The freezing temperatures of winter can cause substantial damage to your plumbing. Aside from frozen pipes, low winter temperatures can cause clogged drains. Although plumbing systems do not require routine maintenance, you should take winter precautions. The best way to avoid clogs is to prevent them in the first place. Here are six tips for preventing clogged drains this winter.
1. Clean the Area Around Your Drains
Keep the area around a drain clean as the chance of obstruction increases in the winter. Assess the drains for debris, such as leaves, which can quickly enter and clog them. When the snow melts, water flows through the debris, carrying it along. Keeping your drains and waterways clean means less waste accumulates and enters your system. Rake and clean up the dirt around your drain system every week.
2. Don’t Put Grease Down Your Sink
Grease can quickly clog your pipes. You’re presumably cooking more than usual this time of year, which means your kitchen is probably messy. Remind yourself and others in your family that grease, oil and fat should never be dumped down the drain. Store this material in a small container until it hardens and can be disposed of.
3. Frequently Pour Hot Water on Plumbing Pipes
Extremely cold temperatures can sometimes cause a clogged drain. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water in the pipes may freeze. Hot water will melt many substances trapped in your pipes. You will need frequent flushes through the system so that everything gets flushed out before any buildup occurs.
4. Replace Plastic Drains With Metal Drains
Consider utilizing metal drains rather than plastic drains throughout the winter season. Galvanized steel drainpipes used in gutters and grates are less susceptible to freezing temperatures and water expansion. As a result, they are less likely to break in the cold. Galvanized steel drainpipes can also withstand more weight than plastic drainpipes when heavy snow or ice accumulates in the drainpipe.
5. Keep Your Gutters Clean
You should always keep your gutters clean, especially during the winter season. This will help prevent clogs when snow and other debris build up in the gutters and freeze. Failure to clear your gutters and drain runoff from melting snow and ice can lead to leaks and foundation problems. During the winter, when channels become clogged with debris, these waterways can flood with water. The weight of ice buildup can tear gutters away from the roof, causing damage that will require professional repair.
6. Have a Professional Examine Your Stop Valve
You should also hire an expert to inspect your stop valve. During the winter, you should have it checked regularly. Because your stop valve may corrode with time, it’s best to have it opened and closed several times every few weeks to verify it’s functioning correctly.
If your drains are clogged, it’s time to clear them up. Reach out to PHD Plumbing in Yuma, AZ, for all your drain cleaning needs.