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Tips for Preparing for Winter Plumbing

November 22, 2023

Winter Plumbing Tips

Winter plumbing can get frustrating and tedious. But freezing temperatures in the winter months can cause serious damage to your home’s plumbing system. Before it gets too cold, make sure you follow these winterization tips for preparing your water lines and drain lines for the winter. They could save you a lot of time and money, not to mention the inconvenience of living in a house with busted pipes!

At Hy-Pro Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, we are committed to helping our customers in Ontario maintain healthy pipes all year round by providing professional maintenance services and efficient plumbing repairs. Let us help you stay on top of your winter plumbing preparations with our reliable annual inspections. For immediate assistance, call our friendly customer service reps at 1-877-554-9776 or read on to learn more about our plumbing winterization tips.

Pipe Insulation

This is one of the easiest steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes during the cold season. Nothing is more worrying than frozen water in your supply lines, especially without you knowing until you experience a decrease in water pressure or signs of water leaks.

During your winter plumbing preparation, search your home for exposed pipes that you can thoroughly examine. They could be in your attic, basement, or even under your floor. If you find that these pipes don’t receive adequate heat, you should insulate them.

As part of your winter plumbing, wrap these pipes with insulation foam to help protect your residential plumbing from the extreme cold. Insulating foam from the hardware store doesn’t cost much for winter plumbing duties and is also very easy to install. Another option is to ask your plumbing technician to install heat cables around your water pipes.

To avoid winter plumbing problems, such as basement flooding and pipe bursts, you should also insulate any outdoor spigots or outdoor hose bibs. Several manufacturers make insulating products that fit right over them. Many hose bibs also have shut-off valves, or you can ask your certified plumber to install a frost-free hose bib for you. But, most importantly, turn off the water so that it can’t reach the outside.

Another important winter plumbing maintenance to consider includes your sump pump because its discharge pipe is prone to freezing. We recommend checking with your licensed plumber about what they can do to redirect the pipe, so it’s not exposed to cold temperatures.

Leaky Pipe Repair

Leaky pipes are a common winter plumbing issue because they tend to freeze more easily than those that aren’t leaking. That makes it important for you to search the interior and exterior of your home for even small leaks.

Do this before the temperatures drop too far. Once a leaky pipe freezes, you’ll have a hard time fixing it (you’ll also run the risk of a pipe burst, which could lead to water damage, mould, basement floods, and other problems).

If you have foam insulation in place (good for you!), you can check for leaks by feeling around the insulation for wet areas. Any moist area probably indicates a leak. Remove the insulation for a closer look. In the event of a leak, apply some plumber’s tape or a repair clamp to temporarily fix the issue and call a qualified plumber for leak repair and proper winter plumbing maintenance.

Winterize Outdoor Faucet and Irrigation Systems

Most high-quality sprinkler systems are designed to handle cold weather. Still, you want to give them some extra protection during your winter plumbing maintenance. This way, they won’t break before the spring thaw.

Start by turning off the water running to the sprinkler system. Once you have turned off the source, remove water from the irrigation system so that it cannot freeze. Newer systems usually have drains that will eliminate the water automatically. If yours does not, or you aren’t sure whether it does, then you can drain the pipes manually by turning on the sprinklers and letting them run until they stop putting out water. Standard garden hoses should be detached from the outdoor faucet, drained and put away.

Protecting your outdoor water supply system is essential, and we highly recommend that you schedule regular maintenance services to ensure that your backflow preventer is working properly so as to not have contaminated water flowing through your water lines. During a winter plumbing maintenance appointment, our professional plumber will also make sure that your shut-off valves are turned off, and water lines are clear.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Not many people are aware that it’s essential to winterize their water heater tank, especially if the system is situated in a non-heated area and you’re living in a cold climate. Water heater breakdown is a common plumbing issue that homeowners experience in the colder months.

A part of essential water heater maintenance includes periodic flushing of the hot water tank because, over time, the accumulation of sediment at the tank’s bottom can lead to rust and other issues. We bet that during the winter season, you count on your hot showers and baths, so winter plumbing upkeep is essential! The last thing you need during the holiday season is your heater to break down and deliver nothing but cold water. When you hire our experienced plumbers, you won’t ever have to worry about system malfunction or heat loss.

Need Help With Your Winter Plumbing Preparation?

These tips are meant to prepare your household pipes for the harsh winter. By taking a few preventative steps, you can give your pipes a fighting chance no matter when a cold snap hits.

However, when you discover frozen pipes or run into some kind of winter plumbing problem, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-554-9776 to get a skilled plumber to provide you with professional winter plumbing maintenance services.

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