Any cities where winter temperatures drop below 28 degrees could use a few plumbing winterization tips to help prevent everything from minor aggravation to major water damage. After all, several continuous hours of exposure to sub-freezing air can freeze household plumbing.

Being prepared with a few plumbing winterization tips is important anytime pipe-freezing temperatures are expected in the near future.

  • If your house has winterized faucets, shut off the water to each faucet bib at its indoor valve. Open the tap beneath the valve and drain residual water into a bucket. If the faucets are not winterized, consider installing faucet insulation kits on outdoor faucets.
  • Seal or close any exterior cracks or gaps that allow cold outdoor air to reach plumbing pipes inside the home. Make sure the crawlspace door seals properly and, if the space is vented, close or cover vents for the duration of freezing temperatures.
  • Make sure your sump pump discharge pipe is unobstructed and free of residual water. If a frozen pipe rupture occurs, the sump pump must be fully operational.
  • Keep the furnace running at a moderate temperature of at least 60 degrees on nights when severe temperatures are forecast. Open closet doors and doors to cabinets under sinks to allow warm air to circulate into wall spaces where plumbing is installed.
  • Open hot and cold water taps to allow a continuous trickle of water overnight. This relieves damaging pressure inside pipes if freezing should occur.
  • Know where the main water shutoff to the house is located in the event of a pipe rupture.
  • If you see signs of frozen pipes, such as decreased water pressure or no water flow at all, call a plumber ASAP. Don’t wait for the pipe to thaw to discover that it has ruptured.

Contact the plumbing professionals at Modern Mechanical for more plumbing winterization tips. We’ve got you covered in Northern Virginia and Maryland areas.