24 Hour Emergency Service Available 757.425.7790

Archive for September 2015

Plumbing Tips: Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips For Cold Weather

Plumbing Tips: Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips For Cold Weather

Plumbing Tips: Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips For Cold Weather

Fall and early winter is the best time to prepare your home’s plumbing for the coming cold temperatures ahead. As the weather begins to cool off, it would be a good idea to establish some good plumbing habits to protect your home. Here are a few things that you should do to prepare for the change in seasons: 

House basement old drain pipe for fall plumbing example.

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Outside your House

  • Keep your gutters free from leaves and debris – if they get clogged it can create drainage problems. Rain water can overflow over the gutters and land on the ground around your house and then it is more likely to seep into your foundation, basement or crawl space.
  • Unhook outdoor hoses, drain with gravity, and store in your garage, or someplace that does not go below freezing temperatures. This will prevent your hoses from cracking. When spring arrives you won’t have to buy new ones to replace the ones that did not survive winter.
  • Get your sewer line cleaned and snaked. If you have a septic tank, now would be a good time to get your septic tank pumped. There are recommendation for how often this service is needed, and though it is a an item not often thought about, it is best to be proactive and keep the system running the way it was designed to do.

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Inside your House

  • Insulate your pipes so that they are less likely to freeze. Check for the most susceptible areas to address. A frozen pipe means no water flow. If it is accessible, you can then attempt to thaw it with applied heat – but the increased mass of the internal ice could have caused a leak and create more than just a slight inconvenience.
  • Know where your main water valve is, and how to shut it off. In the event that a pipe bursts, knowing how to shut off the water could save you thousands of dollars. Also, it is wise not to just keep this info to yourself. Give a tour of the basement to your significant other, an older child or a trusted neighbor and draw a little basement map with emergency instructions. If you are away when something bad and unexpected happens with your plumbing, you don’t want someone uninformed to enter your basement with water spraying everywhere – and not know where to immediately go to shut off the main water valve.

Hose tap outside of house as fall plumbing example.

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Water Heaters

  • Your water heater works harder in the colder months. Flush out any sediment that has accumulated in your water heater. This will extend its lifespan and increase efficiency to save you money.
  • Test the pressure relief valve by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. This should send a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, you may need a new pressure relief valve. Be careful when doing this because the water will be very hot.
  • Set your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees F for safety and efficiency. If you have children at home or visiting, higher temperatures can cause burns just washing dirty hands.
  • Modern on-demand hot water heaters have their own service recommendations, and it is best to be familiar with your manufacturer owner’s manual.

Hot water heater in the basement as fall plumbing example.

Fall & Winter Plumbing Tips for Kitchen Sinks

  • Once a month, pour 1 gallon of bleach down either side of your kitchen sink, wait 20 minutes, fill both sides of your kitchen sink to the rim with hot water, and then remove the stoppers simultaneously. The volume and weight of the water will help flush the drain lines free of grease, preventing a stoppage. Send all those potato peels, scrambled eggs and other food debris out of the small drainpipe so that water from your sink and dishwasher (which usually uses the same drain) flows out easily.

Kitchen sink drain as a plumbing tip example.

So that’s our list of fall & early winter plumbing tips for the residential home owner. If anything happens that makes you feel like you are in over your heads – that’s when it’s recommended that you call a professional. A skilled and well trained plumber has already experienced all the things that can go wrong – even when you undertaking what at first might appear to be a relatively simple plumbing task. They have the knowledge, confidence and tools to remedy any plumbing issue. Plumbers also often deal with propane and gas appliances, and for items like these that have big safety issues – for your own and your family’s peace of mind – some tasks, repairs and maintenance are best not done by yourself.

Water Heater: Important tips to help save money

Water Heater: Important tips to help save money

Five Tips for Lowering Your Hot Water Heater’s Energy Usage

My most valued tip is to find a plumber in Virginia Beach VA who has a strong customer service track record for consistently treating all their customers fairly and honestly. Whether your needs be commercial or residential in need we are the right choice. Call me, Craig Blessings anytime and I will be happy to assist you!

Water heating is the second biggest consumer of energy in an average home. It accounts for 20 percent of the annual utility bill. Although replacing the old water systems with a newer and more efficient is one of them many options, the cost still remains high and homeowners ends up digging deeper into their pockets. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the energy used in water heating. Below are some of the tips you can use to lower your water heating energy usage. Doing this will lower your bill by a substantial margin and help you save money.

Lowering the Thermostat

Many manufacturers usually set their models at 140 degrees Fahrenheit despite the fact that it is way too hot for residential use. This is a waste of energy because even a degree can have some difference in the amount of energy used. You can deal with this issue by lowering the thermostat temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the standard unit. Many electric versions have two thermostats – one is used for the lower heating element and the other is for the upper heating element. Both of them should be set at the same temperature to prevent premature wear of either element and save money.

Installation of Low-Flow Showerhead

Showers are more efficient than baths, but there is still a lot of water wasted. Low-flow model showers usually cut the water used meaning less water will be heated and less energy used in heating. It’s a good idea to replace the old shower heads with newer and more efficient shower heads. For homeowners with larger families, the cost of replacing the shower head will be recovered in savings in a very short period of time. One thing you need to know is that the Low-Flow Showerheads have enough power to get the job done.

Add Insulation

Adding insulation is one of the easiest and effective ways of reducing your water heating energy usage. Insulating the pipes and tanks helps prevent the loss of heat and saves on energy that could have been used in reheating the water. Before you do this, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions. There are many manufacturers that are against doing this, and doing so void the warranty. Insulation won’t cost you a lot, and in the end cuts the amount of energy used in water heating.

Repair Leaky Faucets

A leaky or faulty faucet and/or showerheads can be expensive and annoying at the same time, especially when heated. They can usually be easily repaired or replaced. If the pipes are the problem, then you will need to contact a licensed plumber such as Blessings Plumbing quickly. Failing to do the correct repairs will result in the water heater working harder than normal.
Install a Timer

Traditional hot water heaters can be incredibly wasteful because they can run all the time. Electric heaters usually give the owner a chance to control usage with the professional installation of a timer. For those who travel a lot, automatic timers can be a good option.
The above tips will ensure you cut the energy use of water heating.

Craig Blessing | Owner, Blessings Plumbing
©2015 Blessings Plumbing

We handle all Size LEAKS!

We handle all Size LEAKS!

No matter what size leak you are experiencing… WE CAN HANDLE THE JOB!

We handle all size leaks!!!

Plumbing News, Tips and More!