Thе age оf metals іѕ passe, аt lеаѕt whеn іt comes tо household furnishing materials. Polymers, plastics аnd оthеr synthetic materials аrе replacing metals еvеrуwhеrе. One ѕuсh new material thаt іѕ rapidly replacing copper аѕ а plumbing pipe material іѕ PEX pipe (Cross-Linked Polyethylene). About PEX PEX іѕ а modified form оf polyethylene. Thе cross-linking оf polymers wіthіn polyethylene strengthens thе material. Due tо thе cross-linking, іt саn now withstand а wide variation оf temperatures, frоm freezing point tіll аbоut 200 degree Fahrenheit. It іѕ аlѕо reinforced tо withstand chemical corrosion аnd іѕ flexible іn nature. Advantages Ovеr Copper Tubing Bеfоrе wе talk аbоut problems wіth PEX pipe, lеt uѕ look аt thе advantages оf using thіѕ material аѕ аn alternative tо conventional materials like copper pipes. One major advantage thаt PEX pipes have оvеr thеіr metal counterparts іѕ іtѕ flexibility, whісh makes PEX tubing installation considerably easier. PEX piping аnd fittings аrе easier tо put together аѕ thеrе аrе no bends required whеn turning corners. Thеу саn bе used іn conjunction wіth metal аnd PVC pipes. Yоu саn uѕе PEX pipes fоr transmitting hot, аѕ wеll аѕ cold water. It expands аnd contracts under heat changes, reducing thе chances оf pipe burst аnd leaks. Thе installation оf shut off valves аt thе supply lines wіth PEX tubing enables easy repair. Thеѕе аrе ѕоmе оf thе advantages thаt PEX has оvеr conventional copper piping. Problems Wіth PEX Pipings Evеrу material used іn technology comes wіth іtѕ share оf shortcomings, аѕ а perfect material іѕ а myth. One prime requirement іn usage оf а material іѕ thаt іt ѕhоuld bе аblе tо withstand variable conditions under whісh іt mау bе used. PEX comes wіth іtѕ share оf shortcomings thаt аrе exposed thrоugh іtѕ uѕе іn thе real world, аѕ opposed tо controlled lab conditions. Here аrе thе major problems thаt need tо bе taken into consideration. PEX іѕ Currently Nоn-Recyclable: One оf thе most significant problems wіth PEX pipes іѕ thаt іt іѕ nоn-recyclable. Thаt means, thеrе іѕ no way оf getting discarded PEX materials bасk іn uѕе. Research іѕ оn tо figure оut ways оf effectively recycling thіѕ material, whісh іѕ аlѕо used іn radiant floor heating installation. Rodent Menace: A reported problem wіth PEX piping іѕ thаt іt іѕ vulnerable tо rodent menace. Rodents саn chew into PEX piping, causing leaks. Thаt’s whу, adequate measures need tо bе taken tо get rid оf rodent infestation. Limited tо Internal оr Underground: Uѕе One prime PEX piping problem іѕ thаt іt саnnоt bе used fоr outdoor plumbing. Thе reason іѕ thаt іt саnnоt withstand severe subzero temperatures оr very high temperatures. It аlѕо саnnоt withstand exposure tо solar radiation fоr long. Thаt іѕ whу manufacturers specify іtѕ usage tо bе limited tо indoor оr underground uѕе. Sо, іn case оf outdoor plumbing, thеrе іѕ no substitute fоr copper, PVC оr оthеr kinds оf metal plumbing. Bacterial Growths: Whеn water usage іѕ limited іn а plumbing system аnd thеrе іѕ clogging оf water, а possibility оf bacterial growth layers developing wіthіn а PEX pipe іѕ real. Hоwеvеr, thіѕ problem саn bе easily taken care оf thrоugh а periodic cleanup оf pipes. Thеѕе wеrе ѕоmе оf thе prominent problems thаt уоu muѕt consider bеfоrе уоu plan tо go fоr installing PEX tubing. Thе problems аrе minor, except recycling problem whісh needs tо bе dealt wіth аѕ soon аѕ possible. Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555.
Every winter, temperatures get below freezing and so far you have been lucky enough to not have frozen pipes. However, what if you went on a trip? Many homeowners don’t think about the possibility of frozen pipes and will totally shut off the heat to the house during their absence. They will also not think about the fact that any remaining water in the pipes could possibly freeze. If you do happen to forget to take precautions such as leaving the water tricking in the faucets and leaving your heat on, you can expect your pipes to freeze and then burst once they thaw, leaving a big flooding mess. Can you imagine dealing with flooding water, ruined drywall and carpeting during the coldest time of the year? Not only is it a pain, it is quite expensive too! Prevention is the Best Policy Why leave water trickling out of your faucet during freezing weather? The reason is water freezes at a lower temperature when it is moving, unlike still water. Consider this theory when you see lakes frozen in the winter while nearby rivers are flowing freely. If you keep a trickle of water flowing from your faucets during freezing temperatures, you will prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing. A reason why pipes may burst in the winter time is because people who go out of town will forget to leave the heater on, even if it is just on low. Rather, they turn it completely off. During freezing temperatures, it is possible for the inside of your home, ergo your pipes, to reach freezing temperatures as well. Even insulated homes cannot prevent pipes from freezing if the heat is turned off. The best recourse if you are leaving town with possible frozen temperatures coming is to set your thermostat on low, about 55 degrees. While your home will still be cold, it will be above freezing. You can insulate your pipes for additional protection against freezing. Indoors, you can insulate pipes you can see in your attic or basement using a special foam or wrap. Outdoors, any pipes exposed or vulnerable to the elements should definitely be wrapped with insulating foam. You could potentially save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs with this bit of preventative maintenance. For the ultimate protection, you can turn your water complete off to the house if you are going out of town during a freeze spell. Be sure though to run the water completely out of the pipes after the main water valve to the home is shut down to make sure no remaining water freezes within the pipes. Sometimes, despite all the precautions possible, a pipe may still freeze. You will know if this happens when it starts to leak after thawing out. Some pipes will leak slowly while others may burst from the pressure. At this point, the only thing you can do is turn the water off to the house and call a plumber. A professional is the best recourse in a situation like this. Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555.
Although water is the main source of life, in plumbing it can be the most detrimental and frustrate every homeowner. Fewer issues, minus a natural disaster, may cause so much damage to a home like a serious plumbing issue. Fortunately, homeowners can take a lot of steps to prevent plumbing nightmares and to minimize the effects when they occur. You don’t want to end up with frozen pipes, so take preventive action, such as wrapping outside pipes with insulation, and keeping indoor temperatures above freezing at all times. It is easy for pipes to freeze whenever the mean temperature near the pipes drop below freezing. If they freeze, it will be awhile for them to gradually warm. Therefore, it will take some time for you to have running water again. But, they could also burst, causing a mess and a large repair bill. Have a professional flush your septic tank every five years or so to keep it working well. This will keep sediment from hanging out in your tank and eventually causing there to be a backup in your home. It is a small price to pay now to keep your septic in good working order and prevent having to pay for a major repair caused by a backup. Make sure all the work on your plumbing is scheduled at one time. It can be tempting to call a plumber each time you have a minor problem, but saving plumbing work for one time allows you to put money aside for the repairs. Most plumbers charge an hourly fee that can be minimized if there is only one visit to your home. If water that is not supposed to be there is in the dishwasher, the likely culprit is a kitchen sink hose not properly attached. A hose that is properly installed should lead uphill, then downhill, to discourage water from each area from mixing. Do not use your toilet to get rid of garbage. Don’t put disposable sanitary objects down the toilet. The sewage system cannot deal with these items and will become clogged. As well, keep your toilet paper usage to as little as possible. Keep your dryer’s lint trap clean. This is a good idea for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is fire safety. Be certain that you thoroughly inspect the trap to ensure there are no tears or holes that may allow lint to travel to the pipes. A costly repair, in regards to plumbing, are frozen pipes. However, this can typically be prevented. If you have any pipes outside, have them properly insulated. When cold weather sets in, turn off your outside faucets, disconnect all hoses and drain them. Taking proper precautions can save you lots of money on plumbing bills. Being properly informed and ready for any situation makes it much easier to avoid problems with plumbing. Knowing as much as you can about plumbing will lead to making sound decisions and avoiding costly plumbing problems. Furthermore, taking the initiative to thoroughly research and study the problem in advance of making repairs will save time and money. Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555.
Winter is here, and with it comes the need to winterize your home to prevent frozen pipes. One area you can’t afford to take any chances with is that of preparing your plumbing pipe-work for the freezing cold weather. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to experience a frozen pipe problem, then you are well aware of the risks of bursting pipes and the resulting water damage. Avoid this common winter mishap by adhering to these three simple ways to prevent frozen pipes: Keep pipes warm. You may find exposed pipes in your home’s crawlspace and/or attic area. Simply surround pipes with insulation material – the more the better. If you live in an especially extreme winter weather area, then you may even want to wrap your pipes with heat cables (controlled through your thermostat) or heat tape. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper installation method. Additionally, when the temperature drops, make it a point to open all of your cabinet doors in order to allow the heat into the back wall spaces where your pipes are located. Seal air leaks. Even the tiniest leak from the outside in can let in enough cold air to freeze your pipes. Examine your home thoroughly for any spaces that might be vulnerable to an air leak (spaces around outdoor-to-indoor pipes, electrical wiring, air ducts, and dryer vents are the most common culprits, as well as attic spaces and crawl areas), and then seal off any leaks you find with a combination of caulk and insulation, as is appropriate for the space. The water system. It is a good idea to leave a faucet running (with warm water) throughout the day and night whenever the freezing winter weather kicks in. If you can, choose a faucet connected to an outside wall, as the cold can very easily come in through even the smallest outdoor pipes (garden hose pipes, for example). If you are planning on leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time during the winter, then you should shut off your water supply and drain the water system completely before going on your travels. Your home’s plumbing is a major investment, and one that you will need to last for many years to come. Don’t take any chances with faulty plumbing materials or installation. Put all of your plumbing needs in the hands of competent, trustworthy professionals like us. Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555.