5 Ways to Winterize Your Plumbing

15999227106222With the coldest temperatures of the winter season ahead of us, including the potential for days below freezing, it’s important to ensure your home is prepared. Taking the proper steps to winterize your plumbing could keep you from having to face unpleasant consequences when frigid weather arrives.

  • Keep Pipes Warm

One of the biggest concerns for homeowners when a cold snap sets in is the potential for frozen pipes. When pipes freeze, there is a chance that they will burst and flood your home, causing water damage and the need for costly repairs.

One way to help prevent pipes from freezing is by keeping them warm with insulation. You may be able to insulate pipes in areas of your home that are more susceptible to freezing, such as in the garage and on exterior walls. Your Gillece Plumber can assist with the insulation process.

  • Prevent Pipes from Bursting

While outside temperatures reach below freezing, it’s a good idea to let faucets drip and to open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach pipes under sinks. Dripping faucets help to eliminate the pressure that can build between a closed tap and an ice blockage, aiming to keep pipes from bursting if they do freeze.

  • Seal Air Leaks

Sealing air leaks not only helps to prevent pipes from freezing where cold outdoor air may reach the pipes, but also helps to save energy by cutting down on heating costs. Sealing air leaks includes caulking and weatherstripping cracks and holes around doors and windows.

  • Shut Off Outdoor Plumbing

Don’t forget about your outdoor plumbing, too. Drain exterior faucets, disconnect hoses, turn off and drain sprinkler systems, and shut off outdoor connections if you have a separate shutoff valve.

  • Maintain Water Heater

Water heaters work harder during winter and should be set to 120-125 degrees for efficiency and to prevent scalding. Make sure to give your heater enough time between use to recover and refill the tank.

Knowing how to winterize your plumbing is one way to keep your home running smoothly during cold weather and can help you to avoid potential trouble. When in doubt about preparing your plumbing for winter or for any emergency or repair needs, call Gillece!


Photo Credit: Matt Popovich

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.