Cincinnati-based Roto-Rooter, which operates a location in Springettsbury Township, recommends the following tips to protect plumbing systems during freezing temperatures:
- Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected during freezing temperatures, water in hoses will freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break.
- Inspect outside faucets. If they’re dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber
- Note that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds and causes cracks, whether the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash 250 gallons of water in a single day
- If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes. Cover outside faucets using an inexpensive faucet insulation kit
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around exposed pipes.
- Your water heater works harder during winter months. Drain corrosion-causing sediment from the tank, which reduces energy efficiency.
- Set water heater thermostat to 125 degrees F for optimum performance without risk of scalding.
- Clear any leaves and debris from roof gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage through the winter season.
- Inspect and clean sump pit. Remove any rocks and debris from pit then dump a bucket of water into the sump pit to test the pump. If it turns on and pumps water out then turns itself off, it is operating properly.
- Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees F during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing.