Cold temperatures in the Greater Cleveland area can wreak havoc on roadways and home systems. With one hard freeze, winter plumbing problems can be catastrophic to every aspect of your home. Here are some ways to prevent major damage this winter.
Keep Pipes From Freezing
Pipes are frequently positioned against exterior walls where there’s little insulation or airflow from heated interiors. Cabinets or appliances can further block warmth. These simple measures can help keep ice from forming on pipes:
- Insulate any exposed pipe
- Add heat tape to any pipes in sheltered unheated areas, such as your basement or crawlspace
- In freezing weather, open cabinets that are against exterior walls
- Leave taps slightly open
Ice quickly expands and weakens, which can cause pipes to burst. If your pipes do freeze, call a plumber immediately if you can’t safely thaw it yourself.
Protect Exterior Plumbing Fixtures
If possible, winterize your home’s exterior plumbing before cold weather hits. You can start by detaching and draining garden hoses or swimming pool equipment. Shut water off to outdoor taps, and then open the taps wide so that the remaining water has room to expand as it freezes.
Prevent Frozen Septic and Sewer
Septic tanks can freeze during the winter, causing waste to overfill. This can back up into your home and create an extremely hazardous mess. Carefully monitor waste levels in your tank and have it pumped well before winter starts.
Damaged or clogged sewer lines can freeze, blocking any waste removal in your home and potentially breaking the sewer line. If your drains are slow, have the lines inspected as quickly as possible and do any required repairs.
Keep Your Water Heater Working Reliably
Have your water heater serviced at least once a year, especially with impending cold weather approaching. Your technician will double-check that everything is in good repair. He or she may also flush your tank to remove sediment, ensuring it’s ready for a winter of hard work.
For more information about dealing with your winter plumbing problems, schedule an appointment with Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.
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