Prepare Your Home For Winter Weather
Cold winter weather can lead to severe and expensive damage to the plumbing of your home. Luckily, there are many precautions you can take to weatherize your home to prevent costly impacts. Follow these steps to avoid freezing pipes, pipes bursting, water line breaks, and water heater complications.
Before Cold or Freezing Temperatures
- Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. Once drained, cover the faucet to prevent freezing
- Turn off and drain all irrigation systems
- Insulate pipes in unheated areas such as your garage, basement, crawl space, or attic
- Know how to shut off the water to your house in case of emergency, and make sure all residents know as well
- Frequently run warm water to prevent pipes from freezing
During the Cold or Freezing Temperatures
- Open cabinet and cupboard doors under any sinks to allow the heat to warm pipes
- Keep a steady drip of water flowing to keep water moving, making it less likely to freeze
- If you will be away from your residence for an extended period of time, consider shutting off your water to proactively avoid any damages
- Keep your heat set to at least 55 degrees
What to do if Your Pipes Freeze
To start, try and determine which pipes are frozen by trying to turn on different faucets throughout the residence. If some faucets work, but some do not, the pipes inside your home are frozen. Once thawed, frozen pipes tend to break and leak. Local hardware stores carry leak repair supplies for an easy fix. However, be ready to immediately turn off the water, in the event of emergency. If you have tried all faucets and none of them function, the frozen pipes may be outside by the street. Your local Portland OR plumber is on call to help in these situations.
If you suspect any of your pipes are frozen, it is important to never thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. Your pipe will burst, and you may even start a fire. Instead, try applying hot air to the pipe with a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner.
What to do if Your Pipe Breaks
- Cold Water Pipe: Turn off the main water valve. Water will not be available to your home until the broken pipe is repaired.
- Hot Water Pipe: Turn off the water to your water heater. Cold water will still be available throughout your home.