The cold weather is upon most of the country, and while most people seem to think it never gets cold in Los Angeles, there are a few nights when you can expect the temperatures to dip below freezing. If your home isn’t adequately prepared for these nights, you could have problems with frozen, cracked, or burst pipes. Even if this isn’t one those rare years, you should still make sure your house is ready, just in case. Here are five handy tips that can help reduce your risk of plumbing problems should the weather turn chilly.
1. Where is the Water Shut Off
No matter kind of water emergency you have going on in your home from a burst pipe to a leaking faucet, you need to know where the main water shut-off for your entire house is. Make your kids know and if you are friends with your neighbors, let them know as well. Turning the water off is always the first step in any water emergency.
2. Make Sure Your Pipes Are Insulated
Pipes that are exposed to the open air and it gets cold; they can become brittle. This leads to cracking and burst pipes. Covering your exposed pipes with insulation to protect them and you should inspect them each year to ensure they remain protected. This includes pipes in the basement, attic, crawl space, garage, and any out buildings.
3. Put Your Garden Hoses Away
Since you won’t be watering your lawn this time of year, they need to be put away for the season. The cold weather makes rubber and vinyl hoses brittle and subject to cracking and breakage. Storing them away will help protect them and keep them ready for next season. If you have any outdoor spigots, they should be drained.
4. About Those Automatic Sprinklers
If your home has automatic sprinklers, the pipes, heads, and even the pump, zone controls, and anything else that has water in it are subject to ice damage. Most professionally installed automatic sprinkler systems build in drain points so that you can drain the entire sprinkler system.
5. Check for Leaks
In the fall, you should have a professional plumber come out to your home and perform an inspection of the plumbing. He should be looking for leaks throughout the system. If he finds any, no matter how small, be sure to have them repaired. Not only do small leaks lead to massive water bills, but the cold weather also tends to turn the small leaks into bigger and more expensive ones. Getting them fixed now can save you a lot of money further on down the road.
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of plumbing issues in your home is to find a plumber who offers annual maintenance and checkup plans. By having a professional come to your house and keep an eye on things, you can rest easy on those rare nights when the thermometer dips below freezing, and your plumbing is at risk of freezing.