Winter Plumbing Tips
With winter weather comes cold temperatures and this can lead to a variety of potential plumbing problems. There are some things you can do to prevent or at least minimize these plumbing mishaps.
Below is a list of tips to help you out.
- Running water. Run water from every valve throughout your house regularly to prevent them from freezing.
- Prevent clogged drains. Treat your sink and bathtub drains to a quick, safe, environmentally friendly cleaning. Make a mixture of 1-cup salt, 1-cup baking soda, and 1/4-cup cream of tarter. Pour equal amounts into your various drains and follow up with 2 cups of boiling water for each drain.
- Be careful with holiday cooking. Do not put cooking grease and oils down the drain. Grease and oil are more likely to collect and clog when your plumbing is colder. Also try to not put hard to grind objects or stringy substances down into the disposal. Rice (cooked or uncooked) is also a No-No, as it will expand inside of the drain creating a blockage. Always run cold water through the disposal for at least 15 seconds before and after each use and be sure to turn on the disposal before filling it with food debris.
- Spread out showers throughout the day. If you have guests arriving over the holidays remember that at least 10 minute intervals between showers is optimal to maintain hot water and to allow the proper recovery time for a tank type water heater.
- Pipe insulation. You can use foam sleeves or special insulating tape to guard your hot and cold water pipes against freezing. Every few days make sure to check out pipes in the basement or in little used areas of the house to make sure no ice or frost is accumulating or cracks developing.
- Outdoor spigots and hoses. Make sure to unattach your garden hoses before freezing temperatures arrive. Drain any residual water from spigots and hoses. Don’t leave hoses attached to outdoor faucets over the winter; roll up and store until spring.
- Keep your plumber’s contact information handy. It never hurts to be prepared. Keep your plumber’s information on hand in case you have an emergency over the holidays and need some help. Make sure you know ahead of time if they will make emergency calls and are available 24/7 for your convenience.