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How Do You Fix a Frozen Pipe Fast?

icicles on a yellow pipe

How Do You Fix a Frozen Pipe Fast?

Winter is on its way, and in some parts of the country, it has already arrived, freezing water pipes and all. Can frozen water pipes be repaired? In most cases, when addressed early on, yes, frozen pipe repairs are possible. Typically, you won’t know you need pipe repairs until they thaw. We’re here to teach the basics of frozen pipe repair in Lewis Center, OH.

How do you unfreeze pipes quickly?

If you turn on the bathroom faucet, the kitchen faucet, or start the washing machine and no water comes out, they’re probably frozen inside the pipes. Here are some steps most plumbers recommend to thaw a frozen pipe. Repairs that are needed are going to be immediately noticed: 

  • Turn the faucet on and keep it open. This will minimize pressure building up as the water thaws and busts the pipes if they aren’t already.
  • Apply heat to the area of the frozen pipe with your hair dryer. Another method to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap it with thermostatically controlled heat tape. NEVER use any type of open flame like a propane torch due to possible fire risk.
  • Continue applying heat until the pipe is thoroughly thawed and water is freely flowing. If water starts coming out of the pipe itself, turn the water off at the water main. 
  • Take time to check all of the other faucets and pipes to ensure there aren’t more possible frozen pipe repairs needed. 

If none of the thawing works, or you have extensive damage, contact a plumber for frozen pipe repair services. They can inspect other aspects like the water heater that could be frozen as well. 

What do plumbers use to unfreeze pipes?

If you decide to call a plumber for help for unfreezing your pipes, they’ll be on-site to inspect all the plumber and assess what may be needed.  Most professional plumbers will use a heat gun to thaw the frozen pipes. Repairing them will be done immediately after shutting the water off at the main. 

By hiring a plumber for this job, they will be able to identify the immediate problem and know what other possible problems will need attention. This includes the water pipes to the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, outside spigots, and water heater. They will inspect the underside of the house as well to make sure the drain pipes haven’t busted.

What is the best way to fix a frozen drain pipe?

If you notice that water isn’t flowing out of the faucet, chances are you have a frozen drain pipe too. If you pour water into the shower or sink drain and it doesn’t drain, you have a frozen drain line. Taking the following steps will thaw the pipe, but you’ll still need to check under the house to make sure it is busted. 

  • Pour a generous amount of boiling water with a cup of salt into the drain. The salt will break down the ice, like on the roadways. Let the salt completely dissolve before pouring the mixture into the drain. 
  • While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain. For this to be effective, make sure the baking soda gets into the drain.
  • Next, immediately pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain pipe. Just as we’ve recommended a combination of baking soda and white vinegar to clear clogs, the same is true with frozen pipes and will clear any clogs that form as the pipes start freezing.
  • Now pour that boiling water slowly. This melts the frost, allowing the baking soda/vinegar to penetrate deeper into the frozen drain. Do this step slowly for the best results. 
  • Once the water pipe thaws and water is flowing from the faucet, run hot water for 10 minutes. 

Because most drain pipes are under the house, if you’re not able to access the underside of your house, have a plumber come to inspect and assess your situation. It is better to pay a plumber for a short time of service than to have a drain leaking under your home months later.

Will homeowner’s insurance pay for frozen pipe repairs?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for any water damage caused by the frozen pipe thawing.  They will typically not pay for any frozen pipe repairs or replacement though. Every policy is different, it is wise to check with your agent to confirm what coverage your policy includes.

In Closing

You’re probably asking if frozen pipes thaw on their own. Well, yes, they will, but depending on the weather, not until the temperature gets above and stays above the freezing mark. This could be a couple of days or a few weeks, and here in the Norristown, Pennsylvania area, you can expect it to be weeks. 

If you ignore or don’t notice a leak that happened when you didn’t get the frozen pipe repaired, you’re putting your home at risk for even more damage to your home. From a weakened foundation, the form of mildew and mold, not to mention the cost of a water leak. 

Meanwhile, if you need frozen pipe repair in Lewis Center, OH you can count on our team to provide the help you need. Call 614-681-8870 to learn more or schedule your services.

How Long Does it Take to Install a Bathtub or Shower?

shower being installed

How Long Does it Take to Install a Bathtub or Shower?

If you’re thinking about updating your home by revamping a bathroom, you may be considering a new bathtub and shower installation. The focal point of the living room is the fireplace and the focal point for the bathroom is the bathtub and shower. 

Functionality should be your priority when you’re interested in bathtub or shower installation in Lewis Center, OH. There are a variety of options with multi-functional and versatility to choose from today. Each of them has a different design, features, and functionality. 

What are some of the different styles of bathtubs and showers? 

  • The Bathtub and Shower Surround: This is a three-wall alcove tub that includes a built-in shower. This maximizes space with the fourth wall being the bathroom wall. This is the most common style in homes today with a shower curtain on a rod. It is affordable, has a classic design that is timeless, and is a family-friendly choice for a bathtub and shower installation.
  • Bathtub & Shower Combo w/Glass Doors: This style replaces the shower curtain rod with a tempered glass door that encloses the shower area. The glass door comes in different options frameless, semi-frameless, and framed, each providing a level of privacy while providing a sleek appearance.  This is a space-saving bathtub and shower installation option.
  • Corner Tub Shower Combination: This combination is perfect for a small bathroom. It takes up half as much room as the standard bathtub and still has an option to shower. Homeowners have the choice of using a shower curtain and rod or tempered glass doors with this bathtub and shower installation. 
  • Walk-in Tub Shower Combination: This walk-in bathtub and shower installation is a combination designed for easy accessibility and safety, ideal for the elderly and handicapped. Comes equipped with a built-in seat and non-slip floor. 

How much does bathtub and shower installation cost?

Depending on the brand and which of the options we listed above will have a factor in the cost.  The purchase of the units with professional installation can start around $1,000 and reach as high as $10,000.  Like buying a new car, the more ‘bells and whistles’ you choose, the higher the cost. 

How long does a bathtub and shower installation take?

Most bathtub and shower installation jobs can be completed in one day by a professional contractor. However, in some instances, depending on any additional construction and plumbing required can take up to two weeks. The finishing work required like tiling the walls can add another day or two to complete the job. 

What type of support is used underneath for a bathtub and shower installation? 

For any size and type of bathtub and shower installation, you want to ensure it is stable and supported.  This can be done by building a frame or platform, like mortar. A mortar base will keep the bathtub and shower from bowing or sagging. A mortar base also will distribute the weight evenly and keep the unit moving around or moisture from getting underneath the unit. 

What is done first, the flooring or the bathtub or shower installation?

To minimize any possible cracking, scratching, staining, or other types of damage to the unit, the contractor will install the flooring first. Then the flooring is added. 

Do you put tile under the bathtub and shower installation?

No, tile should not be installed under a bathtub and shower unit. If you are installing a clawfoot-style tub with a shower, a tile floor will add to the classic aesthetics. 

What goes in between the tile and the bathtub and shower installation?

Where the tile is installed along the perimeter of the bathtub and shower, the contractor will use caulk.  Once the caulk has come set, a sealant is applied over it to keep it from drying out and shrinking. 

Does Medicare cover bathtub and shower installation? 

No, in most cases, a bathtub and shower installation designed for the elderly or handicapped will not be paid for by Medicare. At this time, it is not considered to be a medical necessity.

Does a bathtub and shower installation increase a home’s value?

If your home currently doesn’t have a bathtub, then absolutely yes, upgrading with a combination bathtub and shower installation. If you’re only going to have this combination in one bathroom, make it the master bathroom and/or on the main floor. 

Depending on the age and style of the house, the style of the bathtub and shower installation will make a difference in the value-add too.  Today, prospective home buyers want a bathroom that is comfortable and luxurious. A standalone, clawfoot tub has been popular for several years and still is today, especially in historic, older homes. 

In Conclusion

Deciding to upgrade to a bathtub and shower installation can be a big decision. Before you make this investment, determine if you’ll be living in the house for a few years, or if you are planning on selling it soon.  Meanwhile, if you need bathtub or shower installation in Lewis Center, OH just reach out to us. Call 614-681-8870 today.

What is the Most Common Cause of Water Heater Failure?

connections for a water heater

What is the Most Common Cause of Water Heater Failure?

For most of us in the Lewis Center, OH area, we take our hot water every morning and night for granted. But as it has been said, always expect the unexpected. By this, that means your water heater could quit providing hot water any moment, leaving you with the need to have your water heater repaired or replaced. 

Is it worth it to have a water heater repaired?

The age of your water heater will be the first consideration. If your water heater is less than five years old, yes, water heater repair is worthwhile. However, if your water is eight years old or older, a water heater replacement would make more sense. Another factor to consider is the cost of a water heater repair, even for a 5-year-old water heater. When repairs are 25% or more of the cost of a replacement, go with a replacement.

When do you need a water heater replacement?

The most common cause that plumbers find for water heater repairs is corrosion. The anode rod is a sacrificial component in the water. It deteriorates over time and must be replaced, but fortunately, it is an inexpensive part and the labor isn’t intensive.

Just as you have your HVAC system and roof inspected every two years, you should have your water heater inspected as well.  An experienced plumber will be able to determine if the anode rod is corroding and should be replaced before it completely quits and leaves you without hot water one morning. 

What are the indicators a water heater is about to quit?

Most water heater repairs can cost between $200 and $1,000, depending on the brand, the problem, and what parts are needed. To get the longest lifespan possible from your water heater, and to avoid those expensive water heater repairs, be aware of the following: 

1. Insufficient Supply of Hot Water: If you aren’t getting enough hot water for an average shower time, it probably is from sediment buildup. All water has sediment and as it builds up inside the tank, it minimizes how much space is in the tank for the hot water. Sediment buildup can be avoided by having your water heater flushed once a year. 

 2. Water Heater Leaking: There are a lot of places a water can start leaking as the water flows through the system. From the water connections at the plumbing source, at the water heater itself, along the bottom or side of the tank, and more. This also includes the TPR valve (temperature and pressure relief valve) can come loose, leaving you with water dripping and pooling on the floor around the tank. This can be either an inexpensive water heater repair or it may indicate you need a new water heater.

3. Water Temperature Inconsistent: When a water heater is working correctly, the hot water flow should be consistent and steady. If the temperature is starting to be inconsistent, you may have a water heater repair service done, like flushing the tank. If that doesn’t help the situation, it is time to get a replacement. 

4. Decreased Water Pressure: Sediment buildup will lessen the water heater pressure throughout your home. Having the water heater flushed and inspected for other possible water heater repairs may help, if not, you’ll need to start shopping for a new water heater. 

5. Suspicious Noises and Sounds: A water heater that starts banging, clanging, and knocking is a loud clue that you need to shop for a new water heater, sooner rather than later. At this point, water heater repairs are not going to help. 

6. Discolored Water: If the water coming into your home has a metallic taste or is discolored and murky look, it is most likely from either rust or a buildup of sediment. Have the system flushed and if that doesn’t help, check the plumbing pipes coming from the meter to your house. If that isn’t any help, it is time to replace it. 

In Conclusion

If water heater repairs aren’t possible or don’t help, and you are faced with a new water heater, shop around. The plumber you choose to install your water heater may offer to include the replacement unit with his quote but ask to shop for your own and have it delivered to your home. This can lower their quote and give you some freedom to shop around for a lower price.  Like any good business owner, a plumber will typically increase the cost of a new water heater. But if you don’t have the time, use a plumber you can trust and has good references. 

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for services such as water heater repair in Lewis Center, OH our team can be there for you. Just call 614-681-8870 to learn more about the services PlumbSure Plumbing and Drains can provide.