How to Prep Your Pipes for a Cold Winter in Pittsburgh

Posted on Posted in Plumbing

The temperatures in Pittsburgh can reach some frigid levels. One of the worst homeowner experiences is having to endure a loss of water when their pipes freeze. If you haven’t winterized your home, it isn’t too late to take steps to ensure you won’t be the one without water at extreme temperatures. Winterizing your home’s pipes is one of the best things you can do to ensure you won’t have more significant problems such as burst water pipe. If this happens, a professional will need to come out and fix the pipe.

So if you have been wondering what actions you can take so you aren’t without water or experience water loss during the cold months in Pittsburgh, there are some tips you can follow.


Let Warm Air In

Many of the problems with internal pipes freezing can be because warm air from home isn’t reaching the tubes to keep it above freezing temperatures. The easiest way you can prevent pipes freezing is to open cabinets where pipelines aren’t receiving adequate flows of warm air.


Use the Unused Faucets and Toilets

Many homeowners forget that you have to run water in areas of the home to keep water circulating. Allowing water to flow each day is one of the best ways to prevent water from freezing. If you only use a bathroom sparingly, it is still a good idea to flush the toilet and run the sink and tub for a minute or two. Some experts recommend allowing a light trickle of water to run to ensure a constant flow.


Insulate Water Pipes

Insulating water pipes in areas that aren’t protected, such as an unheated area like the garage, is a life saver for keeping pipes free of damage and freezing. The easiest way to insulate pipes is to wrap them with a protective layer of insulation and tape. This will block those frigid temperatures from reaching pipes, allowing your home to remain free of water loss. Heat tape, insulating foam, and newspaper are great options for insulating water pipes. If your untreated pipes are located in the garage, keep the garage door closed during the winter so that it remains free from drafts and lower temps.


Winterize the Outside Faucets

During winter, you probably won’t be using the outside faucet. This can cause significant issues. By turning off water to the outdoor tap, if you have a separate shut off valve, you can prevent problems inside your home.


Space Heaters Can Be Your Best Friend

In areas, such as the attic, that is hard to reach, or you find it more difficult to insulate, space heaters can work very well. This is mainly in the attic and garage locations. Drafts are nippy and can drop the temp quickly. A space heater will regulate the temp in these areas of the home to at least keep them above freezing.


Call a Professional

A professional can help to winterize your home and offer some valuable tips to ensure you aren’t going to freeze during winter. Kwiatkowski Plumbing can check your furnace to make sure you aren’t going to go without heat during colder months. A working heater can be the difference between pipes staying flowing and free from errors. A plumbing professional is one of the best ways to get your home ready for winter because they will look at the whole picture and make sure nothing is missed.

Make sure that if you are planning to travel that you shut off the water main, and keep your furnace running. While running a heater might sound like a waste of money especially when you aren’t home to enjoy it, a running furnace can prevent significant damage from happening.


READ MORE: Why Shouldn’t You DIY Your Home’s Gas Lines?
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