Frigid winter months can be hard on your plumbing. This time of year, a lack of proper plumbing maintenance can lead to frozen pipes, water heater issues, and a variety of other problems.
Often times, these problems occur when a homeowner isn’t around to maintain the plumbing. This is why it’s extremely important to make sure you take proper precautions when leaving for any amount of time during the winter months.
Here are seven steps to protect your plumbing before leaving town this winter:
- Set the thermostat to 55 degrees: Many people think they can save money by turning the heat off completely while they’re out of town. Unfortunately, this can cause the temperature in the home to get extremely cold, leaving pipes, faucets and drains vulnerable to freezes. In the Atlanta metro area, 55 degrees is the ideal temperature that will save you on heating costs without letting your pipes and fixtures get too cold.
- Clean drains and gutters: Pools of water in drains and gutters can freeze into ice, leaving them susceptible to breaks. Avoid this by preventing pooling in the first place.
- Fix exterior cracks: During the winter months, cracks in your foundation can cause cold air to seep into your home, which in turn increases the possibility of your pipes freezing. Combat this by patching up the cracks in your foundation before leaving for any length of time.
- Add insulation: Insulation on your pipes and outdoor faucets can prevent freezing, which can cause significant damage to your plumbing systems.
- Disconnect garden hoses: Hoses can trap water that can freeze and become ice, causing backups and problems throughout the rest of your plumbing.
- Consider shutting off your water and draining your faucets: Depending on how long you’ll be gone, it may make sense to shut off your water completely. Plumbing problems can be catastrophic if there is no one around to deal with them. If you do not opt to shut off water, allow faucets that are susceptible to freezing to drip to help keep water flowing while you’re away. Or, have someone come and run the water in your house on occasion.
- Consider having a professional drain your pipes: If you’ll be gone for a lengthy period, hire a professional to drain your pipes to prevent ice forming from the still water that is trapped in your pipes.
Take these steps, and the only thing you’ll have to worry about this holiday vacation season will be your in-laws!
Need more winterization advice? Contact the Zurn team using the contact form on our home page learn how we can help you.