Keep Those Outdoor Faucets Working During Winter

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

One of the main problems homeowners encounter during the winter is frozen pipes. A research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois reveals that the temperature alert threshold of freezing pipes is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Although thresholds may vary in different regions, the bottom line points down to the importance of taking precautionary measures to avoid accidents and serious damages caused by frozen pipes.

How Do Pipes Freeze?

Take the example of a frozen can of soda. When you forget to retrieve it from the freezer, it explodes because the water has already expanded. Similarly, pipe bursts when water expands enough to escape, regardless of the strength of the pipes used.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

The American Red Cross provides the following recommendations to thaw frozen pipes:

  1. Keep a suspected frozen faucet open and wait for the frozen area to melt, and the water to begin flowing.
  2. Use an electric heating pad or electric hair dryer to apply heat to the pipe’s section but remember not to stand in water while using electrical appliances nor use open flame devices such as kerosene, blowtorch or propane heater.
  3. Apply heat continuously and wait until the water pressure has been restored.

Check out the video below on how to prevent frozen pipes:

Preventing Frozen Pipes

It is ideal to place pipes only in heated spaces and keep them from being exposed in areas where they become vulnerable. However, this can only be done during initial construction of a house. Here are few tips for existing homeowners who want to stop or minimize the problem of frozen pipes:

  1. Use insulation devices for vulnerable pipes.
  2. Seal with caulking cracks and holes in areas near water pipes to keep cold wind away and protect the pipes.
  3. Open cabinet doors during the winter to allow circulation of warm air around the pipes.
  4. Let a faucet drip slightly to provide pressure relief.
  5. Drain your water system if you are going on a vacation especially if it is a long one. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary bursting.

If no water comes out of a faucet, it is a clear signal of a possible frozen or blocked pipe. Call a plumbing expert immediately and receive professional help and advice for those unprotected pipes.


Are Your Plumbing Pipes Worn Out? Here Is How To Find Out

By Arnold Obat

Plumber in Houston, TX

Image Source: Pinterest

Plumbing pipes, just like any other object that is constantly in use can be worn out over a period of time and as such, it’s very important that you inspect them from time to time especially if you are living in an old house.

Before conducting an inspection, make sure that you know exactly what you are doing and what to look for. If you don’t know what to do during the inspection, then you will find this post to be of great value to you as it will show you how to check whether your plumbing pipes are worn out in 4 simple steps.

That said, make sure you get help from a professional plumber if you feel you need an expert’s perspective on your plumbing pipes.

Leaks

The first thing you want to do when doing the inspections is check for any leaks. Leaks, as you already know, tend to be problematic and in most cases, they do end up causing serious damages that require extensive repairs if not looked into.

Checking for leaks is simple all you have to do is simply look out for an accumulation of mildew or molds. In general, these two tend to thrive in moist environments and as such, you are likely going to find them where there is a leak in your home. You can use this method to inspect hard to reach plumbing pipes like ones placed behind a wall or under the floor.

Stains or Warping

In addition to leaks, you can also inspect your home for any worn out plumbing pipes by simply checking for stains. When checking for stains, there are certain areas you need to focus on and they are underneath the sink, in the bathtub, the wall and lastly the ceiling.

If at any point during your inspection you happen to notice a stain, then that simply implies that you have worn out plumbing pipes that need repair. Consider seeking help from a professional plumber if you notice stains or warping in your home.

Corrosion

Checking for corrosions is another trick you can take up when you choose to inspect your home for worn out plumbing pipes. When doing the corrosion inspection there are certain things you should look out for and they are pimples, flaking, discoloration, and dimpling.

If you find any of these, rest assured that there is corrosion and as such, it’s time to replace worn out plumbing pipes. This method can prove to be a bit problematic so feel free to get in touch with a plumber for further details on how to go about it.

Water Discoloration

Water discoloration can help you a lot during the inspection of your home’s plumbing pipes. However, it’s good to point out that it tends to work best after you’ve been out of the house for a while, may be you were on a vacation, or on faucets that haven’t been used for some time.

What are you looking for? Well, you are simply looking for discolored water. If you do find discolored water when you open any faucet in your house, then this an indication that it’s time to change your plumbing pipes.

The discolored water you seeing pouring out from the faucet imply that rust is present in your pipes and thus the water discoloration. In some cases, the rust that accumulates tend to harden the water and as a result end up affecting its taste. This, if not dealt with in good time, can end up resulting in serious health problems for anyone using contaminated water.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, the work of inspecting plumbing pipes to check whether they are worn out is something that should be done by homeowners on a regular basis. If you happen to come across something that you are unsure of during the inspection, then do contact a professional plumber and let him/her assist you where necessary. Lastly, always ensure that you fix your pipes in good times in order to avoid any serious plumbing pipe problems in future.