It won’t be long before the season changes and some of us are caught by a surprise overnight freeze. If we haven’t yet taken all necessary steps in protecting the plumbing from freezing weather, it’ll be too late to avoid the cost of plumbing repairs. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to learn about all the different ways to prevent frozen pipes and the resulting cost of plumbing repairs.
If you live in an older home, there will be much to do to prepare it for winter, especially in terms of protecting the plumbing pipes from freezing weather. Even newer homes need to have some things done to prevent the pipes from freezing weather if you want to avoid plumbing repairs this cold season.
Protecting Plumbing Pipes From Freezing Indoors
In every home, there are cold places and spots that are more susceptible to freezing temperatures than others. For instance, underneath the kitchen sink and in the garage. Here are a few places our plumbers suggest to look for plumbing pipes, and what to do so that they’re not as exposed to colder temperatures this winter.
- Check for plumbing pipes and fixtures such as water heaters, supply lines, and washing machine pipes. Be sure you keep your garage doors closed and sealed as tight as possible if you find plumbing pipes or any type of fixtures or faucet in the garage or your workshop.
- Keep the bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open. This lets the warmer air in the room into the cabinets so that it can circulate around the plumbing. Pay attention to any chemicals in the cabinets so that you can remove them out of the way of pets and children.
- As freezing weather sets in, it’s important to allow the cold water to drip slowly from several faucets in the house. Keeping a trickle of water flowing through the faucet will prevent freezing pipes. This is because the temperature of the water is above freezing and moving at the same time.
Other Ways To Prevent Pipe Freezing and Plumbing Repairs
- Be sure to wrap all the plumbing pipes, water heater, and fixtures which are directly exposed to the outdoors. Kits are available from home improvement stores to cover your outdoor water faucets, offering you several options in styles and types of coverings. Whatever you choose, just be sure to put the wrapping and coverings on tight and follow directions. Remember, you don’t want any moisture at all to be able to penetrate your plumbing wrapping materials.
- Make sure the HVAC thermostat is set high enough to keep the house from freezing, both during the day and at night, but especially while you’re away from the house working or on vacation. While you may think it’s best to turn it down while you’re away, you’ll find yourself dealing with freezing pipes and the plumbing repairs you’ll need to replace the pipes that burst.
- If you do happen to plan to be away on vacation this winter, make sure your plumbing pipes won’t freeze while you’re away by setting your furnace to at least 55ºF, and don’t program it to turn off.