Are you expecting guests for New Year’s Eve? If so, getting your plumbing ready is an important way to be prepared. Frozen pipes, broken water heaters and pipe clogs can all cause massive problems for your home’s plumbing. These tips will help you keep your pipes in good condition during this happy season.
Protect Your Pipes From the Chill
Frozen pipes can cause a variety of problems. At best, a frozen pipe will stop working until it thaws. At worst, a frozen pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars in damage.To protect your pipes from cold weather, follow these tips:
- Leave your heat set to at least 55 degrees, even when you’re out of town.
- Open under sink cabinet doors on very cold nights.
- Leave faucets dripping on nights when temperatures drop very low.
Insulating your pipes is a great way to prevent them from freezing as well. To get started, purchase insulation of the proper diameter, then cut it down to the right length. Remove the paper backing from the adhesive and wrap the insulation around the pipe. Do this to all exposed pipes in the house.
Know What Not To Flush
Pipes can be clogged by a variety of things that are routinely flushed down the toilet or down their drains. Some common items that should never be flushed into the plumbing system include:
- Cooking oil
- “Flushable” wipes
- Food pieces
- Feminine hygiene products
- Kitty litter
With guests in the house, it can be hard to control what does and doesn’t go into your plumbing system. For this reason, to prevent your guests from flushing things that don’t belong in your pipes or sewer, place garbage cans in obvious locations near all toilets and in all rooms with sinks.
Watch for Signs of Sewer Backup
A sewer backup is a serious problem that can cause a major inconvenience at the holidays. Watching for signs of sewer backup in advance of the holidays can help you determine when it’s time to seek help from a plumbing professional. Warning signs include:
- Lowest drains in the house have all gotten slow at once.
- The pipes make strange gurgling noises.
- Water will drain from one fixture to another, instead of draining into the sewer.
If you notice any of these problems, contact a plumber for an inspection right away.
Clear Slow Drains
Pour vinegar into slow drains and let it sit for at several hours. Then flush the vinegar out of the drains with hot water. If this doesn’t help clear the drain, use a plumber’s auger.
Perform Basic Water Heater Maintenance
If your water heater isn’t performing up to snuff, you and your guests may be taking some cold showers! To prevent this from happening, inspect your water heater before guests arrive. Look for signs of corrosion, rust, soot and other warning signs on the tank.
It is important to check the temperature on the heater. Settings higher than 120 degrees can lead to scalding in young children. Reduce it to the tank’s recommended setting. If it’s been awhile since you drained the tank, now is the time to do so.
Contact Your Plumber
At Terry’s Plumbing, we’re hoping that you and your family have a happy and safe holiday season! To avoid plumbing problems, contact us today at 412-364-9114.