Now that we are into the Falls month, it is the perfect time to make sure that you’re home and cottage plumbing is prepared for the winter months. While most often people remember to shut off and prepare plumbing for cottages, there is also preparation that needs to be done at your house as well to make sure there is no pipe damage from the freezing temperatures.
Quick Science Lesson: When water freezes, it expands. This means that if the water is in a sealed environment – like a plumbing pipe- it can cause the pipe to burst. This is why it is imperative for people to turn off the water supply and drain all pipes in uninsulated and non-heated buildings during the winter. If left on, and with water in the pipes, they could burst open once the water in them freezes.
Unfortunately, this same occurrence can happen even in your heated home. Exterior pipes for hoses can also freeze over if they are not properly shut off from the inside. If the water at the exterior begins to freeze, it can cause the water throughout the interior pipes to freeze as well, which can then burst the pipes. Most homeowners just make sure the hose outside is drained, and then just leave the exterior tap closed and assume that this is enough, but it actually isn’t.
To properly shutoff an exterior tap for the winter, you must locate the interior shut off valve for the faucet. This is usually found just inside the house from where the tap is outside and will have a big red handle on it. Turn the handle so that it shuts off the water supply on the interior of your house, this will make sure that there is no water in the pipes being exposed to the cold temperatures, so it won’t be able to freeze.
If you find yourself in a situation where your pipes have burst due to them being frozen, the first step is to shut off the main water source. This will stop any new water from entering the pipes, so it will only leak the water currently in them. After that, you’ll need to contact a repair plumber to come out and fix your plumbing quickly. Drain Experts Plumbing specializes in drain and plumbing repair, so if you’re ever in need – give us a call!