October is right around the corner and with it will come the crisp, cold air of Fall. We know that right after that will be winter and, whether or not your part of the state has been regularly having a white Christmas or not, there is a good chance that there will be a bout of cold weather that could possibly lead to frozen pipes if you are not careful. Now is a good time to start thinking about winterizing your plumbing to prevent damage to your pipes.
The first step is to invest in some insulation if you do not currently have any. Pipe wrap insulation, made both of fiberglass or cotton, can be used to keep your pipes from being exposed to the freezing temperatures that not only halt the flow of water in your home, but can break the pipes themselves. Another method is to utilize a heating cable that requires power to provide a consistent warmth to your pipes to keep them functioning just fine even during plummeting temperatures!
A last resort effort you can use if you have not been able to prepare your pipes with the proper insulation or other methods is to turn your faucet enough to create a small steady flow of water. Even a small trickle can help prevent ice from accumulating in your plumbing! The more faucets running the better.
Some other tricks that would work well (and only require for you to remember to do them!) for keeping your pipes warm. Exposing the plumbing of the sinks in your home by opening the underside cabinets will allow for the warmer room temperature of your home to reach the plumbing more easily. If you and your family are leaving for the day, consider keeping the heat on in the house to keep the temperatures of the plumbing higher to combat the cold outside. Ice will have a harder time forming in these conditions.
Last, but not least, is your sprinkler system. Often overlooked by homeowners during the winterization process, your sprinkler system is oftentimes the most vulnerable to the cold outdoor weather. Fortunately, there is a simple fix for preparing your sprinkler system you may not have known about. You will need to get yourself a flat head screwdriver and make sure the water supply to the system is completely turned off. (There is a mechanism called the backflow preventer you will need to find and turn the valve located there.) There is a set of two screws on the side of the backflow preventer called the bleeder valve. Turning both of those screws so that the lines on the screws are lined up with (or parallel) to the pipe will cause any of the stagnant water from inside the backflow preventer to spray out, thus relieving your sprinkler system from any potential water that can freeze and damage your sprinkler system. Do not forget to disconnect and empty any outdoor hoses, and we wish you the best of luck as this winter approaches!
Want some professional assistance while you winterize your plumbing this year? Give Jack Ward & Sons a call at (615)-227-2811 today!