One of many reasons why winter is a brutal season is because it can cause many problems to the plumbing system in your home or office. The drastic drop in temperatures can freeze the water in your pipes, as a result, destroying your plumbing from inside out. As a measure to prevent the worst from happening, follow this checklist.
Even a minor water leak in your home can become a huge problem, especially when temperatures are freezing. Monitor any pipe that is visible to you and check whether it is leaking. Ignoring a leak until the water freezes will cause more significant damage to surrounding pipes. Finding a solution to plumbing leaks as soon as you can is important if you want to save your entire plumbing system as well as some money.
Insulating all your pipes is a basic measure to be taken in terms of protecting your plumbing against the harsh winter. Locate exposed pipes by searching your attic, crawl spaces around your house and garage, etc. If a pipe is visible, it need to be protected with insulation foam. This is an inexpensive and easy to install method of plumbing protection and can also save you the heating costs because warm air often tends to escape through plumbing that is not insulated.
It is important to drain your evaporative cooler (swamp cooler) before winter arrives. Before doing so you have to remember to turn off the water and power supply to the unit. After this initial procedure is done, drain the water from the cooler. Also make sure the water supply line connecting to the evaporative cooler is also drained out.
While shutting off your cooler before the winter, it is also a good time to clean the insides and change the filters and padding. Finally, cover the swamp cooler with a cloth during the winter to make sure it stays dry.
The key to a smooth plumbing winter is to keep things from freezing. If you have a well as a water source, this factor is very important. The pump house should have proper insulation to avoid pipes from freezing. Invest in a heat source to keep the temperature of the pump house at a level that is above freezing. Your central heating system and other heating elements in the house should also be in proper working condition.
Another important aspect is to prevent the hose bibs and pipes from freezing. If you have any outdoor facets where garden hoses are connected, remove those and make sure there is no water trapped in the hose bibs because this will damage your plumbing. Garden hoses should be protected by storing them I a warm and dry space during winter. If exposed to the freezing weather, the hoses will come out broken with holes when you want to use them in Spring.
As for protecting hose bibs, drain the collected water and then insulate them. in places where extreme freezing temperatures are experienced, dedicated shut off valves are used for outdoor hose bibs. If dedicated shut off valves are not available, use a hose bib cover to insulate the hose bibs during winter. These are very inexpensive, easy to install, and will do a great job at keeping the hose bibs from freezing.
The pipes you use for your irrigation system often collect water which then freezes up in the winter. Before winter arrives, turn off the water to your sprinkler system and flush out the collected water by individually turning on each valve that is connected to the sprinkler system.
This is probably the most important point to remember when preparing your plumbing system for winter. Knowing the location of your water main is extremely crucial in case of a plumbing emergency. Just knowing how to turn off your main water supply can save you hundreds and thousands of dollars, whether you are faced with a leaking pipe, a burst pipe, a clogged sink, or an overflowing toilet.