Your plumbing system is probably the very last thing on your mind on February 14th every year, but after the romantic festivities are complete, this would be a good time to remember that the middle of February is a good time for a mid-winter plumbing check-up. Here are some tips you can follow to keep your drains clear and your pipes stable until Old Man Winter finally takes a hike in the spring.
Clean Your Drains with a Simple Combination
The following recipe is a favorite of those who have noticed that they have a slow or clogged drain, but you don't have to have a recognizable problem to benefit from an experiment you probably first learned in your high school science class.
What do you get when you mix baking soda with vinegar? Back in school, the answer was a baking soda volcano, but as a homeowner, the answer is going to be extra clean drains.
Dump some baking soda into a kitchen or bathroom sink drain and then very quickly send vinegar down after it. When the vinegar catches up to the baking soda, a bubbling reaction will occur that will send bubbles to the top of the drain. Put a pot over the drain at this point to keep the reaction below the drain's surface. If you actually have a clog forming, the slightly explosive reaction will wipe it away.
Even if your drain wasn't that badly clogged, this little trick can clean the sides of your pipes and get rid of any grime that might have developed into a clog in the future.
Wrap Exposed Pipes
Hopefully, you have someone to snuggle with this Valentine's Day, but this is also a good time to remember that some of your exposed pipes could use a bit of a hug as well. That is to say, if you still have exposed pipes in the basement with no insulation, you are asking for trouble when the temperature goes below freezing. A frozen pipe can quickly become a burst pipe and then you have a major situation to deal with. Wrap your pipes or get actual insulation installed courtesy of a residential plumber.
For the best results, this is also the perfect time of year for a full inspection by your local plumber. Your plumber can even assist with cleaning the pipes or clearing away a clog. But then he or she will also closely inspect the entire system for signs of leaks and other issues before they turn into major repairs. Contact a local residential plumber for more information on unclogging drains.