Tips on How you Can Avoid Winter Plumbing Problems
Many people are aware that the harsh winter weather can severely damage their property but what they don't know is that their plumbing system is not an exception. Leaking pipes, malfunctioning radiators, frozen pipe-work and cold showers are some of the inconveniences that the winter season brings along. Furthermore, getting plumbers to fix your system under such weather conditions can be quite daunting.
However, there are several measures that you can put in place to ensure that your plumbing system functions properly throughout the cold season. Read on.
How to Maintain Your Plumbing System During Winter
Insulate the pipe-work This will help in preventing the pipe-work from freezing. To insulate the pipes, apply an insulation tape around both hot and cold water pipes. You can also use pipe padding sleeves which are easier to apply than insulation tape. Furthermore, they are made of foam and thus highly effective. You should also protect the exposed pipe-work with either a space heater or anything similar. Piping that is exposed to the freezing temperatures can suffer adverse damage than the indoor pipe-work.
Block Drafts There are high chances that in your household, there is a location where the pipe-work allows fresh air to pass through. Make sure that you properly insulate these locations and block the drafts or divert them for ventilation purposes. Some of the living spaces that are prone to such plumbing problems are the basements, lofts, garages and any extensions.
Operate your Taps This is a very important step that can help you prevent frozen pipe-work. You should ensure that water is running through every valve and faucet in your plumbing system regularly. This reduces the chances of still water which can easily freeze and block your plumbing system. Therefore, ensure that your faucets are losely closed to allow water to flow.
Shower Gaps Many people think that taking a bath straight after one another or showering in intervals of about one hours is the ideal way to take a shower during the cold season. Well, this is not far from the appropriate way. The best way to bathe under this weather is to wait for roughly 15 minutes. This interval allows the water in the pipes to maintain a constant temperature for all the people using the shower.
Treat the Draining Systems Nobody would like to go through the experience of having a blocked drainage system, let alone during winter when it's more challenging to deal with. To avoid this unpleasant situation, make sure that you winterize your baths and sinks. Clean them up with a mixture of baking soda, salt and potassium bitrate at least one week prior to the cold season.
Additionally, after pouring the mixture in the drainage systems, pour a cup of boiling water to make the cleaning exercise more effective. You should also monitor the drainage system during the cold season, just to avoid indoor flooding and water back-ups.
However, it is important that you prepare yourself for the worst. When you're face with a frozen pipe-work, try to wrap the affected areas with hot towels or trying to defrost the ice using heating devices and other home appliances that can help you thaw the pipes. You can also try to avail the services of emergency plumbers, though that would be a costly option.