Autumn is finally here. It's time to start dragging out the holiday decorations and the heavy sweaters. It's also time to get your plumbing ready for the winter freeze. If you wait until winter arrives, it might be too long to prevent plumbing emergencies. The last thing you want to deal with during the holidays is frozen pipes and floods, especially if you're going to be having guests in your home. Luckily, there are some things you can do to get your plumbing ready for the winter. Here are four simple steps that will prevent plumbing emergencies this winter.
Now that winter is just about here, it's time to think about potential plumbing emergencies. You might not realize this, but frozen water pipes go hand-in-hand with floods. Not sure why? It's simple. As the water freezes, the pipes expand. When that happens, small cracks can occur in the pipes and pipe joints. Once the water begins to thaw, it escapes from the cracks, flooding your home.
If your pipes burst this winter, you'll need to get the water turned off as quickly as possible. The best way to do that is to be prepared in advance. Go outside and find the main water shutoff valve. If it's blocked by debris, clean it off so that you can get to it quickly in an emergency. Keep a wrench near your back door so that you can use it to turn the water off as quickly as possible.
Shut Down the Exterior Faucets
If you haven't winterized the exterior faucets, you need to do that now. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your exterior pipes and hose bibs. Remove the garden hoses from all your hose bibs. Drain the water from the hoses and roll them up for the winter. Failure to remove the garden hoses could cause the water inside the hoses to freeze. Unfortunately, if there's even a small amount of water left at the connection between the hose and the hose bib, it could freeze, which could cause your hose bib and water pipe to burst.
Insulate the Pipes
The last step in the winterization process involves insulating your exposed water pipes, especially the ones located outside, or under the sinks in your home. You can use newspaper or magazine as easy insulation material. Simply wrap the newspapers or magazines around your pipes and then cover the exposed paper with duct tape. The paper will insulate the pipes and the duct tape will keep the insulating material dry.
Now that Autumn is here, take the time to get your plumbing ready for winter. The tips provided here will help you avoid plumbing emergencies while you're entertaining your winter guests. For more information, contact a local plumber, like one from All About Plumbing.