With winter nearby, it is very important to pay extra careful attention to your plumbing. All the things that comes along with the wintertime, including freezing temperatures and ice, can do a number on your plumbing. If you do some preparing and check on your plumbing periodically throughout the winter, you should minimize any issues. Here are six helpful tips for avoiding winter plumbing problems:
Protect Pipes Within Outer Walls
The pipes installed within the outer walls in your house, such as the ones by your kitchen sink, do not have very good insulation and are prone to freezing during the winter. Popular Mechanics recommends installing fiberglass insulation over these pipes to keep them warm. This insulation will prevent cool air from reaching your pipes and causing them to freeze. It may also help to put a space heater next to poorly insulated pipes to prevent them from freezing. If you plan to go out of town, you should not turn your heat completely off, as it can make your pipes freeze. Turning down the thermostat just a few degrees can lower the risk of your pipes freezing.
Do not Neglect Your Water Heater
A water heater may be used all year, but it can experience extra wear and tear during the winter months. Before the weather gets too cold, it is a good idea to flush the sediment from the bottom of your water heater tank. When there is too much sediment in the tank, it can wear down the appliance faster. If your heater does not have very good insulation, you should place an insulating blanket over it. In addition, if your water heater makes strange noises or does not heat up your water as quickly, you should call a plumber right away.
Disconnect Your Garden Hoses
Before the temperatures get too cold, you should remember to disconnect your garden hoses from your home. If you fail to disconnect a garden hose from your house, ice can accumulate it in it and cause the hose to leak water in your house.
Remove Snow from Sump Pump
During times of heavy snowfall, it is important to periodically check on your sump pump discharge line. If you see snow covering the sump pump, you need to remove it right away. If there is snow blocking this drainage line, it can cause water to back up in your house.
Maintain Your Garbage Disposal
During the holiday season, you are likely going to be doing more cooking, so your garbage disposal will be working over time. That is why should take extra care of this device during the colder months. After you get done using the garbage disposal, run cold water down it for 15 seconds to clear away all of the food particles. You should also avoid pouring grease down your garbage disposal. Grease may seem harmless, but it solidifies in the pipes and can increase the risk of a clog. To avoid any issues, you should just put leftover grease in the garbage can.
Repair Plumbing Leaks
Plumbing leaks can be more difficult to deal with when the temperatures are below freezing, so it is best to take care of them right away. Before the winter seasons hits, take some time to check the faucets in your basement and kitchen for leaks. If there is leaking, you should call a plumber as soon as possible to come and repair them.
If you follow these helpful tips, you will be a lot less likely to deal with plumbing issues this winter season and can take a lot of stress off your back. If you do run into plumbing problems, however, try this website to get in touch with a plumber.