Top 5 Tips for Winterizing Plumbing in Your Home
When it’s cold outside, there are two things that we definitely want to be working once we step into our homes: the heat and the plumbing. Yet sometimes when it’s especially chilly, if we’re not careful to winterize our plumbing, it could result in frozen and sometimes even leaky pipes.
The way that you can prevent this from happening inside of your own house is to prepare your plumbing for the winter season. If you’d like a few helpful tips on how to do that, we’ve enclosed five of them below:
Turn on your faucets. Here’s a tip that a lot of us probably remember doing while we were growing up. When the weather forecast states that the temperature outside is going to drop below freezing, it’s a good idea to turn on the faucets in your home. It doesn’t have to be a heavy stream of water; just a slight trickle. Being that running water cannot freeze, it will help to keep your pipes from freezing overnight.
Insulate your pipes. Everything stays warmer when it’s insulated; including your pipes. So, especially when it comes to the ones in your basement, take out a moment to use some foam, foil or fiberglass to wrap around your pipes. If you’d like some step-by-step instructions on how to do perform this task, go to DIY Network and put “how to insulate pipes” in the search field.
Keep your house warm. This might seem like a given being that the last thing you want to do is shiver inside your own house but actually what we’re referring to is the temperature that it should be when you’re away at work or on vacation. When you’re home, you can keep your house at a comfortable temperature by setting your thermostat to around 73 degrees. When you’re away, make sure that it’s no lower than 55 degrees. That should keep your pipes from freezing.
Don’t forget about your plumbing vents. Your plumbing vents are also something that you should winterize. You can do so with the following steps: Be sure to keep your vents cleared out of snow; double-check that your vents are the right size (because steam from a hot shower can do almost as much damage as snow can when it comes to blocking your vents); confirm the local codes for your plumbing vents and if you happen to smell an unfamiliar odor, don’t ignore it. It could be an indication of your vents needing some professional attention. Call a plumber as soon as possible.
Disconnect your garden hose. One thing that a lot of people forget to do in the winter time is disconnect their garden hose. When this happens, it can cause ice to form and pressure to buildup in the water lines which can ultimately lead to a pipe leaking, bursting or even sewer problems. So, don’t forget to disconnect yours and then install an insulated faucet jacket that is specifically made for the exterior of your home. That should keep your outdoor faucets save until the spring season returns.