As you prepare to enjoy the holidays and cozy nights indoors, don’t forget about your plumbing. When it’s neglected, an ineffective plumbing system can lead to a host of nightmares. To enjoy a stress-free winter, employ the following plumbing tips.
1. Remain Diligent With Snow and Ice Removal
Managing snow removal is a labor-intensive process. With the Tulsa area averaging just over nine inches of snow each winter, always be prepared with shovels, salt, and other de-icing products. Learn how to properly bend your knees and care for your physical body as you shovel. You can also opt to outsource the process by paying for snow removal services. However you choose to remove the snow and melt the ice, remaining proactive to avoid buildup. If this doesn’t sound like a plumbing chore, consider the possible impact.
When snow and ice accumulate around plumbing fixtures, such as outdoor vents, they can potentially block the vents. When air doesnt flow freely, this can lead to carbon monoxide buildup. Carbon monoxide buildup can lead to poisoning, which is potentially fatal. When snow and ice accumulate around the pipes, they might burst. When pipes burst, this leads to extremely expensive repairs or flooding. By taking care of the snow and ice in a timely fashion, youll save yourself from expenses and stress.
2. Prioritize Water Heater Maintenance
As the temperature drops, your water heater needs to work harder to be just as efficient as at any other time of the year. However, if its in dire need of repair, this can affect both the cleanliness and quality of the water your home receives. A poorly functioning water heater also requires more energy to compensate for what its lacking. That can cause an unnecessary spike in your utility bill.
To avoid this, get in touch with our professional plumbers. Theyll be able to inspect your water heater and assure you everything is in proper working condition. That will keep a lid on how much you spend on energy bills. It will also decrease the chances of an unexpected breakdown occurring throughout the winter months.
3. Turn Off Any Outdoor Water Outlets
When its warm outside, outdoor water connections properly facilitate gardening, lawn care, and car washing. However, during the winter months, its best to shut off the water supply to the outdoors. As the temperature drops, the chance of experiencing freezing pipes increases. This is why its best to drain any outdoor water sources as the cooler temperatures become more consistent.
If you have water left inside the hoses and pipes, it can freeze, leading to the issue of pipes bursting. In addition to protecting the pipes, protect your outdoor hoses by completely draining them of their water supply and disconnecting them from the outdoor faucets.
4. Keep the Cabinet Doors Open
If you live in a multi-level home, its not uncommon for the ground level to be colder than the top level. Heat rises, and its wise to remain mindful of how the outdoor elements impact the first level of a home. This is also true for areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, depending on where theyre located.
To be safe and stress-free, go to rooms like your kitchen and ground-floor bathrooms to open the cabinet doors. During the colder months, keep those doors slightly ajar. The insulation isnt always present or prominent enough to keep pipes from freezing. Opening the cabinet doors allows exposure to the warm air thats circulating throughout the house.
5. Set Your Thermostat While Away
During the winter season, its nice to get away and enjoy a reprieve by taking a vacation. As you prepare to get away for some relaxation, dont forget to set your thermostat correctly. When youre away, its easy to assume that turning the thermostat off is the best way to go. However, its quite the opposite. Turning off the thermostat is one of the worst things you can do.
Granted, you dont need to blast the heat at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, yet you still need to keep the home warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing or bursting. There are countless horror stories of people coming home from vacation only to discover that their homes were flooded due to frozen pipes.
To avoid this catastrophe, set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. By allowing warm air to circulate through the home, youll decrease your chances of a disaster upon arrival from your vacation.
6. Increase Water Main Awareness
If an emergency arises in which your water pipes freeze and burst, you can decrease the impact of the damage by knowing where your water main shut-off valve is. Shutting off the water decreases the chances of excessive damage.
If you dont know where your shut-off valve is located, check the perimeter of your home to see where the pipes lead. If that doesnt help, look at the property inspection report of your home, because it should indicate where the main shut-off valve is located.
If youre unable to figure it out on your own, be safe and contact a professional to help you find it and show you how to operate it in the event of an emergency. Knowing exactly how to shut it off in a timely fashion can mean the difference between mere carpet replacement and devastating water damage.
7. Invest in Pipe Insulation
Depending on the scope of the project, insulating your pipes is a task that entails purchasing the right sleeves, customizing the cut for each pipe, and placing them securely on the pipes. However, it’s not uncommon for the pipes to be in areas that are harder to access. If you’re looking to insulate your pipes, enlist the help of a professional plumber.
It’s wise to insulate your pipes and provide more warmth to such vulnerable areas in the winter. When theyre found in places like crawl spaces, basements, and attics, exposed pipes are particularly susceptible to the elements. A plumber can also help you determine whether other pipes should be insulated to increase protection.
8. Allow Water to Drip
Typically, one of the last things you want to do is waste water or energy. This is why it’s important to make sure all of the faucets are turned off when they’re not in use. When it comes to the winter and your plumbing, however, be mindful of days when it’s extremely cold outside.
When the temperature is considerably lower than usual, it’s actually recommended that you allow the water in your faucets to drip. A slow drip is conducive to making sure water continues to circulate through the pipes. As water circulates in the pipes, this decreases the chances of freezing and ice accumulation.
Incorporating Professional Assistance
One of the surest ways to protect your plumbing and your home is to keep a professional plumber’s contact information within reach. If your ultimate goal is to have a stress-free winter, allow a professional plumber from Half Moon Plumbing to provide services like leak detection, water line replacement, or tankless water heater installation. We handle the full range of plumbing issues, including water filtration. By conscientiously serving Owasso, OK and the surrounding areas since 2007, our experts have continued to garner hundreds of five-star reviews. To learn how we can help protect your