These tips will help you avoid common issues that can significantly impact your plumbing system and cause costly damages. Whether you live in a mild or harsh winter weather climate, these tips will help you prepare your home’s plumbing for the cold months ahead.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your plumbing in the winter is to insulate your pipes. Insulation helps to keep your pipes warm and prevent heat loss. This can reduce your energy bills and prevent pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst and cause flooding and water damage in your home. To insulate your pipes, you can use foam pipe sleeves, heat tape, or spray foam insulation. Make sure to insulate all exposed pipes, especially those in unheated areas of your home like the basement, attic, or garage.
Disconnect Outdoor Faucets
Disconnecting your outside faucets is another way to reduce the risk of freezing. Because they are outdoors, they are exposed to the cold air and can freeze quickly. This can cause the pipes exposed to the cold air to crack or burst. To disconnect them, locate the main water pipe and turn it off, drain the water, and cover the hose with a protector or a towel. This will help to keep your pipes from freezing and save you from expensive plumbing repairs.
Keep A Dripping Faucet
During the winter months, let your faucets drip slightly to prevent the water pipes in your home from bursting. This is because water expands as it freezes and can create pressure in the water line. Turning on a faucet can relieve some of that pressure and prevent the pipes from bursting.
Keep Warm Air Circulating
Another winter tip is to maintain your home’s temperature consistently. You should avoid turning the heat too low while away from home or at night. Why? This can cause the temperature in your home to drop below freezing and cause your pipes to freeze – leading to a plumbing emergency or a costly repair. To prevent this, you should always keep your home’s temperature set at a minimum of 55°F (13°C). You can also use a smart or a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature automatically according to your schedule.
Shut Off Your Main Water Valve
One of the most essential winter advice is to make sure your water heater is working properly. If you leave your home for a long time or expect a freeze, you should also shut off your home’s main water valve. This will help prevent any plumbing issues caused by frozen or burst pipes. This valve is usually located next to the water meter, in the basement, or a utility closet. You should also open the faucets in your kitchen and bathroom to drain any remaining water from the pipes.
Drain your Water Heater
Draining your water heater can help prevent sediment buildup, corrosion, and damage to the tank and heating elements. You should drain your water heater at least once a year.
Seal Off Your Crawl Space
Sealing off your crawl space is one of the best ways to prevent freezing and save energy in the winter. Your crawl space is the area under your house with pipes along the walls or floor. Pipes that are exposed to cold temperature can damage your plumbing system. To seal it off, you should cover any gaps or cracks in the foundation, walls, vents, and doors with caulk, foam, weatherstripping, or insulation. You should also lay a plastic sheet over the floor to keep out moisture and mold.
Open Your Cabinets
A simple but effective winter tip is to open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets during the colder season. This will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes under your sinks and prevent them from freezing.
Fix any leaks as soon as possible. Leaks can waste water, increase your bills, and cause damage to your home. They can also make your pipes more vulnerable to freezing and bursting in winter. To fix a leak, you should first locate the source of the leak and turn off the water supply.
Prepare For Vacation
If you are planning to go away from your home for several days during the fall and winter, you should prepare your plumbing to avoid any problems when you return. Simple steps include:
- Opening up your cabinet doors
- Turning off the main shut-off valve to your home
- Draining the water from your pipes
- Turning off the power or gas supply to your water heater
It’s no question that Texas can go into a stand still during colder weather. Because of this, reliable plumbing maintenance is essential to keep your system in tip-top shape. For reliable and affordable plumbing services in Fort Worth, don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert plumbers to get your home ready for the winter.