How to Winterize Your Plumbing
- Outdoor Water Faucets – Disconnect Hose, then turn off the inside shut off valve for the outside faucet. Turn the faucet on and allow all the water to drain out. Leave the faucet in the “on” position for the winter. Tip: Make sure the piping to your outside faucet pitches away from the house, otherwise all your work will be for nothing anyway because the water will build up the piping.
- Water Heater Tune Up – More water heaters fail in the wintertime than any other time of the year. The water coming into your house is colder than the rest of the year, making your water heater work harder. Schedule your Water Heater Tune-Up to ensure maximum efficiency and to catch problems before they become big ones.
- If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall and you have problems with it freezing, keep the cabinet doors. This will allow the warm air in.
- Avoid Freezing Pipes – Most frozen pipe situations are preventable. If you do inspection of the areas of the outside of your house near the water pipes. You can see things that may need to be addressed. There should be insulation in the sill above your basement wall and below the first floor. If you see any gaps or cracks to outside, use an expandable foam insulation to fill them and keep that cold wind from blowing right onto your pipes. Finally, if it is going to be a severely sub-zero night, you can open your faucets just a little bit. You will waste some water, but moving is water is a lot harder to freeze.
- Sump Pump Discharge – it can be really surprising how much your sump pump will run even when the ground is frozen solid and covered in snow. This is, potentially, a very dangerous time for your basement. If the discharge piping for your sump pump is back-pitched or partially plugged up, it can lead to freezing. This will give the water you are trying to pump out nowhere to go. Also if you have a long discharge hose, disconnect it or replace it with the shortest hose possible for the winter to prevent freezing. The best case scenario in this situation is you notice your pump running for a long period of time and then burning out. The worst case is a flood in the basement.