Winter Plumbing Maintenance Can Save You Time and Money

It can get pretty expensive every year for a homeowner who has to spend money on plumbing related costs. Experts estimate that it costs anywhere from $400 to $500 per year when you factor in hiring a licensed plumber and paying for parts and supplies. It can get downright pricey if you have to pay for emergency services.  This does not have to be with regularly scheduled maintenance.

Winter is not as bad in South Florida as it is up in the northeast. However, those sometime week long cold snaps that can dip temperatures to below freezing, even for a few hours can wreak havoc on adults, children, roads, vehicles and homes. Just a four to five hour time span below freezing can cause numerous problems for your home, including the plumbing components. Whether it’s water freezing or a cracked pipe, any tiny problem, if not remedied, will lead to significant issues in your home.

Most licensed professionals will encourage homeowners to have regularly scheduled maintenance to check up on the pipes, water hoses, water tanks, hot water heater, and much more. By doing so, homeowners can avoid having to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars because your home gets flooded as a result of a broken pipe. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially during those cold months.

Homeowners don’t have to roll up their sleeves and spend an entire day making preparations. Instead, simple things can be done, such as removing leaves from gutters, insulating pipes in unheated areas and perhaps even requiring the services of an experienced plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing system to ensure you’re prepared for the upcoming months.

Most professional plumbers agree that a home’s plumbing system should be checked at least once every 2 years. Here are some helpful tips that you can take to avoid spending lots of unnecessary amounts of money.

  • Let the water drip. When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
  • Holiday cooking. Winter usually means the holidays, which comes with a lot of cooking. Always keep in mind that oil and grease can clog up your drain. As an alternative, to pouring grease down the drain, wipe it off the pot or pan with a paper towel and throw it away. Or pour cooled oil and fats into non-recyclable containers and then dispose with the trash. Or, run hot water down the drain after each use.
  • Disconnect Your Garden Hose. Disconnecting your garden hose for the winter can prevent cracks and leaks. When you use your hose and turn the spigot off, there is still water in the wrapped-up hose, including some water still in the line going to the spigot. During the colder temperatures, this water can freeze, causing the water in the pipes to crack.
  • Warm air. During the cold weather months, you will want to keep your home as warm as possible to keep your pipes from freezing. At least once a week, keep cabinet doors under sinks and near exterior walls open. Experts recommend that your home’s temperature should not fall below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. However, always strive to keep your inside temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months in South Florida.
  • Water heater. Cold air can force your water heater to work harder, so it is recommended that you close any crawl space areas, vents, and windows in the vicinity of where your water heater is placed. Direct vent or horizontally vented water heaters are designed for installation where vertical chimneys or flues are not available or would be more expensive to install. The vents go directly through an outside wall, and can also bring in combustion air to the gas burner.

If you have any additional questions on how to properly maintain your plumbing and HVAC system so you can save money, contact Romark AC & Plumbing today for a free consultation.

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