5 Ways to Prepare Your Florida Home’s Plumbing for Winter
The lowest ever recorded Jacksonville FL temperature was in 1835 when it registered a frigid 8 degrees Fahrenheit! Winters here are usually much milder, but we do see a couple days that approach freezing temperatures, and averages in December and January can drop into the 40s.
Many Northeast Florida homeowners don't give much thought to winter plumbing problems but getting prepared for those inevitable frost warnings can save you time and money overall.
Fix Those Leaks Now
If you've noticed some dripping faucets but put off taking care of them, now's the time to get those leaks fixed. Check every faucet in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility rooms. If you've tried some home fixes but they haven't worked, contact a plumber to get them taken care of.
Insulate Exterior Pipes
It's easier than ever to insulate your home's exterior pipes. Insulation sleeves can be purchased from your local hardware store and slip right over the existing pipes.
Get Your Outdoor Faucets Ready for Winter
When you leave outdoor hoses connected during the colder months, the water inside can freeze and expand, affecting your pipes and faucets. Luckily, outdoor faucets can also be fitted with insulated covers. You can also install freeze-proof faucets that are designed to have water drain out of an attached tube every time the faucet is turned off. The smartest move is to disconnect the hose and put it away until spring.
Other steps to take include:
- Removing splitters from each faucet.
- Locate shut-off valves in your home or basement and shut the water off to outdoor faucets completely.
- Drain exterior faucets by turning them on to release any remaining water. If the water doesn't stop draining, check the indoor valve to make sure it's off. You can then leave your outdoor faucet handles to the "on" position through the winter.
Check Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps can freeze when exposed to extremely cold weather so if you want it to keep working when the chillier days set in, take the time now to inspect and clean your sump pump and pit. A malfunctioning sump pump can cause some serious damage and inconvenience in the form of water entering your basement and causing flooding, especially when the rains start pouring down.
Flush Your Water Heater
The aquifer that supplies Jacksonville FL is limestone which is the source of hard minerals. The sediment that builds up in your pipes from hard water causes rust to develop and that rust eventually makes its way into your drinking, bathing, and cooking water. Be sure to flush your water heater before winter sets in by following the manufacturer's instructions. If you're uncomfortable doing it yourself, contact your plumber. If your current one is old and already rusted, it's a good idea to purchase and install a new water heater before the weather gets too cold.
Schedule Plumbing Services
Some of these tips are fairly easy for DIYers, but it's always smart to have plumbing maintenance done by a professional who can assess problem areas and fix them before they become plumbing emergencies.
David Gray Plumbing has been serving the plumbing needs of the Jacksonville, FL area for over 25 years and is here to answer any questions you have. To discover more about all the services we offer, including regularly scheduled plumbing maintenance, give us a call at (904) 724-7211 or contact us online today.