Now that the temperatures are cooling down a bit, this is a great time to think ahead to theHow to Prevent Pipe Bursts chilly fall and winter just around the corner. Readying your home for snow and ice may be old hat at this point, but you can do yourself a favor by preparing in advance and starting those efforts while it’s still nice outside. One of the simplest and most effective preparations you can do during the fall is evaluate your plumbing to prevent winter pipe bursts.
A burst pipe can make a huge mess in just a matter of moments. Especially if you plan time away from your home during the holidays, it’s critical to know that your residential pipes and plumbing have been properly addressed for freezing temperatures.
Simple Steps for Burst Pipe Prevention
- Disconnect your outside hose and cover exposed faucets with insulated covers, which are cheap to get and go a long way. If you leave your hose connected, water may never drain out and will likely freeze.
- Going away for the holidays? Be sure your thermostat does not drop below 55 degrees, and it’s not a bad idea to arrange for a neighbor or friend to periodically check in to ensure all is well and you don’t return to a flood. If you’ll be away for a longer period of time, speak to your local plumber about shutting off the water and draining pipes.
- Insulate any pipes near outside walls, in crawl spaces, attics, etc. If a pipe is vulnerable to cold temperatures due to its location, you can purchase inexpensive pipe insulation at your local hardware store to secure that run and reduce the likelihood of freezing.
- Know the location of the main water line shut-off. Don’t wait until an emergency flood or major leak to try to track down the location of the shut-off valve.
- When freezing temps are imminent, keep a faucet or two running slowly (both hot and cold water) so that the running water circulates and prevents freezing. You can also leave indoor cabinets open under sinks and around plumbing so warmed air can circulate around the pipes.
It’s never too early to start preparing for cooler months ahead, and the more you do while it’s nice out — especially if you’ll be working in crawl spaces or attics — the happier you’ll be when seasons turn and your Honey-Do List is ever-expanding closer to the holidays.