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5 Winter Plumbing Tips and Tricks

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 3:27pm

The cold air and heavy precipitation in Oneida poses unique risks, and if you don’t take precautions, you could wind up with significant repair bills once spring rolls in. You can avoid winter plumbing problems in just a few simple steps by following these plumbing tips for a safe and comfortable winter transition:

  1. Maintain indoor temperatures above 55 degrees. To save money, start by adjusting your thermostat to make your home colder while people are sleeping or away at work and school. This will lower your bills considerably, unless you take it too far. Allowing your indoor temperature to get too low is an invitation for freezing pipes. Once frozen, it doesn’t take much for your plumbing to develop cracks and leaks. These residential plumbing problems can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, so make sure you work against them. Keep your indoor temperature high enough to keep most of your pipes safe.
  2. Insulate your pipes. If the outdoor temperature gets low enough, it won’t matter how warm it is in your home. Your plumbing – particularly the pipes running through exterior walls – will be at risk for freezing. Wrapping pipes in insulation and filling exterior wall cavities with spray foam will keep your plumbing warm.
  3. Keep ice and snow away from your home. As winter winds blow and piles of snow form next to your home, it’s important to shovel them away from your foundation. Do this before temperatures are warm enough to melt snow and ice, so you can prevent run-off from flowing into your basement. Divert water into areas of the yard where it’s not likely to melt and run back inside. Basement and crawlspace walls and flooring can be seriously damaged by melting snow, not to mention the furnace, water heater and other equipment.
  4. Clear the area above your septic system. Your septic system relies on a clear drain field in order to process your family’s waste. Try to keep the ground above your septic tank and sewage system clear. Also make sure the water you’re diverting away from your home – particularly water that may be contaminated by a soft water system – isn’t allowed to pool near the septic tank or drain field. Certain chemicals can kill off the bacteria your waste management system relies on.
  5. Use humidity to keep your home comfortable at a lower cost. More furnaces and air conditioners today include humidity control features. The amount of moisture in the air has a noticeable impact on how warm or cool you feel. When there’s a high amount of water already in the air around you, it doesn’t wick as much sweat from your skin. This allows your body heat to stay where it belongs and for your home to feel warmer without you adjusting the thermostat at all. Of course, more than 60 percent humidity often leads to the formation of mold and mildew, so keep an eye on appropriate levels. The right balance will result in improved indoor comfort and lower bills.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida is here for you if you experience any plumbing problems this winter. Contact us right away, and we’ll get you back on track before you experience significant damage.

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