Have you purged your underground sprinkler system yet? If you haven't, it's time to do it now.
Here's why. Most liquids continue to contract (shrink and become more dense) when they get colder. That means they take up less space. But water has a unique property that causes it to start to expand when it reaches about 39 degrees. Then, gradually, it begins to contract again, but it still stays less dense than water.
One of the great benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest is the summer weather. Being this far north, we have long, sunny days, moderate daytime temperatures, mild nights and rarely have any severe weather.
But winter is another story. While our traditional winter weather is mostly grey skies and drizzle, typically at least once a year we have a major rain event with driving winds and flooding. And every couple of years, when the conditions are just right, we get hit with a real snow storm.
January of 2012 was one of those times. We received over 2 feet of heavy snow within 24 hours. "Snowmageddon," as we nicknamed it locally, caused city-wide power outages and literally trapped people in their homes for days. Some people in the outskirts of town lost power for over 2 weeks.
Predictions are that these types of weather events will become more frequent due to climate change and global warming, so it's wise to prepare your home for the long term.
Summer is when many of us have the time (and the sunny weather) to take a family vacation. Before you leave town, we suggest you consider the following safety tips to prepare your home for being unattended. Not all these tips are plumbing specific, but certainly would apply in case of a plumbing emergency, like a leak or a burst pipe.
Tankless water heaters are a great option for providing hot water delivery throughout your home more efficiently than a traditional tank-based system.
With a tank-based water heater, the basic idea is to keep a ready supply of water maintained at a hot temperature so it can be distributed throughout your home. However, there are two reasons why this is an inefficient system.