Important Plumbing Tips in the Winter
With winter just around the corner you are probably starting to think of some of the serious plumbing issues that you will likely have to deal with in due time. Snow will start to pile up near your home and the roads will become icier. Of course, the weather will also become much colder as temperatures drop well below freezing. The good news is you can plan ahead by being proactive. In other words, you can nip the problem in the bud by following some of the important plumbing tips in the winter that we’ve provided below. By planning ahead you will save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the winter season, and save yourself a lot of stress while you’re at it.
Common Plumbing Problems
Frozen pipes are a big issue that many Canadians will have to deal with now that winter is around the corner. To prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place there are a few things you can do. For instance, you can leave a steady drip of water running before you head out. Furthermore, your pipes can take advantage of heat ventilation by keeping your cabinet doors open. Your outdoor irrigation systems should also be sheathed with insulated coverings and you should also unhook your water hoses during the winter. Your plumbing also be at risk when the temperature drops to below zero on a consistent basis. Now, you may be asking what you can do in the event that your pipes have already frozen over.
If they have already frozen over then turn off your main water supply as soon as possible. By doing so the pressure on the pipes will be significantly lowered, which will reduce the risk of the pipe bursting. However, the chance of serious internal damage to your pipes is very high after the pipes have frozen, so you will likely need professional plumbing maintenance services in Toronto.
Poor heating is another issue that you may have to deal with during the winter. Furnaces are prone to breakdowns during the winter as they are usually kept inactive all summer long. Then, when winter hits they are set into overdrive, which puts a great strain on them. If your home still feels cold after you turn the thermostat all the way up then check your furnace to make sure it is providing adequate heat. If it is not working properly then it is time to call a skilled plumber or technician.
The Dos and Don’ts of Plumbing
To prevent damage turn the heat up. While it may be tempting to lower the heat and wear a sweater to reduce costs, insufficient heat will lead to problems down the line that will actually increase costs in the form of repairs. Also, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated. Insulated pipes will prevent water from freezing when the temperature drops markedly. Insulated pipes will also reduce heat loss.
You should also keep your cabinet doors as well as your bathroom doors open. This will allow heat to get in. That is, if your home has rooms where the pipes are placed in the cold zones-such as on the outside walls-then keeping doors open around the house will allow heat to enter. You should also not keep your water running. Imagine you leave your water running and then fall asleep. Then, the drain could backup for some unforeseen reason, causing your sink to overflow. You may then wake up to an icy cold flood and severe damage to your floor and appliances.
The winter season is often filled with parties and holidays, which can place great pressure on your drains. The extra wear and tear will quickly clog your pipes will all sort of substances that you definitely don’t want clogging up your pipes. A BioSmart drain cleaner, however, can take care of an icky situation licekty split. The reason why we would recommend this product is because it is not harsh and dangerous like many of the abrasive chemical cleaners being sold today. It should be a part of your plumbing maintenance routine, as it is not only environmentally friendly but also very effective at unclogging drains quickly.
You should also check your sump pump as often as possible. Your sump pump is actually your primary defense against costly damage and a very soggy basement. As flooding is a serious issue that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians, such as the flood that hit Calgary in 2013, the spring in particular is a susceptible season to flooding. As such the winter is the ideal time to clean up your sump pump kit so that it is working as it should. Also, keep a lookout for any ice pieces that may block the discharge pipe.
In sum, with winter around the corner it is very important to ensure that your home is secure from potential winter issues that can quickly become a nightmare if left untreated. At the very least, you should call a licensed and bonded plumbing expert to perform a thorough inspection of your home before winter hits.
Guest Contributor, Rebecca Hill
About: Rebecca Hill was community manager at HMS Plumbing and Mechanical, who provide wide range of services including repairs, installations, leak management, and replacements for both residential and commercial customers.