Winter Tips For Protecting Your Plumbing

winter plumbing tips

The winter season can be rough on your plumbing, so here are some tips that might help:

1. Water Faucets Located Outdoors. First get the hose disconnected, and then shut off the shut-off valve inside to the faucet. Drain out all the water in the pipe to the faucet by opening up the faucet, then leave the faucet “open” for the rest of the winter. Just be sure that the level of the house pitches away from the house, or all the water will just drain back into the pipe. This keeps the pipes from freezing and bursting.

2. Tune Up Your Water Heater. During the winter, more water heaters fail than at any other time of the year. The reason is that the water that comes into the water heater is much colder than normal, requiring the water heater to work harder. Make the time for the tune up for your water heater in the fall, before it really gets cold.

3. Make Sure The Outside Pipes Don’t Freeze. Most of the situations that cause freezing pipes are avoidable. Just take a look around the areas where there are any exposed pipes, and you will see immediately if any areas need to be looked into. If there are pipes, for example, under exposed floor boards, put some insulation between the joists and cover up the pipes. You can even wrap the pipes with a heated coil to keep the water in them from freezing. You can even open the faucets and let the water drip out. It is much more difficult for water to freeze if it is moving.

4. Dealing With The Sump Pump Discharge. Your sump pump is a very hardy piece of equipment, and it will run even when the ground is frozen or the pump is covered with snow. Keep an eye on this because if the pump does freeze and will not discharge the water that it is supposed to, you could end up with a flooded basement. If there is a long discharge hose attached to the pump, you should replace it, if possible with a shorter hose that is less likely to freeze. If you sump pump is on a ground level that is pitched back toward the house in any way, it can also lead to freezing as the water backs up. One of the most difficult issues to deal with is a sump pump running too long, and then burning out, causing a flooded basement.

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