As the cold winter weather creeps us on us, we all start our holiday preparations. We don't want to be caught unprepared for family get-togethers, so we buy gifts and food, we clean our homes extra well and go to great lengths to be ultra accommodating. But there's one thing not to forget: doing the necessary preparations to avoid costly plumbing issues.
Winter - and the holiday season in particular - is our busiest time here at Anta Plumbing. The seasonal temperature shifts combine with holiday festivities, travel, and increased wear and tear to cause your plumbing to go on the blink. Here are some of our best tips to help you avoid costly winter plumbing issues.
1. Avoid the freeze
During cold snaps, water can freeze inside your plumbing pipes and fixtures, which could cause them to burst. Avoid frozen pipes as follows:
- wrap uninsulated pipes in foam, old towels or blankets.
- allow warm air to circulate into the basement or attic to warm pipes up.
- invest in electrical insulation strips.
- allow at-risk taps to drip ever so slowly during cold snaps.
2. Fix those plumbing leaks as soon as possible
Do a plumbing inspection ahead of the cold snaps, and have any possible leaks fixed as soon as possible. Check every faucet in your bathroom, utility and kitchen for puddles or drips.
3. Have your water heater serviced ahead of the holidays
The last thing you need when you have a house full of guests, is a broken hot water heater. These issues always tend to crop up at the worst possible times, so add a hot water heater service to the top of your holiday preparation priority list.
If your home is in an area known for hard water, that can cause sediment to build up inside your water heater tank and that can cause rust to develop. That rust can enter your potable water and it can damage your hot water heater.
4. Winterize your outdoor plumbing
If you have not done so yet, it is time to disconnect your garden hose and pack it up until the warmer weather rolls around. Water left in the hose can freeze, causing it to expand and that will freeze your faucets and connected pipes.
While you're at it, also close interior shut off valves connected to outdoor faucets. Allow the water to drain from outside lines to prevent it from freezing.
5. Perform sump pit maintenance
Before you start to roll out the red carpet for your holiday guests, first clean and inspect your sump pump and sump pit. The pump may freeze during a cold snap, causing it to stop working. Sump pump failure could cause it to malfunction, resulting in basement flooding during heavy winter rain.
Here at Anta Plumbing, we wish you a winter warmed by family and friends, rather than by the professional service of your local neighborhood plumbers. However, we are available 24/7/365 when you need us.