Simple and Effective Winter Plumbing Tips

The onset of winter may send a shiver down your spine, but did you know that freezing temperatures are also a serious threat to your plumbing system?

For businesses and homes throughout most of the United States, winterizing pipes and other plumbing components is essential for maintaining the safety of the property through the chill. Winter preparation is particularly important for structures that are not regularly used since damage may go unnoticed for a long time.

Here are a few simple winter plumbing tips for preparing your home for the winter:

  1. Install insulation: Even if the rooms in your building are warm during December, the basement, garage and other remote spaces can drop below freezing. Wrap all exposed pipes, pumps and other components in vulnerable areas with insulation to protect them from the cold. The foam material is relatively cheap, so it’s an affordable way to protect your system.
  2. Inspect and repair: Have your entire plumbing system inspected for leaks and other problems before winter sets in. Even a tiny crack can result in a water line burst if freezing temperatures reach the pipe. You can also use this opportunity to have your pipes professionally insulated by your contractor.
  3. Drain exposed pipes: Any water lines outside should be emptied completely in preparation for the winter. Sprinklers and other landscaping water lines are exposed to the temperatures outside with little protection. It’s not just enough to turn the water off; the pipes need to be flushed with air to push all moisture out. You may also need to drain evaporative coolers, pump houses, and outdoor water tanks as a precaution.
  4. Seal openings: A little plumbing maintenance around the building can go a long way towards protecting your plumbing system. Inspect the interior and exterior of the structure for openings that may allow cold to seep in. Cover or seal the cracks to insulate the utility spaces as much as possible. You can also board up basement or garage windows to further insulate the area.

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