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What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze

No one wants to wake up from their nice warm bed to the sound of water plinking (or spraying!) throughout the house, especially during the cold winter months. If you live somewhere that’s being hit by freezing weather this year; there’s a good chance that you’ll be dealing with frozen pipes at some point during the winter season. Whether you performed the recommended maintenance to get your pipes ready for winter or decided to give it a pass this year, there are some steps you’ll want to take quickly when your pipes freeze — or risk getting stuck with a massive mess both on your floors and throughout your plumbing systems.  Keep Pipes Flowing If you goofed and didn’t leave your sink dripping last night and woke up to frozen pipes, it’s not too late to open up that faucet! Even if nothing is dripping immediately, allowing the water pressure to continue coming through the pipes will help to get the ice melted more quickly. Next time, leave a tiny dripping of water going through the pipes to keep everything from freezing solid. Carefully Apply Heat Let’s start out with what NOT to do — never use a propane heater, blowtorch or any other method of open flame on your pipes in an effort to do a quick defrost. Not only is this dangerous to yourself and your home on many levels, but it’s not going to do your pipes any good either! Instead, look for ways to slowly reduce the ice within the pipes, such as a small portable space heater that is a safe distance from any materials...
Drain Cleaning Myths

Drain Cleaning Myths

Have a clogged drain? It’s a common issue for all homeowners, but it’s important to not make the assumptions that too many people believe when confronted with a clog. These myths aren’t just untrue, but they can also lead to bad decisions that can make your plumbing problem even worse — and more expensive to repair. So when confronted with a drain problem, don’t fall into these thinking traps! Here’s why they’re wrong. All My Drains Work the Same Your home actually has several different sets of pipes! They are not all connected (although some of them are), and they have different tasks and features. Drain pipes, for example, collect all the water you pour from faucets (typically “gray” water) and safely dispose of it. Waste pipes collect polluted water from toilets and similar sources and route it to septic tanks and sewers. Vent pipes are designed to remove nasty gases created by the other pipes, giving them a way out through a roof vent or similar vent. All this means that a clog may affect some parts of the house, but not all your plumbing, depending on where it originates and what it does. Sometimes clog effects can be very difficult to predict if you don’t know how your plumbing works. Drain Cleaners Can Fix the Problem Liquid drain cleaners are usually designed to “burn” through a clog and restore proper water flow. This can work on very mild clogs, such as a bundle of hair that won’t quite get washed away. However, any substantial clog is unlikely to be affected by drain cleaners, and they can cause...
The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

The Benefits of a Hydro Jetter

Fall is officially here! Now is the perfect time to check some items off your fall to-do list. Instead of tackling these chores the traditional way, why not use a hydro jetter to make the job easier? Here’s what you need to know. What is a Hydro Jetter? A hydro jetter is similar to a power washer, but packs four times as much power. This power makes it easy to remove clogs from drains as well as debris from your gutters and downspouts. How Does a Hydrojetting Work? Hydrojetting is a fairly simple concept. The hose is placed at the beginning of your drain or gutter system and the pressure is turned on. This pressure will blast any debris out of its way, cleaning the pipe or gutter as it goes. It has enough power to remove the buildup, but not enough to cause any damage. For long lasting results, hydrojetting is the way to go. When to Use a Hydro Jetter Are you experiencing clogs in your gutters or downspouts? Before using a hydro jetter, there are some things you can try first. Depending on the last time you cleaned out your gutters, the pressure of a garden hose may be able to do the trick. If this option doesn’t work, the next step is to try a drain snake. Still not working? It’s time to bring in a hydro jetter. Because this option has 4 times as much pressure as your typical pressure washer, it can easily remove gunk from your downspouts. Gutters and downspouts lead water away from your home. If clogged gutters are ignored, this...
How Drain Cleaning Can Prevent Plumbing Problems

How Drain Cleaning Can Prevent Plumbing Problems

Your plumbing system undergoes a significant amount of activity throughout the day. From washing clothes and dishes to taking showers, a lot of water finds its way down the plumbing drain. But water is not the only thing. Food, chemicals and contaminants all go down the drain with the water. Over time, these substances build up and cause blockage and deterioration inside the pipes. Regular drain cleanings are the solution to help avoid any unwanted blockage or backup in your plumbing. Caring for Your Plumbing System Like all other components in your home, your plumbing system requires ongoing maintenance and care to operate at peak performance year after year. The best action you can take is to hire a professional plumbing technician to come in and perform a comprehensive inspection of all parts. A plumber can make the necessary repairs and have your plumbing system up and running like new. Preventative Maintenance: Cleaning Your Drain Plumbing repairs can be expensive, which is why preventative maintenance is essential. Caring for the pipes and all other components begins by keeping the drain line clean and clear of blockage and debris. Below is a list of common items that can get caught inside your drain (whether it’s inside or outside your home) and need to be removed on a regular basis. Lime Scale. Lime scale occurs as a result of hard water exposure over a long period. Hard water contains significant levels of calcium and magnesium. The particles from these two substances build up over time and inhibit water flow. Once hardened, it is difficult to remove lime scale from a pipe....
What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

What Might Be Causing Your Yard Leaks?

If your yard suddenly becomes waterlogged or soggy with no logical reason, it is likely that your plumbing has sprung a leak. Leaks that occur in the summer may cause standing water, sunken areas or even a patch of lush green grass that seems to grow faster than the surrounding lawn. Occasionally, you may even notice a jet or spray of water springing from the ground. Uncovering the source of your yard leak may be easier than you think. Signs of Yard Leaks Standing water and soggy soil are obvious signs of yard leaks, but there are more subtle signs to look for too. High water bill. This may be one of the first signs you notice as it may take a while for the soil to become saturated enough to show signs of waterlogging or soggy soil. Decrease in water pressure. You may notice the water pressure in your home isn’t as strong as it used to be as water constantly seeps out into your yard. Sounds of running water. If you have a leak in the yard, you may hear running water in your pipes inside your home as they work to supply water to the outside source. What Causes Yard Leaks? Yard leaks occur when the plumbing to outside sources breaks or springs a leak. The three most common sources are: Main Water Line Break Sewer Line Break Irrigation System Break How Do You Find the Source? To determine the source of your yard leak, you will need to do a little detective work. The first step is to determine the exact location. If water is visibly...
It’s Important to Sanitize and Clean Your Faucet Aerator

It’s Important to Sanitize and Clean Your Faucet Aerator

The sink is one of the most vital elements in a home, providing the water needed to quench thirst, cook food and wash away grime. For all of the value it brings, the least that homeowners can do is to clean the faucet aerator every few months. Why is the Aerator Important? The faucet aerator is a small and unseen component of your plumbing system that comes into play every time you use the sink. Without an aerator, the water that pours out of the faucet would try to force its way out as quickly as it can, resulting in unstable streams of water that splash into one another and just makes a mess. Once the aerator is installed, gaps of air between the streams help keep them from bumping into one another, reducing any splashing to what happens when the stream hits the basin or a dish. Besides the immediate and tangible benefit, forcing air into the stream cuts down on the amount of water used, effectively lowering your water bill every time it goes to work. It also helps remove small particulates from the water for a healthier drink. Why Do I Need to Clean It? Because the faucet aerator is similar in function to a filter, bits of dirt and other debris can build up around the openings and cause the water stream to redevelop the pressure issues that were fixed by the aerator. These contaminants can also impact the taste and smell of your water by steadily leaching into the stream right before it reaches your mouth. How to Clean the Aerator Remove the Aerator from...