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When it comes to preventing costly repair jobs around your home, one of the most important things to focus on is your plumbing system. Not only can frozen pipes cause a tremendous amount of damage, but other issues such as leaking faucets, seized sump pumps, and dripping toilets can also be a huge hassle to deal with during the winter months.
To help you save time and money this winter, our team of plumbing experts have compiled this list of the top 5 plumbing maintenance service tips you can use to prevent plumbing problems in your home.
1) Clear Out Your Sump Pump
In colder climates where the ground freezes during the winter months, keeping your sump pump in good working order is an important part of regular plumbing maintenance service. While it’s unlikely that you’ll need your sump pump when the mercury dips below freezing, once the temperatures start to rise in the spring, you’ll rely on your sump pump to keep your basement or crawlspace dry and free of melting ice and snow.
Make sure that the area around your sump pump is completely clear of any obstructions, and if your pump needs lubricating, now’s the time to check the oil level.
2) Double-Check Your Outdoor Faucets
If you checked off your fall plumbing maintenance service list and made sure your outdoor faucets were shut off, great. If not, it’s time to go out and ensure that all of your outdoor faucets have been drained of any standing water, and that the faucet is firmly set in the off position.
You’ll also want to double-check that all of your water hoses have been disconnected, completely drained and stored away, since any standing water in your hoses will freeze and expand. This expansion will crack your hoses, rendering them useless once the warm weather rolls around.
3) Clean Out Your P-Traps
Another plumbing maintenance service project that should be completed mid-winter is p-trap clean-out. The p-trap is a gravity-fed trap in the drainpipe below your household sinks that’s designed to prevent debris from travelling further down through your drain system, where the debris can cause an even bigger problem.
This is a messy job that nobody enjoys doing because it involves crawling underneath sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms. You’ll also need a bucket that fits firmly under the drainpipes to catch the standing water and debris, and a set of channel lock pliers or adjustable plumbing wrench to remove the slip joint nuts on either side of the trap. If you’re at all squeamish, you might want to don a pair of waterproof gloves, because the debris that comes out of the p-trap is usually slimy and smelly.
Keeping your p-traps clear is critical to maintaining good drainage at your sinks, particularly during the winter months when your kitchen sink tends to be heavily used for holiday meals. If this sounds like a job you’d rather leave to the experts, you can have your p-traps cleaned out as part of a preventative plumbing maintenance service.
4) Keep Your Pipes from Freezing
One of the most common reasons why homeowners need emergency plumbing repair during the winter months is to deal with frozen pipes. Many people are surprised to learn that cold temperatures outside can cause interior pipes to freeze, and when that happens, the pipes can burst.
Trust us when we say that nobody wants to deal with burst water pipes, particularly during freezing cold temperatures. Burst pipes can quickly lead to catastrophic damage to your walls, foundation and electrical system, and in many cases, homeowner insurance policies don’t cover situations caused by a homeowners’ failure to keep up with their regular plumbing maintenance service.
While keeping your thermostat turned down can be a great way to save on your home energy costs, it’s a good idea to consult with a local plumber to find out what temperature your house should be kept at to protect against freezing pipes. This is especially important if you have a home where the pipes run through a garage or other areas that may be lacking in the insulation that’s required to protect against freezing.
5) Get Your Plumbing System Checked by a Licensed Plumber
Mid-winter is the ideal time to have preventative plumbing maintenance service performed on your home because many construction projects either slow down or stop altogether during the winter months. This means that skilled tradespeople like plumbers are often more available in the winter than they are during the busy summer construction season, making it easier for homeowners to schedule a plumber on a time and day that works best for their family.
Having plumbing maintenance service performed mid-winter also gives you the chance to spot any issues that you need to address long before you head out on your summer vacation.
Contact bluefrog Plumbers to Book Your Mid-Winter Plumbing Maintenance Service
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s especially true when it comes to the plumbing system in your home, because it’s much easier, and far more affordable, to have regular preventative maintenance service performed than it is to deal with a plumbing emergency.
Here at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, our team of fully licensed and insured plumbers have the skills, experience and specialized tools it takes to keep your plumbing system in top shape. Our plumbing maintenance service is designed to address potential problems with your pipes, sump pump and drains long before a problem happens, and that saves you time and money.
Contact us today to learn more about our plumbing maintenance service, and to connect with a local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain specialist in your neighborhood.