Monthly Archives: December 2011

Winter Heating Tips

Winter in Winnipeg can strain the heating systems and wallets of consumers, but there are a few things you can do to minimize some of these effects, and Derksen Plumbing & Heating can be your ally in addressing some of these issues.

The best defense against the cold is preventive maintenance. Have your system checked professionally on a yearly basis, and make any necessary repairs, installations or adjustments. An inspection and “tune-up” will assure you that all filters have been cleaned or replaced, and that heating equipment is in good working order.

Some other things you can do to reduce winter heating woes include making sure your house doesn’t dry out too much in the winter. A humidifier may be needed if the air becomes too dry. Moisture in the air helps hold in heat, and may aid in problems associated with health issues like asthma.

Reverse the ceiling fans to help spread warm air more evenly throughout your home. If you use a fireplace or wood stove, make sure the draft is adjusted down or you may find that you are just heating the neighborhood as warm air is lost up the chimney.

Remember, Derksen Plumbing & Heating is available, 24 hours a day, if you have emergency needs. Just call our hot line, at 204-944-3444. For inspections and maintenance, call 204-668-4450, and we will arrange to have our professionals deal with all your concerns.

Winterize a Vacant Home

Ah, yes, the soft southern breezes and palm-draped beaches are a wonder to behold as you dip your toes into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, winter in Florida can sure be nice, but what about the home you left back in Winnipeg, where temperatures will drop below zero for a good part of the season? Did you make sure to take the steps to protect your house from problems that can occur due to frigid temperatures?

If you are planning to be away for any part of the cold season, here are a few necessary steps to take before you pack the boogie boards. Keep a checklist, so you can reverse the process when you return home.

Outside – Disconnect and stow hoses when you are bringing in other outdoor things like furniture and plants. Shut off the water supply at the the mains. Drain all the water you can, from hoses, water lines, and any water features in the yard, such as ponds or fountains.

Inside – Turn off the water supply and drain the lines, but don’t turn off the heat, just turn it down to about 58 degrees Fahrenheit. If applicable, other things that may need to be drained include toilets and septic systems.

Empty refrigerators, clean them and turn them off, leaving the door open to avoid problems with mildew.

If you have questions or need anything fixed or replaced, Derksen Plumbing & Heating is just a phone call away, at 204-668-4450. For emergencies, call our 24/7 number, 204-944-3444.

Going Away in Winter: Stop Pipes from Freezing

If you are taking off this winter don’t forget to prep your home while you are making your travel plans. In particular, remember to winterize your plumbing before you head off to dip your toes in the Gulf of Mexico. You don’t want to return to burst pipes and a flooded house, especially when you realize it was something that could have been prevented.

There are three main causes of frozen pipes: sudden drops in temperature, thermostats set too low, and insufficient or improperly installed insulation. You probably can’t do much to change the weather, but you can prepare for it by addressing the other two items. Derksen Plumbing & Heating can help you winterize your home, and they are just a phone call away (204-668-4450) if you need assistance. They are also happy to provide you with these house-saving tips to keep your pipes from bursting while you are busy trying to remember your sunscreen.

- Turn Off Water – Before you go, turn off the main water supply, and open a tap in the house to allow any water left in the pipes to have a place to go.
- Insulate Pipes – Wrapping pipes, both hot and cold, is advisable for both interior and exterior pipes.
- Heating Cables – Where winters are extremely cold, and Winnipeg certainly qualifies, wrapping the pipes with insulation may not be enough. Heating cables may be the logical next step. Follow the manufacturers instructions and don’t wrap cable around itself, as this could pose a fire danger.
- Thermostat – You don’t need to blast the heat while you are gone, but do set your thermostat between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This should protect any interior pipes from the outside cold.
- Open Cabinets – Water pipes that run along exterior walls are more apt to freeze than those that run through the interior of the home. Opening cabinets, particularly under sinks, can allow warmer room air to protect pipes.
- The Neighbors – You aren’t the only one who needs to know where your main water shut-offs are located. If you have friends or neighbors coming by to check on your place, make sure they know where these shut-offs are as well.
- Phone Numbers – Among the phone numbers you should have prominently posted is the 24-hour emergency line to Derksen Plumbing & Heating (204-944-3444).

Hot103 Live Morning Show – 3 Years in a Row!

and it’s 3 years in a row!

Once again, our office has won the bid at Alzheimer’s Gala to have the Hot103 host their morning show from our office. The proceeds from the bid went to a great cause. The Derksen Group also raised $6,200 for Koats for Kids.

We also held a hot breakfast fundraiser in the morning to collect food items for Siloam Mission.

What a fun and fanstic day! Thanks to everyone for their support. To see more pictures from that day, click here.

Winter Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Winter is no stranger to Winnipeg, with average overnight temperatures that drop below zero and daytime highs that struggle to reach double-digits. Whether you stick it out here, or traipse off to warmer climates for the frigid winter months, you need to make sure that your plumbing is ready when the mercury plummets. Derksen Plumbing & Heating is celebrating over 50 years of serving the people of Winnipeg, and we are happy to present you with a few tips to help you prepare for the cold.

- Pipe Insulation – Your main lines may be buried, but there are likely to be places where your hot and cold water pipes are exposed to the air. Wrap these spots to prevent freezing.
- Drip, Drip, Drip – During the winter months it is a good idea to run some water on a regular basis, as running water freezes at a lower temperature than still water. You may need to let some taps drip overnight when the cold is extreme.
- Outdoors – Hoses, spigots, sprinklers and garden emitters should all be shut off and/or disconnected for winter storage. Supply lines to outdoor spigots may also need to be shut off.
- Cooking – It’s never a good idea to send excess grease down the kitchen sink, but winter’s cold can exacerbate clogging problems. Properly dispose of grease, and treat the drain periodically.
- Time to Reheat – Wait 10-15 minutes between showers or baths, as this will allow your hot water heater time to recover.
- Adjust Heater – You may need to adjust the thermostat on your water heater. It’s alright to turn it up, but stay within a safe range (no more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Burst Pipes – What to do if pipes do burst or freeze? In some cases, and if you have safe access you can utilize a hair-dryer to thaw frozen pipes. For pipes that have burst, make sure to turn off water supplies that lead to the break so that you don’t foster additional problems when the lines thaw. Then, call the Derksen Heating & Plumbing 24-hour emergency number ( 204-944-3444) for help in a hurry.