Four Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing

plumbing contractor shoreview all ways drainsIt’s fall and with it comes cooler temperatures. Winter will be here before you know it, so it is time to start figuring out what chores you need to tackle before the worst of the cold hits. As a plumbing contractor serving Shoreview and the surrounding areas, we have seen our share of burst pipes and other weather-related plumbing issues. So we thought we would give some tips on how to get your plumbing system ready for winter.

Tip 1: Insulate your pipes

Take the time to insulate any pipes that run through unheated areas of your home. You can get polyethylene or fiberglass to use for insulation, and you might want to consider wrapping the pipes in heat-tape before you insulate them as well. Just be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the heat-tape to avoid damaging your pipes. Or, if you are not sure how to handle insulating your pipes, call a plumbing contractor like us.

Tip 2: Let faucets drip when it’s below freezing outside

You should turn off any exterior water sources before temperatures start to regularly dip below freezing. But if there are any faucets along your house’s exterior walls that were not turned off, turn on those taps so there is a small and steady drip any time the temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. That way, if the pipes do freeze, there will not be any pressure between the blockage and the faucet, and that could help prevent a burst pipe. If a pipe does end up bursting, call a plumbing contractor like us as soon as possible for help.

Tip 3: Open up your cabinets and fix exterior cracks

On particularly frigid nights, open up the cabinets along any exterior walls to allow the heat to reach the pipes. You should also fix any cracks or holes in the outside walls or foundation of your house. Get a professional company in to install spray foam insulation or use caulking to help seal up those gaps.

Tip 4: Seal off any crawl spaces

Another way that cold air can get to your pipes is through any open crawl spaces. You should temporarily seal off any access points to the crawl space. Take a look at your basement as well. If there are any windows down there, make sure they are fully sealed too.

Do you need a plumbing contractor serving Shoreview and the surrounding areas? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or contact us for a Free Estimate.

How to Plan for a Flood

Plumbing tools and materialsFlash floods can strike at any time. The day could be nice and sunny, but with one good thunderstorm, the next thing you know creek beds are overflowing and there is high water all around. While these things happen sometimes without any warning, there are still a few things you can do to prepare yourself, your family and your home. And if the worst happens and you need help after a flood or for any other plumbing emergency, call us and we can send a plumber to your Edina home.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions on how to prep for a flood:

  • Pack an emergency kit. The kit should have bottled water, nonperishable food, band-aids and other medical supplies, a portable radio, batteries and other essentials for you and your family.
  • Make sure your family has a detailed plan about what to do if your home floods. Everyone should know where to go to evacuate, and you should all know how to contact one another if cell phone service is disrupted.
  • If you haven’t already, consider having important equipment, like your air conditioner unit, hot water heater and other appliances mounted off of the floor. This might give all of it a better chance of getting through a flood with minimal or no damage.
  • Make sure your home has flood insurance, especially if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Bear in mind that most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover floods. You usually have to get a rider on the insurance policy that will cover a flood if and when it happens.
  • Make sure your home has a working sump pump. If it does not, call us and we can send a plumber out to install one.
  • If the weather outside is looking rainy and stormy, keep an eye on any news and weather alerts. Follow any evacuation instructions if they are given, and remember that emergency vehicles always get the right of way.
  • Make sure you know how to shut off your home’s electrical system and any gas source in the event of an emergency.
  • After the flood, if your home has sustained any damage, do a walk-through and take pictures of and notes on any damage. Then call your insurance company.
  • Call a plumber at All Ways Drains and we can come out and unclog any drains that need it and for assistance with anything else plumbing-related.

Do you want more information on how to hire a plumber in Edina? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422, or contact us for a Free Estimate.

What to Do about a Sewer Backup

It is every homeowner’s worst nightmare: the smell and sight of raw sewage seeping back up into your home. It is definitely a stressful time when you are dealing with a sewer backup, and you might not know what to do at first. All Ways Drains can help with you are experiencing sewer backup in your Roseville home, but in the meantime, here is what you can do while you wait for us to arrive.

First things first: check your toilets sinks and waste pipes and if you spot any blockages, try to clear them out with a plunger or a snake. Do not reach in with your bare hands, as this is unsafe and unsanitary. If you are not sure how to clean out the blockages, wait for us to arrive and we can take care of it for you.

You should alert your city, township or municipality as soon as possible after you notice a sewer backup problem. The correct agency to alert depends on where you live, but most towns have an emergency number that you can dial to report these types of issues.

Your town can look at the sewer system from their end of things to determine if the sewer backup is caused by an issue with the pipes that they maintain. If it’s not, then it is probably a problem with your lines. You will need to call in a professional company for assistance with this issue.

Finally, you might be wondering how you can clean up the mess after the sewer backup has been fixed. You can attempt to clean it up on your own, depending on how extensive the mess is and how comfortable you feel doing the work. Make sure you wear gloves and other protective gear. Use water and bleach to clean up the mess, and make sure you use fans to thoroughly dry the affected areas as well.

There are also professional restoration companies that you can hire to tackle the sewer backup mess for you instead. The cost varies based on the company and how extensive the damage is. But sometimes it is best to leave this type of clean up to the professionals since you are dealing with raw sewage.

If you are experiencing a problem with sewer backup in your Roseville home, call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or you can contact us to set up your Free Estimate.

 

How to Avoid Clogged Drains

Clogged drains aren’t just a nuisance. They can actually lead to a variety of other plumbing problems and, if left unchecked, could result in costly repair work. So how can you avoid a clogged drain in your Coon Rapids home? Here are a few tips!

Avoid chemical drain cleaners

If you have a clogged drain, it is probably quite tempting to get some chemical drain cleaner and pour it down the drain. However, this can actually have the opposite effect of what you want to happen. Drain cleaners can erode cast iron pipes, plus they sometimes do not take care of the entire clogged drain, which means the problem will happen again anyway. You can call us and we can come out and snaked the clogged drain so the problem doesn’t keep happening over and over.

Keep food scraps out of kitchen drains

Even if you have a garbage disposal, do your best to keep food scraps out of your kitchen sink. Throw them into the trash instead. And never pour liquid grease down into your sink either. Pour the grease into a sealable container, preferably glass, and throw it into the trash. Consider installing a mesh screen or trap over the drain that will keep the bigger food items out of your sink.

Keep hair out of bathroom drains

You should also get a mesh screen or trap for your bathroom drains too since hair is a common culprit of a clogged drain. The trap will make it easy for you to grab the hair clump and throw it into the trash. Do not flush it down the toilet.

Be careful what you flush

Your toilet and sewer pipes were made to handle human waste and toilet paper. That’s it. You should not flush tissues, hair, food or anything else like that. These items can get into your sewer pipes and into your sewage system and caused a clogged drain or even more extensive (and expensive) plumbing problems.

Do some preventative maintenance

There are a few things you can do to take a more proactive approach to a clogged drain. For example, after dinner, run hot water in your kitchen sink to make sure they are clear. You can also pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of vinegar into your drains every couple of days to keep them clear.

Do you need help with a clogged drain in Coon Rapids? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422 or contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Common Summer Plumbing Problems

It’s summer time, and that means you and your family are probably busy with outdoor activities, barbecues and plenty of opportunities to relax. But even though it’s vacation season, your plumbing doesn’t get much of a break. If anything, it’s working harder than ever! So here are a few tips on how to avoid plumbing repair in your St Paul home this summer (and throughout the entire year).

Because you are probably outside more often when it is warm out, your washing machine and dryer are probably doing a lot of extra work. Make sure you check them both regularly for signs of wear and tear. Your washing machine should get some extra attention in order to avoid causing the need for plumbing repair. And it has been longer than three years since your washing machine hose has been replaced, you should look into having this done soon.

Did you know that sometimes the condensation from your ductwork can cause your plumbing to back up? This can lead to plumbing repair. Make sure you get your ducts looked at regularly to ensure there are no leaks or cracks. And if any are found, be sure to get them repaired as soon as possible. Leaky or cracked ductwork can also drive up the cost of cooling and heating your home.

Your garbage disposal is probably working overtime too thanks to fun summer parties and cooking on the grill. The garbage disposal was not designed to get rid of every single kind of food. For example, you should never pour grease or fat down into your drains, and you should never use your garbage disposal for “stringy” foods like celery or bananas. And you should be sure to avoid pouring instant foods down the drain: the kind where you just add water. These can all cause your drains to get clogged and the need for plumbing repair.

Finally, make sure you get your home’s plumbing system looked at and inspected on a regular basis to ensure there are no clogs or any need for plumbing repair. Professional plumbers, like the ones at All Ways Drains, can come to your home and inspect your plumbing, drains and other components to make sure everything is running and draining as it should be.

Would you like more information on plumbing repair in St Paul? Call All Ways Drains at 612-922-9422. Or you can contact us for a Free Estimate.