As the temperature begins to drop in the autumn, it is essential to prepare your home’s plumbing for the upcoming winter weather. Winter is the most common time to need a plumber because homeowners often fail to follow a variety of tips that are recommended to keep a water pipe or sewer line from bursting. Here are the tips to use to have your home ready for the severe drop in temperatures during a blizzard.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 1: Begin Plumbing Preparations Outside
Your home probably has faucets outside near the garage, backyard or driveway, and you should drain these devices to remove any moisture that might freeze. If the handle on an exterior faucet is loose, then fix it with a new screw or replace the item immediately. To make it easier to find faucet handles under the snow or in the dark, paint the items a bright color such as red or yellow. Wrap insulating tape around the pipe that leads to the faucet, and also, place a formfitting insulating device over it to keep it from freezing as the temperature drops.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 2: Protect the Pipes In a Basement or Crawl Space
Make sure to wrap the exposed pipes in your home’s crawl space or basement with thick insulating tape. Check the water pipes and connectors carefully to determine if any of these items have damage. If one of these items is rusty or cracked, then replace it immediately to prevent a plumbing emergency in the winter.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 3: Drain Your Home’s Water Heater
To help your home’s water heater operate efficiently, drain its holding tank in the autumn to remove sediments. While the water heater’s power is turned off, wrap the intake pipes with insulation tape to keep the heated water warmer. After turning on the water heater, place a specialized insulation blanket over the appliance to keep the hot water warmer.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 4: Clean the Drains In Your Plumbing Fixtures
If there is a clog in a toilet or sink drain, then the water in the pipes is likely to freeze in the winter. By using an enzymatic drain cleaner, you can dissolve grease, bathroom tissue and hair to help a drain empty quickly. When you notice a problem with the drains, make sure to contact a plumber who can check your property’s sewer lines to find additional clogs that require removal with a rooter-brush device.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 5: Open Cabinets and Doors
When you have several bathrooms and a laundry room in your home, it is vital to keep the climate-controlled air circulating around the pipes and plumbing fixtures. Rather than closing the doors to rooms or any cabinet doors, open the items so that warm air can circulate around the pipes underneath the sinks. This can prevent a frozen plumbing fixture or pipe in the winter.
Plumbing Preparation Tip 6: Seal the Holes Near Plumbing Devices
Use foam insulation or liquid caulk to seal the holes near the water pipes and plumbing fixtures inside your home. This will prevent any cold drafts that can freeze the water in a pipe or plumbing fixture so that you won’t need to contact a plumber for an emergency repair throughout the winter.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.