Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deep Freeze: Winter Plumbing Techniques

Winter is right around the corner, and now is the time to protect your pipes from damage. Spending the time to protect your plumbing pipes this winter will result in hundreds of dollars in savings from needless plumbing repair costs. Do a careful interior and exterior inspection of your home and business to make sure you are covered this winter.

Preventing Frozen Pipes:
  • Detach outdoor garden hoses and shut-off values to pipes leading to any outdoor spigots.
  • Insulate outdoor water pipes that will be exposed to freezing temperatures and wind. Quality insulation wrap is available at your local hardware store and outlet center.
  • Unused hot water lines can freeze as well as cold. Inspect your hot water lines to ensure your pipes are protected.
  • Drain water pipes that will not be in use before severe cold weather hits.
  • Remember to wrap any water pipes in un-insulated garages and barns.
 Preventing Clogged Drains:  
  • Additional buildup and clogging of cooking grease and oil can occur during colder periods. Avoid putting that cooking grease and oil into your garage disposer.
  • Never put foods like carrots, potato skins, banana peels, and other stringy and fibrous food into your disposer. Your garbage disposer is not able to fully grind these materials and they can easily clog your sink drain causing a massive backup.
  • Remember to run cold water down your drain for about 15 to 20 seconds before and after using your garbage disposer to flush out any waste.
  • The holidays can put additional stress on your plumbing. Extra guests mean additional showers, toilet flushing, and cooking. Prepare ahead and clean out P-traps and look for hair and other debris around drains that may pose a problem and lead to a plumbing disaster. 
Eliminate Drafts:
  •  Prevent cold air from reaching your pipes. Look in crawl spaces, garages, attics, and cabinets for cold air that may contribute to freezing your pipes.
  • If you are aware of potential problems from un-insulated pipes, consider placing a small space heater a safe distance away to prevent freezing.

Pete’s Plumbing at Your Service
The steps you take today to protect your pipes against freezing will pay large dividends in the future. If after taking all these precautions you find yourself still facing a plumbing emergency, give us a call and our highly-trained staff of professional plumbers will be there to take care of the problem.  


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