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How to Winterize Your Plumbing

Burst Pipe

Do you remember the freak snowpocalypse in the state of Texas during February 2021? If so you probably dealt with some plumbing issues in its aftermath that left most of the state frozen and without power for nearly a week. No one wants to deal with that shenanigans again, So take heed of Schrader Plumbings’ recommendations that every home and business owner can take now to mitigate disaster when the temperature drops.

Winterizing Plumbing Tips

  • DISCONNECT OUTSIDE WATER HOSES: If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
  • CHECK FOR LEAKS IN OUTSIDE FAUCETS: Make sure outside faucets aren’t dripping or leaking. Make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that when pipes freeze- pressure can build causing cracks – no matter what material it is made of. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
  • GET YOUR WATER HEATER READY FOR OVERTIME: Winter temperatures often mean that you’re going to use your water heater more than any other time during the year. Because the water heaters’ workload is increased, you want to make sure it’s ready! If you haven’t serviced it since last year, it’s time to get a tuneup or flush to ensure premium performance. You should also set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to get optimal temperatures more quickly. In addition, you may want to evaluate your need for a new water heater, as most only last 7 to 10 years.
  • INSULATE YOUR PIPES: Cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at most home centers. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
  • CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS: Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to facilitate easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.
  • REPLACE FOUNDATION /ATTIC VENTS: A water pipe’s worst enemy is freezing air. Schrader Plumbing recommends that all home owners do a complete survey of the perimeter of your house and look for places through which air might flow. Unsealed windows and doors are obvious culprits, but when was the last time you checked your foundation and attic vents? Missing vent covers were responsible for a large percentage of burst pipes in Texas attics and basements last February. (Please note – vented crawl spaces and attics should always have air flowing through them – even in the Winter. This is why homes are insulated between those spaces. Failure to properly vent attics and crawl spaces can lead to moisture issues and mold.)
  • LOCATE YOUR MAIN SHUT OFF VALVE: Most main valves in Texas are located outside and away from the structure. Locate your main shutoff valve and store the valve key (the tool that’s used to turn the valve itself) in an obvious and easily accessible place. Then if you know a freeze is coming and have the flexibility to do so, you can shut the whole thing down. Don’t forget to run all the faucets to purge the remaining water from the system; no water in the pipes means no ice in the pipes!

The bottom line is, if a severe cold front is approaching, it’s always good to Have a Plumber on Speed-Dial to help winterize your plumbing. Call Schrader Plumbing today at 817-262-0989 so that we can help you with all your snowpocalypse plumbing woes!!

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Categories: Burst Pipes, How to's, Water Lines,
By: Michelle Kurcina

Last modified:

Last Modified: October 8, 2021 at 5:43 pm