Baby, it’s cold outside!
If those autumn evenings start to get a little too short and there is a chilly nip in the air, you can be sure that winter is well on its way. While you unpack blankets warm jumpers and woolly hats, remember to pay attention and give some TLC to your plumbing to ensure that it is up to the task of serving your home through winter reliably.
Count the benefits and savings from winterizing your home’s plumbing
Getting to grips with your property’s winter plumbing needs is a worthwhile investment of time and resources. Getting your plumbing winter-ready delivers these key benefits:
1) Prevention of frozen water in pipes
Cold weather wreaks havoc with your pipes. The freezing weather penetrates external plumbing and pipes in unheated areas of your like like the cellar or attic and will freeze water in your pipes, which will expand and can cause the piping to burst. This is the reason why burst pipes are one of the most common winter plumbing problems. Tacking this will save lots of time and hassles, as well as the clean-up of any flooding.
2) Save energy
After all the expense of heating your water, the last thing you need is for that energy to be lost to cold air. Traditional copper piping is a great conductor, but in winter your disadvantages as it is conducting your hot water and central heating to the outside air meaning more energy and ultimately money is needed to maintain the temperature.
3) Stay ahead of other plumbing issues
Depending on your property’s set up, the approach of winter is prime time to ensure that your plumbing is up to the rigors of winter performance. Timely intervention can protect:
- your boiler or water heater
- your septic tank
- your drainage
all of which will be under increased demand during the winter month as you stay home more and keep warm.
Take action now to prepare your home’s plumbing for winter with these key steps!
- This has to be the number one method of preventing winter heartache from burst pipes. Use lagging or custom insulation tubes to cover any exposed or unheated pipework.
- Given the potential for leaks, it’s important to be familiar with where you can shut off your home’s water supply in case of a burst pipe, draining issue or another plumbing emergency.
- A dripping exterior faucet is an excellent way to release any build-up of pressure in cold pipes where water is near freezing.
- Head-off any emergency call-outs in deep winter by having your local plumber review your plumbing in Autumn, paying particular pressure to your furnace or water heater and drainage.
- Well-bled radiators have had the air removed meaning they are filled with water and provide optimal heating in your home.
- This can help keep cold pipes from freezing and bursting behind a closed door.
- All those autumn leaves can build up to a major drainage problem if not adequately cleared. Also, take care of putting food and fats down your drain which can cause major clogging if they harden off in the cold.
- A water-filled hose will freeze and cause cracking and damage that can track up into your household water supply. Make disconnecting and packing up your hose one of your first steps for being winter-ready.
When should I start winterizing my plumbing?
Efforts to prepare your home’s plumbing for winter ideally should proceed with the appearance of the first frost. At temperatures of 20 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius) or below your pipes are likely to suffer freezing so by late Autumn you should have your lagging and insulation in place. That being said, it is never too late to take action to protect your property, so if you find yourself in the middle of winter don’t hesitate to get started. If you have leaks or problems you should call your local plumber right away.