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Tips for Preventing Common Winter Plumbing Problems

frozen pipeCold weather can cause significant plumbing problems. You don’t want to end up with busted or frozen pipes in the middle of winter. A plumbing emergency is the last thing you want. Not only will you have to pay for repairs, you will also have damages to your home or office to worry about. Taking measures to prevent common winter plumbing problems can help you save a lot of money.

In order to prevent emergencies, you need to know how to properly maintain your pipes and plumbing systems. You also need to be familiar with the potential problem areas, including the main system itself, sprinkler systems, stand-alone irrigation systems, rain barrels, etc.

Here are some ways to prevent common winter plumbing problems.

  • It’s important to protect the pipes from bursting. Any exposed pipes will freeze. You can do this by allowing lukewarm water to drip out of the faucets overnight during cold temperatures. Sometimes all it takes is keeping a bit of water running throughout the night. If the pipes do freeze, call experts like Waterman ASAP to avoid serious complications.
  • Keep an eye out for snow blockage. If snow is blocking the drain, there could potentially be problems with the sump pump drainage line, which may lead to indoor flooding. To prevent this, clear snow away from the drainage area with a shovel BEFORE it begins to melt.
  • Have the water heater inspected on a regular basis. During winter months, the hot water heater works overtime. Sediment build up is a common cause of problems in water heaters. It can be eliminated by flushing the tank. However, the system will have to be shut down for a short period of time, so make sure you have another source of warmth before flushing the sediment.
  • Gas water heaters may experience problems if the pilot lights blowout. Power surges can also cause electrical faults within some of the equipment. Another tip for the winter is to use floor heating in toronto in order to keep the floors warm and the pipes protected. If there are any problems, have a plumber or electrician look at the faults as quickly as possible to ensure that you have access to hot water.
  • Water line leaks are a common occurrence in winter months.  A frozen exterior water hose is often the culprit. Make sure it is completely drained or disconnected before cold weather moves in. If it’s not drained and left outside, it can freeze your faucets, as it gradually builds up pressure in the water line.
  • Empty the septic tank on a regular basis to prevent clogging and dangerous backups that can not only destroy your plumbing system, but your entire yard. Repairs can be very messy and expensive, so it’s in your best interest to have the tank emptied out. Since it’s too much of a challenge to empty it during winter months, it’s best to arrange for a pumping in the fall.
  • Take care not to leave oil and grease in the sink. Even though it takes a little longer to wipe as much food and oil as possible off of dishes before sticking them in the sink, doing so can prevent a major clog.  Oil and grease can thicken in cold pipes very, very quickly.
  • Make sure there is adequate insulation. Wrap insulation around any exposed pipes and plumbing parts. Wet weather can really take a toll on pipes, connections, and valves.

Knowing how to properly care for your plumbing system will help prevent common winter plumbing problems, and save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.