Red Deer Plumb-Pro Residential Outdoor Winterized Plumbing Tips

How to: Winterize Your Outdoor Plumbing

Here in Canada, one of our top priorities is to make the most of our too-short summer season.  Outdoor plumbing is a great way to do that, but after the warm season is over our legendary winters can wreak havoc on outdoor pipes, pools, and pumps. Unless you want to be calling Red Deer Plumb-Pro for emergency plumbing help, here are some tips to help you get your outdoor plumbing in order for winter.

  • Close the Supply Valve

It only takes one night of freezing weather to damage your pipes, so the first thing you should do when the temperature starts dropping is close the supply valve that provides water to your outdoor fixture and drain all the water from the pipe.

  • Disconnect the Hose

If your home does not have a separate supply valve for your outdoor plumbing, start by disconnecting hoses, splitters, or connections from your outdoor spigot. Forgetting to do this can cause trapped water and frozen fixtures that will need a professional plumber to come out and repair or replace.

  • Turn off and Drain Sprinkler Systems

If you have a timer, unplug it rather than turning it off, because the timer can be damaged by power surges in winter. Drain the system and blow out any remaining water in the line by attaching an air compressor to the drain valve. Finally, make sure to remove the backflow preventer and valves, which can be easily damaged if left outside in the winter.

  • Leak Detection and Repair

Dripping water can block up and freeze in the fixture, so it is important to search out these leaks and get them fixed by a Plumb-Pro plumber. Need some help detecting leaks? Check out our article on leak detection.

  • Insulate Your Fixtures

The final step to winterizing your outdoor plumbing is to protect your fixtures with insulation. You can buy hose bib covers at any home improvement store to fit your faucets and keep them warm and dry all winter. As a bonus, these covers can be reused for many years to come so they are a cheap investment.

  • Outdoor Kitchens 

As a final note, if you have an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, there are some special steps you need to take to winterize this plumbing. After the water is shut off, make sure to drain any water from the pipes to that they don’t freeze and crack. Turn off the gas if you have a gas line running to your outdoor kitchen, and don’t forget to pour a little antifreeze down the sink to take care of any water stuck in the drain.

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Red Deer Plumb-Pro Patio Pool Heater Hydronics Extend Your Season

5 More Ways to Extend Your Summer Season

In case you missed the first post, click here for 5 ways to extend your outdoor season using natural gas. As we continue to experience unpredictable Alberta weather, we thought up 5 more ways to help you get the most out of your summer season using natural gas and hydronic heating systems. Red Deer Plumb-Pro specializes in new construction and renovation projects for gas fitting and hydronics, so give us a call when you’re ready to start your next project.


  1. Natural Gas Pool and Hot Tub Heater

If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, consider a natural gas pool heater to extend your swimming season. These devices are less expensive than propane or electric pool heaters, and they heat water much faster, so they are more energy efficient, too.


  1. Natural Gas Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is probably the most important element to summer entertaining and keeping that party going long into the night. Natural gas lighting provides a soft glow without harsh shadows, and doesn’t attract mosquitos and bugs like electric lights.


  1. Patio heaters

You’ve probably seen them on outdoor patios at fancy restaurants, versatile patio heaters that can be placed anywhere you need a little extra heat, up to a 20 ft. radius. You can get portable versions as well as in-ground and deck-mounted units, and they come in different sizes to accommodate smaller sized decks and balconies.


  1. Heated Flooring

At Red Deer Plumb-Pro, we specialize in hydronic heating systems installations like radiant in-floor heating. Install underfloor or under slab heating in your deck or patio to get the most out of your summer season, and, as a bonus the radiant heating will keep the snow cleared in winter!


  1. Radiant Heaters

Another option for radiant heating is versatile radiant heaters. Portable electric models can be mounted and moved as needed, or you can try wall-mounted models that are more permanent and can be left out year-round.

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Red Deer Plumb Pro residential commerical bathroom plumbing renovation luxuries

Bathroom Renovation Luxury Essentials

So your bathroom is functional, but not exactly beautiful. You want an attractive spa-like bathroom where you can relax in the tub and steam away your stress. Not sure where to start? Check out Red Deer Plumb-Pro’s tips on bathroom renovation basics first, then check out our luxury renovation essentials that will take your bathroom to the next level.


  • Open concept shower. Showers that don’t require curtains or doors are the latest trend! They are also less confining and can be more elegant and relaxing with the right tile and accessory choices.
  • Showerhead. Consider a dual showerhead system for the ultimate in luxury. You can purchase a dual-function showerhead with overhead rainfall and handheld showerhead options or you can call Red Deer Plumb-Pro for help installing a dual showerhead plumbing system.
  • Soaker bathtub. Bigger, deeper bathtubs for two people are the ultimate luxury. Make sure you sit in the bathtub before you buy it– make sure the angled back and the lip are comfortable.
  • Dual sink. Another bathroom trend for master bathrooms is a dual his-and-hers sink area.
  • Underfloor heating. Warm (not freezing) tile floors are an absolute must in our unpredictable climate.
  • Found space. Consider using space between wall studs to maximize storage and save floor space. You can also install recessed cubbies in your shower to hold all your products.
  • Bigger hot water heater. If you’re considering luxury options that might use more hot water, consider replacing your current hot water heater with a more energy efficient model that is better able to handle the hot water demands.
  • Gas fireplace. Nothing beats a long soak in the tub next to a roaring fire in the middle of winter. Plumb-Pro can help install a natural gas line to your house and get you set up with a gas fireplace insert to suit your needs.


Plumb-Pro’s journeyman gasfitters and plumbers can help make your residential and commercial bathroom renovation dreams a reality, so give us a call today!

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Red Deer Plumb-Pro residential commercial bathroom renovation basics

Bathroom Renovation Plumbing Basics

Your bathroom should be both beautiful and functional, no matter the size. If your bathroom isn’t addressing all your needs, it may be time for a renovation. Whatever the reason for your renovation, Red Deer Plumb-Pro can help with your residential or commercial plumbing renovations. Here are the top things to consider when contemplating a bathroom renovation.


  • Bathtub. Always sit in a bathtub to assess comfort before purchasing. Check backrest angles and bathtub lips for neck comfort, and make sure the tub is deep enough for your needs.
  • Shower. Consider an open-concept shower or dual showerhead system. Red Deer Plumb-Pro can also help you update your plumbing and draining system.
  • Fixtures. When selecting new fixtures, look for quality and durability wherever possible. Choose from finishes like chrome, brass, and copper, but keep the style of the bathroom consistent.
  • Toilet. Today’s toilets are more efficient than ever, so consider upgrading yours with Red Deer Plumb-Pro’s journeyman plumbers to install a high-efficiency toilet to help you conserve water and save money. Another thing to consider is the shape of your toilet. Toilets with elongated bowls and seats are usually the most comfortable.
  • Sinks. Pedestal sinks tend to visually enlarge a room, but vanities with storage can be boxy and unattractive.
  • Floors. Look for durable flooring like ceramic, marble, and stone. Consider easy care and nonslip options like textured or matte surfaces and finishes, too.

Plumbing should always be the first thing you think about when considering a bathroom renovation. Red Deer Plumb-Pro specializes in residential and commercial bathroom renovations, so give us a call today!

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Red Deer Plumb-Pro modulating condensing hydronic gas boiler system

The Boiler of the Future: High Efficiency Modulating Condensing Boilers

In North America, most homes are heated with furnaces or hydronic boiler systems. The ratio of annual heat output compared to annual energy consumed by your furnace or boiler is called AFUE, used to determine its efficiency. Over the past 20 years, higher-efficiency boilers have taken over the market, and residential gas boilers sold in Canada must have an AFUE rating of 82% or higher, but condensing boilers blow them out of the (hot) water at a whopping 90% or higher, making them “the boiler of the future.”


High Efficiency Boilers

  • Fueled by gas or oil
  • Use waste heat to preheat cold water that enters the boiler
  • Condenses water vapour to liquid water
  • Increases efficiency by 10-12%
  • Typically have a 90-98.5% AFUE ratio
  • Require a drainpipe for the condensation produced during operation
  • Can be more expensive short-term, but can help save you money in the long run


Conventional Boilers

  • Burn fuel that produce gases (including steam) that pass through a heat exchanger to transfer heat to water and raise the temperature
  • Typically have a 56-70% AFUE ratio for lower efficiency systems, and 80-83% ratio for mid-range efficiency hydronic systems
  • Have a natural draft that creates a flow of combustion gases but can be outfitted with an exhaust fan to control the flow better
  • Might have a continuous pilot light or an electronic ignition
  • Heavy heat exchanger


Older models can be retrofitted to comply with the new regulations, increase their efficiency, and save you money, something that a Red Deer Plumb-Pro journeyman plumber can help with!

In Western Canada, energy suppliers sometimes offer energy rebates when these high efficiency modulating condensing boiler systems are installed, so replacing your conventional boiler (or furnace) is also an option. Red Deer Plumb-Pro’s installation professionals specialize in maintenance and installation of high efficiency modulating condensing boilers, so if your hydronic boiler system is not performing up to speed, give us a call today!

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Indoor and Out: Leak Detection

While regular plumbing maintenance can help find problems before they become bigger issues, some household leaks are more obviousRed Deer Plumb-Pro Outdoor Residential Plumbing Leak Detection than others, like dripping faucets and hot water heaters with water around them. Other household leaks are not obvious and can go undetected for a long time because they are not in plain sight. Household leaks will show up on your water bill though, and it will probably hurt. Finding the leaks before you call Red Deer Plumb-Pro will save time for us and that means more money in your pocket. Here’s how to check for leaks in your own home before you call for help repairing them.


Supply lines

The first thing to figure out is whether the leak is inside or outside your home. Because the supply line is usually buried a few feet underground, leaks can be difficult to find. Look for patches of grass in your yard that are greener than the rest, soft and muddy underfoot, or growing faster than other areas. If that doesn’t work, find the shut-off valve by the house and check the meter. If the meter is still moving, your leak is probably somewhere in the house.

If you find a evidence of a leak between the meter and the house, don’t try to repair it yourself. Call us at Plumb-Pro for professional plumbing repair. Any other kind of leaks related to the supply line is the responsibility of your utility provider.


Hot Water Tanks

If you notice any standing water around your hot water heater, it could be a sign of a leak in your pressure relief valve, which can be fixed. If not, you’ll need a new hot water heater. Don’t wait to call Plumb-Pro for help though, because tank leaks often start small and then burst several days or weeks later.



Toilet leaks, while among the most common household leaks, often end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water as they go undetected. Most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair, once you find the leak.

Finding the leak is easy enough if you remove the tank lid and hear any kind of hissing, but if you can’t hear anything, grab some food colouring and put a few drops in the tank. Wait a few minutes and check the bowl. If there is any colouring in the bowl, you probably have a leak in the flapper. You can try to fix this yourself, or you can call Plumb-Pro for help, especially if you have leaks in more than one toilet.



Faucet leaks are another common household leak that you can probably repair yourself with the right know-how. You can also choose to leave it until it gets worse, but you’ll only be hurting your wallet, as dripping faucets waste thousands of gallons per year. Red Deer Plumb Pro can help.



Your potable water source is constantly under pressure, so those kinds of leaks will be more noticeable than wastewater leaks, which rely on gravity to move. Look for wet spots and warped sections on your floors, ceilings, walls, and any wooden cabinets.

Condensation can also cause damage to your home if there is too much of it. Plumb-Pro can help insulate your pipes to stop or reduce the condensation, so give us a call!


If you can’t find the leak in your house, don’t despair. Call a professional plumber at Red Deer Plumb-Pro for help. Our journeyman plumbers will diagnose the problem and have it fixed in no time.



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Red Deer Plumb-Pro Patio Natural Gas Line Installation Maximize Your Season

5 Ways to Extend Your Outdoor Season Using Natural Gas

As we move into summer, the weather finally seems to be improving and those of us with backyards and decks turn to outdoor entertaining to make the most of the season. The only problem is that this is Alberta, and temperatures can still be unpredictable. The solution? Call Red Deer Plumb-Pro to help maximize your summer season with natural gas line installation.


  1. Natural Gas Barbecue

It’s never too soon to start cooking outdoors. Some people even endure winter temperatures to get that delicious steak on the table using quality natural gas grills that can withstand extreme outdoor temperatures. Modern barbecues are getting bigger everyday, but Plumb-Pro can help with installing a natural gas line to your barbecue so that you never run out of gas.


  1. The Outdoor Fireplace

Probably the most luxurious option on this list, the outdoor fireplace can be an attractive feature of your patio or deck that your friends and family will want to gather around. Red Deer Plumb-Pro’s journeyman gasfitters can help get this project started by installing a natural gas line today.


  1. Patio Flames

Another option for outdoor gatherings are patio flames, usually installed in centralized locations like coffee tables. Natural gas patio flames also offer elegant and modern decor options to match your outdoor space.


  1. Natural Gas Patio Campfires

Another innovative yet elegant outdoor heating design is the realistic campfires that use rock, brick, or other materials to match your patio decor. You only need to set them up once (no chopping or hauling wood required!) and they have easy on/off controls to make your life simpler.


  1. Natural Gas Convenience Outlets

Outdoor heating is nothing without natural gas outlets to help you connect and disconnect your natural gas gadgets and products without using tools. For convenience and safety, automatic shut-off valves come standard on gas convenience outlets. Call Red Deer Plumb-Pro for help installing your gas line today!

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April 25th is “Hug a Plumber Day”

Plumbing plays a vital role in our daily lives–from running water and hot water on demand to properly functioning waste systems and heated homes, Red-Deer-Plumb-Pro-Hug-A-Plumber-Daynot to mention more recent developments that make our Canadian lives easier in winter, like hydronic heating systems, in-floor heating, radiant heating, and more.


When plumbing systems stop working, people struggle to cope, and it can take an emergency like this to make us stop taking our indoor plumbing for granted. Back in the day, people had to carry water to their homes from rivers, and the streets of cities were often foul and unsanitary, causing disease and illnesses.


Modern plumbing has done wonders for civilization and sanitation but plumbing is also hard work that requires expertise and certification. Red Deer Plumb-Pro has over 25 years experience in the industry and that’s a lot of toilets! Of course, Red Deer Plumb-Pro is much more than just a plumbing company; we also do gasfitting and hydronics. Specialty contracting like this often goes unmentioned under the general banner of “plumber” but we are no less indebted for these services than we are plumbing, that’s for sure.


“Hug a Plumber Day” encourages all of us to be more appreciative of the modern conveniences of plumbing, and the skills and ingenuity required to keep them going. So if you have an emergency plumbing situation today, give us a call and don’t forget to give us a hug!

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10 Ideas for Outdoor Plumbing

As it gets warmer, thoughts are turned to spending time out of doors and maximizing the use of your backyard to get the most out of Canada’s short summer season. Outdoor plumbing is a great way to do this, and it can be as decorative and useful as you need. Red Deer Plumb-Pro’s journeyman plumbers can run lines and dig trenches so you don’t have to! To get you started, here are 9 ideas for outdoor plumbing:

  1. Outdoor Shower 
    Installing an outdoor shower can help keep things more clean indoors, such as with tracking water from the pool or cleaning up after outdoor activities that leave you especially dirty. Showering outside cuts back on humidity and steam during the summer, too, which can be damaging to your bathroom. At Red Deer Plumb-Pro, we can install hot and cold water lines out to your shower for convenience and comfort, with shutoff valves inside to prevent freezing pipes in the winter. We can also help with designing and installing a drainage system that works for your residential plumbing needs.
  2. Outdoor Taps
    Tired of dragging your hose around your yard to water your garden or lawn? Plumb-Pro can help! Our journeyman plumbers will run a permanent plumbing pipe underground to a more convenient location for you and mount the faucet on any type of post you like.
  3. Sprinkler System
    You could simply hook together a few garden hoses, but if you want a more permanent sprinkler system or if you have need a bigger system, call Plumb-Pro to get help with buried water lines. If you want to fertilize your lawn at the same time, our journeyman plumbers are experts at back-flow prevention and cross connection control and testing.
  4. Outdoor Kitchen
    If you have an outdoor gas grill, an outdoor kitchen can simplify things and prevent you from having to run inside for water every time you need it. Plumb-Pro can help you install a whole outdoor kitchen or a standalone barbecue sink– whatever your plumbing needs are!
  5. Garden Sink
    A different type of outdoor sink is the garden sink, which can be as simplistic or as complex as you need it to be. Maybe just a tap in the middle of your yard is sufficient to collect water for your plants or maybe you want a proper sink you can use to clean your gardening equipment and wash your hands. Whatever the case, give Plumb-Pro a call for plumbing installation help.
  6. Garden Fountain
    Is there anything more relaxing than the sounds of flowing water? Having a fountain in your backyard will be the best decision you ever made. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer sun while you de-stress from work.
  7. Fish pond
    How about a fish pond to go with your fountain? Fish provide endless hours of entertainment, and as a bonus, they can help you save money and conserve water! Ponds can be re-filled with rainwater, help to lower utility costs, create a more manageable temperature in your yard, and maintain a beautiful garden through the pond’s cycle of hydration.
  8. Pool
    While pools are definitely not as common in Alberta, having one for the summer months might be the perfect luxury you are looking for! This one is a major investment, but depending on how you use your backyard, it might be worth it. Think of the pool parties and barbecues you could host!
  9. Bird Bath
    Bird baths can be great additions to your garden, and they tend to attract more kinds of birds than simple bird-feeders. Plus, they are fairly easy to install yourself, and come in lots of different styles to match the decor of your yard.
  10. Drinking fountain
    If you’ve got kids, having an outdoor fountain can help prevent them from tracking mud and dirt into the house when they need a drink. They don’t have to be expensive, either.
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Your Hot Water Heater: Fix or Replace?

Your hot water heater is probably the most important appliance in your home, especially in winter, so when it starts to go, it’s a big deal. Hot water heaters Plumb-Pro-hot-water-heater-plumbing-hydronics-boiler
should last between 10-15 years, which is good, because they’re not cheap.

To keep your hot water heater working longer, regular maintenance should be performed on it at least once a year by a Plumb-Pro journeyman plumber. You can also try flushing your hot water heater yourself on a regular basis, every six months or so, but sometimes you just need a new one. Here are some signs that will help you decide when your hot water heater needs replacing.

  • The tank leaks. If you notice any standing water around your tank, call Red Deer Plumb-Pro right away to avoid flooding or other damage to your home. The hot water heater will need to be turned off, cooled, and drained before it can be repaired or replaced.
  • Temperature issues. This could mean any number of things, from needing to replace the elements or the entire heater, to the pilot light being out or having a tripped circuit breaker.  If your hot water heater no longer produces hot water, or if the hot water doesn’t last as long as it used to, Plumb-Pro’s journeyman plumbers will be able to diagnose your unit and help you replace it or get it fixed.
  • Water is brown or tastes metallic. This can be an indicator that your hot water heater is on its last legs and will probably fail soon. Trying to fix this yourself can cause injury and damage. Give Plumb-Pro a call instead as soon as you notice a change in your water quality so you’re not left hanging.
  • Funny noises. Cracks and pops are normal if annoying, and flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup can fix the problem. If you’ve tried flushing your hot water heater, or the cracks and pops have escalated to banging and knocking, call a Plumb-Pro plumber to replace the heating element.
  • Pieces of white plastic coming out of your faucets. The plastic is likely from a deteriorating tube in your tank, and can indicate other deteriorating components in your hot water heater. This problem is often accompanied by a shorter duration of hot water, but our journeyman plumbers can assess your hot water heater and get you a new one if needed.
  • Gas pilot won’t stay lit or you smell gas near the unit. We have licensed gas fitters to help replace your gas valve, but keep in mind that if your hot water heater is getting on in years, it’s probably better to replace it.
  • You’ve tried draining your tank, but nothing comes out. This means there is a buildup of sediment, and will probably mean you need to replace your hot water heater. Call Red Deer Plumb-Pro at 403.588.2619.


If any of the above issues occur within 2 years of expiration of warranty, call Red Deer Plumb-Pro to have your hot water heater replaced rather than repaired.


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