When the seasons change and you start doing tasks around your home to prepare for fall and winter, you need to make sure your plumbing is also ready for the season. It’s important to make sure your water supply lines and sewage system flows freely so that you don’t have clogs or frozen pipes in the colder weather. The following steps can help accomplish this, but you may want to consult your local plumber for additional servicing or preparation.
1. Make Sure Outdoor Faucets Have Been Turned Off And Drained
One of the most vulnerable pipes in your home that can freeze is your outdoor spigot where you connect your garden hose. It’s important to shut the valve to the spigot off, and then open the faucet and any bleeders to get all the water out. This will decrease the likelihood that ice will build up in your water lines. There are also sill cocks you can get for the pipe leading from the outdoor faucet to the water tank that are designed to prevent water from staying in the pipe.
2. Make Sure Holes In Rim Joists And Areas Near Cold Air Flow Are Sealed Off
You need to make sure all pipes going near the outside of your home are protected from airflow that can seep through walls or rim joists. All holes there should have flexible foam or caulk that keep the pipes protected from cold air. You do want to make sure they aren’t cut off from warm air inside, and your furnace will also need a little air to stay lit.
3. Have A Heat Cable With Insulation Running On Your Pipes
This step might be one you leave to the plumber if you don’t know where all your pipes go, or you need to reroute them. But one way to keep them from freezing is to have a heated cable surrounded by pipe insulation attached to the pipes that will stay warm even when the temperatures outside our below freezing. It’s not just the supply lines you may want to use heat cables on because your drains as well may need protection from extreme temperatures to make sure your sinks don’t overflow. There are additional resources available at Caldwell Plumbing.
4. Be Ready To Keep Your Water Running A Little
If you’re going to be dealing with extremely cold temperatures that you believe may cause a pressure buildup from pipes freezing, you may need to turn your water faucet on to where water is slowly coming out and keep it running. This will usually be enough to keep freezing pipes from breaking and bursting, and it will usually only cost a little on your water bill in the short-term. If you’re going to be gone for a significant period during the winter, you may want to take the opposite approach and do a complete water shut-off to your home. But for the most part, this practice will help keep your water running without too much difficulty.