Protect your plumbing this winter

Protect your plumbing this winter

Depending upon where you live, you can expect winter’s cold temperatures to dip into sub-zero levels. As the cold ensues, your pipes are at risk for freezing, exploding and causing significant water and internal damage. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take in order to protect your pipes and your house.

Follow these tips to beat the winter weather:

Open your cabinet doors. Allow the warm air of your home to circulate under the sink in both your kitchen and in the bathrooms. The warm air will help heat the pipes and ensure the water is flowing smoothly.

Insulate. Pipes will burst when the water freezes. It is especially common for pipes to be affected as they run through unheated crawl spaces, garages or in outside walls. Before winter’s arrival, make sure these locations have proper insulation. You can purchase pipe insulation at most hardware stores, or use electric heating tape when inclement weather is predicted. Be sure to seal all seams with tape to prevent the cold air from blowing in.

Leave faucets trickling. Moving water doesn't freeze as easily. If you allow faucets to trickle when low temperatures are forecasted, you may avoid freezing water in your pipes.

Turn off the main valve. When you plan to leave for long periods of time, shut off the water supply by turning off the main valve.

Detach hoses. Outside hoses can retain water. Make sure to remove them from outside faucets in order to prevent the pipes from freezing and causing damage.

Make inspections. Since it is colder outside, the heater has to work harder to keep the water warm, so check your water heater and all connections to make sure it is in tip-top shape. Test the pressure release valve and remove any sediment build-up.

A professional plumber can properly inspect your water heater and pipes to help ensure your winter months are problem-free. Sign in to Angie’s List to read trusted consumer reviews on highly rated Chicago plumbers.

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