When winter approaches and the weather gets colder, you have to turn your attention to your home's plumbing. Extremely cold weather can cause a lot of plumbing problems if you are not prepared for it. The most common problem is pipes freezing over and bursting. You cannot stop the weather from turning cold, but you can take measures to protect your pipes. Read this article for some practical advice on how you can avert some of these plumbing problems.
When water freezes it expands. When water freezes inside a pipe, tremendous pressure in built up against the pipe inside. The most vulnerable parts are the joints where pipes connect to each other. As the ice inside expands, it can rupture the pipes at the joints. If this happens at a pipe section that is not conspicuous, you will have a water leak in that goes undetected for a while until you see signs of water where it should not belong. By the time you notice the leak, a lot of damage may have already been done to your home.
One of the ways that you can prevent water from freezing inside your pipes is by letting a very tiny amount of water drip through your faucets. This keeps the water moving inside your pipes. Water that is still has a higher chance of freezing over than water with movement.
You should drain the water out of your garden hose and store it away. Wrap the pipe that is exposed with some pipe insulation. You should caulk around the area pipe section that leads inside to your home. A certain type of caulk is appropriate for this purpose. If you are not sure about that, consult with the staff at your hardware store.
Keep your house at a temperature of at 56 degrees. When you are inside, no doubt you would want the temperature be warmer than that. However, when you are away, you should adjust your thermostat to keep your house at that temperature. This helps the pipe system inside your walls stay at a temperature that is above freezing.
Be very diligent in insulating your pipes. Sections that are behind an outside wall are the most vulnerable. Use insulation material of a proper grade to wrap pipe sections. Secure the insulation to the pipe with some duct tape. This task will take some time for you to do because you want catch every section of piping that is exposed. However, this is worth investing your time in because it will prevent a major problem that can end up costing you very expensive repairs.
Small plumbing problems can grow into bigger ones if you do not take care of them right away. This is something that you should not ignore if you want to prevent pipe leaks. By following some of these tips, you can protect your plumbing from winter damage and avoid costly repairs resulting from pipe bursts. Spend a little effort on prevention, and you will not have to deal with bigger problems.