Winters can be tough on your home’s plumbing when temperatures drop below freezing. Even though North Texas usually has relatively mild winters, we still have the occasional cold snaps and the occasional arctic deep freeze (February 2021 anyone?). Don’t be caught off guard – frozen water pipes are not only inconvenient, they can be costly.
How can you protect pipes from freezing?
As temperatures plummet, chances increase that pipes can freeze. Thankfully you can lower the risk of your pipes freezing by taking precautions to winterize your plumbing. Here are some of the most common ways of protecting your home’s plumbing:
- Open the doors to any kitchen and bathroom cabinets that are next to an exterior wall which have sinks. The warm air from the room will help keep pipes from freezing.
- Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor spigots.
- Replace the regular spigots with freeze proof outdoor spigots.
- Cover outdoor faucet with foam insulation. These only cost a few dollars at your local hardware store.
- Drain water from lines that are prone to freezing such as sprinkler supply lines.
- Insulate vulnerable areas – such as attics and crawlspaces
- Keep garage doors closed.
- Keep the temperature inside your home above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
- Open bathroom faucets to allow a trickle of running water when it’s below freezing outside. Sinks that are on an outside wall are at a higher risk of freezing. Moving water takes longer to freeze than standing water.
- If you have a pool, you’ll want to keep the pool pumps running whenever the temperature gets close to freezing. Running water takes longer to freeze, thus delaying the chance of burst pool pipes or pool pumps. Yes, you’ll take a hit on the electric bill, but it’s a lot cheaper than new pool pipes and pumps.
Minimizing the chances of a disaster
- Know where water main is located and how to shut it off.
- Have an annual plumbing inspection & maintenance, including insulating vulnerable pipes. Some water lines could be rerouted to help prevent refreezing.