The winter season approaches, which brings several headaches as you ensure your house can withstand the cold temperatures. However, you can ease the long list of to-do’s on your list if you understand the steps you should take to prepare your house.
One of the essential parts of your house that you must pay attention to is the plumbing system. Here are three steps you should remember to prepare your system for winter.
1. Inspection and Repair
Your first concern is to ensure your plumbing system does not have any compromised sections or fixtures, as these might further damage the system during winter. Leaks can spell trouble for your pipes during the cold season as the leaking water can freeze in damaged sections and open a wider gap than the initial crack or hole.
Check for the position of the main water line valve. This information will help you respond quickly if you suspect that your plumbing system has become a victim to the winter weather. You can quickly cut off the water supply to your whole house and avoid a significant mess that might cost you time and money to fix.
Leaky fixtures will require adequate measures to ensure they do not seep water into the environment. A plumber is the best person for this job since they have the right tools and skills to permanently resolve any issues.
Severe issues that are unfixable via repairs will require replacements. You can take this opportunity to replace worn-out and damaged fixtures with energy-efficient, winter-proof installations.
Next, you should figure out how to protect your plumbing from the cold weather. Pipe insulation sleeves can help your piping system maintain an adequate temperature to keep the water liquid. You can also insulate your fixtures, like faucets, to ensure you increase the protection.
You can layer heat cables beneath the insulation fabric if the cold is too intense. These additional measures can complement or even upgrade your thermal management, and will ensure ice melts within the piping system should using the insulation layer alone fail.
You should drain, shut off, and disconnect any fixtures that you will not use during the winter. Fixtures with metal fittings — like hoses — will suffer the most. Remember to drain the pipes and hoses, too. You can use an air compressor to ensure you get rid of all the water inside the hose or pipe.
You should open up kitchen cabinets and drip faucets when you travel for a significant time away from your home. The open cabinets will ensure that warm air reaches your piping system. Dripping the faucets creates a considerable water flow that can prevent ice formation inside your pipes.
Use antifreeze for fixtures that require water not used for consumption. For example, toilets can benefit from antifreeze, as opposed to refilling the toilet whenever someone wants to use it. You can also use antifreeze in sinks and drainage systems.
Check your house’s heating system. The heating system should provide and maintain warm temperatures throughout your house, which can help maintain adequate temperatures for your piping system. You can use a fan to circulate warm air in areas that warm air cannot reach easily.
Finally, check your house’s insulation and sealant, especially in areas with pipes. Seal off any cracks and gaps you find. Also, insulate your crawl space and ensure you close your garage door if your pipes pass near or inside your garage. This measure will ensure that no cold air seeps into the house.
Contact us at Spartan Plumbing and Services to prepare your plumbing system for winter.