Why You Need to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

With winter on its way, we all have a list of things we should do to be ready, like get an oil change, replace old wiper blades, tune up the furnace, and clean the fireplace. But there’s a major reason why home plumbing should be included on your list—frozen or burst pipes. Old or new, pipes that are not properly insulated or maintained run the risk of freezing and bursting, which leaves you with a big mess and without water. Protect your home with these tips from our plumbers:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas—this simple DIY project can be done in a single afternoon. Buy pipe insulation at your local hardware store and cover pipes in your basement, garage, outdoor shop, and anywhere else that gets especially chilly.
  • Drain outdoor hoses and put them away for the season, before the remaining water freezes and causes them to crack.
  • Open cabinets under sinks on extremely cold nights to let heat circulate and keep pipes warm—and turn on a steady trickle to keep water moving and lower your chance of freezing.
  • Fix leaks now. If your plumbing appliances are acting up, there’s a small leak in a pipe, or water in your basement, don’t take any chances. Have a professional fix it before bigger problems strike. An inspection and repair will guarantee your plumbing is ready for the cold.
  • Drain your water heater—especially if you have hard water—to prevent sediment and rust from building up. These contaminants can make their way into your water supply, clog drains, and corrode your water heater. This isn’t exactly a DIY project, so you should leave it to a pro.
  • Inspect your sump pump—cold temps can cause it to freeze. You’ll want to make sure it’s ready to run before a spring thaw or April showers.
  • Schedule a furnace tuneup—yes, this blog is dedicated to plumbing, but home plumbing relies on your furnace to stay warm. Have our technicians inspect your system to ensure everything’s working correctly. We may even catch and repair minor problems now to help avoid a breakdown in the middle of winter. And if your system is no longer efficient and safe, we can recommend a furnace from Carrier® that fits your needs.

If you have questions about any of these tips or would like help prepping your plumbing for winter, just give us a call or schedule an appointment. And while you’re at it, read our most recent blog on DIY furnace maintenance.