Winter plumbing problems are a headache to deal with and can ruin holiday fun. Without the right preparations, pipes can burst or drains clog, and create a big mess to clean up. Simple tasks like leaving a faucet dripping can help reduce problems this winter. Some homeowners are going to have to deal with these problems this year, and here are some tips to help deal with the problems and prevent them in the future:
1. Allow the Water to Drip to Avoid Pipes Bursting in Hard Freezes
Hard freezes are when the temperatures outside go far below the freezing mark. This is also when you are most likely to have problems with bursting pipes. When the forecast is for temperatures to dip below freezing, you will want to be prepared. At night, leave faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing. This is especially important for plumbing lines that are located on exterior walls and exposed to the freezing air.
2. Insulate Water Service Box to Prevent Water Service from Stopping
Insulating water service boxes is something that many homeowners forget about. The service line may not burst, but it can become blocked with ice during winter weather. Insulating the box with the meter in it will help prevent freezing. Use hay, grass clippings or other natural materials to do this, which will be easy to clean up. If the service line does become blocked with ice, use a torch to thaw the line and get water running to your home again. If you have PVC lines, heat the brass fittings and not the pipe itself. The water will heat up and thaw the lines on its own.
3. Control Plumbing Problems to Prevent Excessive Damage to Your Home
Even when you are prepared, these winter problems can happen. Before it gets below freezing outside, prepare yourself. You need to know where all the shutoff valves are and have an emergency plumbing repair kit. If there are lines you do not use during winter, turn them off and drain the water out of them. In addition, invest in a propane torch to use for plumbing repairs and thawing frozen lines and parts of your mechanical system. Shop vacuums, hoses and a small submersible pump will also ensure you are prepared for these problems.
Dealing with plumbing problems is never fun, but there are some unique challenges you will face in cold weather. If you have a problem with your plumbing, contact a drain repair service like West Sound Plumbing Service to help you with repairs and improvements.