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Protecting Your Home's Pipes

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Beneath the sinks, in the walls, and under the ground, pipes get water and waste to a septic tank or sewer operate quietly. Until problems happen, pipes don't intrude on your life at all. However, you must take note of them sometimes and ensure you're undertaking preventative maintenance and providing enough attention to protect them. These pipe tips ought to help.

Assess Them

Even if nothing's wrong, look at your pipes every now and then. Look for leaks and rust. One thing to note is whether copper or steel pipes are connected to other pipes of another metal. This is common if work was done by amateur plumbers attempting to fix a problem in the past. However, two metals can affect each other in a negative way; rust may set in faster, for example. If you see different colored metals, consider discussing the issue with a plumber who will separate them by inserting pieces called di-electric unions. A plumber could also decide whether it's vital to investigate the pipes that aren't immediately visible for similar issues.

Wrap Them

Living in an area with multiple seasons can permit an experience of all weather types. Like many people, particularly homeowners, you may feel some level of concern about the possibility of frozen metal pipes. The freezing of the pipes themselves isn't quite the issue; the issue is that any water in those pipes when they freezer over will turn to cold ice. As water hardens and expands, the pipe pressure can become strong enough to burst one or more pipes wide open. You may not get any water from faucets, in addition to coping with a big, expensive mess.

Warming pipes is a priority whenever temperatures dip. Luckily, it can be done. Whether you use heating tape or fitted form insulation strips, wrapping exposed exterior lines prevents trouble. If there's a crawlspace, you may ask a plumber if possibly keeping a small heater there would be appropriate. 

Protecting pipes can be accomplished indoors, too, mostly by watching for sub-freezing temperatures and, on those days, allowing tiny streams of water to flow and keep pressure down in pipes is wise. Also, open cabinets so pipes can be exposed to home heating.

Keep Roots Away

Tree roots and bush roots are sometimes disruptive to pipes laid underground. Keep big plants away from them and cut them periodically so roots don't reach too far underground. Your utility company has information about where the pipes are in case you don't.

Help your pipes; remember this protective information. Also, it's a good idea to let your local plumbing contractor be your partner in this effort.