Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter Weather

Colder weather is setting in for everyone living in the Provo area, which means now is the time to prepare your home—especially your plumbing—for the freezing temperatures. Not taking these important steps now could lead to serious plumbing problems later in the season.
Simple steps to take to protect your home’s pipes from cold weather damage.

Drain Outdoor Plumbing and Faucets

If you have a faucet or pipe that is outdoors, such as your sprinkler system or a faucet that is on the outside of your home and connected to a hose or other pipe, it’s important to shut it off and drain any water from the pipe immediately. Water left in these pipes, hoses, or faucets can freeze, causing pipes to burst and leading to flooding issues inside your home in the winter.

Keep Temperatures Warm, Even When You’re Gone

If you leave during the day or night, or plan to go on vacation, make sure to keep your thermostat set at a temperature warm enough to avoid freezing pipes. Generally that means keeping the temperature at or above 55 degrees; any lower than that and the areas of your home that aren’t as well insulated could get even colder, allowing pipes to freeze. If you’re planning an extended time away from your home, you can also shut off the main water and drain all the water from your pipes by turning on faucets throughout the house as an added layer of protection.

Insulate Pipes in Colder Areas and Seal Up Holes

If you have pipes in an unfinished area of your basement, consider adding insulation around them to avoid the pipes freezing during extremely cold weather. Even if they’re on the interior of the home, cold weather could cause water in the pipes to freeze, expand, and cause damage. A quick layer of insulation (available at any local hardware store) can prevent this from happening. If you notice any spots where your insulation is lacking in the basement, garage, or attic with pipes inside the area, take a few minutes to add more insulation or seal up cracks to avoid freezing air from getting inside.

Protect Against Extreme Temperatures

When temperatures hit well below freezing, you may need to take a few extra steps to protect your plumbing, especially if you live in an older home with poor insulation. You can add insulation to pipes anywhere in the home, leave the water on slightly so water continues to flow (just enough for a drip is fine), set your thermostat a few degrees higher than normal, and even open cabinets with pipes to let air flow from warmer parts of your home around the pipes.

These simple steps can keep your pipes from freezing and prevent the need for expensive damage and repairs caused by freezing temperatures. But if the worst does happen, American Plumbing Services is there to help fix your plumbing.

When to Call an Emergency Plumbing Service

You can contact an emergency plumbing service at any hour of the day or night for immediate repairs – but should you do so? Or should you wait and call the plumber during regular business hours?

The fact is, many homeowners aren’t quite sure what really qualifies as a plumbing emergency. And if you’re in any doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and contact a plumber, regardless of the time. However, if you’re facing one of the following situations, you need to call an emergency plumbing service as soon as possible.

emergency plumbing service

Burst Pipe

When a pipe bursts, the rush of water pouring into your home should signal you to contact a professional plumber right away. You can shut off the flow at the main water valve, but you’ll need an expert to repair the damage.

Frozen Pipe

In the winter, water running through your pipes can freeze. If you notice little or no water coming from a tap or a toilet that isn’t refilling after a flush, call an emergency plumbing professional immediately. A frozen pipe can easily rupture, so the situation cannot wait.

Toilet Overflow

An overflowing toilet is definitely a plumbing emergency. Shutting off the main valve for the toilet can prevent the problem from getting worse, but if the situation isn’t quickly resolved, you may end up with severe water damage. 

Sewer Line Leak

If your bathtub is filling with wastewater or your toilet fills when you run the bathroom sink, you may have a sewer line leak. Prompt repair is essential to avoid issues, so don’t hesitate to call an emergency plumbing professional.

Gas Line Leak

A gas line leak can threaten the health and safety of your family. If you notice a rotten egg smell or hear hissing noises coming from behind a wall, leave your home at once and call 911, your utility company and local plumbing service.

Water Heater Leak

When you suddenly have no hot water, a leak in your water heater may be to blame. And if the leak is at the bottom of the unit, the problem is a definite plumbing emergency. Without a quick fix, the tank could collapse and flood your home.

Call on an Experienced Professional Plumber

While your first instinct may be to scour the internet for an emergency plumbing repair guide on how to fix your problem, going that route may not be effective. And if you attempt to handle the situation on your own, you could easily end up making the issue worse.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and are in need of a reputable emergency plumbing service, turn to the professional team at American Plumbing Services.

Our highly experienced plumbers are available around the clock, and we offer prompt repairs for a fair, competitive price. We offer plumbing services to homeowners throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties, and we’re known for quality workmanship and exceptional customer care.

Call American Plumbing Services any time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – for expert, affordable emergency plumbing service.

How to Patch a Leaky Pipe Until the Plumber Arrives

It’s the middle of the night, and you notice a leaky pipe in your bathroom. You call a professional plumber for emergency repairs, and they agree to come out right away – but in the meantime, water is spraying everywhere. What do you do?

As a temporary fix for your leaky pipe, try the following steps. Patching the pipe won’t permanently solve the problem, but it can help minimize the damage until the professional plumber arrives.

Utah plumbing pipe repair

Stop the Water Flow

Before you can patch a leaky pipe, you need to stop water from flowing through it. If you’re not sure where to find the water supply valve for that particular pipe, turn off your home’s main shut-off valve. Then, run the faucet closest to the leak to drain away any remaining water. 

Wipe the Pipe Dry

No patch will stick well to a wet surface, so take a clean cloth and dry off the pipe. While you’re at it, wipe the surrounding cabinets and fixtures, mop the floor and clear the area. By doing so, you can prevent further damage and ready the room for the professional plumber to complete the repair. 

Tighten the Joints

Look at the plumbing in the area of the pipe leak and use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nearby joints. The fittings may already be tight, but if they aren’t, tightening them can help form a stronger seal, making your temporary patch job last until the professional plumber arrives. 

Prepare the Pipe

To successfully patch a leaky pipe, you need to make sure the surface is smooth – otherwise, the patch won’t stick. Using a piece of sandpaper or a metal file, gently remove any rust and rough spots surrounding the spot of the leak. 

Patch the Pipe

The way you temporarily fix a leaky pipe while you wait for the professional plumber to arrive depends upon what you have on hand. Epoxy putty can work – simply break off a piece, knead it in your hands, then push it in and around the crack or hole. A piece of neoprene or rubber from a garden hose along with a few pipe clamps can also seal the leaky spot.

If you don’t have any epoxy putty or pipe clamps, reach for the duct tape. Wrap several layers around the leaky pipe, applying it as tightly as you can, and the fix should hold until the professional plumber arrives.

American Plumbing Services is always available to perform emergency repairs. Based in Provo, we serve homeowners throughout the greater Salt Lake City area and the surrounding northern Utah communities. Our highly skilled professional plumbers have over ten years of industry experience, and we can provide an affordable, effective repair solution.

If you have a leaky pipe and need a professional plumber, contact American Plumbing Services anytime.

Have a Water Heater Leak? Here’s What to Do

A small water heater leak can quickly become a big problem. Damage to your floors, sub-flooring and walls can occur with even minor leaking – and damp, wet areas are the ideal environment for mold and mildew. The spores can grow within days, and an accumulation can cause further damage and lead to a host of health issues.

Furthermore, plumbing and appliance leaks only get worse over time. Eventually, leaking can cause the unit to completely fail, flooding your home and leaving you with huge repair bills.

If you have a water heater leak, addressing the problem now can save you from costly damage and stave off the health risk to your family. Here’s what you need to do.

Water heater repair Provo UT

Turn Off the Power Supply

Stopping the flow of power to your water heater is the first step.

If yours is an electric model, head to the electrical panel box and switch off the appropriate circuit breaker. If gas is the source of power for your unit, look for an on/off switch or dial near the bottom of the tank.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Next, you need to prevent any more water from flowing into the tank.

To do so, find and close the cold water shut-off valve at the top of the unit. For most models, closing the valve is as simple as pulling down a handle or turning a dial clockwise. If, however, you cannot safely reach the valve, locate and turn off your home’s main water shut-off valve.

Call a Plumbing Repair Service

To deal with a water heater leak, you need the expertise of a professional plumber.

Depending upon the severity and nature of the leak, you will either have to repair the unit or install a replacement. An experienced local plumber can evaluate the situation and determine the necessary course of action.

Remember Routine Maintenance

Whether you get repairs or install a new unit, regular maintenance is recommended.

If you’re handy, you can handle the tasks yourself. Simply drain the tank twice a year, and periodically test the temperature-pressure-relief (TPR) valve. But for a more thorough inspection – and to prolong the life of your water heater – you may want to leave the maintenance to a professional local plumber.

For expert advice and plumbing repair solutions in the greater Salt Lake City area, call on the professional team at American Plumbing Services.

Based in Provo, American Plumbing Services is a northern Utah industry leader. We have over ten years of experience completing plumbing repairs and installations for homeowners throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties, and we’re known for quality workmanship, stellar customer service and fair, competitive pricing.

If you need help with a water heater leak or any other plumbing problem, contact American Plumbing Services for a free consultation today.

A Utah Plumber’s Advice About Common Plumbing Noises

If you’re hearing unusual plumbing noises, contacting an experienced Utah plumber is in your best interests.

Strange sounds coming from your pipes and plumbing aren’t just annoying – they’re a cause for concern. Hold off on calling a plumber for too long, and you could face serious problems. To give you an idea of what type of repairs to expect, we’ve compiled a list of common plumbing noises and their typical solutions.

What does that strange plumbing noise mean


A loud banging sound – otherwise known as a water hammer – can occur when a valve quickly shuts off the flow of water. Obstructions in the plumbing or improperly secured pipes can also create thudding noises. A professional plumber can pinpoint the source of the noise and resolve the problem.


It isn’t unusual for pipes to shake when water is running through them. But if the plumbing noise is loud enough to notice, chances are the pipes aren’t secure. Tightening their mounting straps may be an effective solution, but your Utah plumber might also need to replace worn parts.


Do your drains gurgle? A plumbing clog, air bubbles in the pipes or a drain venting issue could be to blame for this plumbing noise. To identify the culprit and correct the problem, you’ll need the expertise of an experienced Utah plumber.


If your showerhead is making a whistling sound, it could be clogged. Removing the showerhead and cleaning any buildup can help put a stop to this plumbing noise, but you may need to consider installing a replacement. In either case, a professional plumber can take care of the problem.


When you turn on a faucet and hear a hissing sound, the water pressure in the pipes may be too high. An experienced Utah plumber can evaluate the pressure level and make adjustments or install a special valve to maintain the proper water pressure.


A high-pitched squeal or loud screech that happens when you use a faucet usually signifies a loose or defective part, such as a washer or valve. Your professional plumber may be able to replace the problematic part, but the most effective way to eliminate this plumbing noise is to install a new faucet.

Ignoring any unusual sound or symptom in your plumbing is never a good idea. Problems don’t fix themselves, after all – they only get worse over time. For expert advice and repair solutions from an experienced Utah plumber, turn to the professional team at American Plumbing Services.

A local industry leader for more than ten years, American Plumbing Services offers free consultations and estimates to homeowners in the greater Salt Lake City area and the surrounding communities. Contact our Provo office and schedule an appointment to discuss your plumbing noises with a professional Utah plumber today.

How Putting Off Plumbing Repairs Can Cost You

You might have a good reason for postponing plumbing repairs. But whether your budget is a bit tight or you’re too busy to deal with the issue, hesitating to call a professional plumber could put you in a bigger bind.

Right now, your clog, leak or plumbing malfunction might seem like a minor inconvenience. But without prompt attention, small issues can cost you. Here’s why you should take care of plumbing repairs as quickly as possible.

Take care of plumbing repairs promptly

Water Waste

Drippy faucets and leaky pipes might not seem like huge problems, but think about how they affect your water bill. According to the EPA, homeowners can cut their monthly bills by 10 percent or more by fixing water leaks. So, when you put off plumbing repairs, you’re basically throwing money away.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Plumbing leaks aren’t just bad news for your water bills – they can also seriously affect your family’s health. Moisture around a toilet, tub or sink promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems and irritation of the throat, eyes and skin. In addition, the woodwork near the leak can rot and lose its structural integrity.

Major Plumbing Repairs

Left ignored for too long, small plumbing issues can grow much worse. A drippy leak can turn into a trickle, for example, or a clog can build up to the point where it causes a pipe to burst. So, while you might not like the idea of calling a professional plumber now, you don’t want to risk facing the costs of major plumbing repairs down the road.

Do You Need Plumbing Repairs?

Think you should try repairing your plumbing yourself? Taking the DIY approach might not be the best plan. Pipes and fittings are designed for specific applications, and if you aren’t careful in selecting your replacement parts, your repair could result in corrosion or even pipe failure. Or, you could begin the project and realize you don’t know how to put the parts in the proper places – this happens more often than you may think. In either case, by not calling a professional plumber at the start, you’ll end up paying more to fix the problem.

If you have a plumbing problem and you live in northern Utah, contact the professionals at American Plumbing Services.

As a Salt Lake City area industry leader for over a decade, American Plumbing Services has a well-earned reputation for exceptional workmanship, top-notch customer care and fair, affordable pricing. For a free consultation to discuss your plumbing repairs, contact our Provo, Utah, office today.

How to Save Money on Plumbing Repairs

No one
is ever excited about needing plumbing repairs – especially if it’s an

Here at American Plumbing Services, we always try to keep repair costs as low as possible. But the fact is, hiring a professional plumber can take a serious bite out of your budget.

Fortunately, you can take steps to pare down or avoid costly plumber bills. Here, we share the secrets to saving money on plumbing repairs.

Affordable plumbing repair

Locate Your Water Shut-Off Valve

Do you know the location of your main water shut-off valve? If not, find it – look in the basement near the front foundation wall or along the perimeter of your home. Figure out how to use it now, too. That way, if you end up with a burst pipe or other plumbing emergency, you can stop the water flow and prevent the damage from growing worse.

Don’t Put Off Plumbing Repairs

Plumbing problems never fix themselves. That drippy faucet or slow drain might seem like a minor inconvenience, but ignoring it may lead to an even bigger (and more costly) issue. Hire a professional plumber now, and your repair costs will be more affordable.

Prepare for Plumbing Repairs

you make an appointment for repairs, make sure your home is ready before the
plumber arrives. Move your belongings away from the work area and, if
necessary, pull out the drywall to allow easy access to the problem pipes. When
you handle the prep work, you’ll pay less for the plumbing repair project.

Limit the Need for Plumbing Repairs

Adopting certain habits can help keep your plumbing in tip-top shape so that you don’t have to hire a professional plumber very often. Screening your shower drains to catch hair, not flushing anything that isn’t flushable, protecting your pipes in the winter and only putting safe foods down the garbage disposal are a few ways you can forestall the need for repairs.

What About DIY Plumbing Repairs?

some plumbing problems are easy for a do-it-yourselfer to fix, many require
significant skill and expertise. Try to save money by taking on a task
yourself, and the decision could lead to disaster — and end up costing you
more. Why take that chance?

you’re in need of a professional plumber and you live in northern Utah, turn to
the expert team at American Plumbing Services.

A leader throughout Utah and Salt Lake Counties for over a decade, American Plumbing Services is known for high-quality workmanship and fair, competitive pricing. Our professional plumbers provide free consultations and project estimates to homeowners in Salt Lake City and the surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment for emergency or routine plumbing repairs, contact our Provo, Utah, office today.

Do You Need Gas Line Repair? Watch for These Warning Signs

If you need gas line repair, you need to take quick action. Broken or leaking lines can pose a serious threat to your family’s health and safety, so addressing the issue immediately is essential.

In many cases, damage in underground gas lines goes undetected until the situation becomes quite hazardous. Regular inspections and routine maintenance are key to preventing problems, but you should also be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of a potential gas leak. If you notice any of the following, don’t hesitate to contact American Plumbing Services for professional gas line repair.

Signs of a gas leak

Rotten Egg Smell

If your home stinks like sulfur or rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. The odor tends to dissipate rapidly, however, so it can be rather subtle. Whether you can smell the stench or not, prolonged exposure can cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue.

Hissing Noises

When you hear a hissing sound coming from behind a wall, it’s likely due to a gas leak. Closing the valve connected to the line can prevent the danger from spreading to other parts of your home, but the damage requires prompt repair.

Dying Plants

A gas leak in an underground line outside of your home can affect the vegetation growing above. If you spot an area where the grass and plants are withering, you may be in need of line repair.

Rising Gas Bills

Keep careful watch over your monthly utility bill. If you notice a spike, you need to have your lines checked for damage. A gas leak may not be to blame for the increase in charges, but when it comes to the safety of your home and family, playing it safe is always best.

Appliance Problems

A number of home appliances – including your furnace, stove, water heater and clothes dryer – require a regular flow gas to work properly. If one of your appliances is making strange sounds, taking a longer time to perform its job or simply malfunctioning for no clear reason, line repair may be the solution.

How to Approach Gas Line Repair

If you suspect you have a gas leak, don’t attempt to take on the dangerous repair work yourself. Instead, leave your home and call 911 and your local utility company for further instructions.

Sometimes, natural gas providers take care of line repairs. But more often than not, homeowners are responsible. For a fast expert fix in northern Utah, turn to American Plumbing Services.

Our highly-trained service technicians have the expertise to ensure the operational safety of your gas lines. We’re available around the clock, and our team is fully licensed and insured to carry out gas line inspection, maintenance, repair and installation.

To schedule an immediate gas line repair consultation with American Plumbing Services, contact our Provo, Utah, office.

How to Deal with a Garbage Disposal Leak

You may have a garbage disposal leak if you discover moisture under your kitchen sink or a puddle of foul-smelling water on the floor nearby.

A garbage disposal leak can be a major inconvenience or, left unaddressed, it can cause extensive water damage and mold. Although some handy homeowners manage to work the problem out on their own, you’re safest calling on an experienced plumber to resolve the issue.

How to deal with a garbage disposal leak

Locate the Source of the Leak

The first step to garbage disposal repair is figuring out exactly where the disposal is leaking.

Unplug the unit and turn off the power at the breaker to prevent electrical shock. Then, follow these steps:

  • Remove everything under the sink
  • Wipe the disposal completely dry
  • Plug the sink drain with a watertight stopper
  • Fill the sink with a few cups of water
  • Mix in a few drops of food coloring
  • Remove the sink stopper and use a flashlight to find the leak

If the source of the leaking isn’t readily apparent, call a licensed plumber to identify the location of your garbage disposal leak.

If the Leak is at the Dishwasher Connection…

When leaking occurs in the area where the disposal connects to the dishwasher, the repair is usually relatively simple. Check the hose. If it’s dried out or cracked, you’ll need a replacement. If you try this repair yourself, carefully tighten the clamp to ensure the connection is secure. Otherwise, you could end up with a major water leak and subsequent damage.

If the Leak is at the Top of the Garbage Disposal…

A leak at the point where the sink, drain and disposal meet, the sink flange may be loose. Make sure the mounting bolts that connect the flange to the drain are tight. Take a look at the plumber’s putty used to create the seal. If it has deteriorated, you’ll need to detach the disposal, add new putty and put the unit back in place.

Or you can call a plumber to make sure the repair is done correctly.

If the Leak is at the Side of the Garbage Disposal…

A faulty or worn gasket is the probable cause of a leak on the side of the disposal. The solution is to remove the old gasket and install a replacement. To complete the repair, you’ll need to disconnect and remove the disposal. After installing the new part, make sure all three mounting grooves are locked in position.

Again, this sounds like a simple repair. However, many homeowners get as far as removing the old unit before getting stuck, leaving them without a working kitchen sink. Call a plumber and you’ll never have to worry about this hassle.

If the Leak is at the Bottom of the Garbage Disposal…

We’re not going to beat around the bush – if you have a leak at the bottom of your disposal, you need to replace the entire unit. Leaking at this location indicates that at least one of the interior seals has failed. And when one seal is compromised, the others are likely to follow. So, installing a new garbage disposal is usually the only option.

Play it safe and have a professional plumber handle your disposal problems or any plumbing problems you experience. When trouble strikes, call on the expert team at American Plumbing Services.

A trusted northern Utah industry leader, American Plumbing Services offers free consultations to homeowners in the greater Salt Lake City area. To schedule an appointment to discuss repair for your garbage disposal leak, contact our Provo office today.

5 Ways to Check for Hidden Plumbing Leaks

Are hidden plumbing leaks driving up your monthly water bills?

While clogged toilets, burst pipes and many other plumbing problems are rather obvious, leaking frequently goes undetected. According to the EPA, the average household has leaks that waste 10,000 gallons of water every year. Worse, in 10 percent of homes, leaking accounts for 90 gallons of water waste each day!

Hunt down and repair hidden plumbing leaks, and you can stop paying for water you aren’t using. Here are five ways to identify invisible leaking in your home.

Finding hidden plumbing leaks

No. 1: Review Your Monthly Water Usage

Look at your household water usage in the colder months of the year. As a guideline, a family of four typically uses no more than 12,000 gallons per month – if your usage is greater, your home likely has hidden leaks.

No. 2: Monitor Your Water Meter

Record the number on your water meter, then turn off all of the faucets and every water-using appliance in your home for two hours. Look at the meter again – if the reading has changed at all, you probably have a plumbing leak somewhere.

No. 3: Take a Look at Your Plumbing

Visually inspect your pipe fittings and faucet gaskets, looking for water or moisture on the outside. If you spot any, leaking is occurring at the fixture or within the connected plumbing system.

No. 4: Test Your Toilets

Not all toilet leaks are readily apparent. To detect unseen leaking, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait a half hour (don’t flush!), then check the water in the toilet bowl. If it’s tinted, you have a hidden leak.

No. 5: Watch for Other Warning Signs

A few other clues can point to the existence of plumbing leaks. For instance, you may have leaking if you notice a persistent odor of mold or mildew in your home or if you see water stains on your ceilings, walls or floors. A decrease in water pressure, puddles in your yard and foundation cracks are also warning signs of leaking.

Think your home may have hidden plumbing leaks? If you can’t locate the source of the issue – or even if you can – calling in an experienced licensed plumber is the best course of action. A professional can find and fix every plumbing leak, ensuring that your household plumbing is no longer wasting any water.

If you live in northern Utah, call on American Plumbing Services for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our expert team can make sure your household is leak-free, and we’ll do so for a price that makes you smile. Contact our Provo, Utah, office and schedule a professional assessment for hidden plumbing leaks today.