Warner Service puts together the ultimate guide to protecting your plumbing anatomy for the cold weather. We're helping you avoid an emergency plumbing situation with our expert advice. Here's which material is best, how and when to clean plumbing, and more.

Ask which pipes are best. If your home build was between 1930 to 1980, it likely has galvanized steel pipes, which rust easy.

Copper pipes have proven reliability due to leak-resistant, non-pollutant properties and recyclability. Yet, your home fares better with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX), or Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) pipes.

Get rid of harmful cleaning products. Remove inorganic chemicals and cleaning products from under kitchen and bathroom plumbing. Open those cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing underneath the counters.

Clean the plumbing. Clean every 4 to 8 weeks using one of the following organic products:

  • Unique Natural. This “professional strength bacteria concentrate” works through drains within an hour to deodorize and unclog. It also cleans toilets, garbage disposals, grease traps, and septic tanks.

  • Earthworm. These products use water and natural enzymes to break down organic materials. It's used for floor drains, kitchen sinks, garbage disposal and bathroom drains, septic systems, and grease traps.

  • Citra Solv Home. This product has water, limonene (clear liquid from an orange peel), and an enzyme blend. This organic mixture disposes of organic substances to end drain-clogging buildup.

  • Biokleen. Bac-Out Drain Care is a non-acidic product that combines enzymes, live cultures, and plant extracts. It prevents clogs, treats slow drains, and deodorizes.

  • Natural Rapport. This company's Drain Cleaner & Septic Tank Treatment is a non-chemical 2-in-1 formula. It restores slow-flowing drains and prevents septic system back-ups. It also degrades fat, oil, grease, food waste, soap scum, and hair.

  • Drain OUT. This company's Drain Freshener & Clog Preventer is an enzyme-based formula that works within 8 hours. It clears slow drains and replaces bad smells with a citrus fragrance.

  • Flo-Kem. Flo-Zyme Drain Opener and Deodorizer is an odor control product. It breaks down and liquefies suspended solids, including protein, fat, oil, and grease. It also maintains drain traps and waste treatment pipes.

  • DIY Drain Cleaner: Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup lemon juice, and 3 cups boiling water. Pour the solution down plumbing, wait an hour, and then pour hot tap water. If the solution isn’t potent enough, combine equal parts baking soda, salt, and distilled white vinegar. Repeat the process.

Understand the dangers of frozen pipes. If you turn on the faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. If one pipe freezes, it’s likely that others have as well. For a plumbing solution to prevent frozen pipes, use the following tips:

  • If you have a swimming pool, drain the water from the pool and sprinkler supply lines. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Open and disconnect the outdoor hose bibs and allow water to drain completely. Afterward, close the indoor valves and keep the outdoor valve open. This allows the pipe to expand without bursting.

  • Look in the basement, crawl spaces, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom counters for unheated water supply lines. Hot and cold lines in these areas need insulationUse pipe sleeves, heat tape, a heat cable, or newspaper to keep the insulator dry.

  • Keep the garage door closed if supply lines are in the area.

  • When the weather's too cold, let the water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.

  • Set the thermostat to the same temperature throughout the day. If you're away, set the programmable thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and turn the heat on. Completely turn off the water supply to reduce pressure.

  • Call a professional to move the outdoor pipes. This could provide less exposure to natural elements.

It’s best to minimize residential plumbing damage with regular maintenance using organic products and the best plumbing materials. For more information, subscribe to our weekly blog:

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We understand that emergency plumbing situations happen any time. Feel free to contact us for emergency service.