It's that time of the year again - time to winterize the plumbing system in your home before the cold temperatures set in. Freezing temperatures can cause havoc in a home plumbing system as frozen water expands, producing pressure in your pipes and causing damage.
Should You Winterize Your Plumbing System?
All homeowners in Toronto will benefit from winterizing plumbing systems, especially if your home will be vacant during the holidays. Winterizing ensures that your pipes don't freeze during times when no water is running through the pipes.
In this post, we will discuss the winterization process and how to drain all water from your pipes, using antifreeze and empty your water heater.
Plumbing Winterization: Where to Start
Effective winterization of your plumbing system starts with proper planning. By making a checklist, you can avoid missing any crucial steps and you won't run into nasty surprises when freezing temperatures roll around.
Winterize your plumbing by following this simple process:
1. Shut of the water at the main valve, and turn off the water heater and water pump to protect your heating elements when the tank is empty.
2. Open all the taps and drain valves. Use your list to ensure that everything is open. If you miss a tap, it may create a vacuum, holding water inside the pipes. If you're going to be away from home, the mains should be shut off and the taps open for the duration of the time.
3. Use an air compressor to blow excess standing water out of the pipes.
4. Empty out your hot water tank by opening the drain valve, and let it discharge completely. If you don't have a floor drain, be sure to connect a garden hose to the tap.
5. Be sure to drain the holding tank, including the one in the rubber diaphragm which is used to build pressure. Add antifreeze to the jet pump case.
6. Flush all the toilets to remove water from the toilet bowls and tanks, and add antifreeze to prevent the toilet cracking.
7. Add antifreeze to all tub and sink drains that may have drain traps to prevent excess water from freezing and cracking the traps.
The steps above are all aimed at removing standing water that may become frozen during freezing temperatures. Here are additional steps to prevent frozen pipes:
● Identify pipes that are most vulnerable to freezing. Uninsulated pipes, those installed in unheated spaces and those on outside walls are typically most vulnerable to freezing.
● Repair cracks in walls or openings for utilities and services, and between ceilings and floor materials. Caulk any gaps that may cause cold air to enter your home.
● If you have any uninsulated pipes, wrap them in slip-on foam pipe insulation or heating tape, without leaving any gaps. Steel and copper water pipes are most prone to freezing, while plastic piping is more tolerant.
● Protect your pipes against cold by maintaining a heating source inside the building.
Speak to Anta Plumbing for more tips on winterizing your pipes before the winter cold sets in, because frozen pipes pose many severe hazards to your property.