13 Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing

Water expands when it freezes, as we are all aware. Although there is no issue with the ice cubes in your freezer, a major catastrophe could occur if the ice starts to build in your plumbing. Hundreds of water could flood your house if a frozen pipe bursts. Fortunately, there are things you may take to help avert a disaster and relax.

Disconnect outdoor faucets

At the shutdown valves on outdoor faucets, turn them off. To remove any remaining water from the pipe, open the tap and unlatch the bleeder cap on the shutoff valve. The tube still has a chance to freeze and fracture if you don’t drain it. Leave the bleeder lid open with a bucket underneath to catch any drips. Replace your shutoff valve if the dripping doesn’t stop.

Putting in frost-free sill cocks

A frost-free sill cock differs from a standard faucet in that the valve, seat, and washer are placed up to 18 inches into the wall rather than directly at the tap. Every time you turn the knob at the faucet off, when the sill cock is set correctly, with a small downward pitch, water drains from the pipe. For $15 to $55, home centers sell frost-free sill cocks.

Unplug the hoses

A hose with water in it left outside in cold weather will freeze, and ice can back into the pipe inside your home, causing the pipe to shatter if the hose is still attached to the faucet. All hoses must be disconnected from their taps, drained, and stored to store them for the winter.

hose bib covers

Insulated coverings prevent a pipe’s heat from escaping through the wall and into the cold. For very little money (around $3 at home centers), they offer some level of security.

Receive a heads-up

You can manage and keep an eye on the temperature in your house utilizing a Wi-Fi thermostat. You’ll receive an email or text notice if the temperature in your home decreases. There are many kinds of alert systems available. A phone jack inside your home may be used to transmit warnings to your cell phone, and others alert a landline or cellular phone. In-home centers, Wi-Fi thermostats range in price from $100 to $500.

affix a heat cable

For brittle pipelines, heat cables are the ideal solution. They contain a built-in thermostat that monitors the temperature of the pipe and adjusts the heat as necessary to prevent the line from freezing. To plug the cable in, you will want an accessible outlet. Depending on the length, heat wires can be purchased in home centers for $15 to $40.

Seal the rim joists.

Cold air can enter via the rim joist. After using expandable foam to seal any gaps or fractures, insulate the space between the floor joists. Do not shield a pipe from the heat in the rest of the home. Inspect the area around openings where pipes, cables, or wires pass through an outside wall. Insulate where you can, and use caulk or expanding foam to stop drafts. Ensure the combustion air for the furnace is brought in through a makeup air pipe once you’ve insulated.

Turn off the water before leaving town.

Turn off the water at the main cutoff if you plan to leave town for many days or longer. In this method, you’ll suffer significantly less damage if frozen pipes crack. Please turn off your automatic icemaker so it won’t keep trying to produce ice and wear down the engine. Even when the ice container is full, the ice will evaporate, and the ice maker will attempt to make more.

Insulate the pipes

Use heat cable and pipe insulation to insulate pipes if they are located in an unheated environment, such as an attic, garage, or crawl space. Pipe insulation doesn’t help much because the frozen pipes will eventually be exposed to cold air. Insulating pipes without a heat cable can keep warm air from reaching them. Home centers sell various pipe insulation for between $2 and $6.

your garage door with insulation

If your garage has water lines, you should at the very least insulate the door. Also, take into account using insulation and heat cable together. In extreme cold, place a portable heater in the garage.

Keep the temperature constant during a cold spell.

Your home’s climate and insulation will determine what a cold snap is. In Minnesota, a temperature of 32 F is not alarming, but it might be in Mississippi.

So, ignore the program on your thermostat during cold weather and maintain the current temperature. Even a few degrees higher may be desirable.

Open the kitchen cabinet doors during a cold spell.

Kitchen plumbing frozen pipes are vulnerable since they are hidden behind closed doors and can’t receive heat from the rest of the house. To allow heat to circulate inside the cabinets, open the cabinet doors. Warm air can also be distributed using a portable heater or fan directed inside the cabinet.

Keep the faucets running during a chilly spell.

If frozen pipes develop, a trickling faucet can release the pressure that builds up. The release of tension can stop frozen pipes from cracking, and it only needs to trickle slowly. It will slightly increase your next water bill, but it is a small thing to pay compared to costly home repairs. But if the drain is on an exterior wall, don’t leave the water running because the gutter could freeze and overflow.