Protecting Your Home's Plumbing in Winter
In winter, many homeowners are unprepared for plumbing issues associated with cold weather. Failure to prepare early may prove costly when pipes freeze, so winterize your plumbing as soon as possible.
The plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter recommend:
- Disconnecting outside water hoses. If left connected during freezing temperatures, water in hoses will freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break.
- Inspect outside faucets. If dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before a freeze.
- Note that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds, causing cracks whether the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash 250 gallons of water in a single day.
- If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes.
- Cover outside faucets using an inexpensive faucet insulation kit.
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around exposed pipes.
- Your water heater works harder during winter months. Drain corrosion-causing sediment from the tank, which reduces energy efficiency.
- Set water heater thermostat to 125 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum performance without risk of scalding.
- Clear any leaves and debris from roof gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage throughout the winter season.
- Inspect and clean sump pit. Remove any rocks and debris from pit then dump a bucket of water into the sump pit to test the pump. If it turns on and pumps water out then turns itself off, it is operating properly.
- Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing.
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