snowplow at workWinter is almost here, and if you’re like so many people, you’re really not quite ready for the cold and snow. It’s okay – we’ve all been guilty of procrastination. But now it’s time to get serious. Here are some winter plumbing tips to take care of before a really bad Cleveland winter hits us hard.

Easy-to-do Winter Plumbing Tips

Disconnect your garden hoses and put them away for the winter. Then drain your outdoor pipes. Water left in pipes can freeze, and when the water expands, it can burst a pipe. This is among the worst plumbing disasters you can have. Imagine the damage that’s done if you’re not at home. The cleanup and repairs could cost thousands.

Most hardware stores sell faucet jackets that hook onto the spigot and fit tight against the house. These can help insulate the faucet and protect it from snow and ice. We recommend using them wherever you have an outside faucet.

Insulate pipes in crawl spaces. Check your basement and areas under stairs to see if you have pipes that don’t get much heat. If you do, be sure to wrap them up in pipe insulation. You’ll only have to do this once, and it goes a long way toward preventing a frozen pipe from breaking.

Check the operation of your main water shutoff valve. Make sure everyone in your family knows where it is and how to shut off the water. After all, a plumbing emergency could happen when you’re not home. If necessary, label the shutoff valve so family members know instantly where to find it. You’ll be glad you did if an emergency occurs.

Check your sump pump. This is especially necessary if you live in a county with a high water table. Besides checking the pump operation inside the home, go outside and make sure the pump drainage area is free of snow, ice or debris. If this area is blocked, the discharge line could freeze causing water to back up into your home.

Inspect your gutters and downspouts. When your gutters get clogged with leaves and such, rain runs off the gutter and down the side of your house where it pools alongside the foundation. From here it can seep into the basement or crawl space. You would be amazed at how many mold problems inside a home can be traced back to a clogged gutter and downspout!

None of these winter plumbing tips is time-consuming. In fact, you can easily get them done in an afternoon or certainly over the weekend. Don’t put these off too long – winter will be here before you know it.

If you have a plumbing problem, call us at 877-768-7239. We’ve been providing expert plumbing repairs throughout Northeast Ohio for more than 30 years, and with our fleet of trucks we can be there in no time.

And don’t forget: When you call The Plumbing Source, you’ve made the right call!