A lot of calls are going to come into Metro West plumbers over the next several weeks. Massachusetts plumbing contractors are going to get calls about frozen pipes, broken garbage disposals, burst pipes, clogged drains, and leaking faucets.
Some of these things are going to happen because our home have a lot more traffic over the holiday season than it sees during other times of the years. Some of these calls are going to go out because it is simply time—nothing lasts forever, even the best plumbing. And, some of these calls are going to go out because of the weather. The freezing temperatures of a New England winter can wreak havoc on our homes. Our plumbing isn’t safe from the frigid cold either.
If you have any plumbing outside your home and above ground, take the time to insulate it. You can usually buy foam insulation for outdoor pipes at a local hardware store. With a carpenters’ knife, you can cut the foam to size and use it to wrap the pipes. You may use something like duct tape to help keep the foam in place to help prevent your pipes from freezing. If you do go through this, do not forget to go back and check on the foam throughout the colder months. If it were to get displaced or damage, it is not going to serve its purpose.
Another thing you can do to help prevent pipes in your home from freezing over the course of the winter is to keep the temperature up. This is especially true if the home is a vacation home or cabin, or you plan on leaving your home for a prolonged period of time—a weekend or more. Even if you are leaving for work and trying to save some money, it is not a good idea to turn off the heat completely. You want to keep the temperature in the house usually at least 50 degrees. Dropping it lower than this, especially with water being pumped in from the cold outside, can make it too easy for pipes to freeze. Also, it is a good idea to open up cupboards, cabinets, and closets that house plumbing, so that they can get the proper ventilation and the benefit of the warmth in the home.
Something else we often forget is to be sure we are using our plumbing regularly. Those of us who live in areas with hard water are probably more familiar with the concept of running water through faucets, into tubs, and flushing toilets even if we do not use them. If you have guest bathrooms, or parts of the home with running water that you hardly go into, it is important to keep water flowing through those pipes. Turn on the faucets, flush the toilets, and it’s a good idea during the winter months to do this at least once a week.
Burst pipes can cause all sorts of problems. You can have flooding, damaged walls, moisture between floors, and more. Beyond that, you are going to need emergency plumbing services. If it happens while you are away or have guests over for the holidays, it becomes even more problematic. Before you have to call a Metro West plumber for burst pipes, take some steps to avoid freezing pipes in the beginning.