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Winter Plumbing Maintenance in South Africa: What you need to know

Over the next 48 hours, temperatures are set to plummet across South Africa. As the official website for Snow Reports in South Africa said that there is a high chance of fairly widespread light snow falling in South Africa starting on Tuesday 23 July, and a possibility of heavier snowfalls of up to 20cm, it is time to see if your winter plumbing is in place.

That being said, your main concern when it comes to winter plumbing maintenance should be to prevent your pipes from freezing. When water freezes inside your pipes, it expands, which causes pipes to burst under the pressure.

Here is your winter plumbing maintenance checklist:

1.The best time to get leaks repaired is now. Check for any leaky terminal fittings in your kitchen, bathrooms or utility room. If you do have a leaky terminal fitting, contact a Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) registered plumber now.

2. Complete regular plumbing maintenance and improvements to ensure that your plumbing and insulation are in order.

3. If you are planning on going away, rather drain all the water from the pipes by closing the main water valve and open each tap to drain all the water in order to prevent a pipe from bursting when you are not home.

4. Also, allow water to run from each valve in your home on a regular basis to keep pipes from freezing.

If your pipes do freeze, here are a few steps you can take to minimize the damage:

  • Turn off the water at the main valve
  • Leave any terminal fittings open to relieve pressure as the pipes thaw
  • Use a hairdryer to slowly defrost frozen pipes
  • Never use an open flame to defrost pipes
  • Immediately call a PIRB licensed plumber to assist when a pipe eventually bursts

Visit the Plumbing Industry Registration Boards’ official website for more information.

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