When you move into a new home, you'll need to get properly acquainted with the various seasonal tasks that the home requires. The pending arrival of winter generally necessitates the performing of a wide range of jobs that will prepare the house for the cold months ahead. Where the home's plumbing is concerned, there are various tasks -- some of which you can perform yourself and some of which you'll require the help of a licensed plumber. Some of these jobs you'll need to do before each winter, while others are only necessary for the first winter in your new home.
Turning The Outside Water Off
It might seem simple, but it's easy enough to forget to turn off any outdoor water taps. This job involves more than disconnecting the hoses outside -- you also need to turn the shut-off valve inside your home that is attached to the pipe. Doing so empties the pipe, which prevents any built-up water from freezing and causing the pipe to split. This is a job that you can perform yourself, but it's best to hire a plumber if you're unsure about doing it correctly. This job is necessary before the start of each winter.
Water Heater Seasonal Maintenance
Given that the temperature inside your home will typically be colder during the winter, there will be more demands on your water heater. As such, it's a good idea to hire a plumber to inspect it before the weather turns cold. This seasonal maintenance can include tasks such as flushing the water from the tank, checking the condition of the valves and confirming that the electrical components are in proper working order. It's a good idea to schedule this job annually because losing hot water during the winter can pose a major inconvenience.
Wrapping Any Bare Pipes
Bare pipes aren't a problem in the summer but become an issue in the winter. When the hot water travels through these pipes, some of the heat can escape -- resulting in cooler water when it reaches the source. This will often precipitate you to run more hot water, which will unnecessarily increase your water/heating bill. You can prevent this issue by ensuring that any bare pipes -- especially in cold areas such as your garage -- are covered in insulating foam wrap. While you can easily apply the wrap, it's usually a good idea to hire a plumber if you're having trouble finding the pipes in your home that need your attention. This job is a one-time occurrence -- once the pipes are wrapped, they don't need further attention of this nature.
For more information and tips, contact a professional plumber, such as those at Action Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.