Offutt Plumbing, Inc.

Plumbers Corner
It is getting cold outside, but before you get cozy in front of your fireplace make sure to finish your winter check list. 

 •   Most  important items on the list are the outside spigots.  Most homes have one spigot in the front of the house and one in the rear. You should know where the spigots are and where the shot -off valve is in inside your home.  Our number one service call in the spring is broken lines from outside spigots.  As soon as the ground thaws the pipes leak. The leak can be anywhere in the line from the spigot to the shut-off valve.  The damage it can cause along the way can be significant.  Please drain those lines down, it doesn’t take very long but is well worth your time.

•   If you have a sprinkler system it should be "blown-out".  You should also disconnect the back-flow preventer and bring it in for the winter. Exterior backflow preventers can freeze and are expensive to replace.

•   Check your water heater. For some reason water heaters like to give out when the temperature changes. You should change out your heater every 8-12 years. It is very upsetting to see the damage that these units can cause. It is not just a flooded basement.  You most likely have a 1000.00 deductible and a storage room  loaded with luggage, serving dishes, holiday stuff and the rest of the basement has carpet and some toys and furniture.  Most insurance companies pay for damage the leaking heater has caused, but do not usually pay for the replacement of the failed water heater. In conclusion, save yourself a huge headache, time to schedule all the necessary repair men and simply replace the heater  because a new one is probably not to much more than the deductible.

 •   Lastly, the holidays are approaching and people love to help you in the kitchen, they can help you right into very clogged lines. This appliance is very misleading by its title “garbage disposal”. A garbage disposal is simple a device installed to clear items that have inadvertently gone into your drain i.e.: a small piece of debris from a plate. Unfortunately most people use this appliance for everything in the kitchen. I like to think of pipes like arteries. You have seen pasta left in water over night, it swells to three or four times its normal size and when you see that pan the next day all the water is gone. Well, imagine your pipes when you put pasta ( the most common culprit) down them, if there is not enough water going down the line with the pasta it will find a spot in line to call home. The next time you turn on the faucet that water it finds that pasta and seals the deal, you have clogged pipes. What people don’t understand is that your pipes should not be snaked many times, it can cause leaks. You spend a good deal of time and effort watching what you eat to keep you heart clear and strong and it pays buy extending your life. Use the trash can for all your scraps, you will save money for costly repairs and extend the life of your pipes by keeping them clear.
            Any questions email me or call 703-450-7210. If it’s a popular question you might find it in the next installment
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To find the age of a water heater go to the following link.

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