Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10 Tips to prepare your plumbing for the upcoming winter.

Ahh October in Northern New England, the leaves are getting to peak color, the holidays are right around the corner
and let's not forget about the Sox - we WON the World Series again!

   But it is definitely getting chilly in the morning if not downright cold. A perfect reminder that winter is on the way. And as we know from the Halloween blizzard a couple of years ago it can come early and suddenly. Don't be caught unprepared for plumbing problems associated with cold weather. 
The hassle and extra expense can be easily prevented by following these tips or a quick call to Simmons Plumbing. In our area, whether it be Haverhill Ma or Portsmouth NH, we should be taking preventive action to protect our plumbing systems by late October. By not preparing early it will prove costly when your pipes freeze, which is why the Simmons Plumbing suggests taking these precautions now, instead of waiting until winter is here. 
These 10 tips can save you money and all be done before the baseball season is over(at least if you are a Red Sox fan;).

1. Make sure all outside water hoses are disconnected. Connected water hoses, in winter weather will freeze and expand and it turn can cause your connected faucets and pipes to freeze and break.

2. Check your outside faucets for drips or leaks. If they are make the necessary fixes or call Simmons for repairs.

3. If you have interior shut-off valves leading to these faucets, all the better, close these and drain water from the pipes.

4. You can also purchase a faucet insulation kit to put on the outside faucets they are easy to install and inexpensive .

5. You should insulate pipes in any unheated areas. Use heat tape or better yet thermostat-controlled heat cables.

6. If you are going to be away from your home for any extended period of time in the coming months, make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. Keep in mind that when pipes freeze, water pressure can build, causing cracks. Even a tiny crack can unleash 250 gallons of water in a single day. It makes no difference whether the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel.

7. We all know our water heater works harder during the winter. But did you know that draining corrosion-causing sediment from the tank increases it's energy efficiency? If you are not sure how to do this Simmons is always here to help.

8. You should set your water heater thermostat to 120 F for optimum performance without risk of scalding.

9. Clearing leaves and debris from roof gutters and downspouts will ensure proper drainage all winter long.

10. If you have a sump pit inspect and clean it by removing any rocks or debris. Then dump a bucket of water into the sump pit to test the pump. If it pumps the water out then turns off, it is operating properly.

That's it from Simmons Plumbing and HVAC for now. We will periodically post more money saving tips. Until then enjoy the autumn season and GO SOX!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We at Simmons Plumbing and Heating can think of no better way to launch our blog than to offer a little bit of humor.
Be sure to check out our "vertically challenged" spokesperson Dave Russo
on October 19th in North Andover at the Lots of Laughs Comedy Lounge beginning at 9:00 PM! He will also be filming this show for NESN's Dirty Water TV, so be sure to sit close to get some camera time. LOL Comedy Lounge is located at: 946 Osgood Street, North Andover, MA. Tickets available here