Frozen and broken water pipes are among the most claims and the highest claims paid by insurance companies in the U.S. With the winter chill full steam ahead, here are just a few tips to keep you vacation property plumbing systems in tip -top shape:
• Insulate your pipes - Foam sleeves are an excellent way to avoid having your pipes accumulate frost or even worse having them split from the expansion of ice.
• Disconnect hoses from outside faucets - This prevents hoses from freezing, expanding, and leaking. If your house has interior shut-off valves for outdoor faucets, shut them off and drain the water from the faucet. If you don't have interior shutoffs, the installation of a shut-off valve or a frost-proof faucet may be a great investment to prevent water damages.
• Flush your water heater - Since your water heater works harder during the colder months, by flushing your water heater, you can remove deposit build-up that shortens the life of your water heater. A typical water heater last between 8 to 12 years.
• Make sure your main shutoff valve is in good operating condition - This allows you to turn off your water in a timely manner in case of an emergency. Locating and turning off shutoff valves in your vacation property can save you thousands in case of an emergency.
• Check to ensure snow and ice are not restricting water drainage or vents from your vacation home - This is important because if the water discharge (i.e. sump pump) is blocked by snow or ice, freezing could occur as well as water backing up in your home. Also, make sure your water heater vent is clear of any restriction of snow or ice to maximize the efficiency of your water heater.
By utilizing these tips for your vacation home during winter, you can save time, money and energy for costly repairs. If you are still experiencing frozen and broken water pipes, it may be best to contact plumbing professionals like All About The Pipes Plumbing to do the job for you.