Some of the worst plumbing problems strike homes in our area right in the middle of winter. Primarily, this has to do with the pipes freezing, something that doesn’t happen throughout every part of the U.S. If you’re new to the area, or if you’ve recently bought a new home in Minnesota, you may be unfamiliar with the process of winterizing a home, something that should happen in the fall if possible.
In fact, any homeowner can benefit from knowing what to do to prevent a major plumbing problem in the winter. Take some time as soon as possible to do what you can and stop frozen pipes from getting in the way of your relaxation time and holiday preparation this winter. Call our expert plumbers to learn more!
Winterize Sprinkler Systems
In the falls, disconnect all garden hoses, drain, and store them. Disconnect your sprinkler system as well, and follow manufacturer instructions for winterization. Shut off the water to the outdoors and open up every outdoor faucet to allow the water to drain out completely.
Keep the Heat On
Yes, even if you go on vacation, it’s important to keep the heat on inside of your home if temperatures are going to drop below about 50° while you are gone. Otherwise, frozen pipes could burst, and you may return to a flooded home. Keep the thermostat at about 55°F while on vacation, or about 65° while away for a short time at work.
Spread the Heat Around
If pipes in certain rooms or underneath sinks tend to freeze, you may have to take the necessary steps to ensure the heat actually reaches them. Keep bedroom and bathroom doors open, and open up cabinets to allow heat to reach underneath the sinks.
Insulate the Home and Your Pipes
A well-insulated attic or crawlspace is more likely to keep the heat in. In addition, you can insulate any exposed piping around the house. Specially made pipe sleeves fit onto pipes, or you can use UL-listed heat tapes to wrap around them. In desperate times, some homeowners have taped towels or newspaper around the pipes, though this may not always work.
Consider Relocating Pipes
In some cases, pipes are difficult to insulate, or are located underground but not entirely out of the freeze zone. When this happens, homeowners sometimes have to make the tough decision to relocate the pipes. Of course, it will cost you, but you won’t have to worry about water damage or a lack of running water thanks to burst or frozen pipes.
Sometimes, pipes seem to freeze up every year no matter what you do. Look at the weather ahead of time to figure out when they will be most likely to freeze. On those days, you may want to open up the faucets around the house. When water is running through the pipes, they are less likely to freeze up, so keep every faucet going at a low drop until the danger has passed.
For quality plumbing services in Minnetonka, MN, contact VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.