Cold, snowy winters are a reality in the greater Cincinnati area, so while you’re pulling out winter gear, putting on snow tires, and having heating equipment inspected and tuned, don’t forget about the pipes. Here are some plumbing winterization tips that can save you the damage, expense and inconvenience of a mid-winter disaster.

Outdoors

  • Disconnect hoses. Remove and drain all exterior hoses. Leaving them connected can result in the formation of ice, leading to a build-up of pressure in indoor water lines and a potential leak or break.
  • Drain water lines. Turn off the water supply to outdoor faucets, and drain any remaining water by opening the taps until they run dry.
  • Dress up faucets. Protect outdoor pipes from freezing temperatures by insulating them with a outdoor faucet sock.

Indoors

  • Go with the flow. One of the best plumbing winterization tips is as easy as turning on the faucet. Since moving water won’t freeze, open taps to allow cold water to trickle out. Employ this strategy during a cold snap, or overnight when temperatures are at their lowest.
  • Insulate pipes. Plumbing that runs through exterior walls or uninsulated spaces such as the crawl space or attic needs an added layer of protection. Wrap pipes in foam insulation, ideally with a layer of electrical tape underneath.
  • Mind the temperature. Don’t let interior temperatures dip below 55 degrees, or higher, if extreme temperatures are in the forecast. If you have a zoned system, adjust all thermostats accordingly.
  • Circulate warm air. Open cabinet doors beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
  • Keep out the cold. Keep the garage door closed to prevent cold air from affecting the plumbing on bordering walls.
  • Seal air leaks. Even the smallest hole can allow enough cold air in to freeze pipes. Check for leaks around doors, windows, exterior wall sockets and switches, electrical wiring and plumbing. Seal leaks with caulking, weatherstripping or insulation where needed.

For more plumbing winterization tips, call the experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the needs of greater Cincinnati residents since 1910.

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