Winter is Coming
With each season throughout the year comes a different plumbing maintenance issue. As winter is coming, if we combine water with freezing temperatures outside, it cause lead to an assortment of issues. Families tend to say inside more often, consuming more water, and cranking the heating up, placing an extra load on your pipes, your drains, and your heating system.
While we cannot control the weather (!), it is important to be aware of certain things you can do to minimise the risks to your plumbing and pipework:
Locate your Stop Cock
In the event of an emergency plumbing situation, minimising damage is the first priority. Often, the best way to do this is to stop the flow of water, which means being able to quickly locate the stop cock. Make sure this is easily accessible – if hidden in a cupboard, ensure that cupboard is not cluttered with items, maximising visibility of the stop cock. It is important to check the stop cock often, to ensure it is working and the handle has not seized up.
If water can become trapped in the pipes, it will cause a blockage and it could freeze. Items regularly found to block pipes include hair (from bathrooms), fat and grease deposits (from the kitchen sink). Whilst the family are indoors more often during the winter, check they are not disposing of debris down the plughole, and make sure you regularly check these for such blockages.
When the temperature drops the water in pipes can freeze. When water freezes it expands and therefore puts pressure on the surrounding pipe which in turn can lead to cracks forming. Of course, while the water remains frozen this isn’t going to cause a problem; however, as soon as the thaw comes you will either suffer a leak, or, depending on the pressure build up in the pipe in question, a full on burst. One of the simplest ways to avoid this from happening is to ensure that your pipes are properly insulated.