THE DANGER ZONE: WHEN AND WHY PIPES FREEZE
Especially in places that typically see cold winter weather, like New Jersey, well-constructed modern homes are built to protect pipes against freezing. In older homes, however, or during unusually cold temperatures, pipes that are most at risk of freezing are
- Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home,
- Pipes located in exterior walls, and
- Any plumbing on the exterior of the home.
Exposed pipes in the basement are usually warm enough that they aren’t in danger of freezing. But exposed plumbing in areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages may be at risk. Tests of residential water systems showed that for uninsulated pipes installed in an unheated attic, freezing began when the outside temperature fell to 20° F or below. Surprisingly, both hot and cold pipes can be at risk. As water freezes, it expands and can increase the pressure in your plumbing system; too much pressure can cause pipes to burst or crack.
Many homeowners don’t take appropriate precautions to protect plumbing that is connected to the outside of the home, such as outdoor kitchen plumbing, exterior spigots, or even a garden hose. Water expanding in a frozen garden hose can increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing enough to burst an interior pipe.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or Plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
While holiday activities can put a strain on your home’s plumbing, there are ways to ease this strain. Here are six quick tips to prevent a plumbing catastrophe during the holidays:
- Clogged Sinks – Avoid draining oils and greases down your kitchen sink. Fatty substances can solidify in your pipes and clog your kitchen’s plumbing. Instead of pouring cooking oil and grease down the drain, let it cool, wipe it up with a paper towel and dispose of it in the trash. Using strainers in your sink drains will also help prevent clogs by catching larger items that might otherwise slip down the drain and cause issues. Additionally, clean your plumbing fixtures with vinegar to remove any build up. This will help ensure a free flow of water. As an added bonus, your faucets will be sparkling for your guests.
- Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
WORLD TOILET DAY HISTORY
World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refer to lack of access to clean drinking water toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year.
World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.
If you are experiencing any trouble or concerns with your toilet, call the experts at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. We are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. Call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Professional maintenance is a lot more than just a look-over that can be easily overlooked. Proper care ensures your system gains a lot of crucial benefits that aim to keep your heating costs (and stress level) much lower when the cold kicks in.
The benefits of maintenance include:
- Lower heating costs. A well-maintained system can perform its function faster, better, and at less effort on the machine’s part. This means you’ll get all of the high-quality comforts you need without your system overworking and using too much energy, which directly impacts your monthly energy costs.
- Higher quality comfort. That efficiency also spells out better comfort. Whether you use oil heating, gas, or an electric furnace, you’ll get better heating that never leaves cold spots or cool rooms.
- Less risk of breakdowns. One of the most important parts of a professional maintenance service is ensuring your system is working optimally, and all components are in great working condition. The vast majority of seasonal breakdowns can be directly traced to poor component health or air flow problems; both issues are addressed with an inspection!
- Longer service from your furnace. Depending on your type of furnace, you can generally expect around a decade or slightly more of service from your furnace. But that amount of time takes into account getting inspections and maintenance, without which you can cut that decade down to even just a few years!
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564
- Run a trickle of water: Run a thin trickle of water from the faucet furthest from the water line coming to your house. Usually, this is in a room at the back of the house. Allowing the water to circulate through your home’s plumbing helps to keep it from freezing. Some consider this a waste of water, but the cost of the water used is extremely slight compared to repairing broken pipes and the resulting water damage. Also, the water can be captured in a bucket and used for other purposes around the home, like watering plants and washing dishes.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses: Detach all hoses from faucets and allow them to drain. This action guard against the water in the hose or pipe from freezing and bursting the faucet or pipe to which it is connected.
- Eliminate the amount of cold air coming into the home around water pipes.
- If your home has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from freezing the pipes.
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas: Pipes located in unheated areas of your house, such as a garage or crawl space under the house or in the attic, are subject to freezing. If you have time to do this before freezing temperatures arrive, wrap these pipes with insulation materials made especially for this purpose. These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers.
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Tip #1: Keep the Heat On
If you or your tenants are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utilities. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if your pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.
Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
You should cover any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191
1. STORE YOUR GARDEN HOSES BEFORE TEMPERATURES DROP
As temperatures drop, you’ll want to make sure your hoses make it through the colder weather. Start by disconnecting each hose and draining it, ensuring any leftover water has been removed. If any water is left inside the hose when it gets really cold, it will freeze and can potentially break it.
2. COVER YOUR OUTDOOR FAUCETS WITH STYROFOAM
To protect your outdoor faucets from freezing temperatures, invest in a very affordable foam faucet cover. It looks like half an igloo and basically acts as an insulation to keep the outside cold out. Save your faucets from freezing with this very simple and quick solution.
3. IF YOU’RE AWAY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD, SHUT OFF VALVES
If you’re not home for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to shut off water valves as temperatures begin to drop. Some water meters are located inside, while some are located outside. Look for a round, wheel-type handle and turn it all the way to the right, clockwise. To check whether it’s shut off, test each faucet by turning it on to its highest level. The water should eventually drain and no longer flow.
4. CLEAR OUT YOUR HOME’S GUTTERS
If you have a ladder handy, carefully use it to inspect the gutters around the exterior of your home. Clear out any leaves or debris that could block water from flowing and draining.
5. CHECK YOUR WATER HEATER SETTINGS
During the colder months, your water heater has to work harder to deliver warm water when you need it. As temperatures drop, make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees to ensure it’s prepared to perform at its best.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564
Having a technician check your furnace significantly reduces the number of furnace repairs that you could have possibly done. Some heating problems can easily be averted through checkups. This is because the checkups include cleaning the furnace as well as fixing any small problems before they turn into major problems. Remember, your furnace works overtime during fall and winter due to the enormous demand of warming the home and this eventually results in system failure if a checkup is not done on time.
Getting your furnace checked before winter is not only convenient but it will also save you on time and inconvenience. A furnace checkup will definitely save you from sitting in the cold as you wait for the technician to come. Besides, when done at the right time the charges are bound to be more affordable.
Green Apple are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
You don’t see your furnace filters often so many people don’t think of them often. When you have a clean furnace filter in place, your furnace will run optimally, keeping your home at an ideal temperature. A dirty filter will inhibit the performance of your furnace. It may even cause your furnace to fail.
There are so many different kinds of furnaces, and each has its own unique filter size, shape, and life cycle. Know your furnace filter size. As a homeowner, it’s important to always have a few on hand. Use a marker and write the date on it when you put it in place. When you mark the date on your furnace filter you will know how long it’s been in place, and get a better idea of when it’s time to replace it. A good habit to get into would be to check it monthly.
The disposable, inexpensive furnace filters will typically need to be replaced every 4 to 6 weeks, or whenever they get too dirty to function properly, or according to manufacturers recommendation. How can you tell if it is too dirty? Take the filter out and hold it up to the light. If you can mostly see through it, it’s still clean enough to function properly. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to change it.
Do you know what direction the air is flowing through your furnace? If you’re not sure, ask your Green Apple HVAC technician to show you. Mark your furnace with an arrow and write “Air Flow”. Inexpensive filters may also have an arrow or “Air Flow” marked on it. Make sure to place the filter in the proper orientation.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
1. Maintain Your Sinks
To keep your drain clear after you clean it out in this manner, from time to time pour a little bleach into the sink. Let it sit overnight or for at least an hour before you run water down the drain again.
2. Ditch the Grease
Grease build-up in your kitchen sink drain can be remedied with liquid dish detergent and a large volume of boiling water. Put a big pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Squirt a generous amount of dish liquid (at least a tablespoon) directly into your drain and pour the boiling water into the drain, a little at a time. The rapidly boiling water will melt grease deposits while the detergent helps to dissolve grease and oil and allow the boiling water to flush it away. You may want to repeat this process two to three times if the grease build-up is substantial.
3. Hotter Than Usual Water
It may seem obvious, but simply putting hot water down your kitchen and bathroom sink drains at least weekly can go a long way to keeping them clean and clear. For the kitchen sink, hot water will help to melt and flush away light grease deposits. Bathroom drains also benefit from very hot water since you normally wouldn’t use such hot water for washing your hands or face.
4. Use Cold Water Wisely
Conversely, when running your garbage disposal, run copious amounts of COLD water down the drain, not hot. Cold water will keep oils and grease in a solid state so they can be broken up by the disposal, whereas hot water will melt and soften grease and encourage it to coat the inside of your drain. Only use hot water after you have already run the disposal to help remove any grease deposits that may have formed when you were washing pots and pans.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple toll-free @ 888-315-5564