Keep Your Pipes from Bursting!

Why Did Your Pipes Burst?

No one wants to deal with the damages, expenses, and messes caused by burst pipes. So, what causes these pipes to burst during the winter? The basic answer is that the water coming into your house from the outside is much colder than it  was during the summer months. The cold water causes your pipes to contract and in weaker parts, can cause the pipe to burst. This happens because the pipe becomes unable to withhold the water pressures inside it.

At What Temperature Do Pipes Freeze?

Pipes freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes inside your home, however, are protected from exterior freezing temperatures through your home’s insulation. What this means is that it on days where it is 32 degrees outside, it does not necessarily mean that your pipes will freeze.

Typically, your home’s pipes begin to freeze when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees.

How Long Does It Take For Pipes to Freeze and Burst?

The first thing to think about when answering this question is, what is the exact temperature outside and how long will is it predicted to stay that temperature or lower? As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home’s water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours.

Precautions You Can Take To Prevent Your Water Pipes Bursting:

There are no practical ways of heating the ground temperature around your home, so stopping the contraction caused by the cold water is not something you can control. Our advice is to be mindful of your plumbing system as the temperatures change and check to see if you have any leaks. While we cannot stop the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

1. Keep Water Faucets Running

If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets dripping. Water moving through the system can prevent the line from freezing.

2. Direct Warm Air To Cold Areas Of Your Home

Often, the pipes that freeze are located near an outside wall or a window, so be sure to direct warm air to any colder areas of your home. Put radiator heaters or oil filled heaters in any room or area that stays particularly cold in 20 degrees or below.

3. Leave Your Cabinet Doors Open

If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall, be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air into the cabinet.

4. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet

If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will freeze and break the device.

5. Install Heat Tape

Use a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as necessary during cold weather.

6. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.

7. Check Your Home’s Temperature

Keep temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.

8. Call An Expert Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rocket Plumbing to receive tips and expertise on what you can do to prevent your water pipes from bursting.

2 of 2: September is Drain Cleaning Month!!

What Should I Keep Out of My Drains? 

 

Hair

This is a big challenge control because your hair is falling out, and you certainly can’t catch it every time it does. However, what you can do is place a drain stopper, like the TubShroom, in your shower drains and this device will catch all of the hair for you.  Allowing your hair to flow freely down the drain can cause a lot of problems for you in the long run. Hair is easily caught up in itself or in the drain and with anything else that may have slipped down and if you don’t catch a clog soon enough then before you know it you’ll be showering with standing water and the drain will be clogged!

Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods include things like broccoli, celery, corn husks, and asparagus. These cause a lot of problems with your garbage disposal because they separate and wrap around the blades and hammers in the disposal, which will cause clogs.

F.O.G. (fat, oil, grease)

Almost everyone knows to avoid tossing fats, oils, or grease into the garbage disposal, but some think that there are ways to avoid the repercussions. For instance, just because the grease is liquid when you pour it down the drain doesn’t mean it will stay that way. In fact, it will likely harden on the interior of your pipes (Like our photos here) and cause clogs or other problems in the future.

Bones and Pits

Whether you’re trying to toss out leftover bones from your summer barbecue or throw out the pits from those sweet peaches, neither of these should end up in your garbage disposal. If you’ve ever tried to cut through a bone or a pit you’ll know that it’s nearly impossible, so don’t expect the hammers of your garbage disposal to accomplish what you cannot. Your safest bet will be to throw these items in the trashcan where they can do no harm.

 

Affiliate links to buy any of the solutions above:Tub Shroom, Compost Bin, Grease Holder 

 

1 of 2: September is Drain Cleaning Month!!

Is My Sewer Line Going to Burst?

A clogged drain can become a long-term issue and even become dangerous if not addressed. A clog can burst a line If the clogs go unidentified for long periods of time.

It will send sewer gases back into the home and cause serious pipe bursts or breaks which results in backups and overflowing waters in the home.  Over time, these problems have the potential to worsen leaving you with a very expensive solution.  

As a homeowner, your sewer line is an important part of your home. You want to make sure that it is continuously working correctly because any kind of a backup can be frustrating to deal with and get repaired. Unfortunately, until it is too late, you don’t realize what is happening in your lines. Steve recommends twice a year drain cleaning to keep your pipes free of grease, buildup, debris and tree roots.  

While these problems can be difficult and a hassle, there are options to get the fixes you need. Scheduling regular drain cleaning services from Chester Springs, Rocket Plumbing and Drain is an important step to keeping things in optimal working condition in your home.

If meeting Steve isn’t exciting enough, more importantly than that, you can see the “Beast” in ACTION! —Chester County, PA’s Top Gun high pressure jetting truck does it all~ Schedule your drain cleaning today with Steve! 

“PRO ACTIVE” HYDRO JETTING SPECIAL  “$399”

See terms & conditions for all offers. Expires September 30, 2020.

Free Virtual Plumbing Visits During COVID-19

You can’t ignore your plumbing issues during the COVID-19 crisis! Ignore them too long and they will cause bigger, more expensive problems down the road.

Virtual Plumbing Consults - Rocket Plumbing & DrainWe are still making house visits to our customers.  But, if you have some concern about a plumber coming into your home, we are introducing our free Virtual Consult to help identify which problems can wait, which can be temporarily fixed, and which need immediate attention.

By conducting a video call we can advise you on the best course of action, even show you how you might be able to fix the problem yourself! (It’s very empowering!)

Depending on your skill level we may be able to walk you through a temporary fix to avoid damage to your home, an unnecessarily large water bill, or a huge sewage backup in the yard.

Can I really fix my own plumbing problems?

While we can’t guarantee anything without knowing your situation, anyone with access to the Internet, a smartphone (or laptop with a video camera and mic), and some hand tools can attempt a repair or fix with our Virtual Consults. (You can even borrow some hand tools from a neighbor!)

What type of repairs might you be able to help me through?

Here are just a few of the simple repairs we can help you with:

  • Faulty Water Heaters – We can show you how to drain the water heater and stop the flow of water or perhaps the pilot light went out and needs to be re-lit,
  • Leaking or Running Toilets – We can show you how to shut off the water to stop the leak or repair it with parts you may have or can easily get
  • Clogged Toilet – We can show them a photo of what they need from the local store to help to unclog a toilet that a toilet plunger won’t solve
  • Water Pressure Problems – Can help adjust the pressure regulator or assist with replacing it if needed, we can assess whether it may be sedimented aerator or perhaps a leaking pipe
  • Clogged Sink Drains or Slow Draining Sink – We can show people how to unclog the drain and there are solutions that Baking Soda and Vinegar can solve as well. We can help identify what the cause is so we can assist with the solution so that the line doesn’t become completely blocked.
  • Jammed Garbage Disposal – We can show you how to unjam or open it up with the key
  • Sewer System Back Up – We can help them identify if they indeed have a sewer system back up and what the possible causes would have been and identify if they need our “in person” help
  • Dripping Faucets – This could cause a water bill to be high so we want to walk through the steps to try to fix it or identify what the issue is or if it needs to be replaced.

How do I get started?

Just visit our Virtual Plumbing Consult page, complete our short form and we’ll call you back!

What our customers are saying!

Review on FB - Rocket Plumbing & Drain

 

Disclaimer

These Video Calls are limited to 20 minutes for Free. If you need Video Consultation after that, it will be at our discounted rate of $79.00 per hour payable VIA Credit or Debit Card over the phone.

Not all plumbing calls can be fixed by the homeowner. As a company we are practicing social distancing and CDC guided protective measures. If the call results in an in-person visit needed, a rate of $145.00 per hour will apply plus service call fee depending on the service. If your service requires Drain Snaking, Camera Equipment or Jetting Services, additional charges may apply.

These free calls are intended as a service to our customers during the COVID-19 crisis to see if we can assist you in making temporary repairs if you are trying to maintain self-quarantine. Our advice is intended as such, and is not a contract for a complete fix or repair of the issue.

Myth vs Mystery: Understanding Jetting 101

The two biggest questions I get asked is “why is your Jetter different and why is it so expensive to jet a line”. There are a number of answers to that question but the simplest of the answers is that our Jetter Truck is the most powerful Jetting Truck on the market in terms of PSI (Pressure) and GPM (Gallons per minute) therefore a very expensive machine to buy and it costs a boatload in diesel to run. Our jetter is capable of 4000 PSI at 65 GPM. While companies advertise their “jetting” services they are careful not to tell you the capabilities of the Truck or Trailer Jetter for a number of reasons along with their limited selection of jetting nozzles that are carefully selected for the right pressure clog.

“But, aren’t all Jetter’s alike?” That’s the follow up question to the first and second question. NO all Jetting Equipment is not alike. We take great pride in how we selected and chose our Jetter Truck. We took our clients needs into careful consideration and we have created a dialogue of the differences in Jetting Equipment and how it affects who you hire.

So, when choosing a Jetter, what is more important: GPM or PSI?” When choosing a Jetter’s output in PSI and GPM, remember this hydrojetting rule: Pressure (psi) is “cutting” power, while gallons per minute is “flushing” power. Pressure cuts into blockages. “Thinner,” high-pressure waterjet streams from a good jetting nozzle will have the most “cutting” power if the PSI is adequate. Experience has shown that a 3,500 to 4,000 PSI jetter with 18 or more GPM and the right nozzle or tool will cut out root masses, chop up hard grease, and carve out hard settled dirt. We have cut out this kind of crud from 3- to 8-inch drains and sewers. Pressure cuts are why 4,000 PSI jetters are used to cut out blockages. This is also why the little 1,500-2000 psi electric-powered units don’t cut out much at all. Volume flushes out debris.

“Wider” waterjet streams shooting out of a jetting nozzle will have the most “flushing” action, and more volume also means more impact in the cleaning. If the GPM is adequate, the sheer volume of water will push and carry debris. If you want to move larger rock, bricks, grease-logs, etc., you’ll need more GPM. This is why city and county crews clean 8- to 12-inch pipe with 40 to 60 GPM, and larger pipelines with 80+ GPM trucks. This is also why little 2-10 GPM electric jetters don’t flush out much debris. The GPM you will need depends greatly on the pipe diameter being cleaned and how clean you expect the line to be or if you just need to penetrate a blockage to restore flow.

The following is a story about a contractor who was hired by a city to inspect an 8-inch pipe: When he got there, the city crew had been working for two hours trying to clear roots from the line with their big 65 GPM/ 2,000 PSI jetting truck. The contractor had a 6 GPM/4,000 PSI jetter in his van along with his TV system, and the city let him take a crack at the roots. Using a Warthog slow-rotating cutter nozzle, the contractor cleared the roots and then finished the video inspection. Notice that he got done with a 20 hp unit what the city could not do with a 100 hp unit. Why? Because a) he had the right tools/nozzles; and b) pressure cuts. The contractor said, “You should have seen their faces.”

In contrast, it is important to also realize that if we were talking about clearing rocks and debris (instead of cutting roots) then the story would be the opposite. The 65 GPM truck would run circles around the 6 GPM jetter, because volume flushes. Note: Using the right nozzle or tool also makes a huge impact. This is why we chose a high GPM and a high PSI truck. Because cuts and volume matters. We mostly deal with debris and grease in lines. We can turn up or down the volume and pressure as needed for the situation we are facing because our truck has the capability to do so. However, if you hire a company that has high pressure capability with low volume capability and you are faced with the alternative scenario of rocks and debris, you will be facing hiring another company.

Most contractors are in the job of re-establishing flow in drains and side sewers. You can break through blockage in 3-inch and smaller pipe with less than 6 GPM, while the 9 GPM to 18 GPM machines will do a better job of cleaning and are much better in 4- to 18-inch pipe. We most commonly deal with 4-12” pipe therefore we have a Higher GPM Truck with more PSI to re-establish flow.

Also, understand that a jetter’s GPM is always listed at maximum throttle, so if the engine speed is reduced then the GPM reduces. Therefore, since we have a higher GPM jetter then we can “slow it down” for use in smaller-piping. The pressure will be maintained because we have nozzles sized for the lower GPM in addition to our standard full GPM nozzles. We also have a smaller-diameter “mini” jet hoses for certain situations. Having the right personnel who knows what the proper ratio PSI to GPM also matters. Anyone can buy a jetter truck but do they have the experience to run it?

As you can see, there is not one right answer for each pipe and each situation. By hiring a company with the highest of GPM and highest of PSI capabilities such as ours with a full line of the latest engineered cutting heads and jetting nozzles upwards of $1,000 a piece, you are sure that your clog will be handled by the right truck and professional for the job! Do you want to have to guess what’s in your lines or what size pipe you are facing so that you call the right jetting professional or do you want to know that whoever you hire has the right truck with the right tools/nozzles with the right pressure and power to do the job the first time? Here at Solutions we have the RIGHT truck, with the RIGHT tools with the RIGHT pressure to handle any situation.

Get Jetting!