If you live in an area of the country that gets especially cold during the winter, it is critically important as a homeowner to keep a close eye on your plumbing system until the ice begins to thaw. If you have had winter plumbing trouble in the past and are looking to make this year the one where you finally take control of the situation, here are a few tips that might help.
Turn Your Faucets On When It Becomes Frigid
If you have had issues with frozen pipes in the past, here is one tip that should hopefully help you make it through this winter unscathed. In short, moving water takes longer to freeze than water that is standing still. This is why at the first sign of frigid temperatures, it's a good idea to lightly turn on every faucet in the house. You don't need a huge gush of water coming out, you just need a stream about as think as a pencil.
Yes, your water bill will be a bit higher if you keep this going, but that's likely far cheaper than the repair bill you will have to deal with if one of your pipes freezes and bursts.
Beware of Outdoor Valves and Hoses
If you have any outdoor faucets, it is very important to make sure there is no water going to an outside line after the temperature begins to dip. Close and drain your shut-off valves leading to these faucets to remove all water from the lines. If you have any outdoor hoses connected, you should completely disconnect and pack up the hose for the length of the winter. If there is any water left inside of a hose and it expands due to freezing, it could affect your faucet and any connected pipes.
Get a Full Inspection Every Fall
For best results, reach out to a local plumber and get him or her to run down a plumbing maintenance checklist for you every fall before the coldest temperatures arrive. A good plumber will be able to do things like fix areas that could be at risk of a leak and might be able to provide some additional insulation for some of your exposed pipes.
If you want your home's plumbing system to make it through the winter with no trouble, be prepared to turn off all outdoor faucets and disconnect any hoses before the first frost hits. If temperatures are especially frigid, leave your indoor faucets running to make it harder for the water to freeze. For more tips, reach out to a local plumber and schedule a regular plumbing inspection today.