Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter

Preparing Your Plumbing for Winter

Winter is just around the corner, and a winterizing of your plumbing pipes can help save you thousands.

Winter will be here before you know it, and that means it’s time to get your pipes ready for the cold. Preparing now can help you save a good deal of money in the future if you can stave off any cracks, broken pipes, or other serious plumbing issues. 

To prepare your pipes for colder weather, winterizing is a good idea. Here are a few ideas on how to prepare your pipes for winter:

Insulate pipes – Pipes in unheated areas like a crawl space, garage, or attic are susceptible to freezing temperatures. Use heat cable along the pipes and cover with pipe insulation. The insulation by itself isn’t designed to withstand long-term cold temperatures and can actually prevent warm air from reaching the pipes when not partnered with heat cable.

Shut off outdoor faucets – Open your outdoor faucets to allow excess water to run out, then turn off the faucet at the shutoff the valve. If you don’t first allow the bleeder cap to drain, the pipe can still freeze and crack, causing issues in the dead of winter.

Open cabinet doors – When we’re in the middle of a cold snap, open your kitchen or bathroom under-sink cabinets to allow warm air to circulate near the pipes. Behind closed doors, pipes are vulnerable because the warm air in your home can’t reach them.

Check your furnace of HVAC unit – If your HVAC unit or furnace goes out during the middle of winter, your pipes will suffer through the freezing temperatures until a repair can be made. Ensure your heating system is working properly before winter arrives.

Run water – Allow a trickle of water to run through the faucet to avoid freezing pipes. The pressure relief from a slow drip can prevent frozen pipes from cracking. While you may see a minor bump in your water bill, it’s much better than footing the cost for pipe replacement.

Inspect the exterior of your home – Do a walk-around of your home looking for visible cracks that need to be sealed. Cold air will seep through the cracks, causing your pipes to freeze. Use spray foam or caulking to fill the gaps and protect your pipes.