Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Drain and Plumbing System in the Winter
For homeowners who live in a region that has cold winters, it is important to take the necessary steps to winterize the home before the cold season arrives. One important system in the home that requires winterization is the plumbing system. When you take the essential measures to winterize your home, you will be able to avoid such problems as frozen pipes and other conditions that can damage the home, cause a disruption in daily activities, and result in an expensive repair bill.
The following are a number of tips to maintaining a healthy drain and plumbing system in the winter:
Insulate Home Plumbing System: It is essential that you protect your plumbing components from the freezing temperatures in the winter. The first thing you should do is identify the locations in the plumbing system that will likely freeze. Once you have located the key drain pipes, you should insulate the pipes. The easiest and cheapest way to insulate your pipes is to cover them with foam insulation tubes. You just have to measure your pipes to get the right dimensions and then attach the foam insulation.
Warm Tape: There is special warm tape available that can be attached to the pipe. This tape, when plugged in, will become slightly warm and keep the pipes from freezing. You can find this tape at most hardware stores and plumbing supply stores. As well, it is important that your basement remains warm to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. You can keep the basement thermostat on low during cold nights.
Winter Vacations: If you take winter vacations, it is vital that you take measures to prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing and bursting while you are away. Before you leave, you should drain the pipes of water and pressure. You just have to turn off the main water shut off valve and open the faucets. This will allow the water and pressure to drain. Keep the water turned off while you are away. You should also drain the washing machine and dishwasher lines to prevent freezing.
Add Antifreeze to Drains: By adding a very small amount of antifreeze to your drains, you will prevent the water from freezing in the pipes. It is important to make sure you add the proper amount allowed and also check to make sure that you have followed the appropriate guidelines when using antifreeze. It is wise to check with a plumber before adding a small amount of antifreeze.
No one likes to come home to discover burst pipes and a flooded basement. If you learn about the various ways of winterizing your plumbing system, you will greatly reduce the chances of having a serious problem during the cold months. It is a good idea to consult with a professional plumber who will be able to provide a number of tips on maintaining the plumbing system during the winter. Understanding how to winterize your home plumbing system and taking measures to insulate the system, including the drain, will make your winter much more enjoyable and relaxing.