PO Box 548 | Morris, IL | 60450
Residential & Commercial Plumbing | Serving Morris & Surrounding Areas
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OUTSIDE FAUCETS/GARDEN HOSES | Make sure outside faucets are not dripping or leaking. Prior to winter, disconnect and drain all outside hoses. Use indoor shut off valve to shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets.
If garden hoses are left connected when the temperatures drop, water in the hose can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break. If leaking or breakage does occur Contact Countywide Plumbing, Inc. @ (815)941-1570.
EMERGENCY WATER (MASTER) SHUT OFF | Find the master shut off in case of a leak. Everyone in the family should know the location of the emergency shutoff valve and how to use it. For instance, if a plumbing pipe suddenly burst and water started to flood the home, someone will be able to quickly close the emergency shutoff valve to stop the flooding and prevent further damage.
The quickest way to shut off the water flow to your home, is to close the emergency shutoff valve. If you are receiving your water from the municipal water supply, you will normally find the emergency valve at the water supply meter. If you get your water supply from a private well, you will find the emergency shut-off valve at the pressure tank. Single family homes will normally have two places where a homeowner can shut off the water coming into the home. As mentioned, one place is at the water meter.
You should look inside the meter box to locate the valve handle. You will know that you have found the emergency shut-off valve, if you are able to see a valve handle. You will then know how to shut off the water in an emergency. The other area where you can find a shut-off valve is on the wall next to the water heater or in the basement. It will be a valve. A shut-off valve handle can look like a wagon wheel or lever. In some instances, you may need a wrench to close the valve lever.
There are a number of other places where you can find shut-off valves. Newer homes will have shut off valves located at each plumbing fixture such as at the sinks and bathtubs. If you have an older home, you will likely not have all of the necessary shut-off valves at each fixture. You should take special care if you have appliances such as a washer or dishwasher. When these appliances are not in use, you should turn the shut-off valves off in case a supply hose bursts.
FURNACES,WATER HEATERS AND BOILERS | The CPSC (U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission) recommends that a yearly tune up and maintenance inspection be done by a professional contractor on all fuel-burning heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, space heaters, and water heaters.
The inspection should include checking chimneys, flues and vents for leakage, blockage by debris, and to make sure they are not loose or disconnected. Birds, insects or other animals can build nests in vents over spring and summer, resulting in blockages that cause deadly exhaust to enter the home. Contact Us @ (815)941-1570!
WATER HEATERS | If your water heater makes a popping noise, groans, bubbles, burps, etc., as it heats water, this is a sign of sediment buildup at the base of the tank. What you are hearing is boiling water that is trapped in sediment or a layer of mineral deposits inside the bottom of the water heater tank. Although not a cause for alarm, it means the water heater is not operating efficiently.
Per the water heater manufacturer’s instructions, you should drain the tank for 1 hour or so every year, or more often if your water is especially high in iron, calcium or minerals. You drain it by running a hose from the faucet on the bottom front of the tank to a drain or outside the house.
Do NOT drain it into a toilet, as the hot water may crack the porcelain. If your water heater is an older model that has not been drained regularly, the buildup of sediment may be too much to drain out, and it will gradually heat less efficiently until it must be replaced. Newer models have a feature that prevents or greatly reduces sediment buildup. If you do not feel comfortable draining the water heater yourself Contact Us!
Consider replacing a water heater that is more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made). A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems. If a water heater is leaking, you must replace it. You cannot repair a leaking residential water heater.
Contact Countywide Plumbing, Inc. @ (815)941-1570.
CO DETECTORS and SMOKE ALARMS | The most important thing you can do before turning on your heating system is to test your carbon monoxide detector to see that it is working properly. Every home should have a CO detector in the hallway near bedrooms for your safety, and smoke alarms that are tested frequently. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you “change your battery in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms when you change your clock” (twice yearly). Be sure that when you insert a new battery that the battery contacts snap tightly into the detector battery contacts. Also, if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, it should be replaced as the sensors become too contaminated from household cooking and dust.
GARBAGE DISPOSAL | Never put bones, poultry skins, carrots, celery, banana peels, rice, noodles, potato skins, fruit pits, or avocado skins into the garbage disposal. They are too stringy and fibrous for the disposal to handle. The disposal can’t sufficiently grind these items and they will clog your sink drain. Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs. Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal.
To eliminate garbage disposal odors, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposal and run for 30 seconds. While it is running, squirt a small amount of liquid dish washing detergent into the disposal, and then run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse the debris away. Repeat the process until there is no odor. Garbage disposal not operating properly contact Countywide Plumbing, Inc. for repair or replacement @ (815)941-1570!
SEWER MAINS | The first signs of root clogs and other sewer clogs include slow-flowing drains, toilets that make gurgling noises when flushed and wet areas around floor drains that appear after you do laundry. A professional should be called to rod sewer line and drain lines. Contact Us! @ (815)941-1570.
DRAIN MAINTENANCE | Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked or rodded to ensure they carry water away quickly in the event of a flood. Contact Us! @ (815)941-1570.
FAUCETS | Check faucets for drips or leaks. Call Countywide Plumbing, Inc. to make repairs and save water @ (815)941-1570.
TOILETS (WATER CLOSETS) | Check around the base of the toilet for signs of water damage (i.e.; rolled vinyl, black or white stains). Inspect tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. Maintain toilet tanks and prevent water waste by replacing the ball or flapper once a year, and upgrade to the most modern tank fill system. Don’t flush Kleenex in toilets. The paper fibers do not disintegrate like toilet tissue and can cause clogs. For repairs or replacement Contact Countywide Plumbing, Inc. @ (815)941-1570.
TUB/SHOWER | Shower and bathtub drains should have strainers that stop hair and soap from entering the drain. Clean strainers regularly to avoid clogs. Remove mineral deposits from your showerhead to maintain good water flow. If shower pressure is weak, pour a cup of vinegar into a plastic bag, place it over the showerhead, and soak. Use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the mineral deposits to help restore water flow. If it is severely clogged, you may need to replace the showerhead. Contact Countywide Plumbing, Inc. @ (815)941-1570.
*These tips are provided as a service from Countywide Plumbing, Inc. The information "homeowner tips” is intended to help in the maintenance of your residential plumbing. Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Countywide Plumbing, Inc. assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt of any procedures.
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