If you live in Georgia, you know that the weather doesn’t dip into the freezing range very often. However, when things do start to freeze, your plumbing needs to be prepared to weather the storms. After all, you only need one unexpected night of freezing temperatures to leave you with costly repair bills. Here are five steps you should take to protect your pipes during the winter.
1. Have Your Plumbing Inspected When you own a home, you need to take precautionary measures to protect against a variety of emergencies. One way to protect your home against weather-related plumbing emergencies is to have your pipes inspected by a plumber. To an untrained eye, your pipes may look just fine. However, a trained plumber will notice problems that could make your pipes more susceptible to problems during bouts of freezing temperatures.
2. Change Your Exterior Water Spigots If you have standard exterior water spigots on your home, they’re more susceptible to problems with freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, when exterior water spigots freeze, they can cause serious damage to the pipes that are inside the walls. To prevent problems with freezing temperatures, have your plumber install a freeze-proof spigot. Unlike standard spigots, freeze-proof spigots provide an additional lock mechanism that helps protect against problems related to frozen water. For added protection, insulate your exterior spigots with an insulated sleeve.
3. Put Your Hoses Into Storage If you normally leave your hoses attached to the spigots during the winter, you need to change that habit. When you leave your hoses attached, all the water that doesn’t drain freezes when the temperatures dip. Unfortunately, the freeze won’t stop at the spigots. Instead, the water will continue to freeze all the way through the spigot and into the pipes. If that happens, the pipes inside the walls could burst. To make sure that doesn’t happen, disconnect your garden hoses and put them into storage until you need them again in the spring. If you do need a garden hose during the winter, simply disconnect the hose fitting from the spigot and drain the hose after each use.
4. Don’t Let the Interior Temperature Drop If you’re like most people, you probably look for ways to save money around the house. Some people save money by turning their heaters off while they’re not at home. If you’re in that group, your pipes are in danger, especially when temperatures drop into the freezing range. The best way to protect your pipes and reduce your energy costs during the winter is to set your thermostat to around 50 degrees while you’re away from home. You can program your thermostat to increase the temperature right before you return home.
5. Pay Attention to the Places You Can’t See When you take steps to protect your pipes from winter weather, don’t forget about the places you can’t see, such as in the attic or under your sinks. Those are the areas that are most susceptible to freezing temperatures. Insulated wraps, spray foam insulation, and heat tape are all useful where the protection of pipes is concerned. If you’re not sure how to insulate the exposed pipes inside your home, contact a plumber near you. If you don’t have fans installed in your attic, you should take care of that, as well. Attic fans circulate the air around your pipes, which can help prevent frozen water. Georgia winters are generally mild. However, the occasional freeze does happen. To make sure your pipes are protected, use the tips provided here. If you have other questions or concerns about your pipes, contact us at Billy Bell Plumbing Inc. We’re here to provide assistance with all your plumbing needs.