With winter fast approaching, now is a great time to take steps to ensure the plumbing in your home is in the best condition possible for the long, cold days & nights ahead.
Listed below are 8 top tips that you can follow to ensure that your plumbing is all set for when Ol’ Jack Frost shows up:
1) One of the main things that you can do is to ensure that the insulation on your pipes is adequate. The reasons for this are twofold – good insulation will prevent pipes from freezing over, and will also help to retain heat in the hot water pipes. If pipes are exposed, especially in attic areas, you should make moves to have these insulated quickly.
2) Ensure your boiler has been properly serviced to ensure that it is in order and ready for use when the cold weather starts.
3) Another thing you can do, and which is very often overlooked, is to ensure that your drains do not get clogged or blocked. Extra care can be taken when using the kitchen sink, and oils and grease should not be allowed down the drain, if at all possible. The cold weather will serve to assist these in coagulating quite rapidly and can lead to unwanted blockages. A good rule of thumb is to run the tap for 10-15 seconds before and after using the kitchen sink. This will assist to clear debris etc., which may cause problems later.
4) If you have an outside hose, disconnect this from the water supply, drain it of water, and hang it up appropriately for the winter.
5) It is also important to identify and eliminate drafts. Areas such as basements and attics are the prime suspects here, and early intervention can prevent a lot of heart ache and expense. A draft could lead to pipes freezing over, and even hot pipes can freeze if water is not moving through them. This, in conjunction with adequate insulation on pipes, will go a long way towards ensuring that you have an event free winter, plumbing wise.
6) Showers should be spread out throughout the day, and a rota system may be a good idea in this instance. Spreading out showers will help with water pressure and temperature levels throughout the day.
7) If you are going away for an extended period, you should turn off the water supply at the stopcock coming into the house. You can also drain whatever water you can from the plumbing system, which will help prevent frozen or burst pipes.
8) Finally, throughout the winter, let water run from all available outlets in your home on a regular basis. This will help ensure that your pipes don’t freeze up.
Those are some of the main points you can follow to ensure that you have a drama free winter. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit in place, such as a torch, radiator keys, and emergency phone numbers for the local plumber, just in case. And above all else, if you don’t know where your stopcock is, make it your business to find out!