Make your home page

The summer countdown is on! That means cookouts, picnics and lots of gatherings in the backyard. It also means some of the plumbing in your home will get used more than normal.

Lance Smith, owner of L.D. Smith Plumbing, joined us Tuesday on “Life. Style. Live!” with a few quick tips to protect your plumbing this summer.

Planning a vacation? Find the location of your water shutoff

Also known as the main water valve can help you rest a little easier when away from home. It turns off the water in your entire home. Turning off the main water supply protects your property if there is a plumbing failure while you are on vacation. You cannot predict when a pipe will burst – and it is not unusual for homeowners to return home to discover significant damage from an unexpected plumbing emergency. Look for your main water valve in your basement or outside close to your property.  

Know the dos and don’ts of your garbage disposal 

Large gatherings are popular in summer, which makes the garbage disposal a convenient appliance to dump leftover food. Be aware that some foods do not dissolve well in your pipes and can clog your drain. Foods to avoid tossing in the garbage disposal are: Eggshells, grease, oils, and fats. Foods that work well in your garbage disposal are: Cooked meats, ice, veggie and fruit scraps.

Lower the temperature on your water heater 

It’s summer. You want hot water, not HOT HOT water. Lowering the temperature in summer could reduce your energy bill. The thermostat on a gas water heater is usually on the front. Changing the temperature on an electric water heater will require a professional plumber to adjust.

Inspect your washer hoses for cracks 

Make sure your washer is prepared for the massive amount of laundry this summer. Washer hoses lasts for less than five years. Pull the washer away from the wall and check the hoses. Replace those that appear cracked. Lance recommends stainless steel washer hoses. Lance will show recommended washer hose.  

L.D. Smith Plumbing Protection Plan 

Avoid plumbing problems this summer and all year with the L.D. Smith Plumbing Protection Plan. It is only $89 and covers a plumbing inspection — which includes washer hoses, priority scheduling for emergencies, discounted plumbing services and much more. 

For more information, click here.

Winter has arrived, and Lance Smith, owner of L.D. Smith Plumbing, has tips to not only keep your home protected during the cold months but also essential items to have on hand for plumbing problems throughout the year. 

When outside temperatures hit below 20 degrees, pipes become vulnerable to freezing. Left unprotected, pipes can burst as they thaw and cause significant damage to your property such as flooding.

1. Insulate your pipes

Exposed pipes in basements, crawl spaces and attics are susceptible to freezing if there’s no heat source in those areas. Items to use are pipe insulation and to make sure that area has a heat source.  It’s also a good idea to check these pipes periodically to ensure pipes are still covered. 

2. Seal cracks

Seal cracks near pipes where there are openings to allow cold air can also reduce the possibility of freezing pipes. Most of these openings can be found near dryer vents and electrical wiring, and crawl space vents.  Caulk or insulation works to seal these openings, as well as expandable spray foam.

3. Let faucets drip

When freezing temperatures are expected, turn on your water faucet to a drip. Constantly keeping a small flow in the line will greatly reduce the chances of the line freezing.

4. IMPORTANT: Know the location of your water shutoff.

If pipes are frozen, you want to know the location of your main shutoff to turn the water off right away.  Also, I would recommend turning off the main shutoff when away from the home for long periods of time.

Homeowners often ask what are the essential plumbing tools to have on hand for everyday plumbing problems. 

Here is Smith’s must-have list: