JOB Heating & Air Experts Explain Why You Should Shut Your Water Off
Why you should shut your water off before you go on vacation!
The JOB Heating and Air Conditioning team are Trusted Saskatoon plumbers, furnace, boilers and air conditioning professionals! We offer 24-hour emergency service, but we are big believers in prevention being better than cure! In this latest article, we share some tips that may save you money and stress!
Are you escaping the cold and going on vacation? Do you even worry about your home while you’re away? I think we all do. So what are some of the things that can go wrong?
The first and worst thing is the heat going off in your home while your away. Many home insurance policies have stipulations that you have someone check your home for you in your absence. I personally think this is a good practice. If you’re away and your furnace quits for whatever reason, you may get lucky and the temperature isn’t too bad. However, we live in Saskatoon and it gets cold in the winter here. Depending on the age of your home and how well insulated it is if it’s minus 30C or more outside you could have less than 12 hours before the house gets below freezing inside. When the house is below freezing the water pipes are now at risk of freezing.
Prevent Frozen Water Pipes -shut your water off before you go on vacation
There are different types of pipes used for running potable water in Saskatoon. The most common is copper. When water freezes in copper pipes, the expansion causes the pipe to fail in the form of a split in the pipe. So this brings to mind a question, did you turn your main valve off before you left? Oh, and that brings to mind one more question, does the main shut off to your home work?
You will find the main shut off for your home just before your water meter where the pipe comes into your home. This is a valve that you should open and close from time to time to ensure that it operates properly IE: the water shuts off. If you are scared to close this valve then that would be an indication that perhaps you should have a plumber come and check this valve for you and possibly change it.
At this point, I do want to talk to all the home buyers in Saskatoon. Please, when you are looking for a house that you want to buy, go and check this valve. It has been my experience that many times people buy homes only to find out that this valve doesn’t work and it needs to be replaced. Replacing this valve for a journeyman plumber is a relatively quick and easy process, however, there are many things that can complicate this. When people renovate or finish basements they seem to like to hide this valve or box it in.
Remember this valve and the water meter are mechanical items and will need to be replaced or repaired someday and the box will have to be removed to do this. When the plumber comes to change the valve, he first must call the City of Saskatoon to have the water shut off at the curb stop. The curb stop is buried underground below the frost line usually at the front of your property. Again depending on the age of your home, there is a 50/50 chance that this valve won’t work as well, and the city will not be able to use it to shut the water off to your home and in the case of an emergency, they would have to shut off the block. It has been my experience that when they shut off the block it can take as long as an hour to find the valves to do so. If the water in your house is running at about 6 to 10 gallons per minute for 60 minutes, and as good as our city crews are it can take them 30 minutes to get to your house then you would have 90 to 100 gallons of water on the floor before you could get the water shut off. That’s assuming you’re home when it happens. So it’s important that all people living in the home including children know where the valve is and how to shut it off. Next, when you go away for an overnight trip it is good practice to shut this valve off. This way you’re almost guaranteed not to have an issue while you are away. Finally, check this valve once or twice a year, make sure it works. If it doesn’t, call and book an appointment with JOB Heating and Air Conditioning and we can change it for you.
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