Winter weather can be brutal and avoiding emergency plumbing problems (like frozen pipes) is crucial. The following tips will help you avoid costly plumbing emergencies.
Get Existing Leaks Fixed
Even what appears to be an insignificant leak can result in major problems during frigid winter months. As the water in pipes expands as the temperatures begin to get cold, leaks can cause weak spots that cause them to burst due to increased pressure.
Properly insulate any exposed pipes around your home to reduce the chance of them freezing. Insulating the pipes will also help reduce water heating costs.
Winterize the Outdoor Faucets
To help prevent frozen pipes, drain and disconnect hoses connected to outdoor faucets. Also, make sure that exposed pipes are drained of water that could end up freezing and expanding. You may even want to shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets you don’t plan on using.
Have the Water Heater Serviced
It’s a good idea to have your water heater drained and serviced as winter approaches to avoid problems and make sure that you have enough hot water.
Have the Furnace Inspected
If your furnace stops working, you run the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting. An inspection will help avoid this problem and ensure that your home will stay nice and warm.
Avoid Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are a common plumbing emergency during the winter holidays, thanks to all the cooking. Using removable screens will help avoid clogging, along with not dumping grease, coffee grounds, etc., down the drain.
Heading Out of Town?
If you plan on heading out of town during the winter, shut off the water or leave it on and set the thermostat high enough to avoid freezing. The last thing you want to do is come home to burst pipes!
Know Where the Water Main Is
In case of a plumbing emergency, it’s a good idea to know where the water main is. This way you’ll be able to shut off the water in case of an emergency, helping minimize damage until you have the problem repaired.
Note: If you are noticing slower water flow and think it may be due to frozen pipes, call a plumber right away. In some cases, problems like this can be remedied before costly damages occur.
Being prepared for emergency plumbing problems now will save you time, money, and aggravation during the winter months. Not sure what steps to take to avoid a plumbing emergency? Contact a professional.