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Thawing Frozen Pipes – Part Four

Frozen pipes are never good news, but not an uncommon issue for home and business owners alike. If the frozen pipe is under a sink, and thus easy to access, thawing it yourself may be very feasible option. However, if your frozen pipe is enclosed or behind a wall, it creates a more challenging situation. If this is the type of issue you are facing, below you’ll find a few options to help alleviate the issue.

Turn Up Your Thermostat. While it’s not 100% guaranteed, turning up the temperature in the home or building is a viable option. Be prepared for this to be a slow process.

Use an Infrared Lamp. If you know where in the wall the frozen pipe is located, you can attempt to thaw the blockage by placing an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the pipe is located. The heat from the lamp may be able to penetrate the wall and allow the pipe to defrost.

Cut Open the Wall. Though it’s a last resort, it’s sometimes a necessary one. To get to the frozen pipe, you’ll need to assess the location of the frozen pipe as precisely as possible and then mark the location to open. Then, using drywall tools, cut the wall open so that you can use one of the above methods to thaw your frozen pipes.

Call a Professional. If you are uncomfortable with or unable to thaw your frozen pipes, you should always call a professional. They are trained in handling these issues and can not only assess the situation, but handle any other related issues that may occur.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Everyday Wisdom From Your Plumber – Part Two

Go Green Plumbing, Greensboro, NCWish you could have prevented that plumbing issue that created thousands of dollars of damage? Sure you do. And do you know where to find that information? It’s as easy as calling your plumber. To get you started, below you’ll find a few nuggets of wisdom from your technicians at Go Green Plumbing.

If you are using a septic tank, know that it must be emptied periodically. This is an issue that can cause unnecessary headaches and very real problems. If your septic tank is full, inevitably your plumbing system will back up and it won’t be pretty – or inexpensive.

Identifying and using a good bacteria and enzyme product on your septic system is a wise investment. The bacteria and enzymes will work to break down the waste in the septic, helping to alleviate any back up issues that may begin otherwise.  There are a few different brands, but one that Go Green Plumbing recommends is BioClean.

Limit your use of bleach if you are on a septic system. Though you’re using the Clorox in your home for cleaning, when it’s flushed or washed down the sink, it can kill the good bacteria that is working to break down the waste in your septic tank.

Have your water tested periodically. Heavy levels of sediment and minerals can damage fixtures internally and externally and will shorten the lifespan of their system. If you have a high level of sediment or minerals in your water supply, consider a water purifier for your home.

Washing machine hoses are the number one cause of home flooding. Checking, replacing, making sure they have braided stainless steel hoses instead of plastic hoses can save you several thousands of dollars in the long run.

Always disconnect outdoor hoses from hose bibs when you expect freezing temperatures. In addition, always cover the outdoor faucet for temperatures below 32 degrees.  If you don’t do this, the frozen water in hoses and faucets can create the perfect storm causing water lines to burst.

Turn off your water at the main valve when you are on vacation. By doing this, you’re preventing major damage to your home in the event of a water leak or burst pipe.

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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!Go Green Plumbing, Greensboro, NC

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.

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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: Your Plumbing System (Part 3)

 

So your kitchen appliances are ready to roll when guests arrive next month. What’s next? Your plumbing system. The reality is that with additional guests in your home, your plumbing system will endure added stress during the holidays. Here are a few things you can do to help ensure a problem-free holiday.

Toilets. Have your toilets been flushing slower than normal? Have you noticed an atypical odor or slight wetness around the base? These are signs that there may be trouble on the way. Have your toilet, pipes and system thoroughly inspected immediately. In addition, if you have a toilet handle or small issue that needs repairing, now’s the time to take care of those issues.

Sinks. If you have a slow draining sink, it may be as simple as a hair clog, but it may be more complicated. You can pull out the drain to see for yourself or have a professional inspect it for you.

Garbage Disposal. If not properly maintained, your home’s disposal can be a source of serious plumbing problems, not to mention an unpleasant odor. Especially during the holidays monitor what you are putting into your disposal. No-no’s include bones, celery, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit pits, grease, pasta and potato peels.

Ice Maker. It’s never a bad idea to dump your ice maker and give the ice bin a good cleaning. Just make sure it’s rinsed thoroughly before returning it to your freezer.  As it reloads, monitor it to make sure it’s loading properly and in a timely manner. If it’s slow or not functioning properly, you’ll need to do some investigating (or have a professional do it for you) to find the source of the problem. You can never have too much ice with several guests in your home!

Tubs/Showers. With multiple guests come multiple showers. Carve out some time to clean your shower heads and inspect it for clogged holes. And while you’re there, unscrew the drain cover and inspect your drain for unwanted debris, including hair.

Once you’re done, your home will be closer to providing a stress-free holiday season (at least with regard to your plumbing) for you and your guests.

 

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!