Indiana winters can get pretty cold. So cold, in fact, that it can cause problems with plumbing in your home. While temps as low as 20 degrees generally don’t cause too many issues, once it drops below that, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Here are some winter plumbing tips from our Home Comfort Experts plumbers that will keep your winter hassle free and hopefully save you a service call.
Prevent Freezing Pipes
This is one of the most common calls we get in the winter months. Our homes typically have less insulation in our walls. When temperatures plummet below zero, it can cause pipes on outside walls to freeze and burst. There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening. First, open the cabinet doors in front of your sinks. This lets the warm air from your home surround the pipes keeping the temperature above freezing. Secondly, turn your faucets on to barely a trickle overnight when temperatures are lowest. Keeping the water moving inside the pipes will also prevent them from freezing. If you will be away from home, keep your house temperature above 55° and open cabinet doors to prevent problems while you’re away.
Insulate Any Exposed Pipes
Insulating your pipes is affordable and easy. Pipe insulation is usually a foam or cloth covering that clips right onto your pipe and keeps it from freezing. Your local hardware store should have a variety of options to choose from. Make sure you insulate pipes in colder areas like the attic or garage. Seal any air leaks you find with expanding foam to keep wind chill factors from making things worse.
Don’t Forget about Outside Faucets
Also, any hoses you forgot to detach from the outside faucet will hold water in the pipe and cause it to freeze. Double check to make sure you removed them all at the end of last fall. Install an exterior, insulated faucet jacket. This will protect your outdoor faucets, as well as the connecting lines running into your home, from freezing temperatures.
Check the Sump Pump Discharge Line
Check that snow is not restricting your water drainage. Watch the area around your sump pump discharge line outside your home. If the drainage area is blocked by snow or flowing into a puddle, freezing could occur causing water to back up into the house.
Related Article: Importance of a Battery Backup Sump Pump
If pipes freeze, you can try to thaw them with a hair dryer, but whatever you do, never use a blow torch. We have seen homes catch fire which is much worse than a frozen pipe. Call the plumbing experts at Home Comfort Experts with questions or if you need any plumbing help.