Winter Plumbing: What You Need to Know to Prevent Damage to Your Plumbing
Believe it or not, it gets cold here in Texas! The winter weather may not bring much snow, but it does bring quick freezes that could damage your home. The plumbing on the outside of your home, like your hose bibs and exterior pipes, is especially prone to freeze damage!
This means that when the temperature outside drops below freezing, the water in poorly insulated pipes can freeze. As the water freezes in your plumbing, the pipes might begin to crack under the extreme pressure. The real issues arise when the weather warms back up and the cracked pipes lead to leaking and flooding in your home.
Many homes that don’t prepare their plumbing for winter weather face hundreds in repair costs. Taking the appropriate action to prevent winter plumbing issues can help save you from having to deal with and pay for expensive repairs. Luckily, Total Plumbing knows exactly what you should do to get your home ready for the winter.
- Find your water valves and turn off outdoor valves.
Knowing the location of your water valves is good information to have during an emergency such as flooding in your home. It is especially important when it comes to getting your plumbing prepared for winter weather.
The main water valve is usually located next to your water meter. Turning off the water to your outdoor plumbing before a freeze can stop water from flowing to exterior pipes of your home like your hose bibs. These areas aren’t used much in the winter and are usually the first to freeze because of how stagnant the water is during this time of year.
- Detach and clear out any hoses and outdoor pipes.
It is important to detach your hoses from your hose bibbs before any harsh weather. If hoses are stored outside, be sure to drain any remaining water from them to avoid freeze damage. Once you cut off the water to your outdoor plumbing, you can open the valve to those pipes and drain the water.
- Insulate your indoor pipes with your heating system.
While turning off the heat when you go on vacation or leave your home may be tempting, it can actually cause you more harm than good in the long run. The insulation from your heating system keeps your interior plumbing at an above freezing temperature. This way, water can easily flow through your pipes and will be less likely to freeze.
You can also go a step further in insulating your plumbing by using foam insulating sheaths to cover exposed pipes. These can be found at almost any hardware store and are customizable to fit your pipes!
- Run water through all your faucets regularly.
Preventative measures like keeping your heat on while you’re gone can save you money in the long run. Regularly running water through your faucets is another preventative step that can do the same. By allowing water to constantly drip through hot and cold faucets during winter weather, you can prevent the water in your pipes from becoming stagnant and potentially freezing.
- Always have Total Plumbing ready to go.
These preventative steps can keep your home running smoothly all year long, but if an emergency does happen, you can always count on Total Plumbing to be there to help.
In order to get your home ready for the winter season, make sure to give the team at Total Plumbing a call for any questions, concerns, or plumbing inspections that you need taken care of.