Home Improvement
News, Tips, Articles

We have brought you this section to give you little tips, tricks, and other items of interest to help you keep your home in tip-top shape.  By using these tips and tricks, you can properly maintain your home and thus save money on costly repairs.

 


Water Damage & Spring Checklist
by Plumb Right
www.callplumbright.com

Did you know that 5 out of 10 insurance claims are water disasters? Billions of dollars of extensive water damage occurs from internal flooding each year. A sump pump is your first line of defense against water seepage. How old is your unit? Are you willing to trust that it will work properly when it needs to? If it fails, do you have a battery backup system in place?

Prevent water issues, use our Spring Checklist

  • Check to be sure your sump pump motor is still working. To prevent backups, make sure any discharge lines are clear and open.

  • Clear leaves out of gutters and downspouts.

  • Check around your homeís foundation for low spots that would allow water to collect and run into your basement. Add soil to those areas so water can slope away.

  • Temporarily turn on the water to your outside faucets and check for any leaks.

  • Make sure that your basement shut off valves are not leaking.

  • Check the condition of your washing machine hoses. Flex and bend the hose, if it feels extremely stiff or you see any cracks then itís time to replace them. We recommend the more reliable stainless steel hoses.

What is a Sump Pump?

A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes. The water may enter via the perimeter drains of a basement waterproofing system, funneling into the basin or because of rain or natural ground water, if the basement is below the water table level.

Commonly found in the basement of homes, a sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin.

Water in basements is a common problem

5 out of 10 insurance claims are water disasters. Billions of dollars of extensive water damage occurs from internal flooding each year. A sump pump is your first line of defense against water seepage so you want to make sure to be proactive with replacing an old one or fixing one that has failed.

Why would I need a sump pump?

Homes that need sump pumps have basements that flood regularly. They are installed to correct the flooding issue and to solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home. They are designed to send water away from a house to an area where it is no longer problematic such as a dry well or municipal storm drain.

Many pumps that were installed years ago still discharge to the sanitary sewer system (for instance through the drain in the laundry sink). Whereas this was once acceptable, this practice now violates plumbing code or municipal bylaws because this discharge can overwhelm municipal sewage treatment systems.

Battery backup is a good idea

Since a sump basin may overflow if not constantly pumped, a backup system is important because during a severe storm where flooding is an issue, many times the homeís electrical power can be out for a prolonged period of time.

The submersible style is mounted completely inside the sump and is specially sealed to prevent electrical short circuits. These pumps are generally more expensive to purchase, have a shorter lifespan (5-15 years) and are much less visible to the homeowner.

What other variables go into the decision to purchase the right sump pump for my home?

When it comes to sump pumps, Plumb Right wrote the book!

Over and above the two basic types of sump pumps, there are many variables to consider when purchasing/having a sump pump installed which is why you should call the professionals at Plumb Right.

  • Automatic vs. manual operation

  • Level of horsepower needed

  • Head pressure/maximum height that the pump will move water

  • Power cord length

  • Water level sensing switch type

  • Backup system and alarm

Donít wait until your current system fails or the spring rains flood your basement. Call Plumb Right for the best advice, installation and service of new or existing sump pumps.

Plumb Right provides dependable, hardworking sump pumps and battery backup systems that you can count on. Call us today at 763-561-3306 or 952-474-0302 for a consultation.

And if you ever get to the point where your system has failed, call our emergency sump pump line at 763-561-3306 for immediate help.


www.callplumbright.com

763-561-3306 or 952-474-0302
 

 

Winterizing sillcocks (aka outside faucets)
submitted by Terry Overacker Plumbing, 763-323-8885

It is time to shut off your water supply stop and waste valve inside your home, if you haven't already.  This valve will prevent water flow to your outside sillcocks (aka faucets.) 
 
Allowing the water to remain in the pipes can cause them to freeze and break, along with the sillcock itself.  Frost free does not mean it will not freeze, if not maintained properly.

After shutting off the supply stop and waste valve, you need to drain out the water left in the pipe by opening the outside faucet, leaving it open for the duration of winter.  Watch for icicles to form under your faucet outside. If you see any icicles, this could indicate you have a faulty shut off valve, then it's time to call your local plumbing professional as soon as possible to repair or replace your inside shut off valve. 
 
 

Freezing Pipes
submitted by Terry Overacker Plumbing, 763-323-8885

High winds and low temperatures can penetrate your outside walls and can cause your pipes to freeze.  Once they freeze, if left too long, they can expand and split allowing leaks when they thaw.  This can cause major water damage to your home.
 
There are ways to help prevent this from happening. Leave just a very thin trickle of both hot and cold water running at night in the faucets that are on the outside walls of your home and then also open up the cabinet doors (if there are any) below these same fixtures to allow the heat to penetrate the air around the pipes.

If your pipes do happen to freeze, do not attempt to thaw them yourself. This is a very high risk for fires.  Hiring a professional with professional grade equipment can reduce the risk of fire and get your pipes thawed more quickly, helping to prevent splitting.