Ti’s Tips – How to “winterize” your home!

Winter is upon us! The weather will inevitably bring freezing temperatures that have the potential to cause havoc on plumbing systems!

Time to “winterize.”  “Winterizing” means: to adapt or prepare something for use in cold weather.

Every year around this time, plumbers are called-out to urgent situations resulting from frozen plumbing. If it gets really bad this winter you may find it more likely to see Santa and his reindeer flying around than a plumber, because every one of us is busy fixing broken plumbing pipes!

Let me assure you, the vast majority of freeze-damaged plumbing is completely avoidable.

Here are a few very basic things that you can do to put you & your home at an advantage:

1) Close or block-off your foundation vents:

The foundation vents are circled in red. Winterizing Tip #1 is to close or block them off.

2) Turn off the water to exterior hose faucets: Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve. Sometimes this can be tricky for two reasons:

First: do you know where the valve is?

Second: the valve may not work so you may be in a vulnerable position.

Turn clockwise to shut-off your water valve.

3) At the very least: Remember to insulate your outdoor hose-faucets (hosebibbs) & irrigation systems.

Remove any garden hoses from the faucets and cover the faucet with something that will insulate & protect it from freezing temperatures.

Almost every home center and hardware store sells products made specifically for this.

A quick, inexpensive trip to your local hardware store or home center and you can help winterize your home yourself!

4) “Heat Tape” is another inexpensive way you can “winterize” your own home with just a quick trip to your local hardware store or home center!

“Heat Tape” comes in different shapes, sizes & lengths but basically is a cord that when energized creates resistance heat.

Think of a rope wrapped around pipes that you plug-in like your electric heating blanket.

“Heat Tape” is another inexpensive way you can “winterize” your own home with just a quick trip to your local hardware store or home center!

5) Open cabinet doors where plumbing is located on exterior walls: This will allow a better chance for the heat from the room to convect to the pipes inside the wall. However, we do not recommend this step if there are children and/or pets in your home.

Opening cabinet doors is a free way to winterize your home. However, we do not recommend this step if there are children and/or pets in your home.

Ti Sutherland – Master Plumber, Sutherland Plumbing, LLC (CCB#200460)

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