An average of 250,000 families across America suffer from damage caused by water pipes freezing and breaking
according to State Farm Fire and Casualty Company. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, payments by all insurance companies in the past decade for those kinds of losses have exceeded $4 billion.
That is a huge expense and a lot of property damage done because of no or improper winterizing.
So, if you are a cabin owner or will have a vacant property this winter (those of you heading south for the winter know who you are), making sure your plumbing is properly winterized is important, to say the least. At Schoenwalder Plumbing we want to be sure your plumbing is prepared to endure frigid Waukesha WI temperatures.
Winterization Tip One – Shut off the Water
The first step of winterizing is being sure the water supply is shut off and drained. Find the main water valve that controls all the water to your home or cabin and shut it off. If you don’t know where your shut off valve is, no problem.
Locate your water meter and you will find a main water shutoff nearby. If the valve should get stuck, just leave it alone. If it leaks or doesn’t shut off all the way, have a licensed plumber replace the valve. Without a new valve you will have an ongoing problem. If you have a well on your property, be sure the pressure tank is drained.
Winterization Tip Two – Drain Waterlines by Opening Faucets
After the water is shut off, drain your water pipes. An efficient and quick way to do this is open all faucets, inside and out, and flush toilets until they are completely emptied. Plastic and rubber supply lines leading to appliances, faucets, and toilets become brittle and break with age. So it is equally important to drain them completely, too. Finally, to eliminate or dilute the water in drain traps, use “RV” type antifreeze solution in them. Follow the instructions on the container.
Winterization Tip Three – Drain Your Water Heater
With gas water heaters, set the thermostat to the “off” or “pilot” setting. With electric water heaters, turn off the power at the breaker box. Next, on the top of the water heater, close the cold water supply line valve. You will have to turn it clockwise. This will prevent water from flowing into the tank while it’s draining. To drain the tank, find the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater, connect a garden hose to the drain valve, open the drain valve (draining the hot water). Be sure the hose is draining into a drain or outside. (Step by step draining instructions)
Winterization Tip Four – Prepping Your Septic Tank
Septic tanks should be pumped out regularly and maintained. The frequency depends on how many people use the facilities and how often, especially with a cabin situation. The best practice for winterizing a septic tank is to have the tank drained. Then, place a layer of straw or leaves on top of the septic area to help insulate and prevent freezing.
Winterization Tip Five – Insulate Your Pipes Where Possible In Waukesha WI
Whether you are vacating your home or not, during the winter months it’s important to have your pipes insulated. Insulating your pipes keeps the water in your pipes warmer longer. This saves energy and helps prevent freezing when winter temperatures hit. Before insulating the pipes, clean the pipes well before wrapping them in insulation. Be sure the insulation is completely covered and attached securely.
Winterization Tip Six – Winterizing Your Plumbing Is Important If You Are Gone
There is more than one reason. The first is the obvious damage a small leak can cause. For example, a one-eighth inch (3-millimeter) crack in a pipe can spew out more than 250 gallons of water per day, destroying floors, furniture, appliances and personal items, according to IBHS. Now, multiply that figure by the days the leak continues to run.
Another big reason for winterizing your home, is most homeowner insurance policies don’t cover homes when they are vacant. A qualified plumber doing your winterizing can be one of the best investments you can make.
Winterization of your home to avoid frozen pipes is an important maintenance step. Schoenwalder Plumbing is expert at pipe insulation to avoid frozen pipes as well as all other plumbing maintenance. We can help with winterization of your home in Waukesha WI, Waukesha County and Lake Country areas including Waukesha, Brookfield, Elm Grove, Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, and Oconomowoc WI
Give our expert plumbers a call at 262-562-7908 or email to avoid frozen pipes and get the details on winterization of your home in Waukesha WI.