Fall Tips from our plumbers in Hampton Roads.
Freezing temperatures and plumbing systems don’t make for a great combination, so fall is the time to prepare for the chilly cold that will threaten to freeze your pipes and damage your plumbing system each year. If you’re unprepared for the sudden drop in temperature we’ve been experiencing in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk you may find yourself panicking, looking anywhere to find a solution to the problem. If you want to avoid costly plumbing repairs, our experienced plumbers here at R. A. Styron recommends the following.
- The first and easiest step is to disconnect any water hoses located outside your home. If left alone, the water in the hoses will expand, freeze and cause the faucets and pipes to shatter.
- A small leak in a faucet doesn’t seem like much, but according to our plumbers in Norfolk, over time even the smallest drip can translate into hundreds of gallons of water wasted. If you suspect a leak, contact a local plumber immediately so you can fix the problem and conserve water. It’s important to note that no type of pipe is immune from freezing temperatures, including copper, plastic, and steel.
- Close any interior shut-off valves that lead to your outside faucets. Also drain off any water from the lines.
- Purchase a faucet insulation kit from the store to protect your outdoor faucets. Cover each faucet with the insulation kit.
- If you have any pipes in areas that are not insulted, such as a garage or crawl space, it’s important to insulate them before the cold sets in. You should locate the pipes and wrap them in heat tape or use thermostat-controlled heat cables. This simple technique will prevent pipes from freezing.
- If you find any leaks near the windows and doors in your home, seal them off to prevent cold air from penetrating you home.
- Our plumbers in Chesapeake and throughout Hampton Roads recommend that you flush your water heater before winter to eliminate excess sediment, which can cause corrosion and significantly shorten the life and weaken the efficiency of your water heater. To flush your water heater, simply drain a few gallons of water from the faucet near the bottom of the tank. Make sure to connect a hose to the faucet to ensure the water can flow into a drain.
- It’s important to check the water heater’s pressure relief valve, but be careful, the water is hot. All you need to do is lift up the lever and let it snap back. After you do this, a gush of hot water should flow into the drainpipe. If this doesn’t happen for some reason, you should call a local plumbing company.
- Set your heater thermostat at 120 degrees F.
- Get rid of all the leaves and debris from the downspouts outside. This will allow it to drain easy when water freezes and then thaws throughout the year.
- If you’re leaving on vacation, shut of the main water valve. After it’s shut off, open all the faucets at the high and low points of the house to shut off the main water valve. Keep the heat at a minimum of 55 degrees F.
If you’ll be staying in your home during the winter, these tips will certainly be helpful to you. There are other steps that are crucial to properly winterize vacation homes and other properties that are visited less frequently than a traditional home. Contact us for more tips on home winterization. We are the plumbers Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and the rest of the Tidewater Region have relied on time and time again for plumbing services and expertise.