With fall approaching and cooler weather on the way within a month or so, the time for purchasing the products and materials you will need to winterize your home plumbing is now. Use the following as a checklist to better prepare your plumbing for winter and to know when to call a plumber in Houston.
If your home has leaking pipes and faucets indoors or out, have them repaired before the temperature starts to fall. A slightly dripping faucet will freeze and become a serious problem in the winter. Repair now by a plumber in Houston will ensure a sudden and unexpected cold front won’t catch you unprepared for burst pipes.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
To prevent frozen or burst pipes, insulate exposed pipes before winter. Likely locations of exposed pipes are the attic, basement or crawlspace, garage, workshops, pool house, outdoor tubs such as a hot tub. Any visible pipes should be wrapped with insulating foam. An added bonus to insulating hot water pipes is it will save you on energy costs! Insulating foam sleeves provide a low cost means of preventing burst pipes and the need for a plumber in Houston.
In locations that receive extreme cold, further insulation or heat tape may be required. Remember, a heat tape will not protect pipes during a power outage. Close crawl space vents and seal if they don’t form a tight closure.
If you haven’t already drained the hot water heater to clear it of damaging sediment do so now. This should be provided each year, and more often in areas with excessively hard water.
Garden Hoses, Outdoor Faucets and Sprinklers
Garden hoses should be removed, drained and stored for the winter. Never leave garden hoses attached during the winter. Any remaining water inside the hoses will freeze and expand and under certain conditions, can lead to a frozen faucet and pipes in the home.
If outdoor faucets have shut-off valves turn them off. Next turn the handle to on allowing any remaining water to drain away. If the shut-off valve has failed you will know it when water continues to run. While faucets can be adequately insulated to prevent freezing, the shut-off valve provides extra insurance against burst pipes. It’s best to have a plumber in Houston replace non-functioning shut off valves. Use foam insulators for outdoor faucets.
Turn off the water supplying the sprinkler system and flush the lines if possible. Some sprinkler system will flush themselves, while others must be flushed with air.
First, ensure the sump pump is working properly. Next clean the pump and pit. If your basement is uninsulated the sump pump may freeze and fail, leading to flooding and the potential for serious damage to the foundation and home. Consider insulating the basement.
In the basement or foundation, seal openings and gaps where cold air can enter. Seal around cables or pipes entering through the wall. Expanding foam provides an easy and effective seal.
For homes whose water supply is a private well, ensure the pump is well insulated. Insulate any exposed pipes.
While winterizing your home’s plumbing, if you find any issues with your plumbing system, such as leaky pipes or faucets, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for plumbing repair by a licensed professional plumber in Houston.
Purchasing insulating foam pipe sleeves, pipe heat tape, expanding foam sealant (if needed), insulation and foam faucet covers now before cold weather arrives can be the difference between frozen pipes or not. Once cold weather is announced home supply stores may sell out rapidly. It’s better to be prepared early than arrive too late.
When the cold winds of winter arrive, if you experience any plumbing issues, our dedicated plumbers in Houston will provide the plumbing repair or plumbing installation that you need. We serve Houston and the surrounding areas with expertise in dependable plumbing repair. We are a member of the BBB.