Fall 2010
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Issue 1
The Antidote, newsletter title for DR. PLUMBER
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Tell your friends... ...don't tell your enemies!  

Welcome to the first edition of The Antidote, the Your DR. PLUMBER newsletter. We hope you find the information useful and your comments are always welcome.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide you with useful tips and money-saving ideas. Please take a few moments to browse the contents and look for those suggestions that will help you. We will be adding seasonal savings coupons so sign up for The Antidote to receive notice of those features as well as seasonal energy savings tips. In this economy we can all benefit from energy savings.

Cozy cabin nestled in the snow with smoke drifting from the chimney

Winterizing Your Cabin

Getting your cabin/mobile home/cottage/barn ready for winter includes winterizing the plumbing.

If you won't be using your place in the winter:

  • Bleed pipelines
  • Drain the water heater:
    1. Turn off the circuit breaker to the water heater
    2. Connect a hose to the drain valve (if it's not located at the lowest point of the water heater, check your owner's manual for its location)
    3. Point the other end of the hose to the floor drain
    4. Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain out
      • This can take up to xxx minutes—be patient

For an all-weather cabin/barn/mobile home:

  • Protect pipelines from freezing by:
    • Encasing the pipes in foam insulation, and/or
    • Wrapping heat tape, also known as heat line cable, around the pipes and then plugging them into a GFCI-protected electrical outlet

For a mobile home:

  • Its water pipes are usually located under the mobile home and should use automatic heat tape on all the exterior pipes, shutoff valves and any pipes that run up the walls
  • Caulk and/or insulate any openings near your water pipes to prevent drafts of cold air from freezing your pipes (or forcing the heat tape to work harder)

In general:

  • Protect sink, bathtub, and shower drain traps by pouring about 1 cup of plumbing antifreeze down each drain—do NOT use car antifreeze unless you plan to call me next spring and spend a lot of money
    • Do NOT use any type of antifreeze in the barn as it could make your livestock ill or die
  • This is a good time to do some septic tank maintenance by adding a commercial septic treatment or enzyme product to aid in breaking down solids
  • Protect external water spigots/hose pipes/faucets (see Tips on the right)

Protect External Water Spigots

  1. Drain the spigots/faucets/hose pipes
  2. Find and turn off the interior shutoff valve for the outside faucets (usually inside the house directly behind the outside faucet)
  3. Insulate the external faucets with further protection by using:
    • Insulated external faucet covers (available at hardware stores, building supply stores, and/or co-ops), or
    • Wrap strips of toweling or blanket insulation around the faucet and then cover with plastic to keep moisture from penetrating the insulation
      • Tie or knot the plastic on as weather extremes can cause tape to lose its efficiency

In this issue:

Winterizing Your Cabin

Protect External Water Spigots

Tips: Prepping for Winter

Coupon for all customers gives 10% off any job of $200 or more


Prepping for Winter

  • Protect external water spigots

  • Drain sprinkler systems

  • Disconnect and drain outside hoses

  • Caulk cracks or openings in your building's foundation

  • Conduct your annual heat tape inspection

  • Insulate exposed pipes in the crawlspace, attic, outside walls, barn
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