With the cooler months fast approaching, now is the perfect time to prepare your plumbing for winter. Many serious plumbing problems can arise during the winter, and with temperatures dropping to below freezing in some places, plumbing problems can quickly become dangerous. The best defense against unwanted winter plumbing problems is to take preventative measures. Here are some plumbing tips to help you with preparing your plumbing for winter.
# 1 Check for Air Leaks
Part of preparing your plumbing for winter is to check for air leaks. If cold air can reach your pipes, then your pipes can a chance of freezing. Looking for air leaks can also help make your heating system work more efficiently as well. Check for leaks around attics, crawlspaces, basements, the foundation, around utility supply openings, your chimney, and around windows and doors. Close any leaks with caulking, insulation, and weather stripping. A sealed home is a more efficient and comfortable home, with a less likely chance of having a major plumbing leak arise from frozen pipes.
# 2 Insulation
Insulation goes a long way at protecting your homes plumbing system from freezing. Any exposed pipes should have a nice layer of insulation to protect them from freezing. As temperatures drop, water trapped inside your home can freeze. When this happens the ice naturally expands, putting pressure on your pipes. This can result in a burst pipe, and a huge mess. Insulation can help protect your pipes from freezing and prevent this from happening.
#3 Disconnect Your Garden Hose
During the winter months, you won’t be using your garden hose, so do yourself and your plumbing a favor and disconnect your garden hose and stow it away until spring. Garden hoses are not immune to freezing. If left attached to the spicket, the water can gain access to your plumbing, where it can freeze when the temperature drops. Putting your hose away, will also help it last longer, as expanding water inside the hose can cause it to rupture.
#4 Vacant Properties
If you own any vacant properties, then you want to take extra precautions in preparing your plumbing for winter. Turn off the main water supply and drain all of the lines to insure there is no water left in the pipes to freeze. You should also drain the water heater, to prevent any water heater problems. You may also want to keep the house heated at a conservative temperature, only to prevent freezing. One of the worst things about vacant properties, is that if something happens, you may no know for a while. This can allow more damage to set in. Take the proper precautions to help prevent serious plumbing problems.
#5 Sump Pump
Homes with basements should have a sump pump installed. Sump pumps are designed to remove access water that can flood the basement during heavy rains. Before heavy rains arrive, you should check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly. Start by pouring a bucket of water into the crock to see if it is activated. Then check the drainage pipe to make sure it is free from any clogs. If there is an issue, contact your plumber right away, to that you don’t run into flooding issues when the time comes.
For more plumbing tips, or to have your plumbing inspected before winter sets in, contact Lesco Plumbing today!