Its just around the corner. The time of year when temperatures plummet. We're all getting ready for winter. But if you're planning to leave your house for the season and escape to warmer climes, there's something else that needs to be taken care of your plumbing system. Yes, it's definitely a good idea to get your plumbing winter ready. If you don't, you run a very high and costly risk of frozen pipes. Here are six tried and true steps you can take to get those pipes ready for the cold months ahead.
Turn off your main shutoff valve. An alternative is to have your local water company switch off water service. Either way, this is a critical step.
Open all faucets, indoors and out. Be sure to begin at the top story of your home. Once the last drop of water has rolled from the taps, try to open the plug at the main shutoff valve, allowing it to drain. If necessary, call your local water provider to get the job done. But do it.
Empty toilet bowls and tanks. Sure this is an expenditure of time, but it will go a long way to preventing very troublesome freezing.
Switch off your water heater's gas or other power source, then open the appliance's drain valve.
Either remove the plugs from sink traps, or remove the traps entirely. Then replace them and will with a mixture of plumbing antifreeze and water. Proportions should be identical with those specified for your particular car and climate.
Add about a quart of antifreeze to shower and tub taps. You won't be able to drain these.
What To Do If There's No Hot Water
With winter rapidly approaching, cold showers won't be high on your wish list. That's why you'll want to be sure the hot water flows smoothly throughout the season. Should you discover there's suddenly not a drop of hot water to be found in your home, there are several corrective steps you can try.
First of all, look for the obvious. This means, check your water heater for a pilot light that's unlit or simply refuses to keep burning. Other potential problems to target are a clogged burner, faulty thermocouple, and gas stoppage.
If you discover any of these hot water impediments, you'll naturally want to apply the right remedy. For starters, relight the pilot light, exercising the proper amount of care. Then be absolutely sure the gas controls are on. If everything checks out, make certain the thermocouple is securely attached to your gas control device and is located close to the pilot flame. If the thermocouple is loose or inadequately attached, by all means firmly connect it.
Hopefully, taking these simple steps will help you identify and solve any water heater problems you may be experiencing. Of course, it's always best to get the opinion of an expert. That's why you'll be doing yourself a huge favor by calling in a licensed professional for a complete evaluation and, if necessary, permanent solution.