Winter is close at hand, and in our area of the North West it pays to pay attention!

You can’t see some leaks. If you suspect a leak but can’t find one, shut off the water supply to your house and then go look at your water meter. If the numbers are still increasing or the indicator dial is still turning, you probably have a hidden leak. A plumber can help you find it and fix it. Ignoring a leak will waste water and possibly cause serious damage to your home and property.

Know where the main shut-off valve is for your home’s water supply. In many homes, it’s in the basement. Don’t have a basement? Check outside near the foundation or in the crawl space. In some older homes, the valve may be buried, making it difficult to find. If you can’t locate it or it’s not reachable, call a plumber and have a new one installed. When a major leak occurs, you need to be able to shut off the supply of water to your home.

Tips to prepare your house for winter.

• If you leave for the winter, turn off the main shut-off valve to your water supply and drain your faucets (some homes with basements have separate
shut-off valves for each outdoor faucet, in addition to the home’s main supply valve).

• Disconnect all garden hoses and wrap all outdoor faucets with rags, newspaper or insulating material. Cover the wrap with plastic or other material to
keep moisture/rain from getting inside.

• Cover foundation vent holes to keep your crawl space warmer (remember to uncover these vents when the winter freeze is over).

• Insulate any exposed pipe. Use heat tape if necessary.

You can take other preventative steps once cold
weather begins:

• During freezing spells, keep a trickle of water running from your indoor faucets to prevent the pipes from freezing. A small trickle of water will cost
you a few extra cents a day and save you the huge cost of repairing frozen pipes and dealing with water damage. You should also keep cabinet doors
below sinks open so that the warm interior air can get to your pipes and drains.

• If you’re leaving home for a few days, keep your heating system turned on and set to a low temperature so that some heat is available to keep pipes from freezing.

Preventing frozen pipes is much easier than dealing with them after the fact. It’s a good idea to take some of these steps every fall to prepare your pipes for the cold season ahead:
For more information, contact Ray’s Plumbing Service.