A person working on a sink with the words, "how to winterize your home

Keeping your home safe and warm this winter starts with preparing indoor plumbing for the upcoming dip in temperatures. When it’s cold enough for snow and ice, it’s cold enough to freeze your pipes.

Start with winterization in autumn to protect against any early freezes, and feel secure all the way until spring. Here are some tips on how to winterize the plumbing in your Texas home.

How to Protect Pipes From Freeze Damage

As water freezes, it expands, turning from a liquid to a solid. This can put pressure on pipes, causing them to burst or crack. Damage like this can cause serious leaks that can not only damage the foundation and structure of your home, but can also increase your water bill. Pipe replacement and water damage repairs can add up quickly, so it’s better to prevent damage before it happens. Here are tips on how to do this from your trusted plumbing team: 

1. Maintain Your Minimum Indoor Temperature During the Winter

Make sure the temperature in your home doesn’t drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If you travel in the winter, it may seem cost effective to turn off your heat. But this can lead to burst water pipes and a much bigger expense if your home floods. Set the thermostat between 60-70 degrees when you’re not home to ensure your plumbing system stays protected.

2. Perform a Visual Inspection of Your Pipes

A man grabbing hold of a leaking pipe.

Check your plumbing pipes during the fall by walking through your home and visibly inspecting all drains and pipes for signs of leaks or damage. For a more thorough inspection, contact your local plumber. The team at Bewley Plumbing will ensure there are no hidden leaks, and we can easily repair or replace any damaged pipes.

During this inspection, take note of where your water mainline and shut-off valve are in the case of an emergency. Knowing this can save your home from more severe damage in the event of pipes freezing or bursting 

3. Insulate Your Pipes During the Winter

The best way to protect both indoor and outdoor water pipes during a cold Texas winter is with pipe insulation. Specialty PE pipe insulation is made by brands including Tundra and Tubolit. You can also use spray pipe insulation

Always follow the instructions on the pipe insulation packaging to ensure that you are properly applying the insulation. Duct Tape can be used to ensure that the insulation is secured around the pipe and to keep it from sliding out of place. 

If you are going for spray insulation, seek advice from your trusted plumbing team. They can help insulate pipes properly and prevent you from accidentally damaging them, as spray insulation is tricky to work with.

4. Allow Some of Your Faucets to Drip

If you have an older home with older plumbing or the weather forecast is calling for a severe cold snap, you will want to keep some of your faucets on. This will keep water flowing through your pipes, making them less likely to freeze as the current will keep the water from just sitting. It is important to only do this if the outdoor temperatures reach below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bewley Plumbing Insight: What Do I Do If My Pipes Freeze?

If you wake up on a cold morning and have no water coming out of the faucet, chances are the pipes are frozen. Here is what you should do:

  1. Stop trying to circulate water.
  2. Start looking for the water mainline to turn off the water. 
  3. Warm up the temperature in the house or use a space heater to help thaw out the pipes. 
  4. Contact your local plumbing company to help minimize the damage for your frozen pipes.

How to Winterize Drain Valves and Taps

If you have exterior sprinklers installed on the main line of your plumbing system, you will want to remove all of the water from these lines. 

Removing all water from the exterior pipes of your home will protect them by decreasing their risk of freezing and bursting. Since you must use an air compressor to remove all water from the pipes, drain valves, and taps, it’s best to get a plumbing professional to do this to your exterior water lines.

Here’s how to winterize sprinkler systems and drain the valves and taps: 

  1. After turning off the mainline, use a portable air compressor with a small nozzle to blow air into the drain valve. 
  2. Blow air for approximately five minutes. 
  3. If cleaning out a sprinkler hose, turn the taps on any sprinklers so that water can no longer flow back into the sprinkler system.

Winterizing Toilets and Toilet Bowls

Bewley Plumbing box truck in front of a residential street with beautiful homes behind it

If you are going to be away from your home for an extended amount of time during the winter months, you will want to winterize your toilet. This involves draining both the water tank at the back of the toilet and the toilet bowl. 

Removing the water from the toilet eliminates the risk of freezing and mold from growing due to the disuse of the toilet.

Let Bewley Plumbing Winterize Your Home’s Plumbing

Get started with winterization services now before the first big freeze of the season. Winterizing your residential plumbing is the best way to prevent burst pipes. Bewley Plumbing proudly provides services for Denton and Collin counties of Texas

Our services include plumbing winterization, plumbing repairs, and the installation of water heaters, water pumps, drain valves, and taps. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or for more information on our plumbing services. 

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