5 Tips to Winterize Plumbing and Pipes

Leave a Comment - 6


m naruta

Subject: Letting faucets drip

Please have your expert check the information. The water pipes already hold the water pressure. The pipes crack when the water turns to ice and expands in size. Running water doesn't allow the water to freeze.

However, my brother-in-law was having trouble with his water pipes freezing in his manufactured home. I think he had a problem with the skirting. He left a trickle of water running and his water pipes did not freeze. However, his sewer pipe froze shut with ice from the draining water. If you think not getting water is a problem, just think about not being able to get rid of water.

At an older house, we had a problem with a water pipe freezing in an INTERIOR wall. Turned out there was an air path from the basement, up two stories, to the attic. I opened a hole in the wall where the pipe was, carefully thawed it with heat, then blocked the "chimney" above the pipe before patching the hole.

Alan Meeker

Subject: Freeze protection

Please update this by a plumber. One should never put insulation between a heat source and water lines. The thermal envelope of a home should be as far out as the home construction (i.e. crawlspace too). BTW: they do break where they froze.....right there,
We typically find frozen meters in the lawn, under their cast iron lids. Ask your water company for an insulation pad if the meter lid sticks above grade (you have to mow around it instead of over it).
Sometimes a water line will freeze where it passes through the fundation wall due to heat loss above the line. This will happen even several feet below grade. Foam board a couple of inches thick works best in fundation vents.


Subject: Mystery Water

New house (to us), new problems! Water appears for no apparent reason out of the floor of the basement. We can go a week & nothing, then there's a small puddle or a small stream always im the same area of the floor. Any ideas?

Ron Williams

Subject: Humidifier & Sump Pump discharge

A. it looks like the our humidifier H2O discharge pvc pipe goes into the sump pump well. Is this the correct method?

B. What is the correct way to drain the sump pump H2O discharge too the outside - to prevent the water from freezing inside the discharge pipe?

Is there any written documentation for either of the above?

Thank you for any feed back.


Subject: freezing pipes

The advice to have the faucets drip in extreme cold can sometimes cause an even bigger problem in cold climates.

The sewer lateral that goes from the house to the sewer or septic system can freeze solid from the slow drip. The laterals are supposed to be below the frost line / depth but often are not. In extreme weather the frost depth sometimes goes deeper into the ground than the design depth of the lateral.

If the lateral freezes you have a very bad situation as you cannot use any water for anything. Thawing a frozen lateral can be difficult and nasty.

Better to invest in proper insulation and heat tape.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.