With cold weather approaching, or already hitting hard, it’s a good idea to get your plumbing in shape in preparation for autumn. The colder months can wreak havoc with even the most dependable plumbing systems, so we’ve put together some top plumbing tips to see you through the winter.
- Disconnecting the outside water hose
Disconnecting the outside water hose will help protect you from nasty frozen pipes and further issues once the weather begins to thaw again. To disconnect your outside tap from the water supply, locate your shut-off valve (usually alongside your indoor plumbing system). Once the water hose has been disconnected from the water supply, open the tap to allow any existing water in the pipe to run out.
- Clearing your gutters
If your gutters are not clear of debris, water can build up in them. When temperatures reach below freezing, this can lead to damaging results for your pipework. Begin by removing the loose debris that has fallen into your gutter using a scoop or narrow garden trowel. Hose down your gutters, moving from the end of each gutter to the drain to ensure mud and dirt are flushed from the system. Ensure that water can move freely through the drainpipe by unclogging any remaining dirt or debris. You can do this either by flushing them downwards with a hose, or pulling debris out from the bottom of the pipe.
- Close and drain shut-off valves that lead outside
Frozen outdoor valves can often wreak havoc with your indoor plumbing, so make sure that they are shut off for the winter months. You can close your valves from your indoor plumbing system. Simply close each shut-off valve that leads outside. These will also include a bleed cap that will drain excess water residing in the pipe. Turn off the water that leads to the shut-off valve and then open each tap outside to allow excess water to drain.
- Wrap up any outdoor pipes so that they are less prone to freezing
Frozen pipes are a frequent problem in autumn that can easily result in a morning of chaos at the best of times and cause devastating damage at the worst. One of our best plumbing tips for the autumn, then, is to wrap your pipes before the cold water hits. Use a foam tube around each pipe to keep them fully insulated and freeze-free.
If in any doubt, give your plumber (or dare I say, this plumber) a call and ask them to inspect anything you’re worried about, or carry out any necessary maintenance or repairs before the cold weather fully hits.