Winter is Coming

Winter is coming and you have to take appropriate precautions. You need antifreeze in the car, chains for your tires and a way to prevent your pipes from bursting. Most of us who live in snow and sleet areas know the drill, but many forget one key task: the water heater. Yes, it can freeze so it must be winterized like everything else according to this guide: This is essential for the old tank models. In my community, there are classes for the residents who want to learn the ropes and prevent inevitable damage once the temperature drops. The Learning Centre and Library in my town of Alderville offers the most comprehensive version. They have saved many families from the consequences of neglect.

Now seems an appropriate time to taut the Learning Centre where I spend considerable time. It is a great place with a full-scale library. You can find any information you need or use its photocopying and printing services. Locals attest to the great ESL courses and convenient GED testing. It is an important resource in the community as one of the best employers. You will surely meet a friend or neighbor any day of the week. I love my job and am here to encourage more Alderville denizens to come see what the centre has to offer.

In fact, we are going to produce a pamphlet on winterizing your home. There will be a paragraph devoted to water heaters since everyone has one in their home. Don’t let this simple procedure cause you grief once winter has set in. And you don’t need to hire a pro for the job. The instructions vary according to your type of unit: gas or electric. Of course, a gas water heater must be shut off at the valve. As a homeowner, you should know its location. Then an electric model requires shut off at the breaker. Show both locations to other members of the family should you be absent in the future.

Now it is a matter of draining the water by opening the faucet or fixture. You will first turn off the water system which is usually done outside. Draining requires opening the sillcock (valve with handles) and letting gravity do its job. While anyone can perform this task, if you want to blow out any residual water, you will have to attach a compressor, the same device you would use to winterize your sprinkler system.

As you use the compressor, you may notice a lack of pressure. This indicates a broker pipe or open valve somewhere in the house. It may be time to call the plumber at this point. Certainly, this won’t happen every winter so once your pipes are in good working order, you are set for some time. This is a good way to find out before it is too late.

You are almost finished. The compressor fills the system with air and the water heater can now drain with safety. Pressurized air pushes the remaining water out as it enters the cold water line. If the draining fluid is hot, be careful to let it cool before continuing.  And there you have it!