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Plumbing pipes provide your home with potable water for drinking and cooking. It’s important that they are properly maintained so they can continue to provide you with what you need. In this article, we will be talking about your pipes — why they crack or break, how to maintain them and what to do when your pipes burst.
Speak with a plumber in Chattanooga, TN if you have questions about your pipes.
What Materials Are Your Pipes Made Of?
If you want to be an informed homeowner, you need to know what materials your pipes are made of as the entire plumbing system is affected by the different components of your pipes. The difference could be being able to use the pipes for many many years as opposed to buying replacements a lot sooner than you anticipated. If you do not know what materials your pipes are made of as you only moved into your new home, get in touch with a professional.
Below are the different types of pipes homeowners use:
Lead – Do you live in an older home? If it’s built before the 1930s, chances are you may have lead pipes. Lead piping can leak harmful contaminants into your water. But don’t worry – you can call a professional if you think the water may be contaminated. A professional can send a sample of your water to a lab to determine whether it has high levels of lead. If it has, he should be able to assist you to get rid of it. He may flush the water to get rid of the lead. He may also ask you to get a replacement and better pipes for your plumbing.
Galvanized Steel – Heavy-duty steel pipes can last for several years but they will start to rust over time and may even degrade the quality of your water.
PVC – The cheapest and the easiest to install are the PVC pipes. They were also a popular option for homeowners. However, they may be susceptible to leaks and cracks, and not suitable for hot water. Call your plumber to know which material is best for your home.
Copper – Copper pipes may be smaller in diameter and lighter than steel pipes but they are the easiest to work with. They can also last for several decades. One of the disadvantages of installing copper pipes though is the potential for lead contamination. If they are constantly exposed to temperature fluctuations, they may also be susceptible to pin leaks.
PEX or cross-linked polyethylene – although more expensive than PVC, PEX are more durable. These pipes are easy to install and very flexible. PEX are the type of pipes that are less susceptible to bursting.
Call a plumber if you need someone to check the state of your pipes or to help you determine what pipe materials are installed in your home.
Why Pipes Crack and Burst
Two reasons why your pipes may burst:
Water damage in homes is sometimes due to frozen pipes. When you turn off the faucet, the water remains in the pipes. But when it gets too cold, the water inside the pipes will freeze. With a frozen pipe, you will not be able to use the faucet because the water can’t flow through the pipes. Also, your pipes will keep expanding. As it expands, the pressure inside the pipes is also increased. If your pipe can’t hold freezing water inside, it will rupture or burst.
A burst pipe is a plumbing emergency. You will need to call a plumber in Chattanooga, TN so they can help you thaw the pipes.
Homeowners can avoid this plumbing emergency when they take extra precautions especially during the winter. The best way to protect the pipes is by insulating them. You can get insulation at a hardware store or you can ask a plumber for assistance.
Your pipes will likely burst when it’s made with less durable material or when it’s a really old pipe. If you have just moved into a new home and you have no idea how old the pipes are, try calling a plumber so they can help you inspect the pipes. If it’s too old, it may be time to get pipe replacements to avoid an even costly problem down the road.
Burst pipes are common in the winter months but they can still happen even during summer. Too much heat can be hard on older pipes. They are more likely to break especially when they can’t handle the pressure. Pipes that have not been properly maintained are also susceptible to breakage.
Do you know how old your pipes are? You can contact a professional in Chattanooga so they can inspect your pipes. Licensed plumbers are equipped with tools that can help them determine whether the pipes are still in good condition or already corroded. In this case, it will need to be replaced. Otherwise, it will only cause you more damage.
Keep in mind that flooding can damage the foundation of your home but it can definitely be avoided. A plumber would know what to do.
Maintaining Your Pipes
There are ways to prevent water damage in your homes. The first thing you need to do is know where your pipes are located, both the pipes inside and outside. Next is – you should know how to turn off the main water source. This will come in handy when there are plumbing emergencies.
Periodically check your pipes for leaks or cracks. If you think there might be a problem with it, do not hesitate to call a professional so they can do a thorough inspection of your pipes.
Below are a few tips to help you properly maintain your plumbing pipes:
Install an Emergency Pressure Release Valve
If you have old pipes, too much water pressure may lead to bursting. What you can do is call a professional in Chattanooga, TN for an installation of an emergency pressure release valve. This valve protects your pipes by increased pressure caused by frozen pipes. It will completely prevent it from bursting.
Buy a Portable Power Generator
In the event of a blackout or any power interruptions, it would always be better if you have alternative power to keep everything running. Buy a portable power generator if you live in an area prone to having extremely cold weather. A reliable generator or a backup power source ensures that you can still keep everything running if there’s a power outage. The backup generator can help you keep yourself warm and prevent frozen pipes too.
Of course, it will always be better if your pipes are insulated so they do not freeze at all. If you do not know how to insulate your pipes or if it’s going to be very difficult for you, consider calling a plumber in Chattanooga, TN. A licensed professional should be able to assist you better regarding insulating pipes.
Never Pour Grease Down the Drain
Every homeowner must know that they should never pour grease down their kitchen drains. Over time, the grease will accumulate in your pipes and will eventually clog. Educate everyone at home to not throw anything on the drain but just water. Practice managing your food waste better to avoid throwing them down your drain and to your pipes.
Have Your Drains Professionally Cleaned
Never use chemical-based cleaners as they will not be good for your pipes. Older pipes are prone to breakage with chemical-based cleaners. As much as possible, use enzyme-based only. Better yet, schedule for a professional drain cleaning. Call a plumber for assistance.
Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Plumber
The maintenance is for your entire plumbing system, not just for your pipes. Your plumber will do a thorough inspection of your system and can determine potential problems. He will make sure that everything is resolved.
Replace Old Pipes
Speak with a plumber in Chattanooga, TN about this especially if you don’t know what type of pipes are installed in your homes. Some pipes only last for a couple of decades while others can last up to 100 years. If you keep having problems with your pipes and repair costs keep adding up, it may be time to get a complete replacement.
Selecting the Right Plumbing Materials for your Home
If you need new pipes for your home but can’t decide which pipes to purchase, the best thing you can do is to call a plumber in Chattanooga, TN for assistance. The pipes and the pipe fittings are important when it comes to carbon footprint, durability, water quality and cost. The different types of pipes also have their own pros and cons; and some will be more expensive than the other and may last longer than other pipes. A licensed plumber can tell you which one to get for your home.
When installing new pipes, local codes and regulations must also be followed, and the best materials would always depend on your preferences, needs and existing pipes.
It’s also important that you call the right plumbing company when thinking about replacing your pipes. Good plumbers would be able to replace your pipes without damage to your yard or would not need any excavation. Depending on the damage, they may replace just the damaged section of your pipes or a complete repiping. A good plumbing company would be able to effectively and efficiently complete these tasks.
What to Do When the Pipes Have Burst
A burst pipe is a plumbing emergency. You need the assistance of a plumber right away when this happens. You must act quickly and not panic. You can prevent further damage to your home if you do something immediately. Do not allow water to sit as that can lead to mold and even additional damage. Keep in mind that mold doesn’t only damage the structure of your home but it also will not be beneficial for your family’s health.
Before calling a professional, make sure that you shut off the water supplies first. Shutting the main source will stop the leakage. If you’re living with other household members and you happen to be somewhere else when this happens, it’s important that everyone knows the location of the main shut-off valve.
The next step is to collect the water in a bucket to prevent further damage. As soon as you have done these things, it’s time to call a professional in Chattanooga, TN for assistance. A professional should be able to effectively assist you in this situation. You may have to buy a replacement for your pipes. He can make recommendations on what pipes would be best for your home.
The final step – although this will be done when the problem has been resolved – is to file a claim for water damage. There are a few things to keep in mind during the filing of this claim.
Under your insurance policy, the problem must be accidental and sudden like in the case of a frozen pipe. However, if the pipes already had a leak before they burst then they may not be covered. This is why it’s important for homeowners to always periodically check and maintain their pipes. If they think that there is a problem with it, homeowners must call a plumber in Chattanooga, TN asap for assistance.
Contact Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air Today!
Do you need help with your pipes? Our plumbers at Chattanooga, TN can definitely help! We specialize in plumbing repairs, installations and maintenance. Get in touch with us and our professional team is always ready to assist you at your most convenient time. We are committed to resolving your plumbing problem during the initial appointment. Here at Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air – we guarantee results. Call us today for an appointment.