A plumbing emergency at any time of the year is a major inconvenience, but a winter plumbing emergency, when water freezes, can be dangerous. Here are some tips to keep your plumbing system in working order this winter.
There’s never a time that fixing leaks is a bad idea, but during the winter, leaks can be a much bigger problem. A leaky pipe, particularly an outdoor pipe, can turn into a geyser if the water freezes and expands.
To avoid this winter plumbing emergency, check your entire house for leaks. This means not only visually inspecting exposed pipes, but also looking for telltale signs of water buildup such as wrinkled walls, mold, and dark spots.
Especially important for pipes carrying hot water, insulating your pipes is crucial. Insulation not only prevents a winter plumbing emergency, but also ensures heat loss is reduced. Combine this with frozen water when the pipe is idle, and you could be looking at a flooding situation, as hot water pipes freeze first.
Pipes in unheated spaces such as garages, exterior walls, and crawl spaces should all be insulated to prevent freezing or splits. Depending on where the pipes are, this might require the assistance of a professional.
Winterize Outdoor Faucets
During the winter, outdoor faucets can easily be the site of a winter plumbing emergency. When hoses, sprinklers, and slip-n-slides are put away, water left idle in your outdoor faucet can freeze, splitting both the pipe and faucet.
Most outdoor faucets are built with a shutoff valve for winterization. Shut off the water to the faucet and drain the remaining water to prepare it for winter, remember to disconnect the hose so the faucet can drain.
If there is no shut-off to your outdoor faucet, you may need to call a plumber to install one for you.
Empty Unused Pipes
Like winterizing outdoor faucets, any unused pipes should be emptied and drained.
A whole-house shutoff is crucial to prevent a winter plumbing emergency in your summer home or while you’re on vacation. In a house that will be unoccupied for a significant amount of time, preventing a plumbing emergency by emptying your pipes is paramount to avoiding serious water damage.
Service Hot Water Heaters
Hot water heaters should be inspected yearly, and the best time is before winter. This is because unheated water is much colder in the winter. The last thing you want is having to take unheated showers with near-freezing water!
While a broken hot water heater likely won’t cause further damage to your home, lacking hot water during the coldest part of the year can be a winter plumbing emergency. In addition to inspection, fall is a good time to upgrade your hot water heater.
Preventing a Winter Plumbing Emergency
Some of these tasks can be successfully completed by the homeowner but others, such as installing valves or inspecting a hot water heater, require a trained professional. A licensed plumber can inspect your home from top to bottom to prepare your plumbing system for the colder months.
Daigle Plumbing has licensed plumbers on staff to winterize your home or respond to a winter plumbing emergency. Serving Derry, New Hampshire, and the surrounding areas, Daigle Plumbing specializes in plumbing, heating, and cooling in some of the coldest parts of the United States. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.
About Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
Founded over 40 years ago, Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is family-owned and operated by the Daigle family. We are proud to provide quality, dependable plumbing, heating, and cooling services for our customers in Derry, NH, and the surrounding areas. Daigle Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is your partner for all your plumbing, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 603-434-6353 for a free estimate.