The arrival of the winter season and cold weather invite a multitude of potential plumbing problems into our
homes. Frigid morning showers, frozen or cracked pipes, broken radiators, flooding, and leaks are just a few of
the many unwanted plumbing issues brought on by cold winter weather.
Fortunately there are things that you can do to prevent or minimize the likelihood of these winter plumbing
mishaps. Horizon Services offers these plumbing maintenance tips to keep your plumbing system in tip-top
shape during the winter months:
• Preventing Clogged Drains: Once a week, treat your sink and bathtub drains to this quick, safe and
environmentally-friendly cleaning process. Make up a mixture of 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of baking soda, and
1/4 cup cream of tartar. Pour equal amounts into your various drains and follow it with 2 cups of boiling
water for each drain.
• Pipe Insulation: Use foam padding sleeves or special insulating tape to guard your pipes (both hot
water and cold water) against freezing. Any exposed pipe or plumbing fixtures should be kept warm with
space heaters (lamps) from a safe distance. Every few days, check out pipes in basements or little used
areas of the house to make sure no ice or frost is accumulating or cracks developing.
• Running Water: Be sure to run water from every valve in your house at regular intervals throughout the
winter. This will prevent freezing.
• Don’t Forget Outdoor Spigots and Hoses: Unattach your garden hoses before freezing temperatures
arrive in the fall. Close the shut-off valve on the pipes which lead to your outdoor spigots. Drain any
residual water from spigots or hoses. Don’t leave hoses attached to outdoor faucets over the winter; roll
up and store till spring.
• Be Careful with Holiday Cooking: Cooking grease and oils put a real strain on drains, pipes and
garbage disposals. Grease and oil are more likely to collect and clog when your plumbing is colder, so
do your best not pour down the drain. Also, refrain from putting hard to grind objects or stringy
substances down into the disposal. Always run cold water through the disposal for at least 15 seconds
before and after each use. Be sure to turn the disposal on before filling it with food debris.
• Spread Showers Throughout the Day: At least 10 minute intervals between showers is optimal to
maintain hot water and proper pressure. You may also want to turn up the water heater during the cold
season as well.
• Eliminate Drafts: Check around your home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated
areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Examples: basements, crawl
spaces, attics, garages, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in
these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can
freeze if water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature becomes cold.
Insulate your pipes and water storage tank. Pay close attention to joints and bends, and put the insulation foam on top of pipes rather than underneath them
Turn off any indoor valves on pipes leading to outside taps. Then, open the outside tap and leave it open to let any water drain out to ensure there's no water in the pipes to freeze
Repair any dripping taps. If they freeze, they'll block your pipes
Regularly check all the taps in your home during the winter months. If little or no water flows, there may be frozen water in the pipes
If you are away from home in the winter, set your central heating to come on for a short period each day to prevent pipes from freezing. Don't be tempted to turn the heating off while you're away
If your pipes do freeze, turn the water off at the mains and thaw them out slowly with hot water bottles. Never use a heat gun or blow torch to do this.
After doing the dishes or after you have used your kitchen sink to get rid of the water you used for some other cleaning, you could end up with all sorts of bacteria inside the pipes and the side effect related to dirty kitchen drain, like a smelly kitchen sink or even a blocked kitchen sink. Most people think that a kitchen sink that is normally only used for cleaning purposes would keep itself clean, but often it still takes quite some work to keep a clean and odor free kitchen drain.
Most people think that a kitchen sink that is normally only used for cleaning purposes would keep itself clean, but often it still takes quite some work to keep an odor free and clean kitchen drain.
1. Run hot water in the drain
A smelling kitchen sink is often caused by bacteria living inside the drain. Occasionally running some hot water in the kitchen drains will flush away and kill a great deal of these bacteria. By hot water we mean hot water that is early boiling. Boil some water in a pan or electric heater and flush it down the kitchen sink and let the water run for 10 to 15 seconds.
- byng kenrick central1990 - present
- MZR Plumbing & DrainageDirector, 2010 - presentplumbing and drainage
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