Maintaining Your Home’s Water Line This Winter Season
Having a water problem? If you suspect a leak, break or blockage in the water coming into your home, the first step is to find out the location of the problem. In many areas, local city and town governments are responsible for breaks in water and sewer mains in the street, but in Raleigh and most areas you are responsible for breaks on your private property.
Although you can’t oversee street maintenance, you can take steps to ensure the pipes on your property are kept in the best condition. With winter weather coming, now is the time to make sure your water line and pipes are ready for whatever cold weather comes your way.
Locate and mark your main water valve—this valve controls the water coming from the water main in the street to your home. If your pipes flood, you may need to turn off the water at this central source. The valve is usually located where the water line enters your house through the foundation.
Shut off and drain pipes for outside faucets—this measure prevents water from freezing in the pipe, expanding and then possibly causing a leak in the lines.
Keep your house temperature reasonable, even when you’re away—it may seem to make sense to turn your heat down or even off when you’re going to be away for a few days or longer during the winter, but that makes it more likely that your pipes may freeze. If you will be away from home all winter, turn off the main supply and drain the plumbing. However, if you’re away short-term, keep your house temperature high enough to prevent pipes from freezing.
Insulate pipes to prevent freezing—keep in mind that not all pipes in your home are well protected from the cold. Pipes in the garage, attic, crawlspace or external walls are more susceptible to freezing than pipes located more centrally in the house. Use insulation to provide those pipes with extra protection.
Make the correct repairs/replacements—if you need to replace a pipe, know the type of pipe material needed for the particular project. Most pipes in residences are made of CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), copper and galvanized pipe. The type of repair needed, temperature of water flowing through the pipes, price, and ease of use should be considered when determining the right type of material.
If you have questions about your winter water line maintenance or have a plumbing issue that requires professional help, please give NC Plumbing Services a call at 919-868-3585. Our team of skilled plumbers can address all of your residential plumbing needs, including water line leaks, slow drains, fixture installation, water heater repair and replacement, plumbing additions to your home, and much more. We service the Raleigh and Wake County surrounding areas like Cary, Apex and Morrisville.