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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

Home » Plumbing

Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

3 reasons to call an emergency plumber

Imagine coming home from a long day at work to find your bathroom flooded. Unfortunately, plumbing problems don’t wait for the ideal time to give you grief. While some issues can wait until morning, there are a few that require the immediate attention of an emergency plumber.

Knowing the difference between a plumbing problem and a plumbing emergency is critical for homeowners. Plumbing problems rise to an emergency level when they threaten the integrity of your home or put your family at risk. These are situations when paying a premium for immediate plumbing expertise is in your best interest.

When to Call an Emergency Plumber

A general rule to remember is: if there’s a risk of flooding or a lack of running water for an extended period of time, call an emergency plumber. At Forrest Anderson, we offer 24/7 Emergency Plumbing Repair. We know plumbing emergencies happen outside of business hours and we’re standing by to resolve your plumbing issues.

The following three examples are reasons that may require you to call an emergency plumber. This list doesn’t include every plumbing emergency.

Sewer Backups

If you’ve ever had a sewer line backup, you know this is the very definition of a plumbing emergency. When this emergency happens, raw sewage sits at the backup point and can cause physical damage to your home. Backed up sewage can be a health problem for your family as well. If you have a sewer backup, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Overflowing Toilet

An overflowing toilet is another plumbing problem that no homeowner wants to deal with. In addition to flooding your bathroom, the dirty water can pose a sanitary issue for you and your family.

Often, a clog in the toilet or pipe leads to an overflowing toilet. The first step to fixing it is to shut off the water to the toilet. If you aren’t sure what to do next or you can’t stop your toilet from overflowing, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.

Even if you suspect the problem may simply be too much toilet paper, it’s still a good idea to have a plumber come out and assess the situation. You may think you can just shut off the water and wait for normal business hours, but if you’ve misdiagnosed the issue and things take a turn, you may find yourself in a worse situation.

Burst Pipes

Another plumbing issue that can lead to physical damage to your home is a burst pipe. Unlike the first two issues, the water flowing from the pipe is clean and most likely not a health risk. However, repairing a burst pipe is a significant project and requires the expertise of a professional emergency plumber. Once they arrive, they can inspect the scene and quickly fix your pipe, allowing you to get your home’s water running as soon as possible.

Although there aren’t too many nights below freezing in the Valley, pipes do occasionally freeze. Sometimes, this leads to a burst pipe. If you suspect your pipes may be frozen, call a plumber to schedule an inspection. Even if the water is thawed, the damage may lead to cracks and leaks.

Call a Trusted Emergency Plumber

Whether it’s your home or business, a plumbing emergency can be a dirty, dangerous, and unhealthy problem. If you have a plumbing emergency, day or night, you can trust that Forrest Anderson’s team of experienced plumbers will be there to fix the problem quickly and thoroughly.

If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, stop reading and call Forrest Anderson right away!

5 simple ways to prevent plumbing emergencies this winter

Although Phoenix winters aren’t as extreme as the northern states, there are usually a few nights each year when the temperature drops below freezing. Do you know how to prevent plumbing emergencies this winter? If you aren’t prepared for this, the freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing, possibly leading to an emergency.

Of course, frozen pipes aren’t the only plumbing problems that can happen in your home. From greasy leftovers down the garbage disposal to worn out hoses, plumbing care doesn’t stop just because the weather cools down. Read on to learn about five of the top ways to protect yourself and your home.

1. Insulate Exposed Pipes

Although there aren’t many days with below freezing temperatures in the Valley, frozen pipes can expose you to unnecessary plumbing emergencies. Before temperatures start to dip, take the time to insulate any exposed pipes around your home and in your basement, if you have one. This will help prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing and possibly cracking.

2. Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

Winter is a time of celebration for many families. After a long day of cooking and enjoying time with family, it can be tempting to put everything down your garbage disposal. Wait! This handy tool can’t handle everything.

Cooking grease is notorious for clogging pipes, which can cause leaks, burst pipes, or lead to other plumbing emergencies. Always dispose of leftover fat and grease in the trash, not in your sink, to prevent buildup from forming inside your pipes. Avoid putting bones and other hard items down your garbage disposal as well. These items can damage the blades or break the machine entirely, resulting in even more plumbing problems.

3. Watch What You Flush

Holiday parties and overnight guests mean more wear and tear on your toilets. Just like your garbage disposal, your toilet isn’t designed to flush everything.

Toilets can handle toilet paper, but beyond that be careful. So-called “flushable” wipes aren’t as safe as you might think, so put them in the trash instead of in the toilet. Avoid flushing feminine care products as well, as they can block your pipes and cause plumbing emergencies. Make sure children know the toilet is not a toy and they shouldn’t flush anything down it other than bodily functions and small amounts of toilet paper.

4. Upgrade the Hoses on Your Washing Machine

Many washing machines, particularly older models, come with rubber hoses to connect to your plumbing system. These hoses wear out over time, potentially tearing or bursting. If this happens to you, you may come home to standing water.

Switch to stainless steel hoses instead, as they’re far more durable than rubber. You won’t need to replace them as frequently either.

5. Disconnect Your Garden Hose

Toward the end of fall, go around your yard and disconnect any hoses you use for watering your garden. Just like exposed pipes, hoses and the water inside can freeze. If you need to use a hose, reconnect it temporarily.

For Current and Future Plumbing Emergencies

If you experience a plumbing emergency this winter, call the plumbers at Forrest Anderson. No matter the day or time, we’re ready to fix your plumbing emergencies.

If everything seems to be working as expected, our preventative plumbing maintenance service plan can alert you of any potential issues before they become bigger and messier problems.

Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?

There’s nothing good about turning on your shower faucet only to be hit with a stinky odor. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing your clothes, or preparing food, nobody wants to notice their water. If your water smells like rotten eggs, it may be due to a buildup of sulfur bacteria or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in your water supply.

Hydrogen sulfide isn’t the only chemical lurking in your water. According to the Environmental Working Group, over 150 contaminants can be found in drinking water in the United States. In most cases, the levels are low enough that they’re acceptable under state laws and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Even though the levels may be acceptable, nobody wants their water to smell like rotten eggs.

Problems with H2S

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can be dangerous in high amounts – it’s poisonous and flammable. While smelly water is unappealing, the amount present in your drinking water is usually very low and won’t pose a health risk.

The levels of H2S in your drinking water probably won’t hurt you. However, over time, it can damage your pipes and can even corrode certain types of metal. The presence of H2S especially impacts steel, copper, and brass. In extreme cases, it can tarnish your silverware and plumbing fixtures.

The presence of H2S in your drinking water can affect the food you prepare with it. Coffee and tea may be slightly discolored or taste a little different. Food made with tap water that smells like rotten eggs may even taste a little different.

Sources of the Chemical

Sulfates and hydrogen sulfide gas can be present in your drinking water for a few reasons. Sulfates are a naturally occurring mineral in the ground, which means they can seep into your groundwater over time. Hydrogen sulfide gas forms from decomposing debris, such as plant material. Homes that pull water from a well are especially likely to experience the rotten egg smell. Other times, a chemical reaction in your water heater may be the cause of the hydrogen sulfide in your water.

It’s also possible that the stinky smell coming from your faucet may not be sulfur at all. If you smell something unusual when you’re near your sink or in the shower, it could be the drain. To test this, fill a glass of water and walk away from your sink. If it still smells like rotten eggs, the issue is in the water, not the drain.

In rare cases, the smell of rotten eggs is due to a different issue, such as sewage or other contaminants in the water supply. If you smell something in your water or plumbing system, it’s best to call a plumber to determine what’s causing the issue.

What Should You Do?

If your water smells like rotten eggs, you need to find the source of the problem. Start by checking all of the faucets in your house. Here are a few tips:

  • If you turn on your hot water and it smells like rotten eggs, but cold water smells normal, it could be an issue with your water heater. A plumber will be able to inspect your unit to determine if you can flush it to clear the smell.
  • When the hot and cold water smell like rotten eggs and you have a water softener, it could be an issue with the softener itself. Changing your solution may fix the issue.
  • If your hot or cold water only smells like rotten eggs for a few seconds, you could have an issue with your distribution system. This could also be a sign that there is a bigger problem with your water supply. A plumber will be able to inspect your plumbing system to diagnose the issue.

If you’re tired of smelling rotten eggs every time you turn on the faucet, or you’re concerned about the levels of sulfur in your water supply, contact a plumber. They can inspect your plumbing system and test your water, water line, and pipes to determine the source of the stink. Then they’ll create an actionable plan to resolve the issue.

If you’ve noticed your water smells like rotten eggs or your water has started to taste “funny,” contact Forrest Anderson today.

How Arizona summer impacts your plumbing

When most people think about the weather damaging their plumbing, they picture freezing pipes in the winter. Surprisingly, summer impacts your plumbing, too. This is a big issue in states, like Arizona, where the summer months are blistering hot!

Clogged Toilets

While you can’t blame the triple-digit temperature for your clogged toilets, there are reasons plumbers see more toilet trouble during the summer. With the kids out of school and summer BBQ season in full effect, your toilets are getting more use.

Remind children about what can go down the toilet as well as to be aware of how much toilet paper they’re using. Make sure all of your toilets are in working order before you host your next party. If you end up with a clog that’s no match for the plunger, it may be time to call in the professionals.

Expanding Pipes

As the temperature climbs, your house, including your pipes, expand a little. Oppositely, in the winter everything contracts slightly. Most pipes can go through this annual routine without any damage. However, if you hear rattling or banging coming from your walls, you’ll want to call a plumber to look for any signs of damage. A little prevention can save a lot of time and money if you catch a problem before a pipe leaks or bursts.

Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes can happen year round. Expanding tree roots or even slight foundation shifts are some more ways summer impacts your plumbing.

While your decades-old tree provides you with ample shade during your BBQs, its root system could be the cause of a leaky pipe below ground. Another way summer impacts your plumbing is by giving the roots a recipe for growth, sunshine combined with the monsoon rain. Eventually, roots can wrap around pipes causing cracks or fractures. This leads to low water pressure, leaks, and broken pipes.

As your home settles, it’s normal to have slight foundation shifts. However, if your home shifts too quickly it can create issues in your plumbing system. If your home inspector notices a major shift, repair your foundation first. Next, contact a trusted plumber to inspect your plumbing system for any cracked pipes or joint issues.

Ignoring a leaky pipe can turn into a much larger issue. From wall damage to mold, a little extra water can leave you with big headaches. If you suspect your home has leaky pipes, our plumbers are here to help.

Sun Damage

You may think of sun damage in regards to your skin, car’s paint, or even your pool chairs. However, the sun impacts your exposed plumbing, too. Pipes that are left to bake in the summer heat can crack, break, or even burst. While this problem usually takes years to happen, it’s a good idea to have a plumber inspect your exposed pipes and protect them before an issue arises.

Depending on the exposed pipes, your plumber will most likely add insulation or special water-based paint to protect them. This will help block the dangerous UV rays from the sun. One bonus of insulated pipes is more protection year-round, even when the temperature dips below freezing on a few chilly Arizona nights.

If the extreme summer impacts your plumbing system, call Forrest Anderson for an inspection or repair today.

What you should know about plumbing issues in older homes

Looking through magazines might convince you that purchasing a “fixer-upper” is the beginning of an amazing adventure. However, that doesn’t mean you should strap on your tool belt and dive in to your first project. Older homes often have secret charms and hidden problems. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting into until you’re in too far to stop. One of the major problems often involves plumbing issues in older homes.

Common Plumbing Issues in Older Homes

The plumbing issues in older homes tend to fall into two categories. The first is because today’s building codes are strict. This may mean that the material used when your dream home was built needs a substantial upgrade. The second factor can be found in decades of successive ownership, which likely led to many DIY fixes.

Galvanized Piping

Galvanized piping is common in homes built before the Kennedy Administration. Made from steel piping coated with layers of zinc, this was an improvement over the lead piping used during the 1930s and 1940s. Unfortunately, galvanized piping came with its own set of problems.

Corrosion is a concern with galvanized piping. It can impact your water pressure or negatively affect your water quality with discoloration from iron seeping into the water. Worse, old corroded galvanized pipes can allow traces of lead to leak through into your drinking water.

Polybutylene Piping

It’s hard to believe that the decade that brought shag carpet also brought something called polybutylene piping. Often used in homes built beginning in the mid-1970s, they remained popular throughout the 1990s due to the relatively low cost of the material.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. These new plumbing systems began to deteriorate due to the chemical pressure of how the piping reacts to oxidants that naturally exist in water molecules. The water damage caused by a failed plumbing system can lead to extensive damage to homes.

Former Owners

Plumbing doesn’t last forever. Over time, any type of pipe is subject to leaks or damage. During the lifetime of a home, there are probably times when former homeowners tried to get “creative” with failing plumbing systems to save a few bucks. Needless to say, a patchwork of repairs will only increase the plumbing issues in older homes. A thorough home inspection can help you understand the state of your plumbing system before you take the plunge and purchase your dream home.

Call the Experts at Forrest Anderson for Plumbing Help

When you need professional help dealing with plumbing issues in older homes in the Phoenix area, contact Forrest Anderson. We explain what you can expect from the plumbing in your home. We also offer annual plumbing maintenance service contracts to help spot things before they become bigger (and messier) problems.

Handling a sump pump failure

Phoenix is warm and dry most of the year. However, there are times with excessive amounts of rain, during which crawl spaces or basements can flood. Even though most people living in Arizona may not think they need a sump pump, there are some homes that have them. They can be easy to take for granted until you have a sump pump failure.

You may need a sump pump if:

  • Your home has a basement.
  • Your home sits on a shallow water table. You can view the interactive map on the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ website to learn about your groundwater levels.
  • Your home is on a slope and has “negative grading.” This means that storm water may flow downward, toward your house. This can cause water damage if ignored.
  • The city sewer line is above the exit of the sewer for the property.

How a Sump Pump Works

The majority of homes in the United States experience below-ground wetness. Business properties may even have basements that can experience water collection. It doesn’t take much water to cause thousands of dollars in damages.

Installing a sump pump at the lowest point of a property helps prevent flooding. After the water goes into the sump pit, it’s pumped away from the building.

Types of Sump Pumps

One type of residential sump pump installation is external. If your home experiences high water levels and you’re concerned about your foundation, this may be a good option.

Internal sump pumps can be either pedestal or submersible. A pedestal sump pump sits above a hose that descends into the pooled surface water. Submersible sump pumps are located where the action is, in the area where water accumulates.

Installing a sump pump is not a do-it-yourself job. The installation has risks for the untrained person ranging from electrical dangers to potable water contamination.

Sump Pump Failure

One of the most common causes of sump pump failure is improper installation. Avoid this by hiring a professional to install your system. Other causes of sump pump failure include:

  • Clogged discharge line. If the water can’t make it through the discharge line, it can’t be pumped out. Dirt, sticks, rocks, and debris can block the discharge pipe. You can protect the pipe’s exit point with a grate. You can also include other openings that can divert water flow if there’s a blockage between the sump pump and the exit.
  • On/off switch problem. Similar to a toilet, a float mechanism triggers the action in a sump pump. If the float arm is stuck, the on/off switch can’t operate properly.
  • Power surges. You probably have a surge protector on your television. A power surge can damage the electrical components of your sump pump, too. Consider protecting your system with a surge protection device.
  • Power failure. It’s not uncommon to lose electricity during the heavy rains of the monsoon. Have a backup generator with a manual activation to keep your pump running.
  • Wrong size. If your sump pump is too small, it can’t handle the floodwater. If your sump pump is too large, it has to work harder, which limits its longevity. Your sump pump should be installed by a plumbing professional who can determine the proper size.
  • Manufacturer defect. It’s rare, but it does happen. Always register new product warranties when required. Be sure your plumbing professional explains the parts, product guarantees, warranties, and maintenance.

Call the Professionals

Your sump pump’s purpose is to keep your home dry. If you notice something isn’t working correctly, call a local plumbing professional as soon as possible to inspect your system. Using someone you trust can give you peace of mind that the job, from installation to maintenance and repair, is done right.

Our team of plumbing professionals lives and works in the Phoenix area. We care about our community and our neighbors. Most importantly, we will be here when you need us. Contact us with any questions about the plumbing system in your home or business.

Signs of a major plumbing clog

A plumbing clog is a common, yet annoying, issue in a home. People often think of clogs in the bathroom, in toilets, sinks, or shower drains. Although they may seem like a minor inconvenience, ignoring a plumbing clog can lead to issues in the plumbing system throughout your home.

Paying attention to signs of a clog can help you fix the problem as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs throughout your home.

Slow Drains

Over time, the accumulation of soap scum, hair, or food particles can lead to a clog. One of the most common signs that you have a plumbing clog is when the water drains slowly out of the sink. If the water completely stops going down the drain, that’s a big red flag! Drain cleaners can cause damage to some pipes when used too often.

Using excessive amounts of toilet paper can clog your drain. If you have young children at home, monitor what’s going in the toilet – from too much toilet paper to experiments with toys! While the pressure of a plunger may dislodge a clog, it won’t usually remove it entirely.

Pungent Stench

If you start to smell something stinky, this is another sign that you may have a plumbing clog. If the smell is musty, you may have mold growing. However, if it smells more like rotten eggs, you may have a layer of biofilm beginning to line the drain pipe. Worse, you could be smelling sewer gas creeping through your pipes. If you aren’t sure, call a professional to sniff out the problem.

Trapped Air

Another sign of a plumbing clog is trapped air. This can be difficult for a homeowner to recognize. Have you noticed your toilet gurgling while you’re in the shower? If so, the drain or vent may be blocked. In addition to your shower draining slower, it can also make the toilet flush inefficiently. Although air may seem harmless, in this case, it can shut down your bathroom if ignored for too long.

Material Coming from Fixtures

Another sign to look for is debris, gunk, dirt, or other materials coming from your water fixtures. This includes your showers, sinks, and toilets. If you have debris coming out of your fixtures, this is a serious sign of a plumbing clog.

Dampness Indoors or Outdoors

Dampness or wet spots inside and outside of the house are another warning sign of a potential clog or other plumbing issues. You may begin to notice water spots on your ceiling, walls, floors, or even under your cabinets. You may also see signs of prolonged dampness outside, including:

  • Visibly blocked sewer grates. Mud, dirt, and leaves can muck up the sewer grates on the outside. Over time, they can also cause plumbing clogs on the inside.
  • Mushy Grass. Noticing new soft spots in your yard can be a sign that you have a plumbing problem. If the pipes below the ground burst or are leaking, the water will eventually seep into the ground, below your lawn.
  • Weird Smells. If you smell something pungent, this could be a sign that something is wrong.

Like with electricity, plumbing issues are better left to the professionals. A plumber will have knowledge about plumbing and clogs, as well as access to advanced technology that can pinpoint the origin of the clog or leak. They will also be able to help you figure out what steps to take in order to resolve the problem efficiently.

If you notice signs of a plumbing clog in your home, call Forrest Anderson to schedule an appointment.

8 reasons for water pressure problems

Chances are if you’ve owned a house, you’ve dealt with water pressure problems at some point. This can make the simplest tasks like washing clothes, doing dishes, or even taking a shower, incredibly frustrating. The good news is, there are some common reasons for water pressure problems, and most of them are easy to resolve when working with a plumber.

Clogged Aerators

Do you have one specific fixture that has low pressure? If yes, you may have a clogged aerator. These are usually connected to a faucet to ensure that they won’t splash water when they are turned on. Over time, the screen can become blocked by sediments, debris, or calcium deposits.

Corroded Plumbing

Usually, when you’re dealing with corroded plumbing, it’s in an older house. If your home is over 20 years old, you may need to replace the pipes. While this can be expensive, it’s better to handle it when you first notice an issue rather than wait for it to turn into a bigger, more costly, problem.


Believe it or not, leaks can also cause a water pressure issue. Underneath your house, there is a maze of pipes. If one of those pipes is leaking, corroding, or bursts, it can limit the water from reaching its destination.

Master Shut Off Valve

Accidentally adjusting the master shut off valve is one reason for water pressure problems. This is something you may be able to fix on your own. Simply find your master valve and make sure that it’s open enough for the water to run freely. As always, if you aren’t sure what you’re looking at, it’s time to call the professionals.

Mineral Deposits

This is one of the most common water pressure problems. Mineral deposits can build up in your pipes and reduce the amount of water flow to your home. A plumber can assess the situation to determine if cleaning the pipes can improve the situation. In more severe cases, you may have to replace the pipes to fully resolve the issue.

Pressure Regulator

A pressure regulator is a mechanism that controls the flow of water and pressure. A fault in the regulator can cause water pressure problems. If you think yours needs to be fixed or replaced, call the professionals to determine if that is the issue in your plumbing system.

Shared Pipelines

Another reason your pressure might be low is due to a shared pipeline. Whether you’re sharing your pipes with one neighbor or many more, this can cause a significant loss of pressure. Unfortunately, ripping up the entire network to make a dedicated pipeline to your house is cost-prohibitive.

One way to work around this issue is by using water when your neighbors are not. For example, if you work second shift and most of your neighbors are at work in the morning, this may be the ideal time to do laundry, wash dishes, wash your car, and so on. You can also ask your neighbors about any plumbing problems they’re experiencing to determine if it’s an issue greater than just your home.

Water Softener Mechanisms

Some homes have a water softener installed. This treats the water before it is supplied to the house. A water softener shouldn’t decrease the water pressure in your home unless the unit is too small or was installed improperly. Call a technician to inspect your water softener if you think it may be the cause of your water pressure problems.

Call the Professionals

Contact Forrest Anderson if you’re experiencing water pressure problems. A trusted plumber can assess the situation and guide you to an efficient solution.