Louisville Winterizing Tips — It’s Getting Cold Again

It’s November and we have been spared the snow and extreme cold to date. As we near the threshold of those cold windy days, there are some things you need to do to prevent a disaster.

This time of year, just as in the spring, we experience several calls about outside faucets leaking. That usually means someone has forgotten to disconnect the hose on the nights we have a light freeze. Why does this happen? First of all, most faucets are not designed to allow a hose to remain connected during a freeze. Even a “frost proof” faucet is not designed to have a hose connected during freezing weather. A “frost proof” faucet is designed to allow the water to drain out of the faucet when turned off. The stem is usually 6″ to 8″ back in the wall, allowing the water to drain out. When a hose is left hooked up, it allows the water to siphon back into the pipe. The water freezes and the pipe expands, usually causing a split in the pipe. Many people don’t realize the hose was hooked up for just one evening, and always tell us there was no hose hooked up. We know otherwise, as the faucet would not have frozen and split. SO DISCONNECT THAT HOSE EVERY TIME YOU USE IT.

It’s a good time to have your furnace system serviced and your fireplaces serviced. Nothing worse than realizing a small amount of preventative maintenance could have saved an uncomfortable evening and an expensive service call for a replacement part.

All fireplaces should be checked to make sure they are in good working order and are safe to use. Even the engineered gas fireplaces should be checked and serviced.

We also recommend the electric panel be looked at yearly. Why? Where the main wire feeds enter the electric box and are inserted into a lug, these can work loose over time, as the wire can expand slightly and contract slightly, allowing the lug to loosen somewhat. This can lead to an unsafe situation, and can allow for the main breaker to get hot and burn out. It sometimes leads to the entire panel box needing to be replaced.

Sump pumps occasionally get a breather in the winter months. However, if the water table rises, and we have a wet fall and winter, it still has to do its job. We recommend you test the sump pump(s) every 30 days, allowing you to know it is in working condition.

This is also a great time to check your septic tank if you are on a septic system. The growth over or around the septic tank is more easily accessed this time of year than it is in the spring. It also gives you the opportunity to make any repairs if required, and get any areas ready for seeding in the spring.

Find a HBAL member who can help. www.hbal.com

Having just changed our clocks to EST, change those batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

If you have any questions concerning the above, give us a call at (502) 244-0114, email me at perry@pllyons.com or fill out our handy Ask a Question Form. I might even write a blog post to answer it!

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