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A Professional’s Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes This Winter

A Professional’s Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Frozen Pipes This Winter

As temperatures plummet, your pipes can freeze. Freezing pipes can be dangerous — a frozen pipe can expand and contract as it thaws. As water flows, pressure builds, which can result in bursting. Burst pipes mean flooding, standing water damage and expensive, urgent repairs. Avoiding frozen pipes is much less hassle than cleaning up after burst pipes. To avoid frozen pipes, take a few preventive measures. You can do a few things to get your house ready for those frigid temperatures. Learn how to keep your pipes from freezing and what to do if you discover frozen water lines. How to Keep My Pipes From Freezing As a homeowner, you can follow a few tips to prevent frozen pipes. While some measures require a professional’s help, others are simple DIY tasks. For instance, keeping your heat on and your garage door closed can help keep your pipes warm enough to prevent freezing. Follow these steps to keep your pipes from freezing this winter. 1. Keep Your Garage Door Closed Garages tend to be one of the coldest parts of a house, with concrete floors and minimal insulation. One way to avoid frozen pipes is to keep the garage door closed when it’s cold outside. This tip is especially valuable if you have water supply lines that go through your garage. Keeping the garage door closed will also preserve the heat in your home, reducing your energy bills. You may also choose to add a little more insulation to your garage to keep the space warmer in the winter. It can keep pipes from freezing and make your garage a...
How to Know if Your Pipes are Worn Out

How to Know if Your Pipes are Worn Out

Whether you use your plumbing occasionally, such as a vacation home, or every day, your pipes can wear out. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to prevent the pipes from disintegration over time. However, you can be proactive and look for the early signs that there might be a change and take action. Here’s what you should watch for. Look Out for the Color of the Water Discolored water is usually a cause for concern. There are a few exceptions: if you’re under a boil order, you have well water, or you live in a rural area. However, if you see the color of your water change to brown or dark water, it’s a strong indication that there is corrosion in your pipes, leaving rust as the water runs through them. If left untreated, deposits can clog pipes, which in turn will build pressure. Continual pressure can result in the pipes eventually bursting, which will cause a huge mess to clean up and damage that needs to be professionally repaired. Too Many Drips from the Faucet Drip. Drip. Drip. That sound can keep you awake at night. But worse than that, it can ruin your pipes. That’s because the water pressure in your pipes is too high or water that’s no longer needed after you turn off the tap isn’t properly drained. This may seem like a minor issue at the beginning. However, constant dripping is not only annoying, but it can permanently damage your plumbing. Get that looked at early, and save yourself headaches, and your sleep. Low Water Pressure There’s nothing worse than taking a shower with a dribble of water. Unfortunately, low water pressure could sign many problems. There could be a...
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....