When water freezes, it expands. During winter, ice can form in your plumbing system and cause extensive damage. There are steps for plumbing winterization that you can take to avoid a disaster. Here are several steps to take when preparing the plumbing for winter.
Plumbing Winterization for Outdoor Faucets
Shutting off your outdoor faucets is one of the most vital things to do in preparing your plumbing during winter. Any water left in the outdoor faucets will freeze if temperatures plummet. This causes an increase in pressure, which can burst or crack the pipe. You can turn off the supply of water to the exterior taps if there is a separate shutoff valve.
A hose filled with water will freeze if left out during winter. If it is still attached to the tap, it is likely to back up into the pipe. Disconnect and drain any garden hoses which are connected to your outdoor faucets and store them in the shed, basement, or garage.
Plumbing Winterization by Insulating Pipes
If there are pipes placed in an unheated area, like a garage, a crawl space, or an attic, cover them using pipe insulation. Insulating the exposed pipes helps to reduce the probability of your pipes freezing and bursting during winter.
Leave Faucets Dripping
A dripping faucet usually works as a release regulator for the pressure that accumulates when pipes freeze. That relief of pressure can prevent cracks in the frozen pipes. It will increase your water bill a bit but can save you much more expensive damage.
Open Under-Sink Cabinets on Cold Nights
The kitchen and bathroom plumbing pipes are prone to freezing because they are inside cabinets. Open the cabinet doors to allow some warmth to enter the cabinets and reach the pipes. A space heater pointed towards the cabinet helps to warm up the pipes.
Install Heat Cables for Plumbing Winterization
Generally, heat cables are an ideal plumbing winterization solution for susceptible pipes. They typically have a thermostat, which senses the temperature of the pipe. As a result, it turns the heat off and on as needed to prevent the pipe from freezing.
Check for Leaks and Fix Them
Even the tiniest leaks need to be addressed when preparing your plumbing during winter. Leaks can lead to major problems in your plumbing system in the winter when the temperatures are low. Have any leaks repaired before freezing temperatures hit to prevent further complications.