Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Winter

Have you ever tried the pop can in the freezer experiment? If you have ever tried this experiment you will know that the pop will freeze and explode. Well, just like the pop, if the water in your pipes freeze it will expand and your pipes will burst causing thousands of dollars of damage and headache. Here are a few tips that Clear Drain has put together to help you prepare your home for the freezing temperatures of Southern Alberta, and what to do in cause of a plumbing emergency.

  • Install pipes in an insulated and heated place. Avoid attics and garages whenever possible.
  • Bury pipes lower in the ground, below the frost line
  • Take the time and money now to insulated any exposed pipes in your home especially in the attic. Insulation benefits not only your heating system, but also your plumbing! Insulation keeps pipes from freezing, which can lead to long-term problems.
  • Circulating warm air helps keep pipes in the walls from freezing. Keep your house temperature above 13 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing and open cabinet doors under sinks and faucets and near exterior walls to help circulate warm air and keep pipes warmer.
  • If you currently notice slower water flow and expect frozen pipes, you should call Clear Drain immediately. Often time’s issues like this can be resolved before any damage occurs.
  • When it’s really cold outside, let water drip from your faucets overnight. Because moving water can’t freeze, sometimes all it takes is
    a little running water to keep your pipes in good shape. If your pipes DO freeze, call Clear Drain—we know what to do to avoid more serious complications like burst pipes or water damage.
  • If your faucets don’t run water it is a good indicator that your pipes may be frozen. If this happens, keep your faucet turned on and then call us.
  • Don’t use electrical appliances near areas of standing water. You’ll get electrocuted!
  • Don’t try to thaw the pipe yourself. This could be a fire or electrical hazard. You’re safety is our utmost concern, so call us before you try to fix this plumbing problem yourself.
  • A frozen pipe can lead to a burst pipe. If your pipe has already burst, shut off your home’s main water valve. This will help prevent water damage.
  • Locate your main water valve and label it, checking occasionally that it is working properly. Everyone in the home should know where your main valve is located in the event of an emergency.
  • Whilst you are looking find where other service valves are located. Label them and check from time to time that they are working correctly.
  • Find the location of any drain valves on the system too. These can be used in an emergency to empty your water and central heating systems (once the source of heat has been put out).
  • Inspect your cold water storage cistern (tank) regularly and, if it is metal, make sure it is not corroding.
  • Check your flexible hosepipes to appliances at regular intervals.
  • When it snows make sure to check that your drainage system is not blocked. If it is you could have problems with your sump pump line which could cause indoor flooding. The best thing to do when it snows is clear the area around the drain with a shovel before the snow starts melting. Don’t risk it! Fix it! Call Clear Drain if you think there is cause for concern.