Trying to find your main water shut off valve for your plumbing in an emergency is often easier said than done! But this winter is going to be a cold one, and you need to be ready for the worst case plumbing scenario: that’s because, if your pipes freeze and burst this winter, you’ll want to know how to turn off the water valve immediately in order to minimize the damage.
First, let’s talk about frozen pipes. Every winter, our experts here at JD Service Now, Heating, and Air Conditioning are called in on frozen pipe jobs that need immediate service. Frozen pipes happen because pipes are exposed or hose bibbs aren’t properly winterized. We’re also seen some instances where homeowners forgot to clear out and shut off their sprinkler systems at the end of the summer the result is not pretty! When water is left standing in a pipeline over the course of the hard North Carolina winter, it freezes and expands. If it expands too quickly before the homeowner realizes there’s a problem, it can burst the pipe and require emergency plumbing pipe repair.
But frozen pipes can be avoided! Just follow these three tips to winterize your home and keep your plumbing safe:
1) Get an Insulation Blanket for the Hot Water Heater– Having a water heater leak can make a serious mess: if you don’t have an automatic shut-off valve on the device, the storage tank will continue trying to fill itself. Avoid disaster this winter by taking extra precautions. You can buy an insulating blanket for your hot water tank at your local hardware store for less than $50, and the investment could save you hundreds in water damage repairs!
2) Shut Down Sprinkler Systems– Before we transition into the bitter cold of winter, do this simple check: have you winterized your sprinkler system? You probably haven’t thought about watering your lawn since the summer ended, but it’s still important to put some time into completely closing the water supply valve and then clearing out the water from the pipes. This involves blowing compressed air through the sprinkler lines to ensure there’s no standing water left to freeze.
3) Heat-Taping on Exposed Pipes– An easy way to prevent frozen pipes is heat taping, which you can do on your own. Electrical heating tape is cheap, and if you insulate your exposed pipes with it before the temperature drops, you can greatly decrease your risk.
If all else fails and you do wind up having a frozen pipe burst in your home, your first step should be to turn off the water. We’ve outlined how to find and operate the main water shut-off valve in this video:
Be prepared before you have an emergency. If you need help, feel free to call JD Service Now, Heating and Air conditioning for all your plumbing, and Air Conditioning and Heating needs at 919-383-7000. We offer whole house system checks for both plumbing and heating systems and we tag all your shut off valves for both gas shutoffs and water main valve. Call today!