How to Keep Outside Pipes from Freezing in Winter


‘Tis the season…

For frozen pipes, bursts, and leaks.

If left unnoticed, pipe bursts can cause significant and expensive damages to your home. They often happen in the winter when water freezes and expands inside the pipes.

Fortunately, here in North Central Florida, we don’t have to worry about months of hard freezes, and most of us don’t need heavy-duty frost protection for our outside pipes.

On the flip side, that shouldn’t make us complacent about pipe freezing. Pipe bursts are a real risk here when temperatures drop—but with the right preparation, they’re preventable.

Here’s what you need to know to keep outside pipes from freezing this winter.

5 Steps to Keep Outside Pipes from Freezing

1. Drip Spouts when Temperatures Drop Below Freezing

If temperatures are going to drop below 32 degrees even for just a few hours, you’ll need to let water drip out of the spouts. Just a slow, tiny trickle is all you need. This keeps water moving and lessens pressure inside your system, which prevents freezing.

2. Unhook and Drain Hoses

This is another measure to reduce pressure throughout your irrigation system. When you’re not using your garden hoses, drain them out and store them in your shed or another dry space.

3. Insulate Exterior Pipes

Pipes running along exterior walls are particularly susceptible to cold temperatures. You can get pipe insulating sleeves or heat tape to protect them from freezing.

4. Traveling Away from Home? Turn Off Your Water Main

Why leave water sitting in your system just waiting to freeze? If you’ll be out of town this winter, you can turn off your water main to keep outside pipes from freezing while you’re gone.

First, you’ll need to locate your main water shut-off valve.

In mild climates like ours, it’s usually found outside near the side of the home, sometimes in a box. Spin the valve handle to turn it off.

Next, you’ll need to drain out your water system. You can do this inside, as well. Just open the faucets and let all the water that’s left come trickling out. Flushing your toilets will force moisture out.

Even if you’re staying home for the winter, it’s crucial to learn where your water main is in case of emergencies. If a pipe does end up freezing and bursting, you’ll need to immediately shut off your water to lessen the damage.

5. Keep a Reliable Local Plumber’s Contact Info On Hand

Emergencies happen. It’s crucial to know who to contact if your pipes freeze and burst, to minimize the damage as much as possible.

If you know Sun Power Lawn Care, you know we can’t help recommending local businesses! Quality Plumbing is a family-owned, Gainesville-based plumbing service that you can reach online or at their 24/7 emergency service line: (352) 377-1009.

In cases of water damage or other disaster services, you can reach local restoration experts Maven Construction Group at their 24/7 emergency service line: (352) 240-6705.

 

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