Winter is on its way. Even if the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a mild winter in Kentucky, you can bet there will be several days when the temperatures go well below freezing. So now’s the time to winterize your home, paying special attention to the part that’s most at risk: your plumbing system.
Frozen water pipes have a nasty habit of bursting, causing the need for extensive plumbing repairs — not to mention the other costly damage to your home. The good news is that you can avoid this fate by taking these simple precautions to protect your water pipes this winter.
How To Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter
- Let your faucets drip. When you know the temps are going to fall below freezing, set your fixtures to allow a trickle of water to flow. This keeps water moving through your system to help prevent freezing or pressure from building up in the pipes and causing a leak.
- Insulate your water pipes. This is especially important in spaces that aren’t well heated like attics, basements, crawl spaces, and pipes near exterior walls. Inexpensive pipe insulation is available from your local hardware store and is easy to install. For extra protection in vulnerable areas, invest in some electric heat tape.
- Maintain a consistent indoor temperature. Keep the heat inside your home at a steady temp during cold spells, warm enough to keep it above freezing throughout the house. This is especially true if you’re going on vacation! You don’t want to be caught off guard by an unexpected turn in the weather while you’re gone. It’s a good idea to shut off your home’s main water line and drain the pipes if you’re going to be on an extended winter vacation.
- Open your cabinet doors. Leaving the doors open on your under-sink cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom will allow warm air to circulate around the water pipes. Also leave the door open to utility rooms where the water heater, water softener, and washing machine are located.
- Secure your outside hoses, valves and faucets. Disconnect and drain the water out of your garden hoses and store them away. Shut off the water to outdoor faucets and valves, and allow the water to drain to prevent the short section of water pipe serving them from freezing.
- Seal up gaps and leaks. Look for openings and gaps that can allow outside air into your home around water pipes, electrical wiring, dryer vents, etc., and seal them up with caulk or foam insulation. Do the same for cracks in your crawl space walls.
- Have your plumbing system inspected. Your local professional plumbing contractor will find the areas where your plumbing is most vulnerable and take steps to protect your water pipes from freezing and bursting this winter, while also performing general maintenance to discover and fix potential issues before they become problems.
Knight’s Mechanical is ready to provide all your plumbing needs, including emergency repair services. Give us a call whenever you need us.