Winter weather in the Orlando area is usually mild, but an occasional cold snap can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing pipes and cause costly water damage. When water freezes and expands inside a plumbing pipe, the pressure can cause a rupture you might not discover until it thaws and begins to leak.
The best way to prevent frozen, burst water lines is to prepare your pipes for winter. Here’s how to get your plumbing ready for a temperature drop.
- Drain your sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines. Unless it’s specifically recommended by the manufacturer, don’t add environmentally harmful antifreeze.
- Disconnect and drain your outdoor hose. Then, shut off the indoor supply valve that feeds the hose bib, before opening the outdoor faucet to drain the line. Leave the faucet open, so pressure won’t build up if a freeze occurs.
- Insulate accessible hot and cold water lines that run through unheated areas of your home, such as the crawlspace, garage and attic. You can find inexpensive foam pipe sleeve insulation at most hardware stores.
- Protect particularly vulnerable pipes with UL-listed heat cable or heat trace tape. Water pipes located inside exterior walls are more susceptible to freezing and bursting when the weather warms up again.
- Close your garage door(s) if any water lines are located inside.
- Open lower bathroom and kitchen sink cabinet doors, so warm air can circulate around the pipes inside.
- If you plan a trip during the winter, take all of the above precautions and leave your thermostat set at 55 degrees.
- Open your faucets slightly, so that a little stream of water can trickle out. Maintaining a minimum flow can keep pipes from freezing.
- Don’t lower your thermostat setting at night or when no one is home. Keeping your indoor temperature consistent during a freeze threat may increase your utility bills a bit, but it will help you avoid the headache of burst pipes and the expense of repairing water damage.
For more tips on how to prepare your pipes for winter, contact Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning Service. We’ve been providing exceptional home comfort services to the Orlando area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about winterizing your pipes and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jirsak/Shutterstock”