Frozen Pipes: Everything You Need To Know

Your pipes are like the arteries of your home; they help transport everything exactly where they need to go. If something were to happen to those arteries, such as frozen pipes, for instance, then that would shake the entire foundation of your home.

Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to refresh yourself on the best seasonal practices to take care of your home. With the ever-frigid temperatures this season, your pipes will be at risk of freezing, and that could be disastrous for a home. Keep reading to learn how to protect your home and prevent frozen pipes. 

The Risks

You probably hear about frozen pipes all the time, but what’s actually so horrible about them? Besides just the headache of having to fix something in the house, they pose a serious threat to you and your family’s safety. If your pipes freeze, the water inside them will, as well, and the water will start to expand. The enormous amount of pressure created inside your pipes almost guarantees a burst or rupture. If it gets to that point, it’ll cost you somewhere in the thousands of dollars to repair the pipe itself and all the havoc it wreaks. If left untreated, your house could suffer from serious flooding and could put residents’ health at risk.

Preventative Measures

So you want to be proactive; where should you start? Our number one recommended tip is to have a professional install pipe insulation. It’s a cheap (especially compared to repairing a burst pipe) yet effective solution to ward off frozen pipes — insulation traps heat and keeps your pipes warm at all times. Pay extra attention to pipes in unheated areas of your house like your garage or attic. Aside from that, we suggest setting your thermostat to a warm, consistent temperature throughout the winter and letting your faucets drip when you’re not home.

Emergency Solutions

Uh oh, you just discovered you have a frozen pipe. Should you panic? No, panicking will not help and disaster can still be prevented! The situation may be less than ideal, but only a cool head will see you through it all. You can obviously tell if your pipes are frozen if there’s little to no running water when you turn on the faucet, but also look out for frost forming on your pipes or strange odors as other telltale signs. To alleviate the pressure built up in your pipes, turn off all running water immediately and find a way to heat the pipe up. Plug in a space heater or hairdryer, wrap the pipe in newspaper and duct tape it to serve as emergency insulation — anything you could possibly do. 

If you’re ever unsure of how to respond to frozen pipes, it never hurts to call an expert. The drain specialists at All County Sewer and Drain will do anything we can to help you in your time of need. Contact us today!

Grease Trap Maintenance Tips

One of the biggest annoyances that restaurants often face is the grease trap, especially when workers forget to clean them on a regular basis. When they are working properly, grease traps can be amazing tools to keep your establishment smelling great which is why it is critical to keep up with its maintenance. 

Most commercial grease traps are located outside of the main building. You might even find some near the walls by the dishwashing station in the kitchen. They tend to look similar to a manhole or a septic tank cover. If you have a commercial kitchen with a basement, you may also find the grease trap down there to keep it away from the frost. 

Best Ways To Clean The Grease Trap

There are a variety of ways to clean a grease trap on your own and this will depend on the size, location, and type of grease trap. You will want to set up a weekly grease trap maintenance schedule in order to ensure that your establishment runs safely and efficiently at all times. Before you begin cleaning the grease trap, you should make sure that the restaurant is closed for the day and all items are cleaned. You may even consider doing this early in the morning before beginning the opening procedures. Once you are ready to start cleaning, follow these steps:

  • First, remove the lid from the grease trap slowly and gently, so that you do not damage any gaskets on the lid
  • Then, stick a ruler into the grease trap and take note of how many inches of grease are in the trap. You will want to record this in a FOG report provided by the EPA.
  • Next, using another bucket, shovel, or some kind of heavy duty scopper, start scooping out the grease from the trap
  • Be sure to scrape the bottom, sides and lid in order to remove any excess grease. This will make sure you stop quick build ups from forming from the debris you knocked loose but haven’t removed.
  • Then, you should scrub the same parts of the grease trap and flush the screens out.
  • Finally, make sure to properly reinstall any removed parts and replace the lid

One of the questions you might be asking is, when is it time to replace the grease trap? One of the best ways of knowing it’s time to replace the grease trap is when a local municipality requests an inspection due to grease leaking into the local water system. Ideally, you will want to maintain the grease trap before it gets this bad. Another sign to replace the system is if it is backing up frequently and stops filtering grease out of the water. Regardless of what the case may be, All County Sewer & Drain has the tool necessary to provide high-quality professional assistance in this venture. Give them a call today at 1 (800) 834-3102!