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There are a lot of challenges when it comes to owning a home during the winter, but you can overcome all the obstacles with a little bit of hard work. One of the most important things you can do as a Timberlane, LA, homeowner is make sure you’re getting the plumbing system in your home ready for the winter. If you want to avoid calling plumbers all winter long and make sure your plumbing system is ready for the cold weather, here’s what you need to know.
1. Burst Pipes
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to how winter affects your plumbing system is that it doesn’t have to get that cold for water to freeze. When water freezes, it expands. When water freezes inside of a pipe, that expansion can cause the pipe to crack or break completely, which means water can flow out of the pipe freely when it thaws out again. This is one of the most common calls plumbers deal with during the winter.
The good news about burst pipes is that you can do things to keep your pipes from freezing in the first place. Before winter and freezing temperatures arrive, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look at your home to see if there are any pipes that are susceptible to freezing. Generally, pipes in exterior walls or walls with poor insulation are the most likely to freeze. If there are any pipes in your home that may be at risk of freezing, plumbers can insulate them or wrap them in heat tape to keep them warm.
2. Clogged Drains
No matter what time of year it is, clogged drains can be a big problem. However, winter is a particularly dangerous time for drain clogs because people tend to spend more time inside during the winter. This is why you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid clogging your drains during the winter.
Garbage disposals are the biggest culprit when it comes to drain clogs because homeowners often use them wrong. If you’re putting a bunch of food down your garbage disposal every day, you need to change your habits. While garbage disposals are designed to break down food so it goes down the drain more easily, they’re more of a last line of defense. Plus, there are certain foods that can cause your garbage disposal to clog quickly, such as egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable stalks and fatty foods.
3. Water Heater Care
You need to have hot water during the winter, but most people don’t make an effort to stay on top of water heater maintenance. If you haven’t had your water heater inspected or flushed in a while, it’s a good idea to have plumbers do that now so you don’t end up with a broken water heater in the middle of winter.
The other thing a lot of homeowners fail to realize when it comes to water heaters is that they don’t actually last that long. A water heater is designed to last about 10 to 12 years, but that’s only if you take good care of it. Your water heater may fail as soon as 8 years if you have hard water or don’t have your water heater repaired and flushed. If you’re not sure whether or not your water heater is ready to be replaced, you can have a professional take a closer look at it.
4. Heating Your Home
Another thing you have to consider when it comes to winter plumbing care is the temperature of your Timberlane, LA, home. Since burst pipes are a result of the pipes in your home getting too cold, you want to make sure your home is warm enough that you’re not contributing to the problem. That doesn’t mean you have to heat your home excessively, but you may be able to avoid hiring plumbers to fix a burst pipe by turning your heat up 5 or 10 degrees.
If you prefer a cooler home and aren’t willing to turn your heat up, it’s even more important to have plumbers inspect your home for at-risk pipes and insulate them. Preventing burst pipes is arguably the most important thing you can do in terms of winter plumbing maintenance, so it’s not worth saving a small amount on electricity and risking a burst pipe.
5. Watch Your Water Bill
You also need to keep an eye on your water bill during the winter and call plumbers if you notice anything out of the ordinary. While your water bill may fluctuate a bit here and there, a sudden spike is a sign that you’ve got a leak somewhere in your home. If your water bill goes up hundreds of dollars over the course of a month, you could have a burst pipe leaking somewhere that you aren’t noticing.
Sometimes a high water bill is a result of a running toilet. If you notice your toilet still making noise 10 or 15 minutes after you’ve flushed it, you probably have a bad flapper that’s causing it to run constantly. It’s important to have this fixed as soon as possible since a running toilet can cost you hundreds each month.
Make the Call
The last thing you want is to have no hot water or deal with a major plumbing problem during the middle of winter. As long as you keep an eye out for problems and get your home properly prepared for winter, you don’t have to worry too much about that.
If you need a helping hand getting your home ready for winter, the plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans can help. To learn more about preparing your plumbing system for winter or schedule an appointment with one of our plumbers, call us at 504-457-7204 today.