Although Phoenix winters aren’t as extreme as the northern states, there are usually a few nights each year when the temperature drops below freezing. Do you know how to prevent plumbing emergencies this winter? If you aren’t prepared for this, the freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing, possibly leading to an emergency.
Of course, frozen pipes aren’t the only plumbing problems that can happen in your home. From greasy leftovers down the garbage disposal to worn out hoses, plumbing care doesn’t stop just because the weather cools down. Read on to learn about five of the top ways to protect yourself and your home.
1. Insulate Exposed Pipes
Although there aren’t many days with below freezing temperatures in the Valley, frozen pipes can expose you to unnecessary plumbing emergencies. Before temperatures start to dip, take the time to insulate any exposed pipes around your home and in your basement, if you have one. This will help prevent the water inside the pipes from freezing and possibly cracking.
2. Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal
Winter is a time of celebration for many families. After a long day of cooking and enjoying time with family, it can be tempting to put everything down your garbage disposal. Wait! This handy tool can’t handle everything.
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Cooking grease is notorious for clogging pipes, which can cause leaks, burst pipes, or lead to other plumbing emergencies. Always dispose of leftover fat and grease in the trash, not in your sink, to prevent buildup from forming inside your pipes. Avoid putting bones and other hard items down your garbage disposal as well. These items can damage the blades or break the machine entirely, resulting in even more plumbing problems.
3. Watch What You Flush
Holiday parties and overnight guests mean more wear and tear on your toilets. Just like your garbage disposal, your toilet isn’t designed to flush everything.
Toilets can handle toilet paper, but beyond that be careful. So-called “flushable” wipes aren’t as safe as you might think, so put them in the trash instead of in the toilet. Avoid flushing feminine care products as well, as they can block your pipes and cause plumbing emergencies. Make sure children know the toilet is not a toy and they shouldn’t flush anything down it other than bodily functions and small amounts of toilet paper.
4. Upgrade the Hoses on Your Washing Machine
Many washing machines, particularly older models, come with rubber hoses to connect to your plumbing system. These hoses wear out over time, potentially tearing or bursting. If this happens to you, you may come home to standing water.
Switch to stainless steel hoses instead, as they’re far more durable than rubber. You won’t need to replace them as frequently either.
5. Disconnect Your Garden Hose
Toward the end of fall, go around your yard and disconnect any hoses you use for watering your garden. Just like exposed pipes, hoses and the water inside can freeze. If you need to use a hose, reconnect it temporarily.
For Current and Future Plumbing Emergencies
If you experience a plumbing emergency this winter, call the plumbers at Forrest Anderson. No matter the day or time, we’re ready to fix your plumbing emergencies.
If everything seems to be working as expected, our preventative plumbing maintenance service plan can alert you of any potential issues before they become bigger and messier problems.