Is there such thing as an organized method for preparing your pipes for the cold season? Well, don’t be surprised because there is! This flawless procedure will help you avoid damage, thereby allowing you to save thousands of dollars for repair.
With these steps, you can turn winter plumbing problems into a thing of the past!
Step 1: Turn off your outdoor faucets
And when I say you turn them off, I mean you head to their shutoff valves to do so. First, open the tap so you can open its bleeder cap on the valve and drain remaining water from the pipe. Not emptying the tube is a bad idea because it can get frozen and crack. Then, leave the bleeder cap open with a pail underneath in case of drips. If the water keeps dripping, it’s a sign: You should replace your shutoff valve immediately. You should also drain your water hoses and store them indoors unless you want them to freeze.
Step 2: Cover hose bibs
The next step is to purchase insulated covers (around $3 each) for your hose bibs. Insulated ones can slow down the heat loss from a tube as it travels through the wall and out into the cold.
Step 3: Cover pipes in unheated areas of your house
Next, you should go to a hardware store to grab some pipe insulation or heat tape. Covering your pipes is an excellent way to protect them from the cold during winter. There are easy-to-install kits available in hardware stores, and most of them include a thermostat already.
For pipes in an unheated place like your garage or attic, use a heat cable and cover it with pipe insulation. Why use a heat cable? Because pipe insulation won’t be enough to protect your pipes from freezing. If you don’t know how to perform this step, check out the video we found below.
Step 4: Give your water heater a fine-tuning
It’s also crucial that you drain and maintain your water heater before winter arrives. If you don’t know how to, contact a handyman.
Step 5: Check your furnace
Ensure that the filters are clean. If major repairs need to be done, call a handyman. It’s best, however, to contact them once you’ve checked everything that needs to be fixed, including the next step.
Step 6: Repair leaks
The next step is to fix leaks right away. Examine your pipes, and if you can’t handle all the fixing that needs to be done, well, you know who to call.
Step 7: Turn your water off at the main shutoff
If you’re going to leave your house or sell it, turn the water off first. Doing this will lessen the probability of pipes getting cracked even when they get frozen. At least there will be way less damage. If you have an automatic icemaker, shut it off too to prevent it from continually making ice and it its effort, burn out the motor.
Worst case scenario
If, for some unknown reason, a pipe suddenly burst in the middle of a wintry night even after doing the steps above, trust a sump pump. Make sure you have a quality one just in case there’s a flood. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll have to deal with this problem after following the systematic method mentioned, it’s still better to have an available sump pump.