The wintertime can be very taxing on the plumbing both inside and outside of your home. With the cold weather and all of the extra guests visiting your house, your plumbing is at risk if you don’t take care of it properly. In order to keep your plumbing in the best shape possible, here are some plumbing tips that Orange County residents should utilize in the wintertime.
Turn Off Outside Water Valves When It Gets Below Freezing
A lot of homeowners don’t realize that their outside water valves can’t handle freezing temperatures. If you don’t turn them off, then there’s a good chance that your pipes can freeze or burst. This can cause damage costing thousands of dollars, and can leave you without running water for an extended period of time.
This is why you need to keep an eye on the weather in the winter to be on the lookout for freezing temperatures. If the temperatures are going to dip below freezing, turn off any of your home’s water valves that are located outside. You can protect your pipes even further by wrapping them in foam as well. While you’re at it, you should also remove hoses and place them in storage for the winter.
Find Out Where the Main Water Valve Is Located
Even if you take the necessary precautions to prevent your pipes from bursting, it still can happen. This is why you need to know where the main water valve is located. You don’t want to have to locate it in the middle of an emergency.
If you just aren’t sure where it’s found, look next to your home’s water meter. In most instances, this is where it’s located. After you find it, you do need to make sure that it’s in good condition and that you can easily turn it off and on. By knowing where the water valve is, you can prevent further damage from occurring if there is some sort of water leak.
Open All of the Cabinet Doors Where Your Sinks Are Located
You may think that your HVAC system will be able to warm your entire home during the wintertime. However, it won’t be able to adequately heat the areas where the pipes are hidden underneath your sinks. You can make sure that the warm air gets to these areas by opening up the cabinet doors where each of your sinks are located.
Check Your Water Heater to Make Sure There Are No Leaks
No matter what time of year it is, it is crucial that your water heater works properly. However, during the wintertime, you may find that you are in need of hot water more often. Because of this, you need to check it to make sure that it’s working properly.
Look around the bottom of the tank to see if there’s any rust. If there is, there’s a good chance that there is a leak. It’s also a great time to check the dial to make sure that it’s set at a desirable temperature. It shouldn’t be higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit because a greater temperature will increase your energy bill.
Only Put the Right Things in the Garbage Disposal
With all of the holidays or gatherings you may be throwing during this time of year, you probably have a lot of scraps left over after your meals. While your garbage disposal can be useful at getting rid of some of these items, there are certain things that you shouldn’t ever put down it. Items like bones, cooking oil, pasta, and nuts should never be poured down the garbage disposal. These substances can cause a huge clog or could even cause it to break.
Even if you always dispose of the right things in your disposal, you do need to make sure that you are using it properly. Turn it on before you put food in it. Once it has ground everything down, you should shut it off before turning the water on. It’s imperative that you always let a bit of water run down into your garbage disposal when you are done using it to clean it. This action will ensure that the disposal is ready to use the next time you need it, and you can also help eliminate odors from food particles that were left behind.
Make Sure You Keep Your Home Warm Enough
If you aren’t home very often in the winter, then you may be tempted to not turn your heat on. Unfortunately, this can cause damage to your plumbing if the temperatures dip too low inside. Your home should be at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If you are worried about high energy bills, you should invest in a programmable thermostat. You can set it to adjust the inside temperature of your home even when you are gone for the day.
Let One of Your Faucets Drip at Night
Even if you have your thermostat set at a temperature above freezing, your HVAC system might have a difficult time keeping it at the set temperature if it gets too cold outside. When your system struggles to combat the cold temperatures, your pipes can freeze.
An easy way to avoid frozen pipes is by letting one of your faucets drip at night. If your pipes do end up freezing, the dripping faucet will keep pressure from building up and will prevent your pipes from bursting.
Clean Your Gutters
Between the rain, sleet, and snow, your area may deal with a lot of precipitation during the wintertime. This is why you need to make sure that your gutters can effectively divert all of this moisture away from your home. Clogged or deteriorated gutters won’t be able to do their jobs properly, and this can make your home susceptible to flooding or water damage.
In order to make sure that there are no issues with your gutters, get out your ladder to inspect them. Remove any sticks, leaves, or other debris that may be clogging them. If there’s any sort of damage, you really should go ahead and replace them.
Fix Plumbing Leaks
If you have a plumbing leak, it may only get bigger throughout the winter. Don’t ignore small leaks that you’ve been putting off. Instead of trying to fix these leaks yourself, you should hire a plumber to fix them for you. They will make sure that they are fixed the right way.
Get Your Plumbing Inspected by a Professional
Your home is a large investment, and you need to do everything that you can to make sure that it’s thoroughly protected in the wintertime. One way you can do this is by making sure that your plumbing is adequately prepared for freezing temperatures.
We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air can help you. We have been helping residents in Orange County for many years. In addition to plumbing work, we also offer heating and cooling installations, repairs, and maintenance services, and we check your indoor air quality. No matter your home care concerns, contact We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air today. We can get your plumbing prepared for the wintertime.