Four Simple Ways to Prepare Your Seattle Home’s Plumbing for Winter
Follow these easy tips to protect your plumbing from winter.
With colder weather right around the corner, it's a good idea to start thinking about the best ways to go about winterizing your house's plumbing system. Follow these simple suggestions to ensure your Seattle home is protected this winter.
Add an extra layer to your pipes, too
It's natural to put on a coat when winter arrives, right? Do the same thing for your pipes by adding an extra layer of insulation to the ones you can reach. One of the most common problems in plumbing during the winter is the increased likelihood that they will freeze with the cold temperatures. A frozen pipe will burst and cause water damage to the surrounding areas, which will be both a hassle and a sizeable hit to your wallet. Take the proactive step by adding simple insulation around your exposed pipes beneath sinks on outside walls and in unheated crawl spaces and garages. Keeping them warmer will decrease the chances they’ll freeze and subsequently burst or crack.
Shut off everything outside
"Let your faucets drip to prevent pipes from freezing."
If you have faucets or sprinkler systems outside, make sure you shut them off for the winter season by closing off water supply lines leading to them. The same kinds of problems can occur in outside fixtures and appliances due to the freezing temperatures. It's a good idea to drain your outside water systems when you shut them off for the year. Drain the leftover water from your faucets, hoses, sprinkler systems and fountains. The last thing you want is for accumulated water to turn to ice and cause damage.
Since you're going through your plumbing system fairly carefully, make sure you inspect your home for any damage to plumbing. If you find a leak, fix it! Expand your search for problems in your house's facade. If there are any cracks or damaged portions to the walls that might contain water supply pipes, drainpipes or other plumbing fixtures, take the time to fix or seal them before the colder months get here.
Allow a drip
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, sometimes the best way to prevent problems in your plumbing during the winter months is to let your indoor faucets drip. Leave the tub's faucet on (barely), for example, so that it will drip water every once in a while. The trickle of water, however small it may be, won't allow for freezing to occur in the pipes leading to your bathtub. You can practice the same with the kitchen and bathroom sinks, too but this rule does not apply to outside faucets, hose bibs, fountains or sprinkler systems.
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