Man covering pipe for winter.

How to Prepare Your Pipes for Colder Weather

When it comes to winter, you may first think of the holiday season and beautiful snow that will fall, but these situations can impact your home's plumbing system.

Your plumbing system's foundation is its pipes, and when those freeze, no water can come into your home.

Protecting your pipes is crucial for your home's plumbing to be able to continue to work throughout the holiday season.

Leak Detection

Leaks within your home can cause significant issues and headaches, especially in the winter months. When the temperatures are cold, water can freeze, and expand inside your pipes.

This problem can cause damage to your system, even when the ice thaws. The pressure of the expanding pipes makes your pipes more likely to burst.

If you know of, or suspect, any cracks or corrosion in your pipes, be sure to call professionals at McAtee Plumbing Heating & Cooling to help prevent any plumbing problems during the holiday and cold weather season.

Outdoor Systems

When the snow rolls in, you will want to protect your pipes that are out in the open. This includes outdoor faucets and hoses.

You will need to disconnect and drain your hoses, detach them from the faucets, and cover your faucets.

Coverings can be found at your local hardware store and help protect your outdoor faucet and houses in harsh weather climates.

Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems are another water feature you will want to pay attention to. Cover your spouts and turn them off their watering schedule, so they do not freeze.

Drain Cleaning

You'll want to ensure your home stays protected in every way, including having working drains.

Your drain may have buildup from items like grease, oil, or other hard to clear substances.

Drain cleaning can help clear the blockages within your pipes to keep your home running all winter long.

Water Heater

You will want to make sure you have hot water for evening showers and baths. If it is not working correctly now, consider calling for an inspection and repair.

When it is colder, your water heater is working harder as the temperature differs from the forecast. If there is sediment buildup, rust, or other issues, it can make your system work overdrive. That being said, if your water heater has not had any maintenance, doing so before the coldest temperatures arrive is strongly recommended.

Insulate Pipes

Pipes that are outdoors, in crawl spaces, your garage, or even your attic are more likely to freeze. Since they are in areas that are susceptible to cooler temperatures, it may be an excellent investment to insulate them or add a heat cable.

Leaving Town

If you are leaving town for the holidays or during the winter, be sure to turn your water off from your main shutoff valve.

Most main shut off valves are located in your basement or outside of your home. This valve will shut off the entire supply of water to your home.

Turning the valve off will help prevent extensive damage if the pipes freeze while you're away.

If They Do Freeze

The main sign that your pipes are frozen is that there is no water coming out of the faucets. You will always want to double-check that your water is not turned off before calling a plumber.

Once you know it is a frozen pipe, look out for cracks and burst pipes. Thawing your pipes is a dangerous task, which means it may be safer to call out a professional.

If these tips don't work, or the problem is too big to handle, don't hesitate to contact the plumbing experts at McAtee Plumbing Heating & Cooling!