It’s Never Too Early To Start Prepping Your Pipes For Winter
To be fair, I saw this post on the Bangor Water District's Facebook page about two weeks ago. So before you think I'm putting the cart before the horse, they were on it way before that. And, let's face it. the temps are falling all the time. Sure, we're supposed to have a pretty warm weekend, but there's a frost warning up north tonight!
And it's only downhill from here. So the BWD put out a reminder that there are a few things you can do while the weather is still balmy. Once the freezing temps hit, it'll be too late.
- Disconnect and drain your outside faucets. As well as shut the inside valve off for the season.
- Repair any damage around the pipes so that cold air can't find a way in.
- Insulate any pipes exposed to the outdoors. Also check it from time to time to make sure it's in good shape.
- If you have pipes running through closets and such, make sure heat can get to them.
- Older furnaces heat less efficiently, so they tend to warm a basement. Newer ones don't, so keep an eye on your basement pipes as well.
- Maybe most importantly, make sure your emergency shutoff works before you need it. This seems like a no-brainer, but....
So let's say at that point, you've done all these things, and you still end up with some frozen pipes... What should you do?
If you don't know how to properly deal with it, absolutely call a professional. Otherwise, use a hair dryer on low, and move the heat up and down the pipe. Never use a blowtorch or open flame of any kind. Also, be aware that when the pipe thaws, it could leak all over the place if it's cracked. Be ready for that mess!
Sure, most of this is common sense, but repair guys talk all the time about having to deal with people's bad decisions and mistakes because they get cocky about how to handle things. Don't be that guy. Or girl. Doing it the right way, the first time, will save you big bucks later.
In the meantime, begin collecting your various winter weather witticisms for letting everyone know how much you hate winter. That's the kind of winter prep I can actually get behind. Everything else seems like work.