Is Your Home Ready? Prevent Costly Cold Weather Plumbing Emergencies This Winter

frozen pipes

With cold weather here to stay, it’s time to start thinking about plumbing safety. Take these small precautions to help you to avoid costly emergencies and injuries this winter.

Run the water

On very cold, sub-zero days, be sure to run water throughout your home. Letting the water drip – very slowly –  from indoor faucets keeps it moving so that it won’t freeze inside the pipes. Frozen pipes can leave you without access to water, or worse, they can actually burst.

Don’t turn the heat off

If you’re on vacation or away from your home for an extended period of time, it’s okay to turn your thermostat down a bit in order to save on energy costs. However, be sure to keep your thermostat above 55°F. If you vacate your home for the entire winter, be sure to ask a loved one of a neighbor to check on it every once in a while.

Be careful with hot water temperature

Turning up the water heater slightly during the winter months is fine, but be sure not to turn it up too high in order to prevent scalding, burns or excessive hot water heater tank pressure. Do not exceed 130°F.

Insulate the pipes

250,000 households experience damage from burst pipes each year. Be sure to wrap all exposed water pipes, not just hot water pipes, with foam insulation to help them from freezing and rupturing. If the temperature outside drops below freezing, open cabinet doors in order to keep pipes warm. Additionally, place foam coverings on outdoor spigots.

Put garden hoses away

Be sure to properly disconnect and store all water hoses. Idle water in connecting hoses and faucets can freeze and cause them to break.

Be careful cleaning up after holiday cooking

The holiday season is all about cooking. Unfortunately, if poured down the drain, grease, oil and other cooking fats can harden inside of the plumbing to create clogs and backups. Instead of putting grease down the drain, let it cool, pour it into a glass or plastic container that you don’t mind throwing out, put the container into a plastic bag and discard in the trash can. Additionally, do not put starchy foods such as celery or potatoes in your garbage disposal. They can get wrapped around the blades and create a backup.

Know what to do in case of an emergency

Make sure each person in your family knows where the master water valve is. If a line breaks or there is another emergency, it will allow you to turn off the water quickly.

While taking these precautions should keep your plumbing system out of harm’s way, if you do find yourself in need of a plumbing expert, give Crown Group Ohio a call at 330.499.4988.