Have you noticed when you turn your shower to your just right temperature place… it’s not just right? You have to move it up a little more to have the temperature you like. You seem to run out of hot water a little sooner. If your home is on a crawlspace, chances are it’s due to the cold weather cooling off the hot water piping. We receive calls each year for this problem and usually find the best solution to resolve the problem is to add insulation to the piping. Insulation helps maintain the temperature of the water as it travels in the pipe and adds protection from freezing weather.
If you have piping that is prone to freezing and have considered “Heat Tape,” be sure not to install it by just wrapping it around the piping. The heat from the heat tape can actually soften the pipe and cause damage. Heat tape is best when wrapped in long loops or laid along the pipe and covered with pipe insulation. Recently we replaced PVC pipe with heat tape on it that had deformed within one day of being installed due to the heat tape being installed improperly.
Plumbing Design – It’s tough and costly to change how original piping was installed. If you find that every year you face the same repair issues with water piping, or have a drain that has a problem every so often, it’s usually due to a bad design, or a portion of the piping has been installed incorrectly. In our region, water piping in the attic is a last resort. If you have piping through any portion of an attic space, spend a little extra time and care for it. In the summer it heats up, and in the winter it freezes, so insulating can help prevent major damage.
If you have water piping in the ceiling of a garage, be aware it’s prone to freezing because it’s normally not a heated area, even if it’s insulated and has sheetrock on it. If you see bad weather coming in, treat water piping in this area as if it’s exposed to the elements. Run some water every so often, or allow a faucet to drip, and check on it from time to time.
If you have a frost free outside faucet, be sure to remove garden hoses. Using those styrofoam covers on faucets adds a little protection also. Check the well house for areas that could use a little extra insulation, and if needed, add a layer of plastic to act as a covering.
If you have any questions, please contact us on our website, or write us at the papers address, and we will be happy to address them. John Chitwood, Service Plumbing and Septic. www.serviceplumbingandseptic.net. 706-781-1555