How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

In the winter, your plumbing is a disaster waiting to happen. When it gets cold enough, the water freezes and may burst, causing a massive homeowner disaster.

But, if you take the necessary precautions as winter approaches, you can prevent the major threats. Chilly weather is the sign that now is the time to prepare your plumbing for winter so that you won’t have mess on your hands later on.

In this article, we suggest 4 areas you should check on now to ensure your home is ready for the winter months ahead.

Yes, It’s Cold Outside. Check Your Outdoors.

Walk around your house and look at any spigots going outside. If you have any garden hoses, detach them. Leaving outdoor hoses attached allows the water in them to freeze and expand which will burst your pipes.

Once all of the garden hoses are removed, you should turn off all valves that lead outside the house. Any water outside the warmth of your home is liable to freeze. Closed valves keep the cold air rushing into the pipes.

Junctions are the sections of plumbing in a crucial area where water coming from the cold ground enters the house. Since the ground is especially cold in the wintertime, you should inspect these areas to ensure they are free of leaks and properly insulated.

Internal Leaks Hit Close to Home

Leaking can be a problem anytime. But, in the wintertime, leaking pipes can freeze and freezing water will expand and break the pipes. This effectually snowballs into a much larger issue than it should be otherwise.

You should do a full inspection of your plumbing to make sure that there are no vulnerabilities before a cold snap sends you rushing to fix the damages. Look for puddles or drips that could indicate an underlying problem.  You can also read your water meter to determine if you have any leaks.

The Pipes in the Garage, Attic, and Crawl Space

Before stocking up on hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts, consider taking a trip to your local hardware store and pick up some pipe insulation. Look around the house for any pipes that are not in heated locations. This could mean the pipe running through the garage, attic, or crawl space. Plumbing in these places needs to be insulated to prevent freezing.

Does your Water Heater Have the Sniffles?

If you are looking forward to cold showers in the winter, you’re crazy and asking for hypothermia. Most of us prefer for our hot water to be hot, especially during the colder months of the year. But when the temperatures drop, the water heater has to work harder than it does in the summer months. A water heater that has not been inspected and maintained is most vulnerable to breaking down in the winter.  Check for these signs that your water heater needs to be replaced.

How a Plumber can Help

Winter should be full of family get-togethers and happiness, not exploding and freezing pipes that take days and weeks to fix. Asking a plumber to inspect your plumbing is a surefire way to have peace of mind that your house is in good shape for the holiday season.

Call Mike Wilson Plumbing at (804) 641-6570 for all your winter plumbing needs!