Cold temperatures outside during the winter months often create an environment that makes the development of leaks in a home's plumbing system very likely.
As a homeowner, you need to make an effort to prevent cold weather plumbing leaks to avoid the damage, expense, and inconvenience they cause. The following are six mistakes you need to avoid to minimize the chances that your plumbing system will develop leak problems this winter.
1. Leaving outdoor hoses connected
If you leave a hose that you use outside connected, water that is inside it can freeze and expand when the temperature drops. This can cause the faucet and any pipes that are connected to it to freeze up at the same time.
Frozen water in hoses and pipes can cause pipes and other plumbing components to burst so that leaks develop. Simply disconnecting outdoor houses can prevent this particular problem.
2. Neglecting to give your sump pump pit a good cleaning
If a sump pump pit is not cleaned out, it can become clogged. Water can build up in it and freeze if it's very cold. This prevents the sump pump from doing its job and can lead to catastrophic flooding in a home.
It's a good idea to give your sump pump pit a good cleaning before the coldest parts of the winter arrive to ensure that the sump pump will work properly if flooding occurs at the end of the winter or in the early spring.
3. Not closing any shut-off valves you have that lead outside
Outdoor faucets around your home will probably include shut-off valves. By closing these valves, you will prevent water from outside lines from getting in to pipes on your interior. This can help to prevent frozen and burst pipes.
4. Failing to insulate your pipes to prevent freezing
One of the most common causes of winter plumbing leaks is frozen pipes. You can put insulation around your pipes to protect them from the cold and thereby prevent freezing. You can also make sure you're keeping windows and doors closed so that cold air isn't able to cool pipes down significantly enough so that the water inside them freezes.
5. Not draining out a water heater with sediment buildup
Sometimes, a home's water heater can be the cause of winter weather plumbing leaks. Water heaters tend to get a lot of use during the winter, so they are more susceptible to wintertime wear and tear.
You should consider draining out your water heater before the coldest winter weather comes. This can help you get rid of sediment and thereby prevent rust development in your water heater's tank that can allow leaks to develop over time.
6. Forgetting to let faucets drip during extremely cold weather stretches.
Letting faucets drip a little when it's very cold can keep water flowing slowly through the pipes. This can stop stagnant water in the pipes from freezing and expanding so that pipes burst.
For more information, contact a company like Preferred Plumbing & Drain today.