Things Every Homeowner Can Do to Avoid Winter Plumbing Disasters

Things Every Homeowner Can Do to Avoid Winter Plumbing Disasters

  • Plumbing
winter plumbing

Most homeowners do everything that they can to maintain the integrity of their homes. As they prepare for the winter months, many will trim trees that are either on or hanging over their roofs, clean out the gutters of their homes and have their chimneys swept. Routine maintenance and upkeep also requires many homeowners to have a technician come out to check their heating and air conditioning units. Most people tend to ignore the pipes and plumbing fixtures in their homes when they are checking off their list of things to evaluate when preparing for the winter months. Here are some winter plumbing tips every homeowner needs to consider as they prepare their home for the cold.

What Could Happen If the Plumbing in a Home is Not Properly Maintained?

One of the things that people need to be cognizant of is that they have pipes and plumbing fixtures that are on the outside of their homes, and in spaces like basements and garages that have temperatures that at times could be colder than the temperature outside. Frigid temperatures could cause pipes to freeze and then rupture, leaving the homeowner with running water all over their carpets and floors. This could cause water damage to not only the flooring in the home, but also to furniture, appliances, and other items. In addition, homeowners may also find themselves faced with the following issues when their plumbing is not properly maintained.

  • An excessively high water bill
  • Drains that are frequently clogged
  • Sinks and bathtubs that drain slowly
  • The inconvenience of not having hot water inside of the home
  • The risk of water contamination

How Winter Plumbing Maintenance in the Home Benefits Homeowners:

When the plumbing in a home is properly maintained, the occupants of the structure have little worries about stepping into a cold shower because the hot water heater has stopped working, or the duct work underneath the home has been damaged or is leaking. Ensuring that the plumbing in a home is properly functioning, reduces the risk of overflowing toilets and illnesses related to contact with raw sewage like Salmonellosis, Hepatitis A, and Hookworm Infection just to name a few. Other benefits afforded to homeowners who do routine maintenance on their plumbing include:

  • Being able to avoid costly repairs related to improper maintenance resulting in plumbing emergencies
  • Avoiding the costs associated with having to replace carpeting, hardwood and laminate flooring, and appliances
  • Extending the longevity of pipes and fixtures
  • Having the peace of mind in knowing that hot water is available to take care of their needs
  • Avoiding the risk of an electrical fire or electrocution
  • Maintaining a safe water supply for drinking, and to take care of other needs
  • Lower electric bills

What Homeowners Can Do:

Homeowners who take the time to weigh the pros and the cons of properly maintaining the pipes and plumbing fixtures in their homes should easily come to the conclusion that it is far better to maintain the integrity of their plumbing systems than it is ignore it. Plumbing emergencies can lead to much larger problems than water damage. Standing water inside of basements, garages and underneath houses threaten and ultimately weaken the foundation of structures. Here are some tips that every homeowner should follow to prepare their home for the winter months.

  • Locate the shut off valve – Every homeowner and the occupants of their home should know where the shut off valve is located. If there is an emergency like the bursting of a pipe, the valve should be shut off to cut off the water flow. If there is a special tool that is needed to open and close the valve, it should be located in a central place that is easily accessible.
  • Increase water heater temperature – As temperatures drop so do the temperatures of water heaters in homes. Increasing the temperature of water heaters by a few degrees will keep water hot during the coldest of days.
  • Insulate pipes – Insulating pipes that are exposed to the outside or in areas like basements and garages will safeguard them from the elements and help prevent freezing.
  • Run water – In cases of extreme cold run water from every valve to avoid frozen pipes.
  • Stop the flow of outside air – Check for incoming air in attics and crawl spaces and seal them with heat tape.
  • Clear the snow – Remove any snow that collects in areas around water drains
  • Disconnect hoses and drains – Disconnect garden hoses before the winter months begin.
  • Keep numbers handy – Keep numbers to utility companies in a place that is easily accessible in case of an emergency that requires them to have to disconnect water from the main water line.

Pipes and fixtures should be examined by a professional plumbing service at least once a year to check for leaks, and to ensure that valves are intact. Other common sense measures that homeowners can take to ensure that they stay free and clear of plumbing disasters include keeping drains clear of hair grease, and other debris by using an enzyme drain maintenance cleaner at least once a month.

Avoid winter plumbing problems by scheduling a service call with Lake Cook Plumbing today!

By zachadmachinescom

5 Benefits of Annual AC Maintenance

5 Benefits of Annual AC Maintenance

  • Air Conditioning
annual AC maintenance in Illinois by Lake Cook Plumbing

As spring turns to summer, Illinois homeowners will be getting ready to bring out their air conditioning. But is it ready to tackle the summer heat? The people at Lake Cook Plumbing know that it’s a good idea to get annual AC maintenance before the warm weather moves in. That way, you’ll be sure your AC won’t break down during a hot day. Here are six reasons you should give it some maintenance before the summer arrives.

Benefits of annual AC maintenance:

Lower electricity bills.

Summers are hot – there’s no way around it. It’s likely that you’ll want to be running your AC most days, but that can create a steep increase in electrical bills. A system with clogged filters and failing parts will need to work harder to do the same work. By scheduling your annual AC maintenance before the summer, you’re increasing its efficiency and lowering your utility bills.

More comfort.

What would you call an AC that can’t keep you cool? A bad one. Summers can be tough even for modern systems. If you want to keep a consistently cool, you’ll want our professionals at Lake Cook Plumbing to make sure your AC is running at top performance.

Fewer breakdowns.

If you use your AC system this summer, are you certain that it won’t fail to start up? Do you know for sure that it’ll run smoothly all season? If you’re not sure, give us a call! Our maintenance comes with a complete inspection that can identify problems before they cause a breakdown.

Cheaper repair bills.

In the event that your AC winds up needing repairs, they’ll likely be cheaper if you’ve gotten maintenance beforehand. The reason for that is because our maintenance addresses the more costly problems (like air flow issues and broken parts) during our inspections.

Extended AC lifespan.

If you want your AC system to stay operational for a long time, you’ll want to give it regular maintenance. By routinely checking on your AC and preventing breakdowns, we can help extend your AC’s lifespan by years. Without regular maintenance, the average AC only lasts a few years.

Better air quality.

During the months where you never use your AC, various bits of dust and grime build up in it. When you turn it on, all that nasty junk is going to go into the air, which can hurt your air quality and aggravate those summer allergies. Lake Cook Plumbing offers a wide range of AC repairs that can get your AC ready for the summer heat.

Why choose Lake Cook Plumbers for my cooling needs?

Since 1954, Lake Cook Plumbing has helped Illinois homeowners stay cool during the hotter seasons. Our excellence starts with a commitment to superior quality and a willingness to keep knowledgeable on the cutting-edge technology. Our highly-trained workers are certified professionals who offer up-front pricing on all of their work. If you still need some annual AC maintenance, call Lake Cook Plumbing today!

By zachadmachinescom

5 Simple Garburator Maintenance Tips

5 Simple Garburator Maintenance Tips

  • Plumbing
garbage disposal maintenance in Illinois by Lake Cook Plumbing

Your home’s garburator can be a great help for cleaning and keeping your kitchen smelling fresh. In fact, it can also help reduce the amount of garbage you contribute to your local landfill. However, having a garburator means you have to keep it well-maintained. If you don’t, you’ll wind up making your kitchen smell worse and cause all sorts of problems for your garburator. Fortunately, Lake Cook Plumbing can offer you some easy garburator maintenance tips that can keep your garburator working its best!

Here Five Garburator Tips:

Use it often and use it with cold water

Like plenty of things, your garburator can get a bit rusty if it doesn’t do its job often. Running it often prevents rust and corrosion, helps clear potential obstructions, and ensures all the parts are working. In addition, when you use it, make sure you’re running cold water when it’s grinding up food waste. The cold helps solidify grease and oils that could otherwise clog up the trap.

Biodegradable food only!

Garburators aren’t meant to take every type of garbage. When you consider putting something in there, ask yourself if it’s some kind of biodegradable food, like meat. If it isn’t, then it probably shouldn’t go in there. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Some of them are:

  • Bones and other solid trash
  • Celery and other fibrous foods
  • Coffee grounds and other foods that make lots of sediment
  • Fruit pits
  • Excess grease and oils
  • Pasta and rice
  • Potato peels and other starchy foods

 Don’t stick your hand in there!

This should go without saying, but don’t put your hand down the garburator. Sure, you might be able to dislodge something that’s causing a clog. However, even if the garburator is off, the sudden release of tension may cause the blades to spin around fast enough to hurt you. If you need to dislodge an obstruction, use some tongs or a similar tool. Still can’t get it out? Call us to help you fix your garburator.

Keep the inside of your garburator clean

It’s easy to forget about the inside of your garburator. However, it’s important to remember that this part of your system is just as important as the rest. A simple mix of baking soda and vinegar down the drain can do wonders at cleaning the pipes. Alternatively, you can put a bit of dish soap down the drain. While doing that, have the garburator run for a minute while the cold water runs.

Chop up larger items yourself

Your garburator’s blades are sharp, but they aren’t able to handle everything. If you have larger food waste, chop it up into smaller pieces first before you dispose of it. By doing this, you can avoid causing clogs. In addition, try and put larger items down the disposal one at a time to ensure the disposal can handle it.

Why is Lake Cook Plumbing the company to choose for my plumbing needs?

Lake Cook Plumbing has been helping Illinois residents keep their plumbing in working order since 1954. With 65 and counting years of experience in the plumbing industry, we know a thing or two about handling plumbing problems of all kinds. We’re committed to providing our customers high-quality service, upfront pricing, and being available whenever our customers are available. Call Lake Cook Plumbing today to learn more about our professional plumbing services!

By zachadmachinescom