When water freezes, it expands in volume by about 9%. While that may not sound like a lot, that is the difference between 40 pounds of pressure per square inch in your pipes to 40,000 psi.
Your pipes can't stand that tremendous pressure and so they crack.
What can you do to protect your home plumbing system before winter? Read on for our top 10 tips.
One sure way to protect your plumbing in the winter is to turn off outdoor faucets. Do this at the shutoff valves.
Make sure to drain the pipe or else it could freeze and crack.
A necessity for winter home plumbing maintenance is to put your outdoor hoses away for the season.
If you leave hoses connected to the faucet, ice buildup in the hose can leak into your interior pipes.
You can winterize plumbing by purchasing sleeves for your pipes. These protect them from freezing.
You might also want to use heat tape first before the insulation.
You can protect your plumbing in the winter by ensuring that your exterior walls are in good condition.
Spend some time walking around the exterior of your home to check for cracks in the walls and roof. Seal any cracks you find to prevent cold air from getting in.
Some sinks and tubs have drain traps. If yours do, then you can add some antifreeze to them.
This prevents water from freezing in the traps and then causing them to crack. Make sure you know what to do if you see signs of a clogged drain.
You may have parts of your home that are less insulated than others. For example, this might include your garage, crawl space, attic, and basement.
Check for gaps in insulation or no insulation at all in these spots. Having sufficient insulation is vital to prevent cold air from damaging your pipes
Heat cables are an excellent way to protect your home's plumbing system during winter.
The cables have a built-in thermostat that can detect the temperature of your pipes. They will heat up to keep your pipes from freezing when needed.
All you need is a nearby outlet to plug the cable in.
Another home plumbing maintenance option is to block all the vents that lead outside. Using cardboard or wood, you protect against cold air and water from getting in.
To keep your pipes as warm as possible, get into the habit of leaving your cupboard doors open once in a while.
Opening your cupboard doors allows warm air to get to the pipes which will keep them at an appropriate temperature.
For a couple of dollars, you can purchase a cover for your hose bids.
These insulated covers prevent heat loss in the pipes. You can buy these at home improvement centers and this is one of the best tips for cold weather plumbing.
There you have it! We've shared 10 ways you can protect your home plumbing this upcoming cold season.
At Living Water Mechanical, we're not just plumbing experts! We offer full-service plumbing, gas fitting, hot water tank, and drain cleaning solutions.