Winter plumbing prep 101

APPC is a full-service plumbing company. Its team of licensed plumbers can help with all of your plumbing needs, including water heater installation and repair; sewer and drain cleaning; gas, water and sewer line repair; bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixture replacement and repairs; and sump pump installation. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio)

By Laura Briedis

The Boy Scouts’ two most powerful words—be prepared—make an excellent homeowners motto, too. With a little forethought and planning, homeowners can ward off many problems. And each season brings its own unique challenges, from flooding basements in the spring to freezing pipes in the winter. 

“I know we don’t want to think about cold temperatures, but they are looming around the corner,” says Keith Schroeter, co-owner along with his father, Eric, of APPC Plumbing Services. “We take pride in educating homeowners so they don’t get caught off guard.”

The number one thing homeowners usually forget, according to Keith, is to disconnect outdoor hoses from outside faucets when the temperature drops. If you don’t disconnect your hoses, the water that was not drained inside the hose can cause pipes to freeze and burst. Secondly, make sure to shut off the supply valves inside your home that lead to outside spigots. 

“You also want to make sure anywhere that cold air can come into the house and blow on a pipe is insulated, such as in the attic or crawl space, and anywhere water lines are coming up through outside-facing walls like under sinks and cabinets,” says Keith, noting every spring the first calls he gets are from homeowners whose spigots are leaking after months of freezing.

To make sure you have plenty of hot water this winter, check that your water heater is at optimal working condition.

“Once your hot water heater is out of warranty, you have to decide if it is worth repairing or better to purchase a new one,” says Keith. “We specialize in hot water tanks and install more than 3,000 new water heaters every year, which translates to more than 50,000 over the past two decades.”

“We take the approach that we are not selling water heaters but are instead selling your family the hot water it needs,” he says. 

“We don’t push a certain type of heater. We explain the different features of a conventional gas water heater versus an electric water heater versus a tankless heater to help the customer determine which is best for his or her household.”

“I discuss with homeowners what their needs are and then help them make their own decision,” says Keith. 

“You can’t always go by the rating on the tanks because everyone’s usage is different. If the tank’s rating says it is for a family of two to four, that may work for an average family but some families take longer showers and use a lot more hot water.”

In addition to water heater installation and repair, APPC Plumbing Services’ bonded, insured and licensed plumbers offer sewer and drain cleaning; gas, water and sewer line repair; bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixture replacement and repairs; garbage disposal replacement; sump pump and grinder pump installation; and excavation if needed.


“We have a fleet of 14 trucks and can usually service homeowners on the same or next day,” states Keith, proudly noting his company’s BBB Gold Star Rating. “We don’t want our customers to need unnecessary repairs, but when a crisis occurs, let us be your plumbers of choice. We bring you an honest assessment, rapid response and a sense of calm.”

APPC Plumbing Services is located at 3247 Pearl Road in Medina, across from the Bunker Hill Golf Course. For more information or service in Medina County, please call the office at 330-722-7754 or 330-590-0401, or visit