Winter is one of the busiest times of the year for plumbers. Not only does the cold often lead to cracked pipes and damaged appliances, but the increase of water usage and a higher demand on drainage systems can cause a wide range of plumbing problems. But did you know that a lot of the plumbing problems can be avoided? Follow these winter plumbing tips, and you’ll keep your home’s plumbing system in good condition:
Weatherproof exposed outdoor pipes – If the temperature drops in your city, any water sitting in outdoor pipes will freeze. Water expands when it freezes, and that ice may cause cracks in your pipes. However, there’s a simple solution: weatherproofing. You can insulate any pipes that are exposed to the open air. Insulation will stop the pipes from freezing, preventing cracks and damage.
Disconnect hoses – Hoses left attached to outdoor water fixtures may store water, which can expand and crack during the winter freeze. However, any water caught in the cracks between hose and faucet may also expand and cause damage to the faucet. Make sure to use faucet jackets to protect any outdoor faucets during the winter. Use the shut-off valves to cut off the flow of water to the faucets.
Run the water – On the nights that you know it will be very cold, turn on a couple of taps so cold water trickles from the faucets. As long as the water is running, it won’t freeze and crack your pipes. Use buckets and barrels to gather the water so it doesn’t go to waste.
Keep your house warm – Did you know that keeping the interior of your home warm can prevent the water in your indoor pipes from freezing over? Don’t let the temperature indoors drop below 55 degrees. If the outdoors are very cold, open your sink cabinets to let the warm air circulate near the pipes and prevent freezing.
Clear any snow blockages – If snow piles up around the drainage exits, you could end up with clogged pipes—which are more likely to break. This is particularly important for the drainage line from your sump pump, which prevents water from flooding your basement or crawl space. Make sure there is no puddled water that can freeze or block the flow of water from the drains.
If you want to be sure your home is winter-ready, it’s a good idea to call A+ Plumbing & Rootering, Inc. The plumber can walk through your house and evaluate your plumbing system. They’ll be able to give you advice on how to winter-proof your plumbing and keep your pipes and drains from being blocked or damaged by the cold.