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.

It’s Getting Cold: 5 Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Going Out

It’s Getting Cold: 5 Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Going Out

Winter is in full swing and that means, in some areas in the United States, temperatures are dropping as low as 16 below zero.

If you live an area that’s getting cold outside, the last thing you want is for your hot water to be getting icy as well.

That’s why it’s important that you pay attention to key signs regarding the health of your hot water heater.

Having a dysfunctional water heater can lead to a bevy of issues for homeowners. It can mean cold water coming through your pipes, debris getting into your water supply, and a whole lot more.

To help you better see the signs your hot water heater is going out, below, our team has written out some simple identifiers you can rely on.

1. You’re Not Getting Much (or any) Hot Water

A good water heater should be capable of supplying you with enough hot water to get you through the day. This includes being able to serve you and your family during showers while washing the dishes, and while doing other hot water necessary activities. If you’re constantly getting stung by cold water in the shower or are noticing that it takes a long time for your water to warm up once it’s running, you’re experiencing one of the primary signs your water heater is going out.

2. Leaks Are Forming

As water heaters get older, they get more leak prone. Leaks in your hot water heater not only diminish the amount of hot water they can deliver to your home but can also run up your water bill unnecessarily. If you suspect that your water heater may be leaking, call in a water heater professional to service your unit as soon as possible.

3. Odd Noises Coming From Your Heater

Modern water heaters are excellent at efficiently heating water without making a noticeable noise. If you’ve noticed a change in the amount of noise your water heater is making, it could be indicative of a problem that’s forming or one that is already present. The longer you let the issue sit, the more severe and costly it may be to fix. If you’re hearing loud noises coming from your unit, consider shutting it off and scheduling a repair immediately.

4. Rust in Water

Heaters that are well past their prime may start to get rusted inside. This rust can then find its way into your water supply. Rust can be dangerous when found in water, especially if you consume water from your home’s tap.  Again, a repair professional can help advise on how to best remedy rust coming from your heater and will likely point you in the direction of replacement units worth investing in.

5. Your Unit is Just Plain Old

One of the simplest signs your hot water heater is going out that you can easily identify is your unit’s age. If you look at your hot water heater’s manufacturer sticker and notice that it’s over 10 years old, you’ll probably want to get your heater looked at. To extend your water heater’s age, consider hiring a professional to flush your unit on an annual basis.

Wrapping Up Signs Your Hot Water Heater is Going Out

Now that you know the signs your hot water heater is going out, it’s time to do something about it.  We recommend contacting our Long Island-based team at Order A Plumber.   Order A Plumber has been servicing homeowner’s water heater and other plumbing needs for years. Let us provide you with the same exceptional value.

Contact us and schedule your appointment today!

Natural Gas vs Oil: What’s the Best Home Heating Option?

Natural Gas vs Oil: What’s the Best Home Heating Option?

The average growth rate for all occupations is 7% in the United States. But, when it comes to plumbers, that number sores to a whopping 16%, and it’s no real surprise.

More and more people need regular home maintenance to keep their spaces in good working order, especially during the winter.

In fact, keeping a home hot during winter is most peoples’ main priority. If you’re one of them, you need to choose the right heating option.

Read on to find out more about which is the best heating option between natural gas vs oil for a boiler.

Comparing the Prices of Natural Gas vs Oil

When choosing between oil and natural gas heating systems, you need to look at the price of each. But, there are various factors to consider. These include:

  • The price of each type of boiler
  • The installation costs
  • The cost of switching from gas to oil or vice versa
  • The heating costs of oil vs gas

While the price of gas delivered to residential consumers remains at around $9.06 per thousand cubic feet, gas and oil prices are volatile. With this in mind, make sure to do your research and create a budget for each option before jumping in head first.

Which Heating Option Is the Most Energy Efficient?

When it comes to energy efficiency, both perform well. A high-quality oil boiler will give you more or less the same level of energy efficiency as a standard gas boiler. If you’re changing your boiler to make it more energy efficient, you don’t need to switch between gas and oil. Just upgrade your boiler model to a more energy efficient one.

Boiler Maintenance

When it comes to boiler maintenance, oil models are more likely to leak and need more regular servicing. Despite this, condensing gas models have very expensive parts that are harder to find.  While they don’t require the same level of attention, these parts can add up to more than the regular maintenance costs of oil models.  Also, it’s worth mentioning that new oil boilers tend to be easier to maintain and service than older ones. As a rule of thumb, always go for a modern model to be safe.

Durability and Longevity

The average life expectancy of a good quality oil boiler is 13 to 25 years whereas as a gas boiler will usually last between 10 and 15. That said, there are newer more expensive models that can last up to 20 if serviced and maintained correctly.  There are two parts of an oil boiler that are more susceptible to breaking. These are the chamber and the circulator pump. Gas boilers rarely break down and are very durable despite having a shorter lifespan.

So, What’s the Verdict?

Well, when it comes to choosing between natural gas vs oil boilers, it depends on your home and needs. Both types of boilers come with their own set of pros and cons. All in all, the repair costs for both are the same and range between $300 and $800 depending on the issue.  To find out which type of boiler would best suit your home, contact us today. We’d be happy to schedule a visit to give you our professional opinion.

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 Important Questions To Ask When It’s Time To Replumb Your House?

4 Important Questions To Ask When It’s Time To Replumb Your House?

If you have an older house, you might have noticed some of the signs that your pipes need replacing. But replumbing is a big job. If you’re wondering about the costs to replumb a house, read on as we answer this and other common replumbing questions.

How do I know my House needs Replumbing?

Don’t panic, problems with your water supply don’t necessarily result in replacing plumbing. However, if you are having the following problems with your home then it might be time to consider replumbing.
  • Rusty colored water coming from your taps
  • Low water pressure
  • Recurring leaks
  • There are visible signs of corrosion

If you are experiencing these problems then it’s worth calling in a plumber to carry out a survey for you.

What does it Cost to Replumb a House?

There are a lot of variables when it comes to the cost to plumb a house. The total re-pipe cost will depend on how many bathrooms, and how many floors the home has. Even for homes with the same number of bathrooms, there can be a huge variation in the cost to replace plumbing. There are so many variables that it’s impossible to provide you with general pricing. This is why you need a highly skilled and licensed plumber who will be able to provide you with a correct project estimate without any hidden costs. Also, you will probably need a permit from the local planning or building department and that is an extra expense you will have to budget for.

Which Pipes do I Choose?

Older homes often have copper pipes. While you might be tempted to replace it with similar piping, the price of copper has increased a lot in recent years. There are cheaper alternatives available, such as PEX and CPVC. PEX is a flexible plastic piping system. PEX pipe has the advantage over metal in that it’s less costly, it doesn’t rust or corrode, and it is resistant to scale forming. It’s also quicker to install than metal piping. CPVC is another type of plastic pipe. It differs from PEX in that it’s rigid, but it’s used extensively in building work as it works well at many different temperatures. Copper is more expensive, but it still remains one of the most popular choices for piping. One of its advantages is that it can be recycled, making it a more environmentally solid choice.

How do I choose a Plumber?

Hiring a tradesman can be stressful – how do you know that you are choosing a reputable company? You should make sure that your plumber is fully licensed and insured, as we are. Many towns and counties require different licenses for all types of plumbing work. So when a plumber says they are licensed you MUST make sure they are licensed for the type of work you want to be done. If not, lower quality plumbers often call in other plumbing companies to finish the project which costs you more money.

Can I do it Myself?

While there are some plumbing jobs you can do yourself, repiping is one of those that you really shouldn’t. No matter how great you are at DIY. The work will need a permit and will need to be carried out to the required standard. An experienced and qualified professional is your best bet.

We’re Happy to Help

If you’re thinking of replumbing your home, then please get in touch. We have a skilled and experienced team of plumbers in the New York, Nassau County, Brooklyn, Queens, and NYC areas and we’d love to help you out whether it’s fixing a leak or giving you a quote on the cost to replumb a house.