Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter

Sydney’s winters might not be as harsh as other regions, but as temperatures dip, this can still cause a few issues with your winter plumbing. Taking some time to prepare can make sure your home stays comfy and your plumbing working at its very best through the cold season.

Here are a few basic steps to get your plumbing ready for winter, offering peace of mind during the colder months!

Outdoor tap on wooden wall. Prepare your plumbing for winter

Know Your Plumbing’s Vulnerable Points

The first step in preparing for winter is a full check of your plumbing system, inside and out. This will help you spot any weak points that could become a problem during cold spells.

Visual Inspection

Check all visible pipes in areas like your attic/loft, garage or basement (if you have one) for signs of wear & tear, leaks, or damage. If you own an older home, you might find outdated building materials that are more likely to become damaged in cold weather.

Checking Outdoors

Don’t forget outdoor pipes and taps! Exposed all year round, these are often the first to be affected by the elements. Make sure they’re in good repair and well insulated.

Spotting these weak points early can save you from the hassle and expense of emergency repairs, as well as making sure there’s no plumbing downtime while you wait for a fix.

Professional Assessment

Consider hiring a plumber to inspect areas you can’t easily access. Plumbing professionals can check for blockages, corrosion, and sections that aren’t properly insulated, which is an important part of shoring up your property and stopping plumbing problems before they happen, especially in winter.

Be Proactive In Winter

General Maintenance

Outdoor taps and exposed plumbing can become weak points in cooler weather. In the middle of winter, especially on those chilly mornings, you can use insulated covers for outdoor taps to protect them from cold, and you can find these covers at most home improvement stores. Make sure you drain your garden hoses to stop any remaining water inside from freezing and expanding, which can cause connected pipes to weaken or burst.

Water Heater Maintenance

As the temperatures drop, your water heater needs to work much harder, so you have to make sure yours is in peak working condition. We recommend having your water heater professionally serviced every year before winter, so you don’t have to deal with breakdowns when you need hot water most. Adjust the temperature setting to around 60 degrees celsius; this means the system won’t be worked too hard, saving energy and making your unit last longer.

It’s also important to inspect your water heater for any signs of leaks or corrosion. If you notice any issues, getting the problem fixed early can prevent bigger and costly repairs later on.

Clearing Drains and Gutters

Clearing leaves and debris from your gutters and drains is crucial, especially as winter sets in and we start to see more rainy days. Regular clear-outs get rid of blockages and let the water flow freely, reducing the risk of overflow and water damage to your property. It’s also important to check that downpipes are properly directing water away from your home’s foundation; if your drainage isn’t working as it should, this can cause structural problems and water damage over time. 

If you’re looking to cut down on gutter maintenance, installing gutter guards can be a great solution. These can stop blockages before they start to build up, and also help keep out bits of unwanted debris.

Smart Technology for Winter

Smart technology can make it easy to monitor and manage your home’s heating and plumbing systems during the winter. Devices like smart thermostats and leak detectors give you real-time info about your home’s environment, letting you know about problems before they become worse. This not only helps in keeping your plumbing systems working well, but also gives you peace of mind, knowing that you can deal with issues even when away from home.

FAQ: Protecting Your Plumbing in Winter

How do I protect my home plumbing?

To protect your home plumbing, start by insulating your pipes to shield them from cold temperatures. Focus on pipes in more exposed areas, and use foam tubing or pipe wraps. Also, make sure all outdoor taps are covered with insulated covers and that your water heater is serviced before winter sets in.

What steps should I take to prepare outside taps for winter?

Preparing outside taps involves insulating them with special covers that ward off cold temperatures. You should also drain and disconnect garden hoses, and if you can, shut off the water supply to stop any water in the taps from freezing.

How do I maintain a house plumbing system effectively?

To maintain your house plumbing system, make sure all pipes, especially those in vulnerable areas, are well-insulated. Check for any leaks or cracks, and also that your sewage and drainage systems are clear and running properly to handle the extra rainfall in winter.

What are the best practices for keeping house pipes from freezing?

Luckily, for most Australians, it’s rare that we have to worry about pipes freezing – but it can still happen in areas prone to frosts. The best practices for keeping house pipes from freezing include using pipe insulation, and sealing off any air leaks near the pipes.

What should I think about when insulating pipes for winter?

When insulating pipes for winter, think about the type of insulation material that best suits your plumbing layout, as well as your local weather. Use good-quality pipe insulation foam or wraps, secure them properly, and pay special attention to joints and bends. For pipes located outdoors or in areas prone to freezing, consider using heating tape for extra protection.

How can cold weather affect my plumbing?

Cold weather can cause water in your pipes to freeze. When the water inside turns to ice, it expands and may lead to burst pipes. Cold can also make previous problems worse, such as minor leaks and cracks in your plumbing system, leading to bigger repairs if these problems aren’t fixed before the winter.

Mr Drains Has Got You Covered in Winter

By keeping an eye on your plumbing with regular checks, you can guard your home against both the cold and costly repairs. 

Don’t wait for the temperature to drop — get ahead of the winter chill now. Contact our expert team for a thorough inspection and maintenance service to keep your plumbing in peak condition. Give us a call at 02 7910 0451 or fill out our contact form to book your appointment today!