Winter is right around the corner here in Minnesota, and if you’ve lived here a while, you know how crucial proper winterization really is. When temperatures plummet, your home’s plumbing system is vulnerable; to protect it, you must be proactive about inspecting, cleaning, and insulating your pipes. If you’re not sure how to get started, our experts at Drain Blaster Bill can help. Below, we explain the necessary steps you need to take to make sure your drains and pipes are ready for winter.
Get a Plumbing Inspection
A professional plumbing inspection can identify areas where buildup and developing drain clogs pose a risk to your pipes. At Drain Blaster Bill, we specialize in camera drain inspections—the most efficient method of detecting blockages and buildup. We simply insert a high-definition camera into your drain openings and examine the interior of your pipes until we find an issue. Once located, we can easily remove existing debris before it forms a significant and potentially damaging drain blockage during winter. Plus, if we find any damage or weaknesses within your plumbing, you can have the pipes repaired before temperatures drop.
If You’re Leaving, Drain Your Pipes
If you plan to head south for the winter, you’ll need to drain your pipes completely before you go. Draining your plumbing system helps ensure stagnant water within the pipes does not freeze and expand while you’re away.
Because water expands as it turns to ice, it creates pressure within your plumbing. As pressure grows, it can force a leak in your pipe or worse, burst the pipe completely. If you’re gone all winter, you won’t know there’s been a leak until you return home in the spring, or until a nice neighbor notices a problem. By the time you’re aware of it, even a small leak can cause extensive damage to your home. Here’s how to properly drain your pipes:
● Start by shutting off your main water valve. If you don’t know where to find the valve, look near your water meter—it’s typically located somewhere in the same vicinity. Turn the valve until it is fully closed, meaning the handle is adjacent to the main water line.
● Once the valve is closed, turn on every faucet in your home. Let the faucets run until water stops flowing.
● Flush every toilet in your house to clear standing water from the toilet bowls and tanks. You can also add a plumbing system antifreeze to ensure any remaining water won’t freeze while you’re away.
● Leave the valve in the closed position until you return home in spring.
Have Your Drains Professionally Cleaned
Before temperatures plummet, it’s important to make sure your drains are completely free of debris buildup. Neglecting to have your drains cleaned before winter can end in disaster if minor clogs have already formed. When debris prevents water from moving smoothly through your pipes, backed up water can freeze within the pipe, potentially creating leaks near your pipes’ joints and seals.
To ensure your water flows smoothly all winter long, we can perform a camera drain inspection to find existing buildup. Once we find problematic areas within your pipes, we’ll then complete a thorough drain cleaning to remove all traces of debris.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
To protect vulnerable pipes from sub-zero temperatures, you must make sure your pipes are properly insulated. When temperatures drop, poorly insulated or uninsulated plumbing allows water to freeze and expand within your pipes, potentially leading to leaks or burst pipes. Even if you only install temporary insulation, a little protection is better than nothing at all.
To quickly and easily insulate your plumbing before winter, simply purchase foam insulation from your local hardware store. Measure your pipes and cut the insulation according to your measurements. After wrapping your pipes, you can secure the insulation using duct tape or zip ties to ensure it stays put throughout the winter.
Frozen water can also cause your plumbing to behave as though it contains a drain blockage. If you suspect ice within your pipes is causing water to drain slowly, try pouring hot water down your drain or heating the exterior of the pipe with a hairdryer.
Drain Cleaning Services and Inspections in the Twin Cities
Before winter sets in, it’s critical that you prepare your plumbing for freezing temperatures. At Drain Blaster Bill, we specialize in long-term drain cleaning solutions to ensure your plumbing remains in proper working order, year-round. We know that winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, and we’re here to help you avoid unexpected damages. When it comes to drain cleaning, we’re experts—from camera drain inspections to mainline sewer cleaning, we do it all. When you need prompt, professional, 24/7 service, give our team a call at 763-913-8719 or feel free to message us on our contact page.