Winter is just around the corner, and with dropping temperatures, it's important to prepare your home to withstand the cold weather. One area that often gets neglected during the winterization process is the plumbing system. The last thing you want is to deal with bursted pipes or frozen fixtures when a cold snap hits. So, to help you avoid any unexpected plumbing issues this winter, we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to winterize your home.
1. Insulate Pipes: Start by insulating any exposed pipes, especially those located in unheated areas such as crawl spaces, attics, or basements. Pipe insulation sleeves or wraps work wonders in preventing heat loss and ultimately freezing. Make sure to cover both hot and cold water pipes to protect them from potential freeze damage.
2. Disconnect Outside Hoses: Disconnect all outdoor hoses and drain any water from them. Leaving hoses connected can lead to water freezing in the pipes, potentially causing damage to both the hose and the faucet. Once drained, store the hoses in a dry place to prevent degradation.
3. Locate and Shut Off Water Main Valve: Find and shut off the water main valve to prevent water flow to your home. This step is crucial if you plan on being away from home during colder periods. By shutting off the water supply, you minimize the risk of pipes bursting or leaking while you are away.
4. Drain Irrigation Systems: If you have an irrigation system or sprinklers, it's crucial to drain them to avoid freezing. Turn off the water supply to these systems and then open the drain valves to remove any remaining water.
5. Insulate Water Heater: To prevent heat loss and save energy, it's a good idea to insulate your water heater. Use an insulation blanket or cover to wrap the heater tightly, paying extra attention to the top and sides. Be sure to leave openings for vents, controls, and the pressure relief valve.
6. Seal any Leaks: Check around your windows, doors, and other potential entry points for drafts or leaks. Apply weather stripping or caulking to seal gaps that could let cold air in and warm air out. Doing so not only helps with winterization but also improves energy efficiency year-round.
7. Keep the Heat On: If you plan on going away on vacation or leaving your property unoccupied for an extended period during winter, don't turn off your heating system. Set the temperature to a moderate level (around 55-60°F) to ensure proper heat circulation and prevent frozen or burst pipes.
8. Schedule a Professional Inspection: Consider having a professional plumbing service, like Dutton Plumbing, Inc., inspect your plumbing system to identify potential issues before winter arrives. They will be able to detect hidden leaks, assess the integrity of your pipes, and offer specific advice for winterizing your home based on its unique circumstances.
By following these simple steps, you can significantly minimize the risk of plumbing issues and keep your home running smoothly even in the harshest winter weather. Remember, prevention is always better than dealing with costly repairs. So, take the time now to winterize your plumbing system and enjoy a stress-free winter season. If you need help with any of this, please call us at 317-938-8969 for us to come out!