Winter can be hard on your plumbing, but taking care of the following issues can help you avoid most winter plumbing problems.
1. Insulate Your Water Heater
Heat loss from the walls of the water heater tank can lead to higher winter energy bills. This heat loss can be a year around problem, but it tends to get worse in winter when temperatures are lower and it takes more time to heat the water. This is especially true if the water heater is located in a basement or garage, where the air temperature tends to be lower than the rest of the home. Your plumber can wrap the heater in a water heater blanket, which is designed to insulate against heat loss.
2. Protect Outdoor Hose Bibs
Outdoor hose bibs are prone to damage when water inside the bib freezes and expands. This can lead to exterior water leaks. If you need winter access to outdoor water, you can install a freeze-resistant sill cock. This installation is placed a foot and half into the wall of your home so that your water will be less prone to freezing. The water stops flowing at the sill cock except when the tap is open, which cuts down on freeze dangers. You can then cover the hose bib with an insulated cover for more protection.
3. Shut Off Endangered Water Lines
If you won't be using the outside water, then shut off the water main that feeds into it. This way there won't be any water flow that could spring a leak if the lines freeze. Sprinkler lines need to be shut down and the excess water needs to be drained from the line. Hose bib taps should be open slightly so that water left in the tap can drain out. Cover valves and hose bibs with an insulated cover once the water is shut off.
4. Freeze-Proof Internal Pipes
If you have pipes that are prone to freezing inside your home, take steps to avoid problems now. Wrap the pipes with pipe insulation at the very least. In high risk areas you may want to invest in heat tape. This tape turns on and gently warms the pipes when the sensor on the tape picks up that temperatures have dropped below freezing.
5. Root Main Drain Lines
Slow moving drains can get worse in winter due to high soil water tables and cold temperatures. Schedule a drain cleaning in fall so any problem roots are removed. This also enables your plumber to pinpoint any main drain problems that may require repair when the soil is still unfrozen in case digging to the drain line is necessary.
Contact a plumber service like Complete Plumbing for more help when it comes to getting your plumbing winter-ready.