Are Your Outdoor Plumbing Pipes Insulated?

Frozen pipes – it is a common plumbing issue for homeowners to face during the colder months of winter. Outdoor pipes can freeze when a cold snap hits out of the blue.  Plumbing such as outdoor faucets or plumbing located in outbuildings or garages are vulnerable to freezing. If you have plumbing outside or in unheated buildings, you must insulate these pipes to protect them from freezing during the colder winter temperatures.

Protecting Outside Pipes

You need to put insulation between your outdoor pipes and the cold air to prevent freezing. To begin, outside faucets should be turned off and all the water allowed to drain out of the pipes before you add insulation. You can use insulating plumber’s tape to protect pipes or even wrap newspaper and plastic around them in a pinch.

After the outside pipes are covered, check all the plumbing in the garage, outbuildings and even in the crawl space under the home. Any pipes that are exposed to the cold air without insulation have the possibility of freezing if the temperature drops low enough. If pipes are allowed to freeze solid, the ice can expand and cause a burst pipe that can be expensive to repair or replace.

Unfortunately, even insulation does not stop all pipes from freezing. A severe drop in temperature can cause a pipe to freeze even inside your home if it is located on an outside wall. If a pipe freezes, turn off the water valve to the pipe and call your local plumber for emergency service. It is best to have a professional handle thawing the pipe in case the pipe was damaged and needs replacement.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Tips to Prevent Cold Weather Plumbing Problems

An unexpected cold snap is all it takes to cause a major problem with your plumbing. An exposed pipe can quickly freeze and crack, leaving you with repair costs and possibly water damage. Most cold weather plumbing issues can be prevented, saving you the inconvenience and costs of a plumbing emergency. Here are a few tips to get ready for the cold weather around the bend.

  • Wrap exposed pipes. Any plumbing that is exposed to the outdoors should be insulated, even in warmer regions. Some insulating plumbing tape wrapped around the pipe can be enough to prevent freezing.
  • Close crawl space vents. Protect those pipes under your home by closing any vents to your crawl space to help insulate them when the cold weather hits.
  • Garage plumbing. If you have plumbing for a laundry room, bathroom or utility sink in your garage, be careful of leaving the garage door open. Garage indoor plumbing is one of the most common to freeze due to unexpected cold snaps during the winter.
  • Disconnect outdoor hoses. Do not leave outdoor hoses connected during the winter. A cold burst can freeze the water in the hose and cause the pipe to freeze as well. Disconnect all hoses and use a cover for outdoor faucets.
  • Keep any room with plumbing heated. Even rooms with little use need to stay heated during winter cold fronts if they contain plumbing. Make sure all rooms are kept above 55 degrees to ensure plumbing stays above freezing.

Even with the best prevention measures, every year there are cold weather plumbing emergencies. If you have a frozen pipe, call your local plumber for an emergency repair to prevent further damage to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Causes of Low Water Pressure

Are you experiencing low water pressure or flow in your home? There are several different causes of low pressure, some that are easily remedied. The first step is to determine where and what is causing the reduction in water flow. Here are some tips to find the problem and how it can be fixed.

Isolated Low Water Pressure Problems

Are all your faucets experiencing low water pressure? If it is only in your bathroom or kitchen, it may be an isolated issue. For example, if only one faucet has low pressure, the supply valve for that faucet may not be completely open. Showers that trickle water may be due to a clogged showerhead, not related to the actual plumbing.

Whole Home Low Water Pressure

If you have low water pressure throughout your home, there are a couple possible causes. If you are on a municipal water supply, it could be low pressure from the main source. Using a hose bib water gauge can help you determine your base water pressure. If it is above 40 PSI, your base water pressure is stable; if it is lower, contact your municipal water supplier as there may be a problem with the supply.

If your base pressure is fine, the problem must be in your home. The most common causes within the home for low water pressure include:

  • Failed pressure release valve
  • Partially closed main water valve
  • Corroded internal pipes

While you can check the main water valve to ensure it is open completely, a failed pressure release valve or corroded pipes may require the professional assistance of a plumber. They can further evaluate the issue and offer solutions to resolve the problem.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283

Preventing Common Plumbing Pipe Problems

To make your plumbing pipes last, there are many things you should and should not do. Just like any fixture or piece of equipment, pipes can wear out when exposed to repeated stress. Chemicals, high water pressure, temperature and other factors can cause unnecessary stress on your pipes and make them more likely to burst or crack. Since a burst or leaky pipe can cause extensive damage in your home as well as be expensive to fix, maintaining your pipes is a much easier and less costly option.

Tips To Make Your Pipes Last Longer

There are simple things you can do to extend the life of your plumbing pipes. By protecting your pipes from certain elements, you can prevent many leaks and needed plumbing repairs.

  • Lower your water pressure. While high water pressure may fill up your bathtub faster, it can also cause damage to your water pipes over time and be a waste of water. A hose bib gauge can measure your water pressure, which should read between 40 and 85 psi. If your reading is higher, you should consult with your plumber about reducing your pressure.
  • Do not use chemical clog removers. Drain cleaners and chemical clog removers can harm your pipes and rarely remove the entire clog. When you’re dealing with a clogged pipe, it’s always best to call a plumber who can remove the clog correctly and completely. Prevent clogs by keeping grease, coffee, hair and other non-liquid items out of your drains.
  • Protect your pipes from freezing. Freezing can cause your pipes to crack and eventually burst. Protect pipes by using insulated covers or tape to reduce the chance of them cracking.

By taking it easy on your pipes, you can help them last for decades and prevent many leaks and plumbing problems down the road.

Posted on behalf of Tony McAdams, A-1 National Sewer and Drain

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Signs You Should Consider Whole House Repiping

Even the most thorough and high-quality plumbing jobs will need to be replaced at some point, usually decades after the work has been completed. If you live in an older home and are experiencing plumbing issues, deciding between repairs to existing pipes and a full, whole-house residential repiping can be difficult. There are some factors that can make your decision easier, signaling that full repiping is in order.

You’re Concerned About Pipe Materials

Homes that were built in the 1900s may have beautiful architectural details and beautiful fixtures, but the plumbing could be harboring a silently lurking menace. During the turn of the twentieth century, the most common material used for water supply pipes was lead. Because lead pipes can leach lead into your drinking water, they could be replaced as soon as possible. Homes built from the early 1970s through the 1990s may have polybutylene pipes, which can degrade over time and cause severe property damage upon failure.

Other Signs of Trouble

When leaks occur frequently, they can be repaired fairly easily. These repairs are just that, though: quick fixes. They are not permanent, and aren’t a substitute for repiping. Water that runs brown or yellow, especially after sitting in the pipes for quite some time, is a sign of rust in the pipes. Rust is a form of decay, and can signal compromised integrity of your pipes.

Consult a Reputable Professional

While there are a few telltale signs that your pipes should be fully replaced, the most reliable indicator of an impending need for replacement is the professional opinion of a trusted, respected licensed plumbing contractor. Setting up an inspection and consultation with a qualified plumber can help you determine when your pipes should be replaced.

What to Expect During a Whole House Repiping

If you own a home that’s more than sixty years old, or suspect that you may have significant plumbing problems, you may be considering a full, whole-house repiping project. Deterioration and degradation can affect even the best plumbing jobs over time, creating the necessity for removal and replacement eventually. If you’ve had more than one pinhole leak over the course of a year, repiping your home may be a better choice than simple repairs of existing pipes.

What Does Repiping Entail?

To properly complete a full residential repiping job, a licensed plumber who specializes in such large jobs will need to remove all of the cold and hot water lines from your home or disable them, replacing them with new pipes through the interior of your walls and through the attic. For homes built on a slab with piping that runs under the concrete, a qualified plumber will install new pipes either through your attic or by digging around the outside of your home, but will not be able to remove the existing piping without causing severe structural damage.

How Long Does Repiping Take?

There is no hard and fast answer for how long a repiping project will take, because no two jobs are the same. However, most projects can be completed in as little as one day. Qualified plumbing contractors will make a point of completing the work as quickly as they possibly can, with minimal interruption. Looking for a plumbing contractor that will also repair and repaint damaged drywall will also help to speed things up, streamlining the entire process and eliminating the need to hire more than one contractor.

Durable Copper Piping

Copper piping has been a work horse of the residential Orlando plumbing industry for decades, especially for use in hot and cold water supply lines. There have been various alternatives to copper on the market, but only PEX piping is currently a popular alternative.

Despite the popularity of PEX, copper piping is still a great choice for residential plumbing applications.  Copper piping is a little more difficult to work with than PEX, but professional Orlando plumbers are experts at “sweating” (soldering) copper pipe and once a copper pipe joint has passed a leak check, it is very unlikely to ever develop a leak.  Leaks in properly joined copper piping are very rare.  The fittings do not deteriorate and joints do not pull apart which makes copper piping a great choice for Orlando plumbing repairs.

Copper piping has proven to be an extremely durable product.  Copper piping may be more expensive than PEX, but it has an almost unlimited service life which makes copper piping an excellent value.  Copper piping resists punctures and does not get brittle with age.  It does not burn or melt in a fire or give of toxic fumes.

In addition, unlike PEX copper piping is not affected by UV rays and can be installed outdoors.  PEX is for indoor use only. Copper piping is biostatic which means that it does not support bacteria growth inside the pipe.  It has been in use for years and is approved for use by all building codes.

Your Orlando plumbers can help you decide whether copper piping is the best choice for your Orlando plumbing repairs.

 

Copper Piping Theft

Imagine arriving home after a wonderful family vacation to find your home flooded with water, your ceilings torn apart, and your copper plumbing pipes torn out and missing.  What a mess!  Unfortunately, the rising price of scrap copper prices has led to a rise in the theft of all types of copper, including copper plumbing pipes throughout the Atlanta area.

Atlanta plumbers have been busy repairing the damage caused by thefts of copper piping.  These criminals often cause thousands of dollars in damage to get $50 or $100 worth of scrap copper pipe.  They leave behind damaged walls, ceilings, and floors.

The thieves used to target new construction, but these days they look for homes that are vacant and for sale, foreclosures, empty rental properties, and homes where the homeowners are away on vacation.  You can protect your home with an alarm system and by using timers to give the appearance that the home is occupied.

If you are the victim of this type of crime, call the police and contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier.  Be very careful about entering the home until you are certain it is safe.  Some copper thieves attempt to steal electrical wiring and can leave live wiring exposed.

To make your home less attractive to copper thieves, talk to your Atlanta plumbers about replacing the missing piping with PEX piping rather than copper piping. PEX is a type of plastic piping that is an excellent choice for residential indoor hot and cold water supply lines.  PEX is easy to work with, costs much less than copper, and since it’s plastic the copper thieves will leave it alone.  Your Atlanta plumbers will be able to help you decide is PEX is a good choice for your Atlanta plumbing repairs.