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1. Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.2. Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.3. Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.4. Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.5. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.6. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.7. When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.8. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.9. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Sewer backups are usually unexpected and always create a mess. At best the backup requires an unpleasant cleanup but sometimes it can be expensive.
Generally, most issues are within the house plumbing or private sanitary service laterals. Stopping all water use will stop the backup.
If the sewer backs up on your property, you are responsible to pay the bill. This is why it is important to make sure lines are clear and your homeowner’s insurance covers sewer backups.
Blockages can occur for numerous reasons. Some of the most common causes are tree roots, grease and toys or objects inserted by children who may drop them down the drains. To avoid home sewer problems, you may want to contact a local plumber to clear these roots from your lateral and prevent your drains from backing up. Dispose of grease and fats in the trash, not down the drain. Do not dispose of any type of wipes down the toilet, they are not sanitary friendly.
Cooking grease, hair, food particles, toilet paper, and roots often cause sluggish drains or line blockages. If they happen near the drain opening or toilet bowl, a plunger may be effective. However, if the problem is some distance into the drain line, it may require a plumber to locate and resolve.
Many homes have a cleanout and it is usually located near the foundation of the house.First check the cleanout to see if it has water in it. If there is no water, then you know the blockage is somewhere in the house plumbing. If there is water standing in the cleanout, the blockage is most likely in the line from house to the main. Under these circumstances, you should discontinue using your facilities and contact a plumber.