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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.

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.

4 Things to Think About Before a Kitchen Remodel

When you first think about doing a kitchen remodel, there is a lot to consider.

How will you use the kitchen?

What kind of space are you working with?

Will you be able to change the space itself?

How many people will be using the kitchen?

Finally, is the reason for your kitchen remodel one of personal enjoyment, or will money be your primary motivator?

Intended Usage

How do you intend to use your kitchen space after your kitchen remodel?

Do you intend for this to be a “grab and go” type of kitchen, or do you intend to spend a lot of time cooking intricate meals there?

Will you be eating in the kitchen, or shifting to another space in the home to enjoy your meals?

Your kitchen remodel needs to begin and end with the way you use the space as the primary decision-making component. Otherwise, you may end up adding something unnecessary and not investing your time and money where it really belongs.

The Space Itself

How large is the space in which your kitchen remodel is going to take place?

If it is a smaller space, sometimes space-saving additions such as extra shelving and cabinets can steal the show. Even the right combination of colors can seem to open up the space itself and make it seem larger than it really is.

If you already have a fairly large kitchen space, you may only be rearranging elements and putting in a new color scheme. No matter how large your kitchen remodel may be physically, every kitchen remodel requires you to think through the space itself.

Another consideration that may come into play is how large the space itself can become. If you have walls that are not load-bearing, it may be possible to cut out either a portion of the wall or the whole thing. While this goes beyond the scope many people work within their kitchen remodel, it is important to consider if you can. If you have an adjacent room and the means to do so, significantly increasing your kitchen’s size can do amazing things for your home.

How Much to Change

Tearing down walls may be too much for your kitchen remodel, but it may also be just a portion of what you end up doing to the space.

Are you going to update your appliances with something new and different?

How much painting do you intend to do?

Will you be removing, adding or repurposing the existing countertops and cabinets?

Sometimes a very small change, such as painting the walls a new color or putting in a new sink and counter top, can make a surprising amount of difference. On the other hand, sometimes making very large changes is just what the doctor ordered. Before you pick up a paintbrush, a hammer or an appliance dolly, it is important to think carefully. Think through what your budget will allow you to change, and whether you want to keep some things from before your kitchen remodel.

Love or List?

Are you going to sell your home, rent it out or live in it yourself?

If you are not intending to sell or rent the home for more than a year, you should do your kitchen remodel according to your individual tastes.

If a profitable sale or a cash flowing rental is your goal, you would be wise to pay attention to current trends.

Will you have to live with your kitchen remodel, or are you going to expect your real estate agent to wow other people with it?

Work With Professionals

There are so many things to consider when doing a kitchen remodel that it often makes sense to work with professionals. Moving drains and gas lines should only be handled by a professional.

The team at Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning knows how to work within your budget to get the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with remodeling your home.

Green Stuff on a Faucet: What Is It?

Is your home being invaded by something green? Cleaning bathroom and kitchen faucets in Arizona can be a constant battle. That’s because you’ll find green stuff on a faucet. What the heck is that stuff? And why can’t you get rid of it easily, even when you scrub?

What Green Stuff on Faucet Could Be

We in Arizona have to deal with hard water on a daily basis. While it might help you feel cleaner in the shower, hard water causes a host of issues. It’s considered hard because it has more minerals in the water. The minerals include magnesium, calcium, and copper. And as copper oxides, it turns green. Just one reason you could have green stuff on a faucet.

Another option is limescale. This is a thick layer of chalky stuff that covers anything where water has been. Limescale can be white, yellow, or green. It might be white on the bottom of your tub, yellow at the back of the sink, and green around the faucets. Another reason for green stuff on a faucet.

Why Green Stuff on a Faucet is Bad

Sure, it’s unsightly to have green stuff on a faucet. There’s no doubt about that. But that limescale and copper can be nearly impossible to clean or remove. Plus, limescale can cause permanent damage to fixtures, leading to a costly problem.

All of this green stuff on the faucet is a strong indicator that you, indeed, do have hard water. Of course, being in Arizona, nearly all of us do, so you’re not alone. So you have two choices to address the problem: clean up the green stuff or get the minerals out of your water.

Tricks to Clean Up the Gunk

There are three good ways to get rid of the green stuff on the faucet:

Trick 1: Commercial Cleaner and a Lime

First, clean your faucet and sink with your normal kitchen cleanser and then wipe it dry. Next, cut a lemon in half and use it to wipe down and scrub the surfaces again. The mild acid in the lemon helps to dissolve the limescale and buildup. After you are done lemon scrubbing, rinse everything off and wipe it dry.

Trick 2: Baking Soda Paste

To make the paste, mix three parts baking soda with one part water. Take your paste and rub it all over the green stuff on a faucet. Leave the baking soda paste on the faucet for one hour (or until it’s fully dry). Afterward, rinse and dry completely.

Trick 3: Deep Vinegar Soak

One of the best ways to beat lime scale and hard water deposits is with vinegar. Fill a plastic bag with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of vinegar and secure the bag around your faucet with a rubber band. Let the vinegar soak deeply into the limescale for 3–4 hours then scrub off the green stuff on a faucet. Rinse and dry when complete.

Rid Your Water of Minerals

If hard water is at the core of your green stuff on faucet problem, you need to do something to get rid of all of those extra minerals. Here are two options:

1. Install a Water Softener

The best way to beat hard water and stop limescale buildup forever is to install a water softener. Soft water has far fewer minerals in it than hard water. Therefore, when soft water dries on your faucet and inside the sink, it leaves behind much less calcium carbonate. That results in pretty much no green stuff on the faucet.

2. Have Your Home Re-piped

Old pipes in your home might be a source of minerals feeding the hard water into your home. As pipes age, water tends to become harder. Having modern plumbing installed in your home, along with a water softener, is the best way to defeat limescale.

Get the Help You Need

If green stuff on a faucet is an issue for you and your home, it’s time to contact Forrest Anderson. We can suggest the best water softener (and install it) if that’s your choice. And if you’d prefer to re-pipe your home, we can manage that project as well.

Stop cleaning your faucets every day. Ban the green stuff!

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The Cost of Re-Piping

If you are experiencing low water pressure in your house, or brown water coming out of your pipes, then it might be time to replace the plumbing in your home. These problems are likely due to corrosion in your current pipes. This could lead to much larger and costly problems such as large leaks and water damage, both to your home and your home’s foundation.

Re-piping a house means replacing the current, faulty pipes in your home with new pipes. Most likely, this will involve minimal cuts in your walls. A small trench will also have to be dug out to your water meter.

All damage to your yard and inside your home will be repaired by the plumbing contractor before they finish up the job.

The Cost of Re-Piping

Re-piping your home is a costly job. You will want to plan ahead for a full house re-pipe as soon as you see signs of faulty pipes.

It is not something you will want to schedule on a whim. Leaving your pipes in a state of disrepair will likely cause significantly more damage, catch you off guard, and be much more expensive to repair down the road.

Determining the exact costs of a full house re-piping requires a few considerations. The price of a re-piping will vary dramatically depending on the size of the home, the materials the home is made of, and how many bathrooms, kitchens, and faucets the home has.

Another big factor in determining the cost is how many stories the house has. So a two-story home will cost more to re-pipe than a single-story home.

The largest factor in determining the cost of re-piping your home will most likely be the type of material you choose for your new pipes. Typically, your plumber will present you with two options, copper or Cross-Linked Polyethylene (more commonly called PEX).

Copper Piping

Copper pipes are the more expensive option, as copper is a globally traded commodity. Usually costing between two and three times as much as PEX pipes. Another factor in copper being more expensive is that using copper pipes requires more labor since copper is not as easy to work with as PEX is.

The advantages of using copper pipes is that they can last for decades. They also have a lifespan of around 50 years before needing to be replaced..

PEX

PEX pipes are a less expensive option than copper pipes for a few reasons. It is a cheaper material, costing around half of what cooper would cost. The installation of PEX pipes will also be much cheaper because PEX is a lot easier to work with, easier to resize, and can be pulled and bent where needed. Copper pipes, on the other hand, have to be much more precise. This, in turn, speeds up the whole installation process, costing you less money in labor.

What’s Best for Your Home?

If it’s time for you to re-pipe your home, then you should start with a comprehensive inspection. That will determine if your home is a candidate, and then you can move forward to explore your options.

Contact the re-piping specialists at Forrest Anderson to learn more about taking this important step in the health of your home. We’ll walk you through the process and get you back up and running good as new.

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Benefits of Re-Piping

Having strong pipes, clean water, no leaks, and strong, high-pressure water—even while someone is showering—is something we all take for granted. That is, until a problem arises.

If you are experiencing rust or dirt in your water, watermarks on your walls or ceiling, or very low water pressure—especially while someone in the house is showering—then you should consider re-piping your house.

Here are a few common questions you will likely have if you have faulty pipes in your home.

What are the Benefits of Re-Piping?

Replacing an old, faulty pipe system offers many benefits such as stronger water pressure throughout your house, allowing multiple people to use water at the same time. There is also the added benefit of having clean, clear drinking water and no more leaks (saving hundreds on your water bill)!

The biggest benefit of all might be the peace of mind obtained by not having to worry about a major pipe malfunction. Especially if it’s happened to a few other houses in your neighborhood.

Why not just fix the leak; why re-pipe the whole house? While patching a leaky pipe can be a quick fix and a short-term solution for your problems, it’s likely that your whole piping system is starting to fail. Especially if your pipes are old or if you live in an older home.

While the pipes in your home will last a long time (decades, even), they do corrode and need regular replacement. Re-piping your whole home all at once offers peace of mind from what could be an upcoming bigger problem. Saving you from the potential cost of tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

How Much Work Is Re-Piping?

Re-piping a whole house takes a lot of work, but it’s not overly complicated work. A re-pipe will generally start at your water meter and end at your faucets, such as your sinks and toilets.

Some walls in your house will have to be cut in the process, but don’t worry, those will be easily repaired.

How Long Does Re-Piping Take?

Re-piping an entire house usually takes 3–5 days, depending on the size of the home. Water can be restored to at least one bathroom within eight hours. You can absolutely remain in your home during a re-piping.

If you prefer not to have technicians in your home while you’re there, then they can come while you’re at work. There is no need for you to relocate during the process unless you wish to.

How Much Damage to My Home Will There Be?

When re-piping your home, contractors will dig a small trench in your yard to replace the pipe running from the water meter to your house. While inside of your house, they will likely have to cut holes in walls leading to your faucets. However, they will avoid cutting walls whenever possible.

Total damage done to your house is kept to a minimum. Grass and dirt in your yard will be replaced and almost unnoticeable when finished. Any holes in your walls will be filled, and the texture will be retouched so the cuts are no longer visible.

A properly performed re-piping will restore strong water pressure throughout your house. It will also make your water clean and clear. As well as cut out any water loss due to leaking pipes. Saving you money one your water bill and reduce potential for water damage to your home.

A re-piping can be a quick and generally hassle-free experience. There will be minimal effect to your overall quality of life, while offering peace of mind for years to come.

If you think your home might be ready to be re-piped, then there’s no need to continue to wonder. Instead, call Forrest Anderson!

We’ll come to your home and take a look at your pipes. Then we’ll make a recommendation and move forward to get your home plumbing back up to speed.

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Is It Time to Re-pipe Your Home?

That beautiful home in the older section of town might have seemed like the dream house you were looking for, but time is not kind to homes. If your home is older, then you might consider re-piping to bring your home up to code and avoid a number of potential disasters.

Age Is More than a Number

If you have a turn-of-the-century home, then your pipes are well past their prime. Depending on the type of pipes you have and when they were last replaced will tell you a lot.

Determine when your home was built to figure out the age of your pipes. If you have original fixtures, they could have a lifespan of at least 20 years. Your home-inspection report will tell you what material your pipes are made, which is another indicator of longevity.

The life expectancy of supply lines, those coming from the main line into your home, is:

  • brass: 80–100 years
  • copper: 70–80 years
  • galvanized steel: 80–100 years

Then there’s also the age of your drainpipes, those that remove water from the home:

  • cast iron: 80–100 years
  • PVC: 24–40 years

The Wrong Type of Pipes Could Signal Danger

Once upon a time, we didn’t have the knowledge we have today, and building materials could include dangerous components or just weren’t made to last.

If you have lead pipes, then the lead can leach into the water supply. As you are well aware, lead is toxic, and can cause physical and mental delays in children younger than six.

Polybutylene piping was used in homes built between the 1970s and 1990s. Although it was a cheap building material, it turns out that it is of poor quality and prone to break. That could mean a big renovation job down the road.

Leaks Are Never Good

When water is coming out of places it shouldn’t be, that’s usually a sign that it’s time to re-pipe. Although you might think that one leak is a patch job and not worth a whole replacement, there may be a chance it is.

The reason is that all of the pipes in your home are of the same age, and if one has a weakness, then others will have the same issues. Remember, if you can see one leak, then there are plenty of other leaks you can’t see.

Water Should Always Be Clear

The water that comes out of your faucets should always be clear. If it’s brown or yellow, then that’s not a good thing. While you might jump to the conclusion that your pipes are rusty—and it may well be the case—it could also be a rusty water heater.

Before you make plans to re-pipe your home after seeing rusty water, have the water heater checked to rule out that option first.

Corrosion Is Not Good

Yes, you read it right. No matter how old or new your house is, if your pipes show even a small amount of corrosion, then it means the situation isn’t good. Check out your exposed pipes for signs of discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking. If you see any problems, call for a second opinion.

Ready to Re-pipe?

Re-piping your home is a very expensive endeavor, so it should not be undertaken lightly, and it should probably occur in conjunction with other renovations you have scheduled.

If you think your home is ready for new pipes, then call Forrest Anderson for an inspection and to get a professional opinion!

We’ll help you determine if it’s time and get your home on the road to recovery.

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