Charlotte Temperatures Will Soon Plummet — Frozen Pipes Are A Real Possibility


Charlotte doesn’t tend to get as cold as cities to the north, but temperatures can plummet below 20 degrees, and a storm can bring on a power outage. It’s wise to be mindful of what can do to your home. Frozen pipes, for example, are a real possibility.

You want to avoid this at all costs, as a pipe can burst and create a very messy situation.

Homes built as recently as the 1970s frequently lack sufficient wall insulation. This means that if a kitchen or bathroom sink is along an exterior wall, your plumbing could be exposed to more cold than it should be. As precautionary measures:

Insulate your pipes. Home improvement stores carry a range of plumbing-line insulation. Your options include foil and fiberglass. Perhaps the easiest option is tubular insulation, which can be cut to measure and wrapped around a pipe. All of these supplies are available at home-improvement stores.
Seal the gaps around the plumbing lines coming into your home. Expanding-foam should do the job.
You may even want to talk with your plumbing contractor about relocating your pipes, especially if they’ve locked up before. This tends to be an expensive alternative, but it may be worth discussing with your plumber.
If temperatures plummet before you can do your preventive maintenance, take the following measures:

Let your faucets slowly drip. This will help to prevent a freeze-up.
Open the cabinets under your sink. This will allow warmer air from the room to circulate under the sink.
If a pipe does freeze, try using a hair blower or a heating pad to thaw it. Never use a blow torch or any other flame. A better approach is who can get the pipe thawed before it bursts. The pipe, by the way, isn’t likely to burst where it’s frozen, but instead at a point between the ice and the faucet.
If you plan to be away for an extended time during the holidays, consider draining your system before you leave. Turn off the main valve, and let all the faucets run until no more water comes out. This should prevent a freeze-up while you’re gone.

At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair we know how important it is to keep your water lines maintained. We can help you do that, whether it’s winter or summer. Call us with any questions. We’re happy to help.

How to cut copper pipe

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he strategies and gear you have to cut water pipes genuinely depend on the piping materials itself. A lot of folks cut copper and galvanized steel pipes with the hacksaw but a tubing cutter is one more terrific alternative. Tubing cutters leave a far more uniform edge to every cut and you can also cut plastic pipe with a tubing cutter. Most do-it-yourselfers reach for a hacksaw rather of a tubing cutter as they are additional out there.

Most individuals can do an sufficient job with the hacksaw if they are careful. The aim is usually to cut a straight edge when cutting pipe so that the piece will match completely into its fitting. Cemented plastic pipe joints need to have all the surface get in touch with they can get, so fitting that doesn’t bottom out is a challenge.

The clean-cut is most critical. The tubing cutter can leave a compression ridge inside the pipe, though hacksaw’s leave course burrs. Ragged burrs protruding from a pipe’s edge eventually break off and make their way into control valves, appliances, and faucets. Severe edges also produce friction in the water flow is referred to as line friction, which can lessen water pressure. To prevent these problems, green any severe edges left by a cutting tool just before you install the pipe into its fitting.

To ream of copper or plastic height, lift the triangular reaming attachment from the top rated of the cutter, insert it into the end of the pipe and give it various sharp twists. When dealing with steel pipe, you’ll want a a lot more aggressive reaming tool-1 with hardened steel cutting blades. If you have to rent other tools to operate with steel pipes such as a writer, rent a reamer as effectively. If you are generating only a handful of cuts applied a rat-tale file to get rid of burrs.

Cutting Pipe with a Hacksaw

When you are employing a hacksaw to cut pipe, it is crucial not to rush. Use as considerably of the blade is feasible and lengthy and straightforward strokes. If you perform also swiftly, the blade will heat up and start off binding. A hot blade also leaves a ragged pipe edge. The greatest strategy is to study the pipe on a solid surface and cut just to the left or suitable of the assistance. Some men and women like to use a miter box to ensure straight cuts.

Close-quarters hacksaws: complete-size hacksaw’s have the very same limitations as complete-size tubing cutters. In numerous conditions, they’re just also massive for the job. When you want a smaller sock, you’ll discover that there are a range of miniature hacksaw’s on the market place. Although it is not sensible to attempt plumbing and complete job with the tiny stock, they work wonders in cramped spaces. In simple fact, close-quarters hacksaw’s generally perform in situations to compact for thumb cutters. In a pinch, some folks clear away the blade from a full-size hacksaw and use it alone. The dilemma with this is the hacksaw blades are pretty brittle and can break.

Cutting Pipe With A Tubing Cutter

The first step when applying a is to mark the pipe to its right length. Right after you’ve marked the pipe, clamp the cutter onto the pipe centering the cutting wheel on your Mark. Rotate the tools manage clockwise till the cutting wheel bites into the pipe just a small. The essential issue to recall is to not more than do it. If it is hard to rotate the cutter about the pipe, unscrew the deal with slightly. Rotate the tool close to the pipe several times. You’ll feel slight resistance on the initially one particular or two turns but immediately after that, the cutter will roll simply about the pipe. This is your cue to tighten the wheel against the pipe once again and continue to turn. Repeat this until you cut all the way via the pipe.

Use this similar approach for cutting plastic, steel, or copper. The only distinction is that tubing cutters created for steel pipe are significantly heavier than these for copper or plastic. Shopping for a tubing cutter for plastic and copper makes sense-a single will work for both but cutters created for steel pipe are strictly rental products. In fact, if you have only a single or two cuts to make, you need to most likely have your nearby hardware shop or plumbing supply center cut and spread the pipes for you.

Thumb : you’ll find a wide variety of tubing cutters on the industry, most of them acquiring an overall length of five to 6 inches. These do well in the open, but when operating in walls in among joists, a close quarters tubing cutter from time to time called a thumb cutter-is typically a far better option. Rather of the extended deal with, a thumb cutter has a knob. The tool operates surprisingly properly, and some models handled pipes up to 1 inch in diameter. If you can afford only one particular tubing cutter for copper pipe, a thumb cutter is a good alternative right here. It shall slow you down a small but you’ll be ready to use it in far more areas.



You can find a good-sized tank heater for a decent price in many places, but these inexpensive heaters may not always be the bargain they seem to be.

These are typically in the 40-50 gallon range, and they will heat water so that you have that many gallons available when you need to wash dishes, take a shower, wash the dog, or whatever.

The tank unit works by warming that amount of water and then holding it ready, just in case you need it. This means the water is kept at a steady 160 degrees (or whatever temperature you set it to), at all times of day.

The heater thus is going on and off all day and all night to keep the water hot. Your Charlotte electric bill reflects this.

It sounds like that cheap water heater may not be so cheap, doesn’t it? Yikes!

Hot Water Loss and Limited Supply

Traditional tank heaters lose heat steadily. As the tank stands full with hot water, that warmth is lost through heat that basically seeps away. Picture a tea or coffee mug. As the tea or coffee cools, that heat is lost.

Even though your heater is insulated, there is still significant heat lost as it radiates away. That heat loss can be as much as 20 to 40%.

Another drawback of traditional “cheap” water heaters is that the hot water can get used up. If one person takes a shower, he may actually use up all the water that is hot. Then the next person needs to wait 30-60 minutes to get hot shower.

What a drag!

An Efficient Alternative to Cheap Water Heaters

Consider a Tankless Heater.

You may also have heard of these called “point-of-use” heaters, “on-demand” heaters, or “electric instant hot water heaters.”

What this means is that the heater provides hot water when you need it.

There is no water stored. When you turn on the hot faucet, the on-demand heater warms up the water so you can take a shower for as long as you want, and then lets the next person shower, too – all without running out of hot water.

Why is this a better alternative to the cheap tank heaters you find at your Charlotte home improvement store?

Quite simply, cheap water heaters do not prove to be cheap in the long run.

Benefits of “Cheap Water Heaters”

You may want to reconsider what you think a cheap water heater is, since the research has shown that what may have been the cheap heater initially may not be the cheap heater in the long run.

Point-of-use tank heaters can be initially more expensive. However, think about this: Point-of-use heaters can save as much as 50% over your current heating expenses! An on-demand heater will only provide hot water when you need it, so there is no need to continue to heat water if you aren’t using it. No more day-and-night heating bills.

On-demand heaters are also cheap heaters because they don’t wear out like traditional tank units. Traditional units have a typical life of 6 to 12 years before needing to be replaced.

A tankless water heater can last 20 years and more, since they don’t have hot water “sitting” in the tank and corroding internal parts. Hard water scale and deposits can greatly reduce the life and efficiency of a tank heater.

Tankless heaters are also space-efficient. They take up a lot less room in your Charlotte home than their traditional counterparts. Imagine having your water heater hang on the wall, taking up only as much space as a briefcase!

One other benefit of this type of cheap water heater is their safety record. Traditional tank heaters require you to set a minimum temperature, which is often much higher than you really need. Point-of-use heaters allow you to set the temperature where you will use it, preventing scalding issues and more energy loss.

So what do you think? Which is really the cheap water heater?

You may find it helpful to consult your Charlotte Plumber. who can provide you with extensive information about tankless water heaters, and when you’ve reached your decision, safely and efficiently install your water heater.


Plumbing Repairs for Your Bathrooms and Kitchen

Clogged Toilets. It’s truly one of the most annoying and unpleasant home plumbing problems. However, a clogged toilet is also one of the most common toilet plumbing problems.

If your toilet is not flushing correctly, consider the following as you decide how to get it working again: 2889.216.020

If your sink drains well, you probably have a clog in your toilet trap.
If your sink also doesn’t drain well, it may be a more serious problem such as an obstruction in your main sewer line (often tree roots), or sludgy build-up. In this case, a plumber should be called.
A clogged toilet can often be caused by facial tissue or some other product that wasn’t designed to disintegrate like toilet paper.
If you have kids, the clog could also be a toy, sock or some other item in the line.
You may get temporary relief from a plunger, but if the clogs keep happening call a plumbing specialist.
Clogged Sinks. Food particles, detergent residue and other matter can all contribute to a clogged sink. Fortunately, this plumbing problem usually builds slowly, so if you notice a clog, chances are that the source of the problem will be nearby and within reach.

Try a plunger first. Fill the sink with a couple of inches of water and give it a shot. You’ll know pretty quickly if it works.
Next, check the trap—the lowest bend in the pipe under the sink. If it has a cleanout plug at the bottom, just open it up and pull out the clog with needle nose pliers or whatever works best.
If the trap is the more ordinary kind with couplings on either end, loosen both couplings, slide the trap off and clean it out with a wire brush.
After removing the trap, you may find that the clog has moved a bit further down the line. In that case, you can try to insert an auger into the still-open pipe and push the obstruction out.
IMPORTANT: Before disconnecting your pipes, make sure you put a bucket underneath to catch the water that will run out. And be careful not to apply so much pressure that you crush or otherwise damage your pipes. The last thing you want is to make matters worse.
Beware of supermarket drain-cleaning products—many of those products can be damaging to your pipes. Instead, try Bio Clean Drain Maintainer—the exclusive drain cleaning product from Charlotte Plumbing & repair.

Charlotte Plumbing Repair plumbing specialist for expert help with your clogged toilet, clogged sink, slow draining shower or any toilet plumbing or related problems.

Bathrooms are Going High-tech.
Manufacturers including Delta®, Moen®, Kohler®, Toto® and many others are pushing plumbing technology to new levels.

Saving water. Ecological concerns and legislation are behind some of these innovations, such as low-flow showerheads and toilets to help conserve water.

High-tech Toilets and Spa-like Showers. Others advances are driven by the desire to simply update the features of these bathroom basics. For example, Toto® offers toilets with automated flushing, heated seats, mechanically controlled seats and lids, bidet-like functions and other spa-like features.

And there is even a new wave of showers featuring computer programming to control temperature, water pressure and spray type. It’s a personalized shower experience for every member of the family.

There are a lot of innovations going on in the world of bathroom fixtures that can make your home more comfortable.

Contact your local Charlotte plumbing specialist today to learn more about upgrading the fixtures in your home.

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5 kitchen counter upgrades You Can DIY

It’ll take some doing, but if your confident with your DIY skills you can make a kitchen counter upgrade with solid results. How? With step-by-step help from the pros at This Old House, of course. Here are our top projects to help you along. -Tabitha Sukhai,

1. Install a Soapstone Countertop

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Too often the price of granite or engineered stone is out of reach of the average renovation budget. Not soapstone. This traditional kitchen topper is easy for a do-it-yourselfer to install, meaning you could save big on the labor, which usually accounts for half the cost. Available to be shipped nationwide from companies such as M. Teixiera Soapstone, where this counter came from, and starting at less than $25 per square foot, soapstone is a great, inexpensive DIY project.


Relative to other stones, soapstone is soft enough that it doesn’t require special tools to machine it. You likely already have what you need to cut and shape it: a circular saw, a jigsaw, a drill/driver, a grinder, and a sander. Here’s How to Install a Soapstone Counter in just an afternoon or two.

2. Install a Butcher-Block Countertop


Sleek granite and sharp stainless. It looks all luxe and modern-and maybe just a little bit, you know, cold. So what to do if you want more warmth in the heart of the home? Cozy things up with rich-looking butcher block. Not only are its well-oiled tones welcoming, it’s easy to install, as we demonstrate in How to Install a Butcher-Block Counter. Just order it to size, and then fasten it down. In hours you can turn a chilly steel-and-stone room into a charming cook’s corner.

3. Create Portable Workspace With a Butcher-Block Island


If you’re going for homey and cozy in your kitchen, skip the built-in cabinet-base island and instead make the central work area a furniture like table with a butcher-block counter. Because these thick wood-slab tops have their edge or end grain exposed, they are stronger than wood laid on the flat. That means they resist warping and nicks better than laminate and almost as well as stone.

With this durability comes an old-fashioned warmth. The trend for wood and furniture in the kitchen is in full swing, and butcher-block islands mimicking 19th-century worktables are perfect for toning down the coldness of stone counters and metal appliances in modern cook spaces. You can bring this classic aesthetic to your kitchen by constructing a prep island from easy-to-buy materials or choosing one of the dozens of styles available through retailers and furniture makers. Whichever path you choose, you’ll end up with an island that can be at the center of the cooking action and still take whatever you can dish out. Here’s How to Build a Butcher-Block Island in 5 steps.


Here’s another variation on this style, which combines iron threaded pipe and butcher block to create a kitchen center piece. Get the steps.

4. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Remove Spots from Kitchen Countertops


“Stones are basically sponges,” says Fred M. Hueston, director of the National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades, in Longwood, Florida. He’s working in a kitchen, mixing up an odd-smelling poultice of flour and hydrogen peroxide in the hope of removing a stubborn coffee stain from an island countertop. Spread over the stain, the paste should literally pull the discoloration out of the red travertine. “Granite, marble, and limestone consist of interlocking mineral crystals with pores between them,” he explains. “So spills soak into unprotected stone in just 15 to 20 minutes for granite, and 30 minutes to an hour for marble and limestone.” The liquid evaporates, but a mark remains.

Hueston, who literally wrote the book on the subject of stone restoration (Stain Removal Guide: For Stone, Tile, and Concrete), will leave the poultice in place for 24 hours. This will allow it to “wick” the stain out of the countertop, in the same way that poultices made with other ingredients pull oil stains out of concrete or venom out of snakebite victims. He determines his recipe on the basis of the stain and stone types: an absorbent base like dry clay, flour, or a paper towel, and a wicking chemical such as detergent, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. If the countertop has been both stained and etched, the stone must be polished and a new sealer applied. “Cleaning spills right away and using coasters is a lot easier,” he says. See all the steps here.

5. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Install Under cabinet Lighting


There’s a missing element in most American kitchens, and it’s not a $7,500 range or a 4-acre refrigerator. No, it’s simply good lighting. And a well-lit kitchen begins with undercabinet task lighting. These hidden fixtures, which are fairly easy to retrofit beneath upper wall cabinets, bathe the countertop in bright white light-a boon for everything from dicing veggies to reading recipes. Connect the fixtures to a dimmer switch, as shown here, and you also have the key to dramatic accent lighting or a night light for midnight snackers.

If you’re a bit tentative about working with electricity, don’t worry. This installation is simple and shock-free, as long as you cut the juice at the breaker box first. Get the rest in How to Install Undercabinet Lighting.