4 Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

4 Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

It is possible, and easy, to prevent freezing pipes and the costly damage that goes with them, but only if you plan! 1) Be Aware The location of your pipes can influence how prone they are to freeze. If you want to find where you are most at risk, call us at Churchwell, and we conduct a thorough check of your plumbing system for freezing risks. Typically, pipes most likely to freeze include: Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home. Pipes located in exterior walls. Plumbing on the exterior of the home. 2) Insulate Protect your pipes by insulating them. Some pipes inside the home, like the basement, can be insulated by wrapping newspaper around them. However, in colder areas, it’s better to invest in foam tube insulation. For extreme cold temperatures, you may need to use heated tape specially designed for pipes. 3) Crack Your Cabinets When the cold dips below freezing, leave the doors of your sink cabinets open overnight. Exposing those pipes to the heat inside your home can make a big difference. Keep in mind that if you have any chemical cleaning supplies under your sink, keep it away from pets or children while you leave your cabinets open. 4) Be Prepared for the Worst If you do have a broken/ frozen pipe, you need to know how to shut off your home’s entire water supply. Doing so can save you from major flood damage. Make sure you know where your main shut-off valve is located and be prepared to use it in the case of a frozen...
Thanksgiving Traditions That Will Ruin Your Holidays

Thanksgiving Traditions That Will Ruin Your Holidays

For many plumbers, when they hear the words “Holiday Season” they are most likely thinking about garbage disposals. Why? Because the garbage disposal often clogs, jams, or become entangled when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around. To avoid this plumbing disaster, follow these simple tips for a worry-free Thanksgiving dinner! 1.  Don’t feed your Thanksgiving dinner to the garbage disposal. Here are some things that should never be put in the garbage disposal. No corn husks No grease No bones No potato skins No eggshells No lettuce No metal 2.  Avoid stuffing your disposal like your Turkey. Clogs can happen when too much food is stuffed down the disposal at once. Do a little at a time with plenty of running water. 3.  Don’t try to fix yourself. Your garbage disposal is not a DIY project and should be looked at by a professional. 4.  Keep your garbage disposal clean by pouring a small amount of dish soap inside and run it with water. Always run cold water when you turn your garbage disposal on. 5.  Don’t run the dishwasher. If you suspect a problem with your garbage disposal, don’t run the dishwasher. The dishwasher discharges into the disposal, so if the disposal is broken your problem will only get...
Leaks & Bugs

Leaks & Bugs

Mosquitos, Booklice, Camel crickets, Carpenter ants, cockroaches, mice, rats, silverfish, and termites all have one thing in common. They love moisture! Small and large plumbing leaks are pest’s best friend and probably your worst nightmare. Plumbing leaks are undoubtedly an inconvenience, but they can cause more problems than you probably realize. In addition to wasting water, plumbing leaks can create a paradise for household pests. You dread plumbing leaks, but cockroaches and other uninvited guests really love them. Who would have ever thought that your plumbing could be the reason behind why you have so many insects and rodents living inside and outside of your home? In order to avoid pest infestations, make sure your plumbing system and all of its fixtures are inspected, serviced, and repaired when needed. Some leaks are obvious, such as dripping faucets and leaking water heaters. Unfortunately, many leaks go undetected for years because the source of the leak is not visible. Plumbing you should keep an eye on include faucets, basement plumbing, water utilizing appliances, and water heaters. Consider taking time to walk around your home and property to look for any standing water in flower pots, old tires and birdfeeders, as standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. If you know you have some household leaks and are looking for a reliable plumber, Churchwell Plumbing has been helping customers acknowledge, detect, and repair plumbing leaks in Lubbock for 28 years! We are committed to bringing our customers the highest quality service, technicians, products and industries leading technology. Give us a call today, we’d love to hear from...
Summer Plumbing Tips

Summer Plumbing Tips

It’s getting hot in here! The rising temperatures often results in more water usage both in and outdoors. Families have been estimated to use 25-50% more water during the hottest months of the year. We want to help our customers save money, so here are some helpful tips to follow this summer to not put so much pressure on your plumbing. If you’re vacationing away from your home for several days, turn down your water heater to save energy. It’s also important to know that the average life of a water heater is anywhere from 8-11 years old. If you don’t know the age of your system, check the last four digits of the serial number on the tank. This will show you the month and year it was manufactured. If you are entertaining and having people over for a cookout or get-together, make sure the food doesn’t end up down the drain. A clogged garbage disposal is no fun! Water your lawn at the right time! We suggest that the best time to water lawns and landscapes is in the early morning or evening after the sun goes down. If you chose to tend to your lawn in the middle of the day, that water may be lost due to evaporation from the heat throughout the day. More outdoor fun means more dirty clothes. Be sure to check your washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks or cracks and be sure to remove dryer lint regularly. Remember, washing machine hoses should be replaced approximately every three years. Every season brings a new challenge to your plumbing. In order to...
Quick Tips to Check Your Plumbing

Quick Tips to Check Your Plumbing

Spring is here, which means it’s time to take care of some spring cleaning. It’s important to take care of everything in the house, including checking your plumbing for potential problems which may have developed over the winter months. Here are some quick tips to check your plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom, for appliances and outside: Leaks and Drips – The kitchen and bathrooms have many different things that could cause a problem, so it important that you find and take care of those issues that may have sprung a leak. Protecting your drains with strainers will help prevent hair, soap and debris from clogging up the drains. Finally, check your toilets to see if there are any hidden leaks. You can do this by adding six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you see that color appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes, you may have a leak in your toilet. The final thing to pay attention to is your bathroom is your shower head, it probably has some mineral deposit that has built up. It is easy to clean the mineral deposit by unscrewing the shower head and soaking it in vinegar overnight. Appliances – Be sure to check your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker. When checking the water heater, be sure to note that it should not be set higher than 120 degree Fahrenheit to reduce energy use. Next, flush out corrosion by draining several gallons of water from the heater tank. Bulges and leaks in the hoses of dishwasher, washing machine, or ice maker show that there...
What is Orangeburg Pipe?

What is Orangeburg Pipe?

Orangeburg pipe is a type of home sewer pipe used in most properties built from 1945 to 1972. Made of a mixture of hot pitch and wood pulp, these pipes are known for their structural complications after prolonged use. Once installed, standard Orangeburg pipes lines are expected to last 50 years time; however, many systems begin to falter after a mere 30 years of use. For systems installed in the late 60’s or early 70’s, this means pipe failure due to deterioration or structural issues may be imminent. If you are noticing decreased water flow, exceptionally high water bills or moist indentations on your property, it may be time to have your Orangeburg pipe systems inspected for damage. In this blog, we break down everything you need to know about Orangeburg pipe systems, as well as the best ways to repair or replace them when the time comes. The History and Use of Orangeburg Pipe Lines Brittle, lightweight and easy to produce, Orangeburg pipe systems were produced solely by the Orangeburg Manufacturing Company following World War II, during the massive housing boom that ensued after the war. The fibrous, wood-and- pitch composition pioneered by the Fiber Conduit Company in the early 20 th  century, made Orangeburg pipe an affordable alternative to other iron or clay pipe lines (this led to its broad use in mid-century America). Typically made with diameters between 2 and 18 inches, Orangeburg fell out of popularity in the early 1970s, as more reliable, efficiently produced pipe materials became available. While provided a life expectancy of 50 years, many Orangeburg pipe systems were susceptible to failure in as little as 10 years, due to the brittle materials used and poor structural strength. Now obsolete, Orangeburg pipe...
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