The changing of the seasons means that cooler weather is starting to be on the minds of many North Carolina’s residents. Often, it means it’s time to work on your home maintenance checklist. Sometimes, plumbing tasks can be forgotten when going over everything that should be done for the winter months. This year, follow these top three tips to prepare your home’s plumbing for the cold weather.
1. Insulate Your Plumbing
Your water lines are one of the most important, but potential weak points in your plumbing. Freezing temperatures outside can result in pipes becoming frozen inside, especially those water lines that run along exterior walls or in unfinished areas of your home.
Not only can frozen pipes be annoying in that there’s a blockage in your plumbing for the time that it’s frozen, but pipes with ice in them can break. Or in some severe cases even burst open. This breaking can occur either from the pressure of the ice pushing against the pipe or from improperly warming the pipe to unfreeze it. Leaking pipes can be expensive as they can lead to wasted water, water damage, and mold.
Putting insulation on your pipes can help to protect them from the cold weather and work to prevent freezing. You can find foam insulation available specifically for your pipes at most hardware or DIY stores.
You should also consider insulating your water heater tank. Putting insulation on your water heater makes it so that it traps the heat inside of the tank. This small effort can help to keep your hot water hot without wasting more energy.
2. Prepare Your Backyard
Winter weather can take you off-guard, so it’s essential to go around the exterior of your home to make sure that your garden hoses, sprinkler systems, and any outdoor water features you have are ready for the winter.
Take your garden hose into the house when the weather starts to turn. Leaving your hose connected can damage the hose itself and make it so that you need to replace it in the spring. It can also create pressure in the pipes inside of your home and potentially cause the water lines in your home to break.
For sprinkler systems and other water features, it’s important to clear them of any water. Any remaining water in the lines can freeze and make for an expensive repair and clean-up in the spring. You’ll want to turn off the main water supply and flush the system. The owner’s manual can be a great place to get the information you need on how to handle this task for your specific set-up.
3. Run Your Water
It sounds almost too simple, but it can be beneficial to occasionally run water through all of the taps in your home. Maybe you have a guest bathroom that doesn’t get used very often or a utility tub. Take a moment every so often to turn on the water for a short time for every spigot. Start by slowly opening the tap and then allowing it to run freely. Be sure to look for any potential problems, such as leaks when performing this task.
Even with the best intentions, plumbing mishaps can happen. Contact us at 1 Call Plumbing today if you are experiencing issues with frozen pipes or need some help in preparing your plumbing for the winter months. Our professional staff is here to assist you.