When it comes to plumbing, there are some fundamental preventative measures to ensure your water system remains in excellent shape through the winter months. In addition to the harsh weather, the holiday season takes a major toll on your plumbing system as more guests are often in the home. Luckily, by following these essential tips, you can be proactive in protecting your system from damage.
Adjust outside pipes/valves to prevent frozen pipes
Water pipes have the potential to rupture when temperatures drop below freezing. To avoid frozen pipes and keep your plumbing system running smoothly, turn off all outside water valves. Then, look for pipes in un-insulated areas of the home. If your home has exposed pipes, such as those running along the home’s outer walls, these pipes are more likely to freeze. To protect them from freezing or bursting, wrap the pipes in foam or towels for the season to give them a bit of insulation. In extremely cold weather, it is recommended to let faucets drip slowly to encourage water flow.
Know the main water valve location
If a major incident does occur, such as your pipes bursting, it is crucial to know exactly where the main water valve is located. For most homeowners, this valve is typically located next to the water meter and should be kept in good condition. To ensure that your water valve is kept intact, open and close it at least once a year.
Keep heater on a reasonable temperature
When leaving town during the winter months, it can be tempting to turn your heater down and save some energy. While this is okay to do, make sure that you do not turn your heater down too low. If the home temperature gets too low, it greatly increases your pipes’ chance of rupturing. This can be even more problematic if it goes unnoticed for days, weeks, or even months.
To ensure your home is safe while you’re away, make sure your thermostat is set no lower than 45 degrees to get maximum savings while protecting against frozen pipes.
Keep kitchen drain and disposal clean
More guests will likely be visiting your home throughout the winter months. The disposal of bigger meals, more leftovers, and more table scraps can have a tremendous impact on your plumbing system. Fats and oils specifically should NEVER be poured down your drain, as they can accumulate and quickly clog pipes. Alternatively, allow grease to congeal in the cooking pan and then scrape it into the trash.
A helpful tip in terms of your garbage disposal is to turn it on first, and then add the food. This allows the disposal to better break down the food before going down the drain. Additionally, make sure to run plenty of water down the drain to clear the system for the next time you need it.
When it comes to home maintenance – it is important to hire qualified and efficient technicians. From HVAC repairs to plumbing maintenance, Lowery can get the job done. For more information on our services and repairs, call 806-741-0519 or visit trustlowery.com