While going away on the holidays is a fun for the family, it is necessary to leave your home in the safest condition possible so that when you return, it is still in one piece. While you might be quick to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries, it is equally important to address the plumbing in the home to avoid major damage and unnecessary expense to yourself. Living in a cold climate such as that of Toronto, can lead to frozen and burst water pipes that are expensive to repair. It is far wiser to take these simple steps to prevent you from having to deal with the trauma of frozen pipes – or worse – on your return from holiday celebrations.
Burst Water Pipes Burst Your Wallet
The harsh and extreme winters that we face in Toronto can cause water to freeze up in your pipes (Remember last year? It was the worst polar vortex in 100 years!) Frozen pipes that burst can cause your home to flood, and unless it is dried up within the first 24 hours, may lead to significant and costly damage and in the long term, mold. Your water bill will also increase significantly with every drop of water wasted. You will incur costs in repairing and replacing damaged household goods. While you are most likely insured, it is preferable to prevent this type of damage in order to save money, hassle and inconvenience.
Rather Safe than Sorry
Our master plumber recommends a number of precautions that you can take in order to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Implementing these strategies will go a long way towards saving your water pipes and avoiding the unnecessary waste of water.
- You can install an emergency water shut-off device, which turns off the water supply in the event of a burst pipe.
- Insulate the external condensing pipe of your hot water heater, as this can slow down the process of frozen pipes.
- You must get your City of Toronto licensed plumber to service your heating system or boiler at least once every 12 months to ensure that the system is working efficiently and to slow down the process of water freezing in your home. Make sure the thermostat is not faulty and speak to a qualified plumber about the merits of adding antifreeze to your the boiler.
- Insulating your external pipes might not be enough to prevent the water from freezing. You may want to consider adding additional trace heating by wrapping the thermostat with the trace heating under the lagging.
- Not all older water storage tanks are insulated. Get your plumber to check the tank and add a hot water jacket to it, if necessary.
- Try to generate as much warm air in your home as possible by leaving the bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to permit warmer air to circulate around the pipes.
- Replace old washers on any dripping faucets to prevent freezing water from blocking the pipes.
- If possible, shut off the supply of water to any outside faucets and drain the system, as this will help slow down the process of water freezing in these pipes. Be sure to drain any hoses and roll them up for the winter.
Implementing the above steps can go a long way towards preventing hassles when you return home from holiday celebrations or visits. As an added precaution, if you’re planning on being away from home for more than 2 days, you could always ask a friendly neighbor to check in on your house while you are away. This should ensure that you come back to an intact home and you a ready take on the next year with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Anta Plumbing offers a range of plumbing inspection and winterization services to help protect your plumbing this winter.