The Most Common Plumbing Problems in Florida
Florida has a number of conditions that make certain plumbing problems more prevalent. Basements are rare, poured concrete foundations are customary and the Basements are rare, poured concrete foundations are customary and the weather is warm and humid. Here are some of the most common plumbing problems in the area.
1. Piping Problems
Problem: Scaling occurs when minerals build-up in your home piping. This damages the fluidity of the pipe lining by decreasing the pipe’s diameter. Many areas in southwest Florida receive water from reverse osmosis purification. Homes that are on well systems have high levels of sulfur. Beach properties are also at risk for mineral buildup.
Fix: For those handy folks who like to fix everything, you can remove a minor blockage yourself. You can rent a pipe cleaning machine and use it to remove solid pipe blockage. However, this requires removing sections of the pipe which are blocked up, and this is usually a hefty job. Unfortunately, these DIY pipe remedies are not usually the best option. Improper handling could lead to major complications down the line.
When to call a plumber: If you notice that your home water flow has been reduced to a slow trickle. A professional plumber will identify the source of blockage. With the proper tools (ex: blow torch), they can easily remove these sections of the piping. A pipe cleaning machine will be used to clear obstructions, usually with a jet of high-pressure water jet. The pipes are then replaced and soldered back into place. If the pipes are completely shot, then your next option is to remove them and install new ones. Proper pipe installation is important to prevent the same problems from happening again.
2. Pipe leaks
Problem: Because the climate in Southwest Florida is warmer, bacteria grows at a much faster pace than cooler areas. As a result, more chlorine is added to make drinking water safe. This chlorine mixes with the hydrogen sulfide and dissolved oxygen that is common in Florida’s water. This blend becomes corrosive and can destroy even the best copper piping in no time. Another complication are hidden leaks, which can be concealed by a wall, slab foundation or underground in a sewer line.
Fix: If the leak is very minor, you could attempt to block the leak temporarily. Store bought supplies such as epoxy putty or amalgamation tape are effective at covering the leaky area. Make sure that the area is dry before applying your materials. However, you should follow up with a plumber for a more permanent solution.
When to call a plumber: Right away. If you notice that your water bill has spiked for no apparent reason, you probably have a leak. Even a small pinhole leak can eventually lead to major piping repairs. Not only this, free flowing water can cause structural damage to your home if left unchecked. A professional plumber will utilize a pressure gauge to identify a leak. If it is hidden, a camera or geophone may be used to locate the source. They will replace the section of piping that is leaking. But, a single leak usually means more weak points are lurking in your pipes. These are at risk of leaking or bursting soon. Oftentimes, it is best to replace your entire piping system at once, rather than face major repair costs down the line.
3. Gas Leaks
Problem: gas leaks are known as a silent intruder. Many gases used around a home can be toxic if exposed to residents. Shockingly, over 2 million US homes have a type of gas piping that can explode into flames during a lightning storm. CSST piping is thin and inexpensive, which makes it more susceptible to a high intensity electric charge. As lightning strikes, it can travel on CSST, burning holes in the tubing. This causes gas leaks and fire to occur.
Fix: Gas companies add a strong odor to the gas that they supply. This allows owners to identify if gas is leaking from their stove or heater. If you smell a strong, overwhelmingly toxic scent in the air, do not use any light switches, phones, electrical appliances, matches or lighter in the affected area.
When to call a plumber: IMMEDIATELY! If you suspect a leak, turn off your gas supply. Free gas can cause explosions and severe health conditions such as asphyxiation and suffocation. Leave the area immediately and call your local plumber emergency service. A professional plumber can repair gas leaks as well as install new gas lines for appliances such as stoves, ovens, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, space heaters and more. They offer solutions for both propane and natural gas applications.
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