Plumbing Maintenance 102 — How to Keep It Safe During the Winter

Winter will soon be upon us, and with it come a multitude of potential plumbing problems. These can range from frozen and cracked pipes to leaks and flooding. 

Fortunately, there are many DIY options that homeowners can adopt early to prevent or at least mitigate the likelihood of winter plumbing mishaps. These include the following:

Prevent Clogged Drains

Treat your sinks and bathtubs with this safe and eco-friendly homemade cleaning detergent. Add 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup cream of tartar in a bowl. Mix well, and then pour equal amounts into various drains, followed by 2 cups of boiling water for each drain. This will melt most of the frozen clogs in the drains.

Insulate Pipes

Protect your plumbing against winter freeze by insulating them with foam padding and insulating tape. Keep any exposed pipe warm using space heaters and lamps. Perform regular checks on pipes in basements or the less used areas of the house to make sure no ice or frost is accumulating or developing cracks.

Prevent Freezing with Running Water

Make sure that you run water in every corner of the house at regular intervals to prevent it from freezing. Don’t forget the outdoor hoses or spigots! Remove the hoses before winter temperatures take to the atmosphere. Close all pipes leading to outside valves and drain any residual water from them. 

Be Careful with Holiday Cooking

Make sure how you dispose of the grease and oils because they easily collect and clog cold pluming and hence put a great strain on the drainage and garbage disposals. Furthermore, avoid putting stringy substances, as well as hard to grind substances into the disposal. Make it a habit of running cold water through the disposal for 10 to 15 seconds before and after each use. Make sure you turn the disposal ON before letting it have the food debris. 

DIY Options In case of Freezing and Cracking


What Should You Do If Your Indoor Faucets Freeze Often?

•  Open the cabinet doors to increase exposure to heat.

•  In case the faucet is becoming intensely cold, allow water to run from each valve into the house slowly and into the sink

•  Don’t limit heating to few rooms. Keep every room in the house heated and hence allow warm air to circulate freely throughout your house.

What Should You Do if Your Plumbing Pipes Freeze, Burst, or Crack?

•  Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. This will let the ice inside the pipes to melt slowly and avoid pressure problems as the ice melts. 

•  Turn on the faucets to relieve the pressure that develops due to a reduction in volume when the ice melts. 

•  Thaw the frozen pipes with a blow drier. NEVER use a flame, or any torches to thaw pipes. 

•  In case of a burst, turn off the valve, and follow the above procedure. Call on a professional.

Consider having seasonal maintenance checks done.  Keep tuned for more advice and tips on keeping your home’s plumbing healthy!

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