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Prepare for Winter

Blog Highlights 

  • It’s important to properly prepare your plumbing for winter in order to avoid costly issues and to keep your home safe
  •  Burst pipes are one of the most common plumbing issues during the winter
  • Another major issue during the winter is frozen outdoor faucets

Winter is upon us once again and with it the potential for various plumbing problems. It’s important to properly prepare your plumbing for winter in order to avoid costly issues and to keep your home safe.

Burst pipes are one of the most common plumbing issues during the winter. When water freezes within a pipe, the pressure in the pipe causes it to crack or burst. It doesn’t matter if the pipes are metal or plastic; both materials are vulnerable to the pressure caused by frozen water.

Pipes that run outside your home, likes those connected with a pool, pipes that run along the exterior walls of your home, and pipes that have little insulation carry the greatest risk of bursting. Pipes in unheated areas of your home such as basements, attics, and kitchen cabinets can also burst easily or at least crack.

So, what can you do to prepare for the winter and prevent bursting pipes? There are several things to consider:

– Add insulation to the unheated areas of your home
– Close your garage door against the elements if you have a water supply line there
– Fix any broken windows in order to regulate your home’s temperature
– Keep your faucets dripping when it is extremely cold outside to keep the water moving through the pipes
– Leave your home temperature set no lower than 55 degrees when out of town
– Remove your outdoor hoses from their spigots

Another major issue during the winter is frozen outdoor faucets. If an outdoor faucet freezes, it can lead to a lot of damage. The pipe connected to an outdoor faucet could burst in an interior wall, and flooding and water damage could lead to structural problems and a lot of costly cleanup. It’s important to drain your outdoor lines and to turn off the water supply so that you can avoid a burst outdoor pipe.

Here’s how to prepare plumbing and pipes outdoors:

– Find your exterior faucets: hose bibs, sprinkler supply lines, and pool water supply pipes
– Near the main water shutoff valve, shutoff each individual supply valve
– Go outside to each line you shut off and open the faucet, allowing the remaining water in the line to drain
– Go back to the shutoff valve and remove the bleeder cap to drain the rest of the water in the pipe
– Return the bleeder cap, go back outside and turn off the opened faucets

In case of a frozen water pipe, you should open the cold-water faucet to let off some of the pressure. Then you can use a hair dryer to slowly warm the areas of the pipes that are accessible. If the pipes are frozen beyond this, you will need to contact a professional plumber. They can safely warm your frozen pipes and ensure that there isn’t any serious damage. If there is damage, they will determine the best course of action and ways to repair the damage.

Do you need help to prepare your pipes and plumbing for winter? Or maybe you have frozen pipes or a burst pipe? We’re here to help. Contact us today!