The winter season can be a hassle for most Americans. In an article published on washingtonpost.com, Ingraham (2020) stated that the out-migration rate, both at the state and city levels, is particularly high during January when temperatures are low. Also, based on a 2013 CBS News poll, only 1 out 10 Americans see the winter season in a positive light.
Undoubtedly, winter could get a little gloomy to many people not only because it keeps us from doing our usual routine with ease but also because it causes various plumbing problems at home. That is why it is important for homeowners to be prepared in protecting their plumbing systems when winter comes to avoid any damages from occurring and escalating.
Winter Plumbing Preparation You Need
Here are some simple tips that you can apply to keep your plumbing in good shape during the winter season:
- Insulate pipes. One of the main problems arising during winter is having frozen pipes. When pipes do freeze, remember to shut off the water supply and allow a faucet drip to the frozen pipes so there will be water flow and the pipes won’t burst. Nevertheless, to prevent having frozen pipes, always make sure to insulate your pipes especially those that are in unheated areas (i.e. attic, garage, crawl spaces). Experts also advise that on top of fitting your pipes with foam sleeves or wrapping materials (i.e. insulating tape, blanket, towel, or newspaper), using heat cable makes pipe insulation more effective especially if you have vulnerable pipes.
- Keep hoses unattached to outdoor faucets. Make sure to disconnect garden hoses from the faucet before the temperature reaches its freezing point. If you leave hoses out in the cold, the residual water, which can go up the pipes, will then turn to ice, thereby leading to frozen pipes. During winter, drain water from hoses and spigots and store your hoses till spring comes.
- Clean your drains. Prevent clogged drains by freeing them from greasy debris like cooking oil or liquid fats. Grease solidifies in pipes when the temperature drops, thereby clogging your pipes. To clean your drain, all you need is vinegar or a mixture of baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. When pouring the mixture into each drain, you have to follow it up with boiling water.
- Keep water running from every valve on a regular basis. Slow water drips serve as pressure relief and a preventive measure against frozen pipes.
- Get an alert system. During winter, it is best if you can monitor the temperature throughout your home. Alert systems like a wireless temperature sensor or a Wi-Fi thermostat will allow you to control and keep track of your home temperature.
- Open cabinet doors. One way to allow warm air to circulate and reach the frozen pipes is to open the cabinet doors in the kitchen. You may also place a blow dryer, fan, or portable heater near cabinet doors to let heat inside the cabinet and warm up the pipes. Also, see to it that your house temperature is not lower than 40 degrees F. This temperature is enough to keep your home warm and cozy while still being able to conserve energy.
- Observe 10-minute intervals between showers. To keep your water heater in the bathroom running smoothly during wintertime, give the heater proper and enough recovery time by setting a 10-minute break between showers especially if you have a lot of guests staying in your home for the holidays.
- Shut off the main water valve whenever you need to go somewhere or leave home. If you are away from home and you want to prevent the damage caused by frozen pipes from worsening, always keep your main water valve shut off.
- Get the help of the right professionals in case of emergency plumbing disasters. When worse comes to worst, contact qualified technicians to help you address your plumbing problems. Keep your plumber’s contact information easily accessible.
Cheaper Winter Plumbing Preparation
This winter, while most of us would want to stay warm and cozy in the comfort of our homes, we gotta make sure that the household would be running to avoid any hassle or discomfort that can add to our winter blues. The least that we can do is to make sure our plumbing and all other necessary utilities are ready and will last through all types of seasons. Get your residential plumbing checked and fixed to withstand all seasons by calling into your most trusted plumbers in Alabama.