Here are five things your Minneapolis plumber wants you to know about preparing your home for those colder months.
If you're living in the Twin Cities, you know a thing or two about severe winters. From heaps of snow to below-zero temperatures to harsh winds, Minneapolis' conditions are no joke. So when it comes to protecting your home from the bad weather conditions, there is no time to waste. Luckily, our plumbers at Roto-Rooter in Minnesota are experienced and knowledgeable in all things pertaining to winterizing your home’s plumbing and drain system. Here are five things your Minneapolis plumber wants you to know about preparing your home for those colder months:
1. Locate your pipes
The first step to preventing the cold from damaging your home is locating your pipe exposed water supply pipes and plumbing fixtures. Once you know where all of them are, you can take the next steps to making sure they don't freeze and cause damage to your home.
2. Flush out all the water
One of the biggest issues with cold temperatures and running water is this combination can result in frozen pipes. Eventually, the water will thaw and leak out after the freeze put an incredible amount of pressure and stress on your pipes. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to drain water out your water appliances and plumbing fixtures that are susceptible to freezing. Be sure to drain swimming pools, sprinkler systems, hoses and Jacuzzi pipes. Anything outdoors will be the first to freeze, because the systems are not protected by the heat from your furnace. If you have indoor shut-off valves that allow you to cut water flow to outside faucets, turn off the inside valves then open the outside valves to drain out all water in the lines. Then cover the faucet with a Styrofoam insulation kit.
Be sure to winterize your garage!
3. Insulate your pipes
There are other areas of your home where the pipes aren't protected by heat, like the basement, crawl spaces, attics, garage and beneath the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Since cutting off the water supply is not an option here, you must take other precautions, like opting for insulation. Insulated pipe techniques can vary, but there are specific products made to protect your exposed pipes so that there's a smaller chance of water freezing. Look for foam insulation sleeves for pipes. These are inexpensive and offer a good degree of protection. For proper insulation installation, give our Roto-Rooter Minneapolis plumbers a call. They have the experience to determine exactly what precautions your home needs for winter. And they can thaw frozen pipes and inspect for damage.
Hint: If you're waiting for a plumber to come out, try wrapping newspaper or rags around to your exposed pipes as a temporary insulation to protect from the cold.
4. Check your water heater
Your water heater should be set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal efficiency. Setting your water heater too high results in paying for heat that your home doesn't need and skin is at risk of scalding. Lowering the temperature could also reduce your water-heating costs.
5. Take action
There are some small steps you could take when it comes to preventing potential plumbing issues in your home. Be sure to open your laundry room, kitchen and bathroom cabinets so heat circulates around the plumbing fixtures. If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep the garage door closed and consider investing in a heater for this space. If you go away for a weekend, be sure to keep the heat on and set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from freezing.
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