Old man winter is in full sway in north Georgia and metro Atlanta, and – as the multiple nights with below freezing temperatures have shown – he is not messing around.
What does this mean for you as a home or business owner? Several things, including the fact that you need to make sure that your plumbing is protected – because if it is not, the consequences could be severe.
With that in mind, let’s look at protecting your plumbing during the winter months – and review a simple list of steps you can take to avoid disaster and excess expenses. We’ll also show you what to do should a plumbing disaster strike.
Simple fixes (these are easy steps that will only take a few minutes or possibly a few dollars):
1. Make sure your plumbing is in good shape
If you have any leaks, now is the time to fix them. Freezing water expands, so if you have any compromised pipes in an exposed area, frigid temperatures will only increase your problem, as expanding water increases the size of any split or hole in your plumbing. Get on top of any leak right away – either by doing it yourself or by having a licensed professional plumber come and repair the problem.
2. Make sure exposed pipes are insulated
Any pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures should be insulated to help avoid freezing. This means that any pipe found outside your home or business – including those along exterior walls, or in an unheated basement, should be protected. You can buy premade pipe insulation (it consists of either polyethylene or fiberglass) and easily wrap your pipes to help avoid a freeze up.
3. Keep your faucet dripping
This is an old trick – and one that works perfectly. If you leave any exposed or worrisome pipe dripping overnight, keeping the water flowing through said pipes will help avoid freezing up by preventing pressure from building up. You do not have to open them wide – or even half open. You can simply allow them to drip to help keep them from freezing.
4. Keep your cabinet doors open
If it is going to get especially cold overnight, you should consider opening any cabinet doors under your sink. This will allow the warmth in your home to circulate more freely around your pipes and help keep them from freezing. This will even help pipes that are a long way from the sink, as the warm air from around the sink circulates through your entire plumbing system.
5. Cut off outdoor water supplies
Certainly, any pipe that is outdoors is going to be in danger of freezing, so to help prevent water from expanding and cracking those pipes, cut off the water supply to those pipes at the source. By disconnecting those outdoor pipes, you can avoid some real hassle and headache. It is also a good idea to bring any hoses indoors – even these expandable and flexible tools will expand and burst during a freeze if any water is trapped inside them.
More complex fixes (these steps will take more time and require a more significant financial outlay):
6. Make sure your crawlspace is sealed
While a ventilated crawlspace is a great thing for most of the year, a ventilated crawlspace during the coldest winter nights could mean a problem for your plumbing. The good news is that you can seal up your crawlspace relatively easily. Simply utilize duct tape and cardboard to seal off the vents around crawlspace. This will trap warmer air inside and keep the freezing enter from invading. If you have a basement, you need to make sure it is also well insulated and does not get frigid during cold nights.
7. Drain your water heater
Many people don’t realize this, but sediment builds up in your water heater. And when too much builds up it can cause problems for your plumbing – especially if your pipes are susceptible to freezing up. Therefore, it is a good idea to drain your hot water heater during the winter – removing a lot of that sediment and keeping your plumbing as clear as possible.
OK, so what happens if you do all of that and something still goes wrong – or something has already gone wrong before you try any fixes?
You’ll need to call a professional, a plumber that knows what they are doing and is ready to help you at a moment’s notice. At Conditioned Air Systems, we built our name on supplying fast, responsive and superior service and equipment in the heating and air industry. And now we are doing the same for the plumbing industry.
Beginning in 2022, Conditioned Air brought on board plumbing master John Payne, founder of Payne Plumbing, to lead and develop our plumbing division. His work and expertise allows us to offer the same full range of expertise, customer service, and flexibility that you have come to expect from Conditioned Air’s HVAC services.
Payne, a north Georgia native, grew up in the plumbing industry and obtained his unrestricted master plumbing license over 25 years ago. He founded Payne Plumbing shortly thereafter. Thanks to John’s guidance, we will happily tackle any job, no matter the size or situation. And you can expect our plumbers to:
- Arrive on time
- Install it or repair it right, the first time
- Give you a fixed price with no hidden surprises
- Be friendly and professional
Just like our HVAC services, we offer 24/7 and emergency plumbing services to attend to your every need.
If you find yourself in a plumbing fix this winter, please contact us right away at 770-536-7509 and let us get your water running the right way again.