The weather is getting colder and it’s had many of us looking to turn the heating back on, despite the rising costs of doing so. But what happens if all isn’t as it should be with your plumbing and you’ve found yourself left in the cold?
Unfortunately, winter weather can cause problems for your home heating system, making your boiler run badly once you start it up and sometimes it might not even start at all.
Thankfully, these plumbing problems can be avoided. Having a boiler service in the months before winter kicks in will help to ensure your boiler doesn’t let you down. It will also enable your boiler to run as efficiently as possible, saving money on your bills, in addition to keeping your home nice and warm.
Boiler problems aren’t the only winter plumbing problems you might find this year, however.
There’s also the potential for frozen pipes, cold radiators, floods and leaks, but the good news is, to prevent them from happening, there are some winter plumbing maintenance steps you can take to keep you warm and free from costly repair bills.
Take a look at the following winter plumbing maintenance tips:
Avoid frozen pipes
When water freezes in your pipes as the temperatures plummet, it will expand, then crack the pipe and potentially cause a pipe burst.
The pipes most likely to be impacted are in higher places, such as an attic, or those nearest outside walls.
One of the easiest ways to keep your pipes from freezing is to keep your heating on. However, in this day and age, with soaring costs of living, it’s not always possible. Instead, look to insulate your pipes using foam padding sleeves and insulation tape. The autumn months are the perfect time to be prepared for winter plumbing problems such as frozen pipes.
In addition, check your pipes for any leaks or cracks which are already there. If they aren’t in good condition then again this could mean trouble in your home.
Winter plumbing maintenance for cold radiators
When your radiators aren’t working well, then there’s a really useful winter plumbing tip which will enable you to tackle the problem yourself, instead of paying out for costly repairs.
Before you blame your boiler for the problem, it might just be that your radiators need bleeding. This involves releasing the excess air which has become trapped in the radiator, in order to allow hot water to travel through.
You can bleed the radiators with a key that you twist at one end of the heater. You will notice first that air will come out and then water (remember to have some towels or a bowl to hand to catch the mess). Once water is flowing out of the radiator, you know your radiator is clear.
Bleeding your radiators is a winter plumbing tip which could save you a costly call out charge, so, make sure to try this before ringing for a plumber.
Clean up your garden
The leaves are falling rapidly from the trees and in the blustery autumn wind, they can end up causing blockages in places they shouldn’t, such as your drains. This, in turn, can lead to floods and broken exterior pipes.
That’s why another good winter plumbing tip is to clear up the dead leaves and twigs which have fallen in your garden – it’s also a great way to get healthy winter sunshine to the grass beneath.
While you’re at it, think about disconnecting your hose pipe and storing it for the winter. Again, the excess water left in the tube can freeze and expand, which can affect the connecting tip and pipework.
This autumn, your best winter plumbing tips are ones which will enable you to get on top of problems quickly and prevent them from escalating in the colder conditions.
Contact Paine Manwaring for professional help and advice from your plumbing experts this autumn and winter. Our emergency team is also on standby for any potential winter plumbing problems you face which you can’t deal with yourself.