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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

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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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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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Why Do Pressure Regulators Matter?

Being a homeowner comes with many worries, don’t let water pressure damage be one of them. With the a pressure regulator your pipes can function properly, and prolong the life your plumbing.

What Is a Pressure Regulator?

It is a plumbing valve that connects the main water line and your home. Reducing the main-line water pressure to a safe level before it reaches the interior plumbing of the home.

Too much pressure in your residential plumbing lines can cause all kinds of issues, not the least of which is a potential pipe explosion. So it’s vital that the pressure in the home is under control.

When Pressure Regulators Go Bad

Things never last forever, no matter how hard you might wish them to. Your pressure regulator is the same. It will eventually go bad, but how can you tell?

It’s likely your pressure regulator is bad if your water pressure has a significant change or you hear water hammering.

Pick up a pressure gauge at your local hardware store if you’re curious about how high your water pressure is. You can easily test your water pressure by following the included instruction.

As part of your regular home maintenance you should check your water pressure at least once a year.

How a Pressure Regulator Helps

So you know what a regulator does in your home, but how does it really help? And why should you have one?

Too much water pressure can put extra strain on your home’s plumbing.  Water can erode any type of mineral—no matter how refined.

All kinds of band things can happen when your plumbing is weak. Running toilets and dripping faucets, both are small issues, but they are not only annoying but also waste water. You can hear the pipes hammering the walls as the water rushes to get through the pipes.

If that hammering water isn’t dealt with, then you could be opening yourself up for a big problem: burst pipes. You’re dealing with extensive damage, clean up, and construction issues if pipes burst.

By replacing your water pressure regulator, you are avoiding tens of thousands of dollars in restoration costs.

Contact the plumbing experts at Forrest Anderson if you think you need a water pressure regulator! No matter if it’s either for the first time or as a replacement for one that’s gone bad.

We’ll test your water pressure and determine if it’s time to upgrade.

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Who Needs a Pressure Regulator?

Are you a homeowner? Then you need a pressure regulator.

Signs of High Water Pressure

When you’re taking a shower, do you feel as if you’re standing under a fire hose? Does hand washing dishes end up with you wet from chin to belt?

These are likely signs that your home has high water pressure. In some instances, it’s a good, and welcomed, thing. There are lots of people who are whining about their weak water pressure and try to find ways to have a “real” shower. However, most of the time high water pressure is a hassle.

Somewhere around 40 psi is ideal for residential water pressure. If your home has regular pressure comes in at twice that, then you’re setting yourself up for some challenges down the line.

If You Want Your Fixtures to Last Longer

The fixtures you see, as well as the pipes you don’t, are made to withstand a lot, except for constant high-powered water. When you install a water pressure regulator, your water pressure is just right for your home.

If You’d Rather Not Replace Appliances Too Soon

Dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and water softeners are an investment. Likely, when you made those purchases, you wanted them to last for a while. With high water pressure increasing the stress on those fancy appliances, they will have a much shorter lifespan.

If You’re Not Ready to Build an Ark

Rowboats, rafts, and arks are super cool, but not so much when you need them to escape the sudden river that’s flowing through your living room. When water pressure is too high, it weakens hoses and can result in them bursting.

So while you were expecting a lazy Sunday afternoon of laundry and football, you could be dealing with a disaster! All of which could have been avoided with the addition of a water pressure regulator. Okay, maybe not the laundry; but someone has to do it.

So How’s Your Pressure?

If your morning showers have been feeling a little too vigorous, then it’s time to call Forrest Anderson and have one of our licensed plumbers test your water pressure.

Instead of dealing with a fire hose for a faucet, consider a pressure regulator!

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Pressure Regulators 101

No doubt you’ve heard of a pressure cooker—and maybe you even have one in your kitchen right now. That’s a simple example of a pressure regulator, but did you know that you could have a number of pressure regulators doing their silent jobs across your home right now?

Types of Pressure Regulators

A pressure regulator is a valve that limits the flow of a liquid or gas to a certain pressure.

In your home, you’re likely to find a pressure regulator in the following locations:

  • Gas grills, to regulate propane
  • At the furnace, to regulate natural gases
  • Engines, to regulate fuel
  • Air compressors, to regulate the compressed air
  • Medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank to regulate oxygen flow
  • Water lines, reducing the pressure of water coming from the main line into the home

No matter where you find a pressure regulator, its job is essentially the same: reduce inlet pressure to a lower outlet pressure.

Water Pressure Regulators

This plumbing valve is located where the main water line from the city enters your home. Its job is to reduce the pressure of the fast-surging public water to one that works better in residential pipes. However, not every home is equipped with a water pressure regulator.

If you don’t have a water pressure regulator, then you may need one. Your water pressure may be too high, and is currently damaging your pipes!

If you’re not sure what your current water pressure is, then you can measure it with a pressure gauge—picked up at a local hardware store.

Test your water pressure at various times of the day and night. Just don’t do so when the water is turned on either inside or outside of your home. If the pressure gauge registers between 40 and 60 psi, you should be fine.

However if the pressure is higher or lower, then contact Forrest Anderson for an inspection and installation.

Why Pressure Regulators Are Important

Your home’s water pressure will be tested when you are buying or selling a home. Also, beware that some cities in Arizona require homes to have a pressure regulator, regardless of the water pressure coming into the home!

During an inspection, assessing water pressure is a good way to determine if there are any issues in a home’s water supply. While low or high pressure could be related to a faulty pressure regulator, it could also signify a problem within the home.

If you are unsure if your home has a water pressure regulator, look at where the main line enters the home. The regulator will usually be installed downstream of the city water meter.

While servicing the regulator is typically a simple process, remember that adding a regulator is a much more entailed project.

If you’re a complete novice when it comes to anything dealing with your home, that’s okay; we’ve got your back.

Call us at Forrest Anderson with any questions you have about your pressure regulators—and if you even have one. If you need yours serviced or replaced, contact us to take care of it for you!

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