house in snow

How to Winterize Your Plumbing

As the weather outside begins to colder, it’s important to winterize your home’s plumbing. Taking a few simple precautions can prevent costly damage and keep your plumbing in good working order all winter long. Here are some tips on how to winterize your plumbing.

Drain Your Water Heater

Sediment that has built up over time can damage your water heater and reduce its efficiency. Draining your water heater on a regular basis will help extend its lifespan. To drain your water heater, turn off the power or gas supply, open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, and attach a garden hose to the valve. Turn on the valve and let the water run until it is clear. Then, close the valve and turn on the power or gas supply.

Upgrade Your Water Heater

If you have been running into issues with your hot water heater, now is the time to address them, because there’s nothing worse than coming inside on a cold day only to find that there’s no hot water in the shower.

There are multiple water heater options for you to choose from. Contact one of our experts to ensure you select the best model for your home and lifestyle.

Be Proactive Before Vacation

There is no greater dread than coming home from your relaxing vacation to find that a pipe has burst in your home. To prevent this from happening, do the following:

  • Shut off the main water valve and turn off the water pump and the water heater in order to protect the heating elements in the water heater when there is no water inside the tank.

  • Open all drain valves and all taps—a closed tap could create a vacuum that will hold water inside of pipes. Leave the valves and taps open throughout the winter.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Pipes that are exposed to cold air are more likely to freeze and burst. Simply wrap them with pipe insulation or electrical tape to insulate exposed pipes. You can also place a space heater near exposed pipes to keep them warm. Just be sure to keep the space heater away from flammable materials such as towels or curtains.

Seal Leaks Around Doors and Windows

Leaks around doors and windows can let cold air into your home and cause your pipes to freeze. To seal leaks, simply caulk or weatherstrip around doors and windows. You can also place a towel across the bottom of a door to block drafts.

Open Cabinet Doors

If you have pipes located in cabinets, make sure to open the cabinet doors so that warmth from your home can reach the pipes and prevent them from freezing. You may also want to consider leaving a small drip running from faucets that are located in unheated areas of your home, such as crawl spaces or attics.

These simple steps allow you to winterize your plumbing and prevent costly damage this winter season. If you have any questions about how to winterize your plumbing or if you need assistance with any repairs, our team of experts at Joe’s Plumbing is here to help! Give us a call today!

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