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By Platinum Team December 13, 2012

Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter

Whether you are living in a home or have a vacation home that you live in for a portion of the year, there is basic plumbing maintenance that needs to happen. It is very important that when the temperatures start to turn cold, you prepare your plumbing for the change. During the winter, extreme temperatures can lead to problems for many homeowners. It is a good idea to have a home warranty to protect you and your home should a problem arise. A good home warranty will be available around the clock for you and can help you get your repairs done quickly and easily. It will give you the peace of mind that you are covered in case of an emergency. By winterizing your plumbing you can protect your home and hopefully avoid such an emergency altogether. The last thing you want on a cold winter night is to discover that a pipe has burst because you did not properly winterize your plumbing. There are some simple steps you can take to winterize your plumbing and spend time enjoying the holidays with your family rather than dealing with untimely and costly plumbing problems. First, you will want to begin with a simple visual inspection of your plumbing, particularly your external plumbing. If you see any cracked or missing caulk around the external plumbing, you will want to fill and fix any holes as this is an easy way for the cold air to get into the pipes. Additionally, for external pipes, you will want to make sure the pipes are wrapped or insulated in some way. You can get foam to wrap around the pipes, there is also insulating tape available and in a pinch you can always wrap your pipes with insulating towels or rags. You should also disconnect your hose during the winter months. Any water in a garden hose can easily freeze and cause major problems in your pipes. On the inside of your home, you should keep temperatures relatively warm. The internal warmth of your home will help regulate the temperature of your plumbing. If the weather drops very low, for example, below 30 degrees or more, you may want to go around your home and run all the faucets and flush the toilets to keep water moving and help prevent freezing. Lastly, you may consider winterizing your water heater by insulating it. While your water heater will more than likely not be at risk of bursting, it will help your water run more efficiently and help you save money on your energy bills. Depending on your location and how cold it gets, you may need to do all or only some of these things. The important thing is to routinely inspect your plumbing and be aware of what is going on in your home. If you have made the wise decision to invest in a home warranty you also have the added peace of mind that, should a problem arise, you will have someone on your side in an emergency. By properly winterizing your plumbing you will more than likely prevent any major problems and save yourself time and money.]]>