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- Avoid getting frozen pipes. You will need to watch the water pressure during this time of year, because the first tell-tale sign of a frozen pipe is the water flow being restricted. This means that you will notice that even though you have turned on the spout all the way, the water is barely trickling from it. If you do notice this, you should act quickly and call a professional plumbing service immediately.
- Let cold water trickle down from your faucets, but only a small amount (about the width of a pencil), during the night when the temperatures are at their coldest peak. This will prevent the pipes from freeze, because moving water cannot freeze.
- You should quickly disconnect any garden hoses and then drain any of your outdoor pipes that will be exposed to the cold during the winter. This will prevent damage, and also prevent your pipes from freezing. When a hose is connected during a cold snap, ice can begin to form and pressure will begin to build, causing the pipes to freeze and burst. After this happens, a water line leak or break may occur and cause severe damage to the home.
- After you disconnect the garden hoses, you will then need to install an exterior insulated faucet jacket. This will protect your outdoor faucets and their connecting supply lines from freezing temperatures.
- You will want to utilize the shut-off valves that are located inside of your home, because these will drain the water from pipes that lead to the outdoor hose bibs. Usually, these valves are found under sinks, crawl spaces, or in basements. They can also be found near your water heater or meter in older homes, but every home is different and some homes may not even be equipped with these valves at all.
- Keep warm air circulating throughout your house, as this will keep the pipes in your walls from freezing up. Make sure that the temperature in your home is always above 55 degrees Fahrenheit as it will prevent the pipes from freezing completely. Also, open your cabinet doors underneath sinks, faucets, and near exterior walls to help circulate the warmer air throughout these spaces and keep the pipes warmer.
- An obvious yet not thought about tip is close the vents to the crawl space and garage doors, especially if the water heater on your property is located in the garage.
- Make sure to check that snow is not restricting your water damage in any way. Make sure to survey the area around your sump pump discharge line, if you have a sump pump that is, as this line drains from the basement to the outside area. If this area does seem to be blocked by snow, you will want to go and unblock it, as freezing could occur and back up the water in your home.
- The best defense that will ensure your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule yearly maintenance inspections, and keep your plumbing systems in tip top shape so that they don’t fail when you need them most.