In 2013, giant, glacier-like icicles that clung to sides of buildings in Saskatoon made international news. Nearly as tall as the buildings themselves, contractors and rescue crews had to take the icicles down using hot water sprays and a few chainsaws. Wayne Rodger, Saskatoon’s fire marshal at the time, told reporters that the operation took four to five hours per icicle.
As cold as Canada can get in winter, these icy behemoths are unusual and dangerous. Icicles in general form when escaping heat melts the snow outside but refreezes because of the subzero weather. While breathtaking, icicles can fall on unsuspecting heads or roofs, especially as soon as the weather begins to warm up.
Icicles are often the result, or precursors, of ice dams on the eaves of roofs. Roofers have ways of dealing with them, one of which is to spray them slowly with hot water. The hot water softens the ice enough for careful ice-picking to finish the job. This method often works with other techniques, such as raking snow off the roof and using melt socks.
An outdoor hot water delivery system can conveniently provide the needed water hot water supply, using a garden hose. Outdoor hot water delivery systems, which can be installed by Saskatoon plumbing services like Perfection Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, also have other uses in warmer months, such as washing the car or the dog, among others. In the absence of an outdoor water delivery system, however, you can always tap into an indoor source, like the washing’s machine water supply.
Either way, this highlights one of the benefits of keeping your water heater in good condition, especially during winter. The more obvious uses of one are, of course, for bathing, dishwashing, and other routine activities.
Noted Saskatoon plumbers install and service both tank and tankless water heaters. Tank-based heaters always stay on, ensuring hot water all-day long; on the other hand, tankless heaters only provide hot water when needed. The ideal choice for a water heater depends on a number of factors, including a household’s water supply needs, as well as technical details like the type of venting. Experienced plumbers can help you decide which kind would be most appropriate for your home.
Preventing ice dams is the best way to deal with them, but it would help to be ready with your trusty water heaters to combat them, if needed. As the cold winter is expected to last for a few months more this year, make sure your water heaters are in top condition with the help of reliable plumbers.
(Source: Q&A: Saskatoon’s behemoth icicles draw international attention, National Post)