Plumbing Advice: How to Prepare Water Pipes for the Winter

With winter comes  below zero temperatures.  A responsible homeowner prepares for this in advance.  One task that you cannot afford to neglect is winterizing your water pipes.  Frozen pipes are inconvenient; they cut off water supply to affected areas and they can create a lot of damage should they burst.  Experts from Atlanta plumbing companies recommend insulating your water pipes to make them less vulnerable to freezing.  In addition, experts from Boston plumbing companies provide advice on how you can prevent pipes from freezing in temperatures that are significantly below zero.

  • Both indoor and outdoor pipes should be insulated with a moulded pipe sleeve, especially if they cannot be drained through a shutoff valve.  A moulded pipe sleeve is made out of Styrofoam, and is rather easy to install.  Pipe sleeves are available at most hardware stores and they come in various sizes to fit around different pipe diameters.  Simply fit them over the length of the pipe and secure with foam insulation tape, especially around gaps and angles.
  • Bathroom and kitchen water pipes that are installed against an outside wall are vulnerable to freezing.  Keep cupboard doors and cabinets open to allow heat to get to these pipes.
  • If you will be leaving your home unheated for a day or two, drain all water lines before you leave so that they do not freeze.  Turn off the water supply at the main valve and open all faucets to remove any water left within the pipes.  (Do not forget to turn them back off again though, so that they will be ready once you restore the water supply upon your return.)
  • If you will be staying in your house during very cold weather, you can further prevent water lines from freezing up by letting faucets run at a very slow trickle.  This will be sufficient to keep water moving within the pipes so that they do not freeze.  Just make sure that you open cold water lines; allowing hot water to run continuously will run up your energy consumption.

Following these simple tips will ensure that your plumbing and pipes stay in top shape during the cold winter months. No need to worry about burst pipes and expensive plumbing repairs, instead you can rest assured that you have done all you can to protect your pipes from freezing over this winter.

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