Prepare For Winter and Avoid Plumbing Problems

When Old Man Winter comes to town, he can sometimes come with a vengeance. If your home or business is not properly prepared, the cold temperatures and snowy or wet conditions can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Several issues may pop up unexpectedly, forcing you to either work your handyman skills, call a good plumber, or end up spending hundreds of dollars in repairs. Let’s take a closer look at one of the most common winter plumbing problems that can be avoided, along with tips to help you get through this year’s cold season.

The Problem with Pipes

Free-flowing pipes are a big part of keeping a home functional and intact. Although they are buried out of sight and out of mind, a broken or damaged pipe will soon draw attention to itself in a very noticeable way. However, the homeowner may not always be aware of the possible risks pipes may pose during a cold winter season. As night-time temperatures plummet below comfortable numbers, the water that is kept within the pipes of your home may experience some freezing.

This poses a problem, especially because water expands when it freezes. Unless careful and immediate action takes place, the pipe may burst, then allowing water to pour into the home when things begin to thaw. This can lead to expensive water damage and other costs that most homeowners don’t like to deal with.


How do you keep pipes from freezing? Here are a few simple ideas, although some may be better suited for your home than others.

Pipe Wrapping: For some homes or businesses, it may be appropriate to wrap the pipes before the cold season occurs. This may help to insulate the pipe in such a way as to avoid severe temperatures from causing problems.

Routine Maintenance: Weak or old piping systems may be more at risk for plumbing problems than newer, carefully maintained pipes. If you live in an older home, or suspect that your pipes are old, contact a plumbing service to come take a look.

Run a Faucet: During especially cold times of the season, it is recommended that you keep the water running, thus forcing the water to stay moving, instead of allowing it to sit in the pipe and freeze. It doesn’t have to be much, even a small flow of water from a bathroom sink may be adequate.

Other Solutions

If you are unsure how to deal with your frozen pipes, or have discovered an issue that needs immediate attention, don’t hesitate to contact a plumbing service as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.

If you are uncomfortable with any of these suggestions, we are a local plumbing company who will be happy to assist.

We can tackle any business or home service needs, including leak repair, routine maintenance, new installations and any sort of plumbing work in commercial and residential environments. Tub, tap or toilet… whatever your need you can count on us to send an authorized plumber to take care of things in an efficient and courteous fashion.


Potential repairs can run from the minor variety – like a leaking tap – to those that are, or possibly may become, catastrophic. Our plumbers can offer the experience, tools and skills to solve any challenge that crops up, and they’re experts at pretty much everything from resolving leaks to pipework installations.

We can quickly handle all sorts of plumbing problems which could arise at your home or commercial premises. For any plumbing emergency, don’t hesitate to call. We have a 24-7 emergency plumber available who will be dispatched to your premises in Vancouver ASAP. Any time of the day or year, you’ll be able to depend upon us for fast and patient help in an emergency. We understand just how upsetting plumbing related issues are, in particular when it’s an urgent situation out of the normal working day.

Every Form of Installation

We at Pioneer Plumbing are proud of our lengthy history of quality work. No matter whether you wish to have a nice new bathroom sink or some pipe insulation installed, or you’re looking for an installation or re-piping in a commercial or residential premises, we have the know-how and the experience to be certain it is carried out properly.

We are acknowledged also as leaders in updating plumbing systems in older homes, a thing that we have been working on for a long time, in particular in some of the eye-catching properties in Vancouver’s West End.

Our dedicated residential and commercial plumbing service is the top choice for both heritage homes and newer properties throughout the greater Vancouver region.

Pioneer Plumbing & Heating


A Few Thoughts On New Gutters For Your Home

Building or repairing a home? Gutters are a water capture / delivery system comprising an important part of any Vancouver home.

Do Not Merely Gloss Over

We have lots of rain in this region and gutter are the item that collects and directs the water in a secure, efficient pathway a little distance from top of the roof and leads it into the city water drainage system.

Without gutters in good condition, water will seep into your roof, foundation, and perimeter across the home causing other issues that can be very expensive in the future.

When gutters are properly installed they should collect the rain that is pouring down on top of your house and send that excess water into the downspout to subsequently be handed over to the sewers.

Installing Your Own Gutters

Many householders try and install their own gutters. Its may seem to be a simple installation job, but gutter installation is not what it seems and has dangerous risks attached.

Someone high above the ground with no training or experience working from those heights can slip and fall. Definitely not recommended!

A Few Tips For The Handyman

Understand this one thing; gutters have to be installed and designed to slope to the downspouts. Not very much though! You do not want all of the water diverted to the downspout too quickly. There is a talent to this. If the water flow is too heavy the system will be unable to handle it and rain will spill over.

Optimally you would like a nice consistent flow that it:

  • Will flow down the pathway like it ought to and
  • The gutter system can easily handle the volume

After installation you want to make certain your gutters stay clean. Any debris should be removed once or twice a year. The Vancouver area is a very “green” place with tons of trees and flowers so debris in the gutters can develop quickly. Staying on top of your annual, or semi-annual, gutter cleaning will ensure everything flows as it should.

If you know yourself to be lazy in terms of home maintenance, think about investing in gutter guards. These are protective shields for gutters that stop debris from getting in. They can be quite pricey, depending on the type you want, but they permit your gutters to be mostly maintenance free through out the year.

Hire A Professional

A gutter installer can avoid problems you probably won’t think of. That is he’s experienced at this and knows the process front to back. Most people who get new gutters opt for the seamless type for a number of reasons.

If you are thinking of a new gutter system for your home, we suggest you call a local company who handles gutter installation in Vancouver and spend a few minutes listening to the different aspects of this job. Newbies tackling this one, are usually in for more that expected. Setting aside a small budget for this will pay off in the long run.

Three Tips For Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Many people do not fully appreciate how important their hot water heater is until it breaks down and everyone in the house is going on cold showers. These household items usually found in our garages or basements would be the mechanisms that heat all of water for those to have available in our sinks, kitchens, and bathtubs. They are made to last for a long time if they’re maintained properly. Here are three steps you can take as a homeowner to maximize the life of your hot water heater.

Lower the Temperature

Take a look at your boiler’s temperature gauge. It ought to be anywhere between 115 and 120 degrees. Lower the temperature slightly. This will not only keep this device from overheating but will save you money on your monthly utility bills.

Test the Pressure Relief Valve

This is an excellent way to check whether your water heater needs to be replaced soon or not. Locate the stress relief valve and lift it halfway. It ought to automatically snap back to its original position. You should also hear some kind of noise as water is released back down the drain tube. In the event that it valve doesn’t work then you know you’ll have to start looking for a replacement.

Flush The System

As a hot water heater is running small deposits build up on the bottom of the tank. In time this becomes a recipe for corrosion and rusting. You cannot do a total flush in most cases because the whole system has to be turned off and the water tank has to be completely full.

This is one way one can safely commit to a partial flush. Put some sort of container (like a bucket) below the drain valve. It is located at the bottom of the hot water tank. Turn the valve counter clockwise. The heater will release water straight into the bucket. It will not be more than a few gallons.

Make very sure that you turn the power off if you have a boiler that runs off electricity. If any one of the connections are damaged in any way then you must call a specialist out to deal with it for you.

If you have a gas water heater make certain the gas is off and pilot light isn’t on before you do anything.

These are a few basic steps you can do a few times each year to make sure your boiler is running as best as it possibly can. If you have any troubles and cannot do it yourself be sure you call a plumber in the area to deal with it for you.

When it’s time to replace the system you have a few options. WE recommend that you consult with a Kelowna hot water tank installer who knows how to size up the needs of your family and recommend the best system according you the volume of hot water you actually need.