You are nestled in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa. Or, perhaps you are slumbering peacefully through the night. Either way, you don’t want the rude awakening of a burst pipe. When freezing temperatures hit during the winter months the water in your pipes expands. This causes the pipes to fail, so winterize your plumbing system to avoid bursts.
Understand Your Plumbing System
Get to know your plumbing system first. Learn its layout, including the location of the main water valve. It’s important to have a map, whether drawn or in your head, of your home’s entire plumbing system before you winterize. This helps the process go smoothly.
Head to Main Water Valve First
Step one in winterizing is to turn off your home’s main water valve and then the water heater and water pump. Don’t listen to the fussing from your spouse and kids. It won’t take you too long to winterize the system, so they won’t be without water for more than a few hours.
Let it Flow
Once everything is turned off, it’s time to consult your map. Head to every tap and valve inside and outside of your home and open them, even the water heater. You must drain all the water from the pipes prior to winterizing just in case you break a pipe yourself.
Wrap it Up
Head to the hardware store and purchase insulation for your pipes. You can either buy sleeves or wraps. Purchase plenty to cover all piping; you don’t want any gaps. Keep in mind if you have plastic pipes, they are more tolerant of the cold than steel or copper.
Prevent Cold Air Inside
Your plumbing is located in your home’s walls, so if you have any exterior cracks, fix them before the mercury dips below freezing. The warmer your pipes are, the less likely the water inside is to freeze. Prevent any cold air from seeping in.
Turn Up the Heat
The same holds true inside. The warmer you keep your indoors, the less chance of your pipes freezing. Without breaking the bank, keep your heating source consistent so the indoor air stays nice and warm. Re-insulate your home for added protection.
Finally, turn off all outdoor hose bibs and insulate them. They, too, can burst. If you don’t feel confident tackling this DIY project on your own, contact Five Star Plumbing. Plumbers from their Corpus Christi or San Antonio locations will be happy to help you winterize your home.