Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions
Why do my pipes make noise when turning off the faucet?
Noisy faucets could be caused by a loose pipe banging against wood when water passes through it. If water is shut off quickly, it can make the water flow abruptly stop in the pipes and cause water hammer. A water hammer arrestor can be affixed to prevent the pipe from banging against the wood. In addition, high water pressure can cause pipes to vibrate and make banging sounds. You can test water pressure with a water pressure test gauge or a call a Van Natta plumbing professional to solve any of these problems for you.
How do I prevent my pipes from freezing?
There are many steps that can be taken to winterize your home and prevent water pipes from freezing. First, wrap exposed pipes with insulation or thermostat-controlled heat cables or heat tape. Next, disconnect outside hoses and wrap the faucets in foam insulation. In addition, turn off the water to outside faucets with shutoff valves. Lastly, your home's temperature should always be kept above at least 55° Fahrenheit.
If your pipes do freeze, you can turn off the water supply to reduce pressure and prevent the pipe from bursting. If a pipe is exposed, you can attempt to thaw it out with a hair dryer.
How can I prevent leaking pipes?
Water pressure is extremely important in preventing pipes from leaking. If the pressure exceeds 60 dpi, water hammers may spring up and cause leaks. Regulate the pressure back down to the normal levels of 30-50 dpi to resolve this potential leak problem. A water softener can also help reduce stress on your pipes and by extension reduce the chance of a leaky pipe. The high mineral content of hard water can cause corrosion or buildup inside pipes which can lead to leaks. A water softener can remove excess minerals from water and prevent the buildup of minerals.
How can I increase the water pressure in my home?
If you are having a problem with water pressure, there may be a larger issue with the plumbing in your home. One possible cause is mineral buildup in your pipes. If you live in an area with hard water, buildups of calcium and other minerals could be partially blocking your pipes and slowing down the flow of water. In addition, a leak in pipes can reduce water pressure throughout the home. This could also be a problem with the water supply outside your home and therefore is not a problem that can always be fixed directly by plumbing.
To find out the cause of low water pressure, you can check to make sure that the main shut-off valve is open all the way. You can also check your pipes to make sure there is not a leak. If there is only one faucet or shower head with low water pressure, it could be clogged. If water pressure is only low when hot water water is coming out, it could point to a larger problem with your hot water heater.
How can I lower my hot water bill this winter?
There are several ways to change your water habits in order to save money on hot water. Turning your water heater down from the default of about 140 degrees to 120 degrees is a good place to start. You will barely notice a difference in the temperature but will save significantly on the heating costs. This temperature change combined with shorter showers and turning off the water while brushing teeth, shaving, or washing dishes, can save you some cash over the course of the entire winter. Using cold water for laundry will also make a difference in your water and energy bills.
In addition to these simple changes, replacing an older water heater with a more energy efficient model could save you even more money over the course of many winters. Talk to the experts at Van Natta about replacing your water heater today!