Ways to protect your plumbing from the cold | Weather


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEVV) — Frozen and bursting pipes are one of a homeowner’s worst nightmare and can possibly lead to thousands of dollars of damage.

There are any number of ways below-freezing temperatures can damage your house, both inside and out. The damage can be immediate or go unnoticed for months until temperatures rise and thaw out burst pipes.

Inside your home, the easiest way to protect your plumbing is to leave your faucets on a slow drip and sink cabinets open to let warm air circulate around the pipes, but outside, there are many things you can do to keep the cold out that you might not think of.

David Dowell, a plumbing service technician with J.E. Shekell, told 44News ”in summertime, it’s a good thing to open [air vents], but in the wintertime or the fall, you might need to check your vents and close them.”

Closing air vents and making sure any basement windows are fully closed and insulated can pay dividends for your heating bill in addition to keeping your plumbing safe.

There are also disasters waiting to happen outside your home. Among them, not disconnecting garden hoses before winter. ”This is one of the big no-no’s that a plumber hates to see,” Dowell said.

If the water valve is opened, your house’s plumbing comes into direct contact with the ice remaining in the hose. Ice can stay in garden hoses for days after temperatures climb above freezing, and that exposure can cause a freeze to travel up through your pipes even after you think you’re in the clear.

Best practice is to disconnect your water hose before the start of winter.