Winter can cause problems for your plumbing system. If you don’t winterize the pipes, then you might experience pipe freezing and bursting. Here are 8 tips to help when preparing your plumbing for winter.
Drain Outdoor Faucets Before Shutting Them Off
Drain all outdoor faucets so that any remaining water doesn’t freeze. A burst pipe that results from frozen water can be an expensive repair job.
Shut off the water supply to outdoor spigots, remove any hoses, and drain the water from the pipes. It’s a good idea to also cover these outside faucets with extra insulation.
Inspect the Water Heater When Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter
Have a plumber service your water heater to prepare for winter. An interruption of hot water is inconvenient, especially in cold weather. If anything needs to be repaired, it can be done before an unexpected breakdown occurs. A tank water heater also needs to be flushed once a year to clear out the sediment.
Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter with Pipe Insulation
Insulate any exposed pipes when preparing your plumbing for winter. Check inside your garage, attic, or crawlspace and cover any exposed pipes with insulation. It’s also a good idea to use a heat cable within the insulation for extra protection.
Keep Your Home Warm Enough
You might be tempted to turn off your thermostat to save on heating bills while away from home. If you do this, you might experience costly pipe failures in any poorly-insulated areas of your house. Keep the thermostat at 55 degrees or higher throughout the entire winter.
Seal Up Drafts Near Pipes
Preparing your plumbing for winter should include checking your home for drafts. Double-check the insulation in areas like the basement, attic, and garage.
Inspect for any drafts around windows and use caulking or other sealers to keep cold air from entering those spaces. Keep your focus on areas that are near exposed pipes first to keep them from freezing.
Open Kitchen Cabinet Doors During Freezing Weather
If it gets especially cold outside, open up your kitchen cabinet doors. Plumbing behind these closed doors is vulnerable to freezing during a cold snap. You might even go so far as to point a portable heater inside the cabinets to keep warm air circulating.
An Annual Furnace Inspection is a Part of Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter
You might not immediately link your furnace to winterizing the plumbing. However, your home’s temperature will quickly fall if the furnace fails during a freezing winter night, which could cause the pipes to freeze. Bring in an HVAC professional to inspect and service the furnace before it gets cold outside.
Leave Faucets Running During a Cold Snap
All it takes is a tiny trickle of water to relieve the pressure inside your pipes when the external temperature might potentially freeze pipes. Open up your faucets slightly when a cold front moves into your area. While it might increase your water bill a bit, it’s a small price to pay in exchange for saving yourself from an expensive burst pipe.
Preparing your plumbing for winter isn’t difficult. Follow these tips and protect your plumbing pipes from freezing.