Should I Turn Off Water Spigots To Prevent FROZEN PIPES in Winter?
When the temperature begins to drop each year, little niggling problems can start to worry you – such as frozen pipes or frozen water spigots that can potentially be causing a flood. As I mentioned already in the video, unless you plan on leaving your home for the winter, there’s really no need to worry about draining your pipes. But let’s take a closer look at some of the scenarios where you would have to consider draining your pipes or turning off water to specific parts of your home.
Preventing Frozen Pipes- Winterizing
The word winterizing can mean different things for different people. Most of the time, it’s used when referring to how you protect your home during your absence in the cold months. If you regularly spend the winter in Florida, for example, you would want to winterize before you go. Winterizing in regards to your pipes means completely draining them of any water so that when the temperature inside drops (and it will with no one home to keep the heat on) you don’t have any leftover water expanding and cracking your pipes.
If you are leaving for the winter, you should locate the main water valve in your home. This will be near where the water enters either close to your well pump, the hot water heater, or your water meter. Shut off the water at this valve, then open every faucet and flush every toilet to drain all the water from your pipes. Depending on the size of your hot water tank, and how much water is in the pipes, this could take several minutes.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to winterize in this manner if you’re only going away for a few days or a week. In this case, your best option is to set your heat to a few degrees above 50 to keep the house from getting so cold the pipes freeze, and to have a neighbor in to check on things for you.
If you plan on being away for a little longer, and you want to save on heating costs, you can shut off the water to areas that are more prone to leaks and problems, such as your toilets. Once the water is off, flush the toilets to drain the water out of the lines. If the temperature outside is scheduled to drop well below freezing for an extended amount of time while you’re gone, you could ask a neighbor to pop in and adjust the thermostat for you to avoid frozen pipes.
Outdoor Spigot Concerns
Some people become particularly concerned about outdoor spigots in the winter, because they aren’t protected by the warmth of the house. Again, though, you really only need to worry about frozen pipes inside your house where if they burst, they could cause a flood. If your outdoor spigot happens to be off an unheated, uninsulated section of your home such as a basement or garage, and you want to drain the water from this area, you should find the nearest valve to the spigot and shut the water off at this point. Then open the spigot to drain the water. That’s it! Without water, you don’t have to worry about frozen pipes or even bursting pipes.
Take Care of Your Home
Draining your pipes in the winter is something that most homeowners will never have to worry about. If you are concerned, however, you can always play it safe by draining those places most likely to cause a problem.
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