Tag Archives: pipes

Secure Your Plumbing System From Freezing Pipes This Winter


With winter well on the way, it is important to prepare pipes for the cold weather ahead. Pipes that crack or burst when the water inside them freezes and expands can cause a flood of water in your home.

To avoid the mess, damage, and expense of pipes bursting in your home, take these steps to secure your plumbing system:

  • frozen2Turn off your main water valve – You will likely find this near your water meter.
  • Drain all extraneous water from your pipes – Attach a hose to your basement faucet or sillcock and drain the water so it flows outside your home. If you skip the step of pipe draining, the water trapped in them can still freeze and cause cracks or a burst pipe.
  • Prepare the inside plumbing – Open all of your faucets and flush all of your toilets. Then close all of the faucets inside your home.
  • Install an air compressor – Connect this to your basement faucet or to an open sillcock. Then blow air into your plumbing system at the rate of 70 pounds per square inch.
  • frozen3Revisit the inside plumbing – When completed, reopen all of your sink faucets to blow the water out. Run your dishwasher and run hot and cold water through your washing machine to clear its lines. Open each toilet’s water valve so that the compressed air blows out water, then shut the valve.
  • Propylene glycol application – Pour this into every sink and tub drain, then add a small bit to each of your toilet tanks. Make sure to drain any water from your boiler using a bucket for the excess and pump some propylene into the boiler via its pipes.

FloHawks Can Help

If you want to make certain that your pipes are properly prepared for the cold weather, contact us. Unless you want to risk burst pipes, preparing for the freezing and very cold temperatures and how this affects your pipes is not something you can skip. To have all of your pipe issues resolved, call FloHawks at (800) 356-4295 or use our convenient Schedule Your Service tool, which allows you to set an appointment that fits your schedule.

Drain Cleaning: Using Chemicals to Unclog Your Drain May Not Be the Best Solution


Slow drains are a common plumbing problem. If you notice that your shower or sink seems to be draining slower than usual, time is of the essence. A slow drain can quickly get worse over time and turn into a drain that is completely blocked. Although many homeowners may resort to reaching for a chemical agent for tough clogs, you may be surprised to learn that using a chemical clog remover as your first line of defense may not always be the best option.

drain2While using a chemical drain cleaner can be a temporary fix, professional plumbers agree that chemical cleaners are rarely effective and are used far too frequently by consumers. Most importantly, chemical cleaners can cause more problems than they solve. Some chemicals can be harmful to pipes and actually cause serious damage. Using a chemical clog remover can cause serious backups into other pipes in your home. A backup into the dishwasher or washing machine could potentially cause a very serious issue.

Clog removing chemicals can also damage professional plumbing tools. A drain snake is a commonly used tool to unclog pipes and it can be damaged by these chemicals. It is a long flexible metal rope with a spiral of metal at the end and is fairly low-tech. Some companies may even charge for the damaged equipment which could cost as much as the service itself.

Chemicals that are strong enough to clear a clog in your drain will also cause damage to your skin and eyes, not to mention the environment. Chemical drain cleaners get washed into the sewer system and eventually the local waterways and can damage plant and animal habitats. Environmentally aware homeowners opt for greener solutions for drain cleaning.

In addition to chemical cleaners being harmful for you and the environment, we also recommend that they not be flushed down your drains because the toxicity of such products can cause a serious imbalance within your septic system. These harmful cleaners kill the good bacteria living inside the septic tank that work to break down and clean the wastewater. Pouring chemicals down the drain can actually increase the rate of digestion,
and may result in your tank needing to be serviced more often than what is typically required.

Instead of using a chemical cleaner, first, try a simple way to unclog a drain and use a plunger. This may save you a lot of trouble. Keep in mind that sometimes a DIY repair project can cause more harm to your plumbing than the clog itself. If your shower or sink is still draining slowly after plunging it and you haven’t been able to correct the situation, it’s time to call FloHawks for professional help. Exerting too much force can permanently damage a pipe or fixture. FloHawks has trained experts with professional tools that can clear blockages deep in drain lines.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A little precaution before a crisis occurs is preferable to a lot of fixing afterward, and the same goes for your plumbing. Clogs can be prevented by having a professional inspection every two to three years to ensure things are functioning properly. Regular maintenance inspections can help identify potential issues early on and save you headaches down the road, particularly if you have a septic tank.

FloHawks has been clearing drains since 1968. We will unclog your drain and provide maintenance tips for keeping your drains flowing freely. We know how much headache a clogged drain can cause – that is why we are available for drain cleaning, drain clearing and all your plumbing needs. Contact us online or call us today at (800) 356-4295.