December 21st marks the first official day of the long, cold, blustery winters we experience here in the northeast. That means it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your plumbing system to avoid impending malfunctions, like burst pipes, that can cause significant damage to your home. When water freezes in your pipes, it expands as it turns into ice. This rapid expansion produces a great amount of pressure within your pipes, which can lead to leaks, breaks, and flooding. Save yourself the hassle (and money) by avoiding these pipe repairs when you properly prepare your pipes for the winter with these tips from Fosh Plumbing & Heating.
Shutoff Outdoor Faucets
One of the first things you should do to prepare your pipes for the winter is to turn off any outdoor faucets at their shutoff valves. Open the faucet and the bleeder cap and allow any excess water to drain out of the pipe. If you don’t fully drain the pipe, it can still freeze, crack, and break. If that happens, count on Fosh Plumbing for 24/7 emergency plumbing services.
Insulate Pipes and Hot Water Heater
One of the most common winter plumbing problems we see is pipes in unheated places that aren’t insulated. Pipes that are in areas like your garage or attic are susceptible to freezing temperatures. Adding piping installation is a great way to protect your plumbing during the winter months. Use heat cables along the pipes and cover them with insulation. Pipe insulation alone does very little, so ensure your pipes have less risk of freezing by partnering the insulation with heat cables. It’s a smart idea to check with your trusted plumber to guarantee you’re getting the right insulation for your space. You can also insulate your tank-style water heater to prevent additional heat loss and conserve energy.
Open Cabinet Doors
During a particularly cold spell, opening your under-sink cabinet doors in your kitchen or bathroom allows warm air to circulate into the cabinets and around the pipes. Kitchen and bathroom plumbing are more vulnerable because the heat from your home can’t reach them. A portable heater or fan can also be used to help circulate warm air.
Leave Faucets Running
Allowing a trickle of water to run through your faucet can help prevent frozen pipes. The trickle acts as a relief valve for the pressure that builds up if the pipes freeze. While you may see a small spike in your water bill, it’s an easy price to pay compared to a major home repair.
Keep Temperature Steady
If your area is experiencing a cold snap, bump up your thermostat a few degrees and leave the temperature steady. While this may result in a higher heating bill, it can help keep your pipes from freezing, especially at night.
To combat the most common winter plumbing problems, it’s best to hire an experienced professional. At Fosh Plumbing, our team can work with you to inspect your home’s entire plumbing system to check for any weakness or damages.
Frozen pipes are no fun during the freezing winter months. If you find yourself in need of a plumbing inspection or emergency plumbing service, know the professionals at Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc. are here to help! Contact us today.