With winter right around the corner, it’s important to make sure your plumbing system is ready for the cold weather. The changes in weather (including temperature and humidity) can greatly affect performance and sometimes result in damage if not dealt with properly.
How to Get Your Plumbing System Ready for Winter
Water Hose Maintenance
When you are finished with watering for the season, disconnect the water hoses and drain them of any residual water. Store them in a dry, secure area safe from the elements.
Fix Dripping Outdoor Faucets
A dripping outdoor faucet can a lot of trouble. In addition to higher utilities, a dripping faucet lead to water damage and, during a freeze, hurt your plumbing. Make sure that you fix any leaks during the fall while the weather is still mild.
Cover Outside Faucets
It might be too early in Dallas to begin covering outdoor faucets, but it’s an essential fall maintenance procedure. Once you are certain that you are through with outside watering for the season, cover/insulate your faucets. You can find faucet covers at most hardware and home improvement stores.
Some homes have an interior shut-off valve connected to the outside faucets/plumbing. Shut off the water at the same time you cover the outside faucets.
Always clean out the rain gutters after every season. The fall weather inevitably brings rain, sometimes heavy showers, so it’s important to make sure that the rain gutters are free from blockage. Compacted leaves and tree detritus can impede the flow of water from your home, creating leaks and cracks.
Is your garage set up for plumbing? Maybe you have a connected garage that contains your water heater or a washer/dryer? Make sure that all of the exposed piping is insulated and ready for the cold weather.
Thoroughly review all areas where pipes enter your home and seal the gaps and openings with weather stripping/insulation. Gaps in walls will promote heat loss and raise your utility bills considerably.
Water Heater Maintenance
You use the water heater much more in the fall and winter, so maintenance is important. Technically, you should drain the tank every three months to ensure maximum efficiency. This helps remove sediment buildup, which inhibits heat transfer and ultimately compromise the system.
Learn more fall home maintenance tips!
Prevent and Thaw Frozen Pipes
If you have had a frozen pipe problem in the past it might be a good idea to invest in some fiberglass insulation or electrical heat tape/wire for your water pipes. Consider adding foam covers to your outdoor spigots and add foam insulation to your water pipes.
During freezing temperatures:
- Open cabinet doors near sinks and wherever piping runs through.
- Let faucets trickle water that are connected to frozen pipes.
- If your pipes do freeze, never use an open flame or torch to thaw it. A hair dryer will do just fine.
- Know where your main water shut-off valve is. It may be located in a utility box near your front curb. Before the freeze, make sure you know where this valve is located.
Limit your energy use to heat your water by installing pipe insulation and water heater insulation sleeves. This will enable you to lower you water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit with nearly no reduction in comfort. You can save around $100 very year by insulating your water heater and plumbing pipes.
Insulate the Water Heater Tank
Insulating an older tank will help reduce heat loss and will keep the system from turning on continuously. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on proper insulation techniques, which include keeping the thermostat, burner and top and bottom of the tank open.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Consider adding insulation to the first 6 feet of exposed hot and cold water pipes that are connected to the tank.
Benefits of Plumbing Maintenance
Over time, your plumbing system will start to develop small problems and issues. Without intervention, those problems will increase and cause bigger issues. With regular plumbing inspections from the trusted, local experts at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains, we will find those things and repair them on-the-spot.
Increase Plumbing Efficiency
When your drains start to slow down it usually indicates that you have a problem with your plumbing system. During regular maintenance visits, your plumber will thoroughly clean out your plumbing system. This will remove those small clogs and allow your pipes to operate more efficiently.
Reduce Instances of Plumbing Problems
Another potential benefit of regular plumbing maintenance is that it reduces the need for costly plumbing repairs. Plumbing problems don’t normally happen overnight — it takes years for them to develop into a noticeable problem. With regular plumbing maintenance for your home or business, you will extend the lifespan of all your plumbing components, keep clogs away, and prevent small issues from causing major plumbing and water damage problems.
Extend Plumbing Lifespan
Plumbing clogs and blockages often get so bad that the pipes need to be cut out and replaced. If you’re able to keep your pipes clean and working well, your pipes and fixtures will exceed the its expected lifespan.
Prevent Toilet Leaks
It can be tempting to take on common bathroom plumbing repairs yourself, but unless you have the training and expertise needed, this isn’t advisable. The best solution for dealing with clogs, corrosion, and water leaks is by scheduling maintenance from a trained, professional plumber.
Regular plumbing maintenance has huge potential benefits for residents and business owners.
Work with the local and honest plumbing technicians at HELP for honest work done right the first time. We’ll evaluate your current system, give you feedback, and help set up the perfect game plan to improve the health and efficiency of your home.
If replacement services are required, it’s important to know which products will best fit your needs. We can help you select the right home solutions from a wide variety of top-of-the-line plumbing products. We provide on-time, customized plumbing solutions for all your needs.
Remember that whenever you need a plumber or HVAC technician in the Cincinnati area, HELP is your first, best call. We are known for our expert plumbing services, but we also have highly skilled team of HVAC professionals ready to help with any heating or cooling concerns. We can also help you with that water heater maintenance if you don’t have the tools or the time!
Contact HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains at (513) 333-HELP (4357) for all your plumbing and HVAC needs in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and West Harrison, Indiana.