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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How to Prep Your Plumbing for Winter


It may only be fall, but soon enough we’ll be dealing with below-freezing nights, and the need to prepare you home. More specifically, you need to prepare your plumbing.

Once our temperatures drop to 30°F and below, your pipes are in danger of freezing. This might not seem like an urgent need, however, if you’ve reached the middle of January to suddenly find yourself with a frozen or even burst pipe, you’ll wish you had taken precautionary steps.

That’s what we’re going to discuss today. We want to help you take the steps to ensure that frozen or burst pipes don’t impact your home. Taking warning now means it won’t be a concern later. The thing is, it’s not so much the frozen pipe itself that’s the problem, but what happens when that frozen pipe starts to thaw—it creates negative pressure in the pipes, and that’s what leads to burst plumbing. So, what can you do to avoid this?

Shut Off and Open Your Outdoor Faucets

The first step in prepping your plumbing for winter is to open your outdoor faucets and let the water drain out. Then, you’ll shut off these faucets at the valve. This prevents them from freezing, and cracking as a result of this. If you still see water dripping from the faucets after you’ve shut off the valve, then you might need a new valve altogether.

Disconnect and Drain Your Hoses

Leaving your hoses sitting out all winter long with water inside of them is not a good idea. True, this won’t lead to frozen pipes, but it will certainly lead to frozen hoses that can suffer from the same consequences as your pipes. Plus, if those hoses are connected to faucets outside, that can lead to problems too. So, disconnect your hoses, drain them, and store them in a dry location such as your garage or shed.

Purchase Pipe Insulating Sleeves

Are there pipes within your household that are more susceptible to freezing than others? We’re going to say “yes,” if you have plumbing in an unfinished basement! Fortunately, there are pipe insulating sleeves you can purchase at just about any hardware store. They’re designed to protect your pipes from freezing temperatures.

Another option if you have some old towels handy is to wrap your pipes up that way. Anything that might keep the temperature inside your pipes steady works!

When the Weather Cools, Open Your Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Think about the pipes that run beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. These pipes are connected to the rest of your plumbing system, which can be in outdoor-facing walls. This makes them susceptible to freezing and burst pipes.

However, if you leave the cabinet doors open where these pipes are located, you allow in the heat from your heating system, preventing this issue. Of course, you don’t need to take this step now, but it’s a good tip to keep in mind once the temperatures do drop below freezing.

For more great plumbing tips and excellent service on your plumbing in Santa Fe, NM, contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration today!

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