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Preparing Your Pipes and Water Heater for Winter

Winter comes every year, yet homeowners all over the country still forget to winterize their water pipes to ensure that freezing water won’t ruin their system and necessitate an emergency need for a plumbing company in Annapolis to repair the plumbing problems.

Homeowners can and should prepare for a coming cold front. If you don’t prepare, it can cost you even more money in the future. Take these steps to prepare your home for freezing winter temperatures:

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  1. Before Winter

Much of the winterizing work should be done before it starts to get too cold. This way, you won’t wake up surprised by a cold snap and pipes that are frozen solid.

  • Find your water shutoff valve and check to make sure that it’s working properly. The worst time to find out that your water shutoff valve doesn’t work is right before a winter storm hits.
  • Insulate your plumbing. Every home is different, and some homes may require a little extra insulation in exposed piping to ensure that water in the pipes won’t freeze in a cold environment. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to wrap exposed pipes in areas that get particularly cold, like the basement.
  • Inspect your pipes. It’s always better to know in advance if your pipes are having any problems. This way, you can save yourself a headache once winter arrives.
  1. During the Winter:

Much of what you’ll do during the winter will depend on whether or not you’re occupying your home. If you’re winterizing your main residence, then pipe insulation is particularly important. If you’ll be away from the home, then we recommend the following steps.

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  • Keep the heat on. You’ll want to make sure that your home’s internal temperature doesn’t dip below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Disconnect any external hoses. If there’s water left in your outdoor hosing, it has the potential to break your hose, your tap and your pipes.
  • Turn off the main water valve. It’s important to do this first to ensure that you completely drain the pipes.
  • Drain the hot water heater. Your water heater likely has a draining valve specifically for times like this. If not, you may need to connect your garden hose to your water heater while it drains.
  • Open all taps and valves, including bathroom taps, kitchen faucets, and outdoor outlets. If water comes out, open it up and drain whatever water you can. Flush your toilet until it is out of water.
  • Turn off your sprinkler system. The freezing cold has been known to completely destroy sprinkler systems unless they are turned off and drained during the winter.
  1. If Your Pipes Freeze:

Sometimes, it’s difficult to take an effective stand against Mother Nature, and you’ll need to defrost your pipes. In a situation like this, it’s important to avoid using an open flame on your pipes. Simply wrap the afflicted pipe in towels and pour hot water over it to allow the pipe to slowly thaw.

For more help with winterizing or frozen pipes, contact Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992 today!

Sources

  1. http://www.medfordwater.org/Page.asp?NavID=191
  2. http://ghcsd.com/winterize-your-pipes/
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-winterize-plumbing-pipes-844862
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/winterizing-pipes/