One of the hallmarks of basic plumbing maintenance for your home is preparing your pipes for cold weather. Pipes that are not properly winterized can freeze up and split causing a leaky water mess and even damage to property. But by doing a few simple things now, your pipes will remain frost-free and leak-free all heating season long.
Winterize Your Pipes In Just Five Easy Steps –
- Disconnect outside water hoses. Ideally, it is best to disconnect, drain, and hang them out of the way. If all you do is simply disconnect from the outside hose faucet, at least it will guarantee that inside pipes will not freeze and break.
- Shut off all interior valves that supply outside faucets. If possible, cover the outside faucets with polystyrene foam faucet covers to keep them from freezing.
- Insulate your pipes in unheated crawl spaces. If pipes have ever frozen in the past, use heat tape or a heating cable designed for pipes to protect them from freezing again. These types of heating tapes and cables need to be plugged in, but use very little electricity.
- Perform basic water heater maintenance. Flush the heater to remove sediment, check the pressure relief valve by pulling it up and letting it snap back into place (then re-seat), make sure the drain valve is not leaking and set the temperature to 120 degrees for optimal water heater operation.
- Reduce the thermostat. If you leave for an extended period of time set the thermostat to 55 degrees. Turn off the main water valve that feeds your home and open up all of the faucets at the highest and lowest points to drain the system.
If you have questions about plumbing maintenance for your home, contact the professionals at Comfort Systems.