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5 Preventative Winter Plumbing Tips

Winter is on the way – is your home ready?

Harsh winter weather and freezing temperatures can be hard on your plumbing, but a few simple steps taken now can help protect it.

As you prepare for the coming winter season, protect your plumbing fixtures and your home from frozen and burst pipes with these five steps:

Fix Plumbing Leaks

Water leaks, no matter the season, waste a significant amount of water and add to utility expenses. The sooner you address them, the better. However, when a leaky area freezes in the winter, the expanding water will cause further damage. The increased size of the leak means the repair is greater as well, which will cost more money for the repair.

Disconnect Outdoor Plumbing

Remember to take  all outdoor garden hoses off of your outside faucets so it doesn’t freeze and rupture the hose (hoses are expensive!).

Drain down the outdoor shower. We find people often forget about this outdoor shower convenience, only to find the pipes burst or shower fixtures ruined from frozen water come springtime.

Install a Freeze-Proof Spigot

A freeze-proof outdoor faucet is the answer to protecting your water pipes going to outdoor spigots. This type of outdoor faucet looks and operates the same as any other spigot, but it has an extra-long barrel. It’s designed for installation on the side of the house. The longer pipe reaches further into the warmer area of your house, where the water is kept behind a shutoff valve that won’t freeze.

Shut the Garage Door

People often forget water pipes in and around the garage during winter, and leave the garage door open for extended periods of time. This large open area lets in frigid temperatures very quickly, so be sure to close the garage door promptly during winter months.

Protect Your Home if You’re Going Away

If you’re going on vacation during the cold winter months, even for a short period of time, don’t set you thermostats below 62 degrees. Many people think that 50 degrees is fine, but this will leave colder areas of your house vulnerable to freezing temperatures when the overall heat is kept that low. The cost of burst pipes and the damage they cause is far more expensive than spending a few dollars more maintaining a higher thermostat temperature.

If you are going out of town for an extended period of time, more than a couple weeks, it is not a bad idea to shut the water main off for the house and drain your interior pipes. Then you can turn the heat off, or leave it turned down low, and still protect your pipes.

Have a Good Plumber on Speed Dial

Getting your home and your plumbing systems ready for winter isn’t difficult, but it does require a little bit of attention. If you have any plumbing concerns or active water leaks, give Gelinas HVAC a call so we can do some plumbing repairs before winter hits. 

We also offer plumbing winterizing services if you’re headed to warmer destinations this winter and want to shut down your water and plumbing. As always, we have 24/7 emergency plumbing services available if you get into trouble.