6 Simple Steps to Wintering Your Plumbing

In these parts, Fall is a blink-and-you-miss it phenomenon, which means cold weather is just around the corner. While you try and prepare mentally for the snow, make sure your home is prepared, too. No matter what your house looks like, that will include winterizing your plumbing.

Wondering why? Frozen water – or ice – is larger is size than its liquid counterpart. So if water if a pipe freezes, it wants to expand but has nowhere to go. With no other choice, pipes burst, leaks occur, and damage is done.

Worried? Don’t be – winterizing is a simple process. A few steps will ensure your pipes are ready to handle freezing temps and won’t cause you any serious water issues. Let’s get started.

  1. Identify the pipes most likely to face problems. Any exposed pipes outdoors or in unheated spaces will be the first to feel the chill.
  2. Insulate. You can find insulation sleeves at any hardware store. Simply wrap the material around the pipes, making sure there are no gaps where cold air can squeeze in.
  3. Check your exterior for cracks. Any small crack can become a welcome entryway for cold air and impact the pipes within the walls there. Caulk any cracks on the foundation or on stone or stucco. Use spray foam to fill spaces between siding.
  4. Insulate your crawl space, basement, or attic. Not only will it keep your whole house warmer and help you save on heating, but also further protect your plumbing.
  5. Close up exterior water sources for the season. Drain all pipes leading to irrigation systems, pools, sprinklers, or hose faucets, then shut off the water supply to those areas if possible. Hose bibs can also be covered with special insulated covers for further protection.
  6. Take care when you travel. Leave one faucet on a slight drip while you’re gone. This will keep water moving through the system and help prevent freezing.

Need to tackle an even bigger winterization project, like shutting up a shore home for the season? Contact the plumbing experts at Madsen who can ensure your water heaters, pumps, and plumbing are all safe and secure.