6 winter plumbing tips
Don’t get left out in the cold — take these 6 Winter Plumbing Tips to prepare drastic temperature changes, and feel better knowing that your home is ready for whatever winter still has in store. As the cold weather continues to creep in this winter season, it’s a good idea to get a jump on prepping plumbing for any sudden temperature drops. With each semi-warm day that appears, a colder chill is just behind it and neglecting to properly protect home pipes and plumbing fixtures can lead to drips, leaks, and potentially worse.
1. Fix the Small Leaks First
If there are leaks that you know already exist, like a dripping faucet or sink, now is a good time to take care of them. Letting leaks continue once temperatures drop below freezing can create issues, especially if your pipes are prone to freezing. Water can freeze in the cracked and leaky areas, expanding the break and causing significant damage. Making sure these minor leaks are handled will prevent them from becoming a larger problem.
2. Double-Check the Outside Faucets/Hose Bibbs
Make sure outdoor faucets are no longer running and are turned off. This is also a good time to check and make sure that anything connected to the outdoor faucets, like hoses, are disconnected, drained, and properly stored. Anything that faces the outside has the potential to freeze, which is best avoided.
3. Insulate Pipes In Colder Spots
Look for pipes running near outdoor-adjacent walls, or within the basement, and make sure that they are properly insulated. The heat will circulate throughout your home via your HVAC system, but these areas can still drop to below freezing, especially during cold snaps. Wrap the pipes in foam insulation, and check on them regularly to make sure there are no signs of frost forming on the exterior.
4. Flush The Hot Water Heater
If it hasn’t been done in some time, it’s a good idea to flush the hot water heater before the cold sets in. Sediment and mineral deposits can build up in a hot water heater with frequent use, which can add additional strain when it tries to run. Add in the extra work of heating water in colder temperatures, and the extra strain could push a hot water heater too far. Instead, fully drain and refill the tank to help the heater perform under pressure.
5. Prepare for Cold Snaps
When the temperature suddenly drops dramatically, be prepared. Let the faucets drip a little to keep the water flowing through the pipes rather than staying stationary. Also, open the cabinet doors around the kitchen and bathrooms, to help the heat circulate into these areas, keeping pipes as warm as possible.
6. Be Ready to Jump into Action
If the worst occurs — such as a pipe freezing and bursting — know where the central water valve is located in your home ahead of time, and be sure to turn it off as soon as possible. The valve should be located near the water meter for your home. Once the water is cut off, call a professional to quickly assess the damage and begin repairs.
Winter is a stressful time, trying to continually predict and adapt to rapidly changing forecasts. If there appear to issues with plumbing fixtures, don’t let it wait until spring. Instead, consider reaching out to the plumbing professionals at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. The licensed experts at Duane Blanton can help with any plumbing issue, no matter the size, or the season outside. Give the experts at Duane Blanton a call today at (815) 781-2567, or schedule an appointment online through their convenient online scheduling portal.
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