Poole’s Plumbing

How to Avoid and Thaw Frozen Pipes

by raleigh plumbers on December 6, 2017

As the fall months of October and November turn over into the frosty winter months of December and January here in North Carolina, the Raleigh professional plumbers at Poole’s Plumbing want to remind you that there is still a chance of winter plumbing hazards and in the easy to follow steps listed below, you can be certain to avoid a costly catastrophe as you Avoid and Thaw Frozen Pipes.

Case in point that we are not yet completely “out of the water,” when it comes to needing to know the proper steps to take to Avoid and Thaw Frozen Pipes is the recent colder weather we have seen in the past two weeks that has dipped at night below 40 degrees and even into the lower 30’s. Your pipes can freeze once the temperature does drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and those most vulnerable to the possibility of freezing would be any located in a basement area, a crawl space, an unconditioned or unfinished attic, those located on an exterior wall, and even pipes located underground.

Frozen Water in the Downspout

When looking at it in those terms, pretty much any homeowner would have some type of piping in one of those location, thus, the Raleigh plumbing experts at Poole’s Plumbing can assist you with a few key pointers to Avoid and Thaw Frozen Pipes at each location you may have them. If you happen to turn on a faucet and no water pours out, it could be due to a blockage caused by ice and in each given location, these following “do-it-yourself” tips could prove priceless in avoiding disaster.

Exposed Pipes

  • Remember to open up the faucet to relieve pressure
  • When suspecting a possible frozen pipe, always shut off the main water supply in case it has burst
  • Usage of a hair dryer, electric heating pad, or space heater can help in thawing, but NEVER use an open flame to try and thaw an exposed pipe

Pipes Behind a Wall

  • The easiest and safest method with these pipes is to turn your thermostat up and wait for them to thaw.
  • In situations that need to be addressed immediately, carefully cut a whole in the wall and utilize any of the above methods listed for thawing an exposed pipe

Avoiding Frozen Pipes in the Future

  • Before the winter months arrive, be sure that all garden hoses are disconnected from any spigots
  • Keep a faucet that may be connected to a line that would be in danger of freezing open to allow just a small trickle of cold water to run over night
  • Keep cabinets that it below your sinks open to allow the warm air from your home to circulate around them
  • Insulate any exposed, external wall pipes
  • Never leave your thermostat below 55 degrees in any situation, even if going out of town or on vacation for an extended period of time.

 By following these easy to do, at home tips from the pros at Poole’s Plumbing, you can not only Avoid and Thaw Frozen Pipes, but you also can avoid serious water and financial damage with very little preparation or effort.

Common Winter Plumbing Problems to Look For

by raleigh plumbers on November 26, 2017

When  temperatures begin to dip below freezing, your home’s plumbing is susceptible to a variety of common problems brought on by winter weather. Awareness of these potential issues can help prevent potentially serious home damage.

Failing hot water systems are a common problem in the winter due to pervasive cold weather, and water heating issues in general are one of the most common reasons plumbers are called into action at any point of the year. You’ll want to ensure the temperature setting on your water heater is set high enough. Additionally, if you possess a gas water heater with a pilot light, this light needs to be lit. If adequate hot water is still not attainable, you’ll want to contact your plumber, although it is always best to have your water heater serviced ahead of the winter season when it is not being pushed to its limit.

Winter-Plumbing-Problems

Frozen pipes are a common household occurrence during cold weather months and are caused by high water pressure from the main combined with below freezing temperatures. The most obvious giveaway of a frozen pipe is restricted water flow, so keep an eye out for changes in flow during the winter months. If you suspect a pipe is frozen, consider leaving your tap open slightly in order to allow water to flow. This water movement can prevent freezing, although it will affect your water bill over extended periods of time. If leaving the tap open isn’t an option or freezing persists, you’ll want to cut the water main switch and contact professional assistance as soon as possible.

A water line leak or break will cause severe damage to your home. Perhaps surprisingly, frozen garden hoses can lead to this damaging occurrence. When a garden house is left connected following a freeze, the ice within the hose will gradually build up pressure in your home’s water lines, eventually leading to a leak or break if it is not attended to. Ensure that your garden hoses are drained and disconnected prior to a cold snap, and drain all outdoor pipes during this maintenance. Also, the installation of insulated faucet jackets on your outdoor faucets is recommended to shield against freezing winter temperatures. Finally, use shut-off valves within your home, if available, to drain water from your pipes. These valves are often located under sinks and alongside water heaters.

Restricted water drainage can be caused by snow on the ground in the area surrounding your sump pump discharge line. Snow blocking this drainage area can cause water back-up and freezing.

Any or all of these common winter plumbing problems can prove to be very pricey and eventual have disastrous results if not monitored and taken care of. If you do notice any of these starting to become a problem, don’t hesitate, call the Raleigh Plumbing professionals at Poole’s Plumbing to put the “freeze” on your problems.

Is a Tankless Water Heater right for me?

by raleigh plumbers on November 3, 2017

Over the past few years, there have been more and more new homes built using the tankless model water heaters as opposed to the conventional units. The Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s Plumbing specialize in the installation of water heaters in addition to countless other services, and have compiled a list that can help you to answer the question of “Is a Tankless Water heater right for me?”

Tankless Water Heater

There are many items to take into account when answering the question, ‘Is a Tankless water heater right for me?” Just some of the positives to consider changing to or starting with a tankless unit are as follows:

  • Most Tankless Water Heaters come with a federal tax rebate of $300.
  • They never run out of hot water.
  • They last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters.
  • They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss.
  • Tankless Water Heaters take up less space and can even be installed on walls or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.
  • Smaller units can be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
  • They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment.
  • You can shave as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill.
  • Electric models don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  • Most units are operated by remote control and have up to four separate settings available.
  • There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.

If there is still a bit of a question while keeping in mind your initial task of deciding, “Is a Tankless Water Heater right for me, there are other variables that may help you go one way or another on your this ever important choice. First, remember, water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget. Take into consideration that a whole-house standard electric water heater model usually runs about $500-700 and a gas model roughly $1,000-1,200. The electric model is usually less expensive to install and while gas is the cheaper energy source now, trends show that this may not be the case for long.

The choice is yours, and with a little help from Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s Plumbing, you can rest assured that one way or another you can answer the question, “Is a Tankless Water Heater right for me?”


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