The summer has passed us by, and now as we enter into the colder months, it is best that we prepare our home and ourselves for the winter. The wintertime can be particularly harsh on our plumbing. That is why it is so important that we make sure that we are doing our prevention work before it is too late.
Winters in Toledo, Ohio, can sometimes results in multiple calls to a local plumber. Frozen and ruptured pipes are, after all, a pretty common occurrence in colder weather. Prevention is always better than cure. And with that in mind, we are listing the top 10 winter plumbing tips to help you save the trouble of multiple calls to a plumber during the cold winter months.
- Standing in front of the tap, waiting for the water can be a pain, especially if you are running late. When water freezes within a pipe, it can expand and cause cracks in your pipe. One way to tackle this minor problem, which can turn into a major (and expensive) problem later, is to make sure the pipes have some insulation. Burying them below the frost line will prevent such disasters. To further prevent it from bursting and to encourage the water flow, let a faucet drip slowly.
- Never pour oils or fats down the drain. These liquids tend to solidify, creating clogs.
- Look for pipes in un-insulated areas and wrap them with towels or foam.
- Windy winters make us realize that heaters are a blessing. At this time of the year, they should be running perfectly. Call a professional to service the unit if you have not done that yet. Pro-tip: To save yourself from scalding water, never set the dial above 125 degrees F.
- Invest in frost-free sill cocks. These are located 18 inches inside the wall and can be bought rather inexpensively. It is a small price to pay for some peace of mind, won’t you agree?
- Are your pipes vulnerable? Well, you don’t need to worry. Heat cables can be your savior. The built-in thermostat can sense the temperature of your pipe and turn on/off the heat accordingly.
- Are you heading out of town for a few days? If yes, do not turn the heat off. What you can do instead is lower the temperature, but keep in mind, NEVER set the automatic thermostat below 45 degrees F.
- Make sure you and your family members know the location of the master water valve so that it can be quickly turned off in case of an emergency.
- Kitchen pipes are more vulnerable as they are behind closed doors, and heat barely reaches them. To tackle this problem, you can simply open the cabinet doors to let in the heat.
- Lastly, make sure to detach your garden hoses and drain all the leftover water from hoses and spigots.
There you have it, folks!
“Winter is coming,” so be prepared. If you follow all these tips, you are better equipped to have a disaster-free winter.