‘Prevention is better than cure’…the saying that can be applied to so many different scenarios, including home plumbing. Plumbing problems can be a real pain in neck when they occur, but like with many things, there are actions that we can be taken to avoid issues from occurring in the first place. Who wouldn’t want to benefit from not having to pay for a costly plumbing repair service that could be prevented? Today we discuss 5 tips that will help you do just that...
Tip 1 – Are there any leaks present?
Have you ever been in a position where a leak has come through a ceiling that gets bigger and bigger before your eyes? We understand the horrible feeling that it can bring as even the smallest of leaks can lead to flooding and costly damage if not noticed or taken care of immediately.
Undertaking a regular check of exterior walls, basements that are unheated, and garages are a must. For areas with little or no insulation, pipes can be vulnerable to the elements and as a result more likely to leak and crack.
Tip 2 – Weatherproof plumbing areas
Another important action is scanning your home for areas that have plumbing exposed. Checking the seals around doorways, vents and windows, will help prevent temperature drops. If a seal is loose, it can be fixed up with caulking to avert your home plumbing from freezing. Put on your to-do list to repair any cracked windows as you’d be surprised as how much cold can come through and lead to the cold coming in contact with your plumbing.
Tip 3 – Check your outdoor taps and pipes
Don’t leave this action to when winter has already set in! Why? Because water that’s trapped in your pipes can freeze, expand, crack or burst pipes from a build-up of pressure and subsequent rupture of the pipe. Draining and insulating outdoor taps and pipes in your home plumbing system before the winter sets in will help prevent this from happening.
If you have a garden hose that’s connected to your outdoor tap, disconnect and drain it. You can use a hose bib or faucet cover to ensure adequate insulation from freezing temperatures. For irrigation systems, shut off the water flow into the system and drain all water from the pipes.
Tip 4 - Keep indoor pipes warm.
It’s true that whilst many plumbing problems occur due to externally placed pipes, it’s important not to overlook your indoor plumbing. Frozen pipes can also happen to ones located indoors. If you plan on going on holiday for an extended period of time over the winter months, make sure that your interior thermostat is left on to at least 13 degress C.
Whilst you think that leaving it off might save you money, you’ll regret this decision if a sudden cold snap occurs resulting in a burst pipe. Keeping the heating on means that water in pipes will remain at a constant temperature and should not get cold enough to freeze.
Turning the water supply off at the main stopcock, could also help prevent a plumbing disaster if a pipe were to burst as this will limit the amount of water that can escape. Another tip is to flush toilets and put a good amount of salt down the sink or toilet to prevent the water from freezing.
Tip 5 - Insulate exposed pipes
Last and by no means least, it’s important to make sure that your pipes are properly insulated so that they can stand up against the cold winter air. Insulating your home plumbing is an easy and inexpensive procedure.
The process can involve installing foam tubing bought from the shops, or getting some old towels and wrapping them securely around your pipes. Vulnerable pipes near electrical sources should be insulated with electrical heating tape. Heat tape, which can be wrapped around the pipes, is another great tool for providing just enough heat to keep your pipes from freezing.
We hope that you've found our five tips informative! Remember, we’re here to assist you with all your plumbing requirements. Click on the number below and we'll be happy to help.