Before temperatures begin to drop and the winter sets it’s imperative that one’s plumbing system undergoes a thorough inspection to identify problem areas. Many people take for granted the health of their plumbing system only to end up with a system that can’t perform during the winter period. In the words of Ned Stark in Game of thrones: “Brace yourself. Winter is coming.”
How do I perform plumbing maintenance for the winter?
Prepare outdoor facets and drains
This entails draining any water hoses and storing them in a safe place indoors. If left outdoors water hoses will rupture and faucets will freeze. Buy some faucet covers to place over the faucets and prevent damage to them like rust.
Clear the drains of any vegetation or foliage and clean out the gutter. The drains will drain away snow water and ice preventing flooding on the property especially as the ice and snow begin to melt.
Have repairs done
Repair all the leaks in the plumbing to prevent water loss and keep the plumbing system working at optimum throughout the period. Maintenance and repairs should also include any appliances like the heater. If the heater has been operational without issues it’s still crucial to call a heating expert to tune it so that it doesn’t break down in the middle of winter. Having repairs done eliminates the risk of rusty water and leaks that can attract pests into the home..
Insulate the pipes
This ensures that the pipes don’t fluctuate in temperature and burst mid-winter. The ideal temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit which one can keep constant by using a heat cable plugged to an electrical outlet. However, since this is a winter long endeavor one must be ready to incur the cost of the heating.
For other pipes in areas like the attic and basement, one can use foam sheathes which are long enough and provide adequate heat to insulate the whole exposed area of the piping. It’s crucial to ensure that there is no area left exposed to the freezing temperatures as this will result in burst pipes.
Have a technician on speed dial during the winter in case any issues arise. This is because plumbing problems arising during the winter can become quickly exacerbated by low temperatures resulting in an uninhabitable environment. Keep an ear out for unusual sounds in the pipes and perform checks of the pipes in less frequented areas like the basement and garage.