The temperatures are dropping. This is the time of the year where your home is most prone to plumbing problems. Serious plumbing problem like cracked and frozen pipes should be left to plumbing professionals. However, there are many things homeowners can do on their own to prevent plumbing mishaps during the cold weather.
Be Wise. Winterize.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure your outside hoses are disconnected from faucets. To ensure your outside pipes don’t freeze and expand, causing serious leaks and flooding, turn off and drain the pipes.
Close your valves and drain the water off, which makes the shutting down of external pipes easier. Once the exterior faucets are disconnected, they can be protected from the cold weather with lagging.
Use heat tape or insulating sleeves, available at most hardware stores, to protect your pipes from extreme temperatures.
Seal Windows and Doors.
Increase energy efficiency by sealing doors and windows from drafts. You can use materials that you can find in any home center. This will add a few degrees of warmth to your pipes and fixtures, keeping warm air inside your home.
Check Hot Water Heater.
Your water heater has an extra burden placed on it during cold months. Flush your heater out to get rid of any build-up sediments to prevent corrosion. Check the water pressure release valve, which should snap back into place when lifted after allowing a spurt of water to the drain. If you notice a slack, get a professional to replace the release valve.
For optimum performance during the cold season, set your water heater’s thermometer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to clean dead leaves and other debris from around the downspouts to allow for better drainage.
Bring Your Faucets to a Slow Trickle.
Prevent ice build-up in your pipes during the cold months by leaving your faucets on at a very slow trickle, especially at night when temperatures can take a sudden plunge. This will ensure that water doesn’t accumulate in one place and freeze.
Close Main Water Valve.
If you plan on going on a winter vacation for an extended length of time, it’s a good idea to close the main water valve. Open the faucets at the top and base of the house to drain the system, keeping the heat on as you do.
Use Your Pipe Wrench.
A pipe wrench is an important tool to use in plumbing maintenance. The wrench enables you to get a good grip on pipes and fittings. Another good tool is a pair of pliers, which will help you adjust nuts and bolts. For bigger home plumbing jobs it’s best to get the help from a professional.
Setting the standard in quality service for over 15 years, we help thousands of homeowners in eastern North Carolina with plumbing needs. The best defense to making sure your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late. Our team of professionals consists of some of the most experienced and qualified plumbers working today. We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency.