Attention new homeowners and residents who are new to the Southeastern Massachusetts area. If you do not have personal experience living in and maintaining a home in the northeastern states during the late fall and winter season, you might not be aware of all the unique challenges that come with home ownership in this part of the country. This article is geared at homeowners in Fall River, New Bedford and Cape Cod, as well as homeowners in Rhode Island or anywhere else in New England. These tips can help save you a lot of money on costly repairs and maintenance as a result of inexperience in this area.
In addition to cold weather, the late fall and winter season is a time for added guests and family members throughout the holidays. The more people in your home, the more chance there is to experience a plumbing emergency. Toilets being flushed with high frequency, sinks being used for washing hands and extra laundry or dishes can really add up quickly.
Even a one-time holiday party with just a few guests or families can put a strain on your plumbing with all the extra water and bathroom use. So you can imagine the impact house guests that stay for any length of time might have on your home. This is just one of the reasons why plumbing repair calls are high this time of year.
Increased Kitchen Use
Homeowners in Fall River and all throughout this part of the country tend to do a lot more cooking and baking this time of year. As a result, many plumbing repairs and maintenance issues are directly caused by improper use of drains and disposals. Speak with your residential service provider to find out about any tips that will help reduce plumbing repairs and other issues if you have specialized equipment.
Meals served during the holidays often result in a lot of food and grease making their way into the garbage disposal or kitchen drain. Despite your best efforts, not everyone will be as careful with the things they put in the disposal as you would be. Try putting an extra trash can next to the sink so guests will be more likely to put food in the trash instead of down your drain. Using paper plates can help, as guests can just dump the whole thing rather than ever having to rinse plates and take the chance of dumping food.
Winter Plumbing Tips for Avoiding Plumbing Repairs in the Kitchen
While some of these tips can be applied year-round, others are more specific to the winter season. The increase in baking, cooking and large holiday meals can really make a big impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your household plumbing system.
- run cold water in the sink for about 15 seconds prior to running the garbage disposal to make sure excess waste gets down into the main line
- do not put hard or fibrous waste into the garbage disposal, such as pumpkin pulp, banana peels, celery, carrots or turkey skin
- avoid cooking oils or fats getting into the drain – wipe congealed grease from pots and pans before rinsing or washing dishes
- make sure that the garbage disposal is already running before you add food to the sink – don’t fill it up and then switch it on
Hot Water Issues
In the winter months, your hot water heater can be working overtime to keep up with all the showers in your home. Try to spread out the showers throughout the day and wait at least 10 minutes between each shower to allow time for the hot water heater to keep up. You can also turn the water heater up slightly during the daytime to retain hot water, just make sure you never raise it higher than 125-degrees to prevent scalding or burns.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
One of the most expensive plumbing repairs and issues that face homeowners in Fall River and throughout the northeastern states is frozen pipes. Learning how to prevent frozen pipes is the best way to avoid this costly expense. When water freezes inside of a pipe, the pipe will expand and crack. When the water expands into ice it can also cause an increase in water pressure, creating excessive pressure throughout your entire plumbing system. The result is pipe failure, particularly in the most vulnerable places of your home.
The most vulnerable places include crawl spaces, attics, garages and outside walls that have the highest potential of becoming frozen. You can prevent frozen pipes by performing a few common sense maintenance tasks around your home and by learning how and why pipes can ultimately freeze in the winter months.
Winter Plumbing Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes
The tips in this section are more specific to plumbing repair issues in the late fall, winter and early spring months when sudden freezing temperatures can occur. Some of the preventative maintenance tips can be done in the warmer months in advance of the winter season to help avoid costly repairs.
- make sure the area around your vulnerable pipes is well-insulated
- underground pipes should be buried lower in the ground, below the frost line
- wrap pipes with insulation sleeves
- avoid installing new plumbing in garages or attics when possible
- letting a faucet drop can prevent a pipe from bursting in extreme cold weather
What To Do If You Suspect You Have Frozen Pipes
Understanding the symptoms of frozen pipes, which includes a slower or stopped water flow in any room of your home, can help you to get emergency plumbing repair services before your pipes burst. If you catch it quick enough you can take care of the problem before any damage actually occurs.
- homeowners in Fall River should call plumbing repair services ASAP if they suspect frozen pipes
- immediately turn off the water main to prevent flooding from burst pipes
- after cracked or broken pipes are repaired, insulate them properly to prevent frozen pipes in the future
Call Columbus Energies for All of Your Home Energy, HVAC and Plumbing Needs!
Columbus Energies is probably best known for providing home heating oil and propane delivery to residential and commercial customers throughout the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island region. However, they also provide a wide variety of related services, such as HVAC service and repair, residential maintenance programs, appliance sales, equipment installation and plumbing services.
Partnering with Anchor Plumbing & Heating Company, Inc., Columbus Energies is now able to offer a complete range of services to our customers to ensure that all of their equipment is running effectively and efficiently. Anchor is a a professionally licensed and reputable service with over 20 years of local experience. Contact Columbus Energies today to find out more about all of the other residential and commercial services we provide.