In just a few short weeks, the cold weather of winter will engulf the United States. If you live in an area where the temperatures get extremely cold during this time of year, then preparing various parts of your home for the frigid weather now is imperative. One of the elements in your home most vulnerable to damage from cold weather is your plumbing system. Many plumbing emergencies can surface as a result of water freezing in your pipes.
When confronted with these problems, searching online for “plumbers near me” for a local expert is important. A professional plumber will help you get your system into good shape for the winter and identify any possible issues before they become big problems.
Here are some things you can do to prepare your residential plumbing system for winter.
Disconnect Your Outdoor Water Hoses
Approximately 28% of the residential repair issues encountered by homeowners annually involve their plumbing systems. One of the main goals you should have as a homeowner is staying one step ahead of potential plumbing issues. During the spring and summer months, most homeowners will use water hoses outdoors to water their plants and grass. While these hoses come in handy when it is warm outside, they can become a repair hazard in the winter months. If any water is left inside of these hoses when temperatures outside get below freezing, you may have to deal with a damaged outdoor plumbing pipe.
If you want to avoid this damage, then you have to disconnect your outdoor hoses. Allowing these hoses to remain connected to your outdoor faucets can lead to them backing up and cracking the plumbing pipe inside your home that feeds water to your outdoor spigot.
Draining your hoses and storing them in a dry area will help to ensure they are ready to use when the weather outside gets warm again.
Heat Cables Are a Great Investment
Frozen plumbing pipes can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an area that has brutally cold winters, then you need to find a way to protect the plumbing pipes on the outside of your home. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by investing in heat cables. These specialized cables are equipped with a thermostat that detects when temperatures get below freezing.
When cold weather is detected, these cables will come on and heat the pipes they are attached to. With this small amount of heat, you can prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing over. These cables are both very affordable and easy to install, which makes them a great option for homes located in cold climates. You need to keep in mind that you will need an electrical outlet to make these heat cables functional. If you don’t have an outlet on the outside of your home, you need to hire an electrician to put one in before cold weather arrives.
Inspect Your Existing Water Heater
The water heater is one of the most important plumbing components in your home. Without a functional water heater, you will be unable to fight off the winter cold with the help of a hot shower. During the winter months, your water heater will have to work much harder than normal. Before the temperatures drop, do a thorough inspection of your existing water heater. If your water heater is over a decade old, then it might be time to replace it.
Older water heaters will struggle to operate during the winter without wasting tons of energy. During the inspection of your residential water heater, be sure to pay attention to any rust spots. If you see any, you may need to replace it. These rust spots will eventually turn into small holes, which will allow water to leak out and damage the flooring around the water heater. With the addition of a new water heater, you can avoid this type of damage.
Turn Off Water If You Leave Town
The average person travels a lot during the winter months and leaves their home empty for several weeks at a time. Before you head out on a holiday trip, you need to cut off the water supply to your home. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of damage caused by things like burst pipes and damaged water heaters.
Turning off your water also prevents problems if a leak forms while you are away. The last thing you want upon returning from your vacation is to find your basement with inches of water in it.
If you are unsure where your main water cut-off valve is, then you need to contact an experienced plumber to help you locate it.
There are many things you can do to get your plumbing system ready for winter. By using these tips, you can avoid serious plumbing repair issues and enjoy a cozy, comfortable winter inside your home.