Six Tips for Non-Eventful Winter Plumbing

Unless you are prepared, winter will wreak havoc on your plumbing. Cold temperatures and extra demands can lead to plumbing disasters that make your holidays memorable in a bad way. Rather than risk property damage and compromised water access, take care of winter plumbing maintenance now so it’s prepared for winter temperatures later. Here are six plumbing tips for accomplishing that in your Grand Rapids, MN home:

  • Start outside: Winter plumbing issues often start with outdoor pipes. Turn off all water supply valves and blow out any water remaining in sprinkler systems and pipes. Look for pipes that are not insulated and wrap them with foam. Cover outdoor faucets, too. Winterize your lawn so you have good drainage from snow and rain, and remove debris from gutters and downspouts to control runoff.
  • Check your water heater: You do not want to experience a lack of hot water in winter. Check your hot water heater, and if it’s unreliable, call a plumber to fix it. Sometimes, it just needs a new sacrificial anode rod or other parts. However, if it’s an older heater and you notice leaks, replace it as soon as possible.
  • Conserve energy the right way: Homeowners often believe that they will save money by wearing sweaters and never activating the thermostat. However, if you set the thermostat too low or turn it off completely, you risk ruptured pipes. The lowest you can set your thermostat and prevent pipe rupture is 45 degrees, but no one wants to come home to a house that’s that cold anyway. Plus, it’s much more expensive to fix a ruptured pipe than pay a heating bill, so this is the best way to ensure you keep your plumbing safe.
  • Find your main water valve: If, despite all your precautions, you experience a pipe rupture anyway, you must turn off water access immediately. You’ll do this with your main water valve, which is normally located next to your water meter. Check its condition now, before snowfall and cold temperatures arrive. If it’s not in working order, call a plumber to adjust it.
  • Be kind to drains: Holidays often mean large meals, even if you’re home alone with just your immediate family. This can add pressure to kitchen plumbing, and things that should not end up in drains often do. Never pour fats or oils down the drain—let them congeal, then scrape them into the trash. If you have a garbage disposal, run it first and then add food debris.
  • Insulate pipes: You can never be too careful, and many homeowners insulate their pipes after they experience a rupture. Add foam sheaths to indoor and outdoor pipes alike to help them stay intact all winter. Pay special attention to your main water line and do not overlook pipes in attics or unheated basements.

If you require winter plumbing maintenance before the temperatures plummet in Grand Rapids, MN, Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc. is here for you. While these plumbing tips will help you avoid the worst situations, now is a good time to address any significant plumbing issues. Call us today to schedule a free estimate.