Winterizing Your Plumbing

Winterizing Your Plumbing

November 4, 2020

Water expands when it freezes. Ice forming in your plumbing can spell disaster. A frozen pipe can crack.

Here is the bare minimum to do:

Turn off outdoor faucets from inside.
Disconnect hoses. If the hose is still connected to the faucet, ice can back up into the pipe inside your house, causing the pipe to crack.
Open the faucet to drain water from the pipe.
Cover hose bibs. These covers slow heat loss from a pipe as it travels through the wall to the outside cold air.
More advanced alternatives to winterize your homes plumbing:

Wi-Fi thermostats allow you to control and monitor your house
temperature via smartphone. Alerts can be set to notify you of temperature drops.
Seal around rim joists. Joists are what support the house structure. There are outside ends by the home’s foundation walls or exterior walls. The ends that rest on the exterior walls and butt into a perpendicular joist are called the rim joist. Rim joists are likely areas for cold air intrusion. Seal cracks or holes using expandable foam.
Insulate pipes in cold areas that receive no heat supply, like the crawl space, attic, or garage. Use heat cable if additional warmth may be needed in the area, then cover with pipe insulation. (An electric heating cable is a wire cable that produces heat, also referred to as heat trace cable.)
If you have water lines in the garage insulate your garage door. For when it turns very cold, have a portable heater on standby.

During Cold Snaps: During a cold snap open kitchen and bath cabinet doors open to circulate warm air to vulnerable plumbing under the sink.

Also, during a cold snap, leave faucets dripping. A dripping faucet will act as a relief valve for pressure if frozen pipes occur and prevent frozen pipes from cracking. The exception to this is if the faucet is on an exterior wall, as the drain can also freeze and cause the sink to overflow from dripping water.

To discuss winterizing your plumbing, including electric heating cables under pipe wrap or installing wi-fi thermostats, give us a call and remember... keep us on auto dial for your plumbing emergencies!