Smart Solutions for Common Winter Plumbing Problems
Winter can be especially tough on your home’s plumbing system, with cold temperatures that threaten to freeze pipes and holiday gatherings that put extra stress on your dishwasher, food disposal and drain systems. The following tips will help you avoid some of the most common winter plumbing problems:
Insulate any exposed pipes in uninsulated areas, such as the basement or garage. In extremely cold areas, add an electric heat tape to vulnerable pipes. You should also disconnect garden hoses, turning off and draining the exterior line, if possible. Inside your home, open cabinet doors that are near plumbing lines, allowing heat to circulate. Next, open each faucet slightly to keep water moving and prevent freezing. Locate and test your main water supply valve, to be sure you can shut it off in an emergency.
In the kitchen, make sure to prevent oil from washing down the drain, as it can congeal in cold temperatures and clog your drain. Also, make sure to rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher. You might also want to rinse your food disposal for thirty seconds before and after each use. In the bathroom, avoid flushing anything but septic-safe paper down the toilet. It’s important to keep the drains in your sink and shower free of hair and other debris.
Keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris to prevent water damage and ice dams by installing gutter guards if necessary. Keep the discharge area around the downspout clear of snow. Sump Pump Backups Keep your sump pump pit free of any debris, including ice, that may lead to clogs. You should also make sure the discharge area is clear.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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