Cold winter weather brings with it a host of problems that can cripple your plumbing and cost you a fortune in repairs. Broken radiators, cracked pipes and leaks in your plumbing fixtures can hit your family hard if you are not prepared, which is why it pays to winterize your plumbing so that it survives the worst of winter.
The best way to minimize winter plumbing mishaps is to schedule an annual plumbing maintenance with a plumbing contractor. In addition, these maintenance tips will also help keep your plumbing in tip-top shape during winter.
Seal leaking pipes
The smallest of cracks in your pipes can lead to serious problems when the temperatures drop. Even water that only tends to just seep out of your pipes or hoses must be sealed, as it can freeze in winter and cause catastrophic damage.
Keeping water running in your taps and other faucets in intervals throughout winter will also prevent freezing. In addition, be on the lookout for frozen pipes which cause restricted water flow.
Insulate your pipes
Insulating your pipes will prevent cracking and keep frost and ice at bay. Foam padding sleeves or insulating tape can be wrapped around major pipes to keep them nice and warm during winter. Both hot and cold water pipes should be insulated, while plumbing fixtures in less used areas such as the attic, garage and kitchen cabinets along with any exposed or outdoor pipes should be kept warm with space heaters or insulated properly.
Ensuring that drains do not clog due to ice and frost is also very important. A simple way to prevent clogging is to pour a mixture of salt, baking soda and tartar into sinks and bath tubs every week and to follow this up with several cups of boiling water.
Cooking greases and oils also tend to accumulate and clog up your plumbing faster when conditions are cold, so it is best to keep them out of your drains.
Don't forget your outdoor hoses
If you have outdoor sprinklers, spigots and hoses, remember to disconnect them from the main water supply and to drain any residual water in them to prevent freezing damage.
All the precautions above can prevent mishaps with your plumbing when the temperatures fall, but there is no guarantee that your plumbing will not experience any problems. In case of anything catastrophic such as burst pipes or blockages in drains and taps, call in a plumber to carry out repairs immediately.
For more information, contact Bode's Electric & Plumbing Inc. or a similar company.