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6 Tips to Protect Your Plumbing This Winter


Close-up of frozen water pipeDuring the winter, Idaho’s highest temperatures may hover in the 40s, but most of the season is quite chilly, especially at night.

Extended periods of below-freezing temperatures can put stress on your pipes if they’re not properly protected. The water inside them can freeze, creating pressure buildup leading to a burst pipe and costly damage to your home. 

Here are six steps you can take to protect your plumbing this winter:

Winterize Outdoor Faucets

Outdoor plumbing is especially at risk when it comes to freezing temperatures, so it’s important to follow the steps to winterize your outdoor faucets

The first and most important step is to turn off the valve, which should be located in your garage, basement, or crawl space on the wall close to where the hose bibb is located.

Once you turn off the valve, you can open the spigot to drain any water. This prevents the water from freezing inside the hose bibb or pipes and cracking them. 

Disconnect Hoses

Your garden hose may hold more stagnant water than you expect. And if it freezes, it can expand all the way to your hose bibb and cause it to crack.

When preparing your plumbing for winter, disconnect garden hoses, let the water drip out, then store them.

Insulate Pipes

If you have piping that runs through unheated areas like basements, attics, garages, or crawl spaces, check to make sure:

  • They’re insulated.
  • They’re in a location protected from cold air, such as running along an insulated wall.
  • They’re close to warm air, like along a floor joist of a heated room above.

If pipes get too cold, they’re more likely to freeze. While a frozen pipe doesn’t always burst, the pressure from the ice will likely cause at least some damage to the pipe.

Keep Your Thermostat Setting Consistent

Ensure your thermostat is always set higher than 55 degrees, especially at night. Homeowners like to lower their thermostats at night to save energy, but this is risky for your plumbing.

Programmable and smart thermostats will help accurately regulate the temperature inside your house. Upgrading your thermostat is an easy preventative step toward long-term energy savings and home comfort.

Let Indoor Faucets Drip on Cold Days

If you’re in for a stretch of freezing days and nights, slightly turn on faucets to allow them to a steady drip. This releases pressure so you can avoid frozen pipes.

Open Cabinet Doors

Another tip for cold stretches is to open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate under kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Whether you’re a snowbird or heading out of town for the weekend, leaving the cabinet doors open is a helpful precautionary step to protect your plumbing.

Advanced Home Services Can Help With All Your Piping Service Needs

Despite the best efforts, frozen pipes are sometimes inevitable. Signs you have a frozen or burst pipe include:

  • Frost formation outside pipes
  • Strange sounds from pipes
  • Low water pressure
  • Bulging pipes

Advanced Home Service’s maintenance program can help you protect your plumbing with a safety check to identify pipes that are more vulnerable to freezing temperatures.

Following these tips and working with our trusted plumbers gives you the best chance of avoiding frozen pipes.

Advanced Home Services is the team to call whether you need help protecting your plumbing or quickly repairing frozen or burst pipes. Call 208-745-9406 or contact us online today to schedule service in Southeast Idaho!

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