As the cold winter months approach, it’s important to take precautions to protect your home from plumbing emergencies. There are many causes of winter plumbing issues, such as frozen pipes and burst pipes, that can be avoided with certain precautions. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 8 tips for avoiding plumbing emergencies this winter so you can enjoy a stress-free season.
What can Cause a Winter Plumbing Emergency?
The most common causes of a winter plumbing emergency are freezing temperatures and inadequate insulation around pipes. When temperatures drop below freezing, water inside exposed or poorly-insulated pipes can freeze and expand, leading to a break in the pipe or an obstruction in the line. To prevent this from happening, make sure all exterior pipes are properly insulated and any gaps around windows and doors are sealed up.
Preparing Your Home for Winter
It’s best to take preventative measures ahead of time rather than waiting until an emergency arises. Make sure you check all outdoor faucets and hoses for signs of wear and tear before winter arrives. Also inspect inside your home for any potential leaky spots that may need repair or replacement before temperatures get too cold. Additionally, if you have a well system, consider having it serviced prior to wintertime to ensure it’s running smoothly throughout the season.
Taking Steps to Keep Pipes From Freezing
One of the most effective ways to avoid frozen pipes is by keeping your home warm during cold weather spells by setting your thermostat at least 55°F. Additionally, open cabinet doors under sinks in order to allow warmer air into areas where there may be exposed piping susceptible to freezing temperatures. If possible, keep a small trickle of water running through indoor faucets when temps dip below freezing outdoors since moving water will not freeze as easily as still water does.
Recognizing the Signs of Frozen Pipes
Knowing how to recognize signs that your pipes may be frozen can help you take action quickly before an issue worsens or leads to a plumbing emergency. Some warning signs include low water pressure, strange noises coming from your pipes, frost on exposed walls near piping, or no water coming out when you turn on a faucet.
Tips for Diagnosing a Plumbing Emergency
Once you identify that one or more of your home’s pipes is frozen, there are some steps you can take on your own to thaw them out. First off, shut off the main water valve so that no more water enters the line while attempting repairs. Then use a hair dryer or heating pad wrapped around the pipe closest to where it enters your house in order to thaw the process. If DIY methods don’t work, consider calling in a professional plumber who has special tools available for safely thawing frozen pipes without causing further damage (for example, avoid using open flame torches ).
Ultimately, taking proactive steps ahead of time is key when preparing for cold weather conditions in order to avoid costly plumbing emergencies like burst or frozen pipes. By following these tips listed above you should be able stay ahead of any potential problems this winter season.