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Prepare for the Cold | Winter Plumbing “To Do” List

Winter Plumbing “To Do” List

As you begin to make winter preparations around your home, taking care of your plumbing should be top of mind.

As winter inches closer and closer to us here in Buffalo, New York, you likely have started preparing for the colder weather. As you begin to make winter preparations around your home, taking care of your plumbing should be top of mind. Because water expands when it freezes, it can create potential threats for your Western New York home’s plumbing as we enter into the colder months of the year, so you should be prepared. To help you avoid frozen pipes and other plumbing issues, throughout the frigid months, we have put together tips for a winter plumbing “to do” list.

Winter Plumbing “To Do” List Tips

Let’s be honest, when it comes to preparing for our brutal Buffalo, New York winters, it may seem like there is more to do than there is time. Your plumbing is crucial to your home and family and a frozen pipe, due to lack of preparation, can lead to a crack, releasing hundreds of gallons of water into your home. This is something that can be avoided, and should be. We are here to help.

Below are some tips for items you should add to your winter plumbing “to do” list:

Shut off All Outdoor Faucets: As the colder weather sets in, you should drain and turn off all of your outdoor faucets to prevent them from freezing and potentially bursting. Shut off the faucets at their shutoff valves. When shutting these off, be sure to open the faucet to drain all remaining water out of the pipe. If you don’t drain the pipe, it can still freeze and crack.

Install Frost-Free Sill Cocks: A sill cock (or hose bib) is an outdoor water faucet located on your home that is usually threaded for attaching a hose. If your home does not already have freeze-proof sill cocks, it is recommended that you upgrade your sill cocks. A frost-free sill cock has a stem that is longer, usually 6 to 12 inches long. It prevents cold weather from freezing your pipes because the stem washer and seat valve reside inside your warmed up home.

Store Hoses and Sprinklers: A hose or sprinkler system that has water in it, when the freezing air approaches, can cause ice to back up into the pipe inside of your home. This can cause issues. Your winter plumbing “to do” list should include disconnecting, draining, and storing hoses and sprinklers.

Use Plumbing Insulation: If you have plumbing located on an exterior wall, in crawl spaces, in outdoor spaces, or in other areas of your Buffalo, New York home that are known to get unusually cold, you should insulate those pipes. Plumbing insulation, especially in conjunction with heat cable, can help to prevent your plumbing from reaching temperatures in which it may freeze.

Shut off the Water if Unused: If you have sources of water in your home (such as in a garage, basement, etc.) that aren’t used frequently in the colder months or you are just going to be away for a few days or more, turn the water off at the main shutoff. Be sure to drain the water source as you disconnect it for the season.

Be Familiar with Other Pipe Freezing Prevention Tips: When the brutally cold temperatures arrive, there are things you can do to avoid frozen pipes in your Buffalo home. Keep your faucets on at a trickle, open your cabinet doors, maintain a regular temperature throughout your home, amongst other things. When temperatures are extreme, you need to stay alert and take extra steps to protect your plumbing.

You can follow all the tips we provided for your winter plumbing “to do” list, and while they will likely help, you may still end up with frozen pipes.

If your pipes have frozen or burst, Reimer Home Services is here to help. Our plumbers are available 24/7 throughout Buffalo and Erie County. We’ll send out one of our plumbers as soon as possible to safely thaw out or repair your pipes.

There’s no extra charge for service on nights or weekends, so contact us anytime.