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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

Home » Noisy Pipes

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.

High Water Pressure and Noisy Pipes

Many people probably consider high water pressure a good thing. However, water pressure that is too high can be more than just annoying: it can cause costly damage. High water pressure is one of the leading causes of water leaks, pipe damage, and wasted water in homes and businesses.

Signs You May Have High Water Pressure

There are several signs you might have a high water pressure problem in your home or business.

  • Multiple water leaks
  • Constantly running toilets
  • Noisy pipes

You might see intermediate leaks occurring at only certain times of the day, leaks in multiple faucets at the same time, toilets that are constantly running, and even noisy pipes!

Water hammers are also commonly caused by high water pressure. The pipes and faucets inside your home are only designed to support a certain amount of PSI. If the PSI is too high, the opening and closing of your faucets cause the water to ram into the faucet. The water then looks for a way to escape, which can cause burst pipes.

Water hammers can also cause pipes’ mounting straps to become loose, causing a lot of noise and rattling when you open and close the faucets in your home.

What Causes High Water Pressure?

The most likely source of your high-pressure water problem is the municipal water supplier. Water companies set the water pressure high to support enough pressure for safety reasons. These include fire hydrants. It could also be for those tall buildings downtown. It takes a lot of pressure to get to the 40th floor!

The recommended water pressure limit on most plumbing supplies is 80 PSI. More often than not, city water pressure exceeds 100 PSI. In some cases, it can even be higher than 150 PSI. And you could be dealing with high water pressure for anything higher than 60 PSI.

If you are unsure about the water pressure inside your home or office, it’s quite easy to check this yourself.

  1. Buy a water pressure gauge
  2. Select a water outlet
    A faucet or hose bib that close to the water supply source will be your most reliable source.
  3. Turn off anything that uses water
    This includes all faucets, washers, sprinklers, and even fridge ice makers.
  4. Attach the gauge
    Screw the fitting end of the gauge into the water outlet you’ve chosen.
  5. Let the water run
    Make sure that you slowly open the valve until it is fully open.
  6. Record the pressure
    Once the needle stops moving, write down the pressure.
  7. Double check
    Test one more time to make sure the reading is accurate. If you get a different reading, make sure all faucets and water-using appliances are off.
  8. Call a technician
    If the pressure is too high, then it’s best to call a technician for an inspection.

How to Fix the Problem?

If you find that you have high water pressure, the best solution is to install a water pressure regulator. A pressure regulator reduces the pressure from the main before it enters the building. This will help to reduce any associated issues, such as water hammers and damaged pipes.

It’s best to install the pressure regulator right at the main instead of at the entrance to the home or office. Putting it there gives the water pressure time to slow. It also protects the water transport system to your property. Also, with the pressure regulator installed at the main, it will control the irrigation system. That means fewer leaks in what are much more sensitive pipes.

High Water Pressure is a Real Problem

If you have been feeling the effects of high water pressure, it’s time to address the problem. Forrest Anderson plumbers are the Phoenix experts in reducing water pressure problems. We can inspect your home or commercial space to gauge the pressure and provide solutions.

Don’t risk ruining pipes or turning your home or office into an indoor swimming pool. Contact us today to schedule your inspection.

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Loose Mounting Straps and Noisy Pipes

Do you hear clanging and banging inside your walls? No, it’s probably not ghosts, but it can be just as troublesome. You likely have loose mounting straps, which can lead to noisy pipes. Pipes rattle every time a faucet is turned on, and it can feel as if your home is falling apart. Thankfully, fixing the issue is fairly straightforward and can end your nightmares.

What Are Mounting Straps?

Mounting straps are what holds your plumbing system together. You probably don’t even think about mounting straps on a regular day. But when they’re loose, you’ll hear about them.

Mounting straps are hooks that secure the pipes to the house’s frame. They can be vinyl, metal, or even plumbers tape. If one (or more) loosens, that pipe will vibrate.

Mounting straps can become loose for several reasons. One reason is water hammers. If your home has high water pressure, water hammers will shake the pipes. The water hammer is caused by water slamming into closed pipes. The result is a really, really loud noise inside your walls.

Over time, the water hammers cause vibrating pipes. These, in turn, lead to loose mounting straps. And that means more noisy pipes. If the pipes are close to the home’s frame, they will bang against it, creating those loud vibrations you hear every time you turn on and off your water.

How to Fix Loose Mounting Straps Yourself

Mounting straps that have been shaken loose will have to either be repaired or replaced. If they’re easily accessible, you might be able to take this on yourself.

Steps to fix loose mounting straps:

  1. Check all of your pipes – Look under sinks, in the attic, and in the garage for exposed pipes. Then inspect each mounting strap’s integrity.
  2. Prep your tools – You’ll need a piece of wood, a screwdriver, and plumbers tape.
  3. Tighten the straps – First, wedge a piece of wood securely between the frame and loose pipe. This will prevent vibrations when faucets are on or off. Then tighten any loose screws securely. Finally, tape up the mounting straps as needed.
  4. Call a professional – If the mounting straps are more than just a little loose, then you might have a bigger issue.

The Problem Behind the Problem

Once you’ve secured the mounting straps and eliminated your noisy pipes, you’re likely not quite done. You should consider this a temporary fix to a potentially bigger issue: high water pressure. You won’t have loose straps for no reason. The behind-the-scenes reason is probably too high water pressure.

Most buildings should have water running at a PSI of no higher than 80. For most homes getting city water, however, the water could be coming from the main at 100 PSI or higher. So your fragile pipes have to deal with water that’s flowing through too fast. And the problem that then occurs is damage to the pipes. And one of the first signs is, of course, loose mounting straps.

Call a Professional

Whether or not you can fix the loose mounting straps yourself, you should still make a call to the Phoenix plumbing professionals at Forrest Anderson.

If it’s true that high water pressure is the problem, then you’ll need to address that issue first. That may require a regulator to reduce the pressure. And it also might mean more damage has happened to the pipes that you can’t see.

If you hear loud noises coming from inside your wall, then don’t call Ghostbusters. Call Forrest Anderson! We’ll be there to fix the problem and make things quiet again.

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Water Hammers & Noisy Pipes

Water hammers cause noisy pipes. And noisy pipes lead to sleepless nights. No, these aren’t something out of fiction that Thor carries to fend off bad guys. Instead, this malady can be an indication of bigger issues and a reason to take a closer look at your plumbing system.

What Are Water Hammers?

If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of your home’s plumbing, you may be scratching your head about what the heck this water hammer thing is. It’s not too big of a mystery, and it’s aptly named.

A water hammer occurs when water is on its way to its final destination and gets stopped short when an outlet is turned off abruptly, or the air chamber closes unexpectedly. At that point, the water runs into a type of dam, which causes a thunderous noise. It’s as if the water is running to get to you and a giant wall is in its way. It “hammers” on that wall and makes the noise that reverberates throughout your pipes, and your home.

The air chamber that may be causing the issue is a vertical pipe that is located in the wall near the exit point of the water (the sink, dishwasher, or washing machine, for instance). Air chambers are part of your plumbing and work as cushioning to help absorb the shock of that fast-moving water so it doesn’t slam into the dam. Most of the time, air chambers are located near automatic, or electric, shut-off valves, namely water-using appliances. They can, however, be located at every outlet; it depends on how your home was plumbed.

How to Fix the Issue

Since faulty air chambers are usually to blame for the water hammers you’re hearing, that’s where you should start when preparing for a DIY solution. You’ll need to add more air to the air chambers. Here’s how:

  1.  First, shut off the water main to your home. The goal here is to drain the pipes so you can add air.
  2. Since you’re draining water, we’re going to be using the power of gravity to make that happen. To start the process, open the faucet that’s highest in your home. You do this by removing the faucet handle, followed by the packing nut.
  3. Next, turn on the faucet that’s physically lowest. In a one-story home, this might mean the kitchen sink faucet is open, and the outside hose faucet is on.
  4. As all the water leaves the pipes, air will replace it.
  5. Keep an eye on the faucet that’s on, and once the water stops running, turn it off. Then reopen the main water valve to the house. Air will push through, followed by water, making some noise as you use the faucets throughout the house.

Other Reasons for Water Hammers

If refilling the air chambers didn’t rectify the situation, then there might be other issues at play. You could have loose mounting straps. Assess any accessible pipes (look under sinks, for example) to ensure that pipes are not moving. The strap is what holds the exposed pipe securely against the framing, and when it’s loose, you’ll hear clanking. Loose pipes could lead to that booming hammer sound as well.

Check Your Water Pressure

There’s one more reason you might be hearing water hammers: too-high water pressure. Imagine all of that rushing water trying to get through your tiny little pipes. It’s bound to cause some noise at some point. A pressure regulator might be in order if you’re dealing with water pressure that’s higher than it needs to be. The regulator will let you know how high your pressure currently is and will let you know if it’s too high. If your water pressure is currently at 80 PSI or above it is too high and needs to be regulated with a pressure regulator.

Call Your Plumber

Loud noises and walls that bump and shake can be unsettling. Before you start to think that your house is haunted, consider that you might have water hammers and noisy pipes. We encourage you to call your trusted Arizona plumbers at Forrest Anderson. We will come in and inspect your pipes to see what’s the underlying cause of all that noise. Once again, you’ll be able to rest easy.

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