Plumbing checklist every Colorado Springs homeowner should do before winter
1. Disconnect and store outdoor hoses
Step #1 of any good winter plumbing checklist is disconnecting outside hoses.
We recommend doing this no later than Sep 15th. You should disconnect and drain all outdoor water hoses and store them in a safe place.
Never leave a hose attached during the winter in Colorado Springs. Don't let our warm days lull you into a false sense of security. Our local nighttime temps start dipping below freezing as early as September.
What happens if you leave a hose connected to an outside spigot during temps? The water in the hose can freeze and cause the spigot to burst. It can even cause burst pipes inside your home.
Bonus benefit. Hoses last longer when put away for the winter. Protecting your hoses prevents cracking from freezing water. They will last longer if not exposed to our intense winter sun.
2. Adjust your water heater
Winter in Colorado Springs injects cold air into crawl spaces and outdoor walls. This can chill the water in your hot water pipes. It can also chill the water entering your water heater. This causes the heater to work harder to reach the right temperature.
Check your water heater temperature and adjust it to 120 degrees. This is the best temperature for saving energy and money while still enjoying hot showers.
If you experience cold showers you can tweak the heat up a little. Do not exceed 140 degrees. If you still are shivering in the shower it may be time to get your hot water heater inspected.
3. Insulate pipes in unheated areas
Water pipes located in an unheated crawl space are susceptible to freezing. Now is a good time for a quick crawl space checkup.
If your water pipes are already insulated that is great. But insulation damaged by rodents over the summer may need repair or replacement.
If your hot water pipes are not insulated we recommend you get them insulated. This pays for itself overtime with savings in energy and water.
We recommend a quick trip to the crawl space to perform a visual inspection of your plumbing. Look for damage to insulation as well as any signs of water leaking.
4. Have your water heater and furnace inspected
Inspect your furnace and hot water heater before the cold weather hits.
A professional plumber can flush out the tank of your water heater to get rid of any sediment that has built up.
Most plumbers can also inspect your furnace to ensure that it is in good working order.
It’s better to discover a problem with your water heater and furnace now than when it’s below freezing outside.
5. Clean out gutters and downspouts
While not a plumbing checklist item, cleaning gutters is a must for winter prep.
If you have clogged gutters and/or downspouts and water builds up, it will freeze in the cold weather.
The risk is that as the freezing water expands, it can do damage to the eaves of your roof and even tear the gutters right off the house.
6. Sprinkler blowout
Houses with sprinkler systems need to have all the water blown out of the sprinkler lines before winter arrives.
If the lines are not blown out, there’s a very good chance that water in the system will freeze and crack the pipes. You don't want to be messing with sprinkler repairs in the spring when you should be fertilizing your lawn. Do it sooner rather than later so you don’t forget.
7. Have a plumber inspect your house
Professional plumbers know what problems to look for to prepare your home for winter in Colorado Springs.
An inspection doesn’t take long and won't cost a lot of money. The plumber can also give you advice on how to keep your plumbing in top shape all year long.
Don’t procrastinate! Winter is coming.
Start running through this checklist today before you forget. Freezing temps strike without warning as early as mid-September in Colorado Springs. Don't get caught in the cold.
The last thing you want is for a burst pipe, cold showers or falling gutters to ruin an otherwise cozy winter day.
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