8 Tips On How To Winterize Pipes and Plumbing Devices
Autumn is the perfect time to begin winterizing your home's steel pipes and plumbing fixtures to avoid having issues as the temperature drops. Here is a list of tips to protect a home's plumbing system, along with the materials that you will need for the process.
Winterizing Tip 1:
Inspect Your Home's Interior and Exterior Plumbing Devices
You should begin by inspecting your home's interior and exterior plumbing systems to find the problems that require repair, researching what types of winterizing items you will need to purchase, and making a list of the things of those items to avoid making multiple trips.
While you may have the ability to fix many degraded plumbing devices on your own, you may need to hire a knowledgeable plumber for some of the repairs. You can follow this checklist to hire a professional and certified plumber that can do your work with perfection.
Winterizing Tip 2:
Check the Main Water Valves
Locate/mark the main water valves. In an emergency situation, you may need to turn these valves off right away to prevent any flooding in your home. It is a good idea to paint the handle of the valve in a bright color to make it easier to find when it is dark outside or if there is snow on the ground.
You can keep an exterior water valve from freezing by covering it with an insulating device that will protect it from the snow and ice. In a non-emergency situation, if you are going to turn off the water valve, you should drain the pipes completely first.
Winterizing Tip 3:
Drain Your Home's Water Heater
If you want to prolong the life of your home's water heater, then you should drain its holding tank. This requires turning off the appliance's power first. Make sure you’ve read the manual so you understand how to do this safely.
You will need buckets to drain the water heater properly. To do this efficiently, you may want to protect your home's floors or carpets with waterproof tarps. There are also special hoses that you can attach to the water heater to drain its water and the collection of sediments.
The removal of the sediments can keep the holding tank from degrading. If the water heater's tank does begin to rust, then you must replace it right away. Doing this during Autumn is most efficient because this can be a difficult process to do during the winter.
Winterizing Tip 4:
Seal Crevices and Holes in Your Home
Buy liquid caulking to seal the holes and crevices of your home to keep it warmer during the winter. These openings occur along the foundation of a home as well as around the window's frames and doorways. You should also seal any openings that are around utility lines, making sure to turn off the power first to avoid any dangers. Sealing these openings will prevent drafts that can lead to frozen water pipes.
Winterizing Tip 5:
Check Your Home's Toilets
Toilets often develop issues during the winter as the water freezes in the drainage system. This can lead to overflowing incidents. When you have older toilets, the devices are more likely to have problems, so you may want to replace the fixtures before winter begins. Take time to make sure that the heated air from a home's furnace can circulate around the toilets of your home to prevent freezing in the drainage pipes.
Winterizing Tip 6:
Add Insulation to Your Home
By adding insulation to your home, you can keep it warmer, ensuring that the pipes won't freeze and expand. You can place additional insulation in your home's ceilings along with having loose insulation blown into the walls of your home. There are also insulating devices that you can insert behind electrical outlets and switch plates to prevent drafts.
Winterizing Tip 7:
Open Cabinet Doors So that the Warm Air Can Circulate
It is essential to have warm air circulating in your home around the water pipes and the plumbing fixtures. You may need to open basement and cabinet doors as the temperature drops to avoid frozen pipes, faucets or toilets. In addition, you can turn up the heat slightly in your home to keep pipes warmer when the temperature is extremely cold. If your home's furnace isn't keeping the building warm enough, you may need to use a fireplace or electric space heaters as an extra precaution.
Winterizing Tip 8:
Wrapping Pipes with Insulating Tape
Visit a home improvement store to buy insulating tape for your home's pipes. This tape is lined with foam material that will protect the steel pipes from the cold temperatures of winter. It is self-adhesive, so you can wrap it around the exterior and interior pipes of your home's pipes. Choose a warm day to complete this job rather than waiting until it is too cold to work in a basement or a crawl space.