How to Protect Your Plumbing System from Freezing

plumbing system

The winter season can have devastating effects on drains, water heaters and pipes in Edmonton. Burst and frozen pipes are very common. If left unchecked, plumbing problems can increase water consumption in your house, which in return attracts huge plumbing repair and water bills.

The winter season can have devastating effects on drains, water heaters and pipes in Edmonton. Burst and frozen pipes are very common, a situation that has raised a lot of concern among Alberta homeowners. If left unchecked, plumbing problems can increase water consumption in your house, which in return attracts huge plumbing repair and water bills. You can, however, prevent all this from happening and have a trouble free winter by winterizing your home plumbing system.

Vulnerable Water Pipes

Your home’s plumbing system is the most vulnerable during winter in Edmonton. To prevent frozen or burst pipes, and eliminate the need to contact a plumbing contractor, you should strive to ensure the plumbing system is well taken care of and serviced.  It is hard to identify or take note of a leaking pipe in winter, which means more water will be lost hence increasing water bills at the end of it all.  You could also experience interrupted water supply due to the same.

When exposed to freezing temperatures, water pipes expand due to pressure thus making them vulnerable to bursting. Research shows that frozen pipes do not burst due to ice buildup inside, but due to frequent freezing and expansion.

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How to Protect a Plumbing System

The best way to prevent flooding in your home is by shutting off the main water valve as soon as you notice a slight leakage. Although a reactionary measure, this can save you bid in both resources and time.  Taking precautionary and preventing measures with your home’s plumbing system is a bold move, as it can help save you tons of frustration especially during the winter season.

Bust and leaking pipes waste thousands of liters of water every day. Winterizing can, however, help prevent the same, as you will have taken all the preventing measures in preparation for the cold season.  Here are a few winterizing tips:

Ensure all pipes are insulated.

Tubular sleeves and pipe wraps are the most common pipe insulation materials in the market today.

Tubular sleeves consist either a rubber insulation or foam, which have a self-sealing capability. These are the most effective and recommended especially when there are many pipes to insulate. Insulating with tubular sleeves is very easy, all you need to do is split open the sleeve then wrap it around the pipes.

Pipe wraps are available in fiberglass or regular plastic materials.   Some manufacturers also use rubber pipe insulation tape, foil-backed fiberglass or even foil-back natural cotton to produce pipe wraps.  To securely wrap the pipe, wrap the material around the pipe, and then secure both ends with a duct tape.  Ensure you cover the pipe with at least ½ inches of wrapping, and you leave no part exposed.

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Check for Cracks in Pipes

Cracked pipes allow air into the pipes, which can cause freezing or make the cracks widen.  Pipes crack due to exposure to heat especially from a water heater running for extended periods of time. To deal with the crack menace, you can:

•    Use a heavy rubber strip to patch the pipe
•    Use a waterproof tape to seal the cracked section
•    Use a compound stick to fill the crack
•    Use epoxy paste to seal the crack
•    Alternatively replace the cracked pipe.

Ensure The Plumbing System Is In Good Shape

Ensure all valves and faucets are operating properly. Any clogged or leaking pipes should be serviced to ensure they do not freeze due to the cold weather.  You should also ensure all exposed pipes are properly sealed to prevent freezing.

Stop Drafts

All gaps in windows, doors, and even the attic should be covered completely to prevent cold are from penetrating into the house. It’s the cold air outside that freezes pipes causing all the menace associated with the same.

Outdoor Taps

If you use a hosepipe to water the garden, ensure the valve is turned off, then drain all the water from the pipe and taps as well.

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Why Should You Protect Your Plumbing System?

1.    To eliminate frozen pipes. Insulated pipes do not succumb to low temperatures and remain operation throughout the winter season.

2.    Curb expensive repairs:   By insulating water pipes, you prevent freezing and sweating on the same. Freezing and sweating are the principle reasons why plumbing systems fail during winter due to dropping temperatures.

3.    Prevents flooding. Un- insulated pipes are vulnerable to freezing and bursting. Burst or leaking pipes cause flooding that can wreak havoc in your home.

4.    Prevent loss of heat.  Most homes in Edmonton depend on their central heating system for hot water in their bathrooms, shower, and the kitchen. If the pipes delivering the hot water aren’t insulated, they lose lots of heat through radiation.

By getting your home ready for the winter season, you will be protecting yourself against plumbing problems that surface when the season is at its peak.  If you are unsure of your home’s plumbing system, you should then call a professional plumber to check it out.

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September 18th, 2016 by Lief Simons
About Lief Simons

Lief Simons is the President of Plumbers Edmonton Ltd., which specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling installation, repair and servicing. For same day 24/7 service, call 587-408-3450.