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15Oct2018

Preparing Your Plumbing for Fall & Winter

Protection for plumbing system during winter

Your home’s plumbing system can take a hit during the fall and winter months. From Thanksgiving dinners to holiday gatherings, this is a festive time for many households. Families are using the kitchen more frequently to prepare big meals. And with more guests dropping by, the bathrooms are getting lots of use as well.

That’s why it’s crucial to prepare your plumbing systems in anticipation of this busy time. Plumbers tend to get a lot of service calls during the colder seasons. There’s an increase in water heater repairs and a rise in the number of clogged drains too.

The best way to protect your home’s plumbing is to take a proactive approach. There are many ways to prevent common issues, so here are some tips to ensure your drains are running smoothly during this busy time.

Work Smartly in the Kitchen

It’s during the fall and winter that you’ll be preparing some of the biggest meals of the year. Stuffed turkeys, honey glazed hams, and mashed potatoes are just some of the holiday favourites you’ll see. But as tasty as these foods are, they can also spell disaster for your plumbing system. Cooking-related messes, leftovers, and table scraps will not only clog your drains, but rot your pipes too.

The best way to prevent plumbing problems is to work smartly in the kitchen. When doing the dishes and cleaning up spills, be conscious of what you’re putting down the sink. While cooking, fats and oils may accumulate in your pots and pans. This kind of residue should never be poured down the drain. Anything greasy will congeal and clog your pipes. Instead, let the oils congeal in your cookware then scrape it into the compost instead.

If you need your cookware right away to prepare other foods, consider pouring the oils into a polystyrene (styrofoam) tray and then sticking it in the freezer. Once the oils harden, scrape them into your green bin. If you live in Calgary, remember the styrofoam tray must be tossed in your garbage bin as it cannot be recycled.

Here are some other food items that should never go down your drains, no matter how small the scraps may be:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Potato peels
  • Coffee grounds

Just like grease, the above foods will congeal and destroy your pipes. If you have a garbage disposal, be sure to keep these items out of it as well. If you do toss plumbing-safe items into the garbage disposal, be sure to run plenty of water down the drain to clear the system afterward.

Meanwhile, preserve your home’s water pressure by using your dishwasher during off-peak hours. This appliance can compete with other plumbing systems in your home, making it inconvenient to take a shower or do laundry.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

The pipes in your home can freeze in cold weather. This will not only leave you with no running water, but it can also burst your plumbing system. According to Allstate, insurance claims due to burst pipes are the most frequent at 53% of all claims made in Canada.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your pipes:

  • Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, like the ones in crawl spaces, near outside walls, or in the garage. Wrap them with foam pipe covers, which can be easily purchased at your local home improvement store.
  • Seal air leaks in your home or garage to keep cold air from coming in and freezing your pipes.
  • Turn off the water supply to your hose as outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you shut it down completely for the winter season.

If your pipes are prone to freezing, there may be an issue that you cannot see. Consider contacting professionals like the team at Imagine Plumbing before the cold weather sets in. A plumber can offer advice on how best to protect your home.

When the temperature drops well below zero, open kitchen and laundry cabinet doors to keep warm air circulating around the pipes. And be sure to keep garage doors closed if you have water supply lines in the garage. If you’ll be leaving the home for an extended period of time, like to visit relatives out of town, remember to close the main valve that supplies water to your internal plumbing. This is usually located in the basement on the foundation wall where the drinking water pipe enters your home.

A well-run plumbing system can help maintain your property value and is crucial in keeping your family safe and happy. A few preventative steps will ensure you’re spending the holidays with your loved ones instead of scrambling to deal with plumbing hazards after they surface. From drain repairs to water heater installations, the team at Imagine Plumbing can be trusted to take care of you this during fall and winter.

For more information, please call Imagine Plumbing at 1-844-399-4670 or contact us here.

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