6 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Pipes This Winter

pipe being rinsed with water

Though it may be hard to believe, winter is just around the corner! Everyone knows a good snow day calls for cocoa, popcorn and our favorite movies, and the last thing you should be thinking about is how to repair that burst pipe in the basement. Consider preparing your system for winter while the weather is still mild so you won’t have to trade your fuzzy slippers for work boots! 

6 Fall Plumbing Tasks That Prevent Burst Pipes

Insulate Pipes

Many of us have exposed piping in our attic or basement. Because these areas are usually not heated, water has a chance to freeze within these exposed pipes, which can cause cracks and leaks, or even burst the pipes. By insulating exposed pipes that are not in heated areas, cold air will not be able to reach your plumbing, and you’ll be safe from a midwinter plumbing emergency.

Open The Cabinets

It may be hard to believe, but opening the cabinets when it becomes especially cold can protect the pipes that run through your kitchen. Because they are commonly hidden behind cupboards and walls, opening up the doors will allow extra heat to circulate inside the cabinets and keep your pipes warm. Additionally, directing a portable heater at the open cabinets will further warm your plumbing system. 

Turn Off Outdoor Faucets

After you’ve hosted one last end-of-summer party, be sure to turn off your outdoor faucets at their shut-off valves. To keep the pipes from freezing, you’ll want to drain the system of all excess water by opening the faucet and bleeder cap. After you have closed the faucet, leave the bleeder cap open for a bit to see if any water continues to leak out. If it does, you may have a faulty shut-off valve. 

Protect Your Furnace

The last thing you want in the middle of winter is for your furnace to conk out! Though your heating unit is part of your home comfort system, your plumbing will also suffer from an unexpected breakdown. If your furnace breaks down, the sudden temperature drop in your home could cause your pipes to freeze and burst. This means double the problems for you, not to mention the cost of avoidable repairs! Consider scheduling heating maintenance, to ensure your system is functioning as it should.  

Know Your Vacation Prep

Whether you’re fleeing the cold or hitting the slopes, it’s safe to say everyone loves a holiday vacation. However, you’ll be as bitter as the frigid winter weather if you come home to a burst pipe. Before you leave, shut off the water in your home and drain the pipes to keep excess water from freezing within your plumbing system. If you do choose to leave your water on, you must leave the thermostat at a high enough temperature to keep the pipes from freezing. A burst pipe is bad enough, but a burst pipe when you’re out of town can lead to costly cleanup! 

Seal Any Leaks

While it is best to repair leaks as soon as you notice them, sometimes minor drips can slip our minds. However, if water within your pipes freezes and expands, any vulnerable areas in your plumbing will become even weaker. If you address any cracks in your pipes now, you won’t be surprised by a burst pipe when winter gets under way. 

If you have any questions about getting your home plumbing system ready for the upcoming winter season, give Alco Air a call at (903)-753-9624. Our team of experienced professionals has served Longview and East Texas with integrity and honesty for years, and we are happy to help you in any way we can!