With the arrival of fall, make sure your plumbing is ready to face the upcoming colder temperatures. Taking the necessary steps to prepare the water lines can save you from burst pipes, water damage, and related disasters. Here are a few tips to protect your plumbing during the colder months.
Tips to Protect Your Plumbing
1. Insulate Exposed Pipes
Before temperatures drop, insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home, including the attic, basement, and garage. Pipe insulation sleeves and heat tape are easy to install and protect against freezing temperatures, preventing pipes from bursting and leaking. Pay special attention to water lines that run along exterior walls, as these are most prone to damage during cold weather.
2. Allow Faucets to Drip
When the temperature drops, turn on the tap to allow the faucets to drip slowly. Even a slow drip keeps water flowing and relieves pressure within the plumbing system, preventing pipes from freezing and bursting.
3. Open Cabinet Doors
In areas where plumbing lines are within cabinets, keep the doors open to allow warm air to circulate and warm the pipes. When temperatures are below freezing, open the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink. Allowing heated air from your home to warm the water lines can help prevent frozen pipes within the cabinetry.
4. Protect Your Plumbing: Disconnect the Garden Hose
Before freezing temperatures arrive, disconnect your garden hose and drain the water from pipes leading to exterior faucets. Store the hose in a dry place to prevent damage. Shut off outdoor faucets so water won’t freeze in the lines.
5. Protect Your Plumbing by Sealing Air Leaks
Search for leaks and gaps around the home, especially in areas where plumbing is located. Seal cracks or openings in walls, window frames, and doors to prevent cold air from entering, reducing the risk of freezing pipes.
6. Keep the Thermostat Consistent
Maintain a consistent temperature indoors, even when the house is unoccupied. While it may lead to higher heating bills, it will prevent your pipes from freezing and causing expensive water damage.
These steps can save homeowners from plumbing problems during the cooler season. Investing time and resources now to prepare the water lines for winter will help you avoid costly and inconvenient repairs later. Protect your plumbing system to keep your house comfortable and functional throughout the fall and winter.