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How to winterize your pipes

Posted on: September 30, 2014

Frozen pipes can cause major (and expensive) damage in your home—so it’s important that you ensure your pipes are prepared for the cold temperatures to come. Find out how to winterize your pipes, both indoors and doors, from the experts at James A. Wheat & Sons. We’ve been providing reliable and professional plumbing services to your friends and neighbors in Montgomery County, MD and Washington, DC since 1978, and we can help you with all your plumbing needs.

If you’re having plumbing issues or you need help getting prepared for winter, contact us by filling out the form to the right or calling 240-399-5051240-399-5051.

How to Winterize Your Pipes Indoors

There are a few ways you can prevent frozen pipes indoors:

  • NEVER turn off the heat – this one is incredibly important. Never turn off the heat when you leave home in the winter. Your home needs to maintain a steady temperature to keep the pipes from freezing over. We recommend keeping the temperature set to at least 55 degrees or higher.
  • Insulate your pipes – particularly in areas where your pipes are on an outside wall, make sure to insulate your pipes so they can keep the warmth in.
  • Use a small space heater – it may also be necessary to invest in a small space heater for areas where you can’t keep your pipes warm, such as a bathroom against an exterior wall.

How to Winterize Your Pipes Outdoors

Preventing frozen pipes outdoors is just as important as preventing them indoors. Here’s how:

  • Disconnect garden hoses – you don’t want anything attached to your hose bibbs.
  • Shut off your outdoor water & open hose bibb – this one is probably the most important thing homeowners can do to winterize their pipes. Turn off the external water supply and open the hose bibb to allow water to drip out and for the pipes to expand.
  • Turn off any other outdoor water systems – if you have a sprinkler or other outdoor water system, make sure to shut that off as well. You may need to contact a professional to remove any excess water.

Know Where Your Water Shut-Off Valve Is

Although prevention should be enough to avoid any major disasters, know where your water shut-off valve is so you’ll be ready in the event of an emergency. They are usually located in the basement, garage, or another utility area. Make sure you know where it is and how to use it so you can quickly shut off your water in the event of a leak.

What to Do If You Have Frozen Pipes

If your pipes freeze over, make sure to turn off the water at the shut-off valve and open all of your faucets to allow water and pressure to be released. Next, call a trusted local plumber like James A. Wheat & Sons. We’ll come out and help you defrost your pipes or repair them in the event that they have become damaged.

Contact us online or by phone at 240-399-5051240-399-5051 to schedule your pipe repair or other plumbing service!