Tips & Hints

Check here frequently for helpful hints from your friends at Kimmen Plumbing and Heating.  Be sure to come back often as these hints are updated frequently.


Is Your Furnace Winter Ready?

No one wants the misfortune of having a furnace go out or to have problems with their pipes freezing during a cold winter, but several Denver homes will experience these problems. As Denver continues to experience cold weather, make sure your home is prepared.

Before the cold:

Schedule bi-annual furnace maintenance

Your furnace should been inspected by a Heating professional. Air filters should be changed at your furnace's recommended change period. Your furnace should be cleaned regularly by a professional and if need be your ventilation equipment may need to be cleaned.

Know the location of your water shut-off and regularly test it.

In case the worst happens and a pipe breaks, you won't want to wait for someone to arrive at your place to find it for you. In most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is in the basement or crawl space on a wall facing the street.

Turn off and drain automatic and manual sprinkler systems before the first freeze.

You'll thank yourself in the spring. The freezing and thawing cycle can create cracks and weak spots in the sprinkler system, triggering silent underground leaks or mini-geysers.

Turn off outdoor faucets and be sure to disconnect hoses.

Make sure the faucet and outside piping is fully drained. A valve inside many houses will shut off the water's flow. Disconnect the hose to assure that freeze-proof faucets will drain.

Winterize unheated or vacant buildings.

Significant property damage and water loss can occur before burst pipes are discovered. Most susceptible are fire protection systems.

Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have posed problems before.

Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don't overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze.  Insulation, and or, heat tape does not guarantee that pipes will not freeze.



Know who to call during an emergency.

Keep a plumbing and heating company's phone number nearby in case of an emergency.

Keep open cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes so that household air can warm them.

The natural flow of warmer air will help combat problems.

Keep attached garage doors shut.

Occasionally, plumbing is routed there, leaving it vulnerable to winter's worst.

Crack a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house.

A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Don't forget to place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses.

Keep your thermostat above 65 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days.

This practice is particularly important in houses and businesses prone to pipe freezing.



Don't wait for nature to take its course; thaw the pipe as soon as possible.

If you do it yourself, shut off the water or test the shut-off valve to make sure it works before beginning work.

In thawing, slow is best.

A hairdryer trained at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate: a blow torch is not. Pipes that warm too fast can break anyway.


PA HIC # 015779

Site Updated
October 03, 2009


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