Plumbing Tips for Winter

Published: November 24, 2013

With temperatures dropping and the chill setting in, it's time to start thinking about preparing your plumbing for winter. With the frosty temperatures and sudden freezes, your plumbing systems are at risk. Take some time to winterize your plumbing to avoid disasters this winter.

Keep this checklist in mind:

Insulate pipes

One of the most common problems during the winter months is burst pipes caused from the freezing cold. Freezing can occur in any water pipe exposed to temperatures of 32 °F or below. As freezing water expands, it generates enough pressure to burst pipes and fixtures. When frozen pipes thaw, flooding can occur and cause extensive damage. If you have any exposed water or drainage pipes in areas such as outside walls, crawlspaces or attic, make sure you insulate them. Even if they have survived past winters, different conditions bring about different reactions. Use insulation covers and wraps to seal out the cold.

Turn off exterior faucets

Exterior faucets need to have the water supply turned off inside the house, and drain water thoroughly before sealing up for the winter. Remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the faucets and drain thoroughly as well. Putting an insulated cover on your hose bib is also a good idea to prevent damage.

Winterize your sprinkler system

Have your sprinkler system winterized no later than the end of October to prevent exposure to freezing conditions. Turn off the water supply and blow compressed air through the sprinkler lines to prevent the lines from freezing and bursting.

Check for leaks

Take time to check your pipes indoors and out for any tiny leaks. Freezing temperatures can damage the surrounding pipes and cause significant problems. Feel for any moisture around insulated pipes too as they can be hiding leaks as well.

Locate your water shut-off

If you have a pipe that bursts, you will want to know where to shut-off your main water valve. You don't want to go searching for it in an emergency. Know where it is and make sure every member of your house does too.

These tips courtesy of Fite Plumbing LLC, Monrovia, CP19400024