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Winter Plumbing Tips

February 3, 2016
Amanda Curry
Read Time
2 minutes

The arrival of winter can bring a multitude of issues, especially when it comes to your home’s plumbing system. Frozen pipes, broken radiators, flooding, and leaks, are just some of the winter plumbing issues that homeowners can experience.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the effect of these winter plumbing mishaps. Follow these plumbing maintenance tips to keep your system in tip-top shape during the winter months:

Prevent Frozen Pipes

If water freezes within a pipe, it will expand, crack, and burst, costing you time and money. Generally, a frozen pipe will occur in higher places like attics, garages, crawl spaces, and near outside walls. These areas are the most typical locations for a frozen pipe emergency. Keeping your pipes heated, or choosing to insulate pipes in your home, can help keep these winter plumbing issues at bay.

Insulate Pipes

In order to prevent winter plumbing problems, and frozen pipes, use foam padding sleeves or insulating tape to guard your pipes and prevent from freezing. If you fail to insulate pipes in your home, your plumbing fixtures may freeze and burst. In order to guard against frozen pipes, you’ll want to check out the pipes in your basement every so often to ensure that no ice or frost is accumulating.

Careful in your Kitchen

This may seem like common knowledge, but it is still worth pointing out. Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain. Fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs.

Prevent Clogged Drains

Clogged drains in your home can lead to serious and costly issues. You can prevent clogged drains by making this safe and environmentally-friendly cleaning solution:

  • Mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of baking soda, and ¼ cup cream of tartar.
  • Pour equal amounts into your drains, then follow it with boiling water.

Drain your Water Heater

If you are living in a location that has hard water, sediment can build up in your tank, causing rust to develop inside. The rust can find its way into your drinking, cooking, and shower. By draining your water heater, you can rid all of the sediment that is building up inside. Consider replacing your water heater before the winter hits if it seems to be old and rust is forming

Clean-Up Outside

Until the springtime weather hits, you’ll want to keep your outdoor hose away to prevent and winter plumbing issues. Leaving a hose connected outside in the winter can cause the water to freeze and expand, which leads to your faucets freezing and expanding as well. Disconnect your water hose and put it in storage until the spring.

What If I am too Late?

In the case of a major incident, like a frozen pipe that has burst, you may need to immediately shut off all the water in your home. Be sure that everyone in your family knows where the main valve is located. You can usually find the valve next to your water meter.

Preventing Frozen Pipes and Winter Plumbing Issues

Your home is typically the biggest, most important investments that you can make. That’s why it is important to take proper precautions to keep your home in good working order.

Preventing these winter plumbing issues now can make for a happier and more comfortable winter season. Prepare your plumbing in advance to avoid a costly disaster this winter season.

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