Plumbing problems tend to skyrocket in the wintertime. Taking preventive measures prior to a plumbing emergency occurring can save you both time, money and the stress. Let’s go over some simple things you can do to prepare your home’s plumbing system for colder temperatures.
Comprehensive Winter Plumbing Maintenance Checklist
- Check for Leaks: If you notice water pressure fluctuations or leaks, it’s time to call a plumber! Plumbing issues can often be solved with some quick fixes. First, make sure that the leak isn’t coming from your faucets by checking for any visible signs of damage, and then take note if there is an actual variation between low-pressure spots in one location versus another. If these seem like potential problems we recommend having a professional plumber come fix them right away so get back to enjoying the rest of your holiday.
- Clean Your Drains: Once a week have your sink and bathtub drains treated to remove any buildup of soil or dirt that may have accumulated. Combine one cup salt with 1/4 cup cream tartar in a bowl, then add the baking soda until it’s blended well enough so you don’t see powdery bits when stirring. Pour equal amounts into each drain. Then pour 2 cups boiling water down either pipe, depending on its size. Let this mixture sit for 15 minutes before running under warm freshwater again for good measure.
- Insulate Pipes: Pipe insulation is a good idea for any homeowner. It can be installed on both hot and cold water pipes and will help keep your home warmer during those winter months when it’s freezing outside. Pipe insulation sleeves are typically used on all exposed plumbing fixtures (like faucets) as well as space heaters to prevent icing up during the winter months.
- Run the Faucet: Continually running warm water throughout all fixtures and piping in your home. This will help to prevent pipes from freezing over. This is especially useful during cold spells. Water will not freeze so long as it is moving, and therefore your pipes will stay unfrozen.
- Put Away the Garden Hose: When wintertime comes, be sure to detach your garden hose before freezing temperatures arrive. Close the shut-off valve on the pipes that lead into it and drain any residual water left behind in order to prevent frozen sections from bursting when you thaw them out again next spring.
- Drain Your Sprinklers: It is important to make sure that your sprinkler system has been properly drained before storing it for the winter. If there are any valves linked together, such as an underground pipe, drain all water from the system so that your sprinkler system isn’t damaged during the winter. You can also put a faucet jacket over exterior faucets so they’re not damaged by cold weather.
- Adjust Your Water Heater: Water heaters are a great way to ensure that you have hot water at all times, but it’s important for them not to get too hot or cold. Water should stay between 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit in order to avoid any possible inconvenience like getting burned by excessively hot or cold jets inside of your home’s plumbing system. A good rule of thumb is never to exceed the maximum temperature allowed as this could cause permanent damage to your water heater.
- Prepare Your Pool/Hot Tub: Swimming pools should be drained for the season and properly covered and protected by safety latches so children aren’t at risk. Insulated covers for hot tubs can reduce the amount of electricity needed for heating. Ask your local plumbing contractor for help if you’re not familiar with pool or hot tub winter maintenance.
Contact the Professionals at Village Plumbing and Air
Whether you need preventative plumbing services before the holidays, or you’re faced with a severe plumbing emergency like a frozen pipe, the professional plumbers at Village Plumbing and Air can help! We can be there day or night to handle any plumbing emergencies when you need us the most. Contact one of our customer service representatives today: 713-526-1491