Moving the shower in a bathroom renovation

When you decide to renovate your bathroom, one of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether or not to move your shower. Moving the shower might be a good option if it improves the overall appearance and layout of your bathroom. For example, you might end up with more space or you might have a bathroom that has a more streamlined or visually appealing appearance if you put the shower in another part of the room. However, there are certain factors to think about if you’re considering this type of project.

Moving the Shower Drain

If you plan to place your shower in another part of your bathroom, keep in mind that you will need to move the drain too. The shower drain helps prevent water from backing up into your bathroom and causing extensive damage, so it’s important to ensure that you installed a new drain correctly. Keep in mind that an incorrectly installed and sealed drain also runs the risk of allowing sewer gases into your home, which is a serious health hazard. Depending on where you decided to move the shower, this can end up being a major plumbing project. You’ll also need to make sure that this work is done in compliance with city and state plumbing codes for safety reasons.

Pipes

Moving the shower to another area of your bathroom might also mean needing to have new pipes installed. If you are going to move the shower only a short distance from where it currently is, especially if it’s on the same wall, you might not need to have this done. However, moving the shower to the opposite side of the bathroom or to a different wall more than likely means that you’ll need to have new pipes installed for it. You have to do this project correctly in order to prevent serious water damage to your home.

Water and Moisture Barriers

Water and moisture barriers are an essential part of your shower. These barriers help protect the underlying wooden structures in your home from water damage. Barriers prevent water from the shower from seeping into the floor and walls. Instead, the water flows across the barriers, into the shower pan, and down the drain. This is another part of your bathroom renovation project that needs to be done with expert care to reduce the risk of water damage in your home. If you install barriers incorrectly it could end up allowing water to penetrate your walls and floor.

Shower Head

When moving a shower, you’ll also need to install the shower head in the new location. You can either have your current shower head reinstalled or choose a brand new one. If you have an older showerhead, switching to a new one during this renovation is typically a better option. This also requires plumbing expertise, especially if you decided to attach the shower head to newly installed pipes.

If you’re considering moving the shower in your bathroom, please contact Forrest Anderson. We can help you out with your bathroom renovation, especially if you need to move pipes or have new ones installed.

Could the air conditioner be affecting your allergies?

When the weather gets warmer and you start sneezing and having other signs of allergies, you might think you’re safer spending time indoors. While this helps you avoid being exposed to pollen and other allergens outside, you might still have allergy symptoms in your home. In fact, your allergies could feel worse indoors. Is it air conditioner allergies that you should be worrying about? Find out more about how your air conditioner could be contributing to allergy symptoms this spring.

Airflow in Your Home

When your air conditioner is running, it delivers cooler air to rooms throughout your home via the ducts and vents. As cooler air moves through the ducts and out through the vents, it gathers dust and other debris and distributes these throughout your home as well.

Although air conditioning helps your home stay cooler in the Phoenix area’s hot springs and summers, it can also cause your air conditioner allergies. Keep in mind that it’s not your actual air conditioner causing your allergies. It’s the way the system moves air through your home that can expose you to allergens, causing allergies to flare up.

Indoor Air Quality

Your home’s indoor air quality can have a big impact on your health. When the air inside your home is filled with allergens, pollutants, and other particles, this lowers the indoor air quality. For those with allergies, this can mean that you’re breathing in pollen, mold spores and other allergens that you normally find outside.

Improving the air quality in your home can help reduce exposure to these allergens indoors. This makes indoor air healthier to breathe and reduces the occurrence of allergies.

HVAC Problems and Allergies

Problems with your HVAC system may allow allergens to get into your home. You can end up with air conditioner allergies if there are problems with the ducts in your home. Allergens from outdoors can enter your ductwork and build up inside it. You might not notice this when you don’t use your HVAC system, but once you have it running, these allergens are blown through the ducts and into your home.

A thorough ductwork cleaning helps remove these allergens. An inspection can reveal if there are any problems with your ducts that need to be addressed, such as dents or holes that make it easier for allergens to get inside them. If holes or gaps in ductwork leak to the outside, this allows allergens to make their way into your home. Cleaning and making any needed repairs should help reduce air conditioner allergies this spring.

Preventing Air Conditioner Allergies

There are steps you can take to lower your risk of dealing with air conditioner allergies this spring. In addition to having your ductwork inspected and cleaned, you should also schedule routine maintenance on your HVAC system. This maintenance helps ensure that your HVAC unit is able to run efficiently, which should help prevent allergens from building up in your home.

Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is another important step. A dirty air filter makes it easier for pollen and other outdoor allergens to circulate through your home.

If you need help for air conditioner allergies in your Phoenix home, please contact Forrest Anderson. We provide dependable HVAC services, including air conditioning maintenance and air purifier systems to help you and your family breathe easier during allergy season.

How to prevent freezing pipes

You’ll probably find a lot more information in a desert survival guide about coping with summer’s heat during a power outage than how to prevent freezing pipes. Infrequent as it is, temperatures do drop low enough in the winter to freeze water pipes. Losing the convenience of running water until they thaw is enough of a hardship. However, it’s a lot worse when the pipes burst and you’re dealing with an uncontrolled flood. The only way to prevent burst pipes is to keep them from freezing.

Insulate the Walls

If you have a wall that’s chronically cold or hot, consider adding blown-in insulation. Dollar for dollar, insulation packs a high return on the investment. Not only will it keep your pipes from freezing, insulation lowers your cooling and heating bills and lasts for decades.

Turn up the Heat

Instead of turning down the thermostat at night, keep the temperature the same as you would in the daytime when a freeze warning is in effect. The warmer temperatures will radiate more heat through the walls and into the attic, which may prevent freezing pipes. It will raise your heating bill, but that’s a small amount compared the cost of repairing burst pipes and the water damage they cause.

Let the Water Flow

Water running through your pipes may stop the pipes from freezing. Let the kitchen faucet and a bathroom faucet dribble overnight. It does waste water, but nothing compared to the amount of water that can spray out of a broken pipe. If the pipe is inside a wall cavity, you may not notice that water is leaking until you hear it running or see signs of wet drywall or floors.

Open Cabinet Doors

Keeping the cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom sinks open may keep the walls and floors warm enough to prevent freezing pipes.

Let the Swimming Pool Pump Run

Water sitting in the swimming pool’s plumbing can freeze, which might add up to an expensive repair bill. Pool experts recommend letting the pump run during the night. It’s important to know that the coldest temperatures occur just after sunrise in the deserts. The colder air sinks as the sun warms the air, so even though it might be light outside, keep the pump running until daytime temperatures reach 32 degrees.

Cover Them

All it may take to prevent an outdoor spigot from freezing is a towel of a blanket thrown over it. If the water supply line into your home is above ground, be sure to wrap covering around the entire pipe.

Turn off the Timers

Outdoor popup and drip irrigation systems can freeze since the pipes are close to the ground. The best way to prevent freezing pipes in the yard is to turn the water off to the irrigation system as well as the timer.

Wrap the Pipes

If your property has an unheated or uninsulated outbuilding like a shed or barn, consider wrapping the water pipes with insulation. Home centers sell pipe insulation that’s easy to install or you can craft your own using pool noodles. You may also want to wrap the pipes with heat tape if you have horses or cattle to prevent dehydration and more serious illnesses should the water in the pipes freeze.

Weather cold enough to freeze occurs in the Phoenix area from November through mid-March. Frozen and burst pipes can cause serious damage to your home over and above the cost of repairing them. Contact Forrest Anderson if you have any issues with the pipes in your home.

Should I be concerned about pipes freezing in Phoenix?

Once or twice a year there may be a small risk of pipes freezing in Phoenix. The last winter when temperatures fell below freezing long and far enough to freeze pipes was during the winter of 2010/2011. Since then, just a handful of days have been cold enough to nip the plants, and even fewer to freeze the pipes.

In order for pipes to freeze, the temperatures have to drop below 32 degrees F for a sustained period. Pipes located adjacent to a heated building seldom get that cold, since the heat is always radiating outward, regardless of the insulation levels in the walls.

Pipes Most Likely to Freeze

Irrigation pipes and sometimes swimming pool pipes are the most vulnerable to freezing weather. Outside pipes have greater exposure to cold temperatures. Irrigation pipes lie close to the surface and if there’s water inside them, they can freeze.

Popup sprinkling systems and drippers can and do freeze, but if they’re on a timer and it’s set to “off,” odds are the pipe won’t burst. Once the weather warms, the ice blockages should melt without causing problems.

Evaporative cooler water lines freeze easily in subfreezing temperatures. However, if the water pan is dry and the water supply turned off at the hose, it won’t freeze.

Freeze Warnings

When the National Weather Service issues a freeze warning for the greater Phoenix area or your neighborhood, there’s a possibility for pipes freezing in Phoenix. Although it’s not unusual for temperatures to fall to freezing a few mornings each winter, most of the time the cold doesn’t last long enough.

However, your home may be more vulnerable if it:

  • Sits at higher elevations around the Valley where it’s colder.
  • Lacks adequate insulation in the walls.
  • Has polybutylene plumbing that uses aluminum crimp rings.
  • Uses galvanized pipes as the water service line or throughout the home.

Both polybutylene and galvanized pipes are particularly concerning when a hard freeze is a forecast. Although polybutylene pipes are no longer used and many were replaced thanks to a class-action lawsuit in the 1990s, your home may still have them.

Signs Your Home is Vulnerable

Look for plastic pipes imprinted with PB, or are grey, white, or blue. They are freeze-resistant, but if they’re coupled with aluminum clamps, they may start to leak if they go through the freezing and thawing cycle. The pipes probably won’t burst from the cold alone, but the fittings may loosen, making them leak at the joints. If you don’t catch the leaks right away, the water damage they cause can be as serious as a frozen pipe that breaks.

Galvanized pipes were widely used until the 1960s in Phoenix homes. Over time, the insides of the pipe will corrode. Galvanized pipes freezing in Phoenix are a problem when the loose debris inside the pipes breaks free and plugs the screen on the faucets.

You may notice rusty water coming from the taps, which indicates corrosion inside these pipes. Bits of debris break off that may contain calcium deposits, rust, zinc, or lead particles. Besides bursting from freezing, galvanized pipes can develop leaks from extensive corrosion.

Although pipes freezing in Phoenix are a rare occasion, it can and does occur. If you have any concerns about your plumbing’s vulnerability, contact Forrest Anderson. We provide trusted plumbing services for the greater Phoenix area.