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Winter Plumbing Issues and how to avoid them

15/11/2017 by Lucia Dyson

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Fast approaching... the season of freezing temperatures and biting winds. As you tinker around your property updating insulation, weatherproofing doors and windows, and tying up other loose ends, don’t forget to check the plumbing and ensure it’s in perfect working order...especially if the your house is going to be empty over the winter season. If you’re new to plumbing inspections and repairs, here’s a brief list of the most common issues you should address before first snow.





Keep frozen pipes at bay

When temperatures take a nosedive, pipes and water outlets can easily freeze and burst unless you insulate them properly. To prevent floods and other damage caused by freezing, dress pipes in a blanket of foam or insulate them using foam tubes available from most hardware stores. Be aware that it might get a little breezy, so make sure you really secure the insulation with duct tape. 


Tip: To keep floods and bursts starring outdoor water outlets, shut off the valves leading to them and drain external plumbing fixtures such as hose bibs, water lines, and sprinklers. 


The dreaded thought of having a leak.

Putting off leak repairs for a better time is never a good idea, especially in the wake of winter. If you want to keep extensive repair costs low, check pipes, faucets, and other water outlets on the property and see if they need to be fixed or replaced before temperatures plummet.


Check the Water heater 

Another common plumbing issue that can cause extensive problems with wintry weather in the mix, water heater glitches caused by tank rust or sediment can be easily prevented by a timely inspection. Before temperatures outside drop below zero, don’t forget to ask an electrician to check your water heater, flush sediment, upgrade insulation, and fine-tune the heater settings to optimize performance and minimize waste of energy. After the celebration of christmas and new year the last thing you want to kick start January is a bill for a new heating system.



No sump bumps around

The last days of fall are the perfect time to inspect and clean your sump pump and check the pit in which it sits. Unless you clean the sump pump and protect it from the cold, it can freeze and stop working, and the plumbing hitch that can cause lots of complications and expenses down the road. 

Whether you like it or not, winter is coming, and your home will soon be locked under with snow, ice and freezing temperatures until further notice. Fortunately, it’s still not too late to go over your plumbing and see if and where a bit of manual labor, insulating foam, and spare components might come in handy. After all... it’s always better to be safe and dry than snowed in with a large-scale plumbing issue on the property.



1, 2, 3....GO and double check sure your water supply and drainage system are winter proof and save the risk of exorbitant utility bills and extensive repair hassle once snowflakes come to town. Good luck!


Need help on how to fit insulation to pipes, follow this guide:


How to insulate pipes

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Author: Lucia Dyson