If you live in a location where temperatures dip below freezing in the winter season, then it’s important to prepare your home’s plumbing system for cold weather. Even if you live in a more temperate region, like the Central Valley towns of Modesto, Fresno, Stockton, or Tracy, California, there are important steps to take to prepare for winter weather. How do you prepare your plumbing for winter? Here are some helpful tips; and if you need an expert’s guidance, call the experienced plumbers at Plumbers 911!
During the winter we experience cooler temperatures and colder weather. The cold weather can cause problems for your home’s plumbing, especially the pipes in your plumbing system. Pipes can freeze and break in cold weather conditions; generally, pipes start freezing at 20°F. Pipes freeze due to water freezing inside the pipe, not because of ice forming around the outside of the pipe. In freezing weather, the water inside the pipes expands, causing the water pressure to increase downstream between the faucet at the top and the ice blockage down below. The increase in water pressure is what causes pipe breakage, often resulting in expensive repairs.
Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for the Winter Season
Know Where the Location of your Shut-off Valve
Often, the shut-off valve is installed in the crawl space or basement, or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. You’ll want to know where your home’s water shut-off valve is because if a pipe breaks, you want to immediately know where to shut off the water
Insulate Vulnerable Water Pipes
Generally, the pipes attached to exterior walls, near windows, and inside unheated basements are the ones that will quickly freeze at the first sign of freezing temperatures. By proactively wrapping these vulnerable pipes with insulation you can help avoid a costly frozen burst pipe.
Drain Water Sprinklers and Hoses
Before the first freezing temperatures hit your area, turn off all outdoor faucets, disconnect the hoses, and drain all water from the sprinklers and hoses. You’ll also want to disconnect them from outdoor faucets. If your house has a water valve for the outdoor water supply, turn it off and fully drain the pipes and hoses, because any amount of freezing water can damage the pipes.
Know Where the Location of your Curb Stop Valve
It’s also important to know the location of your home’s curb, or streetside, shut off valve. This valve is located at the beginning of your water main, at the boundary line of your property and the street or sidewalk. Look for a ground-level metal or plastic utility box trap door. If a plumbing emergency occurs, you’ll be able to easily guide the plumbers to the shut off valve.
More Helpful Tips for the Winter Season
Keep Your Pipes Flowing
One way to avoid water freezing inside your pipes is to keep one or two faucets slightly open; this greatly reduces the chance of freezing water inside pipes. You can avoid letting the water go to waste by collecting it for reuse for other household purposes.
Keep Your Doors Shut
You can help prevent damage due to cold weather by keeping your doors, particularly your garage doors, tightly shut throughout the winter months. By keeping doors shut, you can minimize the freezing air that comes in and damages vulnerable pipes.
Whether you live in the Central Valley, or anywhere in California, you don’t want to be caught under-prepared for winter. It’s important to be prepared for the cold weather, so you can avoid costly repairs. Follow these helpful tips to prepare your home and your plumbing system for the winter. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to call Plumbers 911! If you are in Modesto, Fresno, or Tracy, or any other Central Valley town, our licensed and experienced plumbers are here to help you prepare your plumbing for the winter season. Give Plumbers 911 a call today!