As you may have noticed, winter has started showing signs of its arrival. Winter means a lot of ice. Ice is a fun thing but not if it forms inside your plumbing. Water expands when it freezes. If it expands inside your plumbing, it can create serious trouble for you. Not only will it crack your pipe, but it can also spew a lot of water. When this happens, your plumbing will be in huge trouble. Having a defective plumbing system during winter can be a lot more stressful. That’s because aside from the freezing temperature, you also have to deal with the costly repairs associated with the plumbing issues that could happen in the colder months.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop winter, right? But that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate this problem. What you can do is take some easy steps that can prevent the problem. This article outlines all the steps you can take to prevent this issue.
Shut Off Outdoor Faucets And Valves
If you want to save your plumbing from freezing, this step is a must. No matter what you do, if you don’t seal your outdoor valves and faucets, your plumbing is bound to freeze. As you will run a heater when the temperature gets very low, the insides of your house will be warmer. But the outside valves and faucets will be exposed to ice.
In addition, you may want to remove your garden hose from your hose bib. If you fail to do this, come springtime, you’ll likely find that your hose bib is split open and unusable.
To prevent them from freezing, turn off all the outdoor valves and faucets. Drain them if you can. Then wrap them with foam and towels. They need to be like this for the entire season. The pipes that run along with your home’s outer walls should be wrapped too.
Keep Your Water Heater Functioning
You might have already thought of this; the best way to stop water from freezing is to use some source of heat. The only thing that can help you is a water heater.
Your water heater is one of the essential pieces of equipment in your home once winter arrives. Bathing, keeping the house clean, and doing your laundry will be very challenging if this is not fully functional.
Make sure to check on it before winter comes. Drain the heater well. Check if you may need any repairs or replacements. Check if it heats up properly. Basically, you need to make sure it’s working in full form. It will be very difficult for you to do it on your own. It’s best if you call a plumbing company to handle it professionally for you. They can inspect the water heater and determine whether it needs a simple repair or a total replacement. They can also identify the cause of the problem, making it easier to address it and ensure your water heater is in tip-top shape during winter.
Keep The Kitchen Drain Clean
It’s very normal for you to make the largest feasts, bigger meals, and a lot of sweet treats for your friends and family during this time of the year. This will create a lot of pressure on your kitchen drain. These amazing meals will create a lot of waste, and there will be a lot of disposal, leftovers, and scraps.
Even if you manage to keep these out of your sink, all the fat and grease from your dishes and pots or even particles from fresh produce which you will wash in the sink can block your drain. Because the weather is so chilly, the fats and oils will freeze as they run down the lines.
If the drain gets blocked with fat, it will majorly hamper the water flow, thus the water will freeze as well. So you have to be very careful about what you dump in the kitchen sink. Even if you drain something with fat, make sure to flush some hot water through the sink. This will prevent the fat from freezing.
Another trick would be to store drain cleaner on your bottom cabinet. After pouring hot water on the drain, you may follow it up with a drain cleaner. This chemical can dissolve hair and melt soap scums and other gunky material that can clog your drain.
However, in some cases, clogged drains can be difficult to address. And as such, it’d be best to contact a professional plumber to unclog your drain and keep your plumbing system safe and in good working condition during winter. With them at your side, you can guarantee high-quality plumbing work and avoid possible mistakes associated with DIY fixes.
Invest In Insulations
In many cases, the central heater can back you up. If all your pipelines run through the insides of your home, you can make it through the winter without a pipe cracking. But most of the time, people are not lucky enough to have all their pipes indoors.
Moreover, in some regions, the temperature drops down so much that the central heaters are not enough. In that case, the only way you have is to insulate.
If you don’t know what insulation is, it is a process where all your pipes get a heat cable attached. Then the pipes and the heating cables are wrapped in fiberglass insulations, and finally, it is finished with a plastic insulation wrap. You need to get all your pipes insulated which are out of your heating area. Even if it’s inside your garage, you need to get it insulated to avoid freezing and other plumbing issues.
You want to avoid your pipes bursting during the winter season when service providers are at their busiest. You wouldn’t want to wait for providers to fix your pipes and endure not using water. And what could be worse is for the water to leak to the different areas of your home. If not addressed within 48 hours, this can be categorized as stage two water damage, which could be very costly. And if the water stagnates on your wooden floors, that’s another problem. So, it would be best to get your pipes insulated.
No, we are not talking about planning your next holiday trip. It’s very common for you to spend your holidays with your family in a foreign country. But if you don’t take the necessary steps, you may return home and find cracked pipes and thousands of gallons of water loss. Because the water will stay still in the pipes for a long time, they are more vulnerable to freezing.
If you are going out somewhere, don’t get tempted to turn off your heater or insulation heating pipes. You may think that it will waste a lot of energy, but the truth is if an accident occurs, there will be a massive water loss, and the repair work will cost a lot more than your electricity bill. So, consider turning on your plumbing equipment, including your water heater, to avoid freezing issues that can lead to a major problem in your home
Get A Wi-Fi Thermostat
This is an amazing service, and it is worth your money. As mentioned previously, you need to keep your heater on when you are out. If that’s making you worried. Because it’s not easy to set the temperature for a long time, and there might be a problem when you are out. A thermostat can relieve you of this tension.
A thermostat lets you control the temperature of your home no matter where you are. It is Wi-Fi operated so you need to connect the thermostat to your home’s Wi-Fi, and then you can connect it to your home. You can turn your heater on or off with this device. You can even adjust the temperature. Moreover, if anything goes wrong with the temperature, it will send you a warning message. This can be very helpful since you can protect your water heater from working too hard to keep your home warm during the winter season.
During Cold Snap
When there is a cold snap, you need to be extra careful. Make sure to keep your home’s temperature steady during a cold snap. Make sure it doesn’t go up or down. Keep some of your taps running. Make sure to catch the water with a bucket and use it later. Keeping it running will release pressure.
Last but certainly not least, keep your kitchen cabinet doors open. This way there will be a proper flow of warm air, and they will be less vulnerable.
To Sum Up
Your plumbing system plays a crucial role during winter. It can provide you with an adequate supply of warm water.
However, when not well taken care of, your plumbing system can bring costly and more serious problems to your home. One of them is a burst water pipe due to freezing.
But if you follow these tips, hopefully, you’ll be able to spend your holidays without having to worry about your pipes cracking. As you won’t have to spend on the repair works, you’ll save some coins too.
If you do find an issue, take care of it immediately. Either you do the plumbing yourself or you hire professional plumbing services like Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning for a quick fix.