Winters can be tough, not only on a person and their body but also in your home, and especially, the plumbing in your home. If you are lucky and live in Santa Cruz or the surrounding areas of California, you may not need to worry very often about pipes freezing or other winter woes that accompany the harsh cold of winter, but it has been known to freeze and with winter rapidly moving in, now is the time to start exploring ways to keep your home safe from plumbing disaster this winter. It is better to be prepared and not need the prep than to not bother with it and find out too late that being ready was necessary. Be sure to keep the following winter plumbing tips in mind whether you own a home in Santa Cruz, or in regions where freezing occurs frequently in the winter as they can help you avoid costly repairs from leaks and frozen pipes.
Protect the pipes from freezing weather
Before the first signs of cold appear, you need to have your pipes wrapped to avoid the harsh cold from freezing them. You can purchase pipe foam or foam tubes to insulate them. Pool noodles are a great choice if you have a pool and want to get more use from the noodles when swimming season is over. To use the pool noodles or pipe foam, simply cut the sides to fit over the pipe and then use duct tape to secure them in place where they won’t slip off. While pool noodles are not the best to use on pipes, they do a decent job and are less expensive than other products. Pipe insulation can be picked up at the local hardware shop and it is inexpensive as well.
Fix all leaky pipes
Even a small drip from a pipe can cause a major plumbing disaster in freezing weather. With a leak, water can freeze and it can cause the pipe to burst. It can also cause surrounding pipes to burst due to the pressure and this can be very expensive. On top of damage that can be caused, a leaky pipe can run your water bill up. There is no better time than now to repair a leak.
Disconnect Outdoor Hoses
During the winter, you really will not need to have the hose connected outside. Disconnect it and make sure the exterior faucet is shut off and not leaking water. Keeping a hose connected in the winter can cause frozen pipes which are expensive to repair.
Check Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are very important and just before winter weather hits, they need to be checked to ensure they are working properly. It can be very costly to have water enter a basement and flood things. This is especially true when rainy weather hits during the winter and the sump pump is not working correctly to prevent flooding.
If you have a well on your property that you use for drinking water, bath water or other water in your home, be sure to check the pump before cold weather arrives this season. The pump should be insulated to keep water flowing smoothly all winter long. You also need to make sure you have the pump enclosed in an area that has plenty of heat to prevent the water from freezing as it hits the pipes.
If you have an evaporative cooler instead of a typical air conditioning or heating system, you need to make sure it has been drained before cold weather begins to ensure it does not freeze and burst during the winter. You should also take time to make sure it is covered and that you have the new filters in place to begin using it again when warmer temps arrive in the spring.
Outside Sprinkler Systems
Just as with the outdoor hose, be sure to disconnect any yard sprinklers you may have for your lawn and garden. Sprinklers will collect water and once it begins to freeze, the water can cause your sprinkler, as well as the hose and pipe leading to it, to burst. This can lead to more damage in the pipes under and around your home and can be very expensive to repair if not noticed early.
The winter months should be spent spending time cozy and warm inside your comfortable home or out with friends or family enjoying the festivities of the holidays. The last thing you need, or want, is to battle the bitter cold while trying to repair a pipe on your own or while showing a plumber where your frozen pipes are located. Preparing your pipes ahead of time for winter can help you avoid costly plumbing bills when freezing temperatures arrive and cause preventable damage to your pipes.
For a plumbing inspection to make sure your pipes are ready for the winter, be sure to contact Anytime Plumbing and we will send a plumbing pro to your home or office to get your plumbing winterized.