How much winterization is necessary?
If you are making plans to spend the winter season away from home, you need to think about winterizing your pipes. Freezing water can wreak havoc on a plumbing system, especially when there is no water running through it for an extended period. Water expands as it turns to ice. The expansion causes pressure in the pipes. As a result, severe cracks or leaks can develop in the plumbing system. Whether you’re leaving for the winter, or just want to prevent freezing during frigid weather, winterize pipes to prevent damage to your plumbing system.
Preparing to winterize pipes
If you plan to leave your home for the season, start by cutting off the supply of water to your home. Doing this is done by simply shutting off the main valve that supplies municipal water to your home. If you do not use municipal water, you should shut off the supply of water at your source. Disconnect the power supply to your home’s water heater system. It’s important to do this because the heating elements in the water heater system can get ruined if they stay on when there is no water in the tanks.
After shutting off the main water supply, open all the taps in your home and drain the water out of them. If you can’t remember whether you’ve opened all the taps in your home, use a check-off list. Doing this is a helpful trick to ensure that you check every tap is open after you’ve shut off the water supply. You should also open the drain valves in all your water tanks and let the water pour out completely.
After all that, you can use air compressors to blow standing water out of the pipes just as a precaution. You should also make sure that you flush your toilets and drain all the water out of the toilet bowls. Check all of your sinks and drain them of any standing water. Wherever there will be water that you cannot remove, you will need to add antifreeze to prevent the water from freezing.
How to winterize pipes using pipe insulation
Even if you’re still inhabiting your home for the winter season, insulating your pipes will help prevent them from freezing. You can protect your pipes using fiberglass or polyethylene insulation tubes that are available in most hardware stores. Make sure that you measure the outside diameter of the pipes before going to buy the insulation tube, so you’re not left with too many pipes and too little insulation!
You ought to take extra care with pipes that have frozen over in past winter seasons because they are more likely to get damaged when exposed to freezing temperatures. You can wrap these pipes with heat tape before installing the insulation tubes. Make sure that you use the heat tape according to manufacturer specifications because heat tape can also cause damage when overused or when used in the wrong way. As you’re insulating your pipes, be sure not to leave any gaps without insulation. It’s also important to note that plastic piping tends to be more tolerant of freezing temperatures than steel water piping.
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Fill up exterior cracks
To protect your pipes further, seal off any holes or cracks in the exterior wall that can let in cold air. The best way to do so is using caulking and spray foam insulation.
A heating source
Setting up a source of heating on the inside is an easy, effective way to winterize pipes and prevent damage. When you do, you should make sure that you open all your sink-based cabinets to allow them to get the warm air from your heating source.
At times, pressure can build between faucets and areas that have ice blockage, so opening your exterior faucets and allowing them to drip will enable them to release pressure. Also, don’t forget to check your hose bibs before you leave your home for the winter months. When left unattended, they can burst because of the pressure that builds when pipes freeze. You should drain all hose bibs and fit them with plastic or rubber covers.
Seal off the crawl space
If your home has a pier and beam style foundation, you should also consider sealing off the crawl spaces of your home. Measure the exact sizes of those areas and get perfectly-fitting heavy pieces of cardboard to block off all the vents. After fitting the crawl spaces with pieces of cardboard, seal them with duct tape.
Invest time now and save hassles later
Winterizing your home may seem like a massive chore when cooler temperatures start to approach. But it only takes a trip to the hardware store and a few hours of labor to winterize pipes in your mobile home. The process itself is pretty simple and can save you major headaches in the long term. Just think about how much better that cup of hot chocolate will taste when you’re not worried about freezing pipes!