Long-Term Plumbing Problems from Unexpected Freezing

Not all plumbing problems from unexpected freezing weather are immediately noticed. In areas unaccustomed to cold weather, many homeowners may have frozen or burst pipes during the cold snap. These usually cause major leaks and flooding that require emergency plumbing repairs. But there may be other long-term plumbing problems that could cause problems down the road.

Outdoor Spickets

Outdoor spickets that were not covered or insulated during the freezing weather may have had water freeze in the pipes. This can cause small cracks that may not cause issues until the spicket is used. Once the cold weather is gone, check outdoor spickets for leaks.

Pipes in Garages or Crawl Spaces

Like outdoor spickets, pipes in unheated areas like the garage or crawl space could have damage from freezing. Inspect these pipes and look for small leaks that need repair.

Sewer Lines and Septic Equipment

Pipes and septic equipment underground can be damaged from freezing. It is important to look for signs of underground leaks or sewer line problems. Wet spots, soil erosion or bad odors in the yard near sewer lines, septic tanks or drain fields could alert homeowners of pipe damage.

Irrigation, Pools and Other Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures

Any outdoor plumbing that was not completely drained and prepared for cold weather could be damaged during freezing weather. Inspect all pumps and equipment for damage when it is time to start using pools, spas, water features and irrigation systems.

Many people may not realize they did have damage to their water line from unexpected cold spells during the winter until spring. It is important to watch for signs of issues and call an experienced plumber if repairs are needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

5 Ways to Reduce Clogs in Your Plumbing

When your kitchen sink or bathtub are slow to drain, it is usually a sign a clog is forming in the pipes below. Sticky residue builds up on the inside of the pipes and food, hair and other items collect in these spots, slowly creating a blockage. To reduce the occurrence of clogs in your pipes, make a few changes how you maintain your drains. Improve the drains in your home and reduce calls to your local plumber with these five tips.

  1. Add drain strainers. Use strainers in your kitchen sink and bathtub/shower drains to keep hair, pieces of soap and food debris from going down the drain.
  2. Stop using bar soap. Most bar soaps are made with congealing fats. Switch to liquid soaps to keep the fats in bar soaps from coating the inside of your pipes.
  3. Add a garbage disposal. If you do not have a garbage disposal, consider adding one. Those with 1/2 to 1 HP are the best at grinding food finer to reduce clogs in your kitchen drain pipes.
  4. Keep grease out of your drains. Never rinse out a greasy pan in your sink. First, pour the grease into a container and then wipe the pain with a paper towel. Grease is usually the culprit when it comes to kitchen drain clogs.
  5. Be careful what you flush. Do not flush cotton balls or swabs down the toilet, or anything with plastic, cardboard or rubber. Anything that is not biodegradable should not be flushed.

Make sure to educate everyone in your family on how to reduce clogs to keep your plumbing pipes clear. If you do get a clog, let a plumber handle the removal to protect your pipes from damage.

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

Preventing Plumbing Flooding Problems

Flooding can create disastrous problems in your home. From damaging walls, floorings and furnishing, to the mold issues left behind, flooding is something you want to avoid. While you cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring, flooding from plumbing can often be prevented or quickly handled. Knowing the possible causes of plumbing flooding can help you look for the signs to avoid this disaster in your home.

Leaking Pipes

A small plumbing drip or leak never stays small. Any leaking plumbing needs to be fixed before it becomes larger. Look for water stains on walls or ceilings; bubbling or soft flooring can also be a sign of leaks. Get these issues fixed before a pipe bursts and causes serious water damage in your home.

Water Heater Tank Leaks

One of the most common causes of plumbing flooding is tank water heaters. The interior of these tanks deteriorates over time from mineral buildup. Eventually, the tank can corrode or the release valve can stop working, releasing dozens of gallons of water into your home. Keeping up with maintenance and proactive replacement for your water heater can prevent leaks and expensive flood damage.

Frozen Pipes

Freezing pipes can cause damage that can lead to a burst pipe either during the freeze or down the road. Make sure all exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing. If a pipe does freeze, call a plumber to inspect the pipes for damage to prevent leaks later.

If you have a water heater or leaking pipe problem flooding your home, turn off your main water valve and call your local plumber. The quicker you can catch, stop and fix the leak, the less damage that will be done to your home.

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

What to Do If You Have Frozen Pipes

Most people know that freezing temperatures can lead to plumbing problems. Unfortunately, circumstances can occur where a pipe becomes frozen unexpectedly. If a cold snap starts before you insulate exposed pipes or you are away from home when the cold weather hits, you may find yourself with frozen pipes. Here are some steps to take to minimize the damage to your plumbing and home.

  • Is there damage to the pipe? If water has leaked or you can see pipe damage, shut off the main water valve and call a plumber right away. Make sure to keep electrical appliances away from the leaked water to avoid electrical shock until you can effectively dry the surfaces in your home.
  • No leaks? Turn on the faucets. Turn on the heat and open the faucets. In some cases, the water can begin to thaw and if caught early, the pipes can be undamaged. However, if there are any signs of leaks, shut off the main valve and contact a plumber to repair your plumbing.
  • Do not apply direct heat! Using a space heater to close to a frozen pipe or torch to thaw pipes can be dangerous and cause more damage. Bring up the indoor temperature and keep the faucets open to allow the pipes to thaw if there is no damage.

Insulating pipes and keeping buildings warm can help prevent frozen pipes in cold weather. However, if you find yourself with frozen plumbing, be careful to avoid burst pipes and water damage to your home. Contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing and repair any pipes that are damaged at the first sign of frozen plumbing in your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

What Are Those Strange Plumbing Sounds?

Your plumbing works day in and day out, usually without a falter. When it does have an issue, it may be a visible leak or a backed-up drain in your kitchen. There are other signs that you may not see, but can hear, that your plumbing may have some trouble. Here are some strange plumbing sounds that can alert you to issues with your pipes, water heater or other components.

Rattling Pipes

Is there a clatter of rattling or vibrating pipes behind your walls or under your floors? Sometimes all that is needed is tightening the pipe brackets to keep them still. However, vibration can be caused by too high of pressure; have the water pressure checked to ensure it is correct.

Hammering or Banging Pipes

Do you hear banging or hammering in your walls? Water valves that shut too abruptly can cause a “water hammer” effect. This can damage your pipes and should be fixed. Talk to your local plumber about adding an arrestor or changing to slower-acting water valves.

Tapping and Crackling Water Heaters

If your tank water heater is making racket, it may need flushing. The minerals that buildup in the tank can cause element issues and corrosion that cause a banging sound. Flushing can remove the minerals and extend the life of your water heater.

Hissing or Squealing Faucets

When your faucets make noises when you turn them on, get them checked out by a plumber. Hissing can mean too high of water pressure and squealing can alert you to valves or washers that need replacement.

Next time your plumbing starts talking, make sure to listen. Strange sounds can identify plumbing issues before they become larger emergencies.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Protect Against Plumbing Disasters

Plumbing disasters often occur at the most inopportune times, which is not always a coincidence. The normal use of your plumbing is nothing compared to the times when you have extra guests staying in your home or when you host a large event. Whether it is a big backyard party during the summer or a week of household guests during the holidays, these are the times when a plumbing disaster is more likely to occur. Avoid an inconvenient plumbing problem with these preventive measures.

Add Strainers to Your Bathroom Drains

Keep hair, soap and other debris out of your drains with strainers. These can be the most common reasons for plumbing backups and clogs, especially in the bathroom and with extra people using your facilities.

Avoid Putting Grease Down the Drain

Big events often mean big meals. Avoid allowing grease and fat to be dumped down the drain. Grease can cause clogs and damage to septic systems – scrape grease and fats on plates and pans into the trash to prevent plumbing problems.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Make sure exposed pipes in attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements are insulated to prevent freezing. If you go away for the winter holidays, you do not want to come home to broken or frozen pipes.

Choose a Plumber

If a plumbing disaster does occur, you do not want to call the first plumber you find through Google. Have a quality plumber on speed dial that offers emergency repairs and meets your qualifications.

Keeping up with preventive measures can help you avoid plumbing emergencies during big events at your home. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to prevent plumbing issues and what to do in an emergency to protect against plumbing disasters.

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

Signs Your Water Fixtures Need Replacement

Does your kitchen still have the sink and faucet it had when you bought your home? Are your bathroom sinks and showers looking outdated? Unless you recently remodeled or your home is only a few years old, it is likely your sinks, faucets and showerheads will soon show wear and need replacement. You may not notice the issues since you see them every day, but it may be time to inspect your water fixtures and determine whether it is time for replacement.

Faucets Leaks and Drips

Does your bathroom or kitchen sink faucet drip or leak? Do you hear drips in your shower or tub into the middle of the night? Repair is one option, but sometime old hardware wears out, making it difficult to completely stop leaks on old faucets. It may be better to replace the entire faucet versus another repair.

Sink Surface Damage

If enamel is chipped or the metal is dented in your sinks, it is time to update and replace them with newer versions. These surfaces can last for many years, but eventually they do become worn and can detract from the beauty of your home.

Outdated Styles

There are so many new options for your bathroom and kitchen water fixtures. Just updating your kitchen sink can change the look of the room and many new faucet options offer better function and convenience. The same is true of your bathroom – new faucets and showerheads can improve the style and there are water-efficient options to reduce waste.

When you are ready to replace your kitchen and bathroom water fixtures, contact your local plumber. They can install your new fixtures to ensure they will be properly fitted and endure for many years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Buying an Older Home? Use This Plumbing Checklist Before You Buy

Buying a new home can be daunting, especially when you are considering an older home. You may be concerned about hidden costs and repairs that may be revealed after you buy. A thorough home inspection can help uncover possible issues, but home inspectors may not see issues hidden behind walls or under the home in the plumbing. Before you buy, there are some areas that should be inspected by a professional plumber.

Complete Plumbing Inspection

Plumbing problems are not always apparent, especially during a standard home inspection. You need a plumber that can evaluate the type of piping and possible plumbing issues that may surface in the next few years. Some of the plumbing elements that should be inspected before buying an older home include:

  • Water heater performance
  • Type of piping – old lead pipes and polybutylene pipe often will need replacement
  • Video camera inspection of sewer lines
  • Septic system evaluation
  • Inspection of sump or ejector pumps
  • Check for leaking fixtures or pipes
  • Test water pressure and draining performance
  • Water quality testing and well evaluation

Having a professional evaluation of all the plumbing in the home can reveal any possible issues that will need repair or replacement. This can give you a chance to negotiate with the current owner to have plumbing issues resolved or a lower sale price to cover your costs.

Older homes can become money pits if there are hidden problems, especially with your plumbing. It is worth the investment to have a separate plumbing inspection performed to investigate all the items on this checklist to ensure you are making a wise purchase with your new home.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Plumbing Issues to Look for When Buying a New Home

If you are contemplating buying a new home, you may be looking at many houses, trying to find the right fit for you and your family. When you narrow it down to a few that have the right attributes you are looking for, it is important to check for any hidden problems. Plumbing issues are often not apparent, especially during typical walk-throughs and even inspections. Here are a few things you can check to identify any possible problems.

Check the Fixtures

When looking at the kitchen and bathrooms, go beyond looking at the features and use the fixtures. Run water in the sinks, flush the toilets and turn on the shower. Watch for any drips or leaks when using these fixtures; it may not be a deal-breaker, but it is good to know if they have been maintained.

Look for Leaks

Keep an eye out for brown or water stains on ceilings or walls. This could indicate a plumbing leak that has occurred, which could also mean mold and other damage you cannot see. Look under the sinks and check for any signs of leaks.

Check the Drains

When you check the fixtures, use enough water to check how quickly the sinks and showers drain. Slow drains can be an indication of a clog, or even bigger issues in the main sewer lines.

If you do notice any problems with the plumbing, it may be worthwhile to hire a plumber for a more thorough inspection. It is better to know ahead of time if anything will need repair; you may be able to have the seller fix these issues as a condition of your sale or negotiate a lower price to encompass the needed plumbing repairs.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(404) 973-2471

Is Leaking Plumbing Inviting Pests into Your Home?

Most people want to keep their homes free from pests, but plumbing problems can be inviting them inside. Ants, mice, rats and many types of insects are drawn to moisture, seeking places that are damp to make their home. If you have leaking pipes in your crawl space, basement or other areas in your home, there is a good chance that pests are trying to invade. Fixing those plumbing issues can help minimize mold and water damage, as well as minimize the attraction to pests.

Small Leaks Can Create a Big Pest Problem

It doesn’t take a broken pipe or large leak to attract pests. A small amount of condensation or slow drip is enough to create a moist environment that cockroaches, mice, termites and other types of pests, love. These leaks can be happening in inconspicuous places but could be at the root of your pest problem. Here are a few common leak areas:

  • Around water heaters
  • Under your home in crawl spaces
  • In your basement
  • Under sinks
  • Behind walls and under floors
  • Around appliances with water hook-ups

Look for mold, mildew, water stains or rotting wood; these are signs of too much moisture that may be derived from plumbing leaks. Not only does it damage your home and cause possible health issues, it puts out an invitation to pests to make your home their home.

If you have a pest problem, look for possible plumbing leaks that can be making the issue worse. Call your local plumber to have these issues fixed to help make your home less attractive to insects and rodents, as well as prevent further damage to your home.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing, Inc.
106-M Oakgrove Road
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441