Winter Plumbing Tips

By December 29, 2015DIY Plumbing Tips

winter_plumbing_tips

Winter weather can put a lot of stress on your home plumbing system—especially with the harsh climate in St. Louis. It’s important to take measures to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting during periods of extreme cold. Frozen pipes can wreak havoc on your system and lead to costly repairs. To ensure your home’s pipes are protected, check out our list of winter plumbing tips provided below.

Tips for Protecting Your Pipes

What can you do to prevent your pipes from freezing? And what do you do if they freeze anyway? Start by following these winter plumbing tips:

  • First of all, know where your home’s water supply shut-off valves are located.
  • Secondly, make sure your outdoor hose spigot is turned off for the winter. (You should’ve already done this as part of your fall plumbing chores.)
  • If one of your indoor sinks is located near an outside wall of your home, its supply lines likely travel along that outer wall. To protect the shut-off valves and water supply lines beneath the sink, open your vanity cabinet doors. This will allow the warmer air inside your home to reach the supply lines and prevent them from freezing.
  • If you notice that one of your lines is frozen, try to warm it up using a hair dryer. Once you’ve restored water flow, do one of the following:
    • Open the vanity cabinets to get warm air to the pipes.
    • Wrap a towel around the pipes for improved insulation.
    • Let your faucet drip a little to allow water to slowly run through the line.
  • If there isn’t an easy way to warm up the frozen pipe, just leave it alone. When the temperature warms up again, you may notice a leak from a split water line. If this happens, immediately close the shut-off valve for that line. This will stabilize the line and help prevent water damage. Call a qualified plumber right away to repair the line.
  • Do not use space heaters to warm your pipes. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that one-third of home heating fires are caused by space heaters. Never place space heaters within 3 feet of anything that can burn (including cabinets and walls).

Watch this video from The Weather Channel to learn more about why water pipes freeze and how to prevent frozen pipes.

More Winter Plumbing Tips

This year’s holiday festivities are not over yet! Are you planning to throw a big New Year’s Eve party or a big family dinner this year? Browse our main blog page to find more tips on how to prevent plumbing problems this holiday season.

Happy New Year from the LaMartina family! We wish you the best of luck as you work to prevent plumbing problems this winter. If you have questions about the winter plumbing tips above, or if you run into any problems with frozen or burst pipes, contact us. Call our office at (314) 965-9377 or email info@tonylamartinaplumbing.com.