Winter Plumbing Tips
While Thanksgiving and Hanukah have already passed, the holidays are still in full swing, and the large parties and vast amounts of cooking continue. With all the guests using your plumbing, and the high volume of Christmas food being churned out of the kitchen, this could turn into a backed up shower or severely clogged drain, plumbing disasters that could put a damper on festivities.
While you can find the emergency help you need at any time with our team of expert plumbing technicians, the best thing would be to avoid these plumbing situations in the first place. So here are some tips on how to enjoy the holidays and the cold winter season without the stress of plumbing disasters.
Tips for the Kitchen
First of all, it may be more important than ever to watch what goes down your kitchen drains. For example, you never want liquid fats or cooking oils to go down; they will thicken up inside of your pipes. Before rinsing out a pan, you should wipe out any grease or oils inside.
When it comes to garbage disposal, you never want to dump things like carrots, celery, banana peels, pumpkin pulp, or poultry skins. Anything that is fibrous or stringy cannot be ground down. Before you do send anything down the disposal, you want to turn the cold water on for 15 seconds, and you want to keep the water on until 15 seconds after you are done with the disposal. You also want the disposal to be turned on before you actually drop food in.
As for the dishwasher and the washing machine, it is best to run these at night, or at other times when the appliances’ use of hot water would not interfere with water pressure and hot water in other areas of the house. This is especially true if you have guests staying over.
Bathroom Plumbing Tips for the Holidays
When you have guests at the house, showers will have to be spaced out from one another by at least 10 minutes. This will give the water a chance to fully drain. You may also want to crank up the water heater so that the water doesn’t turn cold on anyone; just make sure that that the temperature does not go above 125° Fahrenheit.
If the shower’s water pressure decreases, you can take a plastic bag and fill it with vinegar. This bag can go over the shower head, secured by a twist tie, and the shower head can soak overnight. You can gently scrub the shower head with a toothbrush in the morning, hopefully getting rid of the minerals clogging up the shower head.
Keep Your Pipes from Freezing
Once the water inside of a pipe freezes, the expansion will cause the pipe to crack. As the water expands it can further make the water pressure increase drastically, creating enough pressure to make other pipes fail. The pipes you need to keep an eye, in particular, would be in the attic, garage, crawl spaces and outdoor walls, places where the pipes are exposed to frigid temperatures.
This is why, if you can, you should install pipes in insulated or heated areas, or underground, under the frost line. Right now, you can wrap your pipes with insulation or put sleeves over them. You also want to keep faucets on at a drip when things get really cold, which can be enough to keep from a burst pipe.
If a pipe cracks or bursts, then you need to take quick steps to turn off the water supply and patch up any leaks before you call a plumber to solve the problem. If you come across a frozen pipe, you will want to call a plumbing expert as soon as possible before the problem gets worse. You can find the quick and excellent service you need at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc. Schedule service with an experienced Kansas City plumber today!