Here are three tips to reduce pipe stress and prevent leaks

Pipe stress can lead to plumbing leaks. If you don’t take steps to address the problem, you will have to face costly plumbing repairs. The more you wait to act, the greater will be the damage to the pipes.However, the right proactive steps can help you avoid plumbing disaster later on.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about what pipe stress is, and how Allbritten can help you avoid plumbing problems and find leaks.

What is pipe stress?

This isn’t your pipes being stressed about an upcoming exam or financial woes. Instead, pipe stress refers to pipes that are bearing too large of a load at too high of pressure. There are two primary drivers of pipe problems:

  • Water Pressure: The water pressure in your home’s plumbing is too high, which stresses the pipes, gaskets, and seals of your home’s plumbing.
  • Hard Water: As minerals from water leech out while passing through your plumbing, they collect inside pipes, forming hard calcification spots. Over time, this reduces the flow through the pipe, increasing the pressure and corroding joints.

The problems with pressure in pipes can be observed in your garden hose. Let’s say that you have the hose on at full capacity. If you were to then restrict most of the flow by pinching the end of the hose, the remaining water would shoot out of the end of the hose more forcefully.

That same phenomenon is happening your home’s plumbing every time you turn on the shower or sink faucet, or every time you start a load of laundry. Over time, that stress wears on pipes and fittings.

What happens when your pipes are stressed?

Excessive pressure on your home’s pipes over a long period of time will eventually lead to problems. First, it puts your pipes at a greater risk of cracking or bursting open. This will lead to a water leak, most likely hidden behind a wall or under the foundation. Such leaks can be difficult for a homeowner to locate and fix on their own, so you’ll need to bring in our plumbers to assist you with making the repair.

Any water leak in the home carries with it the potential for water damage and mold growth. The longer the leak goes undetected or resolved, the worse these problems become. Water damage repair and mold remediation can significantly increase the cost of cleanup and repair. Water damage attacks your floors, foundation, and structure of your home, while the growth of mold or mildew may negatively impact your health.

If you have reason to suspect your home has a hidden leak somewhere, you need to bring in a plumbing professional. Procrastinating on critical plumbing repairs will only make the situation worse.

How you can address pipe stress in your home

Your home’s pipes don’t have to be doomed to a future of leaks and problems. The professional plumbers at Allbritten can help ensure that your pipes are looking good and have a reduced stress level. Here are the two steps we take to address pipe stress problems:

Step #1: Have Allbritten check the pressure on your pipes

Water pressure over 80 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) can lead to increased stress on your pipes, causing strain inside the pipe and damaging your fixtures.

High water pressure is particularly damaging to copper pipes. In order to avoid corrosion, copper pipes have oxide coating on the interior pipe walls. This coating gets damaged when the water pressure is too high.

High water pressure in your home can put unnecessary pipe stress on your plumbing. Call Allbritten to have our plumbers install a water pressure regulator.

High water pressure in your home can put unnecessary pipe stress on your plumbing. Call Allbritten to have our plumbers install a water pressure regulator.

Water pressure should ideally be between 40 and 80 psi. If the water pressure is higher than the maximum threshold, it can cause plumbing damage.

Call Allbritten to have us measure your home’s water pressure. If the water pressure in your home is too high, we’ll likely recommend a solution such as a pressure regulator, a device that reduces the pressure of the water entering your home.

Step #2: Have Allbritten install a water softener

People who use well water or municipal water should consider using a water softener. Especially when drawn from wells and aquifers, water is typically hard, not soft, in the Fresno area. This water can damage the pipes and restrict the flow of water. It can also cause corrosion in the joints. Also, the fittings that keep the pipe together can corrode due to hard water.

You should examine faucets and shower heads to find out whether there is any white colored stains and buildup. These are usually magnesium, or other minerals that are found in high quantity in hard water.

Another way to know about hard water is to have your water tested by the team at Allbritten. Above 140 parts per million (PPM) indicates hard water. You can easily resolve the hard water problem by calling us and having us install a water softener.

Call Allbritten for more ways to reduce pipe stress

Allbritten is Fresno’s trusted name in plumbing. Our team is known for fast, friendly service and our honest approach to doing business. To learn more about our water testing services, give us a call at (559) 292-4919 or contact us online.

Here’s how you can lower your heating costs this winter

Heating costs in the winter are enough to make anyone cringe. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably looking for ways to cut back on energy costs for the rest of the season. Here are a few simple things you can do to lower your heating costs this winter.

For a comprehensive view of how you can reduce energy waste and start saving, contact us to schedule a home energy audit. Our energy experts will evaluate how efficient your home is and make recommendations for improvements.

Clean your vents and radiators

Over time, dust and debris build up in vents, radiators, and duct systems. In addition to being horrible for your health, this buildup can also block air flow through your HVAC system.

When airflow is blocked, your system has to work harder to bring the home to the temperature on the thermostat. This can cause your heating costs to skyrocket.

To make things easier on your HVAC system and energy budget, clean your vents regularly. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner. You should also schedule duct cleaning at least once per year to maximize air flow and make sure your indoor air is as clean as possible.

Lower your thermostat setting

There’s no reason to keep your home blistering hot during the winter. To save energy, opt for a cool and comfortable 68⁰ F. You can lower the temperature even further while you’re sleeping. This action alone could save you up to 3% of your heating costs over a 24-hour period.

Upgrade your windows

Old windows are typically not very energy-efficient. If you live in an older home with thin, single-pane windows, it’s time for an upgrade. Switch to energy-efficient, double-pane windows and you’ll notice a decrease in your monthly energy costs.

Change your furnace filter frequently

Did you know your furnace filter should be changed once every 3-4 months? If you have pets or suffer from allergies, you may want to change your filter even more frequently than that. If you fail to change your filter as recommended, you could be dealing with more than just dirty air.

Furnace filters can easily become clogged because they’re constantly filtering airborne pollutants out of the air. If they get too clogged, they’ll force your furnace to work harder than it should. This can not only result in higher energy costs, but a decreased furnace lifespan as well.

Changing your filter isn’t hard. Just make sure you get the right type of replacement filter and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing it. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, call an HVAC company like Allbritten to change it for you.

Schedule a home energy audit and lower your heating costs this winter and in coming winters.

Schedule a home energy audit and lower your heating costs this winter and in coming winters.

Add more insulation where needed

If you haven’t done so yet, you should figure out if your home’s insulation meets standards in your area. Older homes often have insufficient insulation, which can allow hot air to escape.

You can add more insulation to your attic, walls, and even your garage. The cost of such a project can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on how much insulation you need to add.

Get regular furnace tune-ups

One of the best ways to lower your heating bill is to get a furnace tune-up. Just as cars tend to run better when they are maintained, HVAC systems tend to work better when they get regular tune-ups. Call Allbritten today if your furnace needs maintenance. You can also at your convenience.