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If you’re sitting comfortably on the couch and having a good time, making no plans to go outside at all, we have a reminder for you! While a hot coffee and a warm fire in cold weather are at the top of your priorities as winter approaches around the corner, it’s also wise to keep in mind and winterise your plumbing and practice extra safety precautions. Can you imagine having low water pressure from your water heater and the cold air freezing you first before you can wonder what went wrong with your hot water system? Trust us, when winter hits, you don’t want to deal with a frozen pipe or another serious damage in your plumbing systems while everyone’s inside enjoying a warm blanket during the winter season.
We understand checking your home plumbing system is a monotonous job, but it’s the only way to avoid hefty repair bills with all the other different options costing more and additional major problems. With the ceaseless torrent of hail, rain and winds come many plumbing issues you’ve been putting off to deal with later. Problems such as frozen pipes, cracked walls and leaking roofs are waiting just around the corner.
So avoid the nightmares of extensive restoration projects. And don’t find yourself unexpectedly in ankle-deep, chilly water. Prepare your plumbing systems for winter in the best way possible! Let’s not wait for the cold season to be in full swing and only expect warm air and warm thoughts during the said season.
To make things easier with your household plumbing system, we’ve got this detailed guide and plumbing tips to take you through all the things you need to tick off the list while getting the plumbing in place for winter in the most effective way.
Winterising the house’s plumbing might sound dull, but that’s neither difficult nor time-consuming.
For preventative maintenance on your home plumbing system, we’d recommend hiring a professional plumbing service for a thorough inspection. However, if you want to do it alone, make a checklist of all the things that need examination and go through it one by one.
You must take a few essential steps and follow some plumbing tips to get a well-maintained plumbing system during winter, and We’ve got them right here for you.
In winter, the last thing you need is an icy stream of water interrupting your bliss and turning your hot shower into a cold shower. To prevent this from happening, remember to get the water tank serviced. Year-long accumulation of sediments and calcium buildup can settle on the bottom of the tank, reducing its capacity to hold warm water. They will increase electricity costs, as you’ll need more water throughout the day.
Not just that, the pipes leading back and forth to the water heater also require servicing and insulation to maintain their efficiency and prevent them from bursting.
Besides, we’d also like to add that annual maintenance will enhance your heating system’s efficiency and longevity. It reduces the chances of underperforming during the months when you need them the most.
Thus, as soon as winter approaches, either manually clean the water heating system or hire a professional to do the same. They will assess the system, check for potential defects, remove calcification and suggest other replacement needs or if you need a new hot water system.
So, service the hot water system right away and make it winter-proof to save yourself from the onslaught of cold water in the middle of a hot shower.
As the temperature drops, pipe leaks can become a common problem. Pipes on the house’s exterior walls or in unheated areas (garage or attic) freeze and burst during winter.
Proper insulation can prepare the water pipes for the winter months and you can avoid frozen pipes. Also, you wouldn’t have to spend time and money restoring burst pipes.
Besides, it also prevents water loss by not letting the heat escape to the surroundings. Thus, it is crucial to insulate pipes running through unheated spaces in the house to prevent them from being frozen.
If you want to reduce energy costs, we’d recommend insulating hot water pipes even in the house’s interiors. It minimises water loss through radiation and keeps the water hot for longer.
Although there are several insulating pipes, We’ve listed two popular methods for you.
Pipe wraps insulate water pipes that have bends or are of smaller size. You can use materials like heat tape, foam, foil and bubble film for this process.
To insulate the pipe and seal cracks, loop the material around it, carefully covering the entire length. Do not leave any space in between. it’s a simple do-it-yourself process, but you can also take a technician’s help for a more professional finish.
Consider insulating through padded pipe sleeves for straight, long pipes. You can get padded sleeves that are 6 feet long, with different diameters, which allows you to cover in one go.
It comes with a rubber or foam padding, so all you have to do is slit open the sleeve from one end and slide it over the pipe. Once you’ve done that, seal the seams using an adhesive. If the pipe is longer, you can continue with the same process and use duct tape to join both sleeves.
Before the winter surge, make sure to inspect the drainage system for blockage. During fall, leaves, debris and twigs accumulate in the gutter, which causes it to clog and overflow.
Clogged gutters also accumulate water, damaging the house’s roof as it has nowhere to go. Therefore, prevent roof leakage and moisture seepage in the place by cleaning clogged gutters meticulously.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to carry out a proper inspection and check the pipes in the gutter for leaks or signs of rust. Usually, they are repairable, but if they’re in a dilapidated condition, consider replacing them.
Not just the roof, even the house’s foundation can fall victim to malfunctioning gutters. Downspouts help in the smooth drain off of rainwater. They don’t let excess water reach the place, so maintenance is crucial.
To avoid rupturing or overflowing, check the downspouts and wrap them in heating cables or foam wraps. It doesn’t let ice accumulate in the pipes, which would’ve otherwise burst, leading to leaks and cracks in the foundation.
Remember, your downspouts should be in good condition and are essential for adequate drainage. So consider replacing them if they’re rusted or are beyond repair.
Inspecting and repairing your gutter and downspouts timely will save costly repairs in the future.
Heavy rain and wind wreak havoc on the roof. And though leaking roofs might merely be a mild irritant during summers, they can be disastrous during the winter months. So before winter strikes or a heavy rain beat you to it, inspect your roof for any leakage and cracks. A leaking roof damages the house’s ceiling and poses a fire hazard since water drops might fall on the electrical wires.
Even if the roof isn’t leaking, inspect it for moisture retention that might accumulate in the ceiling and make it cave in.
You might also want to check for crack in your walls and ensure they are fixed. This will prevent cold air from entering and coming in contact with your plumbing pipes.
People often overlook garden hoses when it comes to plumbing preparation for winter. While they’re beyond helpful during the summer and spring months, they need to be stored away during winter.
Don’t forget to shut off the water before disconnecting the garden hose from the spigots, also known as hose bibs and drain the leftover water.
If not emptied and put away, the garden hose will freeze during winter and rupture, affecting the plumbing system and damaging your crops.
Please don’t leave any garden hoses outside. Coil and store it in a dry area. However, just draining the hose is not enough. Insulate the hose bibs and deactivate the water connection from the main valve.
Even if everything seems alright, inspecting the plumbing system right before winter is beneficial. So you’re not caught off-guard. As temperature dorps, it’s crucial to take extra safety precautions in taking care of your plumbing system. Some minor issues that can be set immediately might exacerbate during the winter months. And it can lead to a messy situation, getting out of which will cost a fortune.
Thus, do a quick check of the roof, pipes and faucets. If you have an outdoor shower and it’s leaking, better have it fixed now. Turn the shutoff valve, repair or replace rusted pipes, fix cracked roofs and clean the gutters as well.
After you’ve winterised the pipes and inspected the roof for leakage, you should still be ready for emergencies and the worst-case scenario. After all, as the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. Plus, it is always helpful to know where the primary shut-off valve in the house is.
If there is a burst pipe situation, you can rush to the main valve and turn it off, stopping the water supply to the entire house. It’ll give you adequate time to inspect the cause of water-logging and call a plumber.
Just knowing the location of the main valve isn’t enough. Remember to frequently inspect it for potential damage and ensure it isn’t jammed.
Also, if you’re leaving town in winter, shut off the water supply from the main valve.
With that, we come to the end of our guide. We hope you’ll now prepare the plumbing system for winter efficiently and have a maintenance check performed. It’s better to have extra safety precautions than to be caught dealing with a problematic plumbing system when winter hits. Winter months are long hours of sleep and binge-watching TV shows while cozily wrapped in a quilt. So, why let a faulty plumbing system ruin the fun and good time for you? Not to mention the cost of calling a highly recommended professional team to deal with the plumbing problems. Repairing a damaged roof or a wrong pipe will need a budget.
Need a professional plumber for your household plumbing system? Don’t ignore the minor and major problems in your home’s plumbing system. Call us! No matter what plumbing problems you have, you can rely on us to give you different options and solutions in the most effective way. From limiting your extensive water damage to maintaining your water heater and other hot water service, assisting you with your pipe insulation for all those exposed pipes during the cold weather, and even installing outdoor faucets for your garden hose and ease— you can rely on us! We go the extra mile in all our plumbing services to provide you the plumbing solutions you deserve.
For leaking taps, gas appliance installation and repair, a blocked drain, and other plumbing issues, reach out to our professional plumbers fast for excellent plumbing services before the cold season starts!
Thinking of replacing your old unit with a new hot water system? Get in touch with us to know the latest update and highly recommended brands in the market today. We know just the right hot water system for you from Thermann to Rheem, Rinnai, and more.
Here’s a quick pro-tip: you can prevent exposed pipes from freezing by leaving the faucet on and letting the water drip slowly.
So, have peace of mind, stay warm, and keep the pipes warmer! To know a few pointers for your plumbing system, see our recent posts or call us.