Getting to Know Your New Home Plumbing System Your new home’s plumbing system is one of the most important parts of any house. It plays …
How to Prepare Your Plumbing System for Winter?
It’s no secret that the cold weather of winter can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, especially if you don’t take the proper precautions. Luckily, with the right steps and tips, you can help protect your pipes from freezing and keep them functioning properly all winter long.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your plumbing system for winter.
Turn down the water temperature
If you live in a place where winters are cold, you can save money by turning down your water temperature. Most people don’t realize that colder water isn’t necessarily more efficient; in fact, warm water is more efficient at dissolving soap than cold water. By turning down your thermostat to 50 degrees and avoiding hot showers, baths and dish washing during periods of peak electricity use (8 AM-10 AM, 5 PM-7 PM), you could cut heating costs by up to 10 percent.
Flush your Toilet
Turn on your shower and let it run until water is clear. If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on and run hot water until nothing but air is coming out of your faucet. Then, turn off all appliances that are connected to your sink (such as a dishwasher or washing machine). Next, check under any sinks for a floor drain – if there is one, flip open its cover and flush it with water until no more drains from your faucet.
Check for Exposed Pipes
Exposed pipes can freeze and burst when winter weather sets in. To prevent a plumbing disaster, be sure to cover exposed pipes with foam sleeves or blankets, and shut off any faucets that are attached to outside walls or fences. You might also consider wrapping your water meter with insulation if it’s exposed. If your pipes do freeze, they’ll likely break as soon as temperatures rise again in spring; so be prepared by investing in heat tape that you can wrap around vulnerable areas of your plumbing system.
Keep Freeze Plugs In
Freeze plugs keep water from flowing into your plumbing system if a pipe freezes. If you have a lot of pipes running under your house, you might need more than one freeze plug. If you live in an especially cold climate or have older pipes, it’s wise to have several freeze plugs installed. You can buy them at your local hardware store or through Amazon. Be sure to install them before winter rolls around so that they don’t get covered with snow and dirt.
Drain your Hoses
If you live in a cold region, it’s a good idea to drain your hoses and store them indoors or secure them in an accessible location. This helps reduce burst pipes and other problems associated with too much water pressure inside your plumbing system during cold weather.
Shut Off Your Main Valves
Before cold weather hits, it’s a good idea to shut off your home’s main water supply. Doing so makes it easier to test faucets and get rid of any moisture in your pipes. While you’re at it, double-check that all other exterior connections (such as sprinkler systems) are also turned off. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, check that your outdoor pipes are insulated.
Preparing for Winter - Conclusion
In winter, it’s important that you protect your plumbing system and prevent any damage. Taking some time to winterize your plumbing before cold weather sets in can save you a lot of money in repairs later on. After all, with a little bit of planning and preventative care, it’s easy to make sure that every aspect of your home is ready for winter season.