How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

Winter in Kansas can bring frigid temperatures and high winds, both of which can cause big problems for unprotected water pipes. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent costly damage from a burst pipe.

Prevent frozen pipes

1. Winterize outside faucets. Since they’re exposed to the elements, this is an especially important task. Disconnect and drain water hoses, and shut off the water supply to the outside spigots if your home has a separate shutoff valve. The same should be done for an outdoor kitchen faucet. If water left in the faucet freezes, it can cause a buildup of pressure that could make a pipe burst inside or underneath your home.

2. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas. Water lines that run through the garage, crawl space or attic are prone to freezing when the temperature drops. Add a layer of insulation by wrapping them with heat tape, newspaper, or foam sleeves. For even more freeze protection, keep the garage door shut on very cold days to protect the pipes there.

3. Have your furnace checked. If your furnace quits on you in the middle of winter, your home will be without heat until it’s repaired, leaving your water pipes vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Make sure your heating system is in good working order before the cold weather hits.

4. Open cabinets and run water. If it’s very cold outside, or if some rooms of your house get colder than others, leaving the cabinet doors under sinks will allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. You can also let a trickle of water run through the faucets to prevent them from freezing. This is helpful if you live in a mobile home, where cold air circulates below the floor.

5. Plan for travel. Whether you’re a snowbird heading south for the winter, or just going on an extended family visit, it may be tempting to shut off your furnace while you’re gone to save money. However, doing so could cost you thousands of dollars in water damage from a burst pipe. Instead, keep the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees. You can also shut off the main water supply and then turn on each faucet to drain the water from the pipes.

6. Call a pro. Professional plumbers can install heat tape to keep your water pipes warm, or even re-route freeze-prone pipes away from exterior walls.

If a Water Pipe Bursts

Reddi Plumbing offers emergency plumbing service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at 316-847-4277.

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