Avoid Broken Pipes During Rainy Season
Beware of Broken Pipes
With the start of spring, people will see heavy rainfall in preparation for fall months. This is the time when the earth replenishes its supply of moisture to grow flowers, trees, and crops. As much as everyone needs the received rain, if left unchecked, the excessive moisture under most houses can cause a significant problem.
Pipes are not made to handle too much pressure or buildup and if clogged, you could experience backups and broken pipes. This article will discuss a few things to look out for when it comes to your plumbing this spring.
Excess Rain Can Increase Water Pressure
When rainwater falls, the ground soaks up most of the moisture. Excess water runs off into storm drains and piping that leads to water treatment plants. When the soil gets overly saturated, however, it can back up into pipes and put pressure on the pipes under your house.
Rain can also force dirt, rocks, sticks, leaves, and other debris into cracks in your pipe and cause a backup. When pipes encounter more significant water pressure than they were meant to handle, they are more prone to cracking or bursting, causing floods and damage to your home and foundation.
The biggest issue is with pipes that are old or worn down. If you have had issues with a pipe leaking previously and it’s nearing the time to replace it, doing so sooner than later can prevent serious issues such as leaks and breaks from pressure caused by rainfall.
UNEXPECTED PLUMBING REPAIRS: CUTTING CAST IRON PIPE AND REPAIRING THE SEWER LINE
Nothing like a Thanksgiving dinner to clog the sink, right? That’s exactly what happened to me on Thursday evening! My sister and I were working on doing some dishes, she had a full sink of water and started to let it go down the drain. My sink is connected to my dishwasher which has an open pipe in the corner of the kitchen that the dishwasher then drains into. When Bronwyn let the water start going down the sink drain, the pipe for the dishwasher started gushing out water all over the floor! We quickly plugged the sink back up to prevent any more water from going down and called quits on dishes for the night.
The next morning I saw that both the sink and the pipe had drained overnight. I tired flushing things out with baking soda and vinegar followed by boiling water to see if that would fix the clog. It did nothing and I could only get a few cups of water down the dishwasher pipe before the water rose to the top. Not a good sign. A little while later, I headed into the crawl space to see if I could figure out what was going on (a lofty idea for someone as naive as I am about plumbing!). I am not particularly fond of my crawl space. It’s damp and filled with spiders and there’s lingering molten tar that dripped down between the floor boards when I accidentally liquified the tar mastic in the kitchen . I should probably replace the plastic tarps that are affected by the latter… but that would just add more to my to-do list! So instead I leave it be and crawl through the grime. The crawl space is accessed through this half-door in the corner of the basement. You can see it here at the edge of this photo from when I first toured the house.
So, I climbed into the crawl space and opened up the flexible coupling (this type) with a screw driver to see if I could identify the problem. It’s one of those rubber-like couplings with metal clamps on either end, so it’s easy enough to loosen the clamps and open the pipe. Of course, idiotically, I didn’t think my plan through. When I opened the clamp and pulled it up the pipe, the whole thing started gushing dirty dishwater in all directions! It started off by splashing right up into my face of course! Yuck!
After I drained an unexpectedly large amount of water all over myself, I removed myself from the dark cavity that is my crawl space and texted my neighbor Erik. This was clearly over my head. He popped over shortly after with a snake and we stuck that into the pipe where I’d opened the coupling. After getting the snake in nothing seemed to be happening, but when Erik went to remove the snake, the whole pipe moved with it. Uh oh. I reached out to steady the pipe and realized it didn’t even matter! The whole pipe section had just snapped off. And snapped off not close to where we were snaking, but farther down the pipe. See the dirt in the picture above? That’s where it broke, buried down in that! So I slathered a smile on my face and pretended I loved the crawl space and got to work.
I took out a shovel and started digging in the dirt to figure out where the pipe had broken and found the house’s 4″ cast iron sewer line. The old galvanized pipe that connected the sink and dishwasher drains to the sewer had corroded away and the slight motion from snaking it, broke it off right where it connected to the sewer. Not good! Because it was broken, I couldn’t even get it out of the sewer line and simply sub in a new section of pipe. Nope, I had to get way more involved and replace a section of the sewer line itself! Erik headed out with the promise to help me tomorrow. After I finished digging out around the pipe I called it quits for the night and stuffed a rag in the broken off pipe to prevent the sewer gases from filling the basement. The only good thing about this clog is that it caused me to find this corroded (now broken) pipe. This pipe had been leaking into the soil hidden below where I’d be able to see it if I had not been digging!
Protecting Your Valuable Plumbing Pipes
Have you experienced significant plumbing issues lately? Or perhaps your plumbing continually springs small leaks that require pipe repair? In either case, the team at General Plumbing and Air Conditioning can help. For years, we have been assisting residential and commercial clients with an array of pipe repair services from sewer pipe lining to whole-home repiping. Allow us to give you peace of mind with our excellent customer service and workmanship.
There are several things we can do to get your plumbing system back on track. At times, your repair may only mean a small pipe replacement. However, depending on what kind of material you have, repiping may be the better option. Certain systems are prone to leaks and damage, so we can overhaul the old plumbing with better and sturdier materials.
Broken Water Pipe Repair
Have you ever walked into your home and been greeted with an inch or two of water? It is every homeowner’s nightmare – and for a good reason. A broken water pipe can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, especially if it isn’t repaired properly. When you discover your broken water pipe
Signs You Need Pipe Repair
If your water bills have been higher than usual, it isn’t always because someone in the house has been taking longer showers. Sometimes it’s because you are in need of pipe repair service.
A water disaster can strike anytime anywhere. Generally, the occurrences are sudden and unexpected and the damages are often very difficult to detect depending on the specific nature of the loss. It has been widely reported in the insurance industry that the most frequent type of loss is from water. Events such as frozen pipe leaks, broken pipes, leaks from appliances, sewage backup, water entering from an opening in roofs and other elevations of a building due to heavy or driven rain are typical water losses that are covered under most risk property policies. To receive fair compensation for a loss, it is advantageous to have an experienced claims advocate advising you as the method for adjusting such losses can be highly technical and impact the way the settlement is determined.
Leaking Pipe or Pipe Burst
Often referred to a plumbing system or supply line leaks, these types of leaks can cause massive property damage is left unchecked. They sometimes originate from just a small damp spot in a floor or baseboard, a slightly higher water bill than normal to a flooded property from a broken supply line gushing for hours or days while you are away. Most likely the damaged pipe is not covered itself, but the access to the affected area and the ensuing water damage will be covered unless your policy specifically excludes it. The most important thing in these losses to stop the source as quickly as possible, extract the water as quickly as possible to limit the potential for other damages and mold growth, and quickly report the claim to the insurance company.
Broken Drain Line or Sewer Line
Drain lines, or sanitary plumbing pipes, carry waste from your drains and away from your home. In recent years, more and more policies are excluding sewer drain line issues from coverage without adding specific endorsements for additional coverage. If the damages are covered, usually the repair to the pipes are not which can lead to thousands of dollars in costs. These types of issues come with their own special set of remediation needs as a special category or “dirty” water will damage and contaminate your property and require specific steps to properly resolve the issues.
Often referred to as “slab leaks”, these leaks occur when a pipe break or bursts inside or under the foundation of the property. Slab Leaks are typically found in copper pipes and many times they are very small holes, however these are pressurized lines which means even a small hole can release a lot of water. These slab leaks can and usually are difficult to locate as you will only see the water coming up in certain areas which are sometimes not even close to where the actual plumbing leak is located. These types of leaks often times require the use of a Leak Detection Company to pinpoint the exact location of the leak as it is hard work to break through a slab and you don’t want to do it more times than needed.
In the past, mold damage claims were covered under most property insurance when it resulted from a covered peril, such as a sudden plumbing leak, fire control, storm or other cause covered by your property insurance policy.
Professional Broken Pipe Repair
Is your house suffering from a leaking or rusted pipe? Leaks are simple to spot from the sounds they make, As well as the odors! Unfortunately, it is hard to protect your pipes from a burst pipe, simply because there are plenty of different things that can result in damage to a pipe. However, when these problems occur, it is important to act quickly and look out for any further damages.
Repairing Busted Pipes
Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is here to serve clients with integrity as well as professionalism, from home to commercial plumbing projects. We’re experienced in an extensive variety of both complex and basic plumbing problems, and we love a good challenge. We have been contacted to fix pipes that were harmed after a long time of extreme water pressure, as well as pipes that have entirely fallen apart from rust damages. Unsurprisingly, we’re a preferred contractor for pipe replacement and pipe repairs in Santa Cruz, Marin, Santa Clara, and Sonoma. You have multiple options in regards to leaking or pipe bursts in your home. When you give us a ring, we’ll send out one of our expert plumbers to look at the situation and provide you with an estimate. Repairs are often simple, but sometimes we’ll come across pipes that would actually be cheaper to just replace entirely.
Professional Pipe Repairmen
How much your repair or replacement will cost, and how long it’ll take both rely on the type of pipes involved. Iron piping is among the longest-lasting pipes, for example, though they will cost more than options such as PVC piping. We have an extensive variety of services to choose from, and we do whatever we can to accommodate your needs. Among our extensive variety of services, you’ll find rusted pipe replacement, as well as more plumbing specialties.