How to Prepare Your Plumbing System Against Winter

With winter right around the corner, you deserve to know some of the steps you can take to ensure Nashville’s frigid temperatures don’t harm your plumbing system.  Frozen water in your pipes is not only an inconvenience, but also it has the potential to completely destroy your plumbing.  So don’t wait until it is too late; as the temperatures begin to drop, take the necessary steps to make sure your pipes and appliances operate smoothly throughout the duration of Nasvhille’s bitter winter.

Fix Leaks

One of the first steps you should take is to have your plumbing inspected for leaks – or inspect them yourself if you know what to look for!  Even the smallest leak can cause some major issues as the temperatures drop.  If the water in your pipes freezes and swells, a leak can cause the pipes to burst, which can be costly and time-consuming to fix.  Fixing a leak early on can save you unnecessary work and a major headache down the road.

Insulate Your Pipes

Another preventative measure is insulating any exposed pipes.  You should wrap these pipes in insulation foam, which is inexpensive and relatively easy to install.  This strategy will help you avoid wasting hot water (which will save you on heating costs) and decrease the likelihood of freezing pipes.  To find exposed pipes, search in your attic, crawl space, garage, and any other areas that will be surrounded by cold air.  Insulating your pipes is an easy step to give you the peace of mind you deserve as winter temperatures approach.

Winterize Outside Faucets

Failing to turn off outdoor faucets and appliances can cause some serious damage to your plumbing system if they freeze.  To start, you should disconnect and drain any garden hoses that may be connected to outdoor faucets.  To ensure its protection, store the hose in a warm location – perhaps a garage or shed – during winter.  Next, take care of any other faucets that are exposed to the elements.   These may include outdoor taps, cooling units, swimming pools, and sprinkler systems.  Drain these systems and in some cases, turn their water supply completely off for the winter.

Locate Your Water Main

This step will prepare you if you are faced with the worst-case scenario: a burst pipe due to freezing.  Should this happen, you need to prepared for the emergency.  Thus, knowing exactly where your water main is will allow you to address the problem and shut off the water as quickly as possible, which will minimize the damage as you wait for repair.  Additionally, it is always wise to turn off the water if you plan to leave your home for longer than a day.

Take Extra Precautions

There is no such thing as over preparation when it comes to the maintenance and care of your home.  Thus, be sure to take some extra measures when you know the temperatures are going to be dropping.  First, you should always keep your house warm when it is cold outside, especially at night.  Having your thermostat at a high temperature will keep your pipes warm and lower the risk of freezing.  Next, open cupboard doors in areas where you have exposed pipes– in your kitchen, bathroom, closets, etc. – which allows warm air to circulate around these pipes.  Lastly, keep your garage doors closed whenever possible in order to keep colder air out.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to being preparing your plumbing system for winter weather.  Take the necessary preventative measures as soon as possible so you don’t have worry about frozen pipes during the winter holidays!

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