A&A Plumbing

pipe replacement

Frozen Pipes: What You Need To Know

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on Frozen Pipes: What You Need To Know

We’ve all heard them – horror stories of pipes bursting in winter, causing hundreds of dollars of damage. Those stories are exactly why it’s so important to understand what happens when a pipe freezes and how to prevent it from ever happening in your home.

We’re sure you remember learning that water expands when frozen. It’s a lesson every kid in grade school learns, and remembers when a frozen water bottle bursts in their car years later. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands and causes the pipe to crack, no matter how sturdy the pipe was before.

Generally the most vulnerable pipes are those exposed to the outdoors such as hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and pipes located in higher or unheated areas like attics, garages, crawl spaces, and outside walls.

One of the most noticeable signs of a frozen pipe is a drastic decrease in water pressure. More times than not, if your water pressure suddenly decreases in the winter, it’s probably due to a frozen pipe.

There has to be a way to prevent pipes from freezing though, right? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a fairly lengthy list below to try and save you the trouble of calling us, even though we love hearing from you.

  • Installing your pipes in either an insulated or heated area can help to keep them warm.
  • If your pipes are already installed in an uninsulated area, you can fit them with insulation sleeves or wrapping. You can also install a heating cable to run alongside pipes.
  • Burying outdoor pipes lower in the ground, specifically below the frost line, can be very effective.
  • This one seems obvious, but turning up the heat indoors can help. We know you want to save money on your heating bill, but is a few dollars of savings worth hundreds in repair?
  • Believe it or not, opening cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom can help the heat reach pipes nestled in the wall behind them.
  • If you have pipes in your garage, make sure to keep the garage door closed at all times to help retain as much heat as possible.
  • Never let your thermostat reach below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, this even applies when you’re going out of town.
  • In extremely cold conditions, and we mean extremely cold, letting a faucet drip can help prevent a pipe from freezing or a frozen pipe from bursting.
  • Outdoor winterization is extremely important. Before the first freeze, make sure to remove, drain, and store all outdoor hoses. Close the inside valves supplying water to the hose bib and then open the outside bib to allow any remaining water to drain. You can even leave the outside bib open throughout the winter. That way, if there is any water still in there, pressure is never able to build and cause a pipe to burst.

We know it’s a lot to take in, but taking five minutes to learn about frozen pipes can really save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you suspect a frozen pipe, please call us immediately! Acting quickly can help to prevent any further damage.

3 Problems That Lead To Pipe Replacement

By / Uncategorized / Comments Off on 3 Problems That Lead To Pipe Replacement

We all know pipes are integral to your plumbing. Without them, no water could enter or leave your home. Because they are such an important part of modern living, pipes are built to last. Copper pipes generally have a lifespan of 70-80 years, while brass and galvanized steel can last anywhere between 80-100 years.

However, there are several problems that could lead to early replacement. Below are the most common reasons for early pipe replacement.

Corrosion

Nowadays, the majority of pipes are made of copper because of its resistance to rust. While copper doesn’t degrade as easily as iron, it is still susceptible to the elements. Degradation of copper occurs when chlorine and formaldehyde particles in the air and soil react with the pipe.

The particles weaken the pipe by essentially eating through it. When chlorine is the cause of damage, it is referred to as pitted corrosion. When formaldehyde is the perpetrator, it is called formicary corrosion.

Lime Scale

Lime scale is a mineral buildup that is caused by using hard water in your plumbing. Because hard water has more minerals than filtered water, the buildup occurs faster. Lime scale buildup restricts the flow of water through the pipe, decreasing its efficiency. If not caught early on, the lime scale will harden and be nearly impossible to remove without ruining the pipe.

Tree Roots

Tree roots often grow into both the water and sewer mains of homes. Tree roots naturally seek out the nearest source of water, meaning that if you have trees in your yard, they’re almost guaranteed to eventually grow into one or both of your mains.

Tree roots can typically be cut out of the main. However, if left too long, the tree roots will become too entangled with the pipe to cut out. When this occurs, the only option left is to replace the pipes.

No one wants to hear that their pipes need to be replaced. It can be a costly, time-consuming endeavor. It makes much more sense to be aware of what leads to early replacement and attempt to prevent it from happening.
You should have your plumbing examined by a professional once a year. At those yearly visits, your plumber will check to ensure your pipes are working efficiently. Please contact us if you have any questions or need your pipes looked at!