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How to Winterize Your Plumbing System

When cold weather rolls around, many of us bring out the blankets, pour a cup of hot chocolate, and jack up the heat. Although we need to stay toasty and comfortable during these chiller months, you should make sure that your plumbing system is safe and protected as well.

The good news is that winterizing your house plumbing system isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Most of the tips we’ll discuss below are easy to accomplish on your own, while others may require the assistance of a professional.

Without further ado, let’s go over how to winterize your plumbing system!

Insulate Your Pipes

When winterizing your house plumbing, it’s crucial to ensure that your plumbing pipes are sufficiently insulated. This is especially true for the pipes that butt up against exterior walls, as they’re the most vulnerable to freezing.

If it’s time to upgrade your insulation, one of the best options is enveloping your pipes in foam insulation sleeves. You might also opt to cover your pipes in heat tape, but it’s important to recognize that heat tape can be a potential fire hazard.

Once you’ve insulated your pipes, there are additional precautions you can take. During the winter months, cold air can seep through cracks in your windows and doors. You can seal these cracks with spray foam insulation or weather stripping.

Disconnect Outdoor Hoses

When learning how to winterize your plumbing system, don’t forget about your outdoor garden hoses. Once you turn off the water, you should disconnect these hoses from their faucets and properly store them away. If you forget to remove and drain your hoses, they can freeze during the winter and burst.

Flush Your Water Heater Tank

Sure, we use hot water every month of the year. However, having no hot water during the winter can put you and your family in a potentially dangerous situation. Fortunately, various maintenance tasks can prevent your water heater from encountering a problem when you need it most. One of the most important tasks is draining all the water out of the tank, and your local water heater experts can be a big help when winterizing your house plumbing.

Why should you flush your water heater tank regularly? The reason is simple. When cold water enters your water heater, it can contain sediment that eventually settles at the bottom of the tank. As this sediment collects over time, it can negatively affect your water heater’s performance — potentially leading to higher energy bills, cracks in the tank, or a breakdown.

When a professional technician flushes a water heater tank, they drain all the water by connecting a hose to the drain valve. These drain valves are always directed away from the home’s foundation or placed over a floor drain to prevent water damage.

Let Your Faucets Drip

As you can see, learning how to winterize your plumbing system isn’t too difficult. In fact, there are many easy steps you can take to prevent frozen pipes — including this one. If you want to keep the water from freezing on an especially cold night, consider opening the cabinets beneath the sinks in your bathrooms. This simple step will allow warm air to envelop your water pipes, preventing them from freezing and potentially bursting. 

Then, turn on the faucet and let the tap drip. This keeps the water flowing so it doesn’t sit in your pipes and freeze.

If you’re going to be away from home for more than a few days, it’s also a good idea to shut off the water inside your home. The best way to do this is to close the main water valve. This valve can be found in various locations, so it might take some searching before you find it.

Schedule Plumbing Services With the Experts in Toronto, ON!

Now that you know how to winterize your plumbing system, turn to the professional team at Priority Plumbing! We’re proud to offer a wide selection of services to meet all of your plumbing needs, whether you require a water heater maintenance service, water leak repair, or drain cleaning in Toronto, ON.
If you need assistance with winterizing your house plumbing, don’t wait to get in touch with us. We can provide you with a residential plumbing installation, repair, or maintenance service to ensure your home is ready for the chilly weather. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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