Winter is coming......
Every home from coast to coast would benefit from some basic winter plumbing preparation. Canada is known for it's unpredictable winters and certain communities it is absolutely essential to prepare your home for winter to avoid spring thaw catastrophes. Luckily, it is quick and easy to do! There are a few simple steps you can take to protect your home and prolong the life of your plumbing.
1. Prepare Your Hose Bibs.
Each hose bib (the spout you attach your hose to) should have a separate shut off inside the house. This is usually a valve just on the other side of the wall. This valve allows you to isolate the hose bib and shut it off for Winter (and in case of emergencies). The first step is to find and shut off this valve. Then, open the faucets from the outside to drain out any residual water.
If you don’t have, or can’t find these isolation valves, please consider calling an expert to have them installed or found for you! It may not cause any issues, but could save you considerable time and money in the future.
2. Fix Leaks Now.
Inspect your plumbing. Is there a small drip you’ve been meaning to get to? Any questionable piping that is starting to crack? Best to get these things dealt with before they cause bigger issues. Frozen pipes and expanding and contracting water tends to magnify a small issue. Deal with it before it gets bigger.
3. Insulate Plumbing in Unheated Areas.
This is crucial for mobile homes, but also very important for any home with plumbing in a crawl space or attic. These areas are exposed to broader temperature fluctuations and are prone to freezing. This is also handy for preventing condensation issues and preventing heat loss.
This can be a simple DIY situation - visit the hardware store and grab some heat tape and pipe insulation. Wrap and tape the pipe to protect it from the elements.
Here is a video that shows you how to, but if you have any concerns, consider calling in a professional - https://youtu.be/XxbtlKW2-wU
4. Maintain Your Water Heater.
You will want to drain and maintain your water heater at this time every year. Stay tuned for another blog post on how to do this – or call us to do it for you! Servicing your water heater properly can extend its life by up to 20%.
5. Heading Somewhere Warmer?
I don’t blame you! Just make sure you shut off the water in your home before you go. This is done by turning off the main water valve - call us if you have any issues finding it. Ensure you open a few taps to drain any residual water. Of course, if the water is on and no one is home, the damage can be extensive with no one there to stop it. Give yourself piece of mind by draining your pipes. We personally do this any time we leave on vacation, year round.
Frozen pipes can be a hassle to say the least. Simple steps taken preventatively can save you lots of time and money in the future. If you need help preparing your plumbing - feel free to call us at 778-982-4934.