Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

The chill of winter can wreak havoc on the pipes in your home. If ice is allowed to form inside your pipes, it will halt the flow of water to your taps and appliances, and if left unchecked, they will eventually burst.

The ensuing flooding can result in significant and costly damage to your home and belongings. It's for this reason that we have prepared some simple prevention and thawing tips.

Protect the Pipes in the Most Vulnerable Locations

It stands to reason that pipes that run through the coldest parts of your home are the most likely to freeze. If you have plumbing located in your garage or attic, it’s the most susceptible to the cold. Make sure to keep your garage door closed as much as possible as well as your attic windows. This will help to retain the heat and keep cold air from coming in.

If freezing occurs regularly, you may want to consider adding more insulation to the area or having the pipes rerouted to other parts of your home.

Turn On Your Hot Water Tapswinterize_your_home

One way to warm up your pipes is to let the hot water run for a little while. This will help to thaw any buildup and delay the formation of ice due to the cold.

While this strategy mainly affects hot water pipes, letting cold water run can also be useful since water in motion is less likely to freeze than standing water. Furthermore, moving water that is nearing the freezing point away from the coldest section of your plumbing will slow down the process.

Appliances to Keep Your Pipes Warm

If freezing pipes is a recurring problem, you can wrap them with heating tape. Armed with an electrical filament embedded inside, this tape provides heat directly to the pipe when plugged in. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

If you're looking for an alternative that won't consume electricity, wrapping your pipes with foam insulation may be sufficient to prevent freezing. Simply slip on the insulation and remove the adhesive backing to seal the insulation around the pipe.

heating_efficiency_winterize_homeHow to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you're faced with a frozen pipe, it's important to address the issue right away before it bursts and causes extensive damage.

If you know where the ice blockage is located, using a hair dryer on the heat setting is a good way to heat up the pipe and melt the ice inside. Alternatively, you can try adding space heaters to the area or use a heating lamp.

If the blockage persists, you'll probably want to call a plumber for some expert assistance. In the meantime, you may want to shut off the water supply to your home to limit the amount of flooding that would occur if the pipe does burst.

Next, you can open some taps inside the house to help relieve some built-up pressure inside the pipes and allow space for the ice to expand.

If you have issues with freezing pipes in your Annapolis area home, call 410-268-7191 to speak with the experts at Heidler Plumbing.

Home Cleaning Checklist for the New Year

Home Cleaning Checklist for the New Year

cleaning_yourhome_tipsThe New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start, and what better way to get a fresh start than to establish a quick but efficient way to clean your house.

Sticking to a schedule for things that you do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis can help motivate you to keep your house looking like you spent hours cleaning it when it really only took a small fraction of your day. Use this basic cleaning schedule as a guideline to get and keep your home in order.

What to Clean Daily

Spend about 30 minutes a day doing the chores that need to be done around your home. These basic tasks might seem simple, but make a world of difference in how your home looks and feels.

  • Wash dishes at least once a day. If you can’t find the time to wash them all, at least make an effort to scrape excess food off and rinse them so the food doesn’t stick. Alternatively, throw a load in the dishwasher once a day.
  • Tidy up. Tidying up helps control clutter. Walk through your house one room at a time and put things that are out of place back where they belong. Do a room or two and then take a break.
  • Wipe off countertops to clean crumbs and spills

What to Clean Weekly

Some tasks do not necessarily need to be done every single day. Instead pick a day of the week where you will tackle these tasks. Which include:

  • Empty the trash in bedrooms, bathrooms, and the kitchen
  • Dust furniture and wiping down cobwebs
  • Clean mirrors and windows
  • Wipe down appliances in the kitchen, cleaning out the microwave and empty the crumb tray in your toaster
  • Mop the floor
  • Spray down and scrub the toilet, sink, and tub in the bathroom

What to Clean the First of Each Month

cleaning_forthe_newyearMonthly tasks are important and easy to forget. Don’t fall behind. Try to do these tasks at least once a month for optimal cleanliness.

  • Move furniture and vacuum or sweep under it
  • Clean outside windows
  • Disinfect and deodorize garbage cans
  • Run vinegar through your appliances to clean them
  • Dust your blinds, shades and lighting fixtures

Keeping your home clean is a great start to the year. Contact Heidler, located in Annapolis, MD  at (410) 268-7191 for assistance with getting your home in order.

Enjoy Your Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

Enjoy Your Holiday Season by Avoiding These Plumbing Headaches

The turkey is in the oven, the table is set, the presents are wrapped, but you’ve just noticed water pooling in your basement around the sump pump. Plumbing problems are annoying to take care of on a regular day, but add the stress of the holidays, and you have a real headache.


Here are a few tips to take care of your plumbing systems before the holidays so you can enjoy the season without worrying about a potential plumbing disaster:

Check the Faucets

check-your-faucetsBefore the holidays, check your faucets to make sure water is flowing freely. Over time, the tiny components, washers and O-rings in the faucet can wear out or corrode, causing leaks or blockages in the unit. If you inspect the faucet before the holidays, you won’t be plagued with a maddening dripping sound throughout your holiday dinner.

Protect Your Water Heater

As the mercury drops in December, it’s time to take the initiative to protect your plumbing appliances from the cold. Even the tiniest crack in the wall next to the water heater can cause a serious problem. Make sure your water heater is not exposed to any cold air.

avoid-these-plumbing-headaches-in-your-homeFill cracks and install water heater insulation if needed. This will ensure that your water heater works efficiently all season long.

Make Sure to Adjust the Temperature

Letting your home get cold in the winter causes more than just discomfort. If your home is colder than 55 degrees, you run the risk of pipes freezing and then bursting. Burst pipes during the winter are one of the most common and disastrous plumbing issues. Within seconds the burst pipe could cause severe water damage that no homeowner wants.

Close the Shut-Off Valve to any Outdoor Hoses

Part of your fall plumbing maintenance should have included removing any outdoor hoses and storing them properly for the winter. In addition to that, the shut-off valves on these outdoor faucets should also be closed to prevent dripping, freezing, and you guessed it, bursting. Closing the shut-off valve is a quick and easy process that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars this holiday season.

Insulate any exposed pipes.

burstpipeNothing is more frustrating than experiencing a burst pipe emergency during the holidays. When you have family and loved ones over, the very last thing you want is to be running around trying to reduce the damage as water starts rushing out of a burst pipe.

The best way to prevent these kinds of emergencies is by insulating your pipes. Whether you use a foam insulation or simple sleeves that slip over the pipes, make sure any pipes that could be exposed to even the tiniest bit of cold air are insulated.

Test Your Sump Pump

Increased precipitation in the winter means more stress on your sump pump. Before the holidays, make sure your sump pump is up for the task by testing it. The easiest way to test your sump pump is by pouring a bucket of water into the tank. If the pump is triggered and fires up, your sump pump is working. If nothing happens when you pour the water in the tank, the pump may be seized. Call a professional right away for a quick repair before you start your holiday preparations.

For more help with your plumbing this holiday season, call Heidler, Inc. For fast and efficient plumbing repair and installations in Annapolis, MD, call (410) 268-7191 today.

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month


Before Shopping Make a Checklist of Shopping Features

Before shopping write down some features on toys that make them dangerous to children. Make sure to keep an eye out for these features during your shopping trip.

Avoid toys with sharp edges and small parts that children can choke on. Strings longer than 12 inches are not dangerous for children under 3 years old. Buy well-made, durable toys that do not break easily. Electrical toys with heating elements and toys that shoot objects are for older children.

make-a-checklist-before-shopping-1A shocking statistic is that children under the age of four account for most toy related choking deaths. When shopping for toys for young children, carefully examine the toys before you purchase them.

Below are more toy buying tips:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on box carefully
  • Inspect toys for broken or loose parts
  • Avoid cap guns or cap rifles
  • Avoid toys with too many small parts

Look for ASTM Label

Look for the ASTM label when you purchase toys in stores or from vendors. It means the toy has been tested for safety and meets national standards for young children. The complete label on the toy should read ASTM F963. It means the toy met all of the recent government safety standards.

parentandchildArt supplies for kids should have the following label on them for toy safety. It should read ASTM F963. This means it has been tested for toxic material and listed on label.

Buy Age Appropriate Toys

Always look for labels on the toy or box that give the age range the toy is made for. Don't buy toys that are for a 12 year old child and give it to a 4 year old. Toys are tested and designed for children with age and ability to use the toy in mind. Many toys are made overseas and have been recalled so always examine them before buying.

Another tip is to check on toy recalls at this website before going out shopping at

Supervise Children During Play Time

Explain how the toy is meant to be used to children. In fact, demonstrating how to use the toys when the instructions are complicated is a good idea. Always supervise them when they play with toys that are new. That way you can see for yourself that they are using them properly and playing safely. Always put toys away after playing for safety purposes. Be sure children wear protective gear when playing sports or eye gear when performing experiments.

If you're also in need of plumbing tips in Annapolis, MD call Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.

Follow These 5 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Water Heater Ready for Fall & Winter

Follow These 5 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Water Heater Ready for Winter

Hot water heaters are often located in an out-of-the-way area of the house, so it can be easy to ignore them. But water heaters need regular maintenance, and you can extend or even double the life of your tank by following some basic protocols.


Here are five tips you can use this fall and winter to keep your water heater in tip top shape.

1. Inspect the Anode Rod

check-pressure-relief-valveWater heaters are made with metal tanks, so rust prevention is done in two ways: the glass lining in the tank and the anode rod that attracts elements in the water that would corrode the tank.

Over time, the anode rod itself corrodes too, so you should check it at least every three years and replace it every five.

To inspect the rod:

  • Close the shut-off valve, turn off the power and turn off the water to the tank
  • Relieve pressure by running a hot water tap for a minute
  • Drain a few gallons of water from the drain valve
  • Loosen the rod with an air compressor and impact wrench and socket
  • Pull the rod out and check it for corrosion—replace it if the rod is fully corroded

2. Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

checking-water-heater-temperatureThis is a safety valve that releases pressure when the temperature or pressure inside the tank gets too high. Test that it’s functioning by flicking the test lever several times.

If hot water comes out the drainpipe, you're TPR is working as it should. If there's no water or just a small trickle, you should replace the valve.

3. Flush Out the Tank

This is another important way to prevent your tank from rusting because sediment and dirt can cause the tank to rust prematurely.

Flush the tank yearly by turning off the power or gas, turning off the water, and attaching a hose to the drain pipe. Open the valve to let the water flow out. When the tank is empty, turn on the water and let a few gallons through to flush out leftover sediment. Then shut the drain valve, turn the water back on, and power the unit back up once the tank is full.

4. Adjust the Temperature

You can either lower the temperature on your water heater to save money on your energy bills, or you can raise the temperature so that you have warmer water throughout the cooler months.

prepare-water-heater-for-cold-weatherIf your water heater is set to 140° F, you risk water that is hot enough to scald, and you'll also be wasting up to $60 per year on heat loss. Most people find a temperature of 120° F to be more than sufficiently warm, even in the dead of winter.

5. Add Insulation

Insulating your tank could save you up to 15 percent on your energy bills because you can reduce the heat lost through the tank by up to 45 percent. Go touch the tank: if it feels warm, you could benefit from insulation. You can also insulate the pipes to save money because insulating the pipes means you can turn your water heater down by up to 4° F without any change in the water temperature.

Maintaining your water heater properly will mean years and years of dependable hot water. When you need maintenance or repairs for your water heater in Annapolis, MD, or if you need more instructions for any of these tips, call the experts from Heidler, Inc. at 410-268-7191.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

During November, many families in the United States begin to prepare for Thanksgiving Day by buying special foods to cook for their tasty holiday recipes. However, there are numerous hungry and homeless individuals who need help during this time of year.

national-hunger-and-homelessness-awareness-weekOur company understands that our community’s organizations are struggling to provide the basic necessities to the homeless, and here are a few ways for you to provide assistance to those who are in need during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, which takes place November 12-20th.

1: Donating Toiletries, Household Items and Clothing

food-bankWe should try to help out the homeless by cleaning out our closets and getting rid of unneeded household items, clothing and toiletries.

Some of the things that a homeless individual might need include:

  • Winter coat
  • Blankets
  • Bath soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Socks

In addition to giving away used clothing or household goods, we can buy inexpensive toiletries for the homeless to make their lives better and to help them find work.

2: Volunteer at a Nearby Homeless Shelter

soup-kitchen-volunteerThe temperature often starts to drop in November, and many of the homeless individuals in your area need a place to stay. The homeless shelters require additional volunteers at this time of year to provide vital services.

By offering a few hours of help to the homeless this month, you will be making a difference.

3: Help a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen

Many families during this time of year must decide whether they are going to spend their income on heating a home or buying food (assuming they cannot afford both). In order to survive, they will visit a food bank to receive canned or packaged foods to prepare at home. Alternatively, they might need to go to a soup kitchen to have a nutritious hot meal. Fortunately, most soup kitchens and food banks will accept fresh vegetables, so you can donate produce and canned goods to help the hungry or homeless.

4: Donate Food to a Thanksgiving Food Drive

hunger-awarenessLocal organizations and churches in the Annapolis area organize a Thanksgiving Day food drive to ensure people will have enough ingredients to make a nice dinner.

You could help out by donating these types of foods:

  • Cans of fruit and vegetables
  • Boxes of mashed potatoes or stuffing
  • Loaves of fresh bread
  • Bags of potatoes
  • Cans of chicken or turkey
  • Boxes of noodles

For additional suggestions when helping the hungry or homeless in our plumbing company’s city of Annapolis, MD, contact Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.

Deionized Water Filtration vs. Reverse Osmosis

Deionized Water Filtration vs. Reverse Osmosis

If you’re concerned about the quality of water in your home, you are probably considering a water filtration system. These units are used by homeowners to purify the water and make sure it’s safe for family and loved ones to drink and wash with. Once you have made the decision to invest in a water filtration unit, the next decision becomes which type of unit you should invest in.


There are numerous types of water filters that are effective in their own way. Some filters are designed for irrigation purposes while others are better for purifying drinking water.

Two of the most popular water filters are deionized water filtration systems and reverse osmosis filters. Let’s look at the main differences between the two:

How does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Reverse osmosis or RO as it’s abbreviated is a water filtration process that removes impurities and bacteria from your water. Traditionalreverse-osmosis osmosis involves moving liquid from a low ion concentration to a high ion concentration, so you can imagine that reverse osmosis is the opposite. RO uses a special membrane to trap impurities, metals, and bacteria from your water.

What is Deionized Water?

Deionized (DI) water is used for many purposes in addition to its residential use. Industries such as the auto finishing industry, textile industry, and pharmaceuticals use deionized water because it is clean and completely free of minerals or bacteria.

The process to make deionized water is a two-step process.

It involves passing the water over positive ions that remove minerals and metallic particles from the water. Once this is completed, the water becomes positively charged and must be exposed to negatively charged hydroxyl ions to cancel out the positive hydrogen ions and make the water completely neutral and safe to use.

Benefits and Downsides of RO and DI

Now that we understand how these filters work, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:


  • You will save money on purchasing bottled water, which will also result in the filter eventually deionized-waterpaying for itself.
  • You will have peace of mind that your water is completely clean and safe to use. An RO filter removes up to 99% of dissolved solids in the water.
  • Your water will be free of harmful minerals and impurities that may make it taste bad. They can even remove chlorine.


  • RO filters are known to waste water, which may result in a higher water bill.
  • Some experts insist that these filters remove trace minerals that are actually good for us and make the water taste better.
  • The membrane of an RO filter is quite porous. It may let through larger particles. Many homeowners with RO filters use a secondary filter to make sure they are completely covered.

For more information on RO and DI filters in Annapolis, MD, call Heidler, Inc. today at (410) 268-7191.

It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

It's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

The month of October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, a month dedicated to encouraging people to adopt and rescue a dog at their local animal shelter. There are many great reasons why you should adopt, rather than buy, a dog at your local shelter.

You can also visit your local animal shelter to learn more information about adopting, what kind of shelter it is, and much more. If you still want to support your local shelter but can't care for a pet in your home, then there are other actions you can take.


Why You Should Adopt and Not Shop!

Sure, some people believe that you should purchase a dog at a pet shop rather than adopting one because dogs from a pet store are cleaner, less-problematic purebreds. That's a myth. There are plenty of good reasons why adopting a dog is better for both the dog and the adopter. These reasons include:

  • Adopting a dog means saving that dog's life
  • Purchasing a dog or a puppy from a pet store is more expensive than adopting
  • You can choose whether you want a puppy or an adult dog that's more likely to have been house-trained already

Dogs from a shelter are cleaner than pet shop dogs.

adopt-shelter-dogsNot only are they cleaner, but they are also healthier. Shelters usually vaccinate their dogs as well as spay and neuter them. On top of all of that, shelter dogs don't have as many problems on a genetic level than dogs from a pet shop.

Pet stores rely on obtaining "purebred" dogs from puppy mills. Dogs that are purebred are forced to mate with their relatives, and as a result, end up receiving more genetic defects and diseases than mutts do.

Those who run puppy mills don't care about the fact that their animals may end up or currently have physical problems. They don't even take great care of their dogs. To them, dogs are nothing more than a means to earn more money. Adopting a dog can discourage the demand for dogs bred from these cruel puppy mills.

Visit Your Local Animal Shelter to Learn More

You can learn whether or not your local shelter is a no-kill shelter by checking them out in person. The shelter can provide you with useful informdonate-to-sheltersation on how their dogs are treated, and how to care for a dog, yourself. Maybe your next visit will end with you adopting a new dog.

Volunteering and donating are great alternatives to helping your local shelter.

You may not be able to own a pet of your own or may simply not want to. That's alright because you can go to your local shelter instead to help out.

Just doing basic tasks like washing dishes and feeding the pets can be a huge benefit to the shelter. Even if you don't have the time to volunteer, you can still donate money. A little bit of money can go a long way at these shelters.

Please donate to American Humane in Washington DC, or your local Humane Society and don't hesitate to call at (800) 227-4645. They founded Adopt-a-Dog Month and are dedicated to rescuing shelter dogs.

For all your plumbing needs in Annapolis, MD call Heidler, (410) 268-7191.

It’s Back! October is National Kitchen & Bathroom Month

It’s Back! October is National Kitchen & Bathroom Month

It’s that time of year again, time to celebrate National Kitchen and Bathroom Month! The National Kitchen and Bathroom Association decided to set aside October for the education and promotion of bathrooms and kitchens way back in 1982.

It was decided that October is the best time of year for these types of renovations since the kids are back in school, and it’s not yet time to start preparing for the hectic holiday season.


Did you know that renovating your kitchen or bathroom adds incredible value to your home? In addition to this, it’s also a great way to take advantage of new technology and beautiful designs that combine form and function.

Here are some tips on how to properly acknowledge National Kitchen and Bathroom Month:

Avoid Trends with an Expiry Date

Trends are referred to as trends because they go in and out of style. The trick is choosing to incorporate lasting trends into your kitchen or bathroom renovation. What is the best way to do this? Thinking about your true interests and needs will help form the basis of what you need from your new kitchen and bathroom.

modern-glass-showerBy considering this, you’ll be able to recognize the items that are truly important to you.

From there, choosing a couple of simple trends to incorporate rather than going overboard with a head-to-toe Pinterest-inspired room will ensure that your new bathroom or kitchen is functional and will remain stylish for many years to come.

What is Trending in Kitchen Renovations this Year?

2016 has been all about technology and simplicity with kitchen renovations. A few staple items remain but for the most part, we are replacing old technology with new, minimalistic features.

Which is More Popular: Showers or Tubs?

Whether you prefer to rinse off in the shower or soak in a tub, there really is no preferred choice when it comes to installing showers and tubs. Both have different benefits and are great for different things. One thing is for sure, the latest trends see showers and tubs becoming separate.

bathroom-vanityThe built-in shower/tub combo is getting traded up for stand-alone showers and tubs. The real decision comes from your own personal experiences. Do you prefer showers or tubs? Answering that question will help decide which component should be the centerpiece of your new bathroom.

Bathroom Trends for 2016

In 2016, homeowners want to create a spa-like experience in their bathrooms. This means neutral colors, simple design and luxurious features.

Some of the most popular trends for 2016 are as follows:

  • Trough sinks
  • Heated floors
  • Anti-fog mirrors
  • Stand-alone tubs
  • Shower seats
  • Steam showers
  • Open-concept vanities and shelves
  • Square or rectangular-shaped faucets and fixtures

If you’re looking for help designing a new bathroom or kitchen this month, call Heidler, Inc. in Annapolis, MD at (410) 268-7191 today.

September is National Baby Safety Month!

National Baby Safety Month

About Baby Safety Month

Each September, the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) sponsors National Baby Safety Month. The focus of this year’s National Baby Safety Month will be educating parents on the importance of registering their baby products and paying attention to recall notices.

baby safety banner

This is an important topic because most people pay little attention to the product registration cards they get with the things they purchase. The majority of people simply throw these registration cards away with a shrug of the shoulders. That is a dangerous attitude when it comes to baby products.

If parents do not register the products they buy for their babies, they may not hear about future recall notices until it is too late. Some of these recall notices are issued because products are found to be dangerous or even deadly. To protect their children, parents need to take a few minutes to fill out and send in the product registration cards for all the baby items that come with them.

Three Hidden Dangers for Babies

As well as registering their baby products, parents also have a responsibility to baby-proof their homes. While most parents do this, they are not always aware of the hidden dangers that may lurk in their homes. Keep an eye out for these three hidden dangers for babies in the home.

1. The Crib

Parents tend to think of cribs as the safest place their babies can be, but they can in fact be deadly. This is because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To reduce the risk of SIDS, never put any pillows, blankets or soft toys in the crib with your baby. Also, parents need to make sure to put their babies to sleep on their backs.

2. The Diaper-Changing Table

Babies can very easily roll off the table if you get distracted while changing their diapers. This can literally happen in seconds. Don’t ever leave your baby unattended on the diaper-changing table for even a moment.

3. Beware of Tripping

baby-safety-monthIf you trip while carrying your baby in your arms, the results could be tragic. Make sure that you remove rugs, stray cords and other tripping hazards from your home to prevent this disastrous situation from occurring.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. In order to prevent these tragic deaths be informed about child passenger safety laws. September is also the time of year when Child Passenger Safety Week occurs.

This year, Child Passenger Safety Week will be from September 18-24. On September 24, law enforcement officers nationwide will be checking that parents are using the correct safety devices to transport their children on National Seat Check Saturday. Make sure that you always use car seats correctly for your kids to keep them safe.

For questions regarding your Annapolis, MD home's plumbing, contact Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191.