Winter Plumbing Maintenance Tips

The cold weather can present problems for your plumbing system if you do not take steps to maintain your pipes over the winter. Here are some tips to make sure your plumbing continues to work well during the winter months.

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  1. Prevent pipes from freezing.

This is one of the biggest problems people face during winter time with their plumbing. When the temperatures drop, water inside the pipes can freeze, and this may cause a rupture in the pipes. To prevent this, you can wrap the pipes in foam insulation. There are foam tubes with an opening along one side that you can slide over the pipe to protect it.

Keep an eye on the water pressure because the first sign of a frozen pipe is a decrease in the flow of water.

Another way to stop pipes from freezing is to allow a trickle of water to flow from a faucet during the night when the temperature is lowest. Water that is flowing does not freeze.

  1. Put garden hoses away.

Do not allow your garden hose to remain connected to the outdoor faucet during the winter.  If you do, ice can form in the pipes and the pressure can build up, which will lead to a break in the pipes. Also, you can cover your exterior faucets with a faucet jacket, which will also protect the pipes from colder temperatures.

  1. Close shut off valves.

Use these valves to drain water from pipes that lead to outdoor hose bibs. The valves are usually located under sinks, in crawl spaces and basements, or near water heaters. Close the valves and then drain the water from the pipes.

  1. Keep house temperature above 55 degrees.

This generally isn’t a problem for most homes. But you need to do this to prevent pipes from freezing. You can also open cabinet doors under faucets and near exterior walls to get warmer air circulating around the pipes.

  1. Close the garage door.

This is an easy one, so there is no excuse not to do it. Most garages aren’t insulated and you don’t need cold air from the outside blowing in and then blowing against the walls that connect to your home’s interior.

  1. Get your plumbing system checked each year.

This will go a long way toward preventing problems with your pipes in the winter.

  1. Clean the sump pump.

If you don’t, it may freeze in the cold weather, and then it won’t work. This may allow water to get into your basement and cause flooding, something you don’t want to have to deal with in cold weather.

If you’d like your plumbing system checked before it gets too much colder, contact us here at Plumbing Dynamics. Contact us by calling 214-929-3431 or send us an e-mail message.

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