Plumbing is one of the oldest and most vitally important of all disciplines that make our lives livable. Without good plumbing, you open yourself up to a truly endless list of potential problems. This is because you will still need to drink water, and without good plumbing, that water can be coming from all sorts of contaminated sources. Alternatively, it could be contaminated by the bad plumbing itself.
What a shame then that across the USA, millions of households have seriously substandard plumbing. The biggest problem is the lead contamination. This is a very dire reflection on the quality of water provision in this country, as lead plumbing was banned in the 1980s and yet persists in many households today.
Synergy Science, a company specializing in alternative water products such as filtered or purified water, say that this is one of the biggest reasons for the interest in their products. Lead is known – and has been known for a while – to cause mental illness when consumed over lengthy periods of time.
Another problem millions of Americans face every winter is the problem of pipes freezing and the water supply simply being cut off. And frozen pipes are usually found to be damaged again by the time they thaw.
Until the nation’s plumbing is properly overhauled, learning to deal with frozen pipes in winter is simply something that millions of Americans living in the colder states will have to do. Luckily, there are ways of going about it. It’s a shame though that the government doesn’t handle this but learning how to manage these things yourself is availing yourself of some very handy skills indeed.
Prevention is Key
As with so many problems in life, prevention is always preferable to having to deal with an issue after it has occurred. To prevent pipes freezing in the first place, you can follow these tips:
Drain Water from Unnecessary Supply Lines
And that means for things like swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines, which you can think of as pipes you simply don’t need to have water in. Drain them long before the freeze, and these pipes are safe. This will also prevent pressure building up in other pipes.
Open Outdoor Hose Bibs
This will allow water to drain. The principle is simply that there should be no water laying around in pipes by the time the cold weather comes along.
Consider Insulation Products
These are things like pipes sleeves and heat tape. Check what pipes you have that are most exposed and use these insulating products. If you apply them before the winter comes along, your pipes might not freeze at all.
During Cold Weather and After
After the winter is here and the freeze has set in, it is wise to keep an eye on the pipes and practice good habits to stop them freezing. You should keep garage doors closed if this is where your pipes are. In the kitchen, you can also open cabinet doors – under the sink and so on – to allow warm air in your house to circulate more easily around pipes.
When the thaw sets in, it is best to deal with frozen pipes while keeping the faucet open. As a little water begins to thaw, this flow will help the rest of the ice in the pipes to melt quicker. You can also apply some heat to the frozen pipes, to get the water flowing, or use the aforementioned insulation products.
Frozen pipes are just one of the many problems besetting our nation’s plumbing networks. Learning how to deal with them means one less problem.