How to maintain your plumbing system in the winter months
If you are not prepared, the winter can hit your family hard and cause massive problems to your home’s plumbing system. It is best to be ready for that temperature drop so you do not experience frozen pipes and broken water lines.
The first step to winterizing your plumbing is fixing any leaks. What might seem as a small problem, can end up cause big problems when the temperatures drop. This includes lines that just seem to have water seep out slowly. When the temperatures drop, that water will then freeze. It will also freeze on the hose and cause it to become brittle. Even if you insulate your pipes, check for any and all leaks prior to winter arrival.
The next step is to make sure all of your lines have been insulated. You will need to go up in your attic and under your crawl space to make sure those lines are insulated, as they are at the greatest risk to freeze. Insulating is very simple, just wrap insulation foam around the pipe and you are good to go. The foam is inexpensive and is found in most retail locations.
If you have a swamp cooler or sprinkler systems, these will also need to be dealt with prior to the cold weather coming. With swamp coolers, you will want to turn off the water and power, the drain all the water out. Do not forget to drain the supply line as well. Then simply cover the cooler and wait for spring. With sprinkler systems, you will want to turn off the water and then turn on each valve to release any collected water in the line.
You will want to make sure you know where your water main is in case you do have a water line break. If you do not know where this is, you will be left panicking when you have a burst pipe and cannot shut the water off. The longer it is before the water is turned off, the more damage the burst pipe can do.
One great preventative measure you can take is by insulating the pump house. This will prevent your lines from freezing. To insulate the pump house, you will want to make sure that all exposed pipes are insulated and to install a heat source to keep the temperature of the pump house above freezing all winter long.
With these simple steps, the likelihood of you having winter problems with your plumbing lessens. This is never a guarantee, but you will have protected yourself against anything catastrophic. The most important thing during the winter is if you experience a burst pipe, do not panic, but rather shut the water off and locate the source. Winterizing your house to protect your plumbing does not mean you do not need to take precautions before going on trips, such as having your faucets drip. You do not ever want to turn the water off prior to vacations because it will cause the lines to freeze.