With winter on the horizon, we find ourselves doing many things to prepare for colder weather. From stocking up on boots and sweaters to scheduling chimney maintenance and installing snow tires on our cars, there are many consistencies we do every winter in preparation for the weather changes. But with all the hustle and bustle involved with staying warm and safe, sometimes we neglect those everyday things—like our plumbing.
As any smart homeowner knows, your pipes aren’t something you should ignore. After all, when temperatures begin to plummet, pipes tend to freeze, leak, or even burst. So, giving them a little TLC before it becomes too late is just what the plumbing doctor ordered—especially during this time of year.
Here are seven tips for keeping your plumbing system healthy and safe during the long winter months.
- Turn off outdoor faucets.
You just never know if your water line might freeze. To err on the side of caution, turn off your outdoor faucets each winter. Preventing pipes from freezing or cracking with this simple chore can save you a lot of trouble. Not sure where your outdoor shutoff valves are located? Call us!
- Clean gutters and check drains.
It’s a good idea to clear your gutters of debris and check drainpipes for wear and tear prior to the winter season. Leaves tend to get stuck in gutters, so do a thorough cleaning. Also, realign your gutters and apply drainpipe extensions if needed so water can flow freely.
- Unhook outdoor garden hoses.
If your garden hose is still connected to your outdoor spigot, disconnect it now. While you can’t see what’s happening inside that hose, chances are if the temperatures reach freezing, ice can back up into the pipe that runs into the house. Result? Cracked pipes! Your safest best is to disconnect all water hoses and drain them prior to winter.
- Let faucets drip.
OK, we realize this might sound crazy, but amid freezing temperatures, consider letting your faucets drip. A slow steady drip can help prevent water from freezing inside your pipes. It also helps keep a safe water pressure during those below-freezing temperatures. We know, we know, it can waste some water. But it’s a temporary trick until temperatures rise again.
- Insulate any exposed pipes.
If you have exposed pipes in your garage, attic, or a crawlspace, cover them with pipe insulation. You can find faucet covers or foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store.
- Keep a steady temperature on your thermostat.
Maintaining a temperature of 60 degrees or more in your home all winter will keep a decent warmth throughout the house—and help avoid potential plumbing problems such as freezing pipes.
- Open cabinet doors.
Here’s one that you might not know. Do you have exposed pipes in your kitchen, laundry, or bathroom? On super cold days, open the cabinets and let the heat inside your home escape into the cabinets and keep pipes warm.
A.J. Perri Is Here to Keep New Jersey Residents Warm!
As the temperatures get colder, don’t forget that A.J. Perri is only a phone call away if HVAC or plumbing issues knock on your door. In fact, for additional tips on keeping your home warm, safe and on budget this season, you can revisit our Energy Assessment blog.
Need to schedule plumbing or HVAC service? No problem! Call us at 732.733.2548 seven days a week.