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 snap this winter, but many homes in Pennsylvania will experience these problems. As Pennsylvania continues to experience cold weather, make sure your home is prepared.
Schedule bi-annual furnace maintenance...BEFORE the cold weather hits
Your furnace should be inspected by a Kimmen Plumbing & Heating, Inc. heating professional. Air filters should be changed at your furnaces recommended change period. Your furnace should be cleaned regularly by one of our professionals 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 min-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 waters flow. Disconnect the hose to to assure that freeze-proof faucet will drain.
WINTERIZE UNHEATED OR VACANT BUILDINGS
Significant property damage and water loss can occur before burst pipes are discovered. The most susceptible to this are commercial buildings with 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. Insulate and or heat tape does not guarantee that pipes will not freeze.
DURING A DEEP FREEZE (-5 DEGREES AND BELOW)
Know WHO to call - Kimmen Plumbing & Heating, Inc's phone number should be handy in case of an emergency. We have 24 hour Emergency Service!
Just call us @ 814 942-8529
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 closed - Occasionally plumbing is routed through attached garages 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 the 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.
IF YOU THINK A PIPE HAS ALREADY FROZEN
Don't wait for nature to take its course; thaw the pipe as soon as possible. If you attempt to thaw this yourself, shut off the 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 and a blow torch is a massive fire hazard to insulation that is usually near by.