Winter-Proof Your Plumbing in the Fall

When it comes to taking care of your plumbing system for the fall, the main objective is to prepare your house for the winter. A surprise cold snap could lead to plumbing emergencies that are highly preventable. Here then are some ways to prevent plumbing disasters by getting ready to face freezing weather, just in case, it comes earlier than expected.

Outdoor Plumbing

Water hoses can be a liability in the cold. If an outdoor water hose is connected to plumbing that goes into the house, and the water in the hose freezes, then this can cause the water inside the connected pipes to freeze as well. This can quickly lead to a burst pipe. Do not leave any water hoses connected.

If you have a sump pump, you will want to clean it out and make sure it is working well. You do not want to allow your pump to freeze. Cleaning out your gutters and downspouts can also help, allowing water to drain well when it thaws.

You will need to inspect outdoor faucets, and you cannot ignore any leaks or drips. Either you will need to fix the problem or contact a plumbing technician for help, because if your pipes freeze, then cracks will appear. This is true whether your pipes are copper, plastic, or steel. All it takes is one crack to create a flood or severe water damage. Once you have ensured that your outdoor faucets are in good order, you can cover these with Styrofoam faucet insulation.

Inside Your Home

Even indoor pipes should be insulated if they are located in places without heating, such as in a garage. If you have pipes that tend to freeze, then you can use heat tape or heat cables along those pipes. You may need to insulate the house itself, that is, seal off doors and windows that would let in the frosty air. If you are going to be gone for a while, be sure to turn off the main water valve and to open faucets, draining out your plumbing. Before you go, leave the heat on at 55° or higher. If you are looking to winter-proof a vacation home or a home from which you will be gone throughout the winter, then you will need to take additional measures.

Water Heater Tips

In preparation for a tasking winter for your boiler, you can drain it and clean it out for improved performance. Look on the manufacturer’s website to find details on how to do this for your type of water heater. Then you might want to test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. Very, very carefully, you can pull the lever up then let it go. This should send some hot water down the drainpipe. If it does not do so, then that valve needs to be replaced. If your water heater is older than five years, however, you should not test the valve until you have called a plumber. If an older valve has not been tested before, then the test could create a leak. Finally, if all is well, you can make sure that the heater’s thermostat is set to 120° Fahrenheit.

You can call the expert plumbing technicians at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc. whenever you need help with a plumbing issue, no matter how small or great. You can find the friendly help you need from an experienced Kansas City plumber whenever a plumbing emergency strikes. Get a quote when you call our team today.

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