Preparing Your Plumbing For Winter

You can avoid frozen pipes, hoses, and outdoor water bibs, as well as the resulting plumbing repair bills, by performing a few preventive tasks before freezing temperatures arrive. These tasks include:

Remove and store your garden hoses

You can save your garden hoses for the next summer season by following a few simple steps:

  • Detach the hose from the water supply bib
  • Remove any sprayer or sprinkler attachment
  • Drain the hose completely
  • Stretch the hose to its full length, turning it to remove any kinks
  • Roll the hose carefully and store it inside your home.

When you detach the hose from the supply bib and attachments, be certain that the rubber washer stays inside the female hose coupling, so it will not need to be replaced in the spring.

By stretching out the hose, removing the kinks, and storing it indoors, you will save you hose from cracking from freezing temperatures, especially along the fault lines caused by kinks.

Preparing your outdoor supply bib from freezing

Another reason for removing your hose in the winter is to protect your outdoor bib (faucet). If the hose remains attached and not properly drained, water can freeze inside the bib and render it useless and in need of replacement.

You will also need to turn off the supply line to the bib. This can be done by shutting off the valve that controls the flow of water to the supply pipe that feeds the bib.

When the valve is shut off, the bib should be opened as much as possible to allow the water inside the pipe, and any residual water inside the bib, to drain. Keep the bib open for the duration of the winter season. If any water remains inside the pipe or bib and freezes, it will be able to expand through the open bib rather than inside the pipe or bib.

Preparing your indoor pipes from freezing

If any of your indoor pipes are located in poorly insulated basement rooms that can dip below freezing in severely cold weather, you should install insulated pipe wrap to help pipes to keep from freezing.

Installing insulated pipe wrap is simple. You just wrap it around a pipe and tape it so it is secure. Of course, pipe wrap insulation doesn't supply heat, so if you are facing unusually frigid temperatures, you might consider using a portable electric heater to keep the room temperature just warm enough to protect your pipes from freezing. 

Keep a thermometer in the room to be sure that it is above the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celcius). It might save you from a plumbing service call in the spring to repair or replace a burst pipe. For more tips, contact a local plumbing company like Aalco-The Drain Doctor