Monthly Archives: April 2012

Spring Drain Cleaning

When warm weather approaches, it’s important to make sure that your drains and plumbing systems are prepared for those spring showers. Here’s a good checklist to follow:

  • Sinks in infrequently-used guest rooms or other parts of the house should have one gallon of water poured into the drain in order to fill the trap.
  • Any slow drains should be snaked in order to make sure that they’ll carry water as quickly as possible in the event of a flood.
  • Any exposed pipes in the basement or crawlspace should be checked for leaks.
  • If you have a sump pump, this is also a great time to test it. Pour a couple of buckets of water into the sump pit to be sure that it turns on quickly, discharges the water, then shuts off.
  • Floor drains should be fitted with backflow valves to prevent a sewer backup, and flood alarms should be installed in order to alert you to the earliest signs of flooding.
  • Outdoor drains, downspouts and gutters should be cleaned out thoroughly and completely free of debris. This includes checking carefully for birds’ nests in vent pipes.

Should you need assistance with these tasks, Derksen Plumbing will be on standby to serve your plumbing and HVAC needs. Just give us a call at 204-944-3444 to schedule a service call.

Sump Pump Maintenance

Melting snow and spring rains are exciting signs of approaching warm weather. They also increase the ground water level and can often lead to flooded basements in homes or buildings without sump pumps that function properly.

The first step in spring basement-flooding prevention is to be sure that your sump pump is in good working order by gently pulling the float up to see if it automatically kicks in. If it doesn’t start, it will need to be checked by a technician. Even if your sump pump is working very well, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your basement for signs of flooding each day to be on the safe side.

Because violent spring and summer thunderstorms can lead to power outages, investing in a backup sump pump that is powered by batteries is usually a good idea. Some models are designed to fit right next to your main sump pump, and come equipped with an audible alarm to alert property owners to the main pump’s failure. This alert can help you discover sump pump problems early and get them repaired in a timely manner, which is the very best way to prevent basement water damage.

For more information regarding sump pump repair and the installation of battery operated sump pumps, give us a call at Derksen Plumbing & Heating at 204-944-3444.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Now that the temperatures are rising, it is time to make sure your air conditioner is clean and ready for the summer ahead. The general care of your central conditioning system is fairly simple. To get started, you must locate the 2 parts to your system – the condenser unit and the evaporator.

The condenser unit is the large unit that sits outside of your home while the evaporator is the part that resides in the plenum or main duct above your furnace. The cool air from your air conditioning system flows through the same filter and ductwork that your warm air does from the furnace. Because of this, you will want to make sure to change your filters throughout the year and not just during the winter months.

For your spring air conditioner cleaning, start by cleaning the condenser coil. Remember to turn off the power to the condenser unit. This is usually located on the exterior wall of the house near the unit. Start by vacuuming the fins of the unit. Use your shop vac with a soft brush attachment to remove any surface debris. Next, spray water into your unit from your garden hose to force out the remaining lodged debris.

It is recommended you carry out regular tune-ups annually to make sure your central air system is operating at its maximum efficiency. Contact your heating and air conditioning professional to inspect your unit and to make sure your unit is ready for the heat and humidity of the coming months.

Get Your Home Ready

Preparing your home from heavy rains of spring is easier than you think, and absolutely essential to the condition of your property. Because homeowners insurance typically doesn’t cover damages caused by overland flooding, it can also be an essential part of protecting your investment from costly water damages.

One of the best ways to protect your home and belongings from water damage is to be well prepared in advance by taking steps to minimize the risk of damage resulting from spring thaws and rains before they begin. Valuables that you’ve stored in the basement should be moved to higher floors, floor drains should be checked for obstructions and carefully cleaned, and a sump pump should be installed. Existing sump pumps should be tested and checked to be sure that they’re in proper working condition. Sewer backflow valves can also prevent water from entering your basement, though it’s important to check municipal regulations beforehand to clarify any local requirements. These two upgrades alone can help to prevent the bulk of spring flooding, and are proactive methods for the prevention of basement water damage.

Another great way to prevent problems is to carefully inspect the grading around your home. The slope of the ground around your house’s foundation does significantly contribute to flooding and flood prevention alike.

Call Derksen Plumbing & Heating at 204-944-3444 for assistance in protecting your home against flood damage.