Plumbing At The North Pole (Tips To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing)
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s never been truer than when it comes to getting your home ready for the winter. As cold sets in, it’s important to make sure that your pipes are ready to withstand the plummeting temperatures. The last thing anyone wants to do during the holiday season is deal with the crisis of having a pipe burst. Thankfully, these costly and time consuming situations can often be avoided with a little preparation beforehand.
Protect Outdoor Pipes
Outdoor pipes may not have the proper insulation to hold up against freezing, so it’s important to drain them before temperatures get too low. Outdoor hoses should be removed and stored indoors, and outside hose bibs should be opened and drained. While inside valves that supply water to bibs should be closed, be sure to leave outside valves open to drain excess water.
Also, be sure to drain swimming pool and sprinkler lines. An air compressor can aid in cleaning out sprinkler lines completely. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when clearing out water lines.
Protect Uninsulated Pipes
While outdoor pipes are obviously unprotected, pipes in the home are not immune to problems. Check in places like under bathroom and kitchen cabinets, garages, attics and basements for pipes that aren’t insulated, and be sure to make sure they are properly protected.
Consider wrapping pipes in UL-listed heat cable or tape. This is best for pipes that are not insulated and are located in places that are more susceptible to lower temperatures such as a garage or attic. It is easy to install and the materials can be found at any local hardware store.
Keep it Warm
Turning up the heat can help keep uninsulated pipes warm throughout the winter. Open doors to bathrooms and kitchens to allow more heat in, this will help keep the whole house toasty. If there are pipes in the garage, be sure the doors are kept shut. You may even consider placing a space heater in areas that do not get proper heating.
Be Prepared in Case Your Pipes Do Burst
While taking preventative measures reduces the chances of something happen, nothing is guaranteed. Be sure that everyone in your home knows exactly where the master shutoff valve is and how to use it. This will ensure that if there ever is a problem, everyone will know what to do.