As the weather gets colder, it’s important to take some steps to prepare your plumbing for winter. Following these tips can help protect your pipes and avoid costly repairs.
1. Insulate the Pipes to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter
Before cold weather arrives, Insulate plumbing pipes with foam pipe insulation or electric heat tape. Protecting the water lines is especially important for exposed pipes, such as those in your basement or crawlspace. You can find pipe insulation at your local hardware store. Just make sure to measure the circumference of your pipes before you buy so you get the right size.
2. Let the Faucets Drip on Cold Days
One of the simplest things you can do is to let your faucets drip overnight. Opening the tap will help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. While this may seem counterintuitive, running water is less likely to freeze than still water.
On especially cold days, you can also open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate pipes beneath the sink.
3. Learn Where the Main Water Shut-Off Is to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter
Check near your home’s water meter if you’re unsure where your main water shut-off is. The shut-off valve is often located next to the meter. Look in the basement or crawl space if you don’t find the valve at the meter. It may be near where the main water line comes into your home.
Once you’ve located the main water shut-off, make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to turn it off. This knowledge will help you be prepared in case of a plumbing emergency. If your pipes do freeze and burst, you’ll want to be able to shut off the water quickly to minimize damage.
4. Drain the Pipes if You Leave Town
If you’re leaving town for an extended period this winter, don’t forget to prepare your plumbing for cold weather. Draining the pipes is a simple and effective way to prevent them from freezing and bursting while you’re away.
Here’s how to do it: turn off the water at the main shut-off valve, open all the faucets in your home, and let the water drain. Once the water has completely drained, close the faucets and open outside valves to release any residual water in the pipes. Finally, turn off the power to your water heater.
By taking these simple steps before you leave town, you can rest assured that your plumbing will be safe from freezing temperatures.
Preparing your plumbing for winter will help avoid costly repairs from burst pipes and water damage. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be all set when the cold weather hits.