One of the biggest plumbing problems you can run into during the winter is frozen pipes. More than a simple inconvenience, frozen pipes are much more likely to rupture as the water in them expands. If you don’t want to deal with ruptured plumbing pipes this winter, you need to take steps to make sure that the pipes don’t freeze in the first place. Read on to find out more about how to prepare your pipes for winter.
Drain the System
Not all pipes are equally susceptible to freezing. Most of the plumbing is located in the walls and floors of your home, where they’re pretty well insulated against the cold. There are some areas, however, where the pipes are not as well-protected. Pipes located in the basement often aren’t insulated as well as the rest of the house. Pipes leading outside, such as for garden hoses and sprinklers, are also liable to freeze. To protect these pipes, turn off the water to them and leave the faucets open. This will allow most of the water in the pipes to drain out of the system, and gives the remaining water space to expand somewhere other than directly outward.
Insulate Pipes You Still Need to Use
The above tip is great for pipes you don’t plan on using all winter; you probably aren’t going to be watering your lawn much during the cold months, for example. Some pipes, though, like the ones under your sink or in your basement, are probably going to be in use all year round. To prevent these pipes from freezing, consider insulating them yourself. You can pick up special insulation sleeves from the hardware store for this purpose. Even wrapping towels around the pipes will be a lot better than leaving them unprotected.
If you need help with frozen pipes, call Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We serve all of Silver Spring, MD.