Winter’s coming and you need to be ready. Naturally, there are so many things to do, and some are more fun than others. If it comes to a choice between winterproofing the plumbing and shopping for new skis… well, we know which one we’d choose. However, winterproofing your home’s plumbing is a necessary, if tedious, task, so we have some tips for ensuring your winter is devoted to the fun things in life rather than plumbing problems.

Insulate those interior water pipes

Just because your water and heating lines are inside the house does not automatically mean they are safe from freezing. Lines in exterior walls (such as kitchen pipes), and under the house in a crawlspace are particularly susceptible. It’s a good idea to have a look to see whether they’ve been insulated properly. If you can’t tell, it’s a good idea to have a professional like Pete the Plumber come in to take a look. This is a classic case of “better safe than sorry.”

 Ensure your outside hose bibs don’t freeze and crack

If you have exterior hose bibs (taps) you definitely don’t want them cracking on you because of freezing. Unless you have frost-free hose bibs (specially designed to reduce the chance of freezing), the simplest, most effective way to protect them is to turn off the water and drain the lines.

If you don’t know whether your hose bibs are frost-free (or even if you do), err on the side of caution and drain them anyway. Better to be safe than sorry. After all, it’s not like you’re going to be using your exterior hose bibs regularly during the winter months, and if you do need to use them, just re-drain when you’re finished.

 Do you have a sump pump in your basement?

If you do, you should make sure it is in proper working order. The greatest danger to your sump system in winter months is freezing of the lines, especially the discharge line. A frozen discharge will eventually burn out the motor, so check the pipe to ensure it is graded properly for gravity drainage. Also, ensure the discharge line is not blocked in any way. Contact Pete the Plumber if you need help with this task.

Have your furnace or boiler serviced or replaced

Heat prevents freezing… it’s as simple as that. But in order to have heat to protect your water lines from freezing, you have to have a properly functioning furnace or boiler to keep your home warm.

Call Pete the Plumber to have your heating system properly serviced (or replaced if necessary) before winter sets in. Your best defence against frozen pipes is a heating system that works, so call today and save yourself the grief.