Winter Plumbing

How to Prevent Common Plumbing Issues Ahead of the Winter

Take care of overdue plumbing issues

As we lean into the winter, you should resolve any plumbing issues you’ve noticed as well as investigate the ones you may have overlooked. Almost all of the usual difficulties are magnified as the year is colder, while the chill gives rise to further hassles you may nevertheless anticipate with experience or adequate research. In this article, we’ll identify ways to avoid major fiascos by being ahead of the new season.

 

Call for help if you’re uncertain

There are many reasons winter is a challenge for a plumbing system. Among those reasons are the obvious: very cold weather, winds, and ice itself. The maintenance may be tedious, but it’s a lot easier than the tedium of repairing a pipe in the middle of the winter. Bear in mind that while you can attend to some issues on your own, you shouldn’t hesitate in contacting a professional if you feel you’re in over your head or are extra cautious.

 

Various plumbing issues

Among the many problems initiated by cold weather are freezing shower water, leaking or icy pipes, or flooding––the latter of which is often a byproduct of a pipe bursting. Even in a mild Savannah winter, these difficulties are no joke: they’ll put your entire home out of commission. Fortunately, you may take measures for prevention after which you’ll stand a considerably better chance of avoiding all of the above. Let’s get into a variety of solutions.

 

Remove water from outdoor plumbing

As mentioned, most of the resolving you do on the way into winter involves taking action in advance. While everything is warm––or, if not, the warmer the better––turn off all the water originally directed to any outer supply. Generally, you’ll find the valves you need in the basement or beneath a sink near an outer wall. If you remove all the water from otherwise outdoor plumbing, there will be no water for freezing.

 

Make sure indoor plumbing is warm

There is a similar principle for indoor piping. While indoor plumbing is generally less at risk for being frozen, freezing is, nevertheless, possible. As such, maintain an indoor temperature of 55º Fahrenheit or more, especially if you are going on a vacation on which you’ll be unavailable for monitoring. If any of the piping is nearer to an outer wall, expose it by opening any drawer or door otherwise covering it. This will enable any warm air to circulate.

 

Close any openings around a water heater

An alternative for heating indoor piping is insulation, which involves placing a foam wrapping over each one. While insulation may be effective, you shouldn’t roll the dice by leaving the heat off, no matter the effectiveness of your insulation. A water heater is also susceptible to the influence of a freeze. Ensure the area around every water heater is guarded from any openings in windows or other like spaces. Reinforce the insulating if need be.

 

Preventing a flood/In the event of a burst pipe

Finally, with respect to a flood, look into all of your draining in order to identify any blockages. This also goes for ice once you’ve begun getting a good deal of snowfall. If you end up dealing with a burst pipe, immediately shut off the main valve and water supply. The main valve is either underneath your kitchen sink or else outside. Flush every toilet and turn on your cold water taps to rid your plumbing system of excess fluid.

 

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