March break Vacation Travellers/Homeowners. Some homeowners experienced extended power outages last year due to extreme weather conditions …Possibly a new Normal. For this reason Hoerner Heating & Plumbing wanted to do up an article. You may want to consider these steps.

 Hot Water Heating (Radiators), Plumbing  & Drains. Here are 8 Suggestions for Winterizing your Home this March Break.

You may want to consider as a home owner as a preventative measure these steps for reducing liabilities in the home while you are on vacation

1-Proper insulation

Proper insulation in the home and ensuring maintenance is maintained regularly for working components of your home at all times.

2-Main Water Shut Off

 Turn off main water shut off (located close to the water meter) in the house and the drain plumbing water lines in house (check instructions on how to do this).

3-Drain Hot Water Heating System (hire professional)

Draining down hot water heating system (which uses radiators) if travelling for extended period of time.  If you decide to do this we strongly recommend this is done by a Professional because this process may affect other components of the home I.E. Electric Hot Water Tank (Getting a profession heating technician to do so could help you avoid cracked radiators and explosive water damage).

4-Do not set thermostat lower than 17 degrees Celsius when travelling

 In event you do not choose to drain down a hot water (hydronic) heating system another less extreme measure is too regulate the temperature of your home and keep it at moderate level (i.e. 17 Celsius).  Some homeowners choose to have a remote thermostat to regulate the temperature when away from home.

5-Non Toxic  Anti Freeze

Some homeowners choose to add some non- toxic antifreeze and throughout the home where applicable (check instructions for application) i.e. toilet, washing machine, dishwasher etc. which may assist in preventing freezing.

6-Homesitter or Daily Visit

Some homeowners choose to have a house sitter. Alternatively have someone visit your home on a daily basis to monitor the components of the home and keep them functional.

7-Drain outside water lines

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets, close interior valves that lead to outside hose taps and then open outside hose taps to drain 

8-Open cabinet doors

Allows heat to circulate and keeps interior pipes warm

More Related Information:

Tips That May Help Prevent Water Pipes Freezing During March Break

 Read Power Outages – what to do? An informative article from the Government of Ontario. We have summarized the most important points below for you from this informative Government article…




To get prepared for a power outage, you should know

the risks specific to your community and your region to

help you better prepare. To find out what the hazards

are in your region, visit the “Know the risks” section

of the website.


Preparing Your Home

You can install a non-electric standby stove or heater. Choose

heating units that are not dependent on an electric motor,

electric fan, or some other electric device to function. It is

important to adequately vent the stove or heater with the type

of chimney flue specified for it. Never connect two heating

units to the same chimney flue at the same time.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney

cleaned every fall in preparation for use and to eliminate

creosote build-up which could ignite and cause a chimney fire.

If the standby heating unit will use the normal house oil

or gas supply, have it connected with shut-off valves by

a certified tradesperson.

Before considering the use of an emergency generator during

a power outage, check with furnace, appliance and lighting

fixture dealers or manufacturers regarding power requirements

and proper operating procedures.


People with disabilities or others requiring assistance

Consider how you may be affected in a power outage, including:

Your evacuation route — without elevator service

(if applicable) 3

Planning for a backup power supply for essential medical


Keeping a flashlight and a cell phone handy to signal

for help.

Establishing a self-help network to assist and check

on you during an emergency.

Enrolling in a medical alert program that will signal for

help if you are immobilized.

Keeping a list of facilities that provide life-sustaining

equipment or treatment.

Keeping a list of medical conditions and treatment.

If you live in an apartment, advise the property management

that you may need assistance staying in your apartment or that

you must be evacuated if there is a power outage. This will

allow the property manager to plan and make the necessary

arrangements on your behalf.


During a Power Outage

First, check whether the power outage is limited to your home.

If your neighbours’ power is still on, check your own circuit

breaker panel or fuse box. If the problem is not a breaker or a

fuse, check the service wires leading to the house. If they are

obviously damaged or on the ground, stay at least 10 metres

back and notify your electric supply authority. Keep the number

along with other emergency numbers near your telephone.

If your neighbours’ power is also out, notify your electric

supply authority.

Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and

turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to

minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power

is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when

there is not a heavy load on the electrical Outages — What to do?

Turn off all lights, except one inside and one outside, so

that both you and hydro crews outside know that power

has been restored.

Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely

necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to

36 hours if the door remains closed.

Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating

equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon

monoxide. Because you can’t smell or see it, carbon monoxide

can cause health problems and is life-threatening.

Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended

and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles

before going to bed.

Listen to your battery-powered or crank radio for information

on the outage and advice from authorities.

Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide

detector. If it is hard-wired to the house’s electrical supply,

ensure it has a battery-powered back-up.

Protect sensitive electrical appliances such as TVs, computers,

and DVD players with a surge-protecting power bar.


Use of home generators

Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case

of an outage, but must only be used in accordance with the

manufacturer’s guidelines. A back-up generator may only be

connected to your home’s electrical system through an approved

transfer panel and switch that has been installed by a qualified

electrician. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet as serious

injury can result when the current produced by the home

generator is fed back into the electrical lines, and transformed

to a higher voltage. This can endanger the lives of utility

employees working to restore the power. 5


To operate a generator safely:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated

conditions, well away from doors or windows, to prevent

exhaust gases from entering the house.

Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator.

If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly

rated, CSA-approved cords.


If you have to evacuate

Evacuation is more likely during winter months, when

plummeting temperatures can make a house uninhabitable.

Although a house can be damaged by low temperatures, the

major threat is to the plumbing system. If a standby heating

system is used, check to see that no part of the plumbing

system can freeze.

If the house must be evacuated, protect it by taking the

following precautions:

Turn off the main breaker or switch of the circuit-breaker

panel or power-supply box.

Turn off the water main where it enters the house. Protect

the valve, inlet pipe, and meter or pump with blankets or

insulation material.

Drain the water from your plumbing system. Starting at the

top of the house, open all taps, and flush toilets several times.

Go to the basement and open the drain valve. Drain your hot

water tank by attaching a hose to the tank drain valve and

running it to the basement floor drain.

Note: If you drain a gas-fired water tank, the pilot light should

be turned out — call the local gas supplier to re-light it.

Unhook washing machine hoses and drain.— What to do?

Do not worry about small amounts of water trapped in

horizontal pipes. Add a small amount of glycol or antifreeze

to water left in the toilet bowl, and the sink and bathtub traps.

If your house is protected from groundwater by a sump pump,

clear valuables from the basement floor in case of flooding.


After the Power Returns

Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the

power is disconnected.

Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes

or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked and

cleaned by a qualified electrician.

Replace the furnace flue (if removed) and turn off the fuel to

the standby heating unit.

Switch on the main electric switch (before, check to ensure

appliances, electric heaters, TVs, microwaves, computers, etc.

were unplugged to prevent damage from a power surge).

Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before

reconnecting tools and appliances. Turn the heating-system

thermostats up first, followed in a couple of minutes by

reconnection of the fridge and freezer. Wait 10 to 15 minutes

before reconnecting all other tools and appliances.

Close the drain valve in the basement.

Turn on the water supply. Close lowest valves/taps first and

allow air to escape from upper taps.

Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on

the power to it.

Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards

for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed,

food should stay frozen 24 to 36 hours, depending on the

temperature. When food begins to defrost (usually after

two days), it should be cooked; otherwise it should be thrown

out or composted.

As a general precaution, keep a bag of ice cubes in the freezer.

If you return home after a period of absence and the ice has

melted and refrozen, there is a good chance that the food is

spoiled. When in doubt, throw it out!

Reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.

Restock your emergency kit so the supplies will be there

when needed again.




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Testimonial Julia from TorontoHi Tracey. I thought you might like this very good photo of the faucet your guys installed in my kitchen.

Julia from Toronto


Testimonial Julia from TorontoHi Tracey. I thought you might like this very good photo of the faucet your guys installed in my kitchen.

Julia from Toronto

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