As temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, homeowners must prepare their homes for winter. One of the most important aspects of winter prep is making sure your plumbing system can withstand the cold weather. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your plumbing pipes so they don’t freeze. When it’s freezing outside, water in your pipes can freeze, causing them to burst and leading to costly repairs.
Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Plumbing When the Temperatures Drop
1. Use Foam Insulation on the Plumbing Pipes
Insulating pipes is one of the most effective ways to protect them during winter. Purchase foam insulation sleeves from your local hardware store and wrap them around the water lines. The insulation helps prevent your pipes from freezing, keeping them warm enough to function properly.
2. Add Heat Tape to Protect Your Plumbing
Heat tape is an innovative and cost-effective move for homeowners. These pipe heating cables provide a simple solution to freezing pipes. Apply the heat tape around your pipes, and the product will deliver consistent low-level heat, preventing them from freezing. Whether you have exposed pipes in unheated areas or live in regions with harsh winters, heat tape offers extra protection to save you from the stress and expense of frozen or burst pipes.
3. Upgrade the Water Heater
If you live in a region with frigid winters, consider upgrading your water heater to a model specifically designed for colder climates. When the weather is cold, your water heater must work harder to keep up, especially in an unheated area of the house. Have the appliance inspected and serviced by a professional to verify it’s still in good condition. Drain sediment from the heater and purchase an insulating blanket to make the water heater more efficient.
4. Keep the House at a Consistent Temperature
Keep your home at least 55 degrees in winter to prevent your pipes from freezing. Even if you are leaving for an extended period, leave the heat on to prevent pipes from freezing.
5. Open the Cabinet Doors
When the weather turns cold, the heat from your home may not be enough to warm the pipes beneath your sinks and cabinets. Opening these cabinet doors allows warmer air to circulate around the pipes, preventing them from freezing. This small but effective measure can go a long way in safeguarding your plumbing system from harsh winter weather and potential damage.
6. Allow Faucets to Drip to Protect Your Plumbing
Allowing your faucets to drip, even a small amount, is a simple, effective way to prevent the pipes from freezing. The flow of water relieves pressure and allows warmer water to flow through. Focus on faucets on exterior walls or in areas prone to cold drafts. It’s a small precaution that makes a big difference in maintaining your plumbing system during the chilly winter months.
Preparing your plumbing system for winter is crucial to maintain your home. The above tips help keep your pipes warm and functional throughout winter. Protect your water lines and enjoy a cozy and comfortable home all winter.