How To Prepare Your Plumbing For Winter

Winter is probably the hardest time in terms of maintaining your plumbing, which requires preparing your plumbing for winter.  A number of problems can potentially occur: anything from a frozen pipe to a flooded basement; and the damages that can be sustained are sever. Therefore, it is imperative for you to be diligent in maintaining your home’s plumbing to prevent water leaks during these harsh conditions.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

These can be the most disastrous for any home, especially if left frozen for an extended period of time. It is imperative for homeowners to keep some form of heating on constantly to prevent frozen pipes or eventual pipe bursts. If you do notice that a pipe has frozen over, quickly turn off water and attempt to thaw the pipe. Always contact a plumber if leaks do begin forming, as immediate action can prevent extensive water damage.

Other than simply heating your home, having insulation installed around your pipes well before the winter months set in is a good idea. Insulation for all the pipes in a small home is as inexpensive as $10 to $15 and is a major way you can prevent leaks in the winter.

Maintain Your Sump Pump

If snow has fallen and is rapidly melting, your sump pump will have a lot of work to do. Always make sure that there is no debris in the pit or within the sump pump that would otherwise impede proper flow. Test to make sure the sump pump is working efficiently by pouring some water and observing whether or not water is being sent out of your home. Always make sure the pump is connected to a dedicated power supply and that all parts are working properly.  If your pump is not working correctly when you check it, you may need to call a plumber for a sump pump repair or replacement.

Disconnect Outdoor Water Hoses

It is good practice to drain water out of outdoor faucets and to  remove water hoses when colder weather is approaching, so as to prevent any water left inside from freezing and damaging your faucets. By making sure to close indoor water valves that lead outside, you can help prevent accumulated water that is still left in the faucets from freezing.

Remove Snow Around Your Home

You most likely will be digging up the snow to get access to your car or front door. However, it is  just as important to remove the snow so that water does not begin to pool or find its way to your home’s foundation. Though a sump pump will often make sure that pooled water doesn’t cause a flood in your basement, it is good to clear away snow just as a precaution in case your sump pump decides to not work.

Anything Else?

Leaks and eventual bursts can be costly.  However, taking the right steps and inspecting your plumbing regularly can drastically reduce the chances of a disaster. Inspecting your outdoor faucets, making sure your sump pump is working properly, and insulating your pipes from the harsh cold are all tasks that should be done. Often times these tasks can be done effortlessly, but if you do notice a leak, act quickly to prevent further damage.

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