Steps to Protect Your Plumbing This Winter

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During winter, keeping your pipes from freezing can save your home and plumbing system from ice damage. When winter temperatures plummet, the risk of water freezing in pipes can cause all sorts of problems that are much harder to fix than to prevent. When this happens, water expands and can cause pipes to burst. If temperatures start to dip down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to consider protecting your pipes.

Follow these tips to winterize your home’s plumbing system:
Caulk. Use caulk to seal pipes where they enter your home.
Close vents. Use Styrofoam blocks or wood to fill vent openings.
Insulate. Insulate outside faucets or hoses if they can’t be completely turned off.
Disconnect hoses. A frozen hose can cause burst pipes within a home. Before the first hard freeze of the season, disconnect and store your garden hoses for the winter season.
Insulate. Make sure all pipes in unheated areas of the house have sufficient insulation. Pipes in attics, garages, and crawl spaces are all susceptible to freezing.
Open up. When the temperatures drop, open cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchens to allow more heat to circulate around pipes.
Lower thermostat. If you leave your home during cold weather, don’t turn off the thermostat. Instead, lower it to prevent pipes from freezing. The temperature should remain at 55 degrees or higher.
Let faucets drip. Having your faucets drip slightly can keep water running and prevent total freezing.
For those who leave home in the winter, consider shutting off your water supply and draining all faucets and toilets. To avoid any unexpected surprises when you return, consider having a plumber come to inspect your home before you leave.

People who live in colder climates may need to consider adding more insulation to their walls. Inadequate or poorly installed insulation can cause freezing problems that lead to water damage and mold. It may be cost effective to add more insulation than to fix serious plumbing problems in the future. Rerouting pipes may be a necessary step for homes in extremely cold climates. Pipes need to have sufficient insulation and warmth to perform properly throughout the year. Rerouting pipes is a drastic measure and can be very expensive.

If you encounter a frozen pipe in or around your home this winter, thaw the pipe with a heater or hair dryer. After the pipe has thawed, leave water running so it doesn’t freeze again. Don’t touch any water meter boxes. Call a professional Columbus plumber at Eco Plumbers if you are unsure of how to handle your frozen pipes.

Pipes that freeze can break during winter. If this happens, shut off all your water and water heater. If you can’t find the shut off for your water, call emergency services for help. If the burst pipe is on your property, you will likely be responsible for any repairs.

For more information about protecting your plumbing during the winter season, contact The Eco Plumbers. We have all the information you need to keep your plumbing safe through the colder months.

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