The thermometer and the leaves are continuing to drop here in Northern California. Winter is definitely upon us! While it may not snow in the San Francisco Bay Area, lower temperatures combined with increased rainfall can spell trouble for your home. Before it gets much colder or wetter, check out the following suggestions to keep your home running smoothly this holiday season. *Special thanks to Drainworks Expert Plumbing in Canada for some of these tips!

Below are a few things you can do this season. We’ll keep the freezing-related tips in for all you lucky Bay Area folks with homes in Lake Tahoe! And don't forget when it snowed in Santa Cruz in March 2006. Stranger things have happened!

  • Outside hoses and faucets. Once you’ve stopped watering your gardens and lawns don’t forget to disconnect your hose(s) and check that your faucets are switched off. If you have shutoff valves which lead to the outdoor faucet, make sure to close them and drain them for the season. It’s a bit more work but better than dealing with burst or cracked pipes during the coldest months of the year.
  • Consider purchasing an insulated outdoor faucet cover to minimize the risk of freezing.
  • Take some time to clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris. You want to make sure that they are clear so that they drain easily.
  • Adjust your water heater thermostat to the range of 120 degrees. Many are automatically set in the 140 degree range , which is hotter than necessary.

If you own a summer home in Lake Tahoe and escape back to the San Francisco Bay Area during the winter, you’ll want to do a few different things to get your home plumbing properly winterized.

  • Turn off the main water supply for the home before you leave.
  • Check that the heating system remains running, even at a low setting, to reduce the chance of any pipes freezing.
  • Do a quick inspection to ensure that no cracks or holes have formed in windows/openings near where your pipes are running. If there are, make sure you fill them before departing as it only takes a small crack to let a lot of cold air in.

Whether the surf’s up or the snowy Tahoe mountains are calling, Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is the San Francisco Bay Area plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor you can count on!

Our team is here to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you’d like to schedule a Winter tune up for your heating or plumbing systems please consider calling Bellows at 877-477-7151.

Bellows Plumbing, Heating, & Air services, repairs, and installs plumbing, heating, and air conditioner equipment in: Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Felton, Watsonville, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Ross, Fairfax, San Rafael, Marinwood, Terra Linda, and Novato.