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Plumber’s tips come in handy in order to weather winter woes

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POSTED December 21, 2008 11:46 p.m.
Of all days for my garbage disposal to back up, why did it have to be on Thanksgiving Day?  
Just because I left the skin from two dozen potatoes, a couple yellow onions, some garlic cloves and a few other Thanksgiving food items floating around in the sink, didn’t mean  my disposal had the right to spew back nasty gunk at me right as I was putting the turkey in the rotisserie.  Nevertheless, that mean disposal did.  
Fortunately, when I had my original garbage disposal replaced a few years before, the very kind plumber who did the job left me with a very helpful tip on how to kick a disgruntle disposal into gear when it has an attitude.   Remembering the trick, my husband gave it a try and before we knew it, Mr. Mean Disposal was cooperating again.  If it hadn’t been for that thoughtful plumber sharing his garbage disposal tip to a little sink “clogger-upper” like myself, Thanksgiving could have been a disaster.  
Not long after Turkey Day, I had an opportunity to talk with Manteca resident, Les Hammond, who just so happens to be a plumber.   Hammond told me that after working for various plumbing companies over a number of years, he found himself wanting something more — a company he could really believe in. Hammond decided the best way to achieve that would be to run his own company. 
In November of 1995, Hammond opened the doors to Rooter Pro Plumbing (located at 1177 Vanderbilt Circle off of Industrial Park Drive).
“Our mission statement ‘Is to serve our friends, neighbors and community with integrity, dedication and compassion,”  Hammond said.
Serving the community is exactly what Hammond and his staff at Rooter Pro Plumbing have done for nearly 14-years.  While Hammond confides that the business side of running his own company has been very challenging at times, he thoroughly enjoys helping people, and finds great satisfaction in offering solutions to even the worst sink “clogger-uppers” in the community.
With the winter season quickly approaching, I asked what tips he could give home owners to prevent their pipes from freezing.  Truth be told, I just wanted to see if he was going to be as liberal with sharing plumbing tips as the plumber who replaced my garbage disposal.  
Fortunately, Hammond passed with flying colors.  When it comes to safeguarding the pipes in your home during extremely cold weather, Hammond suggests:
• wrapping pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation to prevent freezing.
• allowing a faucet to drip slightly ( lukewarm water ) in order to minimize freezing.
Identifying the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater .
In the event of an emergency:
• if a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer . (Avoid using near standing water..)
Heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
• in the event your pipes burst, shut off the water at the main valve and call a plumber.
Hammond highly recommends having regular safety and maintenance checks done on water heaters , disposals, toilets, sinks, and tubs, which is something his company proudly specializes in.  According to Hammond, having regular safety and maintenance checks  can help home owners, landlord and businesses avoid potential problems that can occur like perhaps a nasty backed up disposal on Thanksgiving Day.
If you would like to learn more about plumbing safety and maintenance in your home, Hammond and his staff at Rooter Pro Plumbing will be glad to help.  For  more information call (209) 823-5243.

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