Frozen pipes are a common problem during the winter, especially when you have plumbing on the outside of your home. Outdoor plumbing is harder to protect from the elements for obvious reasons, but it still needs to be protected if you don’t want to deal with burst pipes and a costly plumbing repair in the spring. Fortunately, most of what you can do to winterize your outdoor plumbing is relatively easy; many of them boil down to common sense. With that being said, here are just a few things you can do to protect your outdoor plumbing during the winter.
Shut Off the Water to Your Outdoor Faucets
The first and most obvious thing you should do with your outdoor faucets is to drain them and shut them off. This is as simple as locating the main shutoff valve for your outdoor plumbing, turning it off, opening the outdoor faucets and letting them drain. As simple as this task is, many homeowners neglect it every year. While it may be true that not shutting off your outdoor plumbing won’t guarantee that your pipes will freeze and burst, having water in your pipes during the coldest months of the year will still do some damage that you may not notice until you need them in the spring or summer.
Check the Caulking Around Outdoor Faucets
Your outdoor plumbing has to enter your home somewhere, and these entry points are often vulnerable to cold air that can freeze the pipes in your basement. To prevent this from happening, check to make sure that there is a tight seal around these entry points. Add some caulking if you notice a draft or a gap.
Keep Hoses Disconnected
This may sound like an obvious tip, but you should keep your garden hoses disconnected from your outdoor faucets once winter starts to roll around. Many people who use garden hoses regularly keep them attached to their faucets for the sake of convenience, but they sometimes forget about them in the winter. Start keeping your hoses disconnected when you don’t need them in the fall so that it becomes habit. This way, you won’t have to worry about leaving them attached when the temperature drops to below freezing.
Insulate Exterior Pipes
Many homeowners have the tendency to pay more attention to insulating indoor pipes, you can still do the same thing with exterior pipes. Once again, this doesn’t take a lot of work; a layer of foam pipe insulation or even newspaper is often enough to do the job. Secure whatever insulation you use with duct tape.
Check for Freezing
Finally, you should be checking throughout the winter to make sure that your outdoor pipes aren’t frozen. Simply turn the water to the outdoor faucets back on and see if the water flows freely. If it does, it means that you have no ice in your pipes. Turn the water back off, and continue doing what you’re doing until the weather starts to get warmer.
Make sure your home is ready for winter with the help of Mister Sewer. From sewer troubles to plumbing problems, our team of expert technicians is trained to handle it all. No matter what your problem is, contact Mister Sewer today and let us lend you a helping hand.