Request Appointment
X

Thawing Frozen Pipes – Part Three

During the winter months in North Carolina, it’s not uncommon to experience several days of sub-freezing temperatures. This winter, the Piedmont Triad has experienced some of its most brutal cold weather in years. Consequently, many Triad residents have faced the dreaded issue of having their pipes freeze.

While frozen pipes do burst, if you can thaw them before the pressure builds and cracks the pipe, you may be able to save yourself a significant amount of grief. If you are not comfortable thawing the pipes, please call a professional to help you do so. However, if you feel good about your ability to do so, get your pen and paper ready. Below you’ll find four ways to thaw your frozen pipes.

Before you begin, please read these previous posts to make sure you have prepared and have taken the appropriate safety precautions. In addition, before you being thawing the pipe, make sure you know where your main water shut-off valve is. If the pipe begins to burst, shut off the main water supply immediately to limit the amount of damage to your home.

To thaw accessible frozen pipes:

(Whichever method you choose, make sure to continue to apply the heat until the water from your faucet returns to full force.)

Use a Hair Dryer. This is an oldie but a goodie. Grab your hair dryer, turn it on high heat and point it at the area closest to the faucet and slowly move down the pipe.

Use a Heat Lamp or Portable Space Heater. If you own a one of these devices, you’re in luck. This is one of the fastest ways to thaw a frozen pipe. Simply move the heat lamp or space heater to a spot close enough to the pipe for the heat to reach the frozen area.

Use a Hot Towels. Though this is a slower process, placing hot towels around the frozen pipe can still be effective. Simply run a hot bath or shower and wet your towels with the steamy water. Then wrap the towels around the frozen pipe.

Use Electrical Heating Tape. Last but not least, electrical heating tape which can be purchased from your local hardware store is an excellent option. Simply attach the electrical heating tape to the frozen pipe, and the tape will distribute heat along the pipe.

###

 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.

###

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!

 

 

Everyday Wisdom from your Plumber – Part One

 

Go Green Plumbing, Greensboro, NCMost people only talk to their plumber when there is a problem that needs fixing. But few take advantage of the wealth of knowledge he or she can provide regarding how to prevent those very issues before they start. To that end, below you’ll find several nuggets of wisdom from Go Green Plumbers to help make sure you’re doing what is best for your plumbing system and your home .

EVERYONE in your home should know where the main shut off valve is located. If there is a leak, or a pipe bursts, the first thing you need to do to minimize damage to your home is to turn of the water. This can be critically important to protecting your home.

Never, ever, ever flush “flushable wipes” … or any wipe other than toilet tissue for that matter. They will clog your toilet-even though their marketing information says otherwise-causing you expensive plumbing repairs. Toilet tissue is the only tissue that should be flushed.

The cost of a yearly plumbing inspection can be worth its weight in gold. These annual check-ups for your plumbing system are equivalent to your annual physical. An inspection is the perfect opportunity to find issues that could grow into bigger, more costly problems, ultimately saving you time, frustration – and money.

A water heater is only meant to last a certain number of years, it will not last forever. After the manufacturer’s “life expectancy” has been reached, it’s reasonable to expect expensive issues to arise. Thus, purchasing a new water heater in a timely manner is often the more economical choice if you begin running into larger repair expenses.

###

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!

Protect Your Pipes

Protecting your pipes from freezing this winter is no small matter. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, from 2005-2015, total claims for damage due to frozen pipes exceeded four billion dollars. The good news though is that frozen and burst pipes can be prevented with some regular maintenance and preventive action.

Keep in mind that your goal is to keep your home warm and thus your pipes warm, using your heating system supported by good insulation. This is yet another reason to have your HVAC checked each fall to make sure it’s in top shape. Also, each year about this time, take a walk around your home to determine what areas need the most attention, be it more insulation or a little extra insulation around pipes.

Keep your garage doors closed, especially if you have access to water lines in your garage.

If you expect a hard freeze, let your faucets drip and open lower cabinet doors to let the heat in under your sink to keep those pipes warmer.

Wrap exposed or vulnerable piping with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves that you can purchase at your local hardware store. Remember: any piping that runs through unheated areas like attics or basements are especially vulnerable to freezing.

Drain and disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets and store them for the winter. Next, wrap the outdoor faucets with foam or fiberglass sleeves. If you don’t have either of these on hand, grab an old t-shirt or towel, wrap it around the faucet, cover with a plastic Ziploc bag and duct tape it closed around the base of the faucet.

If you are going out of town and you expect temperatures to dip below freezing while you’re gone, turn off the water to your home and open all faucets to drain.

Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night.

If you do find yourself in the position of dealing with frozen and/or burst pipes, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will send one of our expert plumbing technicians over as soon as possible.

###

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!

 

 

 

 

Holiday Home Prep (Part 4): Electrical Systems

As you prepare for holiday house guests, it’s important to remember your home’s electrical systems. Carving out some time to ensure all your systems are functioning safely and properly can mean a more comfortable visit for your friends and family.

Furnace Check Up. If you haven’t already done it, schedule your annual furnace check up with your local heating and air service provider. Once complete, you can enjoy your guests with confidence, knowing you’ll be warm and toasty as you sip your mulled cider this holiday season. In addition, take a few minutes before they arrive to change your air filters, especially if family members or friends staying with you have allergies.

Lamps and light fixtures. Do you have any bulbs out? Or maybe a switch that’s not working correctly? Take some time to fix these so that you and your guests aren’t bothered by unnecessary dark corners or closets.

Child-Proofing Outlets. If you guest list includes small children, make sure that you’ve gone through your home to child-proof your home as much as possible. While no home is completely child-proof, a handful of safety plugs for your electric outlets and rearranging furniture to avoid easy climbing are small tasks that your guests will be ever grateful for when they arrive.

Fire/Carbon Monoxide Alarms. With the holidays come flickering candles, fires in the fireplace and cold weather that requires cranking up the heater. And while all of these are simple pleasures, they can bring dangers if not monitored properly. If you’ve been meaning to get those carbon monoxide detectors and just haven’t done it yet, put it on your to-do list and make it happen.

Also, grab extra batteries for your fire alarms and schedule some time this weekend to test and replace batteries to ensure your alarms are fully functioning. (Daylight Savings is this Sunday, Nov 5, and is a good time to schedule alarm checks and battery replacements).

###

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!

 

 

 

Is That Rust In Your Water?

 

So you turn on your faucet for a refreshing glass of water and after your first sip, you realize the water tastes metallic. Upon further inspection, you see small orange particles floating in your glass. What is it? In most cases it’s rust. And while it’s an annoyance and something that needs to be addressed, fortunately, it’s not harmful to most people. The only exception would be for people who have hemochromatosis, which allows the body to accumulate excessive iron levels.

Rust can truly happen to anyone, depending on the age of your pipes and water heater, as well as your local water supply system. And while some people may go a lifetime and never deal with rust in their water supply, others will face this challenge. So what should you do if you think you have rust in your water supply? Find its location.

The potential source of rust is one of three locations: Your pipes, your hot water heater or your local water supply system. To help identify the location, you can run your own test. First, turn on the cold tap and fill a glass of water. Second, turn on the hot water tap and take a second sample. And lastly, let the tap water run for a few minutes and take a third sample.

If you see rust in either the cold tap or the hot water tap, then the problem is potentially in your home’s water system. The cold tap would signal rust in your piping, while the hot water tap would point to the hot water heater. However, if the rust is in all three samples, then the source may be your local water supply system.

Regardless of where the rust is, to identify the exact location you’ll need a professional plumber to help you. Once you’ve found the culprit, the only solution is to replace materials in question to get you on your way to rust-free water again.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Protect Your Plumbing During a Major Storm or Flood

It’s no secret that Hurricane Season 2017 is upon us. Americans have already seen four strong hurricanes wreak havoc in the Gulf and the Atlantic. Thanks to many years of great communication campaigns, most people know exactly what to pack in their hurricane kits. But did you know there are a few steps you can take to help protect your home’s plumbing?

Check your drainage system. From gutters to downspouts, you want to make sure there are no blockages so that water can run freely away from your home. It’s also a good idea to check curbside drains and street culverts close to your home to rid them of any debris that may keep them from draining properly.

Check your sump pump. If you have a sump pump, check it to be sure it’s in good working order. This powerhorse can can be a big help in protecting your plumbing lines from flood waters as long as you have power. Before extreme situations, a battery back-up should be a consideration.

Know how to shut off your water. Before a major storm or rain event, it’s critical to locate your main water shut-off valve. Long before waters begin to rise, shut off the water in your home to prevent contaminated water from entering your system.

Check your sewer line. Are you experiencing drainage issues? Do you suspect a larger sewer line problem? Be sure to tackle these issues before storm season arrives. Heavy rains not only create problems for sewer lines, but they also make current problems much, much worse.

Inspect your property after the storm. Heavy rains, major storms and floods can wreak havoc on your home’s property. After the storm passes, check your foundation for cracks or water damage and determine whether shrubs or trees have been moved as displaced roots can cause problems for underground sewage lines.

###

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!

 

Chlorinated or Salt Water Pool?

While chlorinated pools have dominated the marketplace for decades, salt water pools have found their way beyond luxurious spas into the backyards of many Americans. If you are considering which type of pool to install in your back yard, below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about salt water pools that may help you as you explore your options.

What exactly is a salt water pool? It’s a type of pool that uses the process of salt water chlorination via a chlorine generator. (You may also hear the generator called a salt cell, a salt generator or a salt chlorinator.) Essentially, rather than dumping chlorine into your pool directly, you are feeding pool salt to the chlorine generator which produces chlorine as it is needed.

How does a salt water pool stay clean? The chlorine generator uses electrolysis via dissolved salt to produce hypochlorous acid (HClO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizers traditionally used in chlorinated pools.

Why is a salt water pool better for your skin than a chlorinated pool if they both contain chlorine? The salt water pool’s generator creates chlorine only on an as-needed-basis, therefore, there is typically significantly less chlorine in the water. And lower chlorine levels translates into happier skin and eyes.

What are some benefits of a salt water pool? Besides the fact that they are easier on the skin and eyes, you don’t have to store or transport chlorine, which is a more unpleasant substance to handle than salt. In addition, owners often report enjoying the soft-water feel of these pools.

Which requires less maintenance, a salt water or chlorinated pool? Hands down, a salt water pool requires less maintenance because you don’t have to deposit chlorine into the pool regularly. For example, if you have to leave your home for a few weeks, it’s doubtful you’d have to worry about returning to a pool laced with green algae. That said, you must still keep a somewhat regular check on the salt levels, etc.

###

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!

Bathroom Upgrades That Deliver

Summer has arrived — the time when many homeowners make plans to roll up their sleeves and take care of those long-awaited upgrades and remodels. If your bathroom is on your summer target list, here are a few key upgrades than can deliver a significant bang for your buck.

Countertops. Updated countertops can make a tremendous impact. You will want to look for natural stone, engineered quartz or the ever popular Carrera or Calcutta marble for a more modern look. If your budget is more limited, painting your countertops is now a very viable option. Plan a visit to your local home improvement store and they can get you on the right path. Either way, neutral colors are a good option.

Lighting. Modern lighting can make all the difference in your bathroom. If sophisticated is what you’re after, LED sconces and bathroom bars can deliver. If you’re more traditional, there’s plenty of lighting options to choose from on the market today, so take an afternoon and enjoy perusing your local stores.

Fixtures and faucets. Faucets can often make or break a good looking bathroom. Get rid of your bone and brass and install nickel, chrome or white fixtures to achieve a more up-to-date look. If you’re not comfortable installing these, call a professional like Go Green Plumbing and they will be glad to help.

Remove carpet. While it can be nice to step out from your shower onto nice soft carpeted floor, it’s also a prime spot for mold and bacteria to grow. Purchase a few nice, fluffy bath mats that you can wash instead. Next, replace the carpet with a tile–or laminate that resembles tile or hardwood.

Bathroom Cabinets. Whether it’s a coat of paint, refacing or total replacement, new bathroom cabinets can transform a frumpy bathroom into something special. As far as color choices go, neutral is always a good call.

###

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!

Spring Cleaning for Your Plumbing

 

Spring cleanings isn’t just for windows and closets. Though it’s easy to forget, your plumbing system needs regular checks and maintenance to be sure everything is working well for you and your family and to save costly repairs down the road.  Below are a few tips to get you started:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks.
  • Add strainers to the drains in your home to prevent hair, soap and food from clogging your drains.
  • Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. To find hidden leaks, add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you see the coloring in your toilet bowl after 30 minutes, you have a hidden leak and will need to get it fixed promptly.
  • Observe how your toilets flush. If the handle has to be held down for a thorough flush or you need to play with it to stop the water from running, your tank parts may be worn and need to be replaced.
  • Set the temperature on your hot water heater no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Drain several gallons from the water heater tank. This will flush out sediment which can cause corrosion and reduce your water heater’s efficiency.
  • If your water heater is more than 15 years old, you may want to replace it with a newer, more energy-efficient unit. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.)
  • Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
  • Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out and free of debris.
  • Check outdoor faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely.

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!