Plumbing Tips for Winter

When the cold weather comes to Portland, it brings a lot of rain along with it, and there are some minor adjustments you should make to your daily routine to ensure that your home remains comfortable and your plumbing system continues to work as well as possible throughout our winter months. For instance, you want to avoid having family members take showers right after each other. Instead, make sure everyone waits at least ten minutes after one shower before taking their own. This helps maintain hot water and proper pressure, and will avoid an extreme concentration of steam in your bathroom.

Plumbing Tips for Winter Weather - Pipes Iced Over

Save Your Drains

Since liquid fats will turn solid in your pipes during cold weather, creating clogs, don’t pour cooking oils or fats down the drain. Instead, wipe congealed grease from pots and pans. Cooking grease and oils can cause severe problems for your garbage disposal as well, so don’t put stringy substances like poultry skins or anything that your garbage disposal will have difficulty grinding down into the disposal. Make sure you run cold water through the disposal for at least 15 seconds before and after using it to flush waste down the main line, and always turn the disposal on before filling it.

Hot Water Conservation

To conserve hot water and maintain proper water pressure, run the dishwasher and washing machine at off times or at night. And if the temperature drops to freezing, remember to run water from every valve in your house at least a few times a day to prevent freezing. If your pipes do freeze, open the cabinet doors under the faucets so they can get some heat.

This is part 1 – more to come!