Every time the winter season arrives, it’s an exciting time of the year. Not only does it officially mark the holiday season, but the cold weather oftentimes brings with it snow and all of the fun activities that come with playing in it.
And while building snowmen and making snow angels can certainly be a lot of fun, when it’s time to come inside from the brisk winds, the last thing that we want to do is not have any heat or hot water. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you winterize your home—starting with your plumbing.
If you’d like a few helpful tips and tricks that will keep your plumbing running smoothly during the wintertime, here are five failsafe suggestions:
Check for Leaks
One mistake that a lot of homeowners make is failing to check for leaks in their plumbing before the cold weather strikes. You can do this by simply conducting an energy audit inside of your home. If you’ve never done it before, Energy.gov is one website that has some pretty thorough instructions. Just go to the site and put “DIY energy audit” in the search field.
Flush Your Plumbing System
Another helpful way to winterize your plumbing is to flush water out of your system. In order to do this, first you need to turn off the water supply inside of your house. Then turn on one faucet that is at the highest point of your home and another that is at the lowest. If you let both run for a few moments, that will help drain the water out of your pipes.
Use Some Antifreeze
Once your pipes have been drained, a trick that you should try is pouring some antifreeze down your drains. This is beneficial because it helps to keep any lingering water from freezing and ultimately damaging your plumbing. Just make sure that you don’t use anti-freeze in your drinking system, your dishwasher or your washing machine. The chemicals in anti-freeze are hazardous.
Insulate Your Pipes
A plumber who works for a company like Northeast Plumbing & Mechanical might tell you that another way to get your plumbing ready for the winter season is to insulate your pipes. There are two benefits that come with doing that. One advantage is the fact that insulated pipes help to heat up the water flowing through your pipes a lot quicker. The other benefit is insulated pipes reduce the chances of your plumbing freezing or cracking. The best kind of material for insulating your pipes would be foam or fiberglass. You can learn more about how to do this particular project by going to DIY Network and putting “DIY insulate pipes” in the search field.
Disconnect Certain things Outdoors
Winterizing your plumbing is not just about what you do inside of your home, but outside of it too. For instance, if you have any garden hoses that are attached to any outdoor faucets, be sure to disconnect them completely. Otherwise, water could freeze inside of them and cause plumbing problems. Also, if you have sprinkler system, detach it and put it in your garage or shed until spring. Finally, if you have a swimming pool or Jacuzzi, make sure to drain it completely and then put a cover on it so that small children or pets will not fall in. You can find winter covers for pools at Pool Products, Walmart and Amazon.