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Winter weather brings cold temperatures to Rosenberg, TX and this can lead to a wide variety of plumbing issues. Plumbers often experience a rise in service calls during this time period. Avoid plumbing issues, excessive water loss, and excessive bills by performing a few common plumbing preparations. Minimizing the occurrence of plumbing mishaps, your proactive maintenance will safeguard your system throughout the winter months.
1) Locate the Main Water Valve
Knowing the location of your home's main water valve is vital. If you need to immediately shut off all the water in the home, the main water valve is critical. If a major incident occurs, such as a pipe bursting, flood damage incurred can be expensive. Often located next to a home's water meter, the main water valve should be assessed regularly and kept in good condition. Additionally, the main water valve should be opened and closed at least once a year to confirm it's still working properly. If the main water valve cannot be located, a professional plumber can seek it out and assess its health.
2) Confirm the Water Heater Is Running
Your home's water heater is more important during the winter than any other time of year. Ensure your water heater is running optimally either by yourself or with the help of a professional. Plumbers throughout Rosenberg, TX are fully capable of servicing a water heater by checking the tank's sacrificial anode rod and making any necessary repairs or replacements caused by corrosion or wear. When using your home's water heater, make sure to set the dial at 125 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to prevent scalding water and reduce energy waste.
3) Turn Off Outside Water Valves
Winter often brings below freezing temperatures to Rosenberg, TX. When temperatures drop below freezing, water pipes have the potential to rupture. Ruptured water pipes are expensive to repair and can create a disaster in your home. Protect against frozen pipes and turn off all outside water valves. While outside water valves are turned off, look for pipes in un-insulated areas of the home, such as pipes running along the outer walls of the home. These types of pipes often freeze and need to be wrapped in foam or towels for the winter season. If the weather turns extremely cold, the best course of action is to let faucets drip slowly in order to encourage continuous water flow. If any issues occur or outside water valves cannot be located, a professional plumber can assist.
4) Conserve Heat Responsibly
If you travel away from your home at any time in the winter you may be tempted to turn down or turn off the heat to save both money and energy. However, turning the heat too low will increase the risk of ruptured or frozen pipes. Any resulting damage from a ruptured pipe can grow exponentially, depending on the amount of time a rupture goes unnoticed. The best method to prevent a pipe rupture, while conserving energy, is to avoid lowering the temperature lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. At a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, maximum savings is preserved, while protecting against frozen pipes. If pipes do freeze or rupture, it's important to contact a professional plumber is quickly as possible.
5) Don't Clog Drains
Winter is accompanied by several holidays. During the holidays large meals and extra guests are common. Disposing of cooking-related messes and leftovers can impact your plumbing system. For example, oils can accumulate while cooking, but should never be poured down the drain. Pouring oils down the drain will result in clogged pipes. Instead, allow oils, fats, and greases to congeal in a dish and then dispose of them in the trash. If there is a garbage disposal present, it is best to turn it on, run it for a few minutes, and then pour the food debris into it. After the garbage disposal is finished, the machine should be shut off and a generous amount of water should be poured down the drain to clear the system out for the next time it is needed. Keeping your pipes clean and unclogged is critical when cooking a large meal or having guests over for holiday festivities.
6) Install Insulation
Installing foam insulation is a great way to prevent frozen pipes during the winter months. Insulating foam sheaths are sold at nearly all hardware stores and comes in a variety of sizes. This type of insulation is easy to install. It's important to insulate the entire length of pipes, from the point in your home where the main water line emerges from the ground to where it enters the general heated space of your home. Any pipes outside the heated portion of a home, such as in the attic or basement, should also be insulated. If uninterested in installing insulation yourself, a professional plumber can help with or perform any pipe insulation job.
7) Prepare Drainage Outside
Lawn drainage is critical to efficient snow removal and rain drainage. The first step to winterizing your lawn is to remove any and all excess debris from your yard. The second step is to ensure your gutter and downspouts are cleaned and clear. Once your lawn and outside area is clean and clear, drain runoff will be as efficient and effective as possible throughout the winter. Rosenberg, TX experiences a variety of weather throughout the year and rain, as well as low temperatures, wreak havoc on both outside drainage systems and indoor plumbing. Seek out a professional plumber if you need major debris cleared or there is a section of your drainage system that you need cleaned.
8) Spread Out Showers
Winter holidays are often filled with extra guests and visitors to your home. If you have guests staying the night over the holidays, showers should be spaced out at least 10 minutes apart. Spacing out showers allows the water heater time to recover and allows pipes to experience frequent running water. Frequent running water helps prevent pipes from freezing during days or nights with particularly low temperatures. Space out showers and prevent any water heater or pipe mishaps. If any water heater or pipe mishaps do occur, contact a professional plumber for immediate repair.
Being prepared in the winter is vital to the health and comfort of both you and your home. Taking a few simple precautions to safeguard your plumbing system is the best way to maintain the health of your pipes and prevent any costly repairs. Keeping a professional plumber's contact information on-hand is also important to ensure you'll be covered in the event of a minor or major plumbing issue. Choose Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Rosenberg, TX for 24/7 availability and reliable emergency plumbing service.