WINTER PLUMBING MAINTENANCE

When it comes to preparing your plumbing for winter, you don’t want to be left out in the cold. At GAC Plumbing Company, we can help you with all your seasonal plumbing maintenance needs. Below are five quick and easy ways to get your plumbing ready for cold months.

1. Check for Leaks

Now is the time to look for any plumbing leaks around your home. Check faucets and shower heads and take note of any low water pressure. If you see any leaks, call a professional to repair them right away. Even small leaks add up quickly, wasting precious water as well as money.

2. Disconnect Your Outdoor Hose

When the temperature drops, hoses are the first victims. One of the most important plumbing maintenance tasks this time of year is disconnecting and storing any outdoor hoses to prevent freezing. This also helps protect pipes inside your home. Try to do this ahead of time so your hose is safely stores before the first wave of cold temperatures. Also during the freezing temperatures it is a good idea to locate the shutoff valves for outside faucets and turn those off.

3. Have Your Pipes Inspected

If you’ve never inspected your pipes before, a professional can check them to make sure that they are in tiptop shape for the winter months. They can also prevent pipes from bursting by insulating them to protect your home and replacing them if they are faulty. Bursting pipes can be devastating to a homeowner.

4. Keep Your Home Warm

This tip may seem simple, but cool indoor temperatures can be the biggest cause of pipes bursting in the home. Check to see that your thermostat is set and activated, and make sure that the temperature in your home does not drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Take Care of Your Sinks

Using a sink as a garbage disposal can be problematic. Particularly during winter, oils and fats poured down the drain can freeze once temperatures drop. This can clog your drains and cause more problems. Be sure to dispose of grease properly to keep your pipes clear and be ready for the big chill.

If you want a hand with your plumbing maintenance tasks this year, the experts at GAC PLUMBING COMPANY are happy to help. Contact the team today to schedule an appointment.

Winter Plumbing Tips

Winter Plumbing Tips

How to prepare your plumbing system to prevent freezing pipes and other common cold weather plumbing problems

When it comes to plumbing, there are certain ‘cold weather’ preventative measures that will help maintain a healthy, efficient water system and avoid excess water loss and excessive bills. In addition to the harsh winter weather, the holiday season adds extra stress to your plumbing system due to increased activity from guests. In fact, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers. Thankfully, you can prevent many common plumbing problems by being proactive and following GAC Plumbing Companies maintenance tips to help safeguard your system throughout the winter months.

Turn off outside water valves to prevent frozen pipes

When the temperature drops below freezing, water pipes in your home have the potential to rupture, creating an expensive disaster in your home’s basement. The average homeowner’s expense for a pipe rupture is about $15,000, according to State Farm Insurance.

To protect against frozen pipes, turn off all outside water valves and then look for pipes in un-insulated areas of the home, such as those running along the home’s outer walls. These pipes are the most likely to freeze and should be wrapped with foam or towels for the season. In cases of extreme cold, it’s a good idea to let faucets drip slowly in order to encourage water flow.

Know the location of your home’s main water valve

In case of a major incident – such as a pipe bursting – when you might need to immediately shut off all the water in the home, it’s critical to know where the main water valve is located. This valve is usually located next to the water meter and should be kept in good condition. To maintain your home’s main water valve and keep it in working order, open and close it once a year.

Conserve your home’s energy – but don’t go too low!

If at any time during the winter you’ll be away from your home, you may be tempted to turn down the heat to save energy. However, turning the heat too low increases the risk of frozen and ruptured pipes. The damage caused by such an accident will be even greater if the rupture goes unnoticed for days, weeks, or even months.

To best prevent a pipe rupture, the home’s temperature should be set no lower than 45F. This solution offers maximum savings while protecting against frozen pipes.

Conserving energy during the winter months while staying cozy indoors can be tricky, but follow are thermostat recommendations for when you’re home to make sure you stay comfortable and avoid high bills!

Make sure your water heater runs properly

Your water heater is more important now than any other time of the year, so this is the perfect time to make sure it is running optimally. A professional plumber can service the unit by checking the tank’s sacrificial anode rod and making any repairs or replacements necessary due to wear or corrosion.

When it comes time to adjust the heater’s water temperature, don’t set the dial above 125 degrees F. This will prevent scalding water as well as reduce energy waste.

Don’t clog kitchen drains and be careful with the disposal

The holidays inspire some of the largest meals you’ll prepare during the year, so how you dispose of cooking-related messes, leftovers, and table scraps can significantly impact your plumbing system.

For example, fats or oils accumulate while preparing many meals, but these leftovers should NEVER be poured down your drain as they can congeal and clog pipes. Instead, allow grease to congeal in the cooking dish and then scrape it into the trash.

In terms of your garbage disposal, it is best to turn it on first and then add the food debris. After the machine has done its work, shut it off and run plenty of water down the drain to clear the system for the next time you need it.

Prepare outside drainage

Winterizing your lawn can help improve drainage from snow and rain. Removing debris from your yard to ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear before the winter will improve their ability to drain runoff.

Consider installing insulation

Preventing frozen pipes can be as simple as a little planning and installing foam insulation. Insulating foam sheaths are sold at most hardware stores in a variety of sizes and are easy to install. Make sure to insulate the entire length of pipe from the point where your home’s main water line emerges from the ground to the point where it enters the heated space of your home. You should also insulate any pipes that are outside the heated portion of your home, like those in attics, unheated basements and outdoor hose bibbs. If pipe insulation is not a DIY job for your home, call a GAC Company plumber.

Hire right the first time

Your home is typically one of the biggest, most important purchases you can make – the result of a painstaking search that might have taken months or even years. Therefore, when it comes to home maintenance – from  repairs to plumbing maintenance – it only makes sense to hire someone who is qualified and will do the job well. GAC Plumbing and Construction offers competitive pricing coupled with impeccable craftsmanship.

CALL GAC PLUMBING AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANY NOW!

707-538-8000

Tips for Summer Plumbing Success

Three Tips for Summer Plumbing Success

Summer is the season of outdoor fun and entertaining. Unfortunately for your plumbing, summer can also be the season of sewage backup, clogged drains, and cracked hoses. At GAC Plumbing Company, we know one of the best summer tips is taking the time to inspect your system before the season starts to ensure it’s well maintained and ready for action. Here three tips for summer plumbing success.

Inspect Sewer Line Pipes

Thanks in part to summer storms and rainwater, backups in your sewer line are extremely common. Storm water enters sewer pipes through small cracks and creates congestion. Root development from trees can also put strain on a sewer line since they grow toward the water source. The best way to make sure your sewer line pipes are ready for the season is to have them inspected by one of our expert technicians. He or she will look for signs of damage, and repair any potential cause of backup.

Protect the Garbage Disposal

Another part of your plumbing system that is sure to see increased activity in the summer is the kitchen garbage disposal. Barbecues, social gatherings and pool parties are all great reasons to fire up the grill, but don’t go putting all of that corn on the cob down the disposal. Of the three tips for summer plumbing, this one is the simplest to follow. To prevent clogs, do not put cornhusks or other stringy foods down the disposal. Fatty foods can also stick to drain pipes and cause clogs, so don’t put any leftover hamburger meat down the drain.

Change Washing Machine Hoses

Whether it’s you or your kids, someone is bound to have dirty clothes throughout the season. Make sure your washing machine is prepared for the extra work by having the hoses inspected for cracks, leaks, or bulging. It’s also a good idea to change washing machine hoses at least once every three years.

Contact GAC Plumbing Company at 707-538-8000 for more information on these three tips for summer and other plumbing tips.

Stop Kitchen Sink-sprayer hang-ups

Use pipe insulation to prevent sprayer snarls

www.gaccompany.com

GAC Plumbing Company      707-538-8000

If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer,   chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles. Use Tape it if it won’t stay on. You can find insulation at home centers for about $6.

Handy Plumbing Tips and Tricks

Water Heater Pilot Light (Old Style)

older style water heaters.

Safety First
Stand beside your water heater. Do you smell gas? Now kneel down next to the gas/control valve. If you don’t smell gas your ready to light your pilot light.If you smell gas call GAC Plumbing Company.

707-538-8000

older style gas water heater

This is an older style gas
water heater.

Adjust temperature control on gas valve

Turn the temperature control
knob to the lowest setting.

Turn control knob to off setting

Turn the on/off control
knob to the the pilot setting.

Remove water heater access panal

Remove both the outer
and inner access panels.

press pilot control button

Press and hold the water heater pilot button down.

Your gas valve/thermostat may look different from the one
in the picture but they all work the same.

Some models don’t have a pilot button. The on/off control knob itself is pressed down when it is set on pilot.

Light the pilot while holding the control button down

The smaller silver tube coming out of the bottom of the gas control valve is the pilot supply tube.

Follow it to the end with a match and light the pilot.

Continue to hold the pilot button down for 20 to 30 seconds after the pilot is lit.

Slowly release the button. The pilot should stay lit. If it goes out re-light it and hold the button down a little longer.

If your gas has been turned off or if you have ran out of gas you will need to hold the pilot button down until all the air is out of the line.

If after lighting your hot water heater pilot light it goes out again or if it won’t stay lit, you may need to check your water heater thermocouple.

Pilot lit, hold button down for 30 seconds

Ok got your water heater pilot lit? Great!

Don’t fire up your burner yet.

A lot of people have been burned
(usually in the face and eyes)
because of blowback/rollout
from the burner.

This is usually caused by rust falling off of the bottom of the tank and clogging the burner and/or the orifice. Gas will build up in the burner chamber before it reaches the pilot . The results is flame rolling out of the access opening when the burner is fired.

Never fire your burner with the access panels off.

Replace both the inner and outer access panels.

Turn the on/off control knob to the on position.

Turn the temperature control knob to the desired setting.

You should hear your burner fire up.

Lighting a Water Heater Pilot Light (New Style)

Safety First
Never try to light your pilot if you smell gas. Stand near your water heater. Can you smell gas? Kneel down near the bottom of your water heater. If you smell gas call GAC Plumbing Company.

707-538-8000

New style gas water heater

Newer style gas
water heater.

Water heater gas control valve

Step One

Set the temperature control
to its lowest setting or small Diamond.

Gas pilot control button

Step Two

Set the on-off control
to the pilot setting.

press and hold button to light pilot

Step Three

Press the hot water heater
pilot button down and
hold it.

Press light button

Step Four

While looking through the sight glass slowly press the spark generator.

You should see a sparkfrom the generator and the pilot light should light.Pilot lit, hold button down for 30 seconds

Hold the pilot button down 20 to 30 seconds after the pilot is lit.

If the pilot didn’t light you may have air in the line. While holding the pilot button down, press the generator button every 10 seconds until the pilot lights.

Don’t forget to hold the pilot button down after the pilot is lit.The thermocouple must have time to get hot before the button is released.

water heater burner

Set the on/off knob to the on position.

Turn the temperature control to the desired
setting.

You should hear the burner fire up and be
able to see the flame through the site glass.

Air vents on these water heaters must be clean in order for the hot water heater pilot light and burner to operate properly.

Most brands have fresh air vents under the burner and/or around the sides at the bottom of the tank. Some have washable filters.

The burner assembly will have to be removed to clean the vent located in the bottom of the tank.
Check your owners manual for instructions. Most companies have downloadable manuals on their website.

If these water heaters shut down because of a lack of air/oxygen,there is a possibility that the gas control valve will have to be replaced along with the safety shut off switch. So its a good idea to keep the air vents clean.