Thankfully, most issues are preventable, and with a little bit of preparation as winter approaches, you will be able to get through the winter months easily and keep your home toasty warm. Here at Plumbmaster, we are here if you need help with any plumbing problems – but first we’re going to provide you with some plumbing tips to help you avoid any problems occurring in the first place.
As the chiller months approach and we try to prepare for it, remember that there is undoubtedly no other part of our home as vital to protect as plumbing. The plumbing in our homes impact almost everything and we forget how important it is until we are dealing with a broken plumbing system and lose our access to running water. Access to water is incredibly important all year round, but at winter particularly as the temperature drops, it is vital you have access to food and running water. So please read through these plumbing tips carefully to avoid running into any problems.
The first and most basic step to take is to insulate your pipes. As the weather gets colder and colder, the water inside your pipes can start to freeze. This can cause two problems. The first being that your water supply with be cut off until you manage to get the water melted again. The other even more serious problem is that frozen water expands, and by expanding you are at risk of your pipes cracking from the water pressure. If your pipes crack the water will start to leak through and could lead to catastrophic consequences with areas of your home being ruined with flooding. By simply wrapping some foam around any unprotected pipes, you could be preventing your home from many plumbing issues during the winter. Foam tubes can be bought at almost any hardware store and are extremely easy to fit onto pipes and all you have to do is stick them in place. Make sure all of your pipes are completely covered to prevent the winter freeze from setting in.
Clogged Drains & Gutters
Another common plumbing issue all year round is clogged drains and gutters. Drains can get clogged for any number of reasons, including hair build up in the shower, items being flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t be, and the pouring of items down the drain that shouldn’t be – the main culprit here being grease and oil. When it comes to the exterior of our homes, the main source of clogging is leaves and debris that start to build up in gutters. For the outside of our homes, gutter guards are an excellent investment to prevent debris building up close to the drain. This means that if the temperature drops to freezing point that you will not have frozen leaves blocking your drains and preventing water flow.
When it comes to the inside of our house, we can install guards over our drains also. This is a common practice in bathrooms where a guard in the shower or sink can prevent hairs going down the drain and causing blockages. The kitchen is a little harder to protect as a guard will not stop liquids that shouldn’t be poured down the sink. The important thing here is to simply know what can and can’t be disposed of through the kitchen sink. Everyone is guilty of pouring grease and oil down the drain at some point and while it is not a good idea at any time of year, with colder weather it is even more likely the grease will clump together and clog your pipes. Please always remember to dispose of your oil by putting it in a container before putting it in the bin. Or – if you are a keen cook, remember that left over oil can be repurposed for other dishes!
We hope these tips have reminded you how important it is to care for your plumbing all year round, but particularly when it gets colder. There are plenty of other ways you can protect your home during winter also, including making sure your boiler is in top running condition. If you need any more help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact us via our website, we’ll be more than happy to provide any guidance you need. If, however, the worst happens and you have plumbing problems this winter, we are still here to help. Contact us and we will be able to organise for a professional plumber to visit and fix the issue for you.