Winter is already here. Even though you probably meant to winterize your home so that your plumbing system is not affected by the weather, you didn’t. Water freezes very easily in homes, especially around this time of year. And when it freezes, it expands. If you don’t want to end up with water damage from a frozen or burst pipe, you need to winterize your plumbing system today before it’s too late. Check these tips from Steve the Plumber.
Check Your Outside Water Connections
If you’re like most homeowners, chances are, there are still a few hoses connected to your outside water spigots. Run, don’t walk to disconnect them. Drain them completely before storing them. If you have underground water lines, you should turn off the access valve to your outdoor water supply. Then you should contact Steve the Plumber so he can come and professionally drain them. This reduces the pressure in the pipes and keeps them from expanding out of shape.
Inspect Your Indoor Plumbing
Inspect the areas of your home where you can easily access your pipes. Check to see if there is any cold air or drafts blowing on or near them. It doesn’t matter how warm your home is, when cold air is blowing closely to pipes, it can cause them to freeze and create a very bad situation for you to deal with. Take into consideration the location of your bathroom and kitchen plumbing. If either of those rooms is located near a door or your garage, you’ll need to be diligent about keeping those entryways closed. Don’t keep the bathroom door closed or it won’t be able to receive heat from the rest of the house.
Seal up the Cracks
Look for cracks and holes in those areas. Anything that may cause cold drafts to come into your home. Caulk and seal them up. Next, insulate your pipes to give them an added layer of warmth against the bitter cold. Wrap them in foam or blankets. You can even go to your local hardware or home improvement store for plumbing insulation tubes that are made of fiberglass and polyethylene. If you do decide to use insulation tubes, don’t forget to measure the circumference of your pipes first.
Don’t Forget Your Faucets
Let your faucets drip. This doesn’t mean they should drip because of an existing plumbing issue like worn out parts or washers. You should turn your faucets off just enough so that a tiny bit of water can trickle through and drip. This may not seem like it can help to keep your pipes from freezing, but take it from your favorite professional plumber in Nashville, dripping faucets are much less likely to burst from freezing than faucets that are completely turned off. Dripping helps to reduce the amount of pressure that builds up in your plumbing system from ice blockages.
Regulate Thermostat Settings
Try to keep your thermostat set to 55 degrees F or higher. Even if you plan to go out of town for a few days, never turn your heat off or set it any lower than that. If you do, don’t be surprised when you come back home to frozen or burst pipes and a watery mess inside of your home.
Fortify Crawlspace Insulation
Now is also a good time for you to have your crawlspace inspected, insulated and sealed off. Many homeowners are not aware of how much cold air enters their properties from poorly kept crawlspaces. Make sure yours is sealed and insulated to protect your home’s plumbing system from the cold.
For more information on how to winterize your plumbing or for other plumbing advice, feel free to contact Steve the Plumber at (615) 965-8902 anytime. Steve the Plumber has more than 35 years of experience and is the owner of Steve Mull Plumbing.