Despite the mild fall temperatures we have enjoyed, there are colder, and likely freezing, temperatures ahead this winter. The most common home plumbing issues during freezing weather conditions come from hose bibs, frozen pipes and areas where water is routed to the outdoors.
Taking these simple steps to prepare your home can help you avoid costly winter plumbing problems.
Turn off water to the outside.
The first step to winterizing your home is to locate your main water shutoff and turn off the water to the outside. Water can easily cause damage when left to sit in pipes that are susceptible to freezing temperatures. When the water freezes, it expands and pipes can burst due to the added pressure.
Winterize your hose bibbs.
Do you regularly winterize your outside hose bibbs? Some outside hose bibbs don’t need to be winterized. If you have recently purchased a new home, you’ll want to determine if the outside hose bibbs need to be winterized. If you live on or near the water, you’ll want to check pier lines in addition to the hose bibbs attached to the outside of your home.
Regardless of the location, the first step is to remove the garden hose and completely drain all of the water from the hose. Store your hose in a shed, basement, garage or similar location to protect it from extreme cold temperatures during the winter months.
Inspect your hose bibb (faucet) for any leaks or drips. These leaks and drips can lead to potential damage if the water freezes. A dry faucet is critical to avoiding damage. Turn off the water running to the outside to completely drain the hose bibb. Installing a frost-free outdoor faucet is a way to provide an additional layer of protection during the coldest winter days.
Avoid frozen pipes.
Take steps now to avoid frozen pipes. Determine if you have pipes that are located in areas such as unheated crawl spaces or basements. You may want to insulate these pipes to prevent frozen or bursting pipes.
To completely empty water line, use an air compressor to blow out your water lines. This process is best left to a professional! RV antifreeze can also be added to your plumbing fixtures to trap moisture and prevent damage.
If your pipes burst, it’s important to turn off all water valves immediately.
Hague Water of MD provides full-service residential plumbing to Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Counties in Maryland. Call Hague Water of MD at 410-757-2992 to set up a consultation to find the right solutions for your budget and needs.