faucet sock over outdoor hose bib on brick house

Winterize Your Plumbing: Your Must-Have Checklist

The last thing anyone wants to deal with in the middle of a freezing night is a burst pipe. With below-freezing temperatures just around the corner, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for a cold snap now.

Use the following checklist to make sure your home’s interior and exterior are ready to take on icy weather.

Winterizing Your Home’s Outdoor Plumbing

Take these steps to prepare your outdoor plumbing before freezing temperatures arrive.

  • Drain your sprinkler system. If there’s water left in the pipes or any sprinkler heads, it could freeze and cause the pipes in your sprinkler system to burst. Depending on your sprinkler system, you can drain it manually, automatically, or use a blow-out method.
  • Shut off the water to your outdoor faucets. Locate the valves that control water flow to your outdoor faucets, and shut the water off there. Then turn on your outdoor faucets so that they can drain.
  • Insulate your outdoor faucets. Covering the taps with weatherproof, outdoor faucet socks with help protect them from icy winds and prevent freezing. Never attempt to insulate your faucets with any material that will absorb water and freeze, like towels or newspaper.

Winterizing Your Home’s Indoor Plumbing

These preventative measures will help protect your pipes during the coldest days and nights of the year.

  • Seal air leaks around your home. Air leaks can occur in numerous locations, but some easy places to correct them are around doors and windows. Use caulk to seal gaps around stationary windows and weatherstripping on doors and windows that move.
  • Insulate unprotected pipes with polyethylene foam insulation on top of a layer of electrical tape. There are several places where your home’s pipes could be exposed to cold temperatures, including the crawl space, attic, and garage. Some pipes might also run through exterior walls from your home’s interior.
  • Update your home’s insulation where needed. If your home is especially cold above the crawl space, or if it loses a lot of heat through the attic, consult an insulation expert. They can help you achieve a home that’s not only more comfortable but also more energy-efficient.

Preventing Frozen Pipes During a Cold Snap

Typically, the weather needs to be about 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below before pipes will freeze. Once you start seeing temperatures in the twenties, get prepared to take the following measure to prevent frozen pipes.

  • Make sure all of your windows and doors are firmly shut.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • Keep your home’s temperature at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets so warmth from your home can reach the plumbing.
  • Let your faucets run at a trickle.
  • Make sure you know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is in case a pipe bursts.

Do you need help with a plumbing crisis? At The Rooter Works Plumbing and Drains, our Columbus plumbers are ready to assist you with burst pipes, backflow emergencies, and more: (614) 412-3324.