Every winter, especially in Winnipeg, we must be mindful of the things that we don’t really want to be mindful of. That means preparing for the worst when in comes to how the winter cold can affect your house’s plumbing.
Having a plumbing emergency is bad enough, but it’s extra bad and more costly, if it happens during a Winnipeg winter.
Here are six great tips for avoiding expensive plumbing leaks in winter.
1. Fix existing plumbing problems now
You’ve been procrastinating all summer long, and now winter is upon us. If you’re betting on a mild winter because you listened to the local Winnipeg forecast, that’s about the same as tossing a coin in the air.
Don’t assume that you can get away with not fixing any existing issues based on what may or may not happen.
Double check all your kitchen and bathroom faucets, as well as your utility room, for dripping or puddles.
2. Isolate plumbing pipes from freezing
A frozen pipe can lead to massive home flooding and damage. Moreover, if you’re a winter sun-seeker, as we tend to be in Winnipeg, a frozen pipe busting open when you’re a thousand kilometers away on a beach is twice as bad.
When the thermostat needle drops, residue water in pipes can easily freeze, causing them to burst open.
To minimize the potential of frozen pipes bursting open, you can wrap the un-insulated pipes in foam. Most home hardware stores will carry the foam piping covers with a pre-slit opening for easy installation.
Cut the lengths you need, slide over the pipes, and use duct tape to secure it (assuming it doesn’t come with self-adhesive).
3. Store your outdoor garden hose
Unless you’re freezing a backyard hockey rink, you probably won’t need your hose in the winter.
So, take the extra fifteen minutes to disconnect, drain, coil and store any outdoor hoses. Any leftover water in the hose can cause it to crack, meaning you’re out a few bucks you wouldn’t have been if you took the time.
Additionally, a hose left outside may contribute to freezing your faucets or any connecting pipes.
4. Drain your water heater
If your area has hard water, be wary of the sediment that can build up in your tank, which may cause it to rust on the inside. The last thing you want is the rust making its way into your drinking, cooking and bathing water.
What’s the condition of your hot water tank? Is it rusted and old?
Consider purchasing a new one before winter gets too cold.
5. Clean your sump pump pit
Your sump pump pit is your last line of defense against basement flooding. Treat it like gold.
Before it gets too cold, make sure you inspect and clean your sump pump and the pit. If the pump gets too cold, it can freeze. If it freezes, it’s not going to work. If it doesn’t work, you’re up a creek.
6. Valves and pipes leading outdoors
If you have pipes and valves that lead outdoors, you’ll want to close the valves and then drain the pipes.
Usually, you’ll find any of these in the basement.
Water remaining in the lines can cause significant damage.
Avoid preventable winter plumbing problems
Following these tips will greatly reduce the chance of you having to fork out a large sum of money to fix something that could have been prevented.
The best part is that most of these tips only cost your time or a very limited amount.
If you need a professional Winnipeg plumber, give us a call!