Although it has been a hot summer and is easing into a relatively mild fall, we know how Illinois winters can be! As with your lawn, pool, HVAC, and vehicles, your plumbing needs to be ready for the winter chill as well. Most homeowners don’t give a second thought to their plumbing with regard to the changing of the seasons, but this can be a big mistake! Where there is water, there is potential for damage caused by freezing (and heating and thawing, but we will leave that for a different blog!). Here, we will give you a rundown of some tips to prepare your plumbing for the winter to prevent costly damage and have a smooth spring.

So, what’s the big deal and why is prepping your plumbing for winter so important? Let’s take a quick pause for a science refresher. Water, when it freezes, expands. While this is not a problem when it is above ground or in trays in your freezer, this can be a huge problem within the confines of your plumbing. Freezing water and ice crystals are strong enough to compromise the strongest of metal components that create your residential plumbing system. While this frozen ice may not be noticeable until the spring thaw, once water begins flowing again, you will have leaks that cause a lot of costly damage.

Tip 1. Turn off outdoor faucets.

Take a look around your home and identify any and all outdoor faucets. Ensure the water is drained out of places it needs to be and the water is shut off at the supply source. For outside hose bibs, turn off the water and disconnect and drain any attached hoses. For your sprinkler system, ensure that the lines have been blown out after the water has been disconnected. This will prevent any water that is sitting in the lines from freezing long after the water has been shut off.

Tip 2. Insulate exposed pipes.

For any pipes that are exposed in unheated areas such as outside, the basement, or garage, make sure to insulate the pipes to keep them from freezing when temperatures in unheated areas fall below the freezing point. If you are unsure about how to insulate your pipes, schedule an appointment with your local plumber to ensure the job is done correctly.

Tip 3. Fix any leaks or drips.

This tip is a general plumbing maintenance tip, and leaks should be fixed as soon as they are identified. However, if you have been ignoring a slow drip or an outside leak, now is the time to get it fixed! If you leave these seemingly small problems unattended, they have the potential to become catastrophic once the water begins to freeze!

Stay tuned for part two of this two-part series where we will discuss more great tips to prepare your residential plumbing system for winter.

For all of your residential or commercial plumbing needs in the Metro East Illinois area, contact the experienced plumbing team at Culler Plumbing. In addition to routine plumbing maintenance and repair, we also perform work on gas lines, fireplaces, and hot water heaters. For all of your winter preparation needs, trust the plumbers with more than 25 years experience! Contact us for your free estimate today!