Winter is right around the corner, and that means a nearly-constant worry about your pipes freezing over and possibly bursting. When water freezes, it expands. When it expands and has nowhere to go, it places tremendous pressure against whatever container it’s in. When that container is your pipes, it potentially could cause them to burst. That being said, spending a little bit of extra time preparing your home for the cold winter nights can do wonders to protect you from these issues. Here are a few simple steps you can follow.
Prepare Your Outdoor Water Faucets and Fixtures
Outdoor water fixtures are usually the first ones to freeze when the temperatures get low enough. Have a garden hose outside? Drain it, roll it up, and store it in a shed or garage to protect it from damage.
A hose with water in it that freezes is prone to damage and bursting. Likewise, this can prevent their connection from freezing onto the outdoor faucet. Also, make sure your faucets are completely closed and won’t leak.
Fix A Leaky Pipe
Leaky pipes in frigid temperatures are asking for a freeze, and not only that, they expedite the process of the water in the pipe itself freezing as well. Before the first freeze of the season, you should be sure to get any leaky pipes fixed with the assistance of an experienced Valparaiso plumber.
Wrap Pipes in Unheated Areas
This is arguably the single most important thing you can do to prepare your plumbing. Your local hardware or home improvement store should carry pipe insulation or heat tape that you can use to wrap your exposed plumbing and keep them shielded from the frigid temperatures. This can prevent your plumbing from freezing over on even the coldest nights. They’re usually just a few dollars, and this minimal investment of time could save you hundreds or even thousands later by preventing your pipes from freezing over.
Drain Your Water Heater
Your water heater needs to be regularly maintained, and part of that regular maintenance should include completely draining it ever so often. Mineral buildup, such as calcium or magnesium, can happen in your water heater and draining it will help rid it of some of these deposits.
Once you have drained your heater, adjust the temperature to make sure it’s at a comfortable level. Of course, feel free to skip this step if you have a new tankless water heater system.
If you experience a plumbing problem this winter, call Regional Plumbing Heating & Air at (219) 369-4461 and let a professional member of our staff get the issue fixed for you!