Most anyone who lives in an area that gets winter weather knows that there are certain things you must do in order to winterize your plumbing. Doing them will save you money and time in the springtime when everything thaws out!
Although we don't have the severe type of winters that our northern friends do, there are years where winter can hit us hard. At least, hard enough to cause damage to our water pipes.
What Plumbing Problems Can Occur In The Winter?
The most common plumbing problems that can happen in the winter are...
- Frozen Pipes
- Frozen outdoor hose bibs
- Hot Water Heater Problems
- Basement Floods
If you have had to deal with the problem of frozen pipes in the past, then you know that they can cause extensive damage to your home. Frozen pipes will burst and as a result cause major leaks which can destroy your walls, floors and anything else in it's way.
You can help to prevent your pipes from freezing by doing the following...
- For pipes in your garage walls, keep your garage doors closed to retain as much heat as you can inside your garage.
- Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets (in case there are any pipes behind those cabinets).
- Turn a faucet on so that water drips (leave it on while the temperature is 20 degrees or lower). This forces water to run through the pipes and helps to prevent sitting water from freezing.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature during the day and night.
- Any insulation that you can add to your home, in the walls, wrapping pipes, windows, cracks in doors, etc. will help to prevent your water pipes from bursting and creating an expensive mess.
Protecting Your Outdoor Hose Bibs
In addtion to protecting your water pipes, you will also want to protect your outdoor hose bibs as well.
Here are the simple steps on how you can best prepare your hose bibs for winter.
- Locate the shut off valve for your exterior hose bibs. This is usually in the garage of most homes normally close to the outdoor faucet of your home.
- Turn off this shut off valve.
- Remove any hoses that are attached to the hose bib and store them away for the winter.
- Once the hoses are removed, turn on your outdoor faucet all the way so that any remaining water in those pipes is released. Let it drip for about 1 minute until you are sure that all the water is out.
- Turn off your outdoor faucet once the water has all been released.
- You can go the extra mile and use any of the products available today to cover your hose bib for the winter OR you can upgrade your faucet to a frost proof model.
Hot Water Heater
Because hot water heaters tend to work extra hard during the winter months, it's important to have them drained and checked no later than autumn to make sure that they will be running as optimally as possible. We recommend flushing your water heater once a year.
Flushing your water heater has several benefits which include:
- Improves or maintains the efficiency of your unit which in turn keeps your hot water running smoothly.
- Helps to keep your water heater from possibly leaking or exploding. The sediment buildup can block the pressure relief valve which would cause these incidents to happen.
- Reduces your energy cost. Because your water heater runs less efficiently due to sediment buildup you could be spending more money on your water bill than necessary.
- Your water heater will run more smoothly (less noisy) and you can avoid foul smelling odors that are sometimes caused by stagnant water in your heater.
Avoid Basement Floods
If the weather stations are predicting snow - check your drainage areas around your home to make sure that they are not blocked by leaves or other debris. Any blockages can cause water to back up, pool and possibly flood your basement.
These simple tasks will help you to save the time and money that it could cost you if your pipes succumb to freezing temperatures and it's consequences.
If you have any questions about winterizing your plumbing, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We Offer Plumbing Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.
Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.