closeup of ice around pipe

How to Get Your Plumbing Ready for Winter

The winter weather can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing if you’re not adequately prepared. Pipes commonly freeze during this cold season, and when they do, they can burst and leak water all over your property, resulting in costly repairs. Make sure your plumbing system is ready for winter and prevent frozen pipes with these winterizing tips.

Prep Outdoor Faucets

Before the cold weather sets in, make sure you turn off the outdoor faucets at the shutoff valve. Then, open the faucets and let them drain out any leftover water. Make sure you leave the faucet open so it can completely dry; otherwise, it may freeze and break. Once you finish draining the outdoor faucets, place a faucet cover over them to slow any heat loss through the pipe.

Insulate Pipes

The best way to keep your pipes from freezing is by insulating any pipes in unheated areas, such as the garage or attic. Use heat cable and cover the vulnerable pipe with insulation from a hardware store. It’s a small price to pay for significant savings.

Seal Rim Joists

Drafts often squeeze through the spaces around rim joists. You can keep the cold air out and the heat in by sealing these holes and cracks with expandable foam.

Get Your Water Heater Checked

When you wake up on a cold winter day, the first thing you want to do is jump into a hot shower to thaw your frozen toes and fingers. If you turn on the water to find you are only getting ice-cold water, your day is off to a rough start.

Water heaters can break down for any number of reasons, but the most likely is that the homeowner failed to schedule routine tune-ups. You can avoid the disaster of cold showers during the winter by having a professional plumber inspect your water heater before the cold sets in. They can perform any necessary plumbing repairs for your Birmingham, AL, home.

Shut Off the Water When You Travel

Are you planning on visiting family or taking a much-needed vacation this winter? If you’re going to be gone for a few days, make sure you turn off the water at the main shutoff. This will lower the chances of your pipes bursting if they freeze and can keep your house from flooding if the pipes do crack.

Know What to Do During a Cold Snap

When your area is facing a cold snap, make sure you know how to care for your plumbing. For example, keep the temperature steady in your home by not raising or lowering it during the night or when no one is home. Also, open your cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach the plumbing underneath any sinks in your kitchen or bathrooms. Finally, leave your indoor faucets running. Stagnant water is much easier to freeze than moving water. Your water bill may increase slightly, but this price is insignificant compared to the repair costs you would be facing if the pipes burst from extreme cold.

Schedule Plumbing Maintenance

With winter quickly approaching, it’s a good idea to have your plumbing inspected by experts. Our plumbers can detect any potential issues and provide immediate repairs to prevent bigger problems from developing during the winter. If you need plumbing installations, air duct cleaning in Birmingham, AL, or furnace services, contact Xcalibur Services today!

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