How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing While You Are Away

With holidays upcoming, many of us travel to visit friends and family. But how do you keep your home safe while you are away?

Today, water damage is one of the most common insurance claims and frozen pipes can lead to an incredible amount of water damage in your home. When you are on vacation during the cold winter months, you can come back to some severe damage. Today, an average claim for water damage can exceed $6,000. That is a headache you don’t need. Before you go away for the holidays, here are some ways you can ensure that your pipes won’t freeze while you are gone.

Check for Leaks

Do a preliminary leak check before you go away. Small leaks can lead to large ones when you least expect it. Look for any small leaks and corroded areas that may need attention. Look for any areas that may appear wet or rusted and call a Philadelphia plumber to check out the area.

Check Appliance Hoses

Your household appliance hoses may not be areas that you consider on a daily basis but this is exactly why you need to make this an area of inspection. Any of these hoses are subject to freezing and could burst. Check for any leaky fittings or loose connections.

Shut Off Your Water Main

The best way to ensure that your home doesn’t experience a flood when you are gone is by completely shutting off the main valve to your home’s water. This may be outside near your water meter or in your basement. You should test this once a year just to make sure the valve is easily operable.

Drain Your Lines

If you have shut off your main valve, you will want to drain each interior line so water is not sitting inside the line. Open the taps inside the home as well as any outdoors and let any remaining water drain out.

Shut Off Individual Lines

If shutting off the main valve is inconvenient or impossible, you can shut off each individual line to each plumbing fixture. Sinks, faucets, and toilets have dedicated shutoff valves. Remember to shut off any water supplies to your washer and refrigerator.

Add Insulation to Your Plumbing Pipes

Insulation sleeves are easy to find at any hardware store or home improvement center. Insulating your plumbing pipes is further precaution against pipes freezing in your home while you are away. For those hard-to-reach areas, you may want to call a Philadelphia plumber for assistance.

Check Your Sump Pump

If there is a leak in your home, the water will flow to the lowest place which will be your basement or crawlspace. May sure that your sump pump is working properly in order to keep water damage to a minimum.

Keep the Heat On

It doesn’t have to be kept as high as you would normally set it, but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a good way to ensure against pipes freezing while you are gone.

Keep Interior Doors Open

Keep all interior doors open including cabinet doors. This allows the warmer air to freely circulate throughout the home.

Install a Smart Thermostat

With a smart thermostat, if you see that the weather will be particularly frigid, you can set the thermostat accordingly with a touch of your app on your smartphone.

Need a professional plumber in Philadelphia? Call the experts at Affordable Fixes LLC for any of your plumbing needs.

Stay Ahead of Winter Plumbing Emergencies With These 9 Tips

The winter season holds promise for many things: holidays, cozy nights, friends and family…and plumbing issues. Although the first few are what most people come to enjoy during the cold winter months, we are pretty sure that plumbing emergencies are NOT on your list of winter’s favorite things. At Affordable Fixes LLC, our Philadelphia plumbers suggest you stay ahead of winter with these handy plumbing maintenance tips!

Water Heater Drain and Replace

This is just good regular plumbing maintenance, but it is especially helpful before winter. Drain and replace the water in your hot water heater. Any sediment that has built up will be flushed out before it can cause potential rust, cracks, or leaks.

Your Water Heater Temperature

While you’re attending to your hot water heater, make sure that you have set it appropriately to make sure that it works efficiently throughout the winter and isn’t using too much energy needlessly. The optimal setting for a hot water heater is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insulate Those Pipes

If you have ever had your plumbing pipes freeze, you know what a mess and cost it can be. One of the best ways of preventing this is by adding insulation to your home’s plumbing. Insulating tape and foam padding sleeves are very low-cost ways to solve a high-cost potential problem.

Check Your Sump Pump

If you have an indoor sump pump, you will want to make sure that it is clean and working properly. Remove the lid from the sump pump and slowly pour in water. Make sure that the sump pump turns on and that the water is completely pumped outside. Test this a few times to make sure the pump is working and pumping the water away from your home.

Clean Up Yard Debris

Any yard debris such as leaves and branches may inhibit drainage. Make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts to ensure that melting snow has proper drainage that is carried away from your home.

Locate Your Home’s Water Main Valve

It’s important to know where your water main is in the event of a leak in your home. This is typically somewhere near the water meter. You should open and close it several times at least once a year just to make sure that it works freely just in case of an emergency.

Know How to Deal With a Frozen Pipe

This is something good to know in case of a frozen pipe in your home. Make sure to turn off the water at the water main immediately. If you can, locate the area of the cracked pipe and call a plumber in Philadelphia to replace and properly insulate your broken section.

Leave Some Faucets Dripping

You may have heard this before, but leaving faucets dripping does take the pressure off the pipes and helps prevent freezing. Letting faucets drip during times of extreme frigid weather can help prevent pipes from bursting.

Be Diligent About Clog Prevention

Having a backup is never a fun thing but it is particularly miserable during the winter months. Paying special attention to what you put down your drains helps to ward off a messy plumbing backup.

Need an expert for your emergency? Call the professionals at Affordable Fixes LLC for any of your Philadelphia plumbing needs.