Here at Anta Plumbing, we see it every year: Many new homeowners simply don’t understand the importance of protecting their plumbing during the cold winter months. When the first rains and snow falls start coming down, cold penetrates the walls, floors and the ground outside, but since we have heat inside buildings, we don’t realize just how cold it gets. Winter brings with it all kinds of potential plumbing issues, ranging from freezing cold morning showers to leaks, broken radiators, cracked or frozen pipes, and clogged drains. However, with proper winterization before the first cold snap, and with proper maintenance throughout fall and winter, many of these issues can be prevented.
Use these tips from master plumbers at Anta Plumbing to keep your system functioning as it should –
1. Winterize Your System
We often speak about winterization, because it really is crucial to preventing many winter plumbing mishaps. From pipe insulation to moving exposed pipes, there’s a lot that can be done to help minimize frozen, cracked and burst pipes. Check out our article on winterization to find out exactly how to go about it.
2. Clean Your Drains
When your drains are somewhat clogged, it makes the problem of frozen water so much worse. Standing water on top of a clog becomes frozen, and when more water is flushed down the drain, it backs up on top of the ice and before you know it, you have a sewer backup. Be sure to keep your drains clean by not flushing fats, oils and grease or any other unsuitable objects down the drains.
Expert tip: Once a month, mix a cup of salt, a cup of baking soda, and 1/4 cup cream or tartar. Pour some of the mix down each of the drains, followed by a cup of vinegar. After 5 minutes, follow it with 2 cups of boiling water in each drain.
3. Spread Out Your Showers
During cold season, turn up your water, but keep it below 125 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding. Leave a 10-minute interval after the last person, before you shower. This will help ensure that you maintain optimal pressure and sufficient hot water.
4. Turn Up the Heat
Turn up the home’s central heating, especially during particularly cold spells. This will ensure that enough warm air circulates around your pipes and plumbing fixtures and prevent them from freezing. Don’t turn off the heat even if you’re leaving your home for a few days, as you’re bound to return to a flooded home.
What to Do When Indoor Faucets Freeze Frequently?
- Open up the cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom in which there are pipes to allow more warm air to enter.
- During intense cold snaps, be sure to run a trickle of water from each of the valves in the home daily.
- Heat all the rooms in your home, not only some, in order to allow warm air to circulate throughout the house freely.
What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency?
If, despite your best efforts, you still have frozen, cracked or burst pipes, follow this process:
1. Turn off the main shut-off valve to prevent flooding when the ice melts. Find out how to locate the shut-off valve here.
2. Leave faucets turned on as it will help relieve the pressure when the ice starts melting.
3. Apply hot towels to the pipes to help melt the ice, or pour salt water down drains.
When you are in need of professional pipe thawing services, call on Anta Plumbing. With many years of experience in Toronto plumbing systems, we are well-placed to help restore your services.