing needs. From winterization to new construction, we are pleased to be one of Cincinnati’s premier plumbing providers. Call Ray today for a free quote: (513) 396-5300.