PLUMBING IN WINTER
Over the festive period, be aware that your home’s plumbing system will be putting in overtime to handle all the extra cooking, flushing, showering, and washing, on top of the additional strain from the colder weather. At Staunch and Flow Ltd, we advise all homeowners to make sure their plumbing system is geared up for the holidays.
STAUNCH & FLOW WINTER CHECKLIST
Disconnect all hoses and sprinkler systems in the fall. If you have an air compressor, you might want to carefully clear out your sprinkler lines to rid them of excess waster. Ensure that outdoor spigots and fixtures are clear of leaks, and address any problems before the weather turns cold. Insulate any exposed pipes with sleeves or wrapping, including those in your garage or crawl space.
Ensure that rain water has an unrestricted flow so it doesnt collect on your roof or gutters. Be sure to regularly clear out leaves as they accumulate throughout the fall.
Having extra guests, and plenty of opportunities for downing a few glasses of mulled wine, spiced cider and other beverages means your house plumbing system stays busy. Try to spread out your showers throughout the day, and clear your shower head of mineral deposits using a store-bought limescale remover treatment to avoid a false decrease in pressure.
Always avoid pouring cooking oil down your kitchen sink. Likewise, don’t block your garbage disposal with stringy foods or fruit pips. If water pressure can be an issue, you might choose to run the dishwasher overnight to preserve it when your house guests might want to wash
Don’t risk a leaky or broken pipe when you should be carving up that turkey; keep your house plumbing system ready for double duty. A professional inspection is the best way to ensure that your water heater lasts through the winter. With that, you might also consider an inspection of the sewage, furnace and septic systems.
It is important to hire a Gas Safe-registered Engineer to service your boiler at least once every twelve months. This should identify any potential faults which could lead to a system malfunction.
To avoid boiler malfunction it is advisable to insulate any pipework that’s exposed (even in loft space) – this includes the condensate drain, as well as cold/hot pipework.
Bleed all the radiators in your property (especially those at the highest points of your system). If you need one, pop to the local hardware shop for a radiator key. Have a clean rag and a small tray with you to catch any run-off. Ensure that when the system is on, heat is being distributed evenly across the surface area of the radiator. If it isn’t, then power flushing the system is recommended.
Fit a programmable room thermostat to operate the system effectively in cold weather. This will give a more substantial control which will react to temperature and time rather than just time.
If you are going away, leave the Rayburn on and turn on the heating side on your return, If you have a room stat, turn it down to between 5-10 degrees. If you don’t have a room stat, we would strongly recommend having one fitted – you’ll realise considerable savings and make your property much more comfortable to live in. The hot water side can be turned off. If you have an AGA, then turn the main burner off but leave the pilot on. This will stop condensation building up, as well as keeping the flue warm, so it will light up easily when you come to switch it back on.