When you live in Canada, there’s no time like now to get away on vacation, preferably to some place hot. But, as many Canadians prepare to head south for warmer temperatures and sandy beaches, one of the things they’ll forget to do – along with cancelling their newspaper delivery – is ensure their household plumbing isn’t in danger of freezing while they’re away.
This winter, avoid having to make a call to an emergency plumber when you return home by taking these steps and minimizing the risk of frozen pipes. When water freezes in pipes and the pipes burst, the flooding that results will not only require professional clean up but your water bill will also take a hit because of the countless litres of wasted water. If the flooding goes undetected and untreated for any length of time, you could wind up with a mold problem on your hands, in addition to the costly plumbing repairs.
Advice from an Emergency Plumber Who Has Seen it All
- Is Your Hot Water Heater Insulated? Older units may not be, so ask your plumber to add a water heater jacket, if necessary.
- Ensure the External Condensing Pipe on Your Hot Water Heater is Insulated: Insulating the external condensing pipe on your hot water heater will at least slow the freezing of pipes. In some cases, this may not be enough to prevent freezing all together, and so you may wish to wrap the thermostat with trace heating, under the lagging. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Call us!
- Emergency Water Shut-Off Devices: Ask your plumber to install one of these devices so that if the water in your pipes does freeze and the pipes burst, the water supply will be shut off automatically.
- Allow Heat to Circulate: Leave the cupboard doors under your kitchen and bathroom sinks open while you’re away, so as to allow warm air to circulate more freely.
- Have Your Heating System Inspected Annually: If you haven’t already this year, have your heating system inspected by professionals to ensure it’s in good working condition and not at risk of failing while you’re away. Your furnace may not be able to prevent water from freezing in the pipes all together, but if it’s working properly it will certainly slow the process.
- Ask a Friend or Neighbour to Check In: If you’re gone longer than a weekend, ask someone to check on your house periodically. At least then, if the pipes do burst, they can call an emergency plumber and the damage will be far less than if the flooding is allowed to continue until you return home.
In addition to escaping the cold, many of us go away on vacation to relax and alleviate stress. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing your household plumbing is as safeguarded as it can be from freezing, and that a whole host of plumbing repairs won’t be waiting for you.
If you have any questions, or if the worst has happened and you require an emergency plumber, please call us: (306) 343-9576.