Winter’s frigid temperature brings with it a host of possible dangers to your home. Few, however, can be as damaging – or as preventable – as those related to your plumbing.
- Hose woes
Always remember to drain outdoor pipes and disconnect your garden hoses before it gets cold. Left connected over the winter months, ice will form inside a hose, building pressure that travels into the water lines inside your home. When this happens, a water line leak or break may be only a matter of time and, with it, possibly severe flooding and other damage to the home.
- Protect your outdoor faucets
After you’ve disconnected your hoses, consider installing an exterior, insulated faucet jacket. This protects your outdoor faucets, as well as the connecting lines running into your home, from freezing when the temperature drops.
- Shut off valves
Be sure to use the shut-off valves inside your home to drain water from the pipes that lead to your outdoor hose bibs. These valves are typically found inside your home just before the outside hose bib, but every home is different and some homes may not be equipped with these valves.
- 15 degrees
Warm circulating air helps keep pipes in your walls from freezing. To prevent freezing, make sure to keep the temperature inside your home, including your basement, above 15 degrees Celsius. It’s also a good idea to open cabinet doors under your sinks and faucets and near exterior walls. This can help circulate warm air and keep pipes warmer.
- Clear snow and ice
Make sure that snow and ice aren’t restricting your water drainage. Watch the area around your sump pump discharge line. This line drains from your basement to the outside and is used to avoid flooding indoors. If the drainage area is blocked by snow or is flowing into a puddle, freezing can occur or water can back up into your house.
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