Plumbing Checklist to prepare for Winter by Bryan Enders
As temperatures begin to fall, homeowners should begin to prepare their home for plumbing problems associated with cold weather. To help prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead and to ensure that you don’t experience any unwanted plumbing problems.
1. Disconnect Water Hoses (This is the biggest problem for our customers.)
Be sure to disconnect your hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will likely freeze and break the device. Even with product enhancements like anti-freeze lawn faucets if hoses are not disconnected you still risk them freezing and cracking.
Make sure to check that outside faucets are not dripping or leaking. If so, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks – no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding. Keep in mind, if you have an underground sprinkler system this will also need to be turned off by a professional.
3. Insulate Pipes and Seal Leaks
Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing. Seal leaks around doors and windows to reduce cold air penetration.
4. Inspect and Clean Sump Pump
Sump pumps should be checked and cleaned annually. Fall is the perfect time to check your sump pump and make any necessary repairs. As a homeowner you can dump water into the sump pump and make sure it’s working properly.