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One of the worst things domestic life in Mansfield, TX can endure, is the possibility of having no hot water as winter sets in. Because when it gets cold, it gets really cold in Mansfield, TX, and the prospect of coming home to a nice warm or hot shower or bath, can be one of the season’s most underrated pleasures.
It’s then a little ironic that one of the most common problems that a plumbing and drain cleaning service like Benjamin Franklin encounters before and during winter when providing its drain cleaning service through regular maintenance and emergency call-outs, is that of no water or heating. Homeowners often find that their water has stopped running and the radiators have stopped working. And this is all because you have a frozen, and consequently, burst pipe in your house. These problems aren’t always the most straightforward to fix either.
While you can always call Benjamin Franklin, for an emergency drain cleaning service in any eventuality, there are some things you might want to consider doing in the run-up to winter to better prepare and minimize the need for that urgent drain cleaning service call.
So, here how to keep your pipes thawed throughout winter.
Fix leaks now
The smallest of leaks can seem minor when they happen and it might be tempting to put off attending to them right away. However, you should trust us when we tell you that it’s in your best interest to not put that off any longer.
Make it a priority to inspect your pipes right away, and have any and all leaks repaired. You can call a drain cleaning service like Benjamin Franklin to take a look for you as well. It’s the most reliable way that you’ll know you’ve attended to every eventuality.
Locate your water shut-off valve
Every house has a water shut-off valve and if you don’t already know where yours is, it might be an idea to fill in that gap of knowledge, sooner rather than later.
In the eventuality you do have a burst water pipe, the first thing you’ll want to do is switch the water off. The longer you let it run, the more damage it will cause to your house and the more it will cost you.
So, find out where it is, so you can find it easily should you experience a burst water pipe. The next time you have a drain cleaning service call, get your plumber to advise on you on where it is.
Service your water heater
One way to stop your pipes freezing up is to make sure your water is sufficiently heated, and so your water heater needs to be in good working order too.
Most people don’t give it a second thought but your water heater needs regular maintenance, so it stays in efficient operation, without needing regular repairs.
If you call a plumber or drain cleaning service, like Benjamin Franklin, you can get a water heater tune-up as well. A drain cleaning service can check on your temperature settings, or rid your hot water tank of sediment to stop it rusting in the long run. They can also change the anode rod, the instrument that helps prevent corrosion.
Try and get your water heater checked and drained once or twice every year to save you a great deal of future stress.
Insulate your pipes
Like wall, floor, and ceiling insulation, pipes also benefit from insulation to keep them warm, preventing freezing and expansion in the inner pipe.
Pipe insulation is easily accessible too as you can get it from most hardware stores. They are easy-to-install kits with a thermostat that helps you keep a check on the temperature of your pipes too. It can get tricky, so a professional can help fit this for you, by cutting the insulation to the right size and attaching it properly. Newspapers also work, fixed with cable ties, serving the same purpose. A plumber or drain cleaning service can also assist.
The insulation will stop the cold air from getting into the pipe as well as preventing warm air from exiting the pipes.
It’s most likely that you will tackle the pipes that you can see only. Your house will have some hidden pipes too and it may not be possible to insulate these but that doesn’t matter. It will still be worth insulating just some of your pipes to reduce the risk of freezing.
As well as your indoor plumbing, don’t forget that you should take care of your outdoor faucets, which are no less vulnerable to the elements, especially winter. And you’ll be thankful you take care of these once summer comes around. So, disconnect all your outdoor hose pipes and drain them all of water, and make sure you store them in a sheltered area like the garage or the shed where they’re shielded from the elements.
Then use a cover hose bib to insulate your faucets, as this will prevent heat loss occurring too quickly from the pipe as between the wall and the outside where it is cold. It’s a simple form of protection that’s cheap and easy to administer.
Open cupboard doors beneath sinks
Another thing you can do if you know it will be a cold night is to keep the cupboard doors open beneath the sink.
There’s a method to this madness because if you leave the doors open, you’ll be letting the warm air from the house into the cupboard space to circulate around your pipes. This warmer air could stop the pipes from freezing.
Let Taps Trickle
So keeping a small constant dribble of water from the taps might seem counterintuitive but this also helps prevent pipes from freezing, because it allows the water to move through them, without giving them a chance to freeze. Ask any drain cleaning service.
It can also act as a pressure relief valve as tension can build when pipes freeze. The idea behind the relief valve is that it can stop the pipes from cracking, and you don’t need more than a slim stream of water flowing.
Be prepared for a small uptick in your water bill but that would be nothing compared to the cost of major repairs that could occur from a burst pipe.
However, be careful not to use this tactic if your faucet is attached to an outside wall, as the drain could freeze, and then you might end up having to worry about an overflowing sink.
Heat up the house
To keep your pipes warm, you should also keep your house warm. That’s not to say that you need to keep your heating running 24 hours a day, but you can keep it at a steady temperature so it doesn’t get too cold. The temperature can drop quite quickly in the winter. Imagine going to sleep and then waking up to frozen pipes. Not an ideal scenario. allowing the temperature not to drop will be much more comfortable.
Service your furnace
While your HVAC system may be pretty reliable, all mechanical equipment needs servicing.
That’s why you should call a professional plumbing and drain cleaning service like Benjamin Franklin, to give your furnace a routine check. This is something you should implement once or twice a year, and especially before the winter season kicks in.
A routine inspection will allow you to identify any issues before they become major problems and you can get some routine cleaning done inside the system like the ductwork or the blower. A drain cleaning service professional can also change the oil filter. You can change the other filters every month as well.
An orderly HVAC system means that both your cooling and heating system in your Mansfield, TX home will be in working order, especially the latter so that you can keep your home warm enough to prevent adverse pipe freeze.
Insulate your garage door
There are many benefits to insulating your garage door, it will certainly make your garage warmer, it will make your house warmer as it connects to the house and it will lower your energy bills and keep out the noise.
It will also mean the warm air generated in your home will help stop your pipes freezing.
You can get a professional to insulate your home but there are several types of insulation you might want to consider.
Firstly, there’s batt insulation, which is often used for exterior walls, typically made from fiberglass with a paper or foil backing forming barriers to air and vapor.
Then there is foam board insulation, which is more rigid and commonly made from panels of polystyrene. It’s an effective insulation and is usually lined with vinyl or aluminum.
Reflective insulation has even more rigid construction, with a foam board and aluminum foil on either side of the insulation. It reflects heat, which means it is good for summer as well.
You should insulate the entire garage door if you have water lines inside. If you’re expecting it to get really cold then you should isolate the whole garage and look into the option of a portable heater or a heat cable as well – a tape that you can run along the surface of your pipes to heat them.
Seal around rim joists
While we’re on the subject of insulation, an area that might seem obscure to homeowners is the rim joist.
A rim joist is an area that’s ripe for a cold air leak. These are best dealt with by sealing them up with expandable foam. There are likely to be joists in the floor, and holes around where the cables and pipes pass through the walls. You can also seal these draft zones with caulk.
One thing to be aware of is that when you’re insulating, ensure there’s combustion air coming in for the furnace. It’s best to call the specialists for a job like this, a plumber or drain cleaning service is likely to be able to help as well.
These measures will ensure your home stays warm, and your pipes in good shape.
Don’t leave your home without doing this
This last tip is for those who are planning on either selling their home or leaving for a significant amount of time.
Shut off the water. And in fact call a drain cleaning service to drain your pipes.
If you’re away for a long time, especially over winter, there’s a good chance your pipes will freeze if there is any residual water left in them. The last thing you want when you return from a break is the headache of dealing with a burst pipe. No-one wants stress after a vacation. Likewise if you’re selling your home, the ramifications of leaving the new homeowners with the damage left by burst pipes and flooding are not worth thinking about.
You can also shut off other appliances that could make the place cold, like an automatic ice-maker, if you have one, as it might continuously try to make ice while you’re away. Be savvy and call our drain cleaning service if you need any more advice before you leave.
Benjamin Franklin is a well-respected plumbing and drain cleaning service that caters for Mansfield, TX, and its surrounding areas. We’re happy to offer advice for any household plumbing and drain cleaning service questions, nothing is too small or too big. Whether you’re looking to remodel or have a simple leak, we have a team of experienced drain cleaning service professionals that can visit your residential or commercial properties.
We’ll also be happy to look around your property and provide a consultation on how to better equip your home for the winter period ahead. We can assist with any of the tips outlined here. And if it’s an emergency, we’ll strive to get to your property in record time. Call us today to find out more about our drain cleaning service or get the jobs you need doing, done, for a safe and comfortable home.