plumbing for winter

Preventing Plumbing Accidents in Winter

Cold temperatures can cause damage to your household plumbing system. When the temperature drops below freezing, water inside of your pipes may freeze and expand if they get too cold. This pressure will cause your pipes to burst. In order to avoid issues and huge repair bills, prepare your plumbing for winter.

Turn Off Your Outdoor Faucets to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

If you don’t have to water plants during the winter, be sure to winterize your outdoor faucets. Disconnect the hose and close the water shutoff valve on the inside of your home. This is sometimes located in the basement.

Once you’ve turned off the shutoff valve, open the faucet so that any water remaining in the pipe can drain completely. Close the faucet again when you’re finished to protect your outdoor plumbing for winter.

Turn Off Your Plumbing for Winter Vacations

If you are going to be away from your home for longer than a few days, turn off your water before leaving. This will lower the risk of a pipe freezing and bursting. If you are planning on your house being vacant and unheated for a long period of time, be sure to also drain the pipes of water before leaving your home for the winter.

Let the Faucet Drip

Leave the faucets slowly dripping in unheated or poorly heated areas of your home to help prevent the pipes from freezing during sudden cold snaps. Water that is moving is less likely to freeze in a pipe and cause it to burst.

For extra protection against freezing, you can open cabinet doors covering pipes, like in the kitchen or bathroom, to allow warmer air to circulate more easily.

Keep Your Space Warm

When heating costs are rising, it’s tempting to cut back by keeping your home cooler or even turning the heat off entirely when you head to the office. Not only is this inefficient for heating, but it is also bad for your pipes. To protect your plumbing for winter, keep your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.

Don’t Forget About Your Outdoor Plumbing

As you prepare your plumbing for winter, be sure to attend to exterior plumbing features other than your outdoor faucet. Outdoor drainage is critical for when snow and ice melt.

Your home is at risk for damage if your exterior drains aren’t cleared of debris that accumulated during the fall. If you notice water pooling in your yard, have your grading redone so that water flows away from your property and not towards your foundation.

Eagle Eye Home Inspections offers inspection services to the Lower Hudson Valley and Fairfield County areas of Connecticut. Contact us to request an appointment.