When operating smoothly, your home’s plumbing often goes unnoticed that is, until you have a leaky faucet or burst pipe.
The winter months can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, which is why
it is important to take the proper precautionary steps to avoid any mid-winter repairs.
Keep reading to learn about how you can protect your home’s plumbing
system from the cold and other wintry elements.
Winterization Tips for Plumbing
Insulate Your Pipes
Popular to contrary belief, a frozen pipe does not burst at the point where
water freezes. Frozen pipes burst due to a buildup of pressure within
your pipe. When water inside a pipe freezes, water pressure increases
between the freezing point and a closed faucet. Once pressure within the
pipe is high enough, the pipe will burst and cause flooding. Insulate
your pipes with newspaper (approximately one-quarter inch thick) or a
pipe sleeve to help prevent against burst pipes.
Drain Outdoor Pipes and Faucets
In order to prevent your exterior faucets and pipes from freezing, it is
critical to completely drain all water from your outdoor plumbing. To
do this, disconnect all garden hoses and other connections from your outdoor
faucets. Then, turn off the water supply inside your home (doing so will
shut off all water supply to your home, so be sure to turn this back on
once you are finished with your outdoor plumbing). Once the water is shut
off, turn on all outdoor faucets and allow them to completely drain before
closing the faucet again. Once your outdoor pipes are completely drained,
it is safe to turn on the water supply again inside your home.
Utilize Shut-Off Valves
Depending on your home, you may notice shut-off valves inside your home.
Shut-off valves are typically found under sinks, in crawl spaces, basements,
near your water heater, or near your water meter. Doing so will prevent
any unwanted water from traveling to your outdoor faucets.
Schedule a Water Heater Tune-Up
More water heaters fail during the winter time than during any other season.
Due to cold temperatures, water brought into your home is colder than
usual, making your hot water heater work harder to supply hot water. Schedule
routine water heater maintenance from your local plumber to ensure your
hot water heater is prepared for the winter months.
Circulate Warm Air
To prevent pipes from freezing during the winter it is important to keep
your thermostat set above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you notice poor water
pressure in a faucet or sink, open up the cabinets underneath your sink
to circulate warm air around your pipes.