Okay, so Fall just started—why are we already talking about winter? Well, because this subject is important, and the further ahead you can plan, the better! Once temperatures drop to a point where they can easily reach below freezing, your pipes are susceptible to problems. Sure, this doesn’t seem like a problem right now, but if you’re in the middle of January and all of the sudden find yourself with a plumbing disaster by way of a burst pipe, it would be unfortunate that you could have taken precautionary measures.
And that’s what are post is for today. To help you take measures to ensure that frozen and subsequently burst pipes won’t become a problem in your home. We’d like to warn you now so that it won’t even be a concern later when winter comes. So, what can you do to protect your pipes?
Turn Off Any Outdoor Faucets
First, open your outdoor faucets to let any water drain out. Then, shut off these faucets at the valve. This will prevent these faucets from freezing and cracking as a result. If you still see water dripping from the faucet after you’ve shut off the valve, you may need a new valve.
Disconnect and Drain Your Hoses
Leaving your hoses sitting all winter long with water inside them won’t necessarily cause plumbing damage, but you do certainly risk the degradation of those hoses due to water freezing. Disconnect your hoses from their faucets, let the water drain out, and store the hoses in a dry location such as a shed or your garage.
Leave Bathroom and Kitchen Sink Cabinet Open
Hear us out—you know the pipes that run underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks? These pipes are connected to the rest of your plumbing system, which may be in walls facing the outdoors. This makes them more susceptible to freezing and subsequent problems. But if you leave the cabinet doors open where these pipes are located, you allow in the heat from your heating system to prevent this problem.
Insulate Your Pipes
Do you have any pipes that are vulnerable to freezing? The fact is, you might and may not even realize it. If you have pipes that are exposed in your home—say, in an unfinished basement, then they are susceptible to freezing. Fortunately, there are insulating sleeves you can purchase from any hardware store that are designed to protect your pipes. Or if you don’t want to go that route, you can use towels to wrap up the pipes instead.
The problem with frozen pipes isn’t so much the actual frozen part (though that is, of course, inconvenient and a hassle), but rather the thawing process. When your pipes thaw, it creates internal pressure that causes them to expand beyond what they’re meant to—and this is when you experience cracked or burst pipes. Not only will this require repiping, but you’ll likely be dealing with property damage as well from the onset of water in your home.