Sure, Uncle Darryl’s political comments can put a damper on holiday dinners. But you know what would really end the holiday season on a bad note? A frozen or broken pipe, or a living room full of water. Here are a few of the things you can do now to avoid emergency plumbing pipe repairs and prepare your house plumbing for winter.
Drain Your Outdoor Pipes & Irrigation
As the outdoor temperatures make their way to sub-freezing levels, even tiny accumulations of water in your outdoor faucets can cause big problems. Drain and unhook any gardening hoses and turn off the water supply valve to those outdoor faucets. Then leave the faucet open to allow for full drainage. And don’t forget to winterize your sprinkler system!
Insulate Your Pipes
Most of your plumbing is contained within the insulated space of your home. However, there are some pipes that run through unconditioned areas of a home that may be more susceptible to winter temperatures. These are most often in the basement or crawl space, where outside temperatures are likely to infiltrate through cracks and gaps in your home.
Insulating your plumbing pipes can provide a barrier between your plumbing and your basement, protecting them from freezing.
Encapsulate the Basement
The other way to look at preventing your basement pipes from freezing is to bring your basement or crawlspace into the conditioned environment of your home. By insulating your basement, air sealing it, and installing a moisture and vapor barrier, we can stabilize the temperature in the area underneath your home, as well as the rest of your living space. We call this process basement encapsulation.
Keep Your Heat “On” or Let Faucets Drip
Though we spent most of this article talking about pipes outside of your conditioned living space, the pipes inside your home are also at risk of freezing if not properly attended to. Leaving the house for a few days? Going on an extra holiday vacation? Make sure you open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and keep your thermostat heat set to at least 55ºF.
Because most homes are underinsulated, pipes inside a home can freeze when the furnace is off, or has broken down for multiple days at a time. Another way to slow the process of freezing is to leave a faucet on at just a slight drip, keeping the water moving through the pipes.
Need a Little Plumbing Help? Ask AAA Northgate!
One of the benefits of trusting AAA Northgate’s plumbers in Peoria, IL for your plumbing needs is that we can also assess how other inefficiencies throughout your home could be contributing to your plumbing issues, through our comprehensive home energy audit.
Our full plumbing services include:
- Water heater and boiler repair & replacement
- Drain cleaning & sewer main replacement
- Water treatment & water softening
- Emergency plumbing services