Winter is here, and it’s time to get your home plumbing system ready for the colder temperatures. Coldwater pipes will freeze sooner than hot ones, especially if they’re unprotected, ventless units. Winters can be tough on your water pipes and plumbing system. Whether you have a gas heating system, oil heating system, or electric heating system, it’s crucial to ensure your home is ready for winter.
Tips to Keep Your Plumbing System in Tip-Top Shape During Winter
During the winter, plumbing fixtures and pipes can freeze and crack if water isn’t flowing through them. It’s therefore essential to take measures to keep your plumbing system working irrespective of what winter throws at it.
Clean Out Your Drains and Gutters
The best way to ensure another winter of worry-free plumbing is to prepare your system before the cold weather arrives thoroughly. Clean out your drains, downspouts, and gutters to ensure they are free from debris and keep your home flowing freely in the winter. You can consult with qualified local plumbers for cleaning and repairing your plumbing system for winterization.
For longer-term protection against freezing weather, connect your drains and gutters to the city sewage system, or you can install a “honey-bucket” apparatus that will channel wastewater into big enough gallon drums set up outside.
Check for Leaks and Drips
Leaky faucets and dripping toilets waste up to 2,000 gallons of water a year. Additionally, leaks waste energy and cause pipes to freeze and burst when exposed to cold air. It’s therefore essential to fix leaks now before winter hits if you have a leak or drip in your home.
If you live in an area that sees heavy snowfall during the winter months, it’s essential to check all your faucets and toilets for leaks. A small leak that goes unnoticed can become a big problem when faced with freezing temperatures outside.
Check the toilet tank to ensure it doesn’t run, and shut it off if it does. Also, check all faucet handles and showerheads to make sure they turn freely without leaks or drips. Any leak or drip can signify something more serious, so call a plumber if you find any.
Insulate The Exposed Pipes
Don’t leave pipes exposed during cold weather since they will be highly vulnerable to the freezing temperatures that the winter provides. Insulation around exposed pipes will keep the water pipes from freezing. Using foam insulation is the easiest way to protect exposed pipes.
The general rule for exposed insulating pipes is to add an inch of quality foam insulation board to each piece of water pipe between the ground and the underside of the top floor’s ceiling and use a humidistat. Humidistats automatically turn on your heater when the humidity in your basement rises past a specific point, ensuring that you don’t get any moisture in your house.
It’s also essential to look for any exposed plumbing elbows and joints and insulate them using foam insulation. You can consult a plumber for other plumbing insulation methods, such as the thermostat wiring.
Fix Outdoor Faucets That May Freeze
As winter approaches, freezing temperatures can turn a garden hose into a solid block of ice. Whether an outdoor faucet is frozen or leaking, most blade-type taps are simple to repair.
When temperatures fall below freezing, water in your outdoor faucets and pipes can freeze, causing them to break wide open and spew out water uncontrollably. Before that happens, it’s a good idea to fix the faucets and the pipes before winter. The simple repairs will ensure a smooth transition from summer to winter and ensure that your plumbing stays in optimum working condition.
Sealing outdoor faucets for winter is one of several steps you can take to winterize your outdoor plumbing.
Ensure Your Water Heater Is Working Properly
Call a professional to inspect the water heater and pressure valve for any issue that can increase your home’s energy costs.
If you have a defective water heater, a huge blast of cold water from your faucet can result in a major plumbing disaster. Avoid costly repairs and potential flooding damage by taking the time to check the condition, age, and energy efficiency of your heating unit. Adding an anti-freeze will also keep the water from freezing.
A little extra preventative care before winter begins could save you from an inconvenient situation during the cold months. Winterizing your plumbing system can help save on energy costs. Exposed pipes may also be prone to freezing, causing water damage and costly repairs. To prevent freezing, your first line of defense is efficient insulation. Plumbing system freeze-ups can cause sewer back-ups and water damage, resulting in property damage and further costly issues. For warm and cozy winter months, you can call your local plumber for professional assistance.