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.

Preventative plumbing: 5 ways to prevent major plumbing issues

How to prevent major plumbing issuesOut-of-sight, out-of-mind.

This old saying applies to your home’s plumbing. Most people tend to ignore the network of pipes inside the walls that delivers cold and hot water to showers, tubs, and sinks. They don’t think about the pipes that carry away waste and water.

However, giving your plumbing a little extra thought can help you prevent major plumbing issues. In this article, we’ll share 5 preventive plumbing tips that will help you avoid plumbing disaster.

Need help with your home’s plumbing, or have a plumbing issue? Contact our professional plumbers at Allbritten.

1. Address leaks immediately by calling Allbritten

A simple constant drip from the faucet can result in significantly increased water bills.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that leaky faucets results in the waste of more than three thousand gallons every year. A single leaky faucet can add about $15 to the bill. Multiple leaks inside the house can increase the bills considerably.

In addition, the environmental cost of the wastage of precious water can be great. That’s why it’s important that you address leaky issues immediately by calling in the professional plumbers from Allbritten.

2. Replace rubber hoses with stainless steel braided hoses

Your washing machine’s rubber hoses are at risk of unexpected bursting. This can happen when no one is around the house, resulting in massive water leakage—about five gallons per minute.

To avoid this problem, it’s important that you replace the rubber hose of the washing machine with a stainless steel braided hose. This will help you prevent unexpected plumbing emergencies.

3. Don’t pour grease down your drains

Grease buildup inside your drains is a major problem. Over time, accumulated grease can clog your sink or, worse, your sewer, causing a sewer backup. For this reason, you should avoid pouring grease down the drain.

Instead, you should consider discarding grease in a plastic container or jar. This will not only prevent plumbing issues, but also help out the environment.

Have a clogged sink or think you have a sewer backup issue? Stop running water and contact the plumbers here at Allbritten right away.

4. Prevent clogs, when possible

Another one of the major plumbing issues you’ll face as a homeowner is clogged drains. This is usually caused by the hairs that accumulate inside the drains.

The best way to avoid this issue is to place a drain screen. This will prevent buildup of hair inside the drain. The finer the screen, the better it will be able to prevent hair from clogging the drain.

5. Call Allbritten with both your minor and major plumbing issues

Don’t procrastinate when you have minor plumbing issues, or you risk them turning into major plumbing issues. Instead, contact us at Allbritten. We have a team of highly experienced plumbers who can perform all kinds of repairs at an affordable cost.

We replace rusted pipes in Fresno

Lately, the city of Fresno’s struggle with rusty and corroded piping in the northeast section of the city has come to the forefront in the news, although the problem has been around for quite a while. If you haven’t been following this story, here’s the issue: a water chemistry issue caused by a new water treatment plant coming online in the mid-2000s led to corrosion within the pipes of some homes in Fresno, particularly in the northeast section of the city served by the plant. As a result, some of these homes are having rust-colored water comes out of home faucets and water fixtures. This has particularly been a problem for older homes, but can also impact more-recent builds with galvanized iron pipes.

This is an unfortunate and complex issue, and legal arguments between the city and homeowners are still unfolding. However, experts have confirmed that the discolored water is coming from home piping itself, not the water supply. Corroded by the changes in tap water chemistry, the galvanized iron pipes are now leeching rust and other contaminants into the home’s water. In many cases, the only way to remove the problem is to partially or completely re-pipe the home, since part of the problem is that the pipes used in construction are themselves at fault.

We can replace galvanized iron pipes with PEX pipes, or pipes made from a different material.

Allbritten can replace your home’s galvanized iron pipes with pipes made from a different, corrosion-resistant material.

What are some signs that my pipes have been effected?

Typically, the first sign that your pipes are having problems is that the water coming out of the faucet is rust-colored, mud-colored, or the color is otherwise distorted in some way. This coloration may be minor, and it might only be able to be seen when filling something large with water, such as bathtub.

According to this article, there are two common factors in all the rust cases. First, that the homeowners had galvanized iron pipes and, second, that their water came from the city’s northeast treatment plant. If you aren’t sure if your home’s plumbing has been impacted, give the City of Fresno a call. They’ll help you find out if nearby homes have been effected.

Do these pipe problems post a health risk?

That’s still a matter of debate, and it really varies from house-to-house. In most cases, the impacted water is safe to drink and use for daily tasks, such as showering and bathing. But, in other cases, the water is running clear, but still showing levels of lead that are up to eight times the acceptable limit. Again, this is lead that is coming from the pipes themselves, as the city’s water is testing clean. This means that each house may have a different level of exposure, even when compared to neighboring homes.

What are my options, and how can Allbritten help?

Some homeowners are waiting to see what the city will do, and what impact—if at all—pending litigation might have. In the meantime, impacted homes have several different options. The City of Fresno says running the tap for two minutes can flush out any settled contaminants. If certain components of your home’s plumbing system have shown sides of corrosion, our company can replace them.

Another option is to have Allbritten replace all the galvanized piping in your home with a different type of corrosive-resistant piping, such as PEX or copper. This may seem like a big step, but it may be only way to be completely sure that galvanized pipes won’t continue to corrode, particularly because some reports have noted that some of the pipes used in construction in the 1990s were cheaply made, with a thin protective layer that has since been corroded by the aforementioned change in water chemistry.

If you do feel like you need to have Allbritten replace either a section of the piping in your home or all the piping in your home, give us a call today. We’ve been serving Fresno families with exceptional piping services since 1932. As a trusted, local company, we’re the best choice for effective pipe replacement. Contact us to learn more about this service and to get an estimate for such a project.

Get more information

If you have further questions about this issue, we recommend calling the City of Fresno’s Public Utilities Department at (559) 292-4919. They can provide you with more information and water testing, as well as advise you on the best way to avoid drinking water with corroded material in it.

Signs that you need plumbing repair—fast

There’s plumbing work that you can choose when and how to do, such as installing a new sink as part of a kitchen remodel or having new faucets placed. Then, there’s the plumbing repair work that you need to have done, as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll review some emergency plumbing issues that require immediate attention from the certified and experienced plumbers at Allbritten.

plumbing repairLeaking faucet or fixture

A faucet or pipe that is continually leaking is not only a major nuisance, but it’s actually wasting an incredible amount of water over time. Here in California, every drop of water counts, and addressing leaking faucets—whether that leak is a steady drip or a major torrent of water—should be a top priority. Give the team at Allbritten a call. Our plumbers are experts at solving leak issues and making sure all pipes are tight and not leaking water.

Water heater leaks and malfunctions

If your water heater has stopped working, you and your family are without hot water, impacting your ability to do dishes, laundry, and take showers. Alternatively, a leaking water heater may be an even larger problem, and may indicate that the water heater needs to be replaced before a major breakdown causes it to flood your home. Whether your water heater needs a checkup or needs to be entirely replaced, Allbritten is your source for professional advice and service.

Water line leaks

When pipes in your home are leaking, don’t just leave it out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Leaking pipes can not only be a major waste of water, but they could lead to the growth of mold and mildew in hard-to-reach places. Instead, give Allbritten a call, so that we can address the issue right away.

Single clogged drain

A single clogged drain may not seem like that big of a deal. But, if that drain is the one in your home’s only shower, it could be a major inconvenience for you. Alternatively, clogs in the kitchen sink also impact your ability to cook and clean at home. The Allbritten team comes equipped with special equipment for cleaning drains, including electric snake tools and other professional gear. When you have a clogged drain in the kitchen, the obstruction may be grease buildup deep in the pipe. Before you subject your pipes to an assortment of dangerous chemicals you picked up at the grocery store, let the Allbritten team attempt to remove the obstruction without the use of acids that could harm pipes.

Multiple clogged drains

In contrast, if all the drains in your home are clogging at once, it may be a sign of a very serious problem: a sewer backup. A sewer backup occurs when a major blockage prevents all water and waste from leaving your home and entering the sewer. This is a major problem and—if this is happening—you should immediately stop using all water in your house and call Allbritten for emergency service. A sewer backup can eventually lead to raw sewage coming back up through the pipes of your home and spilling out drains in reverse. This could lead to a messy flooding of your home that may cause permanent, expensive damage.

Need plumbing repair?

If you have a plumbing repair issue, don’t trust just any company. Trust Allbritten. Our team puts customers first, and we back our work with a number of guarantees—not to mention the fact that we’re licensed, bonded, and insured. Give us a call at (559) 292-4919 to schedule plumbing repair today!