6 Ways To Avoid A Plumbing Disaster This Winter

34463361_s (1)For most people, this is the time of year when spending time with friends and family is top of the to-do list.

Not only are there holidays to celebrate but the cold weather lends itself to staying indoors and spending quality time with loved ones.

Often, that quality time is spent sharing meals and enjoying each other’s company around the table. While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, it is also the part of the home that is the most vulnerable to plumbing disaster during the winter months.

Most specifically, a clogged garbage disposal is the number one reason that emergency plumbers are called to provide support to homeowners during the winter months.

Not only is there a lot more meal preparation and cleanup happening during the winter months but, there is also the fact that the foods that are prepared this time of the year are root vegetables and starchy foods with thick peels.

All of this leads to extra wear and tear on your garbage disposal and eventually, serious clogs. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to protect your plumbing system and garbage disposal from falling victim to a serious clog this winter:


  • Always run the water when using your garbage disposal. Running it dry could lead to clogs because the water helps to push all of the pulp and materials down the drain.
  • Keep in mind that your disposal, kitchen sink, and dishwasher all use the same drain. Be mindful of what you are putting into each of these sections of your plumbing system as the single drain could become overwhelmed easily
  • Make sure to always put vegetable peelings, meat bones and scraps, and oil or grease into the garbage can. Putting these items into the garbage disposal could quickly lead to a serious problem.
  • Pour a pot of boiling water into your garbage disposal drain at least one time per month as a preventative maintenance measure.
  • Use small pieces of citrus peels and ice cubes to keep your disposal clean and fresh
  • Consider starting a composting bucket for your home to get rid of the biodegradable items that are not able to go into your disposal drain

Your disposal is an important part of your winter weather comfort. Make sure you are using it properly and not putting anything at risk. Follow these simple tips for best practices.

4 Ways To Ensure Your Family Has A Properly Working Plumbing System This Winter

36778918_sThere are many things that homeowners can do during the fall to ensure that they home is ready for the winter weather.

The summer weather presents its own set of wear and tear risks for your home – but, the winter is especially harsh on the various systems used to make your house run.

While your heating system gets used a lot during the winter weather – your plumbing system is the one that is most at-risk from the cold weather.

Your plumbing system is both at-risk for reduced energy-efficiency and for plumbing disasters.

Much of your home’s plumbing system is buried in the ground outside of your home. This exposure to the outside temperatures and elements can make your plumbing system especially vulnerable to reduced energy efficiency.

In fact, if you do a study of your power bills, you will likely find that your plumbing system is the least energy-efficient during the winter months.

Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your plumbing system retains as much energy-efficiency as possible:

  • Wrap your water heater with an insulated blanket to buffer against the cold temperatures.
  • Make sure to have your septic or sewer system professional inspected and have any small issues repaired or addressed before they escalate to major problems.
  • Wrap heat tape or pipe sleeves around any exposed plumbing that is installed in an outside facing wall
  • Add hose bib covers on all of the outside hose spigots that are around your home

Use these tips to ensure that your home is protected from the cold temperatures and that the energy efficiency of your plumbing system is intact. Keep an eye on your monthly power and water bills and adjust your efficiency plan as necessary.

Winter Season Water-Saving Tips

5214176_sIt might seem a little strange to think about but, saving water during the winter months is just as important as saving water during all of the other months of the year.

The process is a little different during this time of the year though, because the way that we use water is different.

During the spring and summer months we are doing things like washing cars and watering lawns but, in the winter months there is none of that activity.

But, during the winter months these activities taper off because of the weather so, we have to think of other ways to save water.

A lot of winter water-saving activities are preventative in nature. This means, water-saving during the winter months means preventing water leaks and flooding.

Here are some ways that you can protect your plumbing from winter weather, and thus save water:

  • Insulating your water heater with a winter blanket is a great way to make sure it doesn’t incur unnecessary wear and tear. Your water heater works harder during the winter months than any other time of the year, and an insulated blanket helps to protect the tank and the heating element from succumbing to the extra work.
  • Wrap your outside spigots and hose bibs with insulated material to protect them against the freezing temperatures. Even these outdoor spigots are connected to the indoor plumbing of your home and, if they freeze, they will flood and cause water damage and water loss to your home.
  • If the temperatures get really cold, leave your faucets to drip a little bit at night to make sure that the water in the system is continuously moving. This helps to combat against freezing pipes and thus prevents flooding and loss of water.
  • Make sure that you and everyone in your household knows where the main water shut off valve is for your home. This is the valve that is located outside, typically close to the sidewalk or street and turns off all of the water to your home from the main supply. Turning this valve off in the case of a winter time plumbing malfunction will mitigate damage and prevent loss of water.

The year is coming to an end and the winter weather is in full swing. Make sure to follow these tips for protecting your plumbing from a winter weather disaster, which will not only cause serious water damage to your home but, also waste a lot of water.

4 Maintenance Tips For Your Kitchen Plumbing

39337284_sThe fall season is a favorite time of year for many people. Not only are there some terrific holidays to celebrate this time of year, but the food and seasonal ingredients are warm and comforting.

During the fall season many people move their cooking from outdoors on the grill to indoors in the oven, stove, and crockpot. While this is great for mealtime, it is hard on your kitchen during meal preparation and clean-up.

Here are some ways that you can keep your plumbing system protected from fall season cooking and cleaning:

  • Pour a boiling pot of water down your garbage disposal drain at least one time per week. First, plug the sink with a plug that has a chain on it. Then boil a large pot of water on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the sink, and then pull the drain. The heat and pressure of the water will “wash” the inside of the garbage disposal walls.
  • When you are peeling potatoes and other seasonal ingredients, put a plastic bag on the countertop and peel the foods into it. Then, gather up the side of the plastic bag and throw the peels into the garbage can. This prevents these peels from being put into the garbage disposal, where they will cause problems for the blade and could cause a serious clog.
  • After you have cooked meat, pour the grease, oil, and drippings into an empty tin can. Then, throw the entire can into the garbage can. If you pour the grease into the kitchen drain, it will solidify in the drain when it cools and begin collecting anything that comes down the drain behind it. This will soon lead to a serious clog in your kitchen drain.
  • When you are loading the dishwasher, make sure to thoroughly rinse the dishes and get all of the food particles from them. Putting large amounts of food into the dishwasher can cause the filter to clog, leading to the dishwasher filling with dirty water.

Mealtime during the fall is comforting and warming after a cold day out of your home. But, cleanup and preparation need some thoughtful processes to make sure that your kitchen plumbing is protected. Make sure to follow these tips and keep your kitchen working great!


Why Is My Faucet Dripping?

What Causes Leaky Faucets?


Faucet RepairFaucets tend to wear down because we use them so often around our home, business, outside, and many other places where we need water. Faucets are an essential need of our daily living, but a leaky faucet can be very annoying and a waste of good water. While there are a vast amount of reasons that cause leaky faucets, a few of the very common reasons include a cracked seal or worn out rubber washer which can happen with faucets under constant pressure and use. Other types of faucets sealed with O-rings tend to leak after wear and tear of high water pressure.

Usually the first sign is constant leaking at the base of a faucet. Replacing the cartridge is the next best thing to this annoying problem. Plus water leaks can cause water bills to rise and not even realize how easily these leaks can hype a water bill at the end of the month. The size of the cartridge is important when replacing because they are not all the same. Trying to do it yourself without the proper tools or knowledge of the intricate difficulty of replacing these small parts can cause improper fitting and installation. Corrosion is another well known problem causing faucet water leaks. Accumulation of water sediments on the valve seat can cause a leaky faucet too. Regular cleaning can prevent this problem from happening. Ignoring a leaky faucet can create other costly expenses in the long run.

The best solution to a leaky faucet, is to call a professional plumber that can easily configure what is causing a leak on your faucet eliminating the guessing, improper installation, and trips back and forth to the hardware store. Ask a plumber for advise if you’re determined to do it yourself. While some leaks can be easily be fixed, others can have more damage. A professional plumber has the expertise to lead you in the right direction, and advise you properly. Most plumbers are happy to share their expertise and ideas for a solution to your problem. After all a leaky faucet is like money down the drain!

Is your Broomall home in need of a faucet repair? Call John McCuen Plumbing & Heating & Air today at (610) 325-9395 for immediate solutions!