Most homes and apartments used to have steam heat radiators, but they can be noisy. Tired of the whistling, clanging and banging? Here’s how to make it stop.
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Local Articles in Northern Virginia
One of the most common winter home problems is frozen pipes. Warming up the pipes is the easy part, but actually finding where the pipe is frozen can be hard.
When temperatures dip below freezing, there's a chance your plumbing pipes could freeze. See if copper or PEX pipes stand up best to winter weather.
If you plan to leave a house vacant for the winter months, it's important to make sure your home is ready for the winter. Here's how to winterize a vacant home.
From the sounds of it, you have a clog between the floor drain and the connection to the city sewer (unless you have a septic tank). The lower flow rates of sinks / showers / dishwashers probable don't cause a backup like the washing machine does. A couple of suggestions.
1. Snake the drain line with a spade tip snake, twisting the snake as you advance it. This should clear the partial blockage.
2. If feasable, have your washing machine discharge into a utility sink and put a strainer on the drain to catch the clothing fibre (fibres and grease from the sink probably made the clog in the first place not to mention a garbage disposal).
3. Replace your floor drain with one that has a backflow preventer (looks like there is a ping pong ball in it).
Mobile homes used CPVC for years and some still do. It works fine but is not as strong as a properly soldered copper pipe system. Is the contractor installing this new plumbing a licensed plumber? I'd be surprised if he is since he's using CPVC and not PEX (or similar) or copper. PEX pipe is even cheaper than CPVC when run by a knowledgable plumber. It doesn't require nearly as many joints since it comes in rolls and can flex through spaces easily.
There are some groups raising a fuss about BPA and other chemicals found in plastics that don't like the use of CPVC, PVC, or PEX pipe. I haven't seen the results of any lab tests to confirm or dispute their concerns. As far as durability goes it's fairly safe as long as it's properly installed and secured. It is not as susceptible to hard water damage as copper. It absolutely must be insulated along it's entire length to protect it from contact to other materials as well as freezing. Also, the fixtures in the house need to be grounded electrically since the pipe itself provides no electrical protection against accidental shock or electrocution. In a copper plumbed house the system is grounded so static electricity, a short in a wire near a water line, or lightning strike will carry the current out through the pipe instead of through the water to you, ideally.
If it's installed correctly you should be fine but make sure the contractor knows what he is doing and follows the proper procedures to use CPVC pipe.
Todd's Home Services
I get a few calls a year for this sort of thing. It's usually something simple but can be a nightmare to diagnose, especially if the problem is intermittent. Start with the simple possibilities and use deductive reasoning to narrow the possibilities. Before you do a lot of damage it may pay off to hire a reputable contractor to help you make sure you've exhausted all of the imple and more obvious possibilities.
Todd's Home Services
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