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Winter Plumbing Safety Tips for Homeowners

If your plumbing system isn’t well-maintained, there are a lot of potential safety risks. As you try to get through the snow storms this winter, your home’s plumbing is something that you do not want to neglect. Frozen pipes can leak, burst, and cut off the water supply in your home. If you are in a middle of a snow storm, it might not be possible to get to the store to buy water. The worst case scenario is that your home could become flooded and/or you find yourself with any water for bathing, drinking, washing clothes, washing the dishes, etc. It might be hard to get a hold of emergency plumbers.

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All of this can be prevented if you follow some sensible winter plumbing safety tips.

  • Make sure your pipes are protected from the freezing cold. If any of your sinks is located near an outside wall, its supply lines probably travel along that wall. Open up the cabinets beneath the sink to allow the warm air inside your home to surround the supply lines. You might also want to allow the faucet to run small amounts of lukewarm water during the night.
  • Avoid using space heaters to warm the pipes. Placing a heater near the cabinets and walls can cause a fire. Never place a heater within 3 feet of anything that can burn,
    Don’t forget the outdoor water sources. If left neglected, they can cause problems on both the outside and inside of your home. Make sure that all pipes have proper insulation. Before the temperature gets too cold, drain all of the exterior water sources such as sprinkler systems and garden hoses.
  • Always acquire leak detection services in warm months so that any leaks can be taken care of before the weather gets too cold. Even the smallest of leaks can cause a lot of problems during winter months. Work with a good, reliable company such as Waterman.
  • For safety and prevention, it’s absolutely essential that everybody in your household know the location of the main water valve. If there is ever an emergency situation, such as a pipe bursting, whoever is home should immediately go to the main valve to turn it off. It’s typically located near the water meter and should be well-maintained.
  • If you suspect that a pipe is frozen, turn off the water supply. warm the pipes with a blow dryer, portable heater, or heat lamp. Do NOT use propane torches, boiling water, or anything with an open flame. Applying moderate heat is sufficient enough. It can take several hours for the ice to thaw.
  • Eliminate drafts throughout the home. Take note of the areas where water supply lines are located. Take prevention measures to keep the flow of cool air away from the unheated areas, such as basements, attics, bathroom and kitchen cabinets, garages, etc. Have your pipes wrapped b a certified plumber.

Having a basic understanding of pipes and plumbing systems can really go a long way where safety and prevention are concerned. It’s also in your best interest to work with reliable plumbers who will be there when you need them.