As you gather with friends and family this cherished holiday season, the last thing you are probably expecting is an untimely plumbing problem to wreak havoc on your get-togethers or your holiday travel plans.
Temperatures in Vancouver during the holiday season have been known to dip well below freezing, so there are extra precautions to take around the weather.
No question, taking the time now before the holidays are in full swing is well worth your while. A little time spent in preparation means keeping those potential plumbing headaches at bay.
Insulate the Water Heater
It’s a good idea to start right at the source where your water is heated. If you’ve recently upgraded your tank, it is probably already insulated. If it is a little older, invest in a water heater jacket. It will help to keep the heat from escaping from the tank, making it run more efficiently as well as making sure that the water is sufficiently warm to keep it flowing through your pipes.
Insulate the Pipes
Pipes that are exposed to the elements are very vulnerable to freezing. Take care to give these pipes the support and warmth that they need to prevent this plumbing headache. Pipes that are located in poorly insulated walls, walls with exterior exposure, or pipes that are in cooler areas of your home must be attended to.
Wrap pipes in foam. For an extra boost of warmth, leave cabinet doors open under sinks that are positioned against exterior walls.
Make Sure Faucets are Running
Inspect faucets inside and out to make sure that water is flowing freely. If an outdoor faucet drips, or if you see leaking around an indoor faucet, it is possible that you’ve suffered a cracked or broken pipe due to freezing. If an individual faucet isn’t running, it may be a signal that you’ve got a frozen pipe too.
Sump Pump Attention
Just like your pipes, extreme cold can cause your sump pump to freeze, so make sure you spend a few minutes making sure that it is in working order. Pour a bucket of water in the sump pit.
It should turn on and off automatically. Also, make sure that the pit is free from any debris that could impede its ability to work.
Drain Outside Faucets
Never leave hoses attached to outdoor faucets over the winter. Drain faucets and wrap in insulation. From the inside, shut off the safety valve and let the water drain. If you leave water pooling, it could potentially freeze and cause flooding inside your home.
Keep Your Home at the Best Temperature to Prevent Pipes From Freezing
If you are traveling over the holidays, there are a few things you’ll want to do when you are leaving. If you are going for an extended period, you may want to turn the water off and drain the toilets, just to be on the safe side.
At the very least, make sure that your home is still reasonably warm inside. Never let it go any lower than 55°F (13°C).
Don’t let your plumbing take you by surprise. We can help with preventative maintenance tips and also assist you should you experience a plumbing emergency. Call Lambert Plumbing and Heating Ltd in Vancouver, BC today at (604) 734-0890.