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Thawing Frozen Pipes – Getting Started

 

With consistent freezing temperatures comes the potential for frozen pipes. While there are ways to help prevent frozen pipes, they are not a 100 percent guarantee. Consequently, you may have to thaw pipes at some point. To ensure you thaw them properly, following a specific process is critical to your success. To help, we’ve put together a few tips to get you started:

Step One: Find the Frozen Pipe

It can feel a bit like a game of hide and seek, but in order to thaw the pipes, you have to locate the frozen ones. The easiest way to do this is to turn on each faucet in your home separately. If no water runs from the faucet, or if it’s just a slight trickle, one of the pipes feeding into that faucet is frozen.

If the frozen pipe is in an exposed area such as in your basement or under your sink, you can easily access these pipes to begin thawing them. If the frozen pipes are behind a wall, your options are more limited. (We will discuss them in a later post.)

Step Two: Open the Correlating Faucet

Once you have determined the location of the frozen pipe, you’ll need to open the faucets (both hot and cold) that feed that pipe slowly. Doing this will help to release the pressure in the pipe and allow the water to flow freely once the thawing begins.

Step Three: Determine Where to Begin Thawing the Pipe

To thaw the pipe safely, begin the thawing process close to the faucet. This way, as the ice melts, it will relieve the pressure and the water and steam can vent through the faucet. If you begin thawing closer to the blockage, the water can become stuck behind it, creating more pressure and increasing the likelihood of  a burst pipe.

Now you’re ready to complete the thawing process. In the next post, we will guide you through that process.

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 Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

URGENT INFO: Preventing Frozen Pipes – Part One

With below freezing temperatures continuing in the Triad, it’s critical that you as a homeowner know how to protect your pipes from freezing as best as possible. Just this week, Go Green Plumbing has received hundreds of calls reporting frozen pipes and while we are doing our best to get to everyone, with that number of people, the challenge is real.

While there is no foolproof plan to guard against frozen pipes, it’s important you understand what you are fighting against.

The most dangerous issue with frozen pipes is not that they are frozen, it is that they will eventually thaw, and you, as a homeowner, won’t know if the until it’s too late if the expansion from the freezing has cracked a pipe. As soon as it starts flowing again, you could have a flood. And most homeowners dont have flood insurance.

This issue is especially common if you have galvanized or copper pipes. These types of pipes are more likely to freeze than a plastic PEX Pipe.

If many of your pipes run on exterior walls, or your pipes are in a crawl space or uninsulated basement or garage area, leave all faucets dripping for the night, and set an alarm and wake up at least every three hours to run the water in those fixtures until the water runs hot.

While it may be difficult to do for this specific cold spell, to pre-empt these issues, you can install heat trace wire on wells and water heaters, or fixtures that run along exterior walls. You can also add insulation to pipes on crawl spaces, basements and garages. When the weather warms up, you may want to consider making these changes or have a plumber take care of it for you.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

Teaching Your Children To Use Toilet Paper

When it comes to toilet paper, a little good judgement goes a long way. While most adults have a sense of how much is too much, young children can have a harder time discerning the proper amount of toilet paper to use.

Thankfully toilet paper isn’t that expensive, but using too much can add up over time. To make matters worse, too much toilet paper can lead to problems like clogged and overflowing toilets. It can also create bigger problems for your septic system down the road which can mean costly repairs.

To help teach your child the finer points of toilet paper use, consider trying one of the following tactics.

Count the squares. This one is pretty straightforward. Determine a number of toilet paper squares that you and your child decide is appropriate and let them count out the squares and then tear them off.

Draw a line/Mark the Spot. This is as easy as it gets. Take a pencil and simply draw a line on the wall under the toilet paper roll to show your child how far to pull the toilet paper out. When they reach the line, tear the toilet paper. If you prefer, you can mark the spot with a small arrow sticker.

Make a measuring ribbon. This one takes a little more time, but it is probably the most aesthetically pleasing. Either purchase an attractive ribbon, or find one that you have at home. Measure the length that represents the number of paper squares that you’ve agreed on and cut the ribbon, leaving about an inch to an inch and a half extra on each end. Then affix the ribbon to the toilet roll holder and slip a small bead on the opposite end of the ribbon to add some weight. Finally, tie a knot adjacent to the bead and let the ribbon hang. Voila!

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Home Holiday Prep: The Kitchen (Part 2)

 

Now that you have the big picture with regard to preparing for your house for the holidays, get your pencil and paper out. Below are some helpful tips for inspecting those appliances.

Refrigerator/Freezer. Besides your oven, what will be the most used appliance in your home in the next couple of months? You guessed it. Your refrigerator/freezer. The best advice comes from the experts at Popular Mechanics magazine, who recommend tightening screws on door handles, fixing loose or misaligned door gaskets and repositioning food in your refrigerator and freezer around the cold air and freezer vents. And while you’re there, inspect the freezer vent to be sure it isn’t blocked with ice. Next, replace bulbs where needed – you’re going to want to be able to find what you’re looking for in that full refrigerator!!

Oven. Unless you plan to clean your oven in the next week or two for the holidays, you may want to wait until the New Year. Why? While your oven’s self-cleaning feature is convenient, it is also very taxing on your oven. With the amount of cooking that you’ll be doing, combined with a self-cleaning run before, it can be too much for your oven, resulting in a complete shut down. Something you definitely don’t want on Thanksgiving Eve.

If you’re desperate, the alternative would be to clean your oven old-school style and save the self-cleaning option for after the holidays.

Dishwasher. Check your drain to remove any debris, be it paper, glass or food particles that have gotten lodged there. And any dishwasher will benefit from a good wipe down. Run a damp cloth over the key players: the door gasket and outside of the dishwasher as well as the spray arm and the dishwasher tub.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!