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Top 7 Winter Plumbing Tips

Jan 12 2023
A frozen pipe

As temperatures drop, it’s important to remember to winterize your pipes to avoid costly breaks and repairs. The thing with frozen pipes is that they can lead to a variety of other winter plumbing dilemmas that are bound to disrupt your daily routine and add more boxes to your to-do list.

To prevent any long-term damage to your home’s plumbing system, it’s important to be prepared with the top plumbing tips for the colder months of the year.

Let’s get started!

   1. Know the Location of the Main Water Valve

While this may seem quite basic, it is of utmost importance to know where the main water valve is located.

In the rare event of a major winter plumbing problem, such as a pipe burst, the first order of business is to find the main water valve and switch off the water supply entirely until the issue is resolved.

This vital system can usually be found directly next to the water meter. To ensure that your property’s main water valve is kept in good working condition, try opening and closing it once a year.

A burst pipe

   2. Disconnect Outdoor Faucets

Unless you have a real need for them, it would be best to let outdoor faucets hibernate for the winter. This is because water in outdoor faucets run the risk of freezing and expanding due to low temperatures. The water expansion could trigger a domino effect that causes connected faucets and pipes to collapse. To prevent this winter plumbing catastrophe, all you have to do is disconnect your home’s water hoses. Then drain them of any remaining water and keep the hoses in a dry area.

An outdoor faucet

    3. Keep Your Home’s Energy Running

Winter is peak travel season, so if you’re one to unleash your wanderlust during the colder months of the year, you might think that switching off the heat to conserve energy would be a good idea.

Well, while there is some truth in that practice, turning off the heat for extended periods of time could boost the chances of pipe damage.

So, if you will be vacationing for weeks to months, make it a point to keep your home’s temperature at 55º F or 16º C and no lower. This solution can prevent pipes from rupturing and saves you on costly repairs in the long run.

    4. Install an Insulation System

Keeping your pipes safe from winter plumbing woes can be as easy as installing insulation foam. This simple yet effective tool is sold at most home improvement stores and is even simpler to put in place. Wrap the whole pipe in insulation foam from the point where it emerges from the main water line all the way to the area where it enters your household.

Aside from doing this for all outdoor pipes, the same rule applies to unheated attics and basements.

   5. Keep Your Kitchen Drains Clear

Clogged drains are a nightmare, especially in the midst of an icy winter. They are caused by a build-up of grease, dirt, hair, and other debris. During winter, the cold weather can cause the pipes to freeze and expand, trapping the debris and preventing the water from flowing.

This plumbing concern is amplified during the winter months because we’re typically at home cooking more, especially around the holiday season. The best way to dispose of used oil and fat is to let them harden in the cooking dish, gently scrape them off, and toss them in the garbage bin.

If you were once guilty of throwing liquid oil and fats down the drain, you should know that they don’t mix with water and can ultimately turn into a sizable clog that impedes water flow. We all know that unclogging a sink is easier said than done and sometimes even requires the services of a plumber.

For you readers who prefer to use a garbage disposal, it is advisable to switch it on first, throw in the debris, and rinse thoroughly after you’re finished. This way, you can make sure that no particles stay behind in the drain.

An expert plumber performing a sink maintenance check-up

   6. Hire a Professional for Proper Winter Plumbing Care

When it comes down to it, regular maintenance is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your property’s plumbing systems are working like a well-oiled machine.

The frosty season is the most wonderful time of the year; don’t let winter plumbing issues dim that shine! Count on the expert plumbers at 1st Rooter for next-level winter plumbing care.
For over 25 years, we’ve been one of the top providers of extensive plumbing services in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and the surrounding area.

Call a professional 1st Rooter plumber today.

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