How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Frozen: 4 Telltale Signs To Look For

How To Tell If Your Pipes Are Frozen: 4 Telltale Signs To Look For

How are your pipes faring this winter?

Is your plumbing well-insulated, or are you one oversight away from imminent disaster?

A burst pipe in your house can cause around 18 thousand dollars worth of damage. This includes the destruction of your belongings and the need to repair your plumbing. You can avoid having to pay up if you’re on top of water maintenance this winter, though.

Here’s how to tell if your pipes are frozen and on the verge of bursting.

1. Your Pipes Make Noise

Listen up. Can you hear your water pipes? If so, chances are you’re in the midst of a plumbing emergency. Pipes should only make noise if they’re attached to a certain musical instrument commonly played in Scotland. Likewise, your plumbing should only make a slight noise when water leaves a drain. If your pipes emit banging or gurgling noises, it’s time to call a plumber. When pipes make noise, their walls are expanding under pressure. It’s just a matter of time before they burst.

2. No Running Water

Did you know pipes freeze most frequently when homeowners are away during the winter? If you aren’t home to run the water, it’s at a greater risk of freezing. When you’re away, you aren’t aware of when temperatures hit below the freezing point. If you’re going away for the holidays this year, prepare your pipes for the winter. Make sure that your pipes are properly insulated, especially those that are exposed. Ask a friend to visit your home and run some water every few days. This regulates the pipes’ temperature. When you turn a faucet on and water is at a trickle or a stand-still, you have a frozen pipe. If the blockage is near the faucet, you can try to clear it yourself. However, if the problem lies deeper in the pipes, it’s a job for a professional.

3. Frost and Condensation on the Pipes

Keep visual tabs on your pipes. Can you spot any condensation or frost? If so, the pipes are either frozen or getting there. As soon as temperatures outside hit below the freezing point, you should monitor your pipes on a daily basis. This is especially necessary if you live in a region prone to warm weather. For instance, homes down south are built to withstand a warm climate, therefore their pipes are exposed and thinly insulated. Those are the pipes that are most likely to burst.

4. How to Tell If Your Pipes Are Frozen for Sure: Bulging Pipes

If there’s one sure sign that your plumbing is in trouble, it’s bulging pipes. All of your water pipes should be straight, with no visible bulging. All swollen pipes are frozen and at the point of bursting. If one of your pipes looks thicker than it should, you have an emergency on your hands. Did you ever forget a water bottle in the freezer? You probably found it a day later, only to discover that the water bottle cracked and deformed around the block of ice. That’s precisely what happens to your pipes just before they burst. When water freezes, it expands, causing the pipe to expand from inside as well. Once the water becomes a block of ice, the pipe can only burst at the seams.

Are You Facing a Plumbing Emergency?

Now that you know how to tell if your pipes are frozen, it’s time to troubleshoot the problem. Sometimes, you can fix the blocked pipes yourself. More often than not, though, you need professional help to contain the water damage and repair your plumbing. Contact us to find out how we can fix your latest plumbing crisis.

3 Warning Signs That It’s Time to Call a Plumber

3 Warning Signs That It’s Time to Call a Plumber

Are you a homeowner concerned you may have a plumbing problem? A plumbing issue can catch a homeowner off guard because it comes without a warning sign. This can create a lot of stress on a homeowner as they try to troubleshoot it on their own.  While a clogged toilet may be something you can fix on your own, other issues require the assistance of a trained professional plumber.

Read on to learn 3 warning signs that it’s time to call a plumber!

1. Low Water Pressure

You may need a plumber if you have low water pressure coming from your shower head or faucet. That’s because lower water pressure can be a sign that you have a blockage in your line. However, it could mean something far worse. That includes things like potential erosion in your pipe or a leak. Erosion is often more prevalent in older pipes because of the build-up of sediment and other minerals that are found in your water supply. Leaks can be the result of a cracked pipe or one that is damaged by a tree root, among other causes. An experienced plumber will have the knowledge and tools to test the pipes and determine the cause of your low water pressure.

2. Slow Drainage

Have you noticed that your shower or sink is draining a lot slower than usual? If so, you may need the services of a professional plumber. A sink or shower that is draining slowly can be a sign of a blockage in your line. This can be something as simple as an accumulation of hair in the drain of a shower. But it could be something more significant blocking your pipes. A plumber can put a “snake” tool through your pipelines in order to find the blockage and remove it.

3. Smelly Odors

Smelly odors in your bathroom or other areas of your home can be a tell-tale sign of a major plumbing problem. For example, you may smell something similar to rotten eggs. If you smell this while you are running your water, it can be a sign that there is a broken pipe under the foundation of your house. If you ignore this issue for too long, this can cause significant damage underneath your home. It can also create a potentially dangerous health hazard to people living inside and around your home.

Wrapping Up: Is It Time To Call A Plumber?

Plumbing issues can be a major cause of concern for homeowners. That’s because it can be hard for the layperson to identify the cause of the problem and how to fix it. At Order a Plumber, Inc., we are an experienced plumbing company located in New York. Our plumbers are available for installations, emergency repairs and more. We also offer a 12-month warranty on the labor and materials we supply at your home or office.

Is it time for you to call a plumber out to your home?

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help solve your plumbing problems!

Outdoor Water Pipe Insulation & Other Ways to Prepare for Winter

Outdoor Water Pipe Insulation & Other Ways to Prepare for Winter

If you’re a homeowner or a landlord, you’re likely no stranger to broken pipes caused by ice in the winter. Nothing is worse than having to deal with a water leak from frozen pipes in the dead of winter after a stressful, snowy drive home. The solution? Set up your winter plumbing solutions ahead of time. Don’t let an unexpected and disastrous leak ruin your home and furniture. Want to know how to stop pipes freezing? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about preparing pipes for a long and cold winter, including proper outdoor water pipe insulation.

1. Drain Your Pipes

This step depends on your winter plans. If you need to winterize a home before you head south for the winter, draining your pipes is essential. If you’re staying in the home you’re prepping for winter, this won’t apply to you since you use your water every day. For those prepping a home to stay empty for the winter, draining your pipes will almost always prevent burst pipes. If there’s no water to freeze inside the pipes, then there’s no way for the pipe to burst. First, turn off all external faucet valves. Disconnect the hoses from all external faucets. Then, turn on your external faucets to run the remaining water out. Don’t skip the last step just because you turned the water off! Any remaining water in the pipes can cause a pipe to burst!

2. Repair Your Leaks

Have you been putting off getting a pipe leak repaired? Relying heavily on duct tape? Maybe you have pipe leaks you’re not even aware of. Now’s the time to take care of those pesky leaks. They can cause and exacerbate leaks in the winter, which can lead to flooding and costly repairs. Your best bet is to hire a professional here. Plumbers are trained to find even the smallest leaks that you might overlook. You’ll thank yourself when winter is in full swing and you’re sleeping soundly with fully functioning pipes!

3. Indoor and Outdoor Water Pipe Insulation

Every home needs outdoor water pipe insulation in the winter, whether you’re occupying the winter home or not. There are a couple of different materials you can use to do this. First, you can use heat tape. This is an easy, simple solution for most homeowners. You simply wrap the tape around the pipes, and voila. Second, you can use foam tubing. Make sure to purchase the foam tubing with a slit already cut in the side. Pop it on your pipes and you’re good to go!

Prepping Your Property for Winter

Flooding due to burst pipes can lead to terrible home damage, ruined furniture, and a big ol’ headache. You can avoid it with a few simple preparations. Don’t put it off and assume it won’t happen to you! Need help with your outdoor water pipe insulation, pipe repairs, and any other winterization of your home’s plumbing? Get in touch! We specialize in all of the above, and would love to help you start the season with peace of mind!
4 Common Toilet Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

4 Common Toilet Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

1. Toilet Keeps Running

If you have a running toilet that seems to never stop running, you may have toilet flapper issues. Not sure? Try out this easy test.
Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet’s tank when you can no longer hear toilet water running. Leave it for five or ten minutes. When you come back, check the toilet bowl. Does it have colored water in it? If so, you have a flapper problem. To prevent leaks from happening, replace your toilet flapper every four or five years. Toilet flappers are inexpensive and replacing or fixing them on time will save you from experiencing more toilet problems in the long run.

2. Clogged Toilet Problems

If you attempt to flush and things haven’t gone down the way you expected, don’t try again. You may have a clog on your hands.
Repeated flushing will cause your toilet to overflow. To avoid this catastrophe, use some elbow grease and plunger!

3. An Unflushable Toilet

When it comes to toilets that won’t flush, one of the following issues may be at fault:

The Handle

A handle which is too tight or loose can create flushing difficulties. Testing out different levels of tightness should reveal what works.

The Lift Arm

A broken or damaged lift arm could also be the culprit. Lift the top of the tank to assess the damage. A new lift arm may be in order.

A Broken Connection

A damaged connection between the lift chain and lift arm is another cause. If you can’t hook the connection back on by hand, you could need a new lift arm.
If your toilet won’t flush and you’re feeling helpless, call in a professional plumbing service. It may take some advanced toilet troubleshooting to figure out the root of the cause.

4. Condensation

Are you noticing lots of beads of water on your toilet and tank? If so, you’re in luck.
This issue happens because of normal condensation (the opposite of evaporation). And it’s a very simple fix!
Most likely, the temperature of the water in your toilet and pipes is colder than the temperature of your bathroom. To get rid of or prevent toilet condensation, decrease the temperature of the room. You can also purchase a foam liner for the inside of the toilet tank.

Wrapping Up

Although toilet problems are never fun, they are a fact of life. And it’s important to know how to prevent and fix these issues to keep your home safe.
Refer to the guide above to prevent the most common problems that householders encounter. And remember, if you feel out of your depth, don’t hesitate to call the pros!
Do you have questions or need any help? Contact us anytime. We’re here to help.