It’s that time of year again when the mercury in the thermometer starts to dip, and now more than ever, it is crucial to be aware of your plumbing health. The last thing you want on a chilly winter evening is frozen pipes to wreak havoc on your house, leaving no hot water for showers or an electric bill through the roof from running space heaters.
Thankfully, with some simple maintenance and preparation tips, prevention is possible, and if necessary- thawing frozen pipes can be relatively easy too. Keep reading to learn more about winter plumbing tips: How to prevent and thaw frozen pipes.
Eliminate drafts near pipes to avoid cold air reaching them
Winter can be tricky for plumbing, but preventive measures go a long way to minimize issues caused by freezing temperatures. One of the most important tips to remember is to make sure that cold air isn’t reaching your pipes. Keep all drafts away from them, and under doors and windows, seal any gaps that may let in cold air with door sweeps or insulation products. If your pipes have already frozen, the key is not to panic.
Instead, look for an indoor valve near where the pipe enters your home, and turn off both the hot and cold valves to stop water flowing through the pipe. Then, using a heated towel or electric heating pad, carefully heat pipe sections beginning at the end nearest to your indoor valve – this prevents backflow from other parts of your system. With our simple guidelines, you’ll be back up and running quickly. Complete Comfort Go [SL-M] can assist with locating and attending to your frozen pipes.
Insulate exposed pipes with foam insulation or electrical heat tape
Winter can mean freezing temperatures, icy sidewalks, and, unfortunately, frozen pipes. When the cold winter temperatures hit and we crank up the heat in our homes, we must ensure we’re prepared so that our pipes don’t suffer from poor insulation. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to avoid plumbing disasters due to frozen pipes. Insulating exposed pipes with foam insulation or electrical heat tape is the best way to prevent them from freezing in the first place.
Not only does this impose an extra layer of defense against warm air loss outside, but it also helps maintain warmth around your pipes. If you’re already dealing with unexpected frozen shoulders–don’t worry. Heating cables can effectively thaw affected areas by gradually and safely releasing heat. So take preemptive precautions and make sure your home stays cozy and problem-free during the long winter.
Disconnect outside hoses and shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets
It’s important to know that outdoor faucets and hoses are particularly vulnerable to winter weather. Disconnecting your outside hose and shutting off the water supply to outdoor faucets (if applicable) is a simple yet effective way to avoid frozen pipes. If you have an outdoor hose connected, ensure it’s drained of all moisture before storing it away for the winter months.
Additionally, going one step further by investing in insulated covers for outside faucets can go a long way in avoiding plumbing accidents due to cold temperatures. By incorporating these tips into your weekly or monthly routine, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything possible to keep your home safe from plumbing damage this winter.
Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate pipes
For homes with plumbing located in exterior walls or unheated areas such as garages or attics, it’s essential to keep warm air circulating. If you have cabinets next to exposed pipes, open the doors when temperatures dip below freezing. This small step can make a huge difference and help prevent frozen pipes from becoming an unnecessary problem.
In addition, if you leave your home for more than a few days during the winter months, it’s wise to leave all faucets dripping (especially those connected to exterior walls) and ensure that thermostats are set at least 10°F above the temperature outside.
Keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature throughout your home
During extreme cold times, keeping the thermostat in your home set at a consistent temperature is essential. This simple step helps to ensure that warm air is consistently circulating throughout your home rather than just concentrated in certain areas.
Additionally, if you leave your home for more than a few days during the winter months, ensure that thermostats are set at least 10°F above the temperature outside. The last thing you want is frozen pipes that have burst due to an unexpected drop in temperature while you were away.
Check for signs of frozen pipes, such as reduced water pressure or no water at all coming out of taps
Finally, if you need clarification on whether or not your pipes are frozen, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for. A decrease in water pressure coming out of taps is one indication that the pipes could be frozen. If no water comes out when turning on the tap, this is another sign that your pipes have become frozen.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s best to call a professional plumber immediately. Taking preventive measures now can help save you from incurring costly repairs down the line.
Following these essential winter plumbing tips, you can rest assured that your home will remain safe should cold temperatures arrive this winter. From shutting off the water supply to outdoor faucets and investing in insulated covers to keeping cabinets open and the thermostat at a consistent temperature throughout your home, these tips will help ensure that no unnecessary plumbing issues arise.