Winter weather can wreck havoc on plumbing. If temperatures drop below 32°, even for a short period of time, pipes can freeze. Since water has the unique ability to expand when it freezes, pipe fractures and other types of damage can occur. Any pipe that is open to the elements is subject to freezing. This includes outdoor faucets, hoses and water lines for sprinklers and swimming pools. Interior supply lines that run against exterior walls or those located in colder areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and cabinetry can freeze as well.
Now is the time to give your plumbing much needed attention before winter. Learning how to prevent frozen pipes is easy, and you should take some simple precautions to stop a problem before it starts. Here are a few tips to care for your pipes this winter…
- Bathrooms and laundry rooms that are located close to garages are very susceptible to freezing pipes. Maintain maximum heat in the garage by keeping the doors closed.
- Check to ensure pipes are well-insulated, seal up crawl space vents and pack insulation over the openings.
- Disconnect and store garden hoses in a shed or garage. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outdoor faucets, turn it off and drain the water. Also turn off and drain sprinkler systems.
- If you are traveling, or plan on being away for an extended period of time, expose interior plumbing to heat. Open cabinets underneath sinks so the pipes can get some warmth. It may be tempting to turn off the heat entirely, but it’s actually best to leave it running around 55°.
- Make sure you know where your main shut-off valve is located. Depending on your home, and its age, the main valve may be in the garage, laundry room, basement, or crawlspace. This is where you’ll go first in an emergency if you need to shut off water supply.
In the wintertime, the comfort of your family and safety of your home relies on properly winterizing your plumbing. However, sometimes problems happen even with the best maintenance and care. If you suspect your pipes are frozen, or you are experiencing another plumbing problem, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. for fast, honest and reliable service.