Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Winter

List of Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Winter

1. Let cold water trickle: This helps get rid of frozen water at the tip of a tap or faucet, as well as preventing the buildup of frozen water in the same. Allowing at least a pencil’s width of water trickle every evening, goes a long way in preventing frozen water and pipes.

2. Watch water pressure: Reduced water pressure is usually the first sign of a frozen pipe. Frozen pipes make it almost impossible for water to go through hence the reduced water pressure. Having a plumber look into this is therefore recommended.Plumbing

3. Drain outdoor pipes and disconnect them: Most outdoor/garden pipes are un-insulated hence when/if exposed to the cold winter weather, freeze hence causing pressure buildup in the entire plumbing system. The pressure buildup can cause severe line leakage and even flooding if not checked. Nonetheless, draining and disconnecting these pipes can help prevent a disaster from happening.

4. Install exterior insulated faucet jacket: This helps protect connecting lines and other outdoor faucets from the freezing temperatures.

5. Make use of shut-off valves: These valves are mostly found in crawl spaces, basement, under sinks, and near the water heater/meter. Although your home’s plumbing setup may be different, take some time to see whether these valves are present, and turn them off when not in use.

6. Keep house temperature at 55 degrees or more: Although most people may prefer a reasonably lower temperature than this, it would be advisable to keep your house temperature a little over the 50-degree mark. This helps keep walls warm, thus preventing frozen pipes. It would also be wise to open cabinet doors under kitchen sinks open to allow warm air to circulate in.

7. Seal off garage doors and space vents: Although these vents come in handy in summer, these cause significant heat loss in winter. Sealing these off can, therefore, help keep your plumbing system in check.

8. Ensure snow doesn’t restrict water drainage: Be keen to check the main water drainage area (around the sump pump drainage line) to ensure it isn’t blocked. This can help prevent indoor flooding, as well as frozen pipes.

9. Schedule maintenance inspections annually: While all the tips mentioned above can help keep your plumbing system in check, you should have a certified plumber service the system at least once a year. It is by doing this that you can avoid plumbing emergencies, especially during winter.

5 Signs Your Water Heater is Failing

Your water heater is one of the most important parts of your plumbing system. Without it, you would not be able to use your dishwasher or washing machine, not to mention the ice–cold shower you would have to take every day. If your water heater broke down, it is something you wouldn’t have to get fixed immediately, especially in the winter.

The best way to prevent your water heater from breaking down is to keep an eye on the unit and perform regular maintenance, which can help you find problems before they cause damage

How to Spot Trouble before It Starts

Water HeaterPlumbing equipment is not meant to last forever, however with proper maintenance they can last a long time. Winter is one of the most difficult seasons for hot water heaters. The metal tank will expand and contract if it is located in an unheated area or a location with extreme temperature fluctuations. The water’s mineral content can also play a role in reducing the water heater’s lifespan.

Here Are Some Signs to Look for That Will Show If Your Water Heater Is Failing;

  • Do you see drips or leaks, or is water accumulating under the water heater?
  • If you use a gas water heater, is the flame yellow? It should be blue.
  • Is the water in your shower too hot or too cold? Does the temperature of the water reflect the temperature that is set on the water heater?
  • Is rust coming out of the faucet?
  • Is there bending and cracking in the surface of the tank? This may be a sign that you need to replace the water heater.

When Should You Repair or Replace?

In some cases, if you’re knowledgeable about home repair, you may be able to make some repairs yourself. Replacing a faulty heating unit would not be difficult for a savvy DIYer. However, most of the work needed to fix or replace it should be handled by a plumbing professional.

Unfortunately, replacing it can be expensive. However, because of federal regulations, new water heaters are more efficient so you may be able to make back some of your investment with the money saved on energy each month. Before you start shopping for a new one, figure out your first-hour rating, so that you can purchase a unit that can meet the needs of your family and home.

Protect Your Investment with Expert Care

If you need your hot water heater repaired or replaced, or require any other type of plumbing installation, contact a qualified plumbing professional.

Resolving Household Arguments Over Temperature

When multiple people share a home, it is highly unlikely they will have the same preference for temperature. Unfortunately, even small disagreements with roommates or family members can turn into major arguments about household temperature. To avoid constant heating conflict, continue reading to determine ways to keep everyone inside your home happy and comfortable.

Prevent Stress in Your Relationships

There can be frequent conflict concerning temperature, particularly between genders. In general, women have a slower metabolism than men have and can feel colder more often. A recent study found that cold office environments were accommodating to men’s temperature preferences. On the other hand, women in the office were frequently using sweaters and blankets to stay warm, even in the summer. No one wants to deal with stress caused by an argument about the heating and air conditioning system, so consider some different strategies that can appease everyone involved and keep them comfortable, such as:

Space Heaters

HeatingModern space heaters are typically efficient and safe when used properly and the instructions are followed. A space heater is an inexpensive and easy solution so one member of the household can make their room warmer, without making anyone else uncomfortable and keeping the thermostat on a lower temperature.

Zone Heating

Recently built homes may not require a space heater to make the temperature different in various areas of the home. Smart vents and smart thermostats allow many homeowners to customize different zones of their home so they are automatically cooled or heated, based on the preferences of the people inside each zone.

Improving Your Efficiency

If the main reason there are arguments about heating and cooling is money, consider ways to make your home more energy efficient. There are simple ways you can improve energy efficiency, such as routine maintenance on the HVAC system, adding insulation, or being strategic about when the curtains are opened or closed to help utilize or keep out the sun’s warmth. If you are saving money on your utility bills, maybe altering the thermostat a little will not result in family arguments.

Learn to Compromise

When you do not have the opportunity to set everyone’s room to a different temperature, such as two people sharing the same room and having different temperature needs, you will need to find ways to compromise. Improving your communications skills can also be important so everyone is comfortable and avoid arguments. For example, Tom might want the room to be 60 degrees, but Sally prefers 70 degrees. They can compromise and set the temperature to 65 degrees, with Sally adding another blanket on her side so she can be comfortable.

Get Rid of Ice and Snow Buildups with Heat Mats or Cables

Snow and ice accumulating on your roof during the winter can really become a problem. A flat roof can collapse under the weight of snow and ice can build up and block gutters, which could result in leaks inside of your home. Heat mats are an option you should consider if your roof is usually covered in snow during the winter and if ice buildups can be a problem. Heat mats can melt snow and ice so that the water can safely drain at a slow pace. Find out here how heat mats can help protect your home in the winter


Snow & Ice Are Automatically Melted

Most people think about the interior of their home when they think about heating system. However, it is possible to rely on a heating system to eliminate snow and ice buildup on your roof during the winter. Installing heat mats directly under your roof is a very efficient way to prevent snow and ice buildups by keeping the surface of your roof warm enough to make snow and ice melt. It is also possible to get the same result by installing some heat cables on the roof and near the gutters.

Heat mats are a good option if you are having a home built or want to have your roof replaced since they need to be placed under the shingles. It is a lot more affordable to have cables installed if you do not plan on replacing your roof. Cables can be installed along the entire gutter system to avoid ice buildups and blockages. If you opt for heat mats, choose heat mats that include sensors so that the heat mats turn on whenever a certain temperature or humidity level is reached.Heat Mats

Is Installing Heating Elements On Your Roof a Good option?

There is a much cheaper way to get rid of the ice and snow that accumulates on your roof. You can always climb on your roof and clean it. However, this takes time and can be dangerous. You would have to climb a ladder in cold and possibly icy conditions and might have a hard time getting rid of all the ice that accumulates in the gutters. Climbing on the roof to clean it is very dangerous since there could be ice under a layer of snow.

Installing some heating elements on your roof or under the shingles is definitely worth it since you will not have to climb on your roof anymore. Heat mats and cables use low voltage power to heat up the roof and gutters, which means they will not cause your electric bills to skyrocket.