Clearing your outdoor plumbing is very important to do before the first frost. It can help prevent costly repair bills and painful headaches down the road. Below you’ll find some basic tips to help prepare your outdoor plumbing before the cold hits this winter.
Protect Your Pipes
Pipes don’t burst where they freeze, they actually break down from water pressure, usually somewhere between a closed water faucet and the section of frozen pipe. When you prepare your outdoor plumbing from freezing weather, you greatly reduce the risk of a broken pipe. Pipes that are located in the exterior walls of your home are also susceptible to breaking, and can quickly flood your home if they burst.
Check all of your outdoor faucets, including any damage that might have been done to them over winter. Drain all water from your garden hoses, and store them somewhere dry for the winter months. If your outdoor faucets have shut-off valves, close them, then let the remaining water drain out. If your pipes do not have shut-off valves, pipe insulation is your new best friend. Wrap your faucet with foam insulation and place a styrofoam cap on top. You can find everything you’ll need to do this at your local hardware store.
Your sprinkler system should be drained and winterized, and you can do this by consulting your sprinklers manual. Winterizing your sprinkler system can be a multi-step job, and you may need professional help to get the job done.
Gutters are a key aspect of plumbing when it comes to keep water out of and away from your home. Before snow hits, clear your gutters of all debris, including dead leaves, pine needles, and pine cones to help prevent build ups and standing water in your gutters. Cleaning out your gutters can also prevent leaf rot and mildew, and can also prevent water building up and getting under your gutters. Freezing water can also cause gutters to freeze and expand, which damages them further.