If there’s one thing Central Texans can confidently say about the weather, it’s that there’s no use trying to understand or make sense of it. Cold and rainy on Halloween, only to jump right back into the 80s the following day — way to keep us all on our toes! Since there’s no telling if we’ll get our first winter freeze next week, next month, next year, or never, we thought now was as good a time as any to talk about winterizing your plumbing! Let’s find out what your Buda TX plumbers recommend whenever the temperatures decide to drop down below freezing.
Drip, Drip, Drop
While we normally advocate making sure your faucets are turned off so as to save you money and conserve natural resources, here’s the one time of year where allowing faucets to drip might actually save you money. A burst pipe can cost anywhere from $2000-$10,000 to repair, and can release upwards of 250 gallons of water per day! When temperatures are expected to reach 20℉ or below, set your hot water faucets to a slow, steady drip. This helps alleviate the pressure that can build up between the faucet and an ice blockage and can prevent frozen pipes from bursting.
For pipes in unheated areas, such as garages and crawl spaces, insulation can go a long way towards protecting your home. Contact your Buda TX plumbing experts, who will know the best insulation tools for your area and be able to provide your pipes with professional care, especially in areas that are hard to access for the average homeowner.
To keep more heat circulating around your indoor pipes, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors on cold nights. This allows your central heating system to keep your pipes nice and toasty and is particularly useful for cabinets located on exterior walls.
Shut It Down
Do you (and everyone you live with) know where the water shut-off valve is for your home? Have you tested it recently to make sure it’s easy to turn? If not, don’t wait until you’re in the middle of an emergency to go hunting for it or to learn that it’s badly in need of some lubrication. Take care of those issues now! (Hint: it’s probably next to the water meter.)
Keep Cold Air Out of There
Take a quick trip around the exterior of your home, noting any cracks or holes in the outside walls and foundation. Seal these up with spray foam or caulk to prevent cold air from getting to your pipes. If you have a pier-and-beam home, seal off crawl space vents by duct-taping heavy duty pieces of cardboard to them. Then, seal off the crawl space itself.
If, despite your best efforts, you end up with a frozen pipe, never try to thaw it using a blow torch or any open flame. A hairdryer or other heater can be used to try to melt the water. Contact your Buda TX plumbing professionals immediately to assess the damage and start repairs.
Central Texas weather might be tricky to predict, but with proper preparation, you’ll be ready for whatever it decides to throw at you. Your Buda TX plumbers are always on hand to answer any additional questions about dealing with dropping temps.