The frigid temperatures of Prior Lake, MN in the winter often leave unsuspecting homeowners with frozen drain lines. That’s because they either try to cut costs on maintenance or simply don’t know how to take care of their plumbing systems. You can avoid costly damage to your house by following these helpful tips for winter drain line care.
Store away garden hoses
An often overlooked step in winter drain line care is disconnecting the garden hoses. Doing so won’t cost you any money and is one of the easiest ways to stop frozen drain lines from cracking. Before temperatures drop below 32 degrees, detach your garden hose from the spigot and let all the water drain away. Coil the hose and store it in a warm, dry section of the garage.
Install heat cables
Pipes that run through unregulated parts of the house need a direct source of heat so they don’t crack in the winter. Heat cables are the most effective solution. A built-in thermostat detects when a pipe’s temperature drops and tells the cable to heat up if that temperature falls below a certain threshold. The only downside to heat cables is that they need access to a power outlet. You can pick up heat cables of various lengths at any home improvement store in Prior Lake, MN.
Wrap pipes with insulation
Maximize the effectiveness of heat cables by wrapping the entire pipe with fiberglass insulation. For only a couple bucks, insulation traps heat generated from these cables so it won’t dissipate into the air. You should never use insulation on its own, because it has the ability to both keep pipes warm and shut out external heat. Without a heat cable, fiberglass insulation will put frozen drain lines at a greater risk of damage.
Seal cracks and holes
Pipes aren’t the only components that require insulation. A crucial part of winter drain line care is filling the gaps in rim joists with expandable foam. This type of insulation works best for small, hard-to-reach crevices that let cold drafts leak into your home. Basements, attics and garages can’t easily maintain a consistent temperature, so expandable foam is necessary for sealing out the cold as much as possible.
Heat pipes during extreme weather
Those who live in Prior Lake, MN are all too familiar with temperatures in the single digits—or worse, below zero. Sudden bouts of frigid weather will catch your plumbing system off guard, resulting in frozen pipes before you get a chance to prevent the damage. When a cold snap is on the way, prepare by opening the kitchen cabinets so pipes have better access to the warm air in your home.
A little bit of winter maintenance goes a long way in avoiding busted pipe lines. Homeowners who cut corners because they don’t want to waste money on heat cables and insulation often pay a much heftier price when a cracked, frozen pipe floods their basement. For additional tips on how to protect your drain lines this winter, consult the experts at Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services. We’ll help your plumbing system perform at its best all winter long.