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Winter Plumbing Maintenance Checklist


ice and icicles around green pipe in the winter

Maintenance is more important than you may think, especially when it comes to ensuring your plumbing can last through the Ohio and Northern Kentucky winter without issue. However, if you ignore winter plumbing preparation, you could end up with frozen pipes, burst pipes, and unwanted flooding that can damage your home.

The sooner you complete these tasks, the sooner you will sleep easier knowing your plumbing systems are protected.

1. Protect Your Pipes

The colder it gets, the more likely your pipes are to freeze. If your pipes freeze, they can rupture and create leaks that can damage drywall, flooring, personal possessions, and more.

The best way to ensure your pipes won’t freeze is to verify that they are adequately insulated. If you have exposed pipes, you can wrap them in foam insulation.

2. Disconnect Your Garden Hose, Sprinklers & Shut the Flow Off

Always disconnect your garden hose and make sure to close any shut-off valves. You will also want to make sure that you blow out your sprinkler system and follow manufacturer recommendations for winterizing the system.

3. Monitor Your Pipes & the Weather

Keep an active eye out for leaks and pay attention to any changes in water pressure. Decreased flow through faucets, showerheads, toilets, etc., can indicate a frozen pipe.

Take active steps when cold fronts are in the forecast. You can protect your pipes by keeping your faucets opened slightly, so a trickle of water is constantly flowing. This will prevent them from freezing.

4. Keep Your House Warm

It’s best to keep your house at a steady temperature. We recommend somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees to ensure safety and comfort.

If you have zoned your home, make sure that all zones maintain this minimum temperature throughout the winter. Ensure that your home is airtight and adequately insulated for optimal results and enhanced energy efficiency.

If you have any leaks or drafts around windows or doors, be sure to seal these with the appropriate caulk or weatherstripping. This will help protect your plumbing systems, reduce wear and tear on your heating systems, and reduce energy waste.

5. Check Your Main Water Valve

No matter how much preparation you do, there is always the potential for a plumbing problem midwinter. Because you can’t predict emergencies, we recommend checking your home’s main shut-off valve for operation.

Ensure it is functioning correctly and easily accessible. If a pipe bursts, shutting this off is crucial for minimizing the damage.

6. Clean Your Sump Pump

Cleaning your sump pump often gets overlooked. However, it is a critical task not to be ignored.

If your sump freezes, it won’t work, and you could end up with a flooded basement. For best results, we recommend thoroughly cleaning your sump pump annually and checking it after any heavy storm or snowfall blows through the region.

Join the HELP Club for Optimal Protection!

One of the most effective tasks you can do to protect your plumbing systems from damage is to enroll in our HELP Club. Members enjoy quick and essential tune-ups, inspections, repairs, and more performed by our Trust Certified™ technicians.

Enrolling in the program ensures you have the support and protection you need to prevent many plumbing problems and promptly respond to any issues that Mother Nature may cause.

Contact HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Drains online to learn more about the best ways to protect your plumbing systems in Ohio and Kentucky or schedule maintenance through our HELP Club.

Posted in: Plumbing

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