A lot of people focus on getting their heating systems in shape when the temperature outside starts to drop. That’s a good idea, of course, but it’s not the only thing you should do to prepare your home for the cold season. Your plumbing system needs to be prepared, as well. Frozen pipes have the ability to wreak quite a bit of havoc on your system if you don’t prepare for them. Fortunately, you can take some measures to limit the chances of your pipes freezing as much as possible. Read on to find out how.
Draining Your Pipes
The reason frozen pipes are so damaging is because they can rupture very easily. The water in the pipes expands as it freezes, causing the pipe to be put under more strain than it is supposed to handle. The pips can succumb to the added pressure, causing it to crack and leak. The way to prevent this from happening is simply to remove the water from the equation.
Before the weather gets too cold, you should turn off the water to any pipes that you can afford not to use for the duration of the winter. This includes things like outdoor faucets. Once the water supply to those pipes is cut off, you should open all the faucets to drain any water already in the pipes. Leave the faucets open for the entire season. This ensures that as much water escapes the system as possible, and dramatically lessens the chances of a pipe rupturing.
Insulating Pipes You Need
Now, you obviously can’t take the above actions with the entirety of your plumbing system. There are still many pipes that you need to use from day to day. Most of these pipes are not in danger of rupturing, because they’re in insulated walls and floors in the house. However, not every part of the plumbing system in the house is immune from freezing. It’s perfectly possible for plumbing pipes inside the home to freeze, especially if they’re located in areas like the underside of your sink. Those pipes are often not insulated, which means they can freeze and rupture if it gets cold enough. The best way to deal with these vulnerable pipes is to insulate them yourself.
There are a number of ways to insulate your pipes. It’s a good idea to check your local hardware store, as specially designed pipe insulation sleeves are available for this purpose. If you can’t find those, or you don’t want to bother with them, you can also have a professional insulate your pipes for you. Finally, if you don’t want to spend any money at all, you can always just use towels. Just zip-tie the towels around the exposed pipes. That is typically enough to ensure that they don’t freeze, even in an unheated home.