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Hot Water Pipes: 3 Most Common Problems that Can Occur

Hot Water Pipes

There are three common problems that can occur with the hot water pipes. Each one of them is quite easy to fix but they should be approached with caution. So, if you are dealing with frozen, leaking or noisy hot water pipes, here is what you should do.

Frozen Hot Water Pipes

The only solution for the frozen hot water pipes is thawing. Find the frozen part of the pipe by either opening the hot water faucets in your house and determine which ones are flowing and which one are not. If there is no flow from any of the faucets it means that your main supply line is frozen. But, if there is only one that does not flow you need to trace the right pipe and simply feel with your hands where the frozen pipe begins. Thaw the pipe with various methods: use a hair dryer, an electrical iron or a heat gun to apply direct heat on the pipe. Make sure to start at the side of the open faucet and work your way back. This allows steam from the pipe to go out of the open faucet. Once the water starts flowing again, let your hot water pipe to completely heat up. If the pipes are hard to reach, you can use a space heater to warm up the whole area. It could take several hours, but it will do the work and save you from busting any walls.

Leaking Hot Water (heating) Pipes

If you notice any leakage from your hot water tank repair Calgary  it means that you have leaking pipes. Since there are an inlet (cold water comes in) and an outlet pipe (hot water comes out), usually there is a union on every water heater. If the leaks occur at the union simply put two pipe wrenches on the opposing directions to tighten them. Another faulty place can be the nipple where the pipes enter the tank. If the connections are old and corroded you may have a problem, because the tank may be rusty and it could only cause more damage. However, if the connections seem fine all you have to do is tighten them to stop the leaking. At the cold water inlet, shut off the water and open a valve in the nearby sink to drain the water from the pipes. Loosen the unions above the nipples and simple use the pipe wrench to tighten the nipple, but be careful. Go a quarter to a half a turn, but if there is still leakage, go the other way and take the nipple out. Clean the threads and set up a new pipe dope, put the nipple back and tighten everything back up.

Noisy Water Pipes

When opening the hot water faucet, if you hear the noise it is because copper pipes expand when heated by the hot water. As it contracts, the pipe probably rubs against a joist, stud or support bracket, making the noise. This condition usually does not cause any leaks, but if you want to fix this you will need to remove the drywall and install foam insulation between the pipe and the framing. Another solution is switching from metal clamps to plastic clamps on your pipes and give a little space to the pipes.

Another source of noise, with both hot and cold water faucets, could be a water hammer and high water pressure. When you turn off the faucet quickly, then the water hammer occurs. However, if you turn on the water quickly and hear the noise it means that the pipes are not properly secured and move around. To fix this problem easily, plumber from Calgary recommends lowering the water pressure (it should not be above 60 psi) with a valve. If this fails you, you can have air chambers installed and the water hammer will disappear.

As you can see, these three common hot water pipe problems are easy to fix. It just needs a bit muscle and motivation. Never fail to repair the pipes, if you want to avoid other major problems around the house.