A misconception people have when it comes to winter plumbing emergencies is that pipes will burst at the point at which freezing begins to occur. The truth of the matter though is that these cracks tend to develop somewhere between your closed faucet and where ice begins to form. This is because as the ice starts causing a blockage, there will be an increase in pressure in your piping. Since the faucets are closed, this pressure will have nowhere to go but widthwise, leading to a burst pipe. This can lead to expensive emergency plumbing repairs and could even require complete replacement of your piping. This is why it is prudent to winterize your plumbing, whether you will be in town or not during these freezing months. Here are some handy tips to winterizing your plumbing.
Invest in insulation for your piping
The first place to start when it comes to winterizing your plumbing is trying to prevent your pipes from freezing. The best way to do this would be through investing in insulation for your piping. It should be noted that pipe insulation should be carried out on pipes that are located in areas of the home that are unheated as these pipes would be the most susceptible to freezing. Pipe insulation can be purchased from your local hardware store in the form of tubes. These tubes are typically made from polyethylene but you could also purchase them in fiberglass. To purchase the correct size of insulation tubes, ensure you take the diametric measurements of your pipes. For an additional protective layer against freezing, you could choose to wrap the pipes in heat tape before covering them with the insulation tubes.
Have a faucet dripping during the winter
Ranted, dripping faucets tend to be a homeowner's nightmare as they signal a leak somewhere in the home. However, during the winter months, a dripping faucet could make the difference between protecting your pipes and having to deal with a plumbing emergency. When a faucet is left dripping, it works to eliminate any buildup of pressure in your piping. Therefore, even if your piping starts experiencing ice blockages, they pipes will not burst as there will be no pressure growing within the plumbing.
Have all exterior cracks in your home repaired
Holes, cracks and crevices on the exterior walls of your home allow cold air and drafts to make their way to your plumbing. When winter is approaching, it is best to have all these openings fixed through caulking or using some foam insulation. This reduces the chances of cold air coming into direct contact with your plumbing during the colder months.Share