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Winter Checklist

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As we approach Christmas and the New Year, and all that this entails, you’ll probably be working towards a few festive gatherings of your own.

Plumbing in Winter

Over the festive period, be aware that your home’s heating and plumbing 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, we advise all homeowners to make sure their hot water, heating and plumbing systems are geared up for the holidays.

Staunch & Flow Winter Checklist

+ Secure Outdoor Lines

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 water. Ensure that outdoor spigots and fixtures are leak-free, 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.

+ Clear Your Gutters

Ensure that rain water has an unrestricted flow so it doesn’t collect on your roof or gutters. Be sure to regularly clear out leaves as they accumulate throughout the fall.

+ Prepare Your Bathroom

Having extra guests, and plenty of opportunities for downing a few glasses of mulled wine, spiced cider and other beverages means your home’s 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 to avoid a false decrease in pressure.

+ Prepare Your Kitchen

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 could run the dishwasher overnight to preserve it when your house guests are likely to want to wash.

+ Have Your Boiler / Water Heater Inspected

Don’t risk a leaky or broken pipe when you should be carving up that turkey; keep your home’s plumbing system ready for double duty. A professional inspection is the best way to ensure that your heating and hot water system remains trouble-free through the winter. You might also consider an inspection of any other plumbing, such as the cold water pipework or septic tank.

+ Regular Servicing

It is important to hire a Gas Safe-registered Engineer to service your boiler at least once every twelve months. This will ensure that your system is running efficiently, potentially saving you money. A boiler service can also identify a number of potential faults which could lead to a system malfunction.

+ Insulate Pipework

To avoid boiler malfunction it is advisable to insulate any pipework that’s exposed (even in a loft space) – this includes the condensate drain, as well as cold/hot pipework.

+ Check Your Radiators

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. Once bled, 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.

+ Efficient Running

Fit a programmable room thermostat to operate the system effectively in cold weather. This will give you more control as the heating will respond to temperature and clock settings rather than just a timer.

+ Agas and Rayburns

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.