There’s a nip in the air, Jack Frost is decorating your windshield in the mornings, and your kids are leaving lists of toys they’d like in conspicuous places around the house. It’s time to winterize that plumbing! As the temperatures drop, the odds of a leak go up — unless you’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect your precious pipes.
When are your pipes most vulnerable to freezing damage? When temperatures drop to 20 degrees or below. A thicker layer of insulation around your pipes should help protect them. Be sure to insulate any pipes in unheated areas, such as crawlspaces. It’s also important to seal crawlspace vents and stuff insulation over crawlspace openings.
If the temperature is predicted to drop below 20 degrees overnight, you should open sink-base cabinet doors along exterior walls. This will enable more heat to reach the pipes. It can also help to turn faucets on enough to create a slow, steady drip. This will eliminate pressure which can build up between the faucet and an ice blockage. This way, even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst.
Don’t forget the plumbing on the outside of your house when you’re winterizing, since these are often the source of frozen, busted pipes. Disconnect and store your garden hoses. If you have a separate shut-off for external faucets, turn that off. After doing so, turn on those outdoor faucets to allow the water to drain, which will release the pressure in your pipes and prevent problems.
If you’re planning to be gone for several weeks over the winter, don’t make the mistake of turning off the heat. Make sure you set the temperature to at least 55 degrees. The same goes for a vacation home; if you’re closing it up for the winter, it may be worthwhile to shut off the water and drain the pipes completely.
Crawling under your house to fix a busted pipe is a pain, but our friendly, reliable techs are available to do just that if you need us. We offer 24 hour emergency service. Call us if you have an emergency leak, during nights, weekends and the dead of winter. We’ll get one of our friendly, licensed techs out to your home to fix it fast.