How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Pipes?

How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Pipes?

Georgia weather is notorious for its unpredictability. One night it may be below freezing, and the next could night the low may only be in the mid-60’s. It can be hard to know exactly how to protect your pipes during the awkward winter temperature fluctuations of the South. The ultimate goal, of course, is to prevent a burst pipe accident that can flood your home and cause major property damage. On average, frozen pipe damage can cost up to $5,000. Luckily, preventing that catastrophe is fairly inexpensive, with pipe insulation costing as little as 50¢ per foot.

As the plumbing experts in South Atlanta, we’re happy to provide a little cheat sheet to make sure you’re covered throughout the winter.

Keep an eye out for when temperatures drop to around 20° Fahrenheit.

In southern states where freezing weather is the exception rather than the rule (and where houses often do not provide adequate built-in protection), the “temperature alert threshold” is 20°F. That means that you need to start protecting your pipes even if the weather is slightly higher than 20°.

Protect exposed pipes.

This includes pipes on the outside of the house, in the attic, and in crawl spaces. These exposed pipes can be fitted with insulation sleeves or wrapping. The more insulation the better. Not sure if you have exposed pipes? Hammond Services can come out to help you identify the vulnerabilities.

Start a “Drip Campaign.”

Letting your faucets drip during extreme cold can prevent a pipe from freezing and bursting. Opening the faucet will provide relief from the pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs.

What to Do When a Pipe Does Burst

If you suspect you may have a burst pipe (you turn on a faucet and no water comes out), shut off your main water valve, and call a certified plumber immediately.

NOTE: It’s a good idea to make sure everyone living in your home knows where the main valve is located, so when an emergency strikes everyone knows how to deal with it.

An Unexpected Valentine’s Day Gift: The Gift of Instant Hot Water

An Unexpected Valentine’s Day Gift: The Gift of Instant Hot Water


It’s an all-too-familiar process. You wake up, not wanting to leave the warmth of your bed, already running late for work, and now you’re standing in your bathroom waiting for your shower water to heat up.

Do you often find yourself turning on your faucets and walking away while you wait for hot water? The problem is more than just a minor annoyance. The average home wastes over 31 gallons a day – that’s 11,000 gallons per year!! –  waiting for hot water. Not only is that bad for your pocketbook, it’s bad for the environment.

That’s why Hammond Services recommends adding a hot water recirculating system, which can bring significant savings in water usage and sewage disposal. Adding a hot water recirculating system to your existing plumbing setup is a convenient way to ensure you have immediate hot water from the tap, while saving thousands of gallons of water per year.

How does it work?

A hot water recirculating pump is attached to your water heater, a valve at the furthest faucet in your home, and your existing water lines. The direction of flow moves from the water heater through the hot water supply line, and then back to the water heater through the cold water return line. Bam: instant hot water!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Don’t bring home another teddy bear or a box of chocolates. Let Hammond Services install your new hot water recirculating system, then draw your special someone a nice warm bubble bath. Installation is quick and painless, typically taking 2 hours or less!!

Stop standing around waiting for hot water. Call Hammond Services today to schedule your appointment!

Will a Backflow Preventer Make My Home’s Water Safe?

Will a Backflow Preventer Make My Home’s Water Safe?

When it comes to the water that your family drinks and uses on a daily basis, you want to make sure that the water quality is safe. But what keeps irrigation system water from getting into our water supply? The answer is backflow preventers.

WHAT IS BACKFLOW?

First, let’s talk about backflow. Backflow occurs when non-potable water or other substances reverse into the piping of a public water system or an individual’s potable water system. The non-potable water enters the water system through a cross-connection, which is a temporary or permanent connection between public or consumer water and a source of non-potable water. Backflow can result in contamination of the water in that system, making it unusable and unsafe to drink.

BACKFLOW PREVENTER KEEPS HOME WATER SAFE

A backflow preventer valve can be used in the plumbing system to reduce the risk of contaminants entering the public or consumer water supply pipes. This device works much like a human heart valve in that it allows water to flow one way and closes when pressure comes back through. The backflow preventer is the first line of defense against backflow, which can allow dangerous chemicals and other contaminants to enter the water that you drink and use within your home.

The bottom line is that backflow preventers can help keep your home’s water safe for you and your family by protecting your water supply from harmful contaminants.

For more information about backflow preventers or other plumbing equipment, contact the experts at Hammond Services today!

Why Updating Your Company’s Electrical Fixtures Will Save You Money

Why Updating Your Company’s Electrical Fixtures Will Save You Money

The hands of an electrician

In today’s economy, many business owners are looking for any way possible to cut costs and save more money each month. Did you know that updating your company’s electrical fixtures can help you do just that? We’ll explain how making a few simple upgrades can help significantly cut business costs over time.

WHY UPDATE YOUR COMPANY’S ELECTRICAL FIXTURES

Many older office buildings or commercial spaces may not be fitted with the most efficient electrical fixtures. This means that you could be wasting money each month on your electricity bills. Why not give your electrical fixtures a makeover? With more and more energy-efficient options on the market, you now have the opportunity to lower your energy costs by updating your company’s electrical fixtures.

HOW TO START SAVING MONEY TODAY

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one of the best ways to save money on monthly energy costs is by making smarter lighting choices. If you want to start saving money today, update your company’s lighting fixtures to include more energy-efficient options. LED fixtures allow you to use energy-efficient lighting in the office, which cuts down on energy use and translates to more savings on electricity bills each month.

In the end, the initial investment you make in updating your company’s electrical fixtures is well worth the savings you will benefit from. If you are ready to start saving your company more money, contact the experts at Hammond Services. We would love to help you update the electrical fixtures in your building.

Steps Every Homeowner Should Take to Protect Their Home’s Pipes This Winter

Steps Every Homeowner Should Take to Protect Their Home’s Pipes This Winter


Brrr! It’s finally cold outside. The chilly winter weather might be nice for snuggling in front of the fireplace and sipping hot cocoa, but it also poses a serious threat to your home’s pipes. As the temperature drops, water in your pipes can freeze and expand. This expansion puts pressure on your pipes and can lead to a leak or ruptured pipe. This winter, make protecting your pipes a top priority by following these tips.

PROTECT OUTDOOR PIPES

Outdoor pipes, which are more exposed to the harsh weather, are especially at risk for freezing. To prevent frozen pipes be sure to:

  • Turn off your lawn’s sprinkler system. Then, drain all of the water out of the system. You may need to blow compressed air through the sprinkler system to fully drain the water.
  • Disconnect and store all garden hoses. A frozen hose seems like a minor problem, but it can actually cause the pipe that it is connected to it to rupture as well.
  • Use foam insulation to protect outdoor pipes, including those in crawl spaces, garages and attics. If foam insulation isn’t available, layers of newspaper secured with duct tape will work in a pinch.

PROTECT INDOOR PIPES

While outdoor pipes are the most at risk, there are several things homeowners should do indoors to protect their plumbing system.

  • Keep the heat on. It may be tempting to save on heating cost by turning the heat off when you aren’t at home. However, heating your home around the clock is the best way to prevent frozen pipes.
  • Open the cabinet doors. When the temperature plummets, opening the kitchen and bathroom cabinets allows heat to move around the plumbing.
  • Drip the faucets. In extreme weather it’s important to keep water moving through your pipes. Allow water to drip from a few faucets around the home to prevent ice from forming in the lines.

Even with proper precautions, cold winter weather can occasionally cause a leaky pipe. Whether it’s a small leak or a ruptured pipe, or even if you just need advice on winterizing your plumbing system,  contact the pros at Hammond Services.

How to Safely Put Up Holiday Lighting

How to Safely Put Up Holiday Lighting

Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit quite like a festive light display. Evenings spent driving through neighborhoods to look at festively-lit houses are a special part of the holiday season. Unfortunately, hanging lights on your own house is not quite as much fun. This Christmas, use these tips to easily and safely set up your outdoor holiday light display.

MAKE A PLAN

Don’t start without a game plan. Make a supply list. Map out where you want to hang lights and then measure the distance between the areas where lights will be and your outdoor outlets to determine which outlets you will be able to use.

GET THE RIGHT LIGHTS

White or multi-colored lights is always the big holiday debate. But, getting the right lights actually goes much farther, since not all lights are safe for outdoor use.

Be sure that all the lights you purchase for your display are labeled as appropriate for outdoor use. Also, check the packaging for the UL or ETL logos. These logos indicate that lights have been laboratory tested and deemed safe.

Also, avoid using seven-volt lights outdoors. These larger, brighter bulbs may seem extra festive, but they also burn hotter and could potentially start a fire.

Lastly, make sure that you check that your lights have built-in fuses in the plugs.

Whether you are using new or previously used lights, be sure to test them before hanging. In addition to plugging them in to ensure they work, look for missing bulbs and damaged wiring.

GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES

Before starting your project, make sure that you have everything you need on hand. Purchasing or gathering your supplies first will prevent last-minute trips to the hardware store. Here’s a list of some helpful things you’ll want to make sure you have close by before getting started:

  1. Extension cords: Only use cords that are rated for outdoor use. Never plug more than three strands of light into one cord. Cords should only be plugged into GFCI-protected outlets.
  2. Insulated hooks: Stapling or nailing lights up can lead to sparks or electrical fires. Instead, use insulated hooks that safely grab onto shingles or gutters.

USE LADDERS SAFELY

Hanging lights usually means climbing up and down a ladder multiple times. Set up your ladder so that the feet are flat on the ground. Extension ladders should extend beyond the eaves and lean at a comfortable angle.

Planning ahead and paying attention to details can make hanging Christmas light much easier and safer. Before long, you will be on to the exciting moment when you flip the switch and watch your hard work come to life. For more information about electrical safety or advice on setting up your holiday light display, contact the experts at Hammond Services.

Avoid the Damaging Dry Air of Winter in Your Home

Avoid the Damaging Dry Air of Winter in Your Home

Winter isn’t always everyone’s favorite time of year due to the coldness and weather conditions that keep people inside. It’s also not a good time for a home since it can become so dry inside. This affects the wood and other aspects of the home as well of the health of the individuals inside of the home. The home doesn’t have to become dry and stuffy just because it’s closed up, though. Here are some ways you can avoid winter dry air and keep your home fresh and comfortable all season.

    1. Humidifier

Strategically place humidifiers in the places you find have the least amount of moisture, such as in your bedroom or living areas.

    1. Turn Down the Heat

The reason for most of the dryness in the wintertime is because of the heat running and removing all of the moisture in your home. Turn down the heat just a few degrees, and you’ll see a significant change in the moisture in the air.

    1. Use Pots of Water

Fill up pots of water and place them on the radiator, in front of the register and even one on the stove to boil. These pots of water force extra moisture into the air. You may also want to place a container of water in front of windows where a great deal of sun enters.

    1. Leave the Dishwasher Open

Instead of putting your dishes on the dry cycle, stop the dishwasher and allow the dishes to air dry. Not only does the steam from the dishwasher enter into the air and reduce the dryness in the home, but it also saves on the electricity to run the cycle. It’s a win-win.

To learn more ways to reduce dryness in your home throughout winter or to schedule a routine maintenance appointment, contact Hammond Services today!

Adding Exterior Outlets to Your Home

Exterior outlets come in handy when completing household projects or hanging holiday lights. They’re a necessity for individuals with electric weed whackers or lawn mowers. Not to mention, they come in handy when you want to listen to music outside while relaxing. However, you must understand what’s entailed in the process of installing before you attempt to do it yourself.

  1. Shut Off the Power
    Before you start working with the electrical in your home, always shut off the electricity at the circuit breaker. You’ll want to use a voltage tester to ensure the electricity isn’t running to the outlet any more. This prevents any serious injuries from occurring.
  2. Find a Location
    The next step is to find a location. Generally, you’ll want to find an outdoor location where there’s an interior outlet on the other side of the wall. Avoid choosing a spot where a wall stud is. You’ll also want to check to see if you’ll overload the circuit with the new outlet.
  3. Cut Out the Hole
    The next step is to cut out a hole in the wall by marking the size of the outlet, which may be done through using the outlet as a template. Before you actually work with the outlet, you’ll need to remove the indoor one completely including the receptacle. Drill a hole in the wall behind a corner of where the outlet will go. Use a keyhole or saber saw to cut around the outline. Run the cables and install the exterior portion of the outlet.

Because installing an exterior outlet is a complicated and potentially dangerous process, it’s best to hire a professional to complete the project if you’re not trained to complete electrical work. Contact Hammond Services of Georgia to for all of your electrical needs or to schedule an installation.

Signs of Improperly Installed Water or Sewer Lines

Imagine the havoc your home would see from improperly installed sewer or water lines. The water alone could cause a great deal of damage to the structure. Not to mention, the smell of sewage turns your stomach, can make you ill and may keep guests from wanting to come to your home. Here are some signs that there may be a problem with the installation of your water or sewer lines.

  1. Clogs

Generally, you shouldn’t have problems with your system clogging early on. It’s a sign that the pipes were installed at an improper slope. When the pipes slope too much, solid waste doesn’t travel through the pipes properly. A slope that is too steep causes water to travel too quickly to the sewer. The general rule is the slope may only be one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch per each foot of length.

  1. Foul Odor

It’s never a good sign if you’re smelling a foul odor coming from your septic system. This means there’s a leak or another serious issue occurring, even if the smell isn’t frequent or strong. The foul odor tends to smell like rotten eggs as a result of the hydrogen sulfide, which is the gas that emits from the sewer line.

  1. Wet Spots

Wet spots or areas growing moss or ones that are soft and green and surrounded by a dryer area tend to be indicators of a leak underneath the ground. Although the spots may arise several years after a pipe is installed, it’s possible the line was installed improperly.

To discuss your concerns or to schedule a visit, contact the pros at Hammond Services today!

How Will the Home Comfort Plan Improve My Home This Winter?

How Will the Home Comfort Plan Improve My Home This Winter?


Regular maintenance on your heating system can help reduce the chances of your system failing in the middle of the winter as well as save you money in the long run. Such plans also insure that you don’t overlook this essential maintenance step and make sure that your system is running at peak efficiency, so that you don’t spend any more than you have to on utility bills.

What’s included in the Home Comfort Plan

At Hammond Services, our Home Comfort Plan is designed to make it easy and affordable to keep your heating system in good repair. Our plan includes:

  • Two scheduled HVAC maintenance calls each year
  • A 25-point HVAC check-up to make sure that your system will run efficiently throughout the winter
  • A 15% discount on any necessary repairs
  • A one-year parts and labor warranty on all Hammond services
  • Priority scheduling and customer service
  • Transferable to new owners if you sell your home during the term of the plan

To learn more about how to keep your Georgia home warm and cozy this winter, contact the pros at Hammond Services in Griffin, Georgia. We’ve been helping central Georgia homeowners with their heating and cooling needs for more than 35 years.