How to Prepare Your Plumbing Pipes for the Winter?
Want to learn how to prepare your plumbing for winter and avoid having to deal with leaks and burst pipes? Have a look at our compilation of the best tips for protecting your plumbing this cold season.
Turn off your outdoor faucets.
As you know, when water freezes into ice, it expands! The same thing can occur with your plumbing system in winter. If the water inside your outdoor plumbing system freezes, cracks may form in your pipes, leading to unwanted leakages! Here’s how to avoid the issue. First of all, close your outdoor faucets at their shutoff valves. Then, open the tap and the bleeder cap to drain the pipes. Also, do not forget to keep a container below your faucet to collect the dripping water.
Install a frost-free sill cock
A sill cock works as a valve connecting to your plumbing system outdoors. It is best to install a frost-free sill cock in winter to prevent ice build-up. A frost-free sill cock differs from a typical faucet because its components are up to 18 inches inside the wall. This is why, with a slight downward pitch, water drains from your pipes each time you close off your faucets.
Disconnect your hoses
If your hose is still filled with water, it will freeze in the cold weather. However, when you leave your hose connected to your tap, pipes installed inside your home also can freeze and get cracks. This is why you must carefully detach your hoses from your faucets and drain them before winter.
Cover your outdoor faucet’s nozzle
It is very helpful to protect your outdoor tap nozzles with insulated covers. This tip ensures slow heat loss through pipes installed across your walls.
Get a Wi-Fi thermostat.
Fascinatingly, you can install a Wi-Fi thermostat system in your home to control and monitor its temperature with your smartphone. For example, when the temperature in your home decreases in cold weather, you will get a text alert on your phone. Luckily, it is possible to choose from a wide range of smart home alert systems according to your needs and budget.
Install a heat cable
Heat cables are the perfect solution for you if you have fragile pipes in your plumbing system! Heat cables certainly protect your vulnerable line because they have an integrated thermostat to detect your pipe’s temperature. Then, they turn the heating on and off as required to prevent the pipe from freezing.
Seal the rim joists
In winter, cold air easily enters your home through rim joists. To prevent this, you must seal all the cracks or holes with expandable foam. Then, it would be best if you insulated the floor joists. However, be careful to avoid the insulation of your pipes! You should also check for holes through which wires, cables, or pipes pass and seal them.
Shut off your water before going out of town
If you leave home for a few days, shut off your main water switch. This is because the damage will be less if your pipes freeze and crack during your absence.
Insulate your garage door
It is difficult to insulate the whole garage in winter to prevent heat loss from your water lines. So, the maximum you can do is to insulate your garage door as it may be responsible for heat loss from your home to a large extent. Also, you can put a portable heater in your garage during very low temperatures.
Open your kitchen cabinet doors
Your kitchen cabinet contains vulnerable plumbing pipes that can become frozen in winter and eventually crack, causing leakages in your kitchen. To prevent this terrible disaster from happening, you need to open your cabinet doors to let the heat from the house circulate inside them. In addition, you could put a portable heater in front of the cabinets for better heating!
Leave faucets running
In very cold weather, you must leave your taps running because they act as relief valves for the pressure that builds up in the frozen pipes. This pressure relief is essential to prevent frozen pipes from cracking!
I hope that you enjoy your winter time. Do not forget to prepare your plumbing system properly for winter to avoid problems! Please share your experiences and comments below!