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Avoid Costly Damage by Taking Steps to Prevent Winter Pipe Bursts

Avoid Costly Damage by Taking Steps to Prevent Winter Pipe BurstsAlthough we live in sunny San Diego, the threat of pipe bursts is one that no resident should ignore. If you haven’t taken the proper precautions, you could end up with costly damage. We suggest that you avoid this by following our best tips:

Insulate Your Home’s Exposed Pipes

First, focus on is protecting your exposed pipes, which are vulnerable to freezing. This is done by adding insulation, whether you do the work yourself or hire an HVAC professional.

Drain the Pipes

Excess water in your pipes can easily become frozen when the temperature drops. Draining your pipes will quickly fix this problem.

Turn On a Faucet

When outdoor temperatures get especially cold, it’s a good idea to start a slow drip on any faucet in your home. This will keep the water flowing, which will stop its ability to freeze.

Use a Heating Trace Cable

Heating cables function by plugging them into an electrical outlet, then laying the cable alongside your pipes or wrapping it around them. This cable will come out of its package ready to be used or require a little preparation.

Turn Up the Heat

San Diego is full of incredible older homes. Unfortunately, many older homes are built atop a crawl space that has not been insulated. Turning up the heat on your thermostat will warm up the floor and crawl space.

Heat Up the Pipe

Space heaters are a great way to get warmed up on a chilly day, and they’re also useful in warming up your home’s pipes. There’s no need to use its highest setting; it won’t take much heat to do the job.

Pay Attention to the Outdoor Spigot

With so much attention paid to the interior of your home, its exterior may be ignored. An outdoor spigot can become frozen, too, and turning off its valve will prevent bursting.
For more professional advice on how to avoid costly pipe bursts in your home or any other questions related to home comfort, reach out to the experts at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the area of North San Diego since 2002.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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What Does Discolored Hot Water Indicate?

What Does Discolored Hot Water Indicate?Seeing discolored hot water coming from one of your home’s faucets can be distressing. However, you don’t need to assume that it means your water heater is on its way out: there are several different reasons that you may be getting discoloration in your hot water.

Discolored water can occur as the result of a temporary disturbance in the public water supply. If this is the case, you’ll see the discoloration whether you have the hot or cold water on. In this case, you should contact your utilities company.

If it is a problem with your home’s hot water, it may be the result of a mineral buildup in your tank water heater. Your heater’s tank should be flushed periodically to get rid of any sediment buildup; beyond just discoloring your water, it can also interfere with your water heater’s energy efficiency, and cause hot spots and corrosion inside the tank. Consult your owner’s manual on how to flush your hot water tank, or call your local HVAC experts for water heater maintenance.

Corrosion in your pipes can also cause a discoloration in your water, particularly if your home was built using the less-expensive galvanized steel pipes. If this is the case, the pipes will need to be replaced; continued corrosion can lead to pipe leaks, which can flood your home.

Another cause of water discoloration is the presence of iron-reducing bacteria in local groundwater. If these bacteria enter your tank, they may feed on the iron present in the municipal water supply, discoloring the water and wearing out the inner components of your hot water heater. Slightly chlorinating your water destroys the bacteria, clears your water, and helps to protect your water heater’s tank.

If you’re seeing discolored hot water in your San Diego area home, call up Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning for more information or to schedule service. We’re also happy to help you explore water heating options for your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pressmaster/Shutterstock”