While Kentucky is fortunate to not get extreme amounts of snow, the colder months from December through February can certainly bring some freezing temperatures.
As you say farewell to grilling on the patio, prepare your garden with a little extra mulch, and bring in the outdoor furniture, make sure to take some steps to winterize an all-too-often neglected feature of your home: water lines.
Take Care of Your Hose Bib
What is a hose bib? Commonly referred to as a spigot, one or more can be found attached to the outside of the house. It’s a good idea to locate the shut-off valve for your hose bib inside your home and turn that off. Once it’s turned off inside, you can then unhook your hose and turn the spigot “on” outside to drain out any water that might be left inside the supply line. Frost-free hose bibs are also available and minimize the chances of water freezing inside the spigot. With a frost-free hose bib, the water stops further inside the pipes, where the temperatures from inside the home keep the pipes warmer.
Take Care of Your Garden Hose
Now that you’ve unhooked your garden hoses from all your hose bibs in the previous task, drain all water from the hoses, coil them up and store them for the winter – before there is a significant freeze. This is important because leaving your hose attached with water still in the lines could potentially cause the water inside the hose to freeze, expand, and then burst. This will result in damage to the spigot, which in turn can damage your pipes, your sheetrock and the insulation in your walls. Even if you have a frost-free hose bib, you still need to unhook your hoses.
Keep Your Pipes Warm
We all know that heat rises, so the temperature at the floor – beneath which many of your pipes are run – can be cold enough to result in frozen pipes. We recommend opening the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let heat circulate and help prevent ice and pressure from building up in the pipes. If the temperatures are supposed to dip overnight, it’s a good idea to open the doors before you go to bed so you’ll be more apt to have a warm shower in the morning.
Keep the Water Flowing
Another tip for avoiding frozen pipes when the temperature drops is to keep some water flowing through them. By leaving a couple of faucets dripping (you don’t have to turn them all on), the water movement will create friction and enough energy and heat to keep the pipes from freezing. Turning on the hot and the cold is recommended, as you don’t want pressure to build in one and not the other. Again, this is a good thing to do before you go to bed at night.
If you have concerns about your pipes freezing this winter, contact the team at Knight’s Mechanical. We’d rather prepare you ahead of time than have to service your broken pipes after an unfortunate incident. Give us a call at (270) 765-4141 at our Elizabethtown office and we will answer all of your home winterization questions.