Winter is upon us, and temperatures are falling fast. While our state is known for its mild climate, it’s not unheard of for low temperatures at night to hit below freezing. So, it’s important for homeowners to take a few precautions to avoid winter plumbing problems. Here are a few simple plumbing tips to get you started.
Keep Pipes From Freezing
When winter temperatures drop really low, it’s important to take some steps to prevent your pipes from freezing. If the water inside your pipes freezes, it will expand and can cause serious damage to your plumbing — along with water damage or even mold as a result of burst pipes.
First, disconnect outdoor hoses and drain them for storage.
Then, wrap a layer of insulation around exposed pipes in your basement or crawl spaces under your home. If you have large gaps where external pipes enter your home, try to seal off those gaps to keep the cold air out.
On nights when subfreezing temperatures are expected, you can also leave your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow heated air to warm up the pipes under your sinks. It’s a simple but effective way to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
Flush Your Water Heater
Your family and guests will want to enjoy nice hot showers all winter long, so it’s important to properly maintain your water heater to keep it running efficiently. Many folks simply leave their water heater alone until it starts making strange noises or fails to properly heat the water. But your water heater will actually last a lot longer if you drain it and flush out any sediment that collects at the bottom of the tank. Draining and refilling your water heater once a year will keep it running great.
Prevent Clogged Drains
Another simple step you can take to prevent plumbing problems in your home is to prevent your drains from clogging with hair, soap scum and food debris.
For the kitchen sink, scrape plates and food scraps off into the trash can rather than into the garbage disposal. That will not only extend the life span of your disposal, but it will help prevent nasty clogs deep down in your drains and sewer lines.
Bathroom sinks and shower drains also benefit from some simple maintenance every month or so. Many folks use chemical drain cleaners, but there are some risks associated with these products, since they can damage your skin, eyes, and clothing.
A cheap plastic drain clog remover from your local hardware store will easily pull hair and soap scum up from your drains without damaging your plumbing or risking contact with your skin and face. You can also use drain screens on the shower and tub to catch hair before it enters the drains.
Don’t let freezing temperatures damage your home plumbing this winter. Follow these simple tips to keep your pipes and drains in good shape. And if you need plumbing or drain cleaning services in Atlanta, GA, contact The Original Plumber to make an appointment today.