Raleigh plumbing experts

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.

In the second installment of a three part series, the most trusted named in Raleigh NC professional plumbers, Poole’s Plumbing, will give you some helpful pointers to help you save money and avoid wasting water as we move from the bathroom and “down the hall” with our Kitchen Water Conservation Tips.

Kitchen Water Conservation Tips

Much like our first blog entry on conserving water in the bathroom, these Kitchen Water Conservation Tips are all simple actions that can be taken by anyone around the house to help you and your family to save.

For example, there are many Kitchen Water Conservation Tips that you can implement simply by watching how long you run the faucet during several activities that you may not even realize how long the water is on for. This comes into play when washing dishes by hand, as if you simply fill one side of the sink as your wash side and the other is used for rinse water, this eliminates the faucet continuously running throughout this process. A similar item among our Kitchen Water Conservation Tips is to soak your pots and pans as you scrape them clean rather than running the water over them the entire time you are scrubbing.

Likewise, if you are washing fruits and vegetables, filling a pan to use for this, rather than running them under the faucet cuts down on much waste, as well. To take that process a step further in conserving, after you’ve washed the produce, use the water from the pan to water plants around the house.

The next kitchen appliance to focus on with our Kitchen Water Conservation Tips where you can greatly conserve and save is the dishwasher. First, by only running it when completely full the average household can save on average 1,000 gallons of water per month. Also, if you have a newer model dishwasher especially, cut back on the time spent rinsing first, as most of the more recently produced model are powerful enough and made to clean more thoroughly that years ago.

Man washing a dishes

The garbage disposal is another item that by utilizing our simple Kitchen Water Conservation Tips you can save in areas you may not even have realized you were being wasteful. Most obviously, simply use the disposal only when necessary. Composting with and using the peeling and trimming from veggies or fruit will save you from wasting gallons of water while running the disposal.

Your own consumption of water is the last item we touch on in our Kitchen Water Conservation Tips. For your own drinking purposes, filling a pitcher with water to keep in the refrigerator rather than filling at the faucet repeatedly. Also, use the same glass throughout the day for your water consumption. This will avoid dirtying several and thus filling up the dishwasher for more frequent usage.

Much like with our helpful pointer around the bathroom, these easy-to-do- Kitchen Water Conservation Tips from the Raleigh plumbing experts at Poole’s Plumbing can get you on the path to less wasteful usage and savings on costly water bills, too. In the next and final installment of our series on household water conservation tips we will look at how to cut back while cooking and in the laundry room.

 

With the Raleigh plumbing experts at Poole’s Plumbing specializing in installation, and manufacturers using the technology they are afforded for continuous innovations to the always economically sound Tankless Water Heater models, many of the question marks that consumers have had when deciding upon a new unit are slowly being erased.Tankless Water Heater

 

As discussed in a recent article published by Consumer Reports, despite the obvious upside in switching to a Tankless Water Heater, when the units were first introduced, did give customers a few reasons to debate whether or not to stick wit their conventional model water heater. However, as time has passed, many of the major producers of the Tankless Water Heater have worked to consistently improve the technology in the units, addressing the three main issues below over the course of the past seven years that make the switch to a Tankless Water Heater in many cases today a much less uncertain move.

Issue 1: Expensive and Complicated Installation Process

How it’s improved: Manufacturers have addressed the installation process issues by improving upon the design of the Tankless Water Heater and making the switch from tanked to tankless an easier process. For example, in the Noritz tankless models the input and output waterlines have been moved to the top of the unit, much like the tanked units, to make a much smoother transition on a change out. The addition of a flexible exhaust pipe and a proprietary adaptor also make connecting to ductwork far easier than the standard PVC piping.

Issue 2: Inconsistency in Temperature

How it’s improved: One of the initial worries with a Tankless Water Heater was what many refer to as the “Cold Water Sandwich,” or inconsistency in temperature. Manufacturers have for the most part completely rectified this issue, as in the case with Rinnai models, where a circulation pump has been added to guarantee that water comes out hot and stays that way for the duration of its usage. Some units have even evolved to include a buffer tank that stores a backup supply of hot water.

Issue 3: Need for Constant Maintenance

How it’s improved: A major issue many that chose the Tankless Water Heater seemed to run into initially was a need for constant maintenance to their model due to scale buildup. This could restrict water flow, decrease efficiency, and eventually damage the units. With major companies adding isolation valves to their models, the descaling process and routine maintenance has been made far easier.

Whether you need a new unit, or are just interested in the possibility of exploring whether a Tankless Water Heater is the right fit for you, the specialists at Poole’s Plumbing can bring you the knowledge and know how to help you make this decision.