Tips for Common Winter Plumbing Problems

Winter can be an especially tough season when it comes to your home’s plumbing system. Cold temperatures threaten to freeze pipes and holiday gatherings can put extra stress on your dishwasher, food disposal and drain systems. The following tips will help you avoid some of the most common winter plumbing problems:

Exposed water pipes in an unheated basement or garage often face the risk of freezing in winter. These pipes can be insulated by installing foam pipe sleeves. In extremely cold areas, adding an electric heat tape to vulnerable pipes is a good idea as well. You should also disconnect garden hoses, turn off and drain the exterior line, if possible.

Inside your home, open cabinet doors that are near plumbing lines to allow heat to circulate. You can also slightly open each faucet to keep water moving. This will prevent freezing. Also, locate and test your main water supply valve, to be sure you can shut it off in an emergency.

While working in the kitchen, NEVER wash oil down the drain, as it can congeal in cold temperatures and create a clog. Another good idea is to make sure you rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher. You might also want to rinse your food disposal with warm water for thirty seconds before and after each use. In the bathroom, avoid flushing anything but septic-safe paper down the toilet. Also, keep the drains in your sink and shower free of hair and other debris.

Install gutter guards. This will keep your gutters free of leaves and other debris and will help prevent water damage and ice dams during winter months. Keep the discharge area around the downspout clear of snow.

Keep your sump pump pit free of all debris, including ice, that may lead to clogs. Also, you’ll want to make sure the discharge area is clear.

At O’Quinn’s Plumbing Service, our goal is to help our customers in the following Loudoun County, Virginia Areas: Leesburg, Purcellville, Sterling, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Herndon, Hamilton, Ashburn, Lansdowne, Brambleton, River Creek, South Bridge, South Riding, Round Hill, Bluemont, Upperville, Waterford, Paeonian Springs learn more about plumbing and how to manage and maintain their home’s plumbing system.