If you aren’t prepared, the harsh chilly winter months can do some serious damage to your homes plumbing system. Frozen pipes can lead to broken pipes, which can then lead to more complications and even a flooded home or basement. Being preventative is your best bet to combat any issues that might arise during the cold winter months. Here are some tips to help you prepare your plumbing for this chilly season!
- Fix Any Existing Leaks
It doesn’t matter how small the water leak is, it can still turn into a big problem when the temperatures begin to drop. You should start off by checking all pipes that will be exposed to colder temperatures both inside and outside. If you wait for the water to freeze, damage can also be caused to surrounding pipes as well, and the damage will be more significant at that. Now if your pipes are already insulated, feel for moisture that may have been soaked up by the insulation.
- Insulate Exposed Pipes
Insulating any pipes, both indoor and outdoor, that will be exposed to cold temperatures is the best way to combat frozen and cracked pipes. You will want to make sure that they are insulated well, and to find any pipes that may be exposed this winter season, check your crawl space, garage and attic. A good rule of thumb to go by is if you can see the pipe, it needs to be insulated or wrapped with insulation foam. Pipe wrap insulation is pretty inexpensive, is fairly easy to install, and it can save you on heating costs as well as keeping your pipes protected against harsh temperatures.
- Swamp Cooler
Next is an evaporative cooler, which is also known as a swamp cooler. This is another source of water that will definitely need to be drained before winter hits. To do this, you will need to first turn off the water and the power to the unit. You can then drain out the water and the supply line that leads to it. This makes for a perfect time to clean out the interior and also change the padding! Lastly, you will cover the cooler with a cover or tarp to keep it insulated.
- Pump Your House
If you maintain a well at your house, planning and prepping is the key to having a successful and worry free winter season. For added protection, insulate any pipes in the pump house. A heat source is also need to keep the temperature of the pump house above freezing.
- Outdoor Hose Bibs
Protecting the outdoor hose bibs from the cold is one of the most important preventative steps to take for the cold season. You can begin by removing hoses that are connected to outdoor faucets, as this ensures that water isn’t trapped in the hose bib where it would essentially freeze and crack the pipes due to extensive pressure. Also, drain water that the hoses may have in them before you store them.
- Irrigation System
If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system, then you know that water can collect inside of them and freeze during cold weather. To winterize your sprinkler system, turn off the water and flush out any collected water by turning on each valve. You can also hire a professional to do this for you.
- Locate Water Main
Lastly, you should know where your water main is in case of an emergency. If you undergo the unfortunate event of a burst pipe due to freezing, you will want to be able to shut off the water quickly to minimize the current damage and prevent further damage from occurring.