Winter Plumbing Maintenance
As winter is right around the corner, it’s recommended to look into tips and tricks for winter plumbing maintenance. It’s important to be looking over pipes during the warmer weather, but it’s even more so when the chilly season comes along.
Jack Frost has officially arrived, and he brought with him snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. As the wind chill starts to dip in the negative double digits, most of us will find refuge in our warm homes where mountains of blankets and hot cocoa are waiting. It’s a good reminder, however, to appreciate that the cooler temperatures affect your home as well – particularly that of your plumbing and drainage system. Here are few of our top tips to keep your plumbing happy, whatever the temperature is outside.
Any keen reader of our publication will remember some of the advice we gave to winterize your home back in the fall. Some of our pointers involved the outside of your home, ensuring garden hoses and outside taps, spigots, and connecting pipes were drained of water. By now you would have already done this, as well as disabled any interior shut-off valves to ensure no remaining water could lead to your interior pipes. We also suggested investing in Styrofoam or rubber pipe insulators to keep these pipes from freezing. To top it all off, we hoped you took advantage of our hot water heater services to make sure it was up to the task of warming your water throughout the season.
What Do We Recommend?
If you took all of our tips to heart, then congratulations; you’re already ahead of the pack. But even with these solid preventative measures under your belt, it’s a good idea to run a diagnostic’s check through your system half-way through the season – especially when the cold weather has taken so long to hit since you winterized your home. We can’t recommend enough to double check those insulators that you installed to make sure they’re still doing what they’re supposed to. If you find any additional uncovered pipes – or if you find any cracks in the Styrofoam – be sure to purchase more.
Our expert plumbers also recommend keeping your furnace operating at a decent temperature. This may seem obvious as you crank your thermostat up to combat the chilling winds, but it’s important to ensure that room temperature (21 °C) is maintained during the day. It’s normal for homeowners to lower this temperature during the night in a bid to save energy and money; however, the temperature of your home should never go below 12 °C in the winter. Letting your house dip under this number runs the risk of water freezing in your pipes. We all know what that can lead to, as frozen water expands within the pipe until it bursts.
Now, 12 °C may seem like a temperature you’re confident your living spaces will never reach; however, this number also applies to your lesser used rooms, including attics, crawl spaces, garages, basements, or anywhere else exposed pipes are at a risk of freezing – including anywhere you have water supply lines, as these are usually located in areas that don’t receive optimal heating. Keep in mind that pipes servicing hot water can freeze if there’s no water running through them. During your mid-winter maintenance check, be sure to also check for draughts in these places, keeping an eye towards cracked or poorly insulated windows and doors.
Preventing Mother Nature
Even with the best intentions, winter can get the better of us and our homes. Sometimes, you get a little warning. If you notice the water pressure has lowered, this could be an early indication that your pipes are in the process of freezing; in which case, run your taps at a slow trickle (no larger than the width of a pen) and give us a call – any hour of the day and any day of the week. We proudly offer our services 24/7 for exactly this reason, as a frozen and burst pipe can happen at any time. Regardless of when it happens, it’s an emergency that needs immediate care. The dribbling tap will ensure water is flowing through your pipes constantly until our expert plumbers arrive to make the appropriate precautions and repairs.
So keep our number in your contact list when you perform your mid-winter plumbing maintenance. We might just save your and your home from disaster!