How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

As winter approaches, it’s important to prepare your plumbing to handle the cold. Otherwise, you can end up with burst pipes and home flooding. The question is, how do you prepare your plumbing for winter? Reliable Drain & Plumbing is here to help.

Keep Your Heating On

The first step to preventing plumbing damage in winter is to keep your heat on. Many people think it’s safe to turn the heat off when they go on vacation in the winter. It will save them money, right? Wrong! While you may pay less on electric, your home dropping to freezing temperatures can lead to water freezing in your pipes. This will make them burst from the expansion of the ice. When that ice melts again, you’ll have flooding on your hands. Coming home to flood damage is not a fun experience, especially when you realize how much it costs to fix it all.

Instead, lower your heat to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep the house just warm enough to prevent plumbing damage without wasting electricity on comfort that no one is home to enjoy.

Open Cabinets

In addition to keeping your heat on, open up cabinet doors under sinks. This is especially true if leaving on vacation. Keeping bathroom doors and under-sink cabinet doors open allows warm air to flow and reach pipes.

Even when staying at home, ensuring bathroom doors are left open when not in use is a good idea. A bathroom that gets regular use may get adequate airflow. However, if you have a guest bedroom with an on-suite that’s not used much, go and open them up to ensure they get the heat they need. If you keep your guest room vent closed so as not to waste energy heating an unused part of the house, shut the bathroom and bedroom door, but open the vent in the on-suite so that the bathroom stays above freezing. You can apply this to other layouts as well so long as the bathroom has its own vent.

Insulate Your Pipes

For homes with poor heating or for pipes that are located in the garage or other inadequately heated areas, insulation is key. Insulating your pipes is easy. You can buy pipe insulation at any local hardware store. This typically comes in the form of a foam sleeve, kind of like a pool noodle.

However, not everyone has the money to drop on insulation. If that’s true for you, you can also prepare your plumbing for winter by wrapping blankets or other fabric around exposed pipes. This will help keep out some of the cold and lower the chance of your pipe freezing or bursting. 

Use Antifreeze

Plumbing can vary from one location to the next, and not all plumbing is in a place that can be heated year round. If you own a trailer, RV, remote cabin, or other type of vacation home that has the electricity turned off for most of the year, use antifreeze. Antifreeze is a liquid solution that can be poured into drains to prevent freeze damage. 

Get Emergency Repairs

In the event of a burst pipe, you can count on Reliable Drain & Plumbing to help with emergency repairs. Contact us right away and we’ll get you the help you need ASAP. Before calling, turn off your water and dry up what’s already leaked out to prevent interior damage. Then, we’ll get your plumbing repaired as quickly as possible.