Winter Plumbing Tips

As cold weather blasts the majority of North American homeowners brace themselves for both plummeting temperatures and soaring heating costs. Beyond the higher energy costs, cold weather can also bring additional expenses in the form of frozen pipes and broken heating units. Following are five simple tips for insulating your pocketbook against cold weather costs.

Protect Outside Faucets

Prevent exterior pipes from breaking by protecting your outside faucets. Detach all exterior garden hoses and insulate the faucet against frigid weather. Also insulate any exterior pipes that are exposed. Either wrap the faucet and pipes with material or buy insulating foam to surround it. This is a simple job anyone can do with a few items from a local hardware store and tools laying around the house.

Protect Interior Pipes

During extreme cold, even interior and covered pipes can freeze. As a prevention, turn on an inside faucet and allow it to drip during the coldest winter snaps. The running water will keep the water flowing and prevent the pipes from freezing in all but the most extreme cases.

Protect Pipes in Utility Spaces

Homeowners often forget about protecting pipes in utility spaces such as the attic or basement; however, these are also prone to freeze in severe weather. Protect these spaces from drafts as much as possible and remember to insulate the pipes in these areas as well. This might be a job for a handyman or a small contracting company.

Prevent Clogged Drains

One staple of the holidays is prodigious cooking and fatty foods. The drains and pipes of your home can take a beating during this time and the cold weather solidifies the fats, resulting in a higher incidence of clogged drains. When a drain clogs up beyond your ability to wash the grease away, you’ll probably need to call a local plumbing company.

Steer clear of drain problems by avoiding putting grease, oil, and hard to dissolve foods down the drain or through the garbage disposal. As a preventative measure, treat your drains once a week with an eco-friendly drain cleaner made up of ¼ C cream of tartar, 1 C salt, and 1 C baking soda. Chase the mixture with 2 cups of boiling water. If you need further instructions,  there are lots of good video tutorials on YouTube.

Service Your Heating Unit

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true in the case of your furnace or heating unit. At the beginning of the fall season, have a professional Vancouver plumber service your furnace to ensure it is in top operating condition. The last thing you want is for your furnace to break down in the middle of a blizzard.

You cannot control the vagaries of the weather; however, you can prepare for its inevitable impact. By following these few simple plumbing tips, you can bypass the most severe plumbing repair problems.