How to Prepare Winter Plumbing for Your Home

Before winter knocks right on the door, you need to start outing some serious thoughts into the overall plumbing safety of your house. A simple plumbing error like a frozen water pipe can trigger extensive damage that can destroy the foundation and structure of your house by sudden water inundation.

With these precautionary steps below, you can prepare your house plumbing system for winter.

Repair all the water pipe leaks and joints

Water leaks from the water pipes and joints can be a daunting problem to have, especially in winter. So the first and foremost thing to do while preparing your home’s plumbing system for winter is to repair all the water pipe leaks immediately.

Here’s how you can temporarily fix the water pipe leaks for winter.

  • Step-1: Turn off the water supply or valves that control water flow.
  • Step-2: Knead and apply epoxy putty over the source of the leak and seal it temporarily.
  • Step-3: Use pipe repair kits like special fiberglass tape around the leak area to provide emergency relief.

Keep that in mind that this is only an immediate and temporary solution. For a long-term solution throughout the season, consider hiring professional local plumbers in your area.

Winterize your outdoor faucets

Disconnecting all the water hoses or turning the water supply off from the outside faucets is not enough to prevent the water pipes from freezing and bursting. Hence, winterizing outside faucets is essential.

To winterize outside faucets, you don’t need any professional assistance of plumbing experience. Here are the easy steps to prepare your drains for winter –

  • Step-1: Start the process by turning off the outside faucet and removing all the attached water hoses from outside
  • Step-2: Turn off all the shut-off inside your home, basement or garage where water is fed to the outside faucets.
  • Step-3: Try getting as much existing water out of the pipes and spigots as possible.
  • Step-4: After all the water is drained out, consider carefully insulating the spigot from outside
  • Step-5: There are many foam slips available to wrap and insulate every exterior faucet on your home.

Prepare your furnace for winter

Before the winter approaches, you need to make sure your furnace is safe, operational and energy-efficient. Just a few hours of effort into your furnace can keep your house cozy and comfortable during winter.

  • Check and change the furnace filters regularly
  • Keep the air vents and ducts clean, vacuumed and uncovered
  • Make sure to check if there’d any unusual buildup of the soot in the furnace chimney. Keep the blower belt for cracks under inspection after turning off the furnace power supply.
  • Don’t forget to keep your furnace debris and clutter-free.

Install special equipment

You can use some particular equipment as a safeguard to your overall plumbing system. For instance, to prevent frozen water pipes and crystallization, temperature-controlled thermal convection powered hot water re-circulation valve can be a great solution.

Go for pipe insulation

If you have water pipes located in exposed-unheated areas, it can result in pipe freeze, burst, flood and many other disastrous consequences. Water supply pipe insulation assures long-term safety for several seasons.

Here are some of the ways you can get your water supply pipes insulated –

  • Verify the pipe material to determine the right insulation. Plastic pipes can be wrapped with electric heat tape.
  • When selecting the water pipe insulation, keep the high R-value in mind. R-value is the resistance measurement to heat flow of a given material. So higher R-value means the better the insulating power.
  • For pipes located in attics or basements, consider wrapping them with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves for extra insulation
  • To protect exterior metal faucets like hose spigots from frigid winter, go for insulated faucet covers. Their rigid foam covers fit right over the spigots and are secured with draw-strings

Pipe insulation doesn’t only need the right insulating materials and detailed measurement, but also expert supervision to implement as well. For the proper pipe insulation for winter, taking help from professional plumber is the safest bet.

Insulate your garage door

Last but not least, consider insulating your garage doors, since heating the garage in the winter is not always possible. Not insulating garage doors can have a big impact on the overall temperature of your house during winter. An energy-efficient insulated garage door can keep your garage about 12 degrees warmer in low temperature.

Start the process by warming up your garage with weather-stripping, which means, adding weather seals along the tops, edges and bottoms of the doors. For the best result, take consultation of a professional plumbing service.

Final words

Despite the tricks and tips above, preparing your plumbing system for winter requires an expert plumbing service handled by an experienced professional. It’s not only secure and time-efficient, but it’s also a long-term solution for your plumbing system overall.


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Written by Chris Freeman

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